Week 3 is upon us with the Los Angeles Rams set to take on the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco on Thursday. For an in-depth look at this matchup be sure to read Evan Silva’s Thursday Night Matchup.
Andrew Luck’s availability seems to be as big of a question now as it was a few months ago. Luck was ruled out of Week 3’s game and practice, probably keeping him out for Week 4 as well. There seems to be a legitimate chance that Luck may sit out the entire 2017 season at this point. While that may seem like an overreaction, hear me out. In Week 3, the Colts are at home, against the Cleveland Browns, and opened as 2.5 point underdogs. While the game hasn’t been played yet, the spread indicates there is at least a 50% chance the Colts lose and drop to 0-3 with a terrifying matchup looming at Seattle in Week 4. The fact that Luck hasn’t practiced, thrown, or gotten any timetable set for his return should be a cause for panic in those expecting Luck to play this season. The front office and coaching staff have given literally no indication of Luck's progress since the beginning of the offseason, making it impossible to know when or if he could return. Even once he does begin to throw, it will likely be weeks before he is cleared to play in a game. Why would the Colts rush back their franchise quarterback in Week 5 if they are 0-4? This is the question the Colts may have to ask themselves in a few weeks, and the answer is clear to me. Throw the towel in and build up the rest of your roster around Luck. Since 1990, only one team has made the playoffs after starting 0-4, the 1992 Chargers. The only sign of optimism is the Colts reluctance to put Luck on injured reserve to start the season. Regardless, fantasy players should be looking for more permanent options by either making a trade or deciding to stream quarterbacks for potentially the rest of the season.
Giants reporter Jordan Raanan thinks “this might actually be the week” where Orleans Darkwa is featured over Paul Perkins at running back. This isn’t surprising considering how poorly the Giants have played and Coach Ben Mcadoo potentially giving up play-calling duties. Darkwa has a small sample size through two weeks with 31 yards on six carries (5.2 YPC) but is clearly outplaying Paul Perkin’s abysmal 1.86 YPC. Darkwa shouldn’t move the needle in terms of fantasy excitement in most leagues though unless you are in desperate need of a running back dart.
Isaiah Crowell said he talked to coach Hue Jackson about getting more carries. Crowell has just 27 carries through two games and isn’t being shy about wanting more. He’s capable of carrying a heavier workload and should have the chance to do so in Week 3 against the Colts where the Browns figure to have more neutral game-script. His schedule gets easier moving forward making Crowell a legitimate buy-low candidate in season-long fantasy leagues.
Coach Jay Gruden said Jordan Reed (chest, toe) is “not healthy right now.” Reed didn’t practice on Wednesday and once again seems to be dealing with an injury. Reed has a great matchup against the Raiders this week but his status is officially in question with Gruden’s comments. It may be wise to start scouting your free agent pool for a backup tight end in case Reed doesn’t suit up on Sunday.
Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel expects the Packers to lighten Ty Montgomery's workload going forward. Coach Mike McCarthy has taken notice of Montgomery leading the league in snaps among running backs and said, "By no means have we come out and established the rhythm and moved in and out of different personnel groups that we may have liked to in Weeks 1 and 2.” Backup Jamaal Williams hasn’t done enough to inspire a significant change in snaps as he averaged 2.4 YPC on 25 attempts in the preseason and 3.8 YPC on four carries in the regular season. While the Packers may reduce Montgomery’s workload slightly, he should still remain an RB1.
Bills DT Marcell Dareus (ankle) didn’t practice Wednesday. The coaches have admitted they are concerned he may not be able to play in Week 3 against the Broncos. This is good news for C.J. Anderson and the revived Broncos rushing attack. … Redskins ILB Mason Foster has been diagnosed with a separated shoulder. This will likely keep him out of Week 3 and significantly weaken the Redskins defense. … Rob Gronkowski (groin) didn’t practice on Wednesday. Gronk was seen on the sidelines doing individual drills but was still listed as DNP on the official report. He should be available for Week 3. … Sam Bradford (knee) practiced on Wednesday. If he doesn’t have any setbacks this week it looks like Bradford will be on the field against the Bucs in Week 3. … Broncos WR Bennie Fowler (concussion) didn’t practice on Wednesday. Fowler seems to have locked up the No.3 receiving job when healthy. … Colts CB Vontae Davis (groin) remained limited in practice on Wednesday. He has a chance to make his season debut in Week 3 after practicing the entire week before. … Randall Cobb (chest) was held out of Wednesday's practice. This isn’t a good start to the week and definitely muddles his status for Week 3. … Corey Davis (hamstring) has been ruled out for Week 3. It’s surprising to see him ruled out so early in the week after Davis played through a mid-game setback last week. … The Bears are "hopeful" Markus Wheaton (finger) will make his season debut in Week 3. Wheaton will look to make an impact in a passing game which currently features one of the worst receiving groups in the NFL. … Jets TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins may not be activated this week after reporting out of shape after his two-week suspension. He isn’t a viable Week 3 streamer even if he is active. … Eagles LG Chance Warmack is expected to start Week 3 against the Giants. Warmack will be replacing a struggling Isaac Seumalo in hopes to jump-start the Eagles run game. … Jordan Howard (shoulder) was limited in Wednesday’s practice. This is a good sign because Howard was in an arm sling after Sunday’s loss to the Bucs. He is on track to play in Week 3. … Jordy Nelson (quad) expects to play in Sunday’s game against the Bengals. He probably won’t be 100% but you should start him in your fantasy leagues.