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How to handle Rex Burkhead injury in Week 4 fantasy football [UPDATE]

Should the Patriots running back be in your fantasy lineup this week?

New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead reacts after his touchdown run against the New York Jets in the third quarter at Gillette Stadium. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Editor’s update 9:36 a.m.: Rex Burkhead appears to be good to go for Sunday’s game against the Bills. He was viewed as a game-time decision, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter is now reporting he will play in the 1 p.m. ET game. James White returns after the birth of his child, so Burkhead could see a slight decline in his work in the passing game. However, he has been the Patriots best rushing back thus far, averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Sony Michel has struggled in averaging 2.4 yards per carry.

Editor’s update 8:41 a.m.: Patriots running back Rex Burkhead is a game-time decision for the Patriots vs. the Bills in Week 4, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport. He was listed as limited for all three days of practice this week, and was designated as questionable on the final injury report. Inactives are due at 11:30 a.m., so we’ll know by then what his status is.

The New England Patriots listed running back Rex Burkhead as questionable for this week’s game against the Buffalo Bills. He’s dealing with a foot injury. The good news here is that he was a limited participant in practice all three days week, so despite the usual Belichickian caginess about an injured player’s status, that’s a good sign that he’ll probably play.

But this is the Patriots, a team with a jumbled backfield that seems almost designed to frustrate fantasy owners. Last week, Burkhead was their main guy in the backfield, getting 11 carries and six receptions. He added a touchdown on the ground too. Of course, the week before that, he had a grand total of seven touches.

Burkhead seems to have surpassed Sony Michel in the pecking order, outperforming him for the second time this season. That’s helped Burkhead gain the yardage lead among New England’s running backs. Complicating matters this week is the return of James White, who missed last week’s game for the birth of his child.

Fantasy impact: Who knows how the Patriots will attack the Bills and which, if any, running back will get the most work. Buffalo is good at defending the pass, which gives Burkhead and his peers some enticing upside this week. Right now, he looks like the best bet to be New England’s most productive option out of the backfield.