While the RB injury report for Week 15 is relatively light in terms of names in danger of missing the game, fantasy football managers still have some things to consider for the week ahead. With the likes of Josh Jacobs, Rhamondre Stevenson, Damien Harris, Aaron Jones, and others dealing with injuries this week, let’s examine the fantasy implications for those options.
RB Injury Report Heading into Week 15
Josh Jacobs, LV | Quad/Hand (Questionable)
This game of Josh Jacobs being questionable with some injury that he ends up playing through and succeeding, at least relatively, is becoming routine. Despite being questionable through the last three weeks, Jacobs has racked up 472 rushing yards with four rushing touchdowns on 86 attempts. He also added 95 receiving yards on 10 receptions from 11 targets.
On Sunday morning, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Jacobs is expected to play this week. He has played through injuries over the last few weeks and done well in doing so. With the Raiders clinging to faint playoff hopes and Jacobs playing for a new contract, it should not be a surprise that he is playing through these niggles.
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The injuries over the past few weeks haven’t appeared to slow Jacobs down. He has more than proven that fantasy managers just have to ride this hot streak out and hope for the best. The New England Patriots’ defense will present a bigger test, and fantasy managers will be forgiven for watching this week through their fingers.
If Jacobs doesn’t play, then Zamir White would likely be the next man up. While fantasy managers can still look to ride Jacobs through this matchup with the Patriots if he plays, trusting White in the first round of your playoffs would be really tough to do.
Rhamondre Stevenson, NE | Ankle (Questionable)
In last week’s game, Rhamondre Stevenson left with an ankle injury. He managed to return, but only briefly before being ruled out. With the Patriots playing on Monday Night Football, it was always going to be touch-and-go as to whether Stevenson would be able to get on the field against the Las Vegas Raiders this week.
Stevenson was absent from practice on Wednesday and Thursday. He managed to return to the field on Friday, which was enough to earn him the questionable tag for the weekend. The Patriots backfield is particularly intriguing this week, with Damien Harris also questionable heading into the weekend.
On Saturday afternoon, we got an indication that Stevenson was expected to play this week. Harris was ruled out, leaving the Patriots with just three backs on their active roster. So when they declined the opportunity to elevate JJ Taylor later in the day, that indicated the Patriots feel confident Stevenson can be active and play some sort of role.
On Sunday morning, Rapoport reported that Stevenson has a “good chance” to play this week. He did say that the decision will be made following a pre-game workout, but it feels like it would be a surprise if the Patriots did not have Stevenson on the field in Week 15.
Damien Harris, NE | Thigh (Out)
After being doubtful heading into last week, Harris managed to get back onto the field for practice all week. He remained limited throughout and was ultimately tagged as questionable. He was downgraded to put on Saturday morning.
With Harris out, if Stevenson can go this week, then he would have intriguing fantasy value. If both had been active, they would eat into each other’s respective ceilings.
Where things get really fun is if both Harris and Stevenson are inactive on Sunday. The other two RBs on their roster right now are rookie options Kevin Harris and Pierre Strong Jr. They both found the end zone last week, and Strong, in particular, looked electric with his opportunities.
We will likely get a hint as to whether the Patriots are uncertain about Stevenson if they elevate JJ Taylor from the practice squad. If we see that happen on Saturday, then Strong is someone that is really intriguing to me this week.
Aaron Jones, GB | Ankle (Cleared)
Despite Aaron Jones opening the week limited with an ankle issue, there does not appear to be much concern he will miss the game. We have seen him limited in practice for the last few weeks but then not listed with a status until the end of the week.
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Jones was cleared to play in Week 15 on Saturday. Therefore, he should be an option fantasy managers can lean on to help them close out the first round of the fantasy playoffs.
Antonio Gibson & Brian Robinson, WAS | Cleared
Despite being limited all week, both Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson do not carry a designation on the Commanders’ final injury report. Gibson has been dealing with a foot injury, while Robinson has been working through a quad injury. However, there was never any serious concern that the pair would miss the game.
From a fantasy perspective, both players have a chance to deliver this week. The New York Giants have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing RBs, at an average of 30.93 per game in half-PPR scoring. That means there is room for both to have success this week.
Dameon Pierce, HOU | Ankle (Out)
It’s not a major surprise to see Dameon Pierce ruled out ahead of Week 15. The Houston Texans RB was reportedly dealing with a high-ankle injury, which usually leads to an absence of two to four weeks. With Pierce unable to practice all week, he was ruled out heading into the weekend.
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In his absence, Dare Ogunbowale looks set for a larger role, with Rex Burkhead working in as well. With Eno Benjamin released this week, the Texans will likely look to elevate either Gerrid Doaks or Royce Freeman from the practice squad. We will find out who, if either, is being added to the 53-man roster on Saturday, but neither is expected to have a major role.
A previous version of this article also discussed Jeff Wilson Jr. However, he was removed from the article after the Dolphins played on Saturday night.