Fantasy Injury Updates: Latest news on James Conner, Jamaal Williams, Javonte Williams, more RBs affecting Week 15 start ’em, sit ’em calls



Week 15 has been a crazy one in the NFL, and the running back position has been as affected as any. It hasn’t all been bad, as Chase Edmonds (ankle) and Michael Carter (ankle) are expected to come off the IR, but with guys like James Conner, Jamaal Williams, Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon, and Tony Pollard questionable for Sunday’s games because injury/COVID concerns, making key start ’em, sit ’em decisions won’t be easy. That’s why we’ll be here with the latest updates throughout the day to help you advance in the fantasy football playoffs.

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WEEK 15 FANTASY: Sleepers | Busts | Start ’em, sit ’em

Is James Conner playing Week 15?

Conner (ankle) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but after getting in a limited session on Friday, coach Kliff Kingsbury said he “expects” Conner to suit up against the Lions. 

With Chase Edmonds (ankle) coming back this week, Conner would see fewer snaps regardless of how he’s feeling. That slightly cuts into his ceiling, but with one of the top RB matchups in fantasy, Conner is still a must-start. If he has a setback and is a surprise scratch, Edmonds would be a borderline RB1 in PPR and a solid RB2 in standard.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide Receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Is Jamaal Williams playing Week 15?

Williams was placed on the reserve/COVID list last Friday, and there have been virtually no updates on his status since. It’s tough to know whether he still has a chance to be cleared in time to play against Arizona, but considering he wasn’t one of the players Detroit activated off the reserve/COVID list on Saturday afternoon, it seems unlikely he’ll be available. 

Williams would be a solid volume-based starting option if active, but if he’s out, a combination of Craig Reynolds, Godwin Igwebuike, and Jermar Jefferson would split touches in the backfield. Reynolds would likely lead the way like last week, but none are particularly good or reliable plays in this matchup. 

Quarterback | Running back | Wide Receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Is Javonte Williams playing Week 15? 

Williams got in a limited practice on Friday after missing practice on Thursday, and coach Vic Fangio has already said Williams will play without any limitations against the Bengals. 

As long as Williams is out there, he’s worth at least a flex spot in fantasy lineups. This matchup is much more difficult than last week’s, and with Melvin Gordon (hand) also expected to play, RB touches will once again be split. Still, Williams has shown his immense upside in recent weeks, and he’s tough to sit given his current hot streak. 

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Is Melvin Gordon playing Week 15? 

Gordon (hand) was limited in practice all week, but there doesn’t seem to be any real worry about his availability against Cincinnati. 

Gordon is coming off 111-yard, two-TD game, but this matchup is much more difficult. When you factor in the injury and rookie Javonte Williams’ emergence, Gordon is a little bit of a worry given the injury, but he’s still a solid flex as long as he’s active. 

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Is Tony Pollard playing Week 15?

Pollard (foot) managed to get in limited practices on Thursday and Friday and figures to be a true game-time decision for Sunday’s game against the Giants. 

Even if Pollard is active, he might see fewer touches than usual. His big-play potential is still present, especially in a favorable matchup, but he’s much more of a “boom-or-bust” flex than a relatively high-floor option. If he’s out, Corey Clement will serve as the change-of-pace back for Ezekiel Elliott, but he’s not worth a starting spot in all but the deepest leagues. 


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