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Next Man Up: Week 2

The season is only one week old and dynasty managers are already scrambling to replace injured stars. @ReflipeWThenuz breaks down the weeks injury report and the next men up for your lineups.

Every week, players across the NFL suffer injuries. This weekly article will explore the injuries that affect your dynasty squads. We will briefly discuss the injured players themselves and those who stand to benefit or suffer as a result. We will break down the injuries by division to make them easier to follow. Without further ado, let us examine the Regular Season Week 1 injuries and the next men up.

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AFC East:

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers left Monday Night Football after suffering a lower left leg injury. Subsequent testing revealed the former MVP tore his Achilles tendon. This injury will require surgery and may even end his career. As long as he is gone, the Jets will be forced to turn back to former first round pick Zach Wilson. If the play calling on Monday was any indication as to how the Jets offense will change, things do not look promising. Wilson will be little more than a low-end QB2 play, bringing down every weapon on the offensive side of the ball. The only possible beneficiaries would be Dalvin Cook and Breece Hall, who will likely have a much bigger workload in the absence of the former MVP.

AFC South:

Indianapolis quarterback Anthony Richardson suffered a lower-body injury late in his team’s loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. There was a gasp among the dynasty community when the duel threat darling exited the game. As things currently stand, the Colts are saying that Richardson won’t miss any game action. It is still a situation to monitor as the week progresses. If he were to miss any time, the Colts would turn to former Philidelphia and Jacksonville quarterback Gardner Minshew. At this stage of Richardson’s career, a Minshew play would likely be a lateral move for the Indianapolis skill players.

Indianapolis rookie running back Evan Hull suffered a knee injury in the first half of his team’s loss to the Jaguars. This was a sad situation as the short-term IR designation of starter Jonathan Taylor left an opening for the former Northwestern star running back. Head Coach Steve Steichen said Hull will likely miss some time with the knee. Depending upon the severity of the injury, the Colts will likely be forced to dip into the free-agent market as fellow running back Deon Jackson struggled terribly in this one. As for now, Jackson is a desperation play running back flex until further notice.

AFC North:

Baltimore running back J.K. Dobbins suffered one of the most brutal injuries of the weekend as he tore his Achilles tendon against the Houston Texans. The promising youngster had a somewhat tumultuous offseason as he angled for a new contract from the Ravens. This injury will have him heading to free agency on the heels of the most devastating ailments a running back can have. In his absence, the Ravens will turn to a combination of Gus Edwards and Justice Hill. The team also called up Melvin Gordon from the practice squad, but Gus Edwards is clearly the player to roster. The former undrafted runner out of Rutgers has been a quality back for the Ravens, averaging 5.2 ypc over his career with the Ravens. His bruising style compliments Lamar Jackson perfectly, and Baltimore will continue to be a run-heavy team. He is a priority add among this week’s waiver wires if available.

Pittsburgh wide receiver Diontae Johnson suffered a leg injury in his team’s crushing loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The Steelers quickly ruled him out for the game with a hamstring injury. This has the looks of an ailment that could cost Johnson a couple of games. In his absence, the Steelers will likely increase the snap share of veteran Allen Robinson, who will play alongside up-and-comer George Pickens. Pickens will be the biggest beneficiary, but Calvin Austin III will likely fill the third receiver spot until Johnson can return. Johnson’s absence would also open up targets for the tight ends and running backs.

Pittsburgh tight end Pat Freiermuth suffered a chest injury late in his team’s loss to San Francisco. Quarterback Kenny Pickett struggled mightily in this one and was throwing balls wide of his playmakers all day. A couple of the errant throws cost his pass catchers to take some big hits. It was one of these wild passes that caused Freiermuth to take a couple of big shots. If he were to miss any game action, the Steelers would turn to rookie Darnell Washington. It is never a good idea to play a rookie TE in his first start, but if you are desperate enough, Washington will be the play from the Pittsburgh group.

AFC West:

Las Vegas wide receiver Jakobi Meyers suffered a concussion in his team’s victory over the division-rival Broncos. The play was a brutal shot over the middle, which marred an otherwise fantastic debut for the former Patriot in Silver and Black. Meyers is currently in the concussion protocol and will need to pass the league’s updated benchmarks to suit up next week against the Bills. If Meyers cannot suit up, Hunter Renfrow would be the biggest beneficiary, alongside alpha stud Davante Adams. Tre Tucker and Kristian Wilkerson would round out the receiver set until Meyers returns.

Denver tight end Greg Dulcich suffered a knee injury in his team’s loss to the division-rival Raiders. The promising young tight end has fallen behind former Saints pick Adam Trautman. Dulcich is still a dynasty asset, and his absence will be felt as the Broncos are currently riddled with injuries to their pass catchers. Trautman will surely pick up targets over the middle. Cortland Sutton and rookie Marvin Mims will also pick up some passing game work. Receiving back Samaje Perine, who led the team in targets last week, will also pick up some additional looks from Russell Wilson.

Los Angeles running back Austin Ekeler suffered an ankle injury in his team’s loss to Miami. This was one of the bigger fantasy losses of the week. Ekeler is a ppr stud, and any absence will be deeply felt by both the Chargers and his dynasty managers. Currently, we don’t know the severity of the injury. If he misses time, the Chargers will turn to Joshua Kelley. The former UCLA Bruin played well last week and would be in line for the start. Rookie Elijah Dotson could pick up some receiving work, and Isaiah Spiller would make the gameday roster if Ekeler can’t suit up.

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NFC East:

The NFC East emerged from Week 1 without any major fantasy-relevant injuries.

NFC South:

New Orleans wide receiver Chris Olave briefly left his team’s Week 1 victory with a leg injury. He was thankfully able to return to the game. At this point, he appears to have avoided any missed game action moving forward. However, it could be a situation to monitor as the team practices this week. If he were to miss time, rookie A.T. Perry would likely fill in alongside Michael Thomas and Rashid Shaheed.

NFC North:

Green Bay running back Aaron Jones left his team’s victory over the rival Chicago Bears with a hamstring injury. Jones grabbed his hamstring on the heels of a long touchdown play. He was a significant part of the Packers gameplay, with Jordan Love taking the reins from future Hall-of-Famer Aaron Rodgers. This has the looks of an injury that could cost the speedster a bit of time. Keep your ears to the ground about his practice availability as the week progresses. If Jones doesn’t suit up, the Packers would turn to former Boston College powerhouse AJ Dillon. Dillon would immediately become a must-start RB2 until Jones gets back. Green Bay will also give some touches to former undrafted running back Patrick Taylor Jr. 

NFC West:

Seattle wide receiver Tyler Lockett briefly exited his team’s surprise loss against the division-rival Rams. He took a big hit in the game and was evaluated for a potential concussion. Lockett was able to return, but it is worth monitoring his practice reps as the week progresses. If he is unable to go for some reason, the Seahawks will ramp up the work of impressive rookie Jackson Smith-Njigba. He and DK Metcalf would pick up any targets Lockett missed out on, with Jake Bobo and Cody Thompson filling out the lineup. 

Thank you for reading this article! Please be sure to join the #Nerdherd, so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing things we have to offer @Dynastynerds.com. Use my promo code DynastyHolliday for a 15% off discount. You will get rankings, extra podcasts, and access to our rookie film room. For just a couple of bucks more, you can get access to our revolutionary DynastyGM tool. So much for so little, why miss out on all the fun? Also, you absolutely must check out our new mock draft tool. Find it in your Apple & Android app stores. Follow me @ReflipeWThenuz for more dynasty content and other musings.

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