Fantasy Injury Updates: Christian McCaffrey, Justin Jackson, David Montgomery, David Johnson impacting Week 10 waiver pickups

Another week of the NFL season has passed and with it comes more running back injuries. While the position as a whole is getting healthier, players like Christian McCaffrey, Justin Jackson, David Montgomery, and David Johnson all came out of Week 9 nicked up, and their respective statuses will have an impact on our Week 10 RB rankings. All three of these players have been starting staples during the year because of their volume, and undoubtedly, if any have to miss time, they will create some waiver opportunities and tough start ’em, sit ’em decisions for fantasy football owners.

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WEEK 10 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Christian McCaffrey injury update

After a long absence due to an ankle injury, McCaffrey returned last week against the Chiefs and put up a vintage McCaffrey lineup: 69 rushing yards on 18 carries, 82 receiving yards on 10 receptions, and two TDs. It looked like he was on his way toward being a top-two fantasy RB again, but another wrench has been thrown into those plans.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, McCaffrey suffered a shoulder injury that could cause him to miss time, and his status for Week 10 is “very much in doubt”. That’s tough news for McCaffrey owners, as it’s unclear when the talented back will return to action.

As long as McCaffrey is out, Mike Davis will be the lead back for the Panthers again. Davis was a rock-solid replacement for McCaffrey and should have a chance to re-emerge as an RB2 even against a tough Bucs run defense. McCaffrey’s absence could also open up more opportunities for Curtis Samuel to run the ball. Consider him a WR3 with some rushing upside.

Justin Jackson injury update

Jackson (knee) exited the Chargers’ loss to the Raiders almost immediately after the game started. He was deemed questionable to return, and while he did, in fact, return to the field, he didn’t record a touch and was vastly outworked and outsnapped by Kalen Ballage and Joshua Kelley. By the end of the day, he played just three snaps total.

Since Jackson was cleared to return to action, it’s hard to imagine that his injury will keep him sidelined long term, but that said, the Chargers’ backfield simply can’t be trusted at the moment, as Anthony Lynn seems to be riding different hot hands each week. In Week 8, it was Jackson and Troymaine Pope that saw the most work. In Week 9, Kelley and Ballage led the way.

Jackson should still draw flex consideration if he’s healthy, and he does have a good matchup coming up against a weaker Dolphins run defense. His ceiling is just capped by being banged-up and being in one of the league’s most frustrating backfield splits.

WEEK 10 WAIVER WIRE: Top Pickups | Buy-low, sell-high

David Montgomery injury update

Montgomery had to leave the field late in the Bears’ loss to the Raiders with an apparent head injury. According to Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times, Montgomery was being checked for a concussion and Matt Nagy didn’t update reporters on Montgomery’s status at the end of the game.

If Montgomery did suffer a concussion, it will put his status for Week 10 in jeopardy. The Bears don’t play until Monday night against the Vikings, but Montgomery will have to clear concussion protocol at some point this week in order to ensure that he’ll have a chance to play. If he’s questionable, it will create tough start ’em, sit ’em decisions for fantasy owners.

Should Montgomery be unable to play on Monday night, the Bears will be shorthanded at RB. Ryan Nall and Cordarrelle Patterson are the only other backs on the Chicago roster, and they would probably split a workload with Nall working more on running downs and Patterson serving as a receiving option if Montgomery can’t go. Both should be added by RB-needy teams in fantasy formats.

Another name to watch would be Lamar Miller. The former Pro Bowler is on Chicago’s practice squad and could get a call-up to serve as backfield depth. Still, given that Nall and Patterson have been on the 53-man roster ahead of him this season, they’re probably the safer handcuff options to Montgomery at this point in time. 

WEEK 10 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Is David Johnson playing Week 10?

Johnson took a blow to the head in the first quarter of the Texans’ win over the Jaguars and was declared out for the contest with a concussion. Because of that injury, he should be considered questionable, at best, ahead of Week 10.

In order to play in Week 10, Johnson would have to clear the NFL’s concussion protocol. It’s possible he could do that, but it seems more likely that he would be held out of action for at least a week because of the injury. Besides, with the Texans (likely) playing for nothing but pride this offseason, there’s no reason for Houston to rush him back, especially because of the money they have tied up in him long term.

If David Johnson is out of action, Duke Johnson will take over the Texans’ backfield and could handle a solid workload. He put up 73 total yards and a TD against the Jaguars on 20 touches, so he’ll have the volume needed to be a top-20 play if all breaks right for him.

Behind him, Buddy Howell would likely be the backup with either C.J. Prosise or Scottie Phillips being elevated from the practice squad to serve as the team’s third RB. None of those players have much fantasy upside since David Johnson’s absence should only be short term.

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