Fantasy Injury Updates: Latest news on Dalvin Cook, D’Andre Swift, James Conner, more affecting Week 17 rankings
Dalvin Cook, D’Andre Swift, James Conner, and Elijah Mitchell all missed last week’s games, and most figure to be among the “questionable” RBs for fantasy football championships. Week 17 rankings will be affected by each heading into Sunday, as all are at least on the border of must-starts if active. Get the latest COVID and injury updates below.
For updates on banged-up QBs Jimmy Garoppolo, Lamar Jackson, and Justin Fields, click here; for more on ailing pass-catchers Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, Mike Evans, and Pat Freiermuth, click here; for news on injured WRs Elijah Moore and Adam Thielen, click here; for updates on more injured RBs, including Clyde Edwards and Jordan Howard, go here. For all the latest fantasy news, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.
WEEK 17: Best waiver wire pickups
Dalvin Cook COVID update
Cook (reserve/COVID list) is eligible to return to the Vikings’ lineup in Week 17, so we’ll see if he’s able to clear protocols ahead of a matchup with Green Bay. This will be a close call since the earliest he can be activated is just the day before Sunday’s game, so we won’t have any real news until then. If you own Alexander Mattison, you won’t be sweating this out too much since you’re protected, but if you don’t, it will be a long and agonizing wait. For now, try and search for the best possible replacement option, as you’ve done for Cook before this season.
If Cook plays, he ranks as our RB5 in standard and RB3 in PPR leagues, even in one of the toughest RB matchups. We know he’s largely matchup proof, and ultimately he’s not on the start ’em, sit ’em bubble anyway. If Mattison gets the start, we already know his ceiling is just about as high as Cook’s, so play him with confidence, too.
D’Andre Swift injury update
Swift (shoulder) missed his fourth straight game last week, but he was a legit game-time decision. He will likely be “questionable” once again heading into a matchup with Seattle. For those who have made it this far without him in your lineups, you could potentially be rewarded by Swift facing off with the Seahawks’ defense that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to RBs. We’ll see what the practice reports tell us, but we ultimately won’t know until we have official word.
The Lions have remained cautious with Swift, so we’d like to think he’ll get his usual amount of touches if he’s active. We rank him as the RB7 in standard and RB4 in PPR leagues. Ultimately, because his injury is an upper-body ailment, he should still have plenty of explosiveness, and the matchup is way too juicy here to consider sitting him. Sure, he could be in more of a committee in his first game back in over a month, but he’ll have plenty of home run potential and will be heavily targeted in the passing game. If he’s out, Jamaal Williams and Craig Renyolds draw interest in flex spots, as they handle nearly an equal share of touches in Week 16.
James Conner injury update
Last week, Conner (heel) said he was “confident” he’d suit up against the Colts, but he was eventually ruled out for the contest. That said, it seems he narrowly missed the game and should be trending toward playing in Week 17 against the Cowboys. Dallas is the No. 3 defense against fantasy RBs, so this isn’t a great spot for an explosive return. However, we know a lot of Conner’s production has come from easy touchdowns at the goal line, and this one could set up to be a real shootout.
Ultimately, his ceiling isn’t as high with Chase Edmonds back in the lineup, and the matchup is tough, so we rank him as the RB23 in standard and RB25 in PPR leagues. Again, his upside is much higher thanks to his nose for the end zone, but it’s tough to know exactly what to expect here. If he’s out, Edmonds is virtually a must-start, as he’ll get a workhorse role once again. He’ll be a mid-tier RB2 in PPR and low-end RB2 in standard leagues.
Elijah Mitchell injury update
Mitchell (knee) missed his third straight game against the Titans, but since that game was on Thursday night, he’ll have more time to heal up before the 49ers take on Houston. Like Swift, Mitchell could be returning to one of the best possible RB matchups, as Houston has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to the position. This game has “ground and pound” written all over it (especially if Jimmy Garropolo is out), so we wouldn’t be shy about starting Mitchell here.
As a basic rule of thumb for this week, start whoever the 49ers starting RB is. All of a sudden, they have transitioned from a committee backfield to one where a single player has dominated most touches. If Mitchell plays, start him. If he doesn’t, start Jeff Wilson Jr. If Wilson somehow ends up on the reserve/COVID list, start JaMycal Hasty. Any of them could smash in a starting role.