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ON SECOND THOUGHT: Week 3

Injuries, injuries, injuries. Week 2 bit us all with a rash of bangups and hangups. What can we do in Week 3 to both stop and heal the bleeding?

Every year there seems to be a week where the injury bug really plagues us. It usually is early on, and this year it looks like it was Week 2.

Week 3 is always a huge week in the fantasy world. Some of us are 0-2 and have to find a way to win. Some of us are 1-1 and need to get above .500. Then there are those who are 2-0 and don’t you just want to keep the ball rolling? Of course you do.

Well then, let’s take a look at what the waiver wires are offering us on Week 3 in the way of healing or bolstering our lineup, and as always, let’s start with..

Quarterback

If you were lucky enough to tune in to Justin Herbert’s debut game you saw, well, history. No really, he became only the second player, along with Bobby Clatterbuck in 1954 to run and throw for a touchdown in the first-half of his first game. He commanded the game well and ended up with 311 passing yards and a touchdown, as well as 18 rushing yards and a touchdown. It was a great game and he is going to be a great pro. It makes sense then that you grab him immediately off waiver wires if you have a need at quarterback.

On second thought.. no.

Even though Herbert is still available in 98 percent of leagues, and may be a good stash, you will not want to pick him up to rely on him on a weekly basis. I look forward to his future and it may happen this year, but Tyrod Taylor is expected back soon after experiencing chest pains before the game. The coaching staff already put any rumors to rest and said as long as Taylor is healthy he is the starter. Herbert is certainly one to keep an eye on as he showed what he is capable of and I believe the top brass of the Los Angeles Chargers sees him as their future. You will just need to wait a few weeks, at least, until he gets his opportunity.

The good news is that there are quite a few very capable quarterbacks still out there to grab if you need immediate help.

Gardner Minshew II is absolutely one of them. Minshew is still available in 80 percent of leagues, and could really provide a bump to any team in need. Minshew continued his inspired season on Sunday throwing for 339 yards and three touchdowns in a 33-30 loss to Tennessee. There was talk early this year about Jacksonville throwing the season to get a high pick quarterback. It seems that Minshew took great offense to that as he is going crazy so far in 2020. I personally love a player who has a chip on their shoulder and Minshew is definitely that guy. He has a very tasty Thursday night matchup with Miami in Week 3. You can expect to see continued fireworks from him.

If Minshew is not available then it’s possible Ryan Tannehill, at 65 percent availability, is.

Tannehill, like Minshew, continues to impress in 2020. He completed 18-of-24 pass attempts for 239 yards and four touchdowns against Minshew’s team on Sunday. Tannehill has had two or more scores in nine straight regular season games at this point. There is no reason to think this streak will come to an end as Tennessee faces a quarterback-friendly Minnesota team in Week 3. Tannehill is a no-brainer pickup as a backup if you already have a top quarterback, or a starter if you are not happy with your current quarterback. Pick him up and play him with confidence in Week 3.

Running Back

Injuries hit the running back position in a big way this week. Running backs getting banged up this week included the Top-2 picks in most leagues, Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley. For good measure, Cam Akers and Raheem Mostert also went down in Week 2. That leaves us with many holes to fill but many running backs to sift through.

Darrell Henderson Jr. is the first of these. At 55 percent available the backup to Cam Akers had a very nice week filling in for the starter after he went down. Henderson rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown, with two catches for 40 yards against Philadelphia on Sunday. He led the backfield in Week 2 after Cam Akers left the game with a rib injury. It is unknown whether Akers’ will return but Henderson looked good and will most likely pickup more carries and targets. Henderson then, should be picked up off of waivers in Week 3, right?

On second thought.. no.

Don’t get me wrong, if you have Akers or if you can’t get anyone else, Henderson will provide adequate fantasy value. However, there are many running backs out there right now who will see more action for longer due to this last weeks’ craziness. Not to mention the Los Angeles Rams have a tough go in Week 3 when they go up against Buffalo. So because of that, I say hold off on Henderson and try to get someone else.

One of those “other running backs” I think you should try for is Dion Lewis. Lewis is available in 99 percent of leagues and is now the main “go-to” for the New York Giants after seeing Saquon Barkley possibly lost for the year. Lewis is not the perfect running back, but he does provide the ability to go all three downs and he is an exceptional pass catcher. On Sunday he carried the ball for 20 yards and a touchdown after Barkley’s injury. He also caught four balls for 36 yards. The Giants use their running backs a lot and Lewis is in line to get the lion’s share of touches. He is going to be viable in all leagues and especially more viable in points per reception (PPR) leagues.

If you can’t get Lewis then Jerick McKinnon is an easy answer to your running back woes. McKinnon is still available in 81 percent of leagues. Both Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman were banged up on Sunday and are expected to be sidelined in Week 3 against the New York Giants. We know that McKinnon is very capable, and he reminded us of his abilities in Week 2. He carried the ball three times for 24 yards and had three catches for 20 yards and a touchdown. McKinnon has suffered injuries in the last two seasons. You can’t worry about injuries, however, or you’ll never go for any player and McKinnon has a great matchup this week. If you need running back help, and most of us do, McKinnon will be a great pick up.

About Rick Olson

Rick joined FantasySharks,com as a staff writer in 2013, though he fell in love with fantasy football in 1988 with the first league he played in. In his articles he tries to feature players off the radar or deeper than most since, in his experience, by the time a player is a waiver wire "must have" they are not usually available in most leagues.