Top adds as injuries are rampant

By | September 19, 2023

Another week, another reshuffle of the fantasy landscape. As usual, we have a new collection of unfortunate injuries to deal with, so let’s get to work. All players listed below are available in most Yahoo fantasy leagues and approved for immediate use.

Running back

Nick Chubb’s knee injury was so serious that Monday night’s broadcast refused to show the replay. The absolute worst of Week 2’s various horrors. Simply brutal. He is an irreplaceable talent, one of the best to fill his position in the history of the league. Ford has been Chubb’s replacement this season and is clearly headed for a jump in usage in the future. He scored an easy 3-yard touchdown right after the injury Monday night.

Ford was an elusive and impressive runner at the college level in Cincinnati, gaining 1,539 scrimmage yards for a 13-win team in his final season. We can assume the Browns will add to their backfield in the days ahead — Kareem Hunt remains independent and Cam Akers is very available via trade — but there’s no obvious scenario in which Ford isn’t involved.

FAB: Officially $36. Potentially much more, depending on circumstances.

It’s more than a little surprising that Hill remains a candidate for this feature, yet somehow he’s still available in over 50% of Yahoo leagues. Hill broke the plane twice in the opening week and gained 53 yards on 14 touches against the Bengals on Sunday. We’ve heard a lot of offseason noise about the Ravens actually throwing to their running backs in 2023, so it’s notable that Hill caught three balls in Week 2. Hill and Gus Edwards are the complete RBBC for Baltimore at the moment, so both players deserve to be fielded in any competitive league.


Johnson announced his presence with authority in his regular season debut last week…

It was Chicago’s only bright spot in an otherwise shameful loss to Green Bay, gaining a bruising 55 yards on 11 touches and reaching the end zone late in the fourth quarter. Johnson’s performance in the opening week helped him move up one spot in the team’s backfield hierarchy, as D’Onta Foreman was a healthy scratch for the Week 2 matchup with Tampa Bay. Johnson was quiet but efficient Sunday, gaining 42 yards on six touches, catching both of his targets and playing 22 snaps while Khalil Herbert saw 32.

If you’re not looking to go out of your way to get more shares of Chicago’s offense…well, we totally understand. Just keep in mind that Johnson is an all-purpose talent headed toward a beefier role.


Saquon Barkley just led your fantasy team to victory with a 6-catch, 2-touchdown performance against the Cards, but in the meantime he suffered an ankle injury that is expected to sideline him for three weeks. The Giants face the Niners on Thursday night, so Barkley’s backup will face a significant workload this week, albeit in a brutal situation. Breida is a perfectly capable runner and a receiving threat that can be used at safety in Weeks 4-5 when New York gets the Seahawks and Dolphins.


Various RBs in play:

  • Tyjae Spears gained 55 yards on 10 touches in Sunday’s win and has been on the field on 45% of Tennessee’s offensive snaps so far;

  • Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris are kind of like the Kirkland Signature version of last year’s Tony Pollard-Zeke Elliott mess;

  • Tony Jones Jr. came back into our fantasy lives, at least for a week or two, after an unexpected multi-touchdown game Monday night after Jamaal Williams left with a hamstring injury;

  • Latavio Murray still runs behind James Cook, but is ahead of Damien Harris in the backfield pecking order and appears to be the preferred option inside the 10-yard line;

  • Craig Reynolds would be worthy of flexibility against Atlanta in Week 3 if David Montgomery is sidelined with a quad injury, he said, it would take a few weeks to heal.

Wide receivers and tight ends

Tank Dell, Houston Texans (5% on roster)

Dell is an undersized receiver with live-wire speed who plays bigger than his official size (5-foot-10, 165). He was ridiculously productive at the collegiate level, catching 199 passes for 2,727 yards and 29 touchdowns in his final two seasons in Houston. He was a preseason hero for the Texans, mashed potato. Dell simply cooked the Colts on Sunday, finishing with seven receptions, 72 yards and a score on a team-high 10 targets.

Here’s a look at his ability after capture:

This is a case where training camp hype aligns perfectly with regular season results. Don’t leave it on the line if you need the handset.

Recommended offer, assuming $100 budget: $14

Understandably, fantasy managers have focused their attention on Puka Nacua and Kyren Williams as the emerging stars in Sean McVay’s offense. But let the record show that Atwell, a speedy third-year receiver, had 17 targets in the Rams’ first two games, catching 13 balls for 196 yards. He went unnoticed during the Nacua waiver frenzy last week, but will clearly remain a useful fantasy option, at least until target magnet Cooper Kupp returns to action.

Twelve of Atwell’s 13 receptions this season have resulted in first downs, as he generally sees high-yield downfield chances (13.4 ADOT). Even if his weekly targets decline as the season unfolds, he will likely maintain fantasy relevance as a receiver with higher variance and big-play potential.


The Broncos have a rookie burn with 4.38 speed who plays only rarely. But when he’s on the field, he can do things like this:

Hat tip to Russell Wilson for a gorgeous throw right there.

Mims averaged 19.5 yards per catch in three collegiate seasons at Oklahoma, so these field throw plays are nothing new for him. He finished with 113 yards in his breakout performance in Week 2, although he only played 16 snaps. Denver doesn’t really have a lot of talent in the receiving room, so their second-round receiver has a clear opportunity to earn a substantial role moving forward.


While the Jordan Love era wasn’t entirely flawless, he managed to deliver consecutive 3 touchdown passing performances and his team put up 62 points. So he’s not too shabby. If you expected more, you’re probably a Packers shareholder spoiled by decades of Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Love has shown pretty clearly that he can keep his receivers viable for fantasy purposes.

In Sunday’s narrow loss at Atlanta, rookie Jayden Reed caught a pair of touchdown passes from Love, ultimately finishing with four receptions for 37 yards on eight targets. Reed was a serious playmaker at Michigan State, a contested capture wizardand he has been no less impressive in the first few weeks of his pro career:

The absence of Christian Watson (hamstring) gave Reed a clear path for early-season touches and the rookie delivered. He is definitely a player to put aside, if not to leave immediately.


Other priority reception options:

  • Zach Ertz currently leads all tight ends in targets (18), making him an automatic addition at this terrible position;

  • Josh Reynolds scored a pair of touchdowns in Detroit’s loss to Seattle, catching five balls on six occasions and playing 80 percent of the offensive snaps;

  • Skyy Moore no doubt he was hit with rage across thousands of leagues after his opening week failure, but he rebounded with 70 yards and a spike in Sunday’s win at Jacksonville;

  • KJ Osborn has scored six targets in each of Minnesota’s first two games and virtually never leaves the field;

  • Roberto Boschi he’s already seen 19 targets for the Texans, getting 12 for 131 yards;

  • Jake Ferguson he hasn’t exactly been a yardage machine to this point, but he made a house call Sunday, was targeted 11 times and played two-thirds of the offensive snaps for Dallas.


Let the news prove it some of us tried to tell you that Mayfield was the strongest possible candidate to be this year’s Geno Smith, if anyone was going to do it. He’s been competent in the past and now he’s the guy who can pitch against Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Mayfield played Sunday, completing 26 of 34 throws for 317 yards and a score. He’s headed to a matchup with Philly, a defense with an excellent reputation that has also allowed more than 300 passing yards to its first two scheduled quarterbacks (Mac Jones and Kirk Cousins). If you’re looking for a streaming option, Mayfield can help.


As mentioned last week, Stafford looks curiously like the version of himself earlier in his career. We worried all summer about his elbow, but arm strength definitely wasn’t an issue in the first few weeks. Don’t let this man get in on a roll:

Stafford turned Puka Nacua into a September star and almost single-handedly made the Rams a brutal matchup for any team (San Francisco included). He has topped 300 passing yards in each of his first two games this season. Next week, he travels to Cincinnati for a Monday night meeting with a Bengals defense that hasn’t exactly stopped anyone in the first few weeks.


Additional QB Pickups:

  • Sam Howell he’s given us a pair of touchdowns in each of his first two games this season and his upside is well established;

  • CJ Stroud he’s not exactly out there running the game, as he attempted 47 passes on Sunday, finishing with 384 yards and a pair of scores; it simply wouldn’t be fair to recommend various Texans receivers without mentioning the team’s slightly lined QB.

Team defense

Kansas City Chiefs, D/ST (39%)

Chris Jones and his friends are hosting a dysfunctional Bears offense this week, so KC could very well rank as the #1 fantasy D/ST. 1 consensual. Expect more turnovers and 4-5 sacks, with a reasonable defensive touchdown throw. This game could be an absolute massacre, an all-time mismatch between coaches. KC’s defense could very well be the most impactful addition of the week, so spend the extra $1.


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