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Considering injury updates as you address the Week 3 fantasy waiver wire

The fantasy football waiver wire is critical to league success. We break down key injuries from Week 2 that will impact decisions for the Week 3 waiver wire.

Cincinnati Bengals v Chicago Bears
Andy Dalton of the Chicago Bears runs against the Cincinnati Benals at Soldier Field on September 19, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Bengals 20-17.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Week 2 is over, as the Green Bay Packers XXXX Detroit Lions XXXX. This was a tough week for injuries, especially to starting quarterbacks, as Carson Wentz, Tyrod Taylor, Tua Tagovailoa and Andy Dalton all suffered injuries.

it’s time to start considering your fantasy football waiver wire options. The Week 3 waiver wire can make or break a league, and the injury report will be critical to consider. Here are the players worth monitoring heading into Week 3, along with potential replacement options on the waiver wire.

Darrell Henderson, RB, Los Angeles Rams

Head coach Sean McVay has not ruled out the running back for Sunday’s contest against Tampa Bay, but Henderson did injure his rib cartilage. The Rams could go more pass-heavy, favoring the likes of Van Jefferson and DeSean Jackson. The biggest beneficiary would be Sony Michel, who would step up as the lead back in the event Henderson cannot play.

Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders

Jacobs is considered “very questionable” in the words of head coach Jon Gruden, which means the running back is probably not going to take the field in Week 3 against the Dolphins. Kenyan Drake and Peyton Barber are in line for a larger workload again, although Derek Carr’s status is also worth monitoring when considering playing anyone in Las Vegas’ offense.

Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Johnson reportedly avoided a serious knee injury, but his status is unclear as the Steelers meet the Bengals in Week 3. If Johnson cannot go, expect JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool to see a slight uptick in production. Tight end Pat Freiermuth is also worth looking into. He saw an uptick in targets against the Raiders and seems to be in line for a bigger role.

Andy Dalton, QB, Chicago Bears

Dalton’s injury is reportedly not an ACL tear according to early tests, which means Bears fans will have to wait for the Justin Fields show to officially begin. Head coach Matt Nagy has reiterated Dalton is the starter if he’s healthy, but neither quarterback is worth starting against a Cleveland defense capable of rushing the passer well. There’s better options on the waiver wire, although Fields could be worth looking at in keeper and dynasty formats.

Elijah Mitchell, RB, San Francisco 49ers
JaMycal Hasty, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Trey Sermon, RB, San Francisco 49ers

This backfield is tough to figure out, as every Kyle Shanahan backfield has been since he took over in San Francisco. Mitchell figures to have the lead role if he’s healthy, but Sermon is one to watch. Hasty is “for sure” out for Week 3, so Mitchell and Sermon both have value if active. The 49ers may activate Kerryon Johnson if Sermon can’t clear concussion protocols in time for Sunday night’s contest against the Packers.

Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys

Cooper has a rib injury, but it doesn’t appear to be enough to keep the receiver off the field in Week 3 against the Eagles. With the game being a Monday night contest, Cooper does have an additional day to recover. If he cannot go, expect more targets for CeeDee Lamb and Cedrick Wilson Jr. as Michael Gallup is on IR. Tony Pollard, who will be in the mix regardless of Cooper’s status, could also see some extra work.

Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns

Landry is dealing with an MCL injury, which is bad news for the Browns considering Odell Beckham Jr. is still on the mend. If the slot receiver cannot go, it means more work for Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones. The Browns have also leaned on the running game these first two weeks, so Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt could get extra work if Landry is out. Baker Mayfield’s status is also worth looking into before playing anyone in Cleveland’s offense.

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Houston Texans

Taylor is out for Thursday’s contest against the Panthers, meaning Davis Mills will make his first NFL start. He’s an unproven quarterback, so there’s a huge risk investing in any of Houston’s offensive players for fantasy purposes. The Panthers’ defense on the other hand might be worth a look for Thursday’s contest.

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins

Tagovailoa is dealing with a rib injury, although there appears to be no cartilage damage. If he cannot go, Jacoby Brissett will make the start for the Dolphins. Miami’s skill players are reliant on Tagovailoa’s presence, but Brissett can still make enough throws to make them viable flex plays. Myles Gaskin could get more touches if Miami leans on the running game more. Jaylen Waddle would be the most affected player by Tagovailoa’s absence, but would still be a flex play.

Carson Wentz, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Wentz suffered an ankle injury against the Rams, but head coach Frank Reich suggested the quarterback might not miss Week 3’s contest against the Titans. Wentz is starting to figure things out in Indianapolis with his former offensive coordinator, so his absence would be a big loss for managers with Colts skill players. Jonathan Taylor will be worth playing, but Michael Pittman Jr. and Zach Pascal managers might want to look elsewhere for flex plays if Wentz can’t go. Jacob Eason, who did get work for Indy in the preseason, would take over as the starter.

Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders

Carr is questionable to play against the Dolphins according to Gurden, but it feels like the quarterback will give it a go. That’s good news for fantasy managers who plan to play Darren Waller, Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards. The Raiders have been clicking offensively and Carr is playing some of his best football. If he can’t go, Nathan Peterman steps in as the backup and immediately makes all three receiving options worse. Waller is still a strong play as a tight end, but Ruggs and Edwards become fringe flex plays at best.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns

Mayfield did not suffer structural damage in his non-throwing shoulder, according to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. The bigger problem for Cleveland’s quarterback is his depleted receiving corps, which means the Browns are likely to lean on the ground game in Week 3 against the Bears. Mayfield still represents a better streaming option that most quarterbacks, but it’s best to monitor Cleveland’s injury report ahead of a clash against a defense finding its footing.