Yates: Saquon Barkley ruled out for Week 3 in fantasy, top RB waiver wire options

Yates: Saquon Barkley ruled out for Week 3 in fantasy, top RB waiver wire options

Saquon Barkley to Miss Week 3 in Fantasy Football Following Injury

In disappointing news for fantasy managers, Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants is expected to be unavailable for Week 3 due to an ankle sprain suffered during the team’s win over the Arizona Cardinals. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Barkley will be sidelined for approximately three weeks, leaving fantasy owners scrambling to find a suitable replacement.

Barkley, who was selected as a first-round pick in many fantasy drafts, joins a growing list of running backs who have underperformed or suffered injuries early in the season. Only three running backs with a first-round ADP, including Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, and Bijan Robinson, rank in the top 12 in fantasy points scored. Instead, it has been the mid-round or later draft picks that have emerged as breakout performers, such as D’Andre Swift, Kenneth Walker III, James Conner, Raheem Mostert, Kyren Williams, Rachaad White, and Zack Moss.

With Barkley sidelined, fantasy managers are advised to target Matt Breida, who is rostered in just 1.1% of ESPN leagues, and Jerome Ford, owned by 9.1% of leagues, on the waiver wire. Breida is favored to lead the Giants’ backfield committee, with the possibility of Gary Brightwell also playing a role. Meanwhile, Ford impressed in relief of the injured Nick Chubb for the Cleveland Browns and should see a significant workload, particularly if the team does not sign a free agent. Both players are viable options in the RB2 range.

Other running back options to consider include Zack Moss of the Indianapolis Colts, who took advantage of Deon Jackson’s poor performance in Week 1 and played nearly all snaps in Week 2, making him a solid RB2 for Week 3. Gus Edwards and Justice Hill of the Baltimore Ravens are a split backfield option, but their usage and production have been inconsistent, making them flex plays at best. Detroit Lions’ Craig Reynolds, who saw unexpected playing time in Week 2, should be considered as a flex option if David Montgomery is unable to play due to injury. Lastly, Tony Jones Jr. of the New Orleans Saints played a prominent role on Monday night and could be a flex option with Alvin Kamara suspended and the availability of other Saints’ running backs uncertain.

In the wide receiver position, fantasy managers should keep an eye on Tutu Atwell of the Los Angeles Rams, who leads the league in routes run through two weeks and has performed well even with Cooper Kupp’s return looming. Green Bay Packers’ Romeo Doubs and Jayden Reed have shown promise, but Doubs is dealing with a hamstring injury, while Reed’s production may decrease when Christian Watson returns. Detroit Lions’ Josh Reynolds continues to be a reliable vertical threat, and Houston Texans’ Tank Dell had a breakout performance in Week 2, making them both worthy of consideration.

For quarterbacks, Green Bay’s Jordan Love has proven to be a reliable option, scoring 20 or more fantasy points in each of the first two games. Washington Commanders’ Sam Howell is impressing and has a strong supporting cast, making him a solid QB2 option in superflex formats. Houston Texans’ C.J. Stroud had a standout performance in Week 2, and while the team’s offensive line issues need to be addressed, Stroud is a compelling option in superflex formats for Week 3.

Finally, in the tight end position, rookie Sam LaPorta of the Detroit Lions has emerged as a favorite target for quarterback Jared Goff, catching 10 of 11 targets for 102 yards this season. LaPorta should be considered as a reliable option at the tight end position.

As fantasy managers navigate through the ups and downs of the season, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and adapt to injuries and underperforming players. With Saquon Barkley on the sidelines, fantasy owners must quickly find a suitable replacement to keep their teams in contention.


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