Following Week 2, many fantasy owners have had to look to the waiver wire or trades in order to help fill their rosters. Sometimes the players that make their way into the starting lineup are not ones that you thought you'd start back on draft day. That's how fantasy works: look at the best options for your team in any given week. With so many injuries, many fantasy owners are going to struggle. See who is available on your waiver wire and who may be on your bench, itching to get into your starting lineup.
Please note 5 Up/5 Down is a guide on players that should exceed or fall below their rank this week. This is based on past performance, injury status, and matchup. This is not a start/sit column, but rather a guide.
Philip Rivers, QB, Indianapolis Colts
The Colts face the Jets, and the danger with putting Rivers in the "up" category is that if the Colts end up scoring points through their DST or the running backs, Rivers won't keep throwing the ball. However, there is certainly the possibility that this game ends up being closer than Vegas and fantasy owners anticipate. Rivers could end up throwing the ball, especially to his running backs. He's ranked No. 17, and while not in the QB1 range, should finish higher than that.
Darrell Henderson Jr., RB, Los Angeles Rams
Henderson is the healthiest running back on the Rams' roster at the moment, and that should lead to a big game for him in Week 3. The Rams face the Bills, and Cam Akers is still banged up. The other option for the Rams is Malcolm Brown, who just had surgery on his finger. Yes, he did return to practice on Thursday, but he still will be less than a week from surgery on a body part that is pretty important for a running back. It seems that Henderson will be the lead back, with Brown coming in for some carries (even perhaps goal-line work). Either way, Henderson should finish higher than his No. 45 ranking.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Fournette took over for Ronald Jones in Week 2 and ended the day with 12 carries for 103 yards and two touchdowns. He added four receptions for 13 yards. A performance like that will certainly earn him more playing time. The Bucs face the Broncos in Week 3, and they have allowed a running back to rush for more than 100 yards in each of the first two games. While it's hard to say that Jones (or even LeSean McCoy) won't be in the mix, Fournette should finish above his No. 25 ranking.
KJ Hamler, WR, Denver Broncos
Jerry Jeudy is ranked No. 30, but Hamler is ranked No. 79. Both rookies will be leading the Broncos' receiving corps with Jeudy commanding more attention than Hamler. Hamler has been dealing with a hamstring injury, but did play in Week 2 (3/48/0 stat line). The downside to Hamler is that Jeff Driskel will be at quarterback, however, the pair may have had time to practice together when neither was with the first-string offense. Hamler is worth a shot in deeper leagues or for owners who have been decimated with injuries (including teammate Courtland Sutton).
Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants
With both Sterling Shephard and Saquon Barkley on injured reserve, the Giants are going to have to find new playmakers. Darius Slayton is certainly in the mix, but don't forget about Engram. When healthy, he's been a solid fantasy tight end. So far this year (knock on wood), he's been healthy. He had seven targets in Week 1 and eight in Week 2. The targets should increase and the production should follow. Engram has 74 total yards, but hasn't found the end zone yet. This week, that may change.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
The Saints face the Packers, and it seems logical to think that this might be a shootout. However, keep in mind that the Packers may be without Davante Adams (see below). They will likely focus on the running game, allowing for a slower-paced game. Expect the Saints to do the same (as Michael Thomas is still expected to sit). This game script may result in both quarterbacks not being top fantasy options this week. Brees is ranked No. 11, but is out of the QB1 range this week.
David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears
Montgomery has been a bright spot in Chicago's offense over the past two weeks (a total of 146 rushing yards, 55 receiving yards and a touchdown). However, in Week 3, the Bears face the Falcons. This has the makings of an Allen Robinson game, rather than a Montgomery game. He's a fine start as an RB2, but he's ranked No. 9. Even with some of the best running backs in the game now on injured reserve, it's hard to imagine Montgomery in the top 10 this week.
Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
In Week 2, Adams put up a 3/36/0 stat line. It was later revealed that he suffered a hamstring injury, which explains the stat line. Adams missed practice on Wednesday and had a limited session on Thursday. His playing status for Sunday is truly up in the air, but if he does suit up, he's not going to finish as the No. 3 receiver. He'll likely be limited and probably shouldn't be in starting lineups despite his name and usual role. Don't trust him this week, if active.
Will Fuller V, WR, Houston Texans
In Week 1, Fuller had 10 targets. He caught eight of them for 112 yards and looked like a great receiving option for Deshaun Watson. Fantasy owners started him with confidence in Week 2… only to be rewarded with a goose egg. He had no targets. While he was seen on the sideline, stretching, he didn't appear on the injury report. Week 3 brings a tough Pittsburgh defense. It's going to be difficult to trust Fuller after Week 2, especially against the Steelers. He's ranked No. 27, but fantasy owners starting him as a WR3 should be wary.
T.J. Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions
Hockenson had five targets in Week 1 and four in Week 2. He's caught all of them for a total of 118 yards and a touchdown. He's a solid TE2, and is ranked No. 14 this week. However, if Kenny Golladay returns (as he is tentatively expected to), more of those targets should go to Golladay, decreasing Hockenson's value. This "down" is based on the fact that Golladay returns. If Golladay is out, start Hockenson with confidence.
Full Disclosure from Week 2
5 Up (3/5 correct)
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers (Ranked: 10, Actual: 17)
Quintez Cephus, WR, Detroit Lions (Not Ranked, Actual: 58)
Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans (Not Ranked, Actual: 35)
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Ranked: 28, Actual: 5)
Jared Cook, TE, New Orleans Saints (Ranked: 9, Actual: 20)
5 Down (5/5 correct)
Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans (Ranked: 9, Actual: 23)
Mark Ingram, RB, Baltimore Ravens (Ranked: 18, Actual: 19)
Boston Scott, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (Ranked: 25, Actual: 41)
Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos (Ranked: 22, Actual: 49, injured during game)
Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Football Team (Ranked: 11, Actual: 27)
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.