• The rise of Zonovan Knight: The former North Carolina State running back has gone from undrafted rookie with no NFL regular-season experience to potentially the top running back on the Jets’ depth chart.
• Marquise Brown is back: The Cardinals wide receiver was back to a full workload after returning from injured reserve, but there are reasons for fantasy managers to be concerned.
• WRs Allen Robinson II and Darnell Mooney are potentially out for the season: Robinson didn’t play in Week 12 and will have season-ending surgery on his foot, while Mooney is feared to be out for the season with an ankle injury. Both pass-catchers leave behind a committee of wide receivers.
Estimated Reading Time: 7 mins
PFF's fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2022. Here, we touch on players who are only relevant in fantasy football leagues.
Monitor Michael Carter’s health
Carter left the game early in the third quarter. Head coach Robert Saleh told reporters after the game that Carter had sprained his ankle, but the severity of the sprain is unclear.
- James Robinson was a surprise healthy inactive, as he's apparently fallen to fourth on the depth chart.
- Robinson’s absence didn’t lead to more playing time for Carter or receiving back Ty Johnson. Instead, undrafted rookie Zonovan Knight took the snaps that typically had gone to Robinson.
- Knight took over when Carter left with an injury. He played 18 of a possible 22 early-down snaps once Carter exited.
- Knight put together a solid performance, taking 14 carries for 69 yards.
- Johnson scored, so he might seem like a good waiver target, but his role has remained unchanged over the past few weeks. He plays only on third downs and a very occasional early down.
- Knight should be the popular waiver wire target, regardless of Carter’s health.
- Keep Robinson on rosters just in case the Carter injury is serious.
- Three of the Jets’ next five opponents are among the 10 best teams when it comes to allowing fantasy points to running backs.
The Broncos' new backfield
- Murray handled a clear majority of snaps in all situations. This wasn’t a surprise on early downs but was less expected on passing downs.
- He recorded only 75 receiving yards receiving last season and has 70 this season, which is why his recent work in the passing game is noteworthy.
- Murray's work on the ground was the Broncos' primary source of offense. He gained 92 yards on 13 carries, including a 52-yard run.
- Marlon Mack served as Murray's backup on early downs, while Devine Ozigbo was the backup on third downs.
- Mike Boone had served as the Broncos' third-down back earlier in the season before landing on injured reserve. Boone is eligible to return from injured reserve this upcoming week and could take a lot of the passing-down work going forward.
- Denver has the fourth-most-difficult schedule for running backs from here on, with only bad or average matchups remaining. Murray might be only a borderline starter once Boone returns.
Monitor Elijah Mitchell‘s health
Mitchell reportedly suffered a potential MCL sprain, although it’s not believed to be as serious as his previous MCL sprain.
- Mitchell played 11-of-42 snaps in the first half, more first-half snaps than he had been playing. He had largely been playing in the second half while the 49ers were playing with a lead.
- He left the game early in the third quarter and didn’t return.
- Jordan Mason took over as the backup and largely split snaps with Christian McCaffrey in the fourth quarter.
- There is a chance Tevin Coleman gets activated if Mitchell misses time. Coleman became the No. 2 back earlier in the season before the McCaffrey trade.
- McCaffrey’s playing time was consistent with recent weeks, but he didn’t run the ball as much and wasn’t targeted on as many passes.
- The 49ers have much more competitive matchups coming up, which could lead the team to rely more on McCaffrey and less on the backups, regardless of Mitchell's status.