Rookie sensation Puka Nacua played through an oblique injury in Week 2. That same injury kept him on the injury report ahead of Week 3, causing the Los Angeles Rams to list him as questionable. Will Nacua play on Monday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals, and how would his absence impact the fantasy football landscape?
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Is Puka Nacua Going To Play Week 3?
Ahead of Week 3, the Rams held Nacua out of practice on Thursday — their first practice of the week. He returned to practice on Friday, getting in back-to-back limited sessions to close out the week.
There’s no denying that Nacua is dealing with an injury. He’s certainly not 100%. However, he’s not really at any risk of missing Monday night’s game.
Head coach Sean McVay has maintained all week that Nacua would play.
Sean McVay expects Puka Nacua to play Monday night, though he'll be listed as questionable.
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) September 23, 2023
I believe McVay. Fantasy managers with Nacua should not worry about leaving him in lineups.
Potential Fantasy Options if Nacua Is Out Include Tutu Atwell and Tyler Boyd
I’m really not concerned at all about Nacua’s availability. I am supremely confident he plays. But just in case you want to play it safe, you can put another Monday night wide receiver on your bench to plug in if Nacua does sit.
Fortunately, we have two Monday night games this week, doubling our options for potential replacements. Tutu Atwell and Tyler Boyd are two that stand out.
Atwell is available in just over half of Yahoo leagues. Boyd is out there in over 60% of Yahoo leagues. They are both viable alternatives that won’t get you zero.
If Nacua does sit, Atwell might actually become Matthew Stafford’s top target. He’s already seeing a 19.1% target share. That could push 25% in a game where Nacua was inactive.
Boyd is far less exciting, as he’s the clear WR3 and possibly playing with Jake Browning. However, he did see eight targets last week. Especially if Joe Burrow can’t go, Boyd could be Browning’s safety valve, racking up short receptions underneath.
Ultimately, fantasy managers with Nacua can bank on him playing. With a near 40% target share through two games, even at less than 100%, Nacua absolutely needs to be in fantasy lineups.