It was not a good week to be a running back in the NFL. Honestly, it never seems like a great week to be a running back in the NFL as far as injuries go, but this was a particularly bad one even by those standards. Let's take a look at the injuries to key fantasy players this week:
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
The fantasy world held its breath as Vikings running back Adrian Peterson went down with a leg injury on Sunday night. He was later diagnosed with a torn meniscus, which is bad, but not as bad as it sounds. That is, of course, assuming there is no further damage. Peterson is looking at a very wide range of recovery timetables, anywhere from missing 3-4 weeks to missing the entire season. Either way, fantasy players need to pick up Jerrick McKinnon wherever he's available and may even want to consider Matt Asiata. Below Dr. Parekh analyzes the injury and gives expectations for AP's recovery:
Brandon Marshall, New York Jets
Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall went down hard on a horse collar tackle and looked like he'd be out for the season. A few plays later, he was back in the game (without his gloves on). Miraculous recovery aside, Marshall did sprain his left MCL and is not a sure thing for Week 3. He seems somewhat optimistic, but may be limited, so fantasy owners should consider other options if possible. It certainly seems like a short term injury though, so there shouldn't be too much concern.
Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucs running back Doug Martin came up lame with a hamstring strain on Sunday. With an MRI still pending and Martin saying it was only a "tweak," he may end up not missing much time. However, if tests show a more severe injury, it could be a few weeks until we see Martin suit up again. Third down back Charles Sims will take most of Martin's snaps and is a must-own this week (and should be owned anyway), and rookie back Peyton Barber becomes a little interesting as well.
Arian Foster, Miami Dolphins
It wouldn't be an NFL season without an Arian Foster injury. Foster suffered a groin strain and will almost certainly miss at least one game. With Jay Ajayi just now poking his head out of coach Adam Gase's dog house, Isaiah Pead could develop some value. He's worth a look in the deepest of leagues, but otherwise, Ajayi is the one to own in Miami.
Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers
Stop me if you've heard this one: Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart is injured and will likely miss several games. This time, Stewart suffered a hamstring strain that will knock him out for up to four weeks. The Carolina backfield was already a fantasy mess because of Cam Newton's rushing ability, so there won't be much upside to choose from between Cameron Artis-Payne, Fozzy Whittaker, and Mike Tolbert. It's probably best to avoid the backfield entirely.
Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions
Lions running back Ameer Abdullah suffered a left foot injury of for now mysterious severity. X-rays did not show fractures, but further testing may show other issues such as a Lisfranc injury (much less fun than a Lisa Frank injury) or a high ankle sprain. Abdullah was seen in a walking boot and was certainly in pain. How much time he will miss is still completely up in the air, but it would be quite a surprise to see him play in Week 3. Theo Riddick gets a huge bump as he may operate as the Lions lead back, while rookie Dwayne Washington should pick up more snaps as well. Fantasy favorite Zach Zenner will be active for this game, but will be third on the depth chart and unlikely to make any noise.
Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers
Week 1: the Chargers lose Keenan Allen for the season due to a right ACL tear. Week 2: the Chargers lose Danny Woodhead for the season due to a right ACL tear. Week 3: Philip Rivers loses his mind because he has lost his two best receiving options in the first two weeks of the season. Woodhead had a huge role in Week 1 and in the part of Week 2 that he played. The Chargers signed Dexter McCluster today, and he will likely step into Woodhead's role, but he's simply not as good at football as Woodhead was. Melvin Gordon is likely to benefit most from Woodhead's injury, as he will be more likely to be on the field in the red zone and on third down.
Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns
In one of the Browns-est games of all time, quarterback Josh McCown suffered an AC sprain in his left shoulder. He was able to mostly play through the pain, but is now expected to miss time, leaving rookie Cody Kessler as the starting quarterback for Week 3. Again, Cody Kessler: starting quarterback, Week 3. Ladies and gentlemen, the Cleveland Browns.
Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots
Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, filling in for Tom Brady, whom you may have heard in passing is suspended for the first four games, was hurt on Sunday. He injured the AC joint in his right shoulder, and with the Patriots on a short week, it's very unlikely he plays on Thursday. The latest rumor has him being at least healthy enough to suit up as a backup, but rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett is expected to draw the start. Below The Fantasy Doctor-Dr. Selene Parekh breaks down the Garoppolo injury and gives his expectations for his recovery and return to the field: