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Next Man Up: Week 3 Injury Review

Come back in the tent with the Doc as @ReflipeWThenuz reviews the dynasty and fantasy relevant injuries from Week 3 around the NFL.

Every week players across the NFL suffer injuries. This weekly article will explore the injuries that affect your dynasty squads. We will briefly discuss both the injured players themselves and the players who stand to benefit or suffer as a result. To make them easier to follow, we will break down the injuries by division. Without further ado, let us examine the Regular Season Week 3 injuries and the next men up.

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AFC East:

The Saints knocked Patriots RB James White from the Week 2 defeat with a hip injury. White was carted off the field with what appeared to be a fairly serious injury. Later testing revealed that White had suffered a hip subluxation. This, in essence, means that White had his hip dislocated. It is the same injury suffered by Washington QB Ryan Fitzpatrick earlier in the season. A trip to IR is certainly in his future. In the meantime, the Patriots are likely to turn to some combination of Brandon Bolden and JJ Taylor. For my money, Taylor is the sneaky addition to your dynasty teams while others rush out to scoop up long-time special team’s ace Bolden.

Jets TE Tyler Kroft was forced from his team’s Week 3 shellacking with a rib injury. The journeyman has operated as the top TE for rookie signal-caller Zach Wilson. The severity of the rib injury has not is unclear as of the submission date of his article. Off the radar in all but the deepest of leagues, his loss shouldn’t leave that big a hole in your lineups. However, Ryan Griffin would take his place and offer bare-bones TE points in a pinch if Griffin misses time.

Jets WR Elijah Moore sustained a concussion in his team’s Week 3 defeat. The talented rookie has endured a rough start to his career thus far. He is currently in the concussion protocol, and early indications are that he will miss next week’s game against Tennessee. If he does indeed miss time, look for New York to turn to Jamison Crowder or even possibly Denzel Mims. The entire Jets offense has been a disaster this year thus far. However, this analyst believes in the long-term potential of Moore and would suggest you explore if this slow start has opened a buying window on the former Ole Miss star.

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AFC South:

Titans WR AJ Brown suffered a hamstring injury in Week 3. Brown has been fighting off a slew of injuries this far in 2021. It is quite possible that the Titans decide to rest their star wide receiver with games against the Jets and Jaguars on tap. Julio Jones would likely soak up additional targets if Brown does indeed miss time. Anthony Firkser should also see an uptick in touches. After Brown left Week 3, teammates Chester Rodgers and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine scored TDs. Look for them to potentially take on additional targets as well.

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AFC North:

Pittsburgh WR JuJu Smith-Schuster was knocked from his team’s Week 3 defeat at the hands of the division rival Bengals with a rib injury. With Diontae Johnson already dealing with a knee injury, this was not the best timing for the struggling Steelers. Pittsburgh will hope to get both WRs back next week. However, if JuJu and or Diontae cannot get back for next week, look for Pittsburgh to turn to former second-round pick James Washington to line up alongside uber-talented second-year WR Chase Claypool. Keep an eye out for news about JuJu’s condition as the week progresses.

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AFC West:

Denver WR KJ Hamler suffered a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season. For the Broncos, who are already without Jerry Jeudy, this will be yet another blow to a surprisingly explosive passing attack directed by Teddy Bridgewater. Courtland Sutton and TE Noah Fant will likely see additional looks along with explosive depth WR Tim Patrick.

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NFC East:

Giants WRs Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton suffered hamstring injuries in the team’s gut-wrenching loss to the Atlanta Falcons. The Giants went into the week promising to scale back Kenny Golladay’s snaps. But the Giants were instead forced to give him additional looks. This opened the door for first-round rookie Kadarius Toney into the game, whether he was ready or not. With the possibility of Shepard and Slayton both missing Week 4, look for the Giants to gain lean heavily on their top off-season acquisitions. They may also funnel additional looks to recently returned TE Evan Engram and RB Saquon Barkley. Hamstrings are a tricky issue for WRs to navigate, so pay close attention to see how they progress throughout the week.

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NFC South:

Carolina All-Pro RB Christian McCaffrey suffered a hamstring injury in the Panthers Thursday Night victory over the Texans. The talented RB walked off under his own power and appeared to have dodged a major bullet. However, these types of injuries can have a lingering effect on skill players such as CMC. The team has already come out and said they would not be putting him on IR, seemingly suggesting that he should be back within a couple of weeks. The Panthers will turn to talented rookie Chuba Hubbard and Denver castoff Royce Freeman to shoulder the load in his place. Look for the rookie to see a healthy amount of snaps in the coming weeks until CMC can get back on the field. You can also expect OC Joe Brady to lean more heavily on the passing game directed by a resurgent Sam Darnold.

Tampa Bay TE Rob Gronkowski briefly left his team’s Week 3 loss to the Rams with a rib injury. The future Hall of Famer was writhing on the ground in pain after taking a shot from a Rams defender. He was taken to the medical tent for examination before eventually returning to the game. Subsequent X-Rays have come back negative, and the TD monster will likely play in Week 4. However, with injuries of this nature, it is something to keep an eye on as the week progresses.

Tampa Bay WR Scotty Miller suffered an ugly turf toe injury in the team’s Week 3 contest. The speedy slot WR saw his first significant playing time following the Covid-19 diagnosis of Antonio Brown. Early reports indicate he will miss a decent amount of time. He is likely well off dynasty radars in all but the deepest of leagues. However, his absence could potentially lead to additional looks for Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski. If Antonio Brown makes it back in short order, the point will be moot, but Miller’s absence could also signal additional looks for Tyler Johnson.

Tampa Bay RB Gio Bernard suffered an MCL sprain in the Buccaneers Week 3 loss. The pass-catching specialist has handled a significant portion of the team’s third-down work early in the season. The team has indicated that the sprain is minor, and the former Bengal is day-to-day. Were he to miss any time Leonard Fournette seems to be the current next man up in the pass-catching role for Tampa as Ronald Jones has struggled to gain any traction in 2021 thus far.

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NFC North:

Chicago QB Justin Fields underwent precautionary x-rays on his throwing hand following his abysmal debut against the swarming Cleveland Browns defense. It was an alarmingly poor showing for Fields and the Chicago offense against one of the better defensive units in the league. Fields never left the game and appeared to be fine moving forward despite enduring a whopping 9 sacks in Week 3. Currently, Chicago HC Matt Nagy is playing coy with who will be under center in Week 4. For now, it seems that Fields is best left on your benches as he learns the ropes early in his career. If he does sit, Chicago will turn to either Nick Foles or Andy Dalton if he manages to return from the knee injury he suffered in Week 2.

NFC West:

The NFC West made it through week 3 relatively intact from a dynasty perspective. 

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