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Ask 10 people for their favorite part of fantasy football and you might hear 10 different answers.
Inquire about the worst, though, and you’ll almost certainly elicit a consensus: Injuries.
They are the biggest bummer in sports—real-life and fantasy—and there isn’t a close second.
With two weeks of the 2021 NFL campaign in the books, the injury bug has reared its ugly mug early and often. Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz hurt both of his ankles Sunday. Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs hasn’t practiced in two weeks after hurting his ankle in the opener. Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper hurt his ribs in Week 1 and aggravated the injury in Week 2.
It’s unclear if any of these players will be good to go this weekend, but chances are you might be forced to replace at least one regular on your roster. To help ease the sting, we have identified one waiver-wire target—available in 50-plus percent of Yahoo leagues, per FantasyPros—at each of the marquee positions.
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Teddy Bridgewater has done nothing but win since arriving in Denver via a predraft trade with the Carolina Panthers.
First, he won the Broncos’ starting job by beating out Drew Lock. Then, Bridgewater won his first two starts in Denver, steering the team to a pair of double-digit victories.
Granted, the competition wasn’t the stiffest—first the New York Giants, then the Jacksonville Jaguars—but it won’t stiffen up this weekend. On Sunday, the Broncos welcome the winless New York Jets to the Mile High City, meaning Bridgewater should have another chance to pad his stat sheet.
So far, he hasn’t thrown for fewer than 264 yards or two touchdowns, and his next interception will be his first. He is taking what opposing defenses give to him (evidenced by his 77.1 completion percentage), and the Jets defense could give him plenty.
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File this under tepid recommendations.
Hopefully, you don’t need help at running back, because there isn’t a lot to offer. But if you find yourself in a pinch at the position, you could do worse than taking a flier on J.D. McKissic.
His fantasy temperature changes faster than a water faucet. In Week 1, he was frigid—he touched the ball just once for an eight-yard carry. In Week 2, he was boiling: nine total touches (four carries, five receptions) for 93 scrimmage yards and a score.
If Washington needs to air it out—the Buffalo Bills went for 35 points last week despite Josh Allen not really finding his form yet—that’s great news for McKissic. His involvement seems tied to the Football Team’s aerial activity, so fantasy managers taking this gamble should hope for a shootout.
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The Raiders spent the 12th pick of the 2020 draft on Henry Ruggs III then spent all of last season showing they hadn’t figured out how to use him.
Well, they may have just cracked the code in Week 2. And godspeed to all of the opposing defenses on the Raiders’ schedule if they did.
Ruggs has blink-and-he’s-in-the-end-zone burst, and Las Vegas’ suddenly high-powered offense finally featured it in Week 2. His five receptions and seven targets were both career-highs. His 113 receiving yards were the second-most he’s ever had, and his touchdown catch was only the third of his career.
Oh, and he did all of the above against a typically stingy Pittsburgh Steelers defense, so that might ease your concerns about his upcoming date with the Miami Dolphins’ secondary. If the Raiders keep Ruggs involved—and given how he looked in Week 2, why wouldn’t they?—this waiver-wire target could help a lot of waiver-wire shoppers win their matchups.