After waiting for what felt like forever, Week 1 is nearly in the books. “Time flies,” as they say. While opening week results aren’t worth panicking over, especially in fantasy football, it would be wrong to completely dismiss the outcomes. Overreactions are common this time of year. Picking the Browns to win the AFC and the Rams out of the NFC don’t look nearly as wild as they would’ve looked a few days ago. It just goes to show that plenty can change, and eventually, things will level out.
Where the panic should set in is with injuries. They are unavoidable, inevitable, and downright devastating at times. And just like that unwanted spam call, the injury bug will also come for our fantasy teams at some point. JK Dobbins and Aaron Jones suffered that fate in Week 1, much to the dismay of hopeful fantasy owners. How will it change your season’s outlook and who should be on your replacement radar?
Below, we’ll give you the latest news on these important RBs and break down how their injuries could potentially affect the Week 2 and season-long fantasy landscape. For updates on banged-up pass-catchers Diontae Johnson, Jakobi Meyers, and Pat Freiermuth, click here.
JK Dobbins injury update
Dobbins had a long road back after multiple injury-filled seasons since tearing his ACL in 2021. The road was closed once again on Sunday with yet another detour derailing Baltimore’s running back. Dobbins was diagnosed with a torn Achilles, which will cost him the remainder of the season. The injury occurred early in the third quarter after a first half that saw Dobbins score a touchdown, seemingly announcing his return to fantasy relevancy.
But the injury bug seems to enjoy taking bites out of the Ravens roster. It’s been a theme in recent years, something that continued on Sunday. Dobbins, Ronnie Stanley and Tyler Linderbaum all exited Sunday’s game at some point. With two prominent injuries along the offensive line, it will be worth monitoring their status, especially as it relates to Baltimore’s rushing attack. If they miss extended time, it would cap the ceiling on an already banged-up Ravens team. Justice Hill ended up scoring two touchdowns in short-yardage work following Dobbins’ departure, but he finished with eight carries for nine yards. Fellow backup Gus Edwards also had eight carries and managed 32 yards.
Replacing Dobbins isn’t a cut-and-dry case. Fantasy owners, or those hoping to poach an option from a league mate, will need to monitor the situation closely. Hill and Edwards will likely split time going forward. History tells us that Edwards will end up being the better option of the two, though it remains to be seen how new offensive coordinator, Todd Monken, will deploy his troops. Both players are available in a majority of Yahoo leagues, with Melvin Gordon III also hanging around on the practice squad. We also wouldn’t be surprised if Baltimore signed a veteran like Kareem Hunt or Leonard Fournette.
Options outside the Ravens offense are aplenty, with Kenneth Gainwell, Kyren Williams, Joshua Kelley, Tyler Allgeier, and Deon Jackson/Zack Moss headlining the best available options in most leagues.
Aaron Jones injury update, Week 2 fantasy outlook
UPDATE: Packers’ coach Matt LaFleur said Monday that the team is still “evaluating” Jones’ hamstring injury.
Turns out, the Packers might have an ownership stake in the Bears. Life without Aaron Rodgers got off to a good start for Green Bay, as the cheeseheads rolled, 38-20. However, they lost Jones in the process to a hamstring injury. On a 4th-and-3 in the third quarter, Jordan Love fired a pass to Jones, who took it 35 yards for the score. Jones came up grabbing for his hamstring and did not return. He later said after the game that he felt a “little bite.”
Green Bay would go up 24-6 at the time with around six minutes remaining in the third quarter. Jones indicated after the game that the score played a part in him remaining sidelined, saying he could’ve returned if needed. That is good news for fantasy owners, who were treated to a performance that included 41 rushing yards, 86 receiving yards, and two touchdowns. As expected, Jones was the best weapon on offense for Matt LaFleur’s team.
At this stage, it seems unlikely that the running back will miss any time, especially if his comments after the game are any indication. If he does, AJ Dillon rockets up the rankings and becomes a must-start option as the clear RB1 with no obvious challenger. If Jones takes a turn for the worse, his owners should look to the top RB pickups we mentioned above, including Gainwell, Kyren Williams, Hill, Edwards, Kelley, and Jackson/Moss.