We are quickly approaching the fantasy football playoffs. Yet, two teams on bye and injuries to the wide receiver position continue to cause major issues for fantasy football managers by creating tough roster decisions for their starting lineups heading into must-win situations.
Let’s take a look at the latest injury updates for Kareem Hunt, Isiah Pacheco, and Elijah Mitchell and how they impact decision-making this week.
Latest News and Injury Updates Impacting Fantasy
Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns
Oddly enough, Hunt’s 48 yards on 12 carries was the first time all season he has averaged four yards per carry. Unfortunately for fantasy shareholders of Hunt, the veteran running back picked up a groin injury during their 36-19 loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
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According to a recent report from Tom Withers, Hunt did not practice on Wednesday due to his groin injury, which makes his situation certainly worth monitoring very closely heading into their matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Despite the yardage output being consistently pedestrian, Hunt has continued to see a reliable amount of touches in this Cleveland offense on a weekly basis. He has carried the ball 10+ times in seven out of the last eight games and actually saw three more carries than Jerome Ford last week.
On the flip side, Hunt’s low yardage production and lack of involvement in the passing game have made him a very TD-dependent fantasy option this season, which is concerning when Hunt has gone three straight games without a score. At the same time, the QB carousel continues to spin in Cleveland.
If Hunt is able to take the field against the Jags, then he will still be an RB3 option for fantasy managers. However, if Hunt misses his first game of the season due to injury, Ford would get a decent size bump in the fantasy rankings with a potentially expanded role in Week 14.
Editor’s note: Hunt was listed as a limited participant in practice on Thursday.
Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs
It took an ejection to remove Pacheco from their Week 13 game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football, which is encouraging because it wasn’t an injury that forced him off of the football field.
However, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid did comment on a shoulder injury that impacted Pacheco’s participation in practice on Wednesday.
“Pacheco actually came in with a shoulder contusion,” said Reid. “We will see how he works out here. He’s getting that checked, so he won’t work out today.”
Pacheco is currently the RB10 in PPR formats, with 988 total yards and seven scores on the season. His 110 rushing yards against the Packers was his second-highest total through the first 12 games, and he has now scored three touchdowns over the last two games.
Assuming the injury isn’t too serious, Pacheco remains a top-15 play at the RB position for Week 14. If Pacheco is unable to go against the Buffalo Bills this week, Clyde Edwards-Helaire would immediately see a huge bump in fantasy value.
Editor’s note: Pacheco has been ruled OUT for Week 14.
Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers
Fantasy managers who hoped Mitchell would have standalone fantasy value in this San Francisco 49ers haven’t been thrilled with the results through the first 13 weeks of the season, but he is still a decent handcuff option to Christian McCaffrey … when healthy.
According to a recent report from Cam Inman, Mitchell missed Wednesday’s practice ahead of their matchup against the Seattle Seahawks while dealing with a knee injury. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Mitchell has dealt with knee issues during his NFL career, with an MCL sprain costing him 12 games in 2022.
After producing 238 rushing yards and two scores in four games played with McCaffrey last season, Mitchell has yet to find the end zone and has seen just 44 carries for 149 yards in his nine games played this season.
In his limited time as a leading man in the 49ers backfield, Mitchell proved he was capable of being a fantasy producer in this San Francisco offense when given the opportunity. However, with the 49ers making McCaffrey the clear-cut bell-cow back in this offense and Mitchell’s constant durability issues, there is simply no way to justify putting Mitchell in your fantasy lineup at this time.
Editor’s note: Mitchell was listed as DNP in practice on Thursday.
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