Fantasy Injury Updates: Josh Jacobs, Todd Gurley, David Johnson, more impacting Week 13 RB rankings

The running back position has been in brutal shape in recent weeks, and fantasy football owners are surely having trouble navigating all of the “questionable” players at the position. Ahead of Week 13, Josh Jacobs is nursing a new injury while David Johnson, Myles Gaskin, and Devonta Freeman are hoping to return from IR in the coming weeks. Elsewhere, Todd Gurley, D’Andre Swift, and Salvon Ahmed have all missed action, and their potential returns could bolster our RB rankings. Right now, these injuries are impacting start ’em, sit ’em decisions, and owners will need to stay updated on what these players are doing ahead of Week 13.

For updates on injured WRs Julio Jones, Kenny Golladay, and DJ Chark, click here; for news on injured (and ill) QBs Lamar Jackson, Tua Tagovailoa, and Daniel Jones, go here. For all the latest fantasy updates, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.

WEEK 13 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Is Josh Jacobs playing this week?

Jacobs (ankle) missed practice on Wednesday because of an ankle injury suffered in last week’s loss to the Falcons. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport originally stated that the injury “looked worse than it was,” but after missing practice to start the week, Jacobs’ status for Week 13 has to be considered questionable, at best.

If Jacobs can’t get on the practice field either Thursday or Friday, then he won’t be able to play. If he can log a limited practice at some point, then he’ll at least have a chance to play, though he would still be questionable.

If Jacobs misses Week 13, Devontae Booker would be the lead back for the Raiders. Booker is available in 90 percent of Yahoo leagues as of this writing, so feel free to scoop him up if you need RB depth. Even if Jacobs plays, Booker should be in for a solid role considering that Jacobs isn’t quite 100 percent at this point.

WEEK 13 FANTASY: Top pickups | FAAB budget planner

Is Todd Gurley playing this week?

Gurley (knee) missed last week’s game after missing practice all of last week. The good news for Gurley’s owners is that he was back on the field for a limited practice on Wednesday, so that should indicate that he is progressing in his attempt to return from injury.

Gurley will still need to be watched, and even if he’s limited all week, that doesn’t guarantee that he will play. More important, he needs to avoid setbacks, and any future “DNP” tag would likely indicate that he’s not quite ready to play. If that’s the case, Brian Hill and Ito Smith would end up splitting work in the backfield. Both would be decent volume-based flex plays, but their matchup with an excellent Saints run defense would limit their ceilings.

WEEK 13 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Is David Johnson playing this week?

After missing the past three games with a concussion, Johnson was designated to return from IR earlier this week, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. That will open up a 21-day practice window for him and will give him a chance to return at some point in the near future.

It seems probable that Johnson will be ready to go in Week 13 given that the Texans are designating him for return now. He’ll likely come in and be the starter once again while pushing Duke Johnson into a backup role (or maybe into a role as a receiver given how thin Houston is at the position). Johnson won’t have any injury designation at practice until he is officially activated off IR, but he should be back in action this week against the Colts barring a setback.

WEEK 13 DFS TOURNAMENT LINEUPS: DraftKings | FanDuel

Are Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed playing this week?

Both Gaskin (knee) and Ahmed (shoulder) missed last week, and it’s unclear when either will be back. That said, Gaskin seems more likely to return in Week 13 than Ahmed.

Gaskin has been on IR and has missed the past four games with an MCL sprain, but it seemed that he was close to returning last week after being a game-time decision. Meanwhile, Ahmed missed practice every day last week with his shoulder injury. He was limited in Wednesday’s practice to start this week, however, so perhaps that is a positive sign that he’s progressing well in his return from injury.

With these two backs banged up and DeAndre Washington (hamstring) missing Wednesday’s practice, the Dolphins’ RB room is in an unpredictable state. For now, Gaskin and Ahmed are both including in our Week 13 RB rankings, but Ahmed’s practice status and reports about Gaskin’s condition will be critical for Dolphins fantasy owners to keep track of in the coming days.

WEEK 13 DFS CASH LINEUPS: DraftKings | FanDuel

Is D’Andre Swift playing this week?

Swift (concussion) was a game-time decision for the Lions on Thanksgiving and ultimately didn’t play. Ahead of Week 13, the outlook is a bit rosier for him.

According to Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, Lions interim head coach Darrell Bevell is “optimistic” that Swift will have a chance to play this week. Given how close he was to playing on Thanksgiving, it makes sense for him to return this week provided that he officially clears concussion protocol.

On the off-chance that Swift can’t make it through the protocol, Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson would carry the load at RB in a tough matchup against the Bears. Both would be mid-tier flex plays if that happens while Swift will be a higher-end flex option this week if he plays.

Is Devonta Freeman playing this week?

There has been little news about Freeman since he was placed on IR with ankle/hamstring injuries a few weeks back, and he won’t be eligible to play in Week 13. 

As Art Stapleton of The Record reports, while Freeman has been out three weeks, he has only been out of two games for the Giants so far because they were on bye. He must miss three weeks to complete his stint on IR.

So, leave Freeman on the bench (or waiver wire) for one more week at least. We’ll see what his status is ahead of Week 14, but either way, he figures to be a flex play at best who will split carries with Wayne Gallman. He isn’t likely to be the lead back when he returns, so don’t try to count on him as an RB2.

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