Fantasy Injury Updates: Marlon Mack, Jordan Howard, Damien Williams affect Week 14 waiver wire pickupsSporting News — firstname.lastname@example.org (Sporting News)
Week 14 means the start of the fantasy football playoffs in most leagues, and the RB rankings and waiver wire could be littered with possible pickups (or sleepers, if you want to be optimistic) due to running back injuries. Marlon Mack, Jordan Howard, Damien Williams, and Matt Breida all are battling ailments that could limit their respective availability for Week 14. Some of the latest news and updates suggest that Jordan Wilkins, Miles Sanders, Darwin Thompson and Raheem Mostert could all be Week 14 waiver adds or sleepers.
For news on Dalvin Cook, click here; for the latest on injured TEs Gerald Everett, David Njoku, Evan Engram, and Austin Hooper, click here; for updates on banged-up WRs, such as Adam Thielen, Julio Jones, T.Y. Hilton, and more, go here. Follow us on Twitter for more news and updates @SN_Fantasy.
Will Marlon Mack play Week 14?
As of the end of last week, Mack (hand) was targeting a Week 14 return, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich told reporters Monday that Mack will be "monitored this week."
Mack has yet to practice since the injury, so that'll likely be the first sign that he could be close to returning to the field. Against a top run defense in Tampa Bay in Week 14, none of the Colts backfield is especially appealing - Jordan Wilkins doubled up Jonathan Williams in snaps in Week 13 in surprising fashion. Wilkins could still be worth a waiver claim, but with risk based both on matchup and a potential swing back the other way in playing time, he might not be worth a start, so plan accordingly.
WEEK 14: Top Waiver Pickups
Jordan Howard injury update
Howard still hasn't been cleared for contact as he deals with a shoulder injury that hasn't allowed him to play since Week 9. The Eagles don't play until Monday night against the Giants in Week 14, which could make it a longer time until we know anything new with certainty about Howard.
Miles Sanders has been the bellcow back with Howard out, a departure from Doug Pederson's normal propensity toward using committees in the backfield. If Howard remains out, Sanders is a strong RB2 play against New York, and if Howard is back and apparently healthy, he'd take on that role and bump Sanders into boom-or-bust FLEX territory.
Damien Williams injury news
UPDATE: Williams reportedly "has a chance" to play this week.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid didn't provide an update on Damien Williams in his Monday availability. Williams (ribs) hasn't practiced since his injury in Week 11. Reid did say there's a "good chance" that Darrel Williams (hamstring) is out in Week 14. The Chiefs play in the late-afternoon time slot in New England on Sunday.
If both Darrel and Damien Williams are out, that leaves LeSean McCoy and rookie Darwin Thompson as the top backs. Thompson looks like he should be a priority waiver claim considering he could be KC's top back, but he wouldn't be more than a FLEX in a tough matchup against New England.
Matt Breida injury news
Kyle Shanahan told reporters Monday that he's "optimistic" Breida will suit up in Week 14. Breida (ankle) hasn't played since Week 10. In his absence in Week 13, Raheem Mostert dominated carries for San Francisco, 20-5 over Tevin Coleman.
Breida's return would throw a wrench into a backfield that's already been turned on its head. Adding Mostert on waivers this week takes a hit if you consider that Breida will come back and claim some work, too. Partner that with a tough Week 14 matchup in New Orleans and this will be a tough backfield to predict with any confidence for Sunday.