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How to handle Darren Waller injury in Week 3 fantasy football

Can you count on the Raiders tight end even if he does play this week?

Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller runs the ball against the New Orleans Saints during the second quarter of a NFL game at Allegiant Stadium. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1st half update: Darren Waller is playing in Week 3, but he was not targeted a single time in the first half. The Raiders trail 13-10 at halftime.

Game status: Waller is ACTIVE for Week 3.

Game day update: Waller is questionable but expected to play vs. the Patriots, according to Adam Schefter. He’s worth starting if active.

Darren Waller was back in action at Friday’s practice after missing the previous two days with what the team described as a knee injury. Still, the Las Vegas Raiders have listed him as officially questionable ahead of Sunday’s game against the Patriots. Getting in one practice at the end of the week bodes well for Waller’s availability this week, but he’s got a tough matchup on his hands. The game kicks off at 1 p.m. ET.

Fantasy impact: Darren Waller injury

Waller leads the team in receiving yards, and it’s not even close. He’s got 150 yards through the air; the next closest is rookie receiver Henry Ruggs (who won’t be playing this week) with 59. Waller also has a touchdown.

Last week against the Saints, Waller was targeted by quarterback Derek Carr an astonish 16 times; he caught 12 of those passes for 105 yards and a score. His missed practice time could very well have been a workload management issue as much as anything.

He’s got a tough matchup against the Patriots, who have made it clear they plan to bully him on the field this week. New England’s done pretty well defending tight ends too, giving up just four receptions for 39 yards in two games. Despite that, Waller’s role in the Raiders offense is just too great to leave him on the bench if he’s healthy enough to play.