Patriots RB Sony Michel (knee) has been downgraded to out for Monday night's game in Buffalo. He was originally listed as doubtful but never had a shot to play after missing practice all week. We'll see if he can return for Week 9. James White and Kenjon Barner will handle backfield duties for New England vs. the Bills.
Patriots RB Sony Michel (knee) is doubtful for Monday night’s game against the Bills. That leaves the backfield to James White and Kenjon Barner, each of whom started the week in usable range in our Week 8 rankings.
A Patriots source told ESPN's Adam Schefter this regarding RB Sony Michel's knee injury: “Expect it will be a little bit but not overly serious. Won’t know til they look at it Monday.” It sounds like Michel avoided a season-ending injury but figures to miss some time. We should learn more later today. James White and Kenjon Barner are left as the Patriots' healthy RBs right now. They figure to add someone this week. Free agent and former Patriot Mike Gillislee's name has been tossed around.
Patriots RB Sony Michel was carted to the locker room with a left leg injury in the 1st half of Sunday's game against the Bears. His leg got twisted awkwardly in a pile. We'll update his status when we learn more. Michel's absence leaves New England with RBs James White and Kenjon Barner.
UPDATE: The Pats announced Michel with a knee injury and deemed him questionable to return.
Chargers RB Branden Oliver has been on the field for OTAs this week -- about 9 months after tearing his Achilles in a preseason game. "I feel great right now," he said. "I’m taking nothing for granted. I’m coming out and taking it one day at a time." QB Philip Rivers has liked what he's seen. "He looks good. He looks explosive. I know it’s early, but I think he really is a great complement to Melvin (Gordon)," Rivers said. Gordon is locked in as the Chargers' feature back. But Oliver has a good shot to capture the #2 spot on the depth chart. His competition is underwhelming: Kenneth Farrow, Andre Williams and Kenjon Barner.
The Chargers have agreed to terms with RB Kenjon Barner. He's now bounced around to 3 different teams in 5 NFL seasons and has totaled just 331 yards on 77 touches. If this is all the Chargers plan on adding to the backfield, RB Melvin Gordon is in for huge volume in 2017.
ESPN’s Adam Caplan reports that Eagles RB Ryan Mathews has a sprained MCL. The severity will determine how long he’s out. We should learn more tomorrow. Philly also lost RB Darren Sproles to a rib injury in Sunday's loss to the Seahawks. If both he and Mathews are out next week, the backfield would be down to Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner. Smallwood out-carried Barner 13 to 3 in Seattle.
Eagles RB Ryan Mathews left in the 2nd quarter of Sunday's game at Seattle with a knee injury. His return is questionable. We'll keep watch for any further updates.
Update: Philly has ruled Mathews out for the game. That leaves the backfield to Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner.
Eagles HC Doug Pederson confirmed Monday what the usage rates of the past 2 games had already told us: Darren Sproles is Philly's current #1 RB. “By stats and by what you’re seeing, I would say that Darren is the No. 1 back right now,” Pederson said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Ryan is still a big part [of the offense]; you saw the touchdown run that he had yesterday. Kenjon [Barner] had a nice run. Wendell [Smallwood] had a nice run. So it’s still a little bit of the running back by committee. Obviously, we haven’t hung our hat on one guy, but we tend to lean more towards Darren Sproles. It’s hard to take him off the field right now.” We don't have much more to add. We can't call Sproles the definite lead back for the rest of the year, but he's the guy to use in fantasy until we see otherwise. With 28 carries and 16 targets and 80+% snaps played over the past 2 games, Sproles looks like a solid fantasy RB2 for now -- especially this week in a favorable matchup with Atlanta.
Eagles RB Ryan Mathews handled 16 touches and played 25 snaps in Sunday's loss to the Lions. RB Darren Sproles totaled 9 touches on his 34 snaps. RBs Wendell Smallwood and Kenjon Barner, meanwhile, combined for 0 touches on 2 snaps. HC Doug Pederson confirmed that it will remain a 2-man backfield for the time being. "Ryan and Darren, as I've said before, are the 2 primary guys," Pederson said. "It's Ryan and Darren, and we'll spell those other 2 guys when we need to." Mathews and Sproles look like RB3s moving forward. Smallwood and Barner can be dropped in most redraft leagues.
