The fantasy football playoffs are about to get underway, and owners are going to be monitoring injuries to top players very closely in the coming days. Josh Jacobs and D’Andre Swift are a couple of the banged-up running backs that missed action last week, and Antonio Gibson exited Washington’s win over the Steelers on Monday early with an injury. All three of these players will have a big impact on our Week 14 fantasy RB rankings and could influence waiver wire strategy and start ’em, sit ’em decisions for owners.
Is Josh Jacobs playing this week?
Jacobs (ankle) missed the Raiders’ win over the Jets in Week 13 while nursing the injury. While many hoped it wasn’t going to be a long-term malady, the Raiders seem pessimistic about Jacobs’ chances of playing in Week 14.
According to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, Raiders coach Jon Gruden is “not confident” that Jacobs will be able to play against the Colts in Week 14. Given that Jacobs was a non-participant at practice each day last week, this makes sense. Perhaps if he can log a limited session earlier in the week than expected, he will have a chance to play, but for the time being, it seems like the Raiders are leaning toward holding him out.
With Jacobs out, Devontae Booker will once again be the top Raiders RB and will handle a bulk of the carries. Booker totaled 50 yards on 16 carries against the Jets, but he may have a tougher time getting going against a Colts defense that has been strong against the run this year. Still, Booker will be a volume-based RB2.
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Is D’Andre Swift playing this week?
Swift cleared NFL concussion protocol before the Lions’ Week 13 win over the Bears, but he was unable to play after coming down with an illness late in the week. He was declared “doubtful” for the game before being downgraded to out, but with a whole week to get better between games, Swift should have a chance to play against the Packers in Week 14.
Before getting sick, Swift had logged a limited practice on Wednesday. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Lions ease him back into practice to make sure he’s properly conditioned before the game, but so long as he gets on the field Wednesday for a limited session, Swift’s owners should be confident that he will play.
However, if Swift is still a non-participant, he will need to be watched closely as the week goes along. If Swift has to miss action again, Adrian Peterson would be the Lions back to start after he logged two TDs in each of the two games that Swift missed. Still, it seems more likely that Swift will be ready to go if all goes well.
Is Antonio Gibson playing this week?
Gibson (toe) exited Washington’s game on Monday after just two first-quarter carries. After his exit, he was declared doubtful to return quickly and didn’t play again.
Ron Rivera and Washington didn’t have an update on Gibson’s status after the game, according to ESPN’s John Keim, but given that he was declared doubtful so quickly, there certainly is some concern that this could keep him out moving forward.
If Gibson has to miss time, J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber would lead the Washington backfield with McKissic serving as a PPR monster and top receiving back and Barber serving more as a traditional between-the-tackles back and short-yardage player. Aside from those two, Washington doesn’t have another RB on their roster — Bryce Love in on IR and out for the season — so both McKissic and Barber would be worth owning and starting as potential flexes in all formats.