Saturday, February 24, 2024

Fantasy Football: Keenan Allen and Tee Higgins injury updates plus more injuries from Week 1

Fantasy Football: Keenan Allen and Tee Higgins injury updates plus more injuries from Week 1

Several early-round draft picks left their games early in Week 1


If you took a wide receiver in the first round, you’re probably having a pretty good Week 1. Heck, if you took one in the first three rounds, life is pretty good for you – Justin Jefferson, Cooper Kupp, Ja’Marr Chase, Michael Pittman, Stefon Diggs, A.J. Brown, and Davante Adams all dropped 20-plus points in Week 1, with CeeDee Lamb and Mike Evans still to go. 

If you took Najee Harris in the first round … you’re probably a little scared right now. Because, after missing most of the preseason and training camp with a foot injury, he was forced to leave Sunday’s season opener with … a foot injury. We don’t know the specifics about the injury – early indications are it is not a serious issue, thankfully – and until we do, Jaylen Warren is going to look like one of the top waiver-wire targets in Fantasy heading into Week 2.

We’ll have a full breakdown of the waiver-wire targets for every position in Tuesday’s newsletter, but you can find my early thoughts on the top targets in tonight’s edition. Warren is, obviously, a big part of that, and 49ers backup Jeff Wilson is too, after Elijah Mitchell left with a knee injury – I wrote about that injury and what to expect from the 49ers offense here

But those weren’t the only injuries you need to know about, so before we get to the top early waiver targets, here are the injuries you need to know about from Sunday’s games:

Week 1 injuries 


We’ll learn about more injuries in the coming days, but these are the main ones we’re watching coming out of Sunday’s action, along with potential fallout from them:

  • Najee Harris (foot) – According to one report from after the game, the injury “is not considered a big deal,” but … that’s the kind of vague report you don’t really put much stock into. Harris was spotted in a walking boot after the game, and “not considered a big deal” could still mean a multi-week absence if “a big deal” were to be interpreted as a season-ending injury. I’m not even saying it will be a multi-week issue, but I’m not considering it a non-issue just yet. 
  • Elijah Mitchell (knee) – Similarly, I’m not going to downplay Mitchell’s injury, even if we haven’t necessarily been given reason to think it’s a serious one. Mitchell had offseason knee surgery and struggled with a hamstring injury in the preseason, so that was the big knock on him coming in. We’ll keep an eye out for reports over the next few days, but expect Jeff Wilson to be one of the top waiver-wire targets for Week 2. I would prioritize Warren over him, but that might be it. 
  • Keenan Allen (hamstring) – Allen was off to a tremendous start to the game and ended up leading the Chargers with 66 yards on four catches despite leaving in the second quarter. Hamstring injuries have a way of lingering, so there’s no guarantee Allen will be health in time for Week 2. Josh Palmer had 17.6 PPR points in the one game Allen missed last season, so he’ll be worth considering as an add, though I’m not sure I’d rank him as a top-36 WR for next week even if Allen is out – he had just 5 yards on three catches Sunday. 
  • Tee Higgins (concussion) – Higgins barely got a chance to contribute to the wild game between the Bengals and Steelers, and in his absence, Ja’Marr Chase went wild, catching 10 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown – and what should have been at least one more if the Bengals had been more aggressive with the challenge flag. Tyler Boyd scored with Higgins out, and he had 13 catches in two games without Higgins last season, so he could be a viable PPR target off the wire if Higgins is out. 
  • Damien Williams (ribs) — Williams was forced from the game early and watched as Cordarrelle Patterson absolutely dominated, with 22 carries for 120 yards and a score, plus three catches for 16 yards. Williams could have played some part in that, presumably, and it’s not clear who the next man up would be if Williams did have to miss time — Average Williams was active but had two carries and one target, so I wouldn’t expect much from him. Tyler Allgeier was inactive, but maybe he could leap into relevance. He wouldn’t be a big priority for me unless we got some quotes indicating he’ll have a role. 
  • Mac Jones (back) — The Patriots offense looked about as wonky as feared after an ugly preseason, and Jones suffered an injury that required X-rays at some point during the 20-7 loss. Brian Hoyer is the definition of Just A Guy as a backup quarterback, and expectations would be very (very) low for the Patriots heading into a matchup with the Steelers in Week 2 if he was the starter. 

Early Week 2 Waiver Wire Targets 


Aug 20, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Warren (30) runs with the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third quarter at TIAA Bank Field. USA TODAY

Here’s who I’m looking at coming out of Sunday’s action:

Top RB targets:

  1. Jaylen Warren, PIT
  2. Jeff Wilson, SF
  3. Kenyan Drake, BAL
  4. Rex Burkhead, HOU
  5. Isiah Pacheco, KC

Best of the rest

  1. Curtis Samuel, WR, WAS
  2. Jahan Dotson, WR, WAS
  3. Josh Palmer, LAC
  4. Zay Jones, WR, JAX
  5. Marcus Mariota, QB, ATL

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