Mac Jones, Dalvin Cook injured
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The news: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Patriots QB Mac Jones is believed to have suffered a high ankle sprain in Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.
What it means in fantasy: Jones will undergo an MRI on Monday to confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity of the injury. Jones has been injured during a game twice in the past three weeks. During the Patriots’ season opener against the Dolphins, he suffered back spasms. However, Sunday’s injury appears to be more serious. Brian Hoyer is most likely going to start in Week 4 against the Packers. He’s not on the fantasy radar for managers. He has lost 11 consecutive starts, the longest active streak in the league. The Packers’ defense will be on the streaming radar for Week 4.
Going deeper: The Ravens pressured Jones at the third-highest rate of his career. Two of his four highest pressure rates have come in the past two weeks.
The news: Vikings RB Dalvin Cook had 17 rushes for 96 yards and a touchdown before being ruled out of the game against the Lions with a dislocated shoulder.
What it means in fantasy: Cook has had shoulder problems since his college days at Florida State University. The Vikings are hopeful Cook will be able to play this week, wearing a harness, but fantasy managers are most likely looking at Cook as a game-time decision in Week 4. The Vikings take on the Saints at 9:30 a.m. ET in London, so you’ll want to check the inactives earlier than usual. In the event that Cook were to miss time, Alexander Mattison would be in line for an every-down role.
The news: Bears RB David Montgomery left in the first quarter against the Texans after he got rolled up on while pass blocking.
What it means in fantasy: Montgomery walked off the field under his own power. He had 11 rushing yards on three attempts prior to being ruled out with an ankle/knee injury. Khalil Herbert filled the void for the Bears, finishing with 157 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The last Bears player to accomplish a similar feat was Montgomery himself back in Week 15 of the 2020 season against the Minnesota Vikings. Montgomery’s status is uncertain, but this unfortunate news puts Herbert firmly on the fantasy radar.
Going deeper: While Montgomery was out last season, Herbert averaged 23.3 opportunities (rushing attempts plus targets) and 15.4 fantasy points per game while playing 83% of the offensive snaps in three starts.
The news: Chargers QB Justin Herbert completed 25 of 45 passes for 297 yards, throwing for a touchdown and an interception against the Jaguars.
What it means in fantasy: One lingering question arose before Sunday’s game about whether Herbert would be active for the game after suffering rib cartilage fractures on Sept. 15. If so, how much would he play? Herbert exceeded expectations on both accounts and played the entire game. He survived the game without any further injuries, which is great news. Herbert can be viewed as a high-end QB1 against the Texans in Week 4.
The news: Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson accumulated 101 total yards on 16 touches against the Ravens.
What it means in fantasy: Stevenson led the backfield in snaps and touches, displaying his versatility as a runner and receiver. Stevenson and Damien Harris will continue to work together in the Patriots’ backfield, but Stevenson’s performance in this game showed he deserves more touches. Going forward, fantasy managers can consider him a low-end RB2.
The news: Falcons RB Cordarrelle Patterson had a career-high 141 rushing yards and one touchdown against the Seahawks.
What it means in fantasy: Patterson now has two games with 100 or more rushing yards in the Falcons’ first three games of the season. He is the first Atlanta player to do that since Michael Turner in 2011. While Patterson is clearly the lead in the Falcons’ backfield committee, rookie Tyler Allgeier was also involved, playing 21 snaps to Patterson’s 35. Atlanta will have to decide how to manage the 31-year-old Patterson’s workload in the future so Allgeier, who is still available in 81.4% of ESPN leagues, could see more touches as the season progresses. While Patterson can still be considered a low-end RB2, fantasy managers would be wise to also stash Allgeier.
Going deeper: Allgeier has the potential to be a league winner if given an opportunity based on his collegiate production. In his last two seasons at BYU, Allgeier ran for 2,731 yards and 36 touchdowns.
The news: Chargers RB Austin Ekeler finished Sunday’s game against the Jaguars with 12 touches and 53 total yards.
What it means in fantasy: Ekeler is averaging a dismal 27 rushing yards per game. The Chargers are giving him fewer rushing attempts and continue to involve Sony Michel and Joshua Kelley. Ekeler has a stranglehold on targets in the backfield but hasn’t seen much goal-line work. As a result, his upside is limited. It’s shocking how little Ekeler has been used this season. He has a chance to bounce back against the Texans in Week 4.
Going deeper: Ekeler, Breece Hall and Javonte Williams are the only running backs with 20 or more targets this season.
The news: Buccaneers WR Russell Gage caught 12 of 13 targets for 87 yards and a touchdown against the Packers.
What it means in fantasy: This performance showed Gage’s potential in the Buccaneers’ offense. Due to numerous receivers being sidelined, he led Tampa Bay in all major receiving categories. Gage also had a career high in receptions as he prospered from the slot. Gage’s performance Sunday will help build chemistry and trust with Tom Brady. Even as the other Buccaneers receivers return, he’ll be involved in the passing game. Gage can be viewed as a flex option in deeper formats.
The news: Falcons TE Kyle Pitts caught five of eight targets for 87 yards against the Seahawks.
What it means in fantasy: Coach Arthur Smith said earlier this week that the Falcons will win when Pitts has a breakout game. In his first two games, Pitts had 38 total receiving yards, and on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks he led the Falcons’ receiving corps, averaging 17.4 yards per reception. Despite Pitts leading the Falcons’ tight ends in snaps and routes run, Parker Hesse was more involved despite not being targeted. Pitts can continue to be viewed as a high-end TE1 against the Browns in Week 4.
Going deeper: Pitts’ fantasy production may be more volatile than managers would hope for. The Falcons rank 31st with 26.3 pass attempts per game.
The news: Commanders WR Curtis Samuel caught seven of 10 targets for 48 yards against the Eagles.
What it means in fantasy: Samuel led the Commanders in targets and had three rushing attempts for 13 yards. QB Carson Wentz and the Washington offense were disrupted by the Eagles’ swarming defense as Wentz was sacked nine times and hurried 17 times. Samuel has averaged 18.4 fantasy points per game this season and is still available in 17.5% of ESPN leagues. He is an every-week starter.
Going deeper: Samuel leads the Commanders with 30 targets through three games. Washington offensive coordinator Scott Turner is proactively involving him in the weekly gameplan, lining him up out wide, in the slot and in the backfield. Samuel also benefits from Turner’s use of motion, play-action, and screens. In Washington’s three games so far this season, Samuel has been targeted more than Terry McLaurin.
The news: Jaguars RB James Robinson finished with 116 total yards on 20 touches against the Chargers.
What it means in fantasy: Robinson also recorded his 18th career rushing touchdown on a 50-yard run in his 31st career game. The only undrafted (by an NFL team) player to record more rushing touchdowns through their first 35 games since 1950 is Arian Foster. Robinson, the RB32 in our live draft trends this summer, has looked great so far this season coming off a torn Achilles. He continues to lead the Jaguars’ running back by committee that also includes 2021 first-round draft pick Travis Etienne. Robinson can be viewed by fantasy managers as a low-end RB2 against a dynamic Eagles offense in Week 4.
Going deeper: Robinson has averaged 19.0 touches and 18.7 fantasy points through the first three games of the season.
The news: Rams RB Cam Akers rushed 12 times for 61 yards and one touchdown against the Cardinals.
What it means in fantasy: After playing sparingly in the first two games of the season, Akers finally displayed the production he first showed us in his rookie year. Rams coach Sean McVay said the third-year running back must show more urgency, and that’s exactly what Akers did against the Cardinals. Darrell Henderson Jr. had four rushing attempts compared to 12 for Akers, while Henderson ran more routes than Akers out of the backfield but was targeted only once.
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• Eric Moody’s waiver wire pickups identify the top players to claim for your team
• Fantasy Focus podcast: Field Yates, Daniel Dopp and Liz Loza recap everything you need to know from Week 3 of the NFL season including what players we need to consider benching going forward. Plus, we talk who crushed it and flushed it this week. Listen | Watch
• Week 4 fantasy football rankings at every position (PPR and NPPR)
Eric Karabell’s flex and superflex rankings for Week 4
• NFL Nation’s Fantasy Fallout: beat reporters answer our most pressing fantasy questions
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• Matt Bowen and Tristan H. Cockcroft on the Week 3 highs and lows : Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson stay hot