The start of the fantasy playoffs in Week 14 will likely see the return of Dalvin Cook after last Monday’s injury provided a scare for his owners. That will mean popular waiver pickup Alexander Mattison’s value goes down, though. Elsewhere in the RB rankings, Jordan Howard, Josh Jacobs, Matt Breida, Damien Williams and Marlon Mack are in varying states of questionable for Week 14, while James Conner has already been ruled out. Looking ahead, Kerryon Johnson might make it back for fantasy championship week. We have updates on all of these players below.
For updates on banged-up TEs Evan Engram, Greg Olsen, Gerald Everett, and David Njoku, click here; for news on injured WRs Adam Thielen, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Julio Jones, and more, go here. Follow us on Twitter for more news and updates @SN_Fantasy.
Is Dalvin Cook playing Week 14?
Cook has said on multiple occasions this week that he’ll play in Week 14 after leaving in Week 13 due to a chest/shoulder injury. He was listed as a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice due to a “chest” injury, though, which is technically what kept him limited a bit last week.
It’s a bit odd that Cook says he’s totally fine after his injury kept him out for most of the second half of a big game against Seattle, but it looks like he should get at least nearly his full workload Sunday against the Lions’ brutal run defense. His handcuff, Alexander Mattison, is in play due to the matchup if it looks like Cook could be limited at all.
Jordan Howard injury update
Howard hasn’t been cleared for contact for his shoulder injury as of Thursday morning. Philadelphia’s first practice injury report of the week will come out Thursday ahead of a Monday night game against the Giants.
At this point, Howard’s injury seems unknown enough that we can’t expect anything from him unless he makes it back on the practice field with a clearance for contact. Until then, Miles Sanders is an RB2 play heading into Monday night, and if you’re counting on Howard, you may want to find an alternative.
Is Marlon Mack playing Week 14?
Mack had been targeting a Week 14 return from his hand injury, and he returned to the practice field Wednesday as a limited participant. Mack hasn’t played since Week 11. Indianapolis travels to Tampa Bay to play the Buccaneers on Sunday.
The Bucs’ have one of the league’s stoutest run defenses, so Mack is probably no more than a decent FLEX play if he’s active. Mack’s return spells an end to the value and frustration of Jordan Wilkins and Jonathan Williams, while Nyheim Hines should maintain his usual receiving back role.
Josh Jacobs injury update
If Jacobs is out, DeAndre Washington figures to see the majority of carries, while Jalen Richard would also mix in on both runs and passes. It’s tough to trust either in standard leagues, though Washington is the preferred handcuff. Richard could easily have more value in PPR formats.
James Conner injury update
Conner (shoulder) has already been ruled out for Week 14’s game against the Cardinals.
Benny Snell Jr. will once again dominate carries, and Jaylen Samuel will have moderate PPR value in this favorable matchup.
Damien Williams, Darrel Williams injury updates
After ESPN reported Tuesday that Damien (ribs) has “a chance to play” in Week 14, both Williams missed out on practice Wednesday. Darrel was placed on Injured Reserve on Thursday morning, ending his season, while Damien missed practice again Thursday.
The Chiefs play in New England at 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday, so this isn’t an ideal situation regardless. Damien would be usable in PPR formats and as a FLEX in standard leagues if he’s active, while his activation would make the rest of KC’s backs (LeSean McCoy, Darwin Thompson) players to sit this week.
Matt Breida injury update
Breida (ankle) was a full participant in practice Wednesday. He hasn’t played since being injured in Week 10, but after limited practices last week and a full practice Wednesday, he should be good to go for Sunday in New Orleans.
Breida’s return makes San Francisco an even more confusing fantasy backfield after Raheem Mostert dominated touches over Tevin Coleman in Week 13. You can’t trust any of the three as more than a FLEX (and even that’s risky) against a solid Saints defense.
When can Kerryon Johnson return from IR?
Johnson (knee) returned to Lions practice Wednesday. He’s eligible to be activated from Injured Reserve for Week 16.
The Lions take on a decent Broncos run defense in Week 16, so fantasy leagues that play their championship that week would be taking a big chance on Johnson. A Week 17 matchup with the Packers shapes up better for Johnson, who is a more worthy stash if your league goes through Week 17.