It's Week 3 of the National Football League season already. You know the old saying, 'Time flies when you're having fun'. Well, it's fun as long as you don't own stock in guys like Arizona's David Johnson, Indianapolis' Andrew Luck or Carolina's Greg Olsen. Then, it's a bit of a grind as you scramble around for reinforcements. It's no different than any other season, as there are landmines in fantasy football. It just seems there might be a few more so far in 2017.
Carolina's Greg Olsen suffered a broken bone in his right foot on a non-contact injury in Week 2 against the Bills, and he had surgery to rectify the situation on Tuesday. As such, the team placed him on the Reserve/Injured Designated to Return list, so he will be eligible to return to practice in six weeks and then eligible for game play in eight weeks. It's a tough break for fantasy owners of Olsen, as well as those holding stock in Cam Newton.
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Newton has completed 34 of his 57 pass attempts for 399 yards, two touchdowns and one interception through two games while rushing 11 times for just 30 yards. Those numbers aren't exactly eye popping, and they're the type of statistics normally seen by low-end QB2s in fantasy football. So losing Olsen will not exactly help his situation. Or will it? Rather than rely on his security blanket on short to intermediate routes, perhaps offensive coordinator Mike Shula will open up the offense and have Newton looking downfield more.
The Panthers ranks 24th in the NFL with 174.5 passing yards per game, and they have had just five pass plays of 20 or more yards, and one play of 40 or more yards. Newton has also been sacked six times, so protection has been a little bit of an issue, too. Newton was dropped six times with seven hurries against the Bills. Head coach Ron Rivera said this week that Matt Kalil and Newton simply aren't used to each other, and that lack of comfort between the two has to do a lot with the fact Newton missed most of the offseason and preseason recovering from shoulder surgery.
If Newton and his offensive line start to jell a little more nicely, it will give the quarterback time to get the ball down the field. The biggest beneficiaries of the injury to Olsen will be Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess, as well as rookie Christian McCaffrey. The latter should see plenty of dump-offs out of the backfield, making up a little for the loss of the tight end. In the red zone, Benjamin should see even more looks, adding to his fantasy appeal. He is an especially solid value in DFS this weekend at a mid-range price in a potential shootout with the Saints. But in seasonal formats he'll see an uptick in value, too. Funchess is still just a player worth monitoring at this time, but his targets are certain to go up. Also, Ed Dickson has a reliable set of hands and he'll pick up some of the slack, although he is only worth a look in deeper fantasy leagues at this time.
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More from Derrick Henry coming?
The Tennessee Titans used a heavy, heavy dose of Derrick Henry in their Week 2 rout of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and fantasy owners of DeMarco Murray were saddened to see the veteran looking on as a spectator. It was believed that the veteran was simply being preserved with the game out of hand, but perhaps head coach Mike Mularkey really liked what he saw and will use the back more going forward.
Henry rushed 14 times for a career-high 92 yards with a touchdown, including making Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey look like a bowling pin on his scoring run in the third quarter. The physical play is something the team worked on in training camp and the preseason, as they want to use Henry as their hammer to break down defenses. It might not have been terribly effective in Week 1, but it was pretty impressive in their Week 2 win. The tailback touches will be something to monitor in Week 3 when the Seahawks pay a visit to Nashville.
Quick Hits: Owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Dak Prescott's ankle injury will not keep him sidelined in Week 3, and the good news for the quarterback is that he has an extra day to get right since the team doesn't go until Monday in Arizona. … Packers WR Jordy Nelson is reportedly a coin flip for this weekend's game against the Bengals. If he is sidelined it would be good news for the fantasy appeal of Davante Adams and Randall Cobb. Martellus Bennett and Ty Montgomery are also likely to see more targets if Nelson is forced to miss time. … The Browns placed Corey Coleman on the Reserve/Injured list due to the broken right hand he suffered in Baltimore. He had surgery, and will be eligible to return later in the season. You know the drill, as Coleman dealt with a similar situation last year. Look for Rashard Higgins, who was listed among the team's starters after his big Week 2 performance, to benefit the most from Coleman's time on the shelf. Ricardo Louis is also in line for a bump in targets. … The Jaguars claimed Jaelen Strong off waivers from the Texans, as the team gives the former Arizona State standout a chance to resurrect his career. It will take him some time to learn the playbook and jell with a new quarterback, but he has a chance to move up the ladder quickly behind Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee with Allen Robinson (knee) done for the season. … The Ravens added Jeremy Langford to their practice squad on Tuesday. Remember him? He quickly fell out of favor in Chicago upon the emergence of Jordan Howard last season. It's a good situation for Langford, who could get promoted to the big club sooner rather than later with Terrance West nicked up and Danny Woodhead on the mend and out several weeks.