Gabe Davis injury update: Can fantasy managers look to him in Week 3?

Gabe Davis' injury was a blow to fantasy football managers last week, but what are the latest updates and fantasy impact heading into Week 3?

Last week, fantasy football managers were hit with a Saturday shock as Gabe Davis appeared on the injury report for the Buffalo Bills ahead of Monday Night Football. Davis would ultimately miss the game, with a Week 3 return now the target. Let’s take a look at the latest injury update regarding Davis and what it all means for fantasy football managers.

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Could Gabe Davis return from injury in Week 3?

As the Bills prepare to head to South Florida to face the Miami Dolphins in Week 3, Davis’ injury will be a focus all week. The initial signs are positive. Davis was listed as a limited participant on the Bills’ injury report on Wednesday. However, coming off Monday night’s game, this injury report was merely based on a walkthrough, and so this was a “predicted injury report” as opposed to what actually happened.

The problem for fantasy managers is that it delays the process of getting a read on Davis. Lower body injuries for receivers are considered most significant in terms of the impact it has when a player makes cuts. In a walkthrough, the team doesn’t get to see how Davis looks making football moves on that ankle.

There are pros and cons to this. On the positive side, Davis is not putting additional pressure on the ankle. Normal practice would have seen him making harder cuts and pushing the injured ankle. By partaking in a walkthrough, those rigors are delayed another day.

Yet, the negative is that it doesn’t give Davis and the Bills a feel for the injury. Davis hasn’t answered the questions of how he feels on the ankle making cuts or how it feels after practice or the next morning. The recovery element is almost as important as the actual practice itself. Now we have to wait until Thursday’s practice and potentially Friday morning to see how things progress.

What does this all mean for Gabe Davis’ fantasy managers?

The expectation is that Davis will be at least limited in practice Thursday. If he’s then fine, that could be ramped up to a full practice on Friday. What’s most likely to happen, however, is that Davis will be limited through the next two practices and at least questionable entering the weekend.

The positive news in all of this uncertainty is that the Bills have a 1 p.m. ET kickoff against the Dolphins. Therefore, we will have a clear indication at 11:30 a.m. of whether Davis is playing or not. If he’s active, then in all likelihood, you will be starting him. Early in Week 3, Senior Fantasy Analyst Tommy Garrett has Davis as the WR14 in his half-PPR fantasy rankings.

Of course, there is always the risk Buffalo activates Davis and then uses him in a limited fashion. However, we just saw the Bills smoke the Titans through the air without Davis. It would seem a tremendous risk to activate him simply to use him as a decoy on the field.

The Bills need to play the long game here, and if Davis is not 100%, he’s best sat on the bench in street clothes. But if he’s active, you should expect at least a close to normal workload unless we hear differently.

Who could step up for the Bills if Davis is out?

Entering Monday, the expectation was that Isaiah McKenzie or Jamison Crowder would see additional playing time if Davis was out. That was not the case, with the two containing to split their role in a similar way to Week 1. Instead, it was Jake Kumerow who saw the bump in usage. Kumerow played on 78% of the Bills’ offensive snaps and caught two of three targets for 50 yards.

The intriguing part of that is whether that was just the short notice of the injury. With the ankle injury happening for Davis on Saturday, the Bills likely didn’t have significant time to shift their planning ahead of Sunday. The week’s practice had been spent with McKenzie and Crowder practicing in their specific role for the offense.

Meanwhile, Kumerow’s usage would likely have been light with the ones, mixing in for certain spots. However, there is every chance that when he takes snaps in practice with the second-team offense, it is Davis’ role that he fills. That is an easy switch to make on short notice. Kumerow would likely know the routes that Davis runs and has practiced the plans and any reads from that position more so than the other two receivers.

The problem is we don’t know for sure. It could be that the plan is always for Kumerow to be the player who spells Davis or Stefon Diggs, with McKenzie and Crowder serving in their roles.

In deeper leagues, Kumerow is an intriguing waiver wire stash for that reason. However, it would be tough to start him in Week 3 — even if Davis is inactive — because we still don’t know if his role will be what we saw in Week 2.

Ideally, Davis is a full go for Sunday, and fantasy managers can roll with what they know, because if he is out, the Bills’ second fantasy-relevant receiving option becomes extremely difficult to predict.

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor and the Fantasy Football Director at Pro Football Network. He is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN


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