Fantasy Football Week 2 Rankings: Top Pickups After Latest Injuries
Week 2 of the NFL season got off to an exciting start. On Thursday night, the Kansas City Chiefs held off the Los Angeles Chargers, notching a 27-24 win in an AFC West matchup.
There were some impressive fantasy performances in that contest, and there will be plenty more on Sunday and Monday. But before then, fantasy managers will still need to make sure they set the best possible lineups in order to have a successful rest of the week.
That means paying attention to several important injury situations that have developed over the past week, as well as developing contingency plans in case they end up being without key players.
Here are updated positional rankings for Week 2, injured players to keep an eye on and potential waiver-wire targets to pick up if needed.
1. Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen (vs. TEN)
2. Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (vs. MIA)
3. Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts (vs. MIN)
4. Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (at LV)
5. Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson (vs. HOU)
6. Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford (vs. ATL)
7. Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr (vs. ARI)
8. Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins (at PHI)
9. Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow (at DAL)
10. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (vs. CHI)
The most significant QB absence this week will be the Dallas Cowboys' Dak Prescott, who underwent surgery on his right thumb. With Prescott out, the Cowboys will turn to backup Cooper Rush to lead their offense. However, Rush is not a worthwhile fantasy option.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston is questionable due to a back injury, but he's not a great starting option in a matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So fantasy managers don't need to pay much attention to his status.
Waiver-Wire Target: Washington Commanders QB Carson Wentz (at DET)
Wentz had a solid debut for Washington in Week 1, throwing four touchdown passes in a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He also had two interceptions, but that shouldn't be typical for him.
The Commanders and Lions could have a high-scoring matchup, as both of these offenses fared well last week. Wentz will likely have another solid performance, making him a great fill-in fantasy option, especially for managers who had been starting Prescott.
1. Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor (at JAX)
2. Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (at NYG)
3. New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley (vs. CAR)
4. Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (at PHI)
5. Detroit Lions RB D'Andre Swift (vs. WAS)
6. Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry (at BUF)
7. Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon (at DAL)
8. Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb (vs. NYJ)
9. New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara (vs. TB)
10. Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones (vs. CHI)
Swift has been dealing with an ankle injury, so he's questionable for the Lions' Week 2 matchup against the Commanders. He should have another big showing if he plays, but Jamaal Williams' value will go up if Swift is absent.
The Saints have a pair of RBs who are questionable this week, as Alvin Kamara (ribs) and Mark Ingram (ankle) each have an uncertain status. Even if either is active, they'll have a tough matchup against the Buccaneers, but Kamara would still be worth starting because of his involvement in the passing game. And on the other side of that matchup, Tampa Bay's Leonard Fournette is questionable due to a hamstring injury.
San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell (knee) was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. So fantasy managers rostering Mitchell will need to find a replacement, if they haven't already.
Waiver-Wire Target: San Francisco 49ers RB Jeff Wilson Jr. (vs. SEA)
Wilson got picked up in a lot of leagues this week, but it's worth checking the waiver wire to make sure he isn't still there. He's likely to pick up a lot of the workload that needs to be replaced with the absence of Mitchell.
Although Wilson had only nine carries for 22 yards in the 49ers' season-opening loss to the Bears, he should fare better against the Seahawks in Week 2. And the expected volume for him out of the backfield will make him a solid flex option.
1. Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson (at PHI)
2. Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp (vs. ATL)
3. Las Vegas Raiders WR Davante Adams (vs. ARI)
4. Cincinnati Bengals WR Ja'Marr Chase (at DAL)
5. Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs (vs. TEN)
6. Philadelphia Eagles WR A.J. Brown (vs. MIN)
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (at NO)
8. Miami Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill (at BAL)
9. San Francisco 49ers WR Deebo Samuel (vs. SEA)
10. Washington Commanders WR Terry McLaurin (at DET)
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (concussion) is questionable this week. If he plays, he has a solid matchup against the Cowboys. If he doesn't, then Ja'Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd should get targeted even more.
On the other side of the Cincinnati-Dallas matchup, Michael Gallup (knee) will be out for the second straight week. But with Rush at QB, the only Cowboys wide receiver who should be started anyway is CeeDee Lamb.
Among the notable receivers who are listed as questionable are the Packers' Allen Lazard (ankle), the Colts' Michael Pittman Jr. (quad), the Giants' Kadarius Toney (hamstring) and the Buccaneers' Julio Jones (knee) and Mike Evans (calf). Plus, Chris Godwin (hamstring) will be out for Tampa Bay.
Waiver-Wire Target: Cincinnati Bengals WR Tyler Boyd (at DAL)
Boyd had only four catches for 33 yards in the Bengals' Week 1 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, he got into the end zone for his first touchdown of the season and was targeted seven times, so he had decent involvement.
If Higgins doesn't play, then Boyd will likely have an even larger role on Sunday. Even if Chase, Higgins and Boyd are all active, they're all start-worthy receivers, so Boyd could be used as a fill-in option for another injured receiver.
1. Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews (vs. MIA)
2. Las Vegas Raiders TE Darren Waller (vs. ARI)
3. San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (vs. SEA)
4. Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (vs. MIN)
5. Atlanta Falcons TE Kyle Pitts (at LAR)
6. Dallas Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz (vs. CIN)
7. Arizona Cardinals TE Zach Ertz (at LV)
8. Pittsburgh Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth (vs. NE)
9. Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee (vs. ATL)
10. Detroit Lions TE T.J. Hockenson (vs. WAS)
C.J. Uzomah (hamstring) is listed as doubtful for the Jets' Week 2 matchup against the Cleveland Browns. But he's not in starting consideration even if healthy, as he's New York's No. 2 tight end behind Tyler Conklin.
Kittle is questionable due to a groin injury, but he's the only start-worthy tight end who's currently dealing with an injury. So most fantasy managers should be in solid shape.
Waiver-Wire Target: Denver Broncos TE Albert Okwuegbunam (vs. HOU)
Okwuegbunam had only 33 yards in the Broncos' season-opening loss to the Seahawks. But he had five receptions and six targets, so it's clear that he should be among Wilson's top options in the passing game this year.
With a favorable Week 2 matchup against the Texans, Okwuegbunam could have an even better showing. He has a strong chance of getting into the end zone, which makes him a strong fantasy option.