Did you expect to care about JaMycal Hasty, Sony Michel, Khalil Herbert, Tony Jones Jr., and Jamaal Williams, among other handcuffs, this late in the season? With Elijah Mitchell, Darrell Henderson, David Montgomery, Alvin Kamara, D’Andre Swift, and Melvin Gordon all questionable heading into Week 14, those backup RBs might factor into many fantasy start ’em, sit ’em calls. Knowing the latest injury updates will be crucial as you prepare for the final week of the fantasy football regular season.
Elijah Mitchell injury update
UPDATE: Mitchell was not spotted at practice Thursday.
Mitchell (knee, head) didn’t practice Wednesday and underwent an MRI on his knee in the middle of the week. He’s still in concussion protocol, so he could miss the game against the Bengals for that reason, but the knee ailment could keep him out, too. Ultimately, it’s tough to know how this will play out at this point, and it will likely be a close call heading into Sunday.
Jeff Wilson Jr. (knee) is also at risk of missing this game, so if both guys are out, JaMycal Hasty would presumably handle a large workload. If Mitchell is out, but Wilson is in, Wilson could carry the load or it could be a committee with Hasty. Overall, it’s a tough situation to navigate, unless Mitchell plays. Mitchell ranks as our RB10 in standard and RB9 in PPR leagues if he can go, and he would be the only 49ers back worth considering.
Darrell Henderson injury update
UPDATE: Henderson will be a limited participant in practice Thursday.
Henderson (quad) was active for Week 13 against the Jaguars but didn’t play a single snap and ultimately left a ton of fantasy owners with a goose egg on the scoresheet. Because the Rams play on Monday night, there is not yet any information on his status for this week, but the Rams were prepared to use him last week in an emergency situation. Presumably, he’ll play and be a contributor against the Cardinals, but we can’t know for sure.
David Montgomery injury update
Montgomery (shoulder, groin, glute) did not practice Wednesday, but it’s unclear at this point if he’s in real danger to miss the game against the Packers. The Bears play on Sunday Night Football, so this could be a long and complicated situation. Thursday’s practice will hopefully tell us more.
If Montgomery plays, he’s our RB18 in standard and RB16 in PPR leagues against a top-11 unit in limiting fantasy RBs. If he’s out, expect Khalil Herbert to be the lead dog in the backfield like he was earlier this year. He’ll rank a little bit below where Montgomery is.
Alvin Kamara injury update
UPDATE: Kamara is practicing again on Thursday.
Kamara (knee) was a full participant in practice Wednesday and is expected to play against the Jets. If he suits up, he immediately returns to the “must-start” group of RBs and should have a nice fantasy day against the worst defense in the league against fantasy RBs.
Kamara ranks as our RB3 in PPR leagues and RB4 in standard leagues. Since he logged full practice, we’re not expecting him to be limited. Mark Ingram is likely out after being placed on the reserve/COVID list, so Tony Jones Jr. will be the change-of-pace back, but after a disastrous performance against Buffalo that caused him to be a healthy scratch in Week 13, it’s tough to trust him even as a low-end flex.
D’Andre Swift injury update
UPDATE: Swift did not practice Thursday.
Swift (shoulder) did not practice Wednesday, and although Dan Campbell said he’s improving, he also said Swift is a longshot to play against the Broncos.
Jamaal Williams should be the primary back for a second straight week. We like Williams as the RB20 in standard and RB17 in PPR leagues. He only drew one target last week, but we think he should be more in the three-to-five target range against Denver, giving him a slight boost in PPR formats.
Melvin Gordon injury update
UPDATE: Gordon said he “feels like he can play Sunday”.
Gordon (hip) was a limited participant in practice Wednesday, so we’ll have to see later in the week how things are trending. There are likely tons of Javonte Williams owners who are anxiously waiting for Gordon’s status as we head toward the weekend.
If Gordon is out, Williams will be a top-10 play against a Detroit defense that gives up the third-most fantasy points per game to RBs. If Gordon does play, you should probably start Gordon and Williams, as they both sit as mid-tier RB2s. Ultimately, both could finish as RB2 or even RB1s, and it’s tough to bench that kind of upside — even at the risk one falls flat.