It’s always a challenge to navigate through injuries in fantasy football. The RB position has several players dealing with issues. The time to set Week 13 lineups is near. What are the latest fantasy injury updates on Kenneth Walker III, Jonathan Taylor, and De’Von Achane?
Latest News and Injury Updates Impacting Fantasy
Kenneth Walker III, RB, Seattle Seahawks
Editor’s note: Walker has been ruled OUT for Week 13’s matchup against the Cowboys.
Two weeks ago, Walker left a game early with an oblique strain. He was quickly ruled out, leading to rookie Zach Charbonnet taking over as the lead back.
Unsurprisingly, Walker was not able to go on Thanksgiving following just a three-day recovery time.
Normally, teams would have 10 days between a Thursday game and their next contest. However, with both the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks playing Thanksgiving games, the NFL schedule makers opted to put them on Thursday night in consecutive weeks, thus preventing them from having to play on short rest twice.
I am a fan of the back-to-back Thursday games, but the reduced timeframe between games did not do Walker any favors.
Walker did not practice at all this week. It marked his second consecutive week without getting in even a single limited session. The Seahawks, ever the optimists, listed Walker as doubtful.
We saw Darius Slayton play through a doubtful tag last week, but that is an extreme outlier scenario. About 99% of the time, doubtful players don’t play. With no practice at all this week, I’m going to say there’s a 99% chance Walker doesn’t play.
With Walker almost certainly sidelined, it will once again be Charbonnet as the feature back. Last week, he played 88% of the snaps, the highest single-game snap share for any Seahawks back all season.
Given the lack of tread on Charbonnet’s tires, and DeeJay Dallas being the only back behind him, fantasy managers should expect another 80% snap share for the rookie.
Charbonnet’s volume keeps him in play as an RB2 option, especially with so many teams on bye weeks. However, expectations should be tempered in a difficult matchup against the Cowboys’ elite defense.
Last week, Charbonnet volumed his way to 9.8 fantasy points. Unless he finds the end zone, it’s difficult to envision him being much better this week.
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Just as Jonathan Taylor was starting to heat up, disaster struck. It is unclear when it happened, but Taylor injured his thumb in last week’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was able to finish the game, carrying the ball 15 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns. However, clearly, the injury is serious enough that the team does not want him to play through it.
Taylor underwent surgery on his thumb and is expected to miss at least 2-3 weeks. The Indianapolis Colts did not place on him injured reserve (IR), which means they are holding out hope he returns in no later than four weeks. Anything more would mean they would’ve been better off placing him on IR.
With Taylor out, it will once again be the Zack Moss show. While Taylor is undoubtedly the better player, Moss without Taylor has been the best fantasy asset this season.
From Weeks 2-8, Moss gave fantasy managers two 20+ point games, one 30+ point game, and two others at 14.4 and 17.9.
Trey Sermon is the only running back behind Moss, so we can expect Moss to play as many snaps as he can handle. He will likely only leave the field when he is tired. For at least 2-3 weeks, Moss is a borderline RB1.
De’Von Achane, RB, Miami Dolphins
Editor’s note: Head coach Mike McDaniel expects Achane to play on Sunday.
It feels like an eternity has passed since De’Von Achane was lighting the world on fire as an elite RB1 in fantasy. Achane posted games of 51.3, 27.0, and 21.5 fantasy points in Weeks 3-5. Then, he hurt his knee, went on IR, and missed five weeks (including the Week 10 bye).
Achane’s return in Week 11 was short-lived as he suffered another injury to his knee. Reportedly, he could have played through it, but that was the case with his initial Week 5 injury as well. The Dolphins have chosen to exercise extreme caution with the health of their young and talented back, and who can blame them?
It is the cautious approach that fantasy managers need to pay the most attention to.
Head coach Mike McDaniel said, “He knows how to play one way, so as he goes, he’ll tell me he can play. I already know that. But I’ll just be closely evaluating everything he does and making sure that we have a confident version of him, which is what the people want in general.”
Last week, the Dolphins opted to hold Achane out because of the short week. With the additional rest time, Achane certainly has a much better chance to go this week, but it’s abundantly clear the team will once again take a cautious approach.
Achane was limited at practice on Wednesday. Normally, that would bode well for his availability. However, given the way the Dolphins have handled Achane, we would really like to see a full practice before feeling confident he is going to return.
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