The running back position is notorious for being one of the most fragile groups in the league, and leading up to Week 1, we have a number of notable RBs in the latest injury news cycle. As of now, D’Andre Swift and Saquon Barkley, who have been on the injury report all offseason, are slated to make their season debut in Week 1. Austin Ekeler has been quiet on the injury front until Wednesday, and his status could be up in the air. Gus Edwards has reportedly just sustained a serious injury in practice, so we’ll find out what that means for the guys behind him on the depth chart. All surely had respectable prices during your fantasy drafts, so they’re all worth mentioning, as they’ll factor heavily into start ’em, sit ’em decisions. We’ve already updated our Week 1 fantasy RB rankings but will continue to do so if/when more news comes in.
Below is the most up-to-date news regarding their respective statuses and how their ailments could affect them even if they do all play. For the latest on banged-up pass-catchers A.J. Brown, Kenny Golladay,Curtis Samuel, Noah Fant, and Evan Engram, click here. For all the latest fantasy news, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.
Gus Edwards injury update
The bad news just keeps coming for the Ravens. In practice today, Edwards sustained what is feared to be a torn ACL, a brutal injury for a player who was poised to break out this season. While the injury is unfortunate, we have to discuss the fantasy fallout of a potential seasoned-ending injury.
Ty’Son Williams and Le’Veon Bell are the only RBs that remain on the Ravens’ roster. For now, Williams should be viewed as the starter (and a solid RB2 starter in fantasy) until further notice. However, Bell does see a boost in value as, at worst, the RB2 in a run-heavy offense. Baltimore will surely have to elevate him to the active roster for Week 1 in Vegas. Don’t be surprised if Baltimore signs or trades for another veteran back, but for now, it’s Williams and Bell with the most value.
Is Austin Ekeler playing Week 1?
Leading up to gameday, Ekeler missed Wednesday’s practice with a hamstring injury. One missed practice doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it was a hamstring issue last year that was one of the causes of him missing six games. Nagging hamstring issues are always worrisome and often become a reoccurring issue.
“Optimistic” is the buzzword surrounding Ekeler for Week 1. We’ll have to see what further updates come out, but for now, it’s not yet time for Ekeler fantasy owners to panic, but be prepared for a plan B. Like we mentioned in our Week 1 waiver wire watchlist, it’s unclear who will be the primary backup to Ekeler. If you have to make a decision, Justin Jackson is probably the best bet. Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree III are also in the running.
If Ekeler does play, he’s our RB10 for Week 1 in PPR , where he’s especially valuable. Against one of the league’s elite defensive lines in Washington, he should see plenty of work through the air.
Is D’Andre Swift playing Week 1?
Swift (groin) has been given the green light for Week 1 and is poised to make a return, despite much doubt over the past few weeks. It’s great news that he practice as a full participant this week, but we must remain somewhat cautious. Although he is playing, he is a possible bust candidate. He might be on a pitch count or simply be ineffective altogether against a stellar 49ers defensive line. There is also the chance he has no workload limits, like the Detroit Free Press suggests, and has a productive day.
However, because of these concerns, Jamaal Williams is a Week 1 sleeper , as he may be fed more than we’d expect (expect if the Lions face a large deficit in the second half). Perhaps he takes the goal-line work and adds a few catches.
There was also a bizarre rumor floating around on Thursday of Swift being a potential suspect in a major crime in the Philadelphia area, but for now, it doesn’t look like there’s any legs to that.
Is Saquon Barkley playing Week 1?
The Barkley injury update series may finally be coming to an end. He is certainly the No. 1 candidate for the All-Injury Update team at SN, but he looks to be ready to go for Week 1. However, we can’t necessarily expect him to look like 2019, No. 1 overall Barkley right away.
If the Giants’ are smart (which is questionable), they won’t run him into the ground against Von Miller and Co., but he should see some work through the air. He’s not a guy you’d ever consider benching if he’s active, so we’ll see how they handle him in Week 1. If he does start slow, don’t worry too much until further notice.