In a mixed RB injury report for Week 3, the latest NFL injury updates have left some confusion for fantasy football managers. Let’s take a look through those injury updates from around the NFL and see what options fantasy managers have available on Sunday.
RB injury report heading into Week 3
James Conner, ARI | Ankle (Questionable)
The good news heading into the weekend was that James Conner strung two limited practices together to end the week. The bad news is that he still enters the week questionable and described as a game-time decision by head coach Kliff Kingsbury. On Saturday night, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Conner is expected to play but will test his ankle ahead of the game.
With the Cardinals playing in the late afternoon window, that’s an issue for fantasy managers as they set lineups. If he is still on the waiver wire, a prudent move would be to handcuff Conner with Darrel Williams. However, there is another consideration here.
When healthy, Conner is an inefficient runner, so carrying an injury that is unlikely to improve. Therefore, it might be a smart move to sit Conner this week, especially if you have other options. Williams is still an intriguing stash but not someone to rely on right now other than as a last-minute replacement for Conner.
Josh Jacobs, LV | Illness (Active)
Josh Jacobs appeared on the Raiders’ injury report on Thursday as a non-participant with an illness. He was also absent on Friday and did not travel with the team. We don’t know what the illness is, but we do know that teams don’t usually like to have sick players traveling with healthy ones.
Jones traveled to Tennessee on Saturday but remained listed as questionable. He worked out during pre-game and Ian Rapoport reported ahead of the game that Jacobs will be active. Therefore, you should look to start him as usual as an RB2/flex option.
D’Andre Swift, DET | Ankle (Active)
For the second straight week, D’Andre Swift has not been able to log a full practice and entered the weekend limited. Swift is active for the Lions in Week 3. Last week, Swift saw a decrease in snaps from 67% to 51% and a drop in opportunities from 18 to 10. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler stated in his report on Sunday morning that Swift could see a slight uptick on his usage in Week 3.
If we do see a similar usage to Week 2, then you’re hoping Swift either finds the end zone or breaks a big play. You wouldn’t count against it, but it could also be a very long day if Swift has just 10 opportunities again. A slight uptick could mean anywhere from 11 or 12 opportunities to around 15. You would still be looking for a big play with those numbers, but it at least offers more opportunities for it to happen in.
Unless you have surefire options to fill both your starting RB slot and any Flex spots, then Swift is likely in your lineup. It will be hard to sit Swift after the way Miles Sanders and the Eagles pushed around the Vikings’ defense last week.
Alvin Kamara, NO | Ribs (Active)
It has seemed on course all week for Alvin Kamara to be listed as questionable for the Saints’ matchup with the Carolina Panthers. He was limited all week, but there were generally positive messages coming out of New Orleans. On Sunday morning, Schefter reported that Kamara is expected to play in Week 3, and he is indeed active.
This matchup is reasonably nice, with the Panthers allowing an average of 25.55 points to RBs through the first two weeks. There is uncertainty over how much Kamara will play and touch the ball as he deals with this rib injury. That mix of a positive matchup and concerns over touches puts Kamara as the RB15 in Tommy Garrett’s PPR fantasy rankings for Week 3.
Leonard Fournette, TB | Hamstring (Questionable)
For the second straight week, Leonard Fournette will head into Sunday listed as questionable. Once again, Fournette was limited all week in practice, so things look exactly the same as they did for Week 2. Nevertheless, Fournette went on to play 87% of the snaps and saw 28 opportunities. He was not overly efficient with the touches, but the usage is certainly not a concern.
Assuming Fournette is active, as was reported by Schefter on Sunday morning, it’s relatively simple — you start him. He currently sits as the RB9 in Garrett’s Week 3 PPR fantasy rankings, and it’s easy to see why with his projected usage based on the past two weeks. Additionally, we just saw David Montgomery run wild on this Packers’ run defense after Dalvin Cook racked up 90 yards on the ground in Week 1.
J.K. Dobbins, BAL | Knee (Active)
It seems bizarre that the Ravens keep designating J.K. Dobbins as questionable despite him being a full participant in practice. Nevertheless, the Ravens are taking their time, and that should be applauded in a long season. On Saturday evening, both NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Schefter reported that Dobbins is expected to make his 2022 season debut after missing the latest 19 games for the Ravens. Dobbins was not listed among the Ravens’ inactives
Even if Dobbins is active, care should be taken. The run game has looked bad without him, but the Ravens are unlikely to rush him back suddenly. Therefore, we may see them limit his touches for the first couple of games, which is not ideal for fantasy. You should look to have another option to start this week, even if Dobbins is active.
Dontrell Hilliard, TEN | Hamstring (Cleared)
After missing Week 2, Dontrell Hilliard is back for Week 3. He scored two touchdowns in Week 1, and there was a scramble for him on the waiver wire. Still, it will be tough to start Hilliard with the limited opportunities we expect him to see.
Hassan Haskins looked good in his absence last week, and we could have three backs getting touches this week. Don’t get seduced by the two touchdowns in Week 1. Starting Hilliard is a huge gamble, even in PPR.
Christian McCaffrey, CAR | Ankle (Cleared)
Christian McCaffrey and Matt Rhule both told anyone that would listen that the ankle stiffness was nothing to be concerned about. They were right, and McCaffrey is his usual must-start this week.
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