Eagles new HC Doug Pederson used 1 of the most hated phrases in fantasy to describe his backfield at the close of OTAs. “Well, you go in thinking that one guy can handle the load,” Pederson told CSNPhilly.com. “If that's Ryan, he can handle all the stuff and the pounding. But with the guys we have, with the depth we have at that position, Darren is obviously a big part of that and now with Wendell [RB Wendell Smallwood] coming on, I think it could be a little bit of a running back by committee.” This is a young offense under a 1st-time head coach and a young staff. We'll see how the situation develops through the summer. Mathews remains a nice upside play at his ADP, but Pederson's words mean you shouldn't reach too high for it.
Eagles RB Kenjon Barner has been running with the 1st team at OTAs and impressing observers. Darren Sproles has stayed away from workouts, and Ryan Mathews is reportedly still working back from January groin surgery. Dave Spadaro of the team website says Barner has been "outstanding." Elliott Shorr-Parks of NJ.com adds that Barner has been "very sharp" and says Barner is clearly "quicker than Mathews and does a much better job making sharp cuts than the veteran does." We'd still bet on Mathews leading the backfield once he's ready, but Barner's apparent step forward could make for an interesting battle this summer. If Barner can at least emerge as the #2 runner, he could beat out 5th-round rookie Wendell Smallwood as the fantasy football handcuff to the oft-injured Mathews.
NFL Network's Albert Breer hears that Eagles RB Ryan Mathews' snaps in today's game against the Bills will be "based on conditioning." He's been out the past 3 weeks with a concussion. Breer adds that Philly will go with a "platoon" backfield today, with Mathews and Murray sharing the early-down work and Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner handling passing downs. "Don't expect Murray to get much more work than last week," Breer adds. This is a situation best avoided in Week 14 fantasy lineups. If you're dabbling, Mathews is the best non-PPR play and Sproles the best in PPR.
Eagles HC Chip Kelly said Monday that his RB rotation will "be on a week-to-week basis" going forward. RB Darren Sproles carried a season-high 15 times in yesterday's win over the Patriots. RB Kenjon Barner was next in line with 9 totes, followed by RB DeMarco Murray with 8. Murray's size, pedigree and contract make him the best bet for carries going forward, but it's clear he won't see the big volume he was getting earlier this season. Murray and Sproles both look like RB3 or flex options for this weekend's game against the Bills.
Eagles HC Chip Kelly said Monday that RB Ryan Mathews has yet to be cleared to return from the concussion he suffered Nov. 15, according to NJ.com. Mathews reportedly hasn't even observed practices since suffering the injury, and Kelly said that'll be the case still come Tuesday, as Philly begins its on-field prep for Sunday's visit to New England. That doesn't seem to bode well for Mathews' chances of participating in Week 13. So it looks like we'll continue to get an ineffective DeMarco Murray leading the backfield, teamed with Kenjon Barner and not enough Darren Sproles.
The Eagles have shipped a conditional 7th-round pick to Carolina in exchange for RB Kenjon Barner. The Panthers grabbed Barner in the 6th round of last year's draft but gave him just 8 total touches. He was sitting 4th on Carolina's depth chart. He'll be in the same place in Philadelphia, behind LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles and Chris Polk. Continue to ignore Barner in redraft leagues. He could become interesting as a change-of-pace back whenever Sproles leaves Philly, though. Barner put up huge college numbers at Oregon under Eagles HC Chip Kelly.
Panthers RB Kenjon Barner appears to have suffered a foot injury this week. He put in full practices on Wednesday and Thursday but was held out on Friday. He's listed as doubtful for this weekend's game against the Vikings. Barner made his NFL debut last week, playing just 7 snaps and finishing with 1 touch. He's only worth stashing in dynasty leagues.
Panthers RB Kenjon Barner is set to make his NFL debut this Sunday after missing the 1st month of the season with a foot injury. HC Ron Rivera wants to use Barner in a "scat back" role, similar to how the Saints use Darren Sproles. "He's a guy with great hands out of the backfield," Rivera said. "He's an elusive runner when he gets the ball in his hands. He has home run potential out in open space and that's where you have some tough matchups." Barner goes 5'9 and 190 pounds -- 3 inches taller and the same weight as Sproles -- and averaged 6.2 yards per carry and 10.2 yards per catch at Oregon. The rookie's role with the Panthers will be worth monitoring, but he's not yet a fantasy option.
Panthers RB Kenjon Barner (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 1. He's yet to practice since spraining his ankle in the preseason finale. The rookie could eventually emerge as a change-of-pace option for Carolina, especially with RB Jonathan Stewart out. But for now, RBs DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert will handle backfield duties.
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