Is Isiah Pacheco Playing Today? Latest Injury Updates, Fantasy Analysis, and More (January 7, 2024)

What is the latest news surrounding Kansas City Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco? Will he play in Week 18 against the Los Angeles Chargers?

As the end of the NFL and fantasy football season is finally upon us, the leagues that continue through Week 18 are about to wrap up. Playing through Week 18 throws a different kind of wrench into fantasy. Not only do fantasy managers have to navigate injuries, but they also have to weigh what teams have to play for and if coaches will be resting certain players.

The Kansas City Chiefs and Isiah Pacheco represent precisely that sort of challenge for fantasy managers in Week 18. Will Pacheco play in the final week of the season, and if he does not, what does this mean for fantasy?

Is Isiah Pacheco Going To Play Week 18?

Editor’s note: According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Pacheco is not expected to play and will only be used in emergency situations.

The Kansas City RB room was in flux when heading into an important Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Both Pacheco and Clyde Edwards-Helaire were dealing with injuries and ailments, and it was uncertain if either — or both — would be able to play.

Pacheco spent the week leading up to the Cincinnati Bengals game dealing with a concussion. Thankfully, he was able to get through the protocol and help the Chiefs pull out the important win over the Bengals in Week 17. He finished the day with 165 all-purpose yards and one TD, making him the overall RB2 that week.

This week, Pacheco is dealing with a quad and shoulder issue and is officially questionable for Sunday’s game. He did not practice on Wednesday, but the explosive RB managed to close out the practice week ahead of Week 18 with two limited sessions. Rest would be good for the RB after a game where he carried the ball 18 times as the Chiefs focus on the postseason — and he might just get some.

On Wednesday, head coach Andy Reid confirmed that he will rest most of the team’s starters against the Los Angeles Chargers this week. Patrick Mahomes will rest and Blaine Gabbert will be under center on the heels of the Chiefs locking up the No. 3 seed in the AFC and gaining nothing by winning this Week 18 game.

Potential Fantasy Options If Pacheco Is Out Include Clyde Edwards-Helaire and La’Mical Perine

I anticipate Pacheco resting on Sunday, whether it be the entire game or after one offensive drive. Either way, Pacheco is not a good start in fantasy for Week 18 — you simply cannot depend on him being on the field.

Looking deeper into the Kansas City RB room, fantasy managers have the options of Edwards-Helaire and La’Mical Perine if they need an RB pivot. Edwards-Helaire was dealing with an illness this week, but he seems to have shaken the sickness and does not have an injury designation heading into Sunday.

MORE: Fantasy News Tracker

He could start in place of Pacheco against a Los Angeles Chargers squad that gives up the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing RBs.

Perine should also get an uptick in carries if Pacheco sits. He is a risky start in fantasy football, though, especially in Week 18. But if you anticipate Edwards-Helaire also playing limited snaps, Perine could get significant volume.

Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer, Start/Sit Optimizer, and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Related Articles