Running backs Saquon Barkley, D’Andre Swift, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire have all been on the injury report during most the preseason. Time is running out before fantasy football drafts conclude, so owners need a final update on each of their statuses. Check the latest news on three of the most intriguing RBs so you can adjust your rankings and cheat sheets accordingly.
Before diving into those, get an updated look at Michael Thomas’ fantasy value here and Deshaun Watson’s here. For position battle news, click here. For all the latest fantasy news, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.
DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2021 Cheat Sheet
Is Saquon Barkley playing in Week 1?
Barkley has been a mainstay in our fantasy injury updates, and we received one last nugget of news before the final weekend of fantasy football drafts. Yesterday, Barkley took contact for the first time since his ACL tear nearly a year ago. While it’s still not ground-breaking news and doesn’t give us a clear update on his Week 1 status, it’s somewhat meaningful. It seems like Barkley could play, but it all comes down to how the Giants decide to handle his situation. The smart thing would obviously be to play it safe with him if it takes another week. So, while his Week 1 status remains unclear as of now, it’s trending in the right direction. Our best guess is he’ll be a game-time decision, but with the way things are going, it’s becoming more likely he’ll at least be ready for Week 2.
If you need help deciding whether or not to draft Barkley in the first round, click here.
Barkley is our No. 4 RB in standard leagues and No. 3 RB in PPR, though the risk is obviously present. His range of outcomes is anywhere between being the overall RB1 to another season of injury frustrations.
Is D’Andre Swift playing in Week 1?
As we move closer to Week 1, concerns about Swift (groin) continue to rise. Last week, Lions’ head coach Dan Campbell expressed concern about the second-year back’s availability for Week 1 and how he might look after missing most of the offseason practices. However, better news came today, and Detroit general manager Brad Holmes said Swift looks explosive thus far in practice. While both bits of information come from men inside the Lions’ building, it’s good to hear the shift from concern to positivity. Oh, how things can change swiftly. Holmes said it remains to be seen how much Swift will play, but he almost hinted toward Swift being ready for Week 1 in some capacity. Of course, that could change, so be sure to stay tuned to the latest injury information.
If he does suit up for Week 1, it’s likely he receives fewer touches than usual. A 50/50 split between him and Jamaal Williams could be in order. Still, he remains one of the best values in drafts as he’s often falling to the third or fourth round.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire Injury Update
Edwards-Helaire suffered a high-ankle sprain in a Chiefs preseason game, but he should certainly be ready for Week 1. You shouldn’t worry about his availability, but rather his high ADP with a daunting early-career injury history. Per FantasyPros ADP, he is going around the last pick of the second round. It’s not that he can’t match that ADP, but is that his ceiling at this point? It can be tough to draft a player at their absolute ceiling. With so many elite fantasy mouths to feed in KC, CEH feels like a risk, especially with reoccurring injuries.
We all want the Chiefs’ offense to produce a top-five RB season because that would be fun or fantasy football. The problem is, the offense will never run through him like the Panthers, Vikings, and Titans run through Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, and Derrick Henry, respectively. If he slips into the middle of round three, he now becomes a value, but at slot 24 of the draft, you’re giving up a player like Justin Jefferson or A.J. Brown — who appear to have higher ceilings and floors. Don’t be afraid to go away from the two RB in the first two rounds strategy. Like stated above, Swift will likely be there for the taking later.
CEH is our RB11 in standard and RB9 in PPR. Our rankings indicate he could and should be a fantasy stud, but be weary of where you take him in drafts, especially in standard leagues.