Darren Waller was as involved as any New York Giants player in Week 1, a blowout loss at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys, but he’s clearly battling an injury that could plague him for weeks to come. New York is a heavy favorite this week in Arizona. Should fantasy football managers bank on strong production from their tight end?
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Is Darren Waller Playing This Week?
In his debut with the team, Waller led the G-men in catches, targets, and receiving yards. Of course, that was a low bar to clear in a non-competitive effort, but the usage was good to see.
The concern here is that this is the same hamstring that landed Waller on injured reserve last season as a member of the Raiders. As it stands now, this injury sounds more like a management situation than one that puts Waller at risk of sitting out this weekend.
It’s the same hamstring injury that forced him onto IR with the #Raiders last year.
It’s also more of a “nerve” issue than it is a muscle issue.… pic.twitter.com/uxZQD976Lo
— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) September 13, 2023
Fantasy Options If Waller Is Out This Week
The NFL schedule does you no favors in this spot, as the Giants play in the late-afternoon slate, thus limiting the number of last-second replacements at your disposal.
Here, I have you covered with a pair of Week 2 TE streamers who play in the late window. I’m high on the players mentioned there, and they are valuable options given the kickoff time.
With those options already on your radar and our PFN Consensus Rankings serving as a guide, there are early slate options that should be considered in the event that Waller should be ruled out ahead of time.
Irv Smith Jr., Cincinnati Bengals
There is no better time to buy low on the Bengals’ passing attack than right now, and while Irv Smith Jr. isn’t a featured part of things, he did run a route on 80% of his Week 1 snaps. With two potent offenses on the field, this game should flirt with 50 total points. If that’s the case, there are plenty of fantasy points to go around.
Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers
Rookie tight ends are difficult to consistently count on, but on a one-week basis, I don’t mind it. We know Christian Watson is less than 100% healthy, and the same is likely to be the case for Aaron Jones. The Falcons’ defense isn’t one that scares me, and with the creative play-calling we saw from the Packers in Week 1, Luke Musgrave has more upside than most would assume.
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