Fantasy Harm Updates: Raheem Mostert, Antonio Gibson, Ronald Jones, extra RBs impacting Week 15 begin ’em, sit ’em choices

Fantasy Injury Updates: Raheem Mostert, Antonio Gibson, Ronald Jones, more RBs impacting Week 15 start 'em, sit 'em decisions

Before the second week of the fantasy playoffs, there are many questions and injury concerns that will affect the rewind position. Raheem Mostert (ankle), Ronald Jones (fingers) and James Conner (quad) all deal with new injuries, while Antonio Gibson (toes), Christian McCaffrey (thighs) and Dolphins RB's Myles Gaskin (COVID) and Salvon Ahmed (shoulder ) have missed the promotion in the past few weeks. These injury concerns could lead to difficult start and seat decisions, and impact some potential sleeper and streamer options that could climb our RB rankings for week 15.

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Is Raheem Mostert playing this week?

Mostert (ankle) had an MRI on Monday and 49ers trainer Kyle Shanahan said the team would know more about his status on Wednesday, according to ESPN's Nick Wgoner. Mostert wasn't a participant in 49ers training on Wednesday, which isn't a good sign of his availability in week 15.

With Mostert looking dubious, it's likely that Jeff Wilson Jr. will play a bigger role in the 49ers' backfield. Wilson has averaged 11 hits per game since returning from an ankle sprain in Week 12. However, if Mostert fails, Wilson could face a Cowboys defense that has fought immensely against RBs this year. He looked like a high-end flex even before Mostert's injury, but Wilson could jump into the high-end RB2 space if he leads San Francisco's backcourt.

Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon would also advocate a higher workload if Mostert had to miss the time. Coleman would have some flex appeal as a TD-dependent option, and McKinnon could have PPR at an advantage, but is difficult to trust as he hasn't had an offensive touch since week 12.


Is Antonio Gibson playing this week?

Gibson (toe) was listed as a non-participant in Washington's exercise report on Wednesday. This report was only an estimate, but still not a good sign. Washington also hired Lamar Miller of the Bears training team to add extra depth to the running back. This could be an indication that Gibson is further away from returning than many had hoped.

Anyway, it looks like Gibson will be a longshot in week 15, and if he doesn't hit the field on Thursday, fantasy owners can likely expect another week of J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber carry the cargo. Both would be potential flex games, with McKissic having more of an advantage as it maintains its dual threat capability in a rush and reception. Barber would likely need a TD to pay off given his 2.7 yards per carry average.

And for those wondering, Miller wouldn't be eligible to play in week 15 due to the NFL's COVID logs. He could flow into the RB rotation in week 16 if Gibson stays outside.

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Is Ronald Jones playing this week?

Jones underwent surgery to mend a broken little finger on Tuesday, and the following day was put on the COVID list. Due to the finger injury, he was already "questionable" about playing, so his inclusion on the COVID list makes anything but certain that he will not be able to play for the Bucs against the Falcons on Sunday.

With Jones expected to be out, Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy will likely split up the work for the Buccaneers. Fournette was a healthy scratch at week 14, but he's being treated as a trailblazer as McCoy acts more as a reception option against Atlanta. Both can be trusted as a flex game against the Falcons, as Atlanta's weakness is against RBs that catch the pass.

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Is Christian McCaffrey playing this week?

McCaffrey (thigh) has only played once since week 2 while battling ankle, shoulder and thigh injuries and it seems like he's on his way to missing another game.

According to ESPN's David Newton, Panthers manager Matt Rhule confirmed that McCaffrey is likely to miss Saturday's game against the Packers due to his injuries. If McCaffrey is out again, Mike Davis will get the Panthers off the ground again and should have the chance to be a perfectly solid RB2 against a suspicious run defense.

At this point, one can also wonder if McCaffrey will play again this season. It's not that you can put him in any fantasy format just in case he plays, but make sure you have emergency options for the final two weeks of the fantasy season.

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Is James Conner playing this week?

Conner is dealing with a quad injury and it's unclear if it's serious enough to keep him off in a cheap week 15 matchup against the Bengals. Conner hasn't been very productive on the field for the past few weeks, having had a 10-carry day 18 yards against the Bills.

The Steelers are playing a Monday Night football game, so Conner's first chance to practice this week will come on Thursday. If he doesn't get on the field for this session, he'll become a real question mark for fantasy owners. Conversely, if he is a limited or full participant it should mean that he has a chance to play, barring setbacks.

If Conner can't play, Benny Snell would be next in line and should be a true RB2 against a weak Bengals run defense. Make sure to hold him by the waiver wire if you need RB depth or if you need a handcuff for Conner.

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Will Myles Gaskin, Salvon Ahmed play this week?

The Dolphins RB area has suffered countless injuries and illnesses this year. Before week 15, Myles Gaskin (COVID) is unlikely to play after testing positive for the disease late last week. Meanwhile, Salvon Ahmed (shoulder) was seen training in a red, non-contact jersey and classified as restricted in training on Wednesday. That could give him a chance to hold his own in week 15.

If Ahmed can leave, he and DeAndre Washington would form a committee on the RB position with Matt Breida, who has come back from the COVID list and is meddling. If Ahmed can't play, Washington would act as a setback and drag some RB2 considerations based on his volume. Ahmed certainly needs monitoring, but if he is on the field by Thursday it could indicate that he is ready to return to action.