Fantasy Football Week 3 Waiver Wire: How do you go about replacing Christian McCaffrey, other injured stars?

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Week 2 of the NFL season was devastating, depressing and disastrous. One by one, big name after big name, the injuries kept coming. And coming. And coming. I’ve never seen a week like this in Fantasy football

Saquon Barkley, who was drafted No. 2 overall in most leagues, is out for the season with a torn ACL. Christian McCaffrey, who was selected first overall in most leagues, is out 4-6 weeks with a high-ankle sprain. And that’s just the beginning.

Courtland Sutton, who was drafted as a starting wide receiver in all leagues, is out for the season with a torn ACL. Raheem Mostert, who was drafted as a starting running back, is dealing with an MCL sprain. And three starting quarterbacks are banged up with Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle), Drew Lock (shoulder) and Tyrod Taylor (chest).

Other injured running backs include Tevin Coleman (knee), Cam Akers (rib), Malcolm Brown (finger) and Darrel Williams (ankle). And other injured wide receivers include Sterling Shepard (toe), Sammy Watkins (head) and Parris Campbell (knee).

We did get some good news on the injury front with Davante Adams, who left Week 2 with a hamstring injury, but he’s expected to play in Week 3 at New Orleans. The same goes for Chris Godwin (concussion), who was out in Week 2, but he’s been cleared to return in Week 3 at Denver. And it sounds like Kenny Golladay (hamstring) will play in Week 3 at Arizona after missing the first two games of the season.

But keep in mind we’re still dealing with injuries to Michael Thomas (ankle), George Kittle (knee), A.J. Brown (knee), Jamison Crowder (hamstring) and Phillip Lindsay (toe). However, there’s a chance Kittle could return in Week 3 at the Giants.

While injuries are frustrating, they do present opportunities for you to add players off the waiver wire. We’ll tell you the players to add — as well as the ones to drop — and how much FAB to spend.

You could be scrambling to find replacement options for your injured stars heading into Week 3. Or maybe you’re just adding players to enhance your roster. We have plenty of suggestions to improve your team given all the injuries we’re dealing with after a brutal Week 2.

Editor’s note: For this waiver wire column, we are only looking at players rostered in less than 65 percent of CBS Sports leagues.

Week 3 Waivers

  • Injuries of note: Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle), Drew Lock (shoulder) and Tyrod Taylor (chest)
  • Priority list: Gardner Minshew (54% rostered), Ryan Fitzpatrick (8%), Mitchell Trubisky (18%), Justin Herbert (8%) and Philip Rivers (48%)
  • Check to see if available: Joe Burrow (80% rostered) and Ryan Tannehill (74%). If available, only Minshew would go ahead of Tannehill and Burrow, in that order.
  • Potential drop candidate: Carson Wentz (94% rostered). This will be a telling week for Wentz with a home game against the Bengals. But he’s been awful so far with 27 Fantasy points combined through two games and could be someone you want to drop.


Week 3 Priority List


Running Backs

  • Injuries of note: Saquon Barkley (ACL), Christian McCaffrey (ankle), Raheem Mostert (knee), Tevin Coleman (knee), Cam Akers (rib), Malcolm Brown (finger), Darrel Williams (ankle), Le’Veon Bell (hamstring), Phillip Lindsay (foot), Duke Johnson (ankle) and Justin Jackson (quad)
  • Priority list: Mike Davis (11% rostered), Darrell Henderson (30%), Jerick McKinnon (59%), Myles Gaskin (20%), Devonta Freeman (14%), Dion Lewis (5%), Wayne Gallman (2%), Chris Thompson (28%), Kerryon Johnson (61%), Jeff Wilson (0%), Rex Burkhead (5%), Damien Harris (30%), Frank Gore (37%) and JaMychal Hasty (0%)
  • Check to see if available: Joshua Kelley (71%), Chase Edmonds (70%) and Alexander Mattison (68%). Kelley would be the No. 1 running back to add if available. Edmonds and Mattison are good lottery tickets to stash.
  • Potential drop candidates: Benny Snell (89%), Phillip Lindsay (85%), Sony Michel (76%), Jordan Howard (73%) and Tevin Coleman (59%). Snell is worth holding onto as a lottery ticket in case James Conner gets hurt again, but it’s not a priority. Linsday also is worth stashing if you have the roster space, but you might not be able to do that while he’s out. I don’t have much faith in Michel and Howard, and Coleman is hurt. Those guys are easy to move on from.

Running back

Week 3 Priority List


Wide Receivers

  • Injuries of note: Courtland Sutton (ACL), Sterling Shepard (toe), Sammy Watkins (head), Davante Adams (hamstring), Parris Campbell (knee), Breshad Perriman (ankle), Chris Hogan (ribs), Michael Thomas (ankle), Kenny Golladay (hamstring), Jamison Crowder (hamstring) and A.J. Brown (knee)
  • Priority list: Russell Gage (36% rostered), N’Keal Harry (40% rostered), Corey Davis (62%), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (30%), Golden Tate (51%), Michael Pittman (25%), Laviska Shenault (39%), Keelan Cole (3%), K.J. Hamler (4%), Tre’Quan Smith (18%), Jalen Reagor (50%), Brandon Aiyuk (39%), Adam Humphries (6%), Chris Hogan (0%), Braxton Berrios (0%), Damiere Byrd (0%) and Isaiah Ford (0%)
  • Check to see if available: Deebo Samuel (74%), Robby Anderson (70%) and Allen Lazard (68%). Anderson would be the No. 1 add at receiver. Samuel is a good stash candidate since he could return from his foot injury in Week 4. And Lazard should be added behind Davis and ahead of his teammate, Valdes-Scantling.
  • Potential drop candidates: Emmanuel Sanders (93% rostered), Sterling Shepard (74%), Christian Kirk (66%) and Parris Campbell (58%). Sanders was a huge flop in Week 2 at the Raiders in the first game without Thomas. Shepard could be out for a few weeks and isn’t worth holding. Kirk has struggled through two weeks and is clearly behind DeAndre Hopkins. And Campbell isn’t worth holding while he’s hurt.

Wide receiver

Week 3 Priority List

  • Injuries of note: George Kittle (knee), Jack Doyle (ankle), C.J. Uzomah (Achilles) and Dawson Knox (concussion)
  • Priority list: Mike Gesicki (53% rostered), Dalton Schultz (2%), Jordan Reed (8%), Mo Alie-Cox (1%), Logan Thomas (42%), Drew Sample (0%), Jordan Akins (3%) and Tyler Eifert (7%)
  • Check to see if available: Jonnu Smith (80% rostered). I’ve been telling you since February that Smith would have a big season, and he’s delivering in a big way. He would be the No. 1 tight end to add ahead of Gesicki.
  • Potential drop candidates: Rob Gronkowski (93% rostered) and Austin Hooper (77%). Gronkowski has two catches for 11 yards on four targets through two games. And Hooper isn’t much better with four catches for 37 yards on six targets to start the season.

Tight End

Week 3 Priority List

  • Colts (53%) vs. NYJ 
  • Chargers (32%) vs. CAR 
  • Browns (27%) vs. WAS

  • Michael Badgley (62%) vs. CAR 
  • Rodrigo Blakenship (18%) vs. NYJ
  • Mason Crosby (52%) at NO

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