Jerick McKinnon, Gardner Minshew, More Top Waiver-Wire Targets After Week 2

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2020

El quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) de los Jaguars de Jacksonville lanza un pase ante los Colts de Indianápolis, el domingo 13 de septiembre de 2020. (AP Foto/Stephen B. Morton)
Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

Week 2 brought brutal injury luck around the NFL, which is a concern for teams and fantasy players alike.

Tyler Sullivan of CBSSports.com kept an injury tracker rolling through Sunday's action, and marquee names such as Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, Saquon Barkley, Tyrod Taylor, Christian McCaffrey, Parris Campbell, Davante Adams, Cam Akers, Drew Lock and Breshad Perriman all suffered setbacks to varying degrees.

There are a number of fantasy difference-makers on that list, which means plenty of players will be rushing to the waiver wire heading into Week 3.

Here is a look at some potential waiver-wire options. All percent-rostered numbers are courtesy of Yahoo.

  • QB: Gardner Minshew II (32 percent rostered) and Mitchell Trubisky (7 percent rostered)
  • RB: Jerick McKinnon (21 percent rostered) and Myles Gaskin (14 percent rostered)
  • WR: Russell Gage (21 percent rostered) and Keelan Cole (2 percent rostered)

The quarterback names are nothing new for football fans.

After all, Gardner Minshew II is the exciting youngster who never hesitates to throw the ball downfield for a Jacksonville Jaguars team that is often playing from behind. Mitchell Trubisky is the quarterback the Chicago Bears traded up to draft in 2017 with Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson still on the board.

For all of Trubisky's high-profile failures, he has been a fantasy weapon with five touchdown passes through two games. He has a quality No. 1 wide receiver in Allen Robinson to rely on and can add some points with his legs as a dual-threat playmaker.

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As for Minshew, the fact that the Jaguars are expected to be one of the worst teams in the league this year is good news for fantasy players. That means he will often be playing from behind and relying on his arm, which is one reason he threw for six touchdowns in Jacksonville's opening two games.

There will be plenty of risk with the primary running back target this week in Jerick McKinnon.

The good news is the San Francisco 49ers rushing attack under head coach Kyle Shanahan is formidable. McKinnon also scored a touchdown in each of his team's first two games and figures to have additional opportunities following Mostert's setback.

Still, he had just three carries in Week 1 and another three carries in Week 2. The thought here is he took advantage of those limited chances and earned more, especially with Mostert down. Look for McKinnon to put up impressive numbers in the near future even if he splits carries with Tevin Coleman.

Myles Gaskin is another high-risk, high-reward option who shares a backfield with Jordan Howard and Matt Breida on the Miami Dolphins.

Still, Gaskin led the team with 46 rushing yards in Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills and was a threat in the passing game with six catches for 36 yards. The second-year playmaker had four catches in Week 1 and seems to be a valuable sleeper option in points-per-reception leagues.

At wide receiver, Russell Gage will benefit from his situation on the Atlanta Falcons.

The 0-2 team will often be playing from behind and throwing the ball, which means opportunities for wide receivers. Gage will also consistently face single coverage playing alongside Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley and already has 15 catches for 160 yards and one touchdown through the opening two weeks.

Grab him off the wire before he's gone.

Keelan Cole is less of a sure thing, but the Jaguars pass-catcher scored in each of his first two games and gives Minshew a solid target when DJ Chark Jr. draws additional attention.