So yeah.... about that 2016 running back revival....
The position group from a fantasy point of view suffered a Red Wedding-style brutalizing on Sunday.
Adrian Peterson, Danny Woodhead, Doug Martin, Arian Foster, Jonathan Stewart, Ameer Abdullah. All six will miss time of varying length. That list didn't include Thomas Rawls who suffered a leg contusion and missed most of the game but not before burning fantasy managers with an unsightly NEGATIVE SEVEN rush yards.
Regarding Adrian Peterson, Mike Zimmer said it's a torn meniscus for the 31-year-old back. Zimmer, in a classic coach move, wouldn't rule out Peterson for Week 3. Come on, bruh.
An orthopedic surgeon I spoke with said the timetable for return varies greatly depending on the severity but thought a four-week return was at least possible. If serious damage was done, Peterson could be lost for the year.
Jerick McKinnon will be a popular add off waivers, and why not? He's uber-athletic, having run a sub 4.41 40-yard dash to go along with a legit 40-inch vertical. While he's a smaller back (5-foot-9, 210 pounds) he was still able to pump out a ridiculous 32 bench presses. As a comparison, Derrick Henry racked up 22 reps on the bench. Not including fullbacks, the 32 reps by McKinnon is the most by any running back in at least the previous 10 combined. It's a long way of saying: yes, he's fast, but the guy's stronger than you'd think.
Matt Vensel from [the Star Tribune projects](/share/page/site/nfl-com/(https:/twitter.com/mattvensel/status/777954057692385280) a 65/35 split between J-Mac and Matt Asiata, with the bigger Asiata getting more goal line looks. The coaching staff has also said they trust Asiata, so the split sounds about right. That being said, I think McKinnon has spent the past few seasons learning the nuances of being a pro running back, after converting to the position in the NFL following a career as a college quarterback. With his game-breaking athleticism, he clearly has the higher ceiling. I'm all in on his upside.
More news and notes:
- Fantasy spin: Melvin Gordon was a touch monster in college and it looks like he'll be the same in the pros with the versatile Woodhead out for the year and with the lack of options behind him in San Diego. Gordon has looked incredibly impressive early in his sophomore campaign and now has an opportunity to be a top-10 fantasy back given the sheer volume of work that will be available to him... well that and the fact that half the position group is seemingly laid up in hospital beds.
- *Bottom line: *Gordon is worth a look in trade calls. I wouldn't go crazy in chasing him but trading someone like Corey Coleman to an owner who doesn't buy the resurgence is entirely feasible.
- Fantasy spin: Give me all of the Charles Sims. Even though Dirk Koetter did mention Jacquizz Rodgers, the expectation from most is that Sims will get a lot of work if Martin misses time. The West Virginia product has been an extremely productive player for Tampa Bay on limited touches. Sims averaged nearly five yards per carry last year and is a smooth, natural pass-catcher. Fantasy insiders are expecting big, big things from Sims even though he is far from a household name.
- Bottom line: Sim's week 3 matchup vs the Rams isn't ideal but if Martin is out, the workload will be there and he is a locked-and-loaded flex play with extreme upside.
- Fantasy spin: Foster missed the second half of last year with a torn Achilles and has a pretty long injury history. At 30 years old, don't be surprised if the former All-Pro misses a good chunk of time.
It's utterly unclear who to add but whoever emerges could be a fantasy game-changer in an Adam Gase offense.
- Bottom line: Drake's skill set screams change-of-pace pass-catching back but what if he's more than that? I wouldn't burn a waiver priority on Drake but if he ends up unclaimed, add him as a free agent and see if he pans out in two or three weeks.
NEWS: Jonathan Stewart injured his hamstring Sunday and will be out "at least a week" [according to](/share/page/site/nfl-com/(http:/www.panthers.com/news/article-2/Jonathan-Stewart-could-miss-time/916b8190-33dc-4b6f-98eb-141bde72f73b) Ron Rivera.
- Fantasy spin: Stewart was dealing with an ankle injury all week and it's entirely possible the hamstring injury is in some way, shape or form related to that. Stewart has missed a lot of time over his career so the injury shouldn't be totally surprising.
Most will rush to go get Fozzy Whittaker as Cameron Artis-Payne has been a healthy inactive for two weeks in a row. But keep in mind a big reason, maybe the only reason, CAP was inactive was because he doesn't play special teams. Rivera himself indicated that Artis-Payne will be part of some kind of committee to fill in for Stewart.
- Bottom line: Whittaker reads like the pass-catching back of the duo and as a result CAPPY should be the back to target off the wires, not Fozzy. Temper expectations though, most of the goal-line touches will continue to be slammed in by Cam Newton.
- Fantasy spin:Theo Riddick has been a good find for the Lions this season and is expected to see a larger share of both carries and receptions should Abdullah miss any time. But, there's always a but, the team is expected to also utilize Dwayne Washington, as well. Not your normal 7th-round rookie, Washington is a monstrous, athletic freak. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, the Washington product (yes, it's confusing) ran a 4.44 40-yard dash at his Pro Day to go along with a 37-inch vertical. Those numbers are awfully similar to David Johnson in Arizona.
- Bottom line: After his huge Week 1, Riddick is long gone from waivers in competitive leagues. Washington is 100 percent worth a look and should be claimed off wires ahead of whatever backs are available in Miami or Carolina.
Rashad Jennings will be limited in practice this week, according to the team, and was seen with a wrap around his left hand and wrist.
Jimmy Garoppolo sprained his AC joint in his throwing shoulder according to NFL Media's Mike Garafolo.
Jay Cutler tried to play through a significant thumb ligament injury Monday night and could miss a "lengthy" amount of time to heal according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Surgery is a possibility for Cutler.
Top scorers for Week 2:
Matt Forte: 100 rush yards, 3 TD
Isaiah Crowell: 133 rush yards, 1 TD
DeAngelo Williams: 130 all-purpose yards, 1 TD
LeGarrette Blount: 123 rush, 1 TD
Stefon Diggs: 182 rec yards, 1 TD
Travis Benjamin: 115 rec yards, 2 TD
Kelvin Benjamin: 108 rec yards, 2 TD
Corey Coleman: 104 rec yards, 2 TD
Cam Newton: 353 pass yards, 4 TD, 37 rush yards
Matt Ryan: 396 pass yards, 3 TD
Derek Carr: 299 pass yards, 3 TD
Tyrod Taylor: 297 pass yards, 3 TD, 25 rush yards
Greg Olsen: 122 rec yards, 1 TD
Martellus Bennett: 114 rec yards, 1 TD
Delanie Walker: 83 rec yards, 1 TD
Vance McDonald / Jacob Tamme: 75 rec yards, 1 TD