Read the ESPN Fantasy Football Daily Notes every day of the week to stay up to date with the news you need to know and get a head start on upcoming fantasy football content today and tomorrow on ESPN.com and the ESPN Fantasy app.
news: ESPN’s David Newton reports that Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey appeared on the team’s report with an ankle injury.
What does it mean in fiction: McCaffrey is dealing with a stiffness in his ankle, but the Panthers are adamant that he will play Sunday against the Saints. Fantasia directors have been concerned about this since McCaffrey was injured the previous two seasons. In 2020, he only played three games due to a sprained ankle and a shoulder injury and then missed 10 games last season due to an ankle injury. D’Onta Foreman or Chuba Hubbard will fill in if McCaffrey misses any time this season; Hubbard rushed for 514 yards and four touchdowns in 10 starts last season in McCaffrey’s absence. It’s available in 94.2% of leagues, and I’d recommend prioritizing it as an extra seat for anyone investing in McCaffrey, as this likely won’t be the last time the dip appears in the injury report this season.
go deeper: McCaffrey averaged 19.5 touches and 22.2 fantasy points per game in his career. He signed a four-year, $64 million extension with the Panthers in April 2020; He has played only 10 out of 33 matches since signing.
news: Steelers QB Mitch Trubisky completed 20 of 32 passes for 207 yards and was not touched down against the Browns Thursday night.
What does it mean in fiction: With 10 days until week four against the Jets, the Steelers could consider switching to junior Kenny Beckett. Trubisky averages an anemic 5.5 yards per attempt after Thursday night’s game. This ranks last among midfielders who have started multiple games. Having Trubisky under the center lowers the ceilings of Diontae Johnson and other future playmakers on the Steelers.
go deeper: Although Trubisky attempted 32 passes during the game, he only had 69 yards from inside the pocket. Since ESPN began tracking pocket passes in 2009, this is the second-lowest pocket yards in a game in which the quarterback has attempted 30 or more passes. Trubisky threw 138 yards out of the pocket to take his season to 203, almost as much as Ben Roethlisberger had all last season (206). A successful NFL quarterback has to be able to go up and throw a pocket, and at least in the movie, Beckett has a pretty good pocket consciousness.
news: Browns TE David Njoku picked up nine of 10 goals for 89 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers Thursday night, setting a new career level.
What does it mean in fiction: Njoku’s performance was notable because he had only six goals, four receptions, and 39 yards in two games. He was the Browns’ second largest recipient behind Amary Cooper. The Falcons offers an additional match for him in Week 4. Njoku can be considered as a low-level TE1.
news: Cowboys WR Michael Gallup trained in full on Thursday.
What does it mean in fiction: Gallup tore up the AFC Champions League in Week 17 last season, but is expected to play Monday Night Football against the Giants. Gallup’s return comes at a wonderful time for the Cowboys’ crime struggle to find viable receipt options. CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz and other Dallas midfield playmakers could benefit from Gallup’s ability to threaten defenses on the field. Gallup is expected to play limited shots so it’s hard to trust an imaginary squad in his first game.
go deeper: Gallup averaged 15.0 yards per reception in his career.
news: Athletic’s Tachan Reed reports that the WR Raiders Hunter Renfrew did not train on Thursday.
What does it mean in fiction: Renfrew also missed training Wednesday. Mac Hollins will take his place in the starting lineup if he can’t play against the Titans in Week Three. Hollins had eight goals last week and if Renfrew goes out, he could repeat that against the Titans, although Darren Waller and Davante Adams will be the primary participants in the passing game.
news: ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg reports that Bills WR Gabe Davis is very optimistic that he will play in Week 3 against the Dolphins.
What does it mean in fiction: Davis appears to be heading in the right direction after training over the past couple of days. The Bills and Dolphins scored the highest total point on this week’s list at 52.5. When Davis played against the Rams in his first week, he had an imaginary 18.8 points. The Davis WR2 can be considered advanced.
news: Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy did not train on Thursday due to a shoulder injury.
What does it mean in fiction: Jody hasn’t trained at all this week as the Broncos prepare for a game against the 49ers at Sunday Night Football. Jodi is not likely to play if he doesn’t train on Friday. Fantasy managers should have KJ Hamler on their radar as an alternative. He looks set to return to the line-up against the 49ers on Sunday night after missing week two with a knee/hip injury. Hamler’s is available in 97% of ESPN’s leagues.
news: WR Allen Lazard did not train on Thursday due to an ankle injury.
What does it mean in fiction: Christian Watson (hamstring) and Sammy Watkins (hamstring) also did not train on Thursday. All three are expected to play against the Pirates, but Friday’s report will provide more certainty. None of these are a great week 3 fancy option, so those looking for a flexible option should look elsewhere. The trio of Treylon Burks, Nelson Agholor and Sterling Shepard are better options available in many leagues.
news: WR pirate Chris Goodwin did not practice on Thursday.
What does it mean in fiction: Goodwin is dealing with a hamstring injury. Julio Jones also did not train on Thursday due to a knee injury. Prishad Berryman, Russell Gage and Scotty Miller were all on the court Thursday after limited training on Wednesday. With Mike Evans suspended for the third week against the Packers, the Buccaneers are skinny at the wide receiver. It looks like Godwin will be the furthest from any of them.
reading: NFL Nation reporter Jeff Legwold has written about how running the ball could be a solution to the Broncos’ red zone problems.
What does it mean in fiction: The Broncos collected 783 total yards on attack through two games but averaged only 16.0 points per game. Denver ranks ninth in the league in yards per game (126.0) and tied for seventh with 4.9 yards per dash attempt, yet doesn’t have a touchdown touchdown. So far this season, the Broncos have made only four attempts to dash into the red zone and both malfunctions have been running out of the gun, all of which indicate the Broncos have switched to a game of running into the red zone rather than passing. . From a fictional perspective, this bodes well for Jafonte Williams and Melvin Gordon in week three.
• It’s not too late yet! Sign up for a team or start a new crafting league this weekend and start playing again for Week 4.
Today on ESPN
Mike Clay’s Playbook: Projections and Analysis for Every Game
Eric Karabell’s Fictional Hot Week Three Seat includes Kyle Bates and Darnell Mooney.
• Daniel, Liz, and DJ’s Fantasy Improvement: Draft assignments, back deals and deals they’d like to forget
• Fantasy Focus podcast now at 10am ET
• Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Best Advice of the Week in One Place
• Passive monitoring: who enters, who exits, and what does this mean?
• After the Games: Matt Bowen and Tristan H
• Fantasy Football now: Sunday at 10am ET on ESPN2
In case you miss it yourself…
Field Yates Field Imagination Pass for Week 3
TNF Playbook by Mike Clay: Brown vs. Steelers
Tristan H. Cockroft Positional Matches Map
Matt Bowen’s Fantasy Room
Best DFS Purchases from Al Zeidenfeld for Week Three
• Fantasy Focus Podcast: Field Yates, Mike Clay and Daniel Dopp preview Thursday night soccer before telling us the best WR matches of the week including how to manage predictions for bad matches. Next, Adam Shifter joins in talking about the storylines to watch this week and telling us why Kyle Bates needs more goals. listen | Watch