Austin Ekeler, Myles Gaskin, Salvin Ahmed, Giovani Bernard, JK Dobbins, and Mark Ingram are just some of the notable RBs dealing with injuries and illness ahead of Week 12. Knowing the latest updates — as well as the sleeper RBs who stand to benefit if these players are out — will be key when making your final fantasy start ’em, sit ’em decisions, and we’ll be delivering the latest news below.
For updates on more banged-up RBs Christian McCaffrey, Chris Carson, and Raheem Mostert, click here; for the latest on banged-up pass-catchers Julio Jones, Adam Thielen, Zach Ertz, DJ Chark, and Deebo Samuel, go here. For all the latest fantasy updates, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.
Is Austin Ekeler playing this week?
Ekeler (hamstring) officially returned to practice this week, and while that doesn’t guarantee he’ll suit up against the Bills, there’s a realistic chance it happens. We’ll know by 4 p.m. ET on Saturday if Ekeler has been activated off the IR, but even then he could still be a game-time decision.
Ekeler would likely split time with Kalen Ballage in his first game back, but given the slightly favorable matchup and Ekeler’s pass-catching upside, he’s still worth using as a standard-league flex and RB2 in PPR. Ballage would have some flex value, as well, as he’d still likely be the goal-line back and receiver around eight-to-10 carries. If Ekeler is out, Ballage is in play as a low-end RB2 in all formats.
Is Myles Gaskin playing this week?
Gaskin (knee) returned to practice this week, and with Salvon Ahmed (shoulder) missing practice both Wednesday and Thursday, it’s possible Gaskin immediately returns to a lead-back role if he’s able to suit up against the Jets.
With so much up in the air, fantasy owners will likely be sweating out this situation right up until game time. If Gaskin is active, he’s in play as at least a flex. If Ahmed is out, then Gaskin is a safe RB2. If both are playing, then Ahmed will be tough to trust, but he could have some deep-league value. If both are out, then Matt Breida figures to be the lead ball-carrier (and RB2) while DeAndre Washington will have some deep-league PPR flex appeal as the change-of-pace back.
Is Giovani Bernard playing this week?
Bernard (concussion) returned to practice in a limited capacity on Thursday, which is a good sign as he works to clear the NFL’s concussion protocal ahead of Sunday’s game against the Giants.
If Bernard is out, Samaje Perine would handle the bulk of the carries for Cincinnati. Given its expected offensive limitions with Brandon Allen under center, it’s tough to count on either Bernard and Perine getting many touchdown opportunities, but if either is the featured back, he would have flex upside based on volume.
Are JK Dobbins and Mark Ingram playing this week?
Dobbins and Ingram were both placed on the COVID list after testing positive last Sunday night. They were slated to miss Baltimore’s Thursday night game against Pittsburgh, but with that matchup being moved to Sunday afternoon, it’s unclear if either will have a chance to return.
Based on what we saw last week, Dobbins looks like the clear lead back in Baltimore’s backfield now, but obviously that could change. In a tough matchup against Pittsburgh, he would be the only one worth taking a chance on if he and Ingram are active. If both are out, Gus Edwards would likely see 15-plus touches and be a volume-based RB2/flex.