Commentary

Week 16 inactives

Updated: December 26, 2010, 5:10 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com

Welcome to Sunday of Week 16. On this page, we'll post "live" updates and analysis as NFL teams release their inactive lists. Refresh often for the latest information!

For a complete list of all inactives for every game this week, click here.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Due to the weather in Philadelphia, Sunday night's Vikings-Eagles game has been moved to Tuesday night.

Top players we're watching

As we receive confirmation on inactive lists, we'll post an "active" or "inactive" next to each of the following players' names. Until then, these players have NOT yet been ruled out, but were either listed as questionable or doubtful or were deemed game-time decisions.

Early games (1 p.m. ET)

RB Anthony Dixon (ankle): Active
TE Todd Heap (thigh): Inactive
QB Shaun Hill (right finger): Active, starting
RB Maurice Jones-Drew (knee): Inactive
WR Mike Sims-Walker (ankle): Active
QB Drew Stanton (left shoulder): Active, but backup

Late games (4 p.m. ET)

RB Joseph Addai (neck): Active
WR Malcom Floyd (hamstring): Inactive
WR Andre Johnson (ankle): Inactive
RB Knowshon Moreno (ribs): Active
WR Chad Ochocinco (ankle): Inactive
QB Kyle Orton (ribs): Inactive (No. 3 QB)

Players ruled out before Sunday

TE Antonio Gates (toe), RB Mike Hart (ankle), TE Aaron Hernandez (hip), TE Michael Hoomanawanui (ankle)

Updates/analysis (most recent first)

2:57 p.m. ET -- James Starks inactive -- The Packers' official Twitter feed reports that James Starks is inactive. This is the same arrangement as last week, when Brandon Jackson, John Kuhn and Dimitri Nance formed a timeshare in the Packers' backfield. Jackson was the leading man, but he's not a great fantasy option here, as the team probably won't be able to successfully run 34 times on the Giants' defense.

2:54 p.m. ET -- Kellen Winslow active -- The Seahawks' official Twitter feed reports that TE Kellen Winslow (knee) is active for the opposing Buccaneers. He has the sixth-most targets among tight ends this season, so he should remain involved enough to be a worthwhile starter in the majority of fantasy leagues.

2:51 p.m. ET -- Chris Clemons active -- The Seahawks' official Twitter feed reports that DE Chris Clemons (ankle) is active.

2:50 p.m. ET -- Aaron Rodgers active -- The Packers' official Twitter feed reports that QB Aaron Rodgers (concussion) is active. He missed Week 15 with his concussion, is a bit of a risk for in-game setbacks and will be facing a tough-as-nails pass rush. That said, Rodgers is a special talent, one who can single-handedly win your fantasy week. It's a chance you should take in the vast majority of leagues.

2:50 p.m. ET -- Woodson, Matthews active -- The Packers' official Twitter feed reports that LB Clay Matthews (shin) and CB Charles Woodson (toe) are both active. Woodson is Jim McCormick's No. 4 defensive back and Matthews his No. 9 linebacker in this week's "D Up!" rankings, so obviously keep both in your lineup in all IDP formats.

2:49 p.m. ET -- Joseph Addai active -- ESPN's AFC South Blog reports that RB Joseph Addai (neck) is active, while RBs Mike Hart (ankle) and Javarris James are inactive. Addai is expected to start, and the matchup is favorable enough that he can be slotted in as a flex consideration. Donald Brown will be the backup, though he's not an advised fantasy play with Addai back in action.

2:45 p.m. ET -- Kyle Orton the inactive No. 3 QB -- The Broncos' official Twitter feed reports that QB Kyle Orton (ribs) is the inactive No. 3 quarterback. Tim Tebow was already named the starter earlier in the week, and he's a useful plug-in if you're in a desperate spot, especially in two-quarterback leagues.

2:45 p.m. ET -- Knowshon Moreno active -- The Broncos' official Twitter feed reports that RB Knowshon Moreno (ribs) is active. He should get a healthy number of carries and has a favorable matchup, so even if he's a bit beneath 100 percent, he should be a worthwhile No. 2 fantasy running back.

2:45 p.m. ET -- Demaryius Thomas inactive -- The Broncos' official Twitter feed reports that WR Demