Commentary

Week 12 inactives

Updated: November 29, 2009, 7:29 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com

Welcome to Week 12. Here we'll be posting "live" updates and analysis as NFL teams release their inactive lists. Refresh often for the latest information!

Top players we're watching

Notable names ruled out before Sunday: Marc Bulger, Chris Cooley, Anthony Gonzalez, Troy Polamalu, Clinton Portis, Brian Westbrook.

Early games (1 p.m. ET)

Cedric Benson, RB, CIN: Inactive
Laveranues Coles, WR, CIN: Active
Steven Jackson, RB, STL: Active
Julius Jones, RB, SEA: Inactive
Steve Smith, WR, CAR: Active
Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR: Active
Michael Turner, RB, ATL: Active

Late games (4 p.m. ET)

Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN: Active
Kurt Warner, QB, ARI: Inactive

Night game (8:20 p.m. ET)

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT: Inactive

Updates/analysis (most recent first)

7:25 p.m. ET -- Terrell Suggs inactive -- The Ravens' official Web site reports that LB Terrell Suggs (knee, doubtful) is inactive, while S Ed Reed (illness, questionable), LB Ray Lewis (foot, questionable) and DT Haloti Ngata (ankle, probable) are all active.

7:24 p.m. ET -- Heap, Smith active -- The Ravens' official Web site reports that TEs Todd Heap (chest, probable) and L.J. Smith (illness, probable) are both active. They effectively cancel each other out for fantasy, and Heap in particular has been utilized much too often as a blocker to be much of a consideration for our purposes.

7:23 p.m. ET -- Willie Parker active -- RB Willie Parker (hip, probable) is active for the Steelers, reports the Web site of their opponent, the Ravens. With the Steelers likely to put their offensive emphasis on the run, Parker might see a few more carries than usual behind Rashard Mendenhall. Not that Parker is a viable fantasy play, of course.

7:22 p.m. ET -- Roethlisberger, Batch inactive -- Both QBs Ben Roethlisberger (head, questionable) and Charlie Batch (left wrist, out) are officially inactive for the Steelers, reports the Web site of their opponent, the Ravens. It had previously been reported that Roethlisberger would be the inactive No. 3 quarterback, so this news shouldn't come as any surprise. Dennis Dixon will start for the Steelers and Tyler Palko will back him up, meaning you should significantly downgrade all members of the Steelers' pass attack.

3:09 p.m. ET -- LenDale White inactive -- The Titans' official Web site reports that LenDale White is inactive. Chris Johnson's owners must be pleased by the news. Johnson will once again be the workhorse for the Titans.

3:04 p.m. ET -- Cortland Finnegan active -- The Titans' official Web site reports that CB Cortland Finnegan (hamstring, probable) is active. With Finnegan healthy the Titans at least have a fighting chance versus the Cardinals' pass attack, though this is still not a recommended fantasy defense for the week.

3:04 p.m. ET -- Justin Gage inactive -- The Titans' official Web site reports that WR Justin Gage (back, doubtful) is inactive. Kenny Britt will earn another start, but he's only recommended for the desperate in deeper leagues.

3:02 p.m. ET -- Vincent Jackson active -- The Chargers' official Web site reports that WR Vincent Jackson (ribs, probable) is active. He's well worth using facing the Chiefs' poor pass defense.

3:02 p.m. ET -- Merriman, Phillips active -- The Chargers' official Web site reports that LBs Shawne Merriman (foot, questionable) and Shaun Phillips (ankle, probable) are active.

2:54 p.m. ET -- Antoine Winfield inactive -- The Vikings' official Web site reports that CB Antoine Winfield (foot, questionable) is inactive. With Winfield out, the Bears' deep threats might have an easier time breaking free. In other Vikings news, LB E.J. Henderson (knee, probable) is active.

2:53 p.m. ET -- Harvin, Berrian active -- The Vikings' official Web site reports that WRs Percy Harvin (illness, probable) and Bernard Berrian (hamstring, probable) are active. Harvin is the more appealing fantasy choice, and as more of a No. 3 than a clear-cut starter. Berrian's stock has slipped this season, and he's not drawing enough targets to be a trusted starter.

2:52 p.m. ET -- Cardinals defenders healthy -- The Cardinals' official Web site reports that CB Bryant McFadden (knee, questionable) and LBs Karlos Dansby (shoulder, probable) and Gerald Hayes (back, probable) are active.

2:51 p.m. ET -- Neil Rackers active -- The Cardinals' official Web site reports that K Neil Rackers (right groin, questionable) is active.

2:50 p.m. ET -- Steve Breaston active -- The Cardinals' official Web site reports that WR Steve Breaston (knee, probable) is active. He's actually a shakier fantasy play than usual this week, what with the Cardinals using their backup quarterback, not to mention having used fewer three-receiver sets in Week 11.

2:49 p.m. ET -- Kurt Warner officially inactive -- The Cardinals' official Web site reports that QB Kurt Warner (head, questionable) is inactive, as hinted at earlier. Matt Leinart will draw the start for the Cardinals, and deciding to use him is an easy call -- if you waited on Warner you presumably had Leinart as his handcuff and lack any quality alternatives at this point.

2:47 p.m. ET -- Adrian Peterson active -- The Vikings' official Web site reports that RB Adrian Peterson (ankle, questionable) is active. His owners can breathe again. Obviously, he's a must-start, but just because stats are fun, Peterson has eight touchdowns in four career games versus the Bears.

2:39 p.m. ET -- Smith active, Savage inactive -- The Chiefs' official Web site reports that RB Dantrell Savage (ankle, out) is inactive, though RB Kolby Smith (ankle, probable) is active. Smith will serve as Jamaal Charles' backup, though Charles, not Smith, is the flex play fantasy owners want to consider from that backfield.

2:38 p.m. ET -- Michael Robinson inactive -- The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that RB Michael Robinson (shoulder, doubtful) is inactive. Expect Glen Coffee to serve as Frank Gore's primary backup, not that Gore is a sharing fella when it comes to rushing attempts.

2:37 p.m. ET -- Isaac Bruce inactive -- The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that WR Isaac Bruce (ankle, doubtful) is inactive for the 49ers. Bruce's stock has slipped considerably in recent weeks, and he no longer belongs on any fantasy rosters.

2:37 p.m. ET -- Clements out, Willis, Lewis active -- The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that CB Nate Clements (shoulder, out) is inactive, though LB Patrick Willis (shoulder, probable) and S Michael Lewis (quadricep, probable) are active, for the 49ers.

2:35 p.m. ET -- Rashean Mathis inactive -- The Jaguars' official Web site reports that CB Rashean Mathis (groin, out) is inactive. The Jaguars' pass defense, already one of the worst in the league, takes an even greater hit with this news. The 49ers might yet have a decent day passing, and Michael Crabtree in particular is one of my sleepers of the week.

2:34 p.m. ET -- Mike Sims-Walker active -- The Jaguars' official Web site reports that WR Mike Sims-Walker (knee, probable) is active. He remains a useful No. 2/3 option for fantasy owners.

2:34 p.m. ET -- Maurice Jones-Drew active -- The Jaguars' official Web site reports that RB Maurice Jones-Drew (knee, probable) is active, as expected. He's a must-start as always.

2:25 p.m. ET -- Desmond Clark inactive -- ESPNChicago.com reports that TE Desmond Clark (neck, doubtful) is inactive for the Bears. TE Kellen Davis (ankle, probable) is expected to step into the No. 2 role at the position, which is traditionally a blocker's role. This news doesn't change the fact that Greg Olsen is the Bears tight end fantasy owners want; he has a favorable matchup.

12:47 p.m. ET -- Warner might not play -- Both ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen report that QB Kurt Warner (head, questionable) woke up with a sore neck and might not be able to play today after all. In that event, Matt Leinart would be the Cardinals' starting quarterback. Warner's owners might want to make alternate plans just in case, as it sounds like he might not play.

12:31 p.m. ET -- Adrian Peterson likely to play -- The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that RB Adrian Peterson (ankle, questionable) is expected to play for the Vikings. Peterson's game starts in the 4 p.m. ET hour, so there was a hint of risk in waiting for him, but in terms of talent this seems like enough to justify keeping him active and taking the chance.

12:18 p.m. ET -- Geathers, Joseph active -- The Bengals' official Web site reports that DE Robert Geathers (hip, probable) and CB Johnathan Joseph (foot, probable) are active.

12:18 p.m. ET -- Julius Peppers active -- The Panthers' official Web site reports that DE Julius Peppers (hand, probable) is active.

12:16 p.m. ET -- Jordan out, Brown, Samuel active -- ESPN's John Clayton reports that LB Akeem Jordan (knee, out) is inactive, while CBs Asante Samuel (neck, questionable) and Sheldon Brown (hamstring, probable) are active, for the Eagles. The Eagles' defense is healthy enough and the matchup favorable enough to use the unit this week.

12:15 p.m. ET -- Leonard Weaver active -- ESPN's John Clayton reports that RB Leonard Weaver (ankle, probable) is active for the Eagles. He'll serve as a backup this week, and won't get enough touches to be a viable fantasy play.

12:15 p.m. ET -- Maclin active, Curtis out -- ESPN's John Clayton reports that WR Jeremy Maclin (foot, probable) is active, while WR Kevin Curtis (knee, out) is inactive, for the Eagles. Maclin's matchup gets an uptick with the Redskins missing some key defenders, so take a look at him as a No. 3/4 option.

12:11 p.m. ET -- More Browns news -- The Browns' official Web site reports that TE Robert Royal (thigh, questionable) is inactive, while TEs Michael Gaines (back, probable) and TE Greg Estandia (shoulder, questionable) and LB David Bowens (knee, probable) are active. You really should not be relying on Browns tight ends in fantasy.

12:10 p.m. ET -- Chansi Stuckey active -- The Browns' official Web site reports that WR Chansi Stuckey (calf, probable) is active. He's not a recommended fantasy choice; Mohamed Massaquoi is the only Browns wide receiver who makes a case for being used in deeper leagues.

12:09 p.m. ET -- Jamal Lewis active -- The Browns' official Web site reports that RB Jamal Lewis (ankle, probable) is active. He's only a flex option most weeks, unproductive as he and his offense have been. It might be only a matter of time before backup Chris Jennings significantly cuts into his number of carries.

12:07 p.m. ET -- Jones, Ryans, Cushing active -- ESPN's John Clayton reports that WR Jacoby Jones (calf, probable) and LBs DeMeco Ryans (ankle, questionable) and Brian Cushing (foot, probable) are active for the Texans. Jones is a depth receiver who isn't useful in fantasy accounting for the tough matchup, while Ryans and Cushing are elite IDP options.

12:06 p.m. ET -- Steve Slaton active -- ESPN's John Clayton reports that RB Steve Slaton (neck, probable) is active for the Texans. Slaton should start and be a useful flex option for fantasy owners, though the presence of Chris Brown to steal short-yardage carries makes him somewhat less attractive a play.

12:05 p.m. ET -- Jackson, Ruud active -- The Buccaneers' official Web site reports that S Tanard Jackson (illness, probable) and LB Barrett Ruud (ribs, probable) are active.

12:03 p.m. ET -- Freeney, Hayden sit -- ESPN's John Clayton reports that DE Dwight Freeney (abdomen, questionable) and CB Kelvin Hayden (knee, questionable) are inactive, while CB Antoine Bethea (foot, probable) and DE Robert Mathis (neck, probable) are active, for the Colts.

12:02 p.m. ET -- Adam Vinatieri inactive -- ESPN's John Clayton reports that K Adam Vinatieri (right knee, out) is inactive for the Colts. Another week, another starting assignment for Matt Stover.

12:00 p.m. ET -- Robinson out, Santi active -- ESPN's John Clayton reports that while TE Gijon Robinson (concussion, questionable) is inactive, both TEs Tom Santi (hip, probable) and TE Jacob Tamme (quadricep, probable) are active for the Colts. Robinson's absence was largely the reason for Santi's standout Week 11, so it's something to think about if you're desperate at tight end. (We'd hope you're not, but can't help but point it out.)

11:59 a.m. ET -- Wayne, Garcon active -- ESPN's John Clayton reports that WRs Reggie Wayne (foot, probable) and Pierre Garcon (ankle, probable) are both active for the Colts. Continuing with our lengthy look at the Colts' inactives, Wayne is a must-start, obviously, while Garcon is more a No. 3/4 in deeper leagues.

11:58 a.m. ET -- Addai, Brown both active -- ESPN's John Clayton reports that both RBs Joseph Addai (knee, probable) and Donald Brown (shoulder, probable) are active for the Colts. Addai has clearly been the go-to guy in this backfield, so he's the one fantasy owners should trust as a No. 2/flex this week.

11:57 a.m. ET -- Peyton Manning active -- ESPN's John Clayton reports that QB Peyton Manning (glute, probable) is active for the Colts, as expected. QB Jim Sorgi (right shoulder, questionable) will serve as the inactive No. 3 quarterback. The Colts' injury report this week was a mile long, but most of their players were expected to be healthy. Why wouldn't they? They face the Texans, and that has historically been a standout matchup for them. Manning, of course, is a must-start.

11:56 a.m. ET -- Jim Leonhard active -- The Jets' official Web site reports that S Jim Leonhard (thumb, probable) is active.

11:54 a.m. ET -- Michael Turner will start -- ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Michael Turner will start for the Falcons at running back. This isn't any surprise, but it does confirm our expectation. He's the only member of that backfield who warrants fantasy consideration this week as a result.

11:52 a.m. ET -- Ricky Williams active -- ESPN's John Clayton reports that RB Ricky Williams (chest, probable) is active for the Dolphins. As mentioned earlier, the Bills' defense represents an extremely favorable matchup these days, particularly their run defense. Williams is a must-start.

11:51 a.m. ET -- Falcons defenders active -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that both LB Curtis Lofton (knee, questionable) and S Erik Coleman (knee, probable) are active.

11:50 a.m. ET -- Roddy White active -- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that WR Roddy White (knee, probable) is active for the Falcons, as expected. He remains a solid No. 2 fantasy option.

11:48 a.m. ET -- Terrence McGee inactive -- The Bills' official Web site reports that CB Terrence McGee (knee, questionable) is inactive, while both S Jairus Byrd (groin, questionable) and DT Marcus Stroud (knee, questionable) are active. The Bills' defense continues to deal with a large number of injuries, and represents a favorable matchup for the opposing Dolphins.

11:46 a.m. ET -- Winslow, Bryant active -- The Buccaneers' official Web site reports that both WR Antonio Bryant (knee, probable) and TE Kellen Winslow (knee, probable) are active. Winslow is the more attractive fantasy choice, as the team's rookie quarterback typically limits the fantasy production of its wide receivers.

11:44 a.m. ET -- Julius Jones inactive -- ESPN's John Clayton reports that RB Julius Jones (chest, questionable) is inactive for the Seahawks. As was the case in Week 11, Justin Forsett should get the start at running back, and this is a much more favorable matchup for him this week than last. He's a solid No. 2.

11:42 a.m. ET -- Laveranues Coles active -- The Bengals' official Web site reports that WR Laveranues Coles (chest, questionable) is active. He's a useful No. 3 option in fantasy.

11:40 a.m. ET -- Williams, Stewart both active -- The Panthers' official Web site reports that both RBs Jonathan Stewart (achilles, questionable) and DeAngelo Williams are active. The matchup might not look attractive on paper, but Williams' owners must keep him active, productive as he has been this season. Stewart is a shakier flex choice, however.

11:37 a.m. ET -- Turner, Norwood active -- ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that both RBs Michael Turner (ankle, questionable) and Jerious Norwood (hip, questionable) are active for the Falcons. Expect Turner to start, making him the fantasy choice to get out of this backfield, and it's currently unclear whether Norwood or Week 11 standout Jason Snelling will get more work as a backup. Fantasy owners should bench Snelling accounting for the Falcons' sudden health at running back.

11:35 a.m. ET -- Steven Jackson active -- ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that RB Steven Jackson (back, questionable) is active for the Rams. Jackson did miss a good chunk of practice time this week, so don't be surprised if he's not at peak performance. That said, he's well worth using in most every fantasy league. Kenneth Darby and Samkon Gado might see a couple more carries as usual to keep Jackson fresh.

11:32 a.m. ET -- Steve Smith active -- ESPN'S John Clayton reports that WR Steve Smith (ribs, questionable) is active for the Panthers, despite the receiver's late addition to the injury report. Smith might not be playing at 100 percent, and he'll be facing a tough matchup on the road. Take that into account.

11:30 a.m. ET -- Cedric Benson inactive -- The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that RB Cedric Benson (hip, questionable) is inactive. As was the case in Week 11, expect Bernard Scott to get the start and the bulk of the carries, with Larry Johnson assuming a backup role. Scott warrants immediate fantasy consideration as a No. 2/flex accounting for the favorable matchup.

10:19 a.m. ET -- Dennis Dixon to start -- ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that with QB Ben Roethlisberger (head, questionable) injured and QB Charlie Batch (left wrist, out) already ruled out, the Steelers will give Dennis Dixon the start at quarterback. Dixon will be backed up by Tyler Palko, who has been freshly added to the roster off the practice squad, while Roethlisberger will serve as the No. 3 quarterback. This is a significant hit to the Steelers' pass attack; expect the team's offensive focus to be on the run. This is the Sunday night game, so fantasy owners shouldn't have been waiting for positive Roethlisberger news anyway.

10:15 a.m. ET -- Haynesworth, Hall out -- The Redskins have already ruled out CB DeAngelo Hall (knee, out), and the Washington Post reports that DT Albert Haynesworth (ankle, questionable) will also be inactive. That's a steep hit to the team's pass defense -- not to mention Haynesworth's absence also hurting the run defense -- and it stacks the matchups in favor of the Eagles' productive pass attack. Load up.

10:11 a.m. ET -- Portis, Westbrook already ruled out, among others -- Redskins RB Clinton Portis (concussion, out) and TE Chris Cooley (ankle, out), Eagles RB Brian Westbrook (concussion, out), Rams QB Marc Bulger (knee, out), Colts WR Anthony Gonzalez (knee, out) and Steelers S Troy Polamalu (knee, out) have already been ruled out in advance of Week 12. With Ladell Betts on season-ending injured reserve in addition to Portis' inactive status, Rock Cartwright will get the start for the Redskins. It's not a great matchup for him, but the probability of starters' touches makes him flex-worthy if you're thin at running back. Fred Davis, who had a productive game versus the Eagles earlier in the season, should start at tight end but isn't more than a second-tier fantasy option. LeSean McCoy will get another start for the Eagles and warrants No. 2/flex consideration. Kyle Boller will start at quarterback for the Rams, though despite the favorable matchup on paper he is not an advised fantasy option.

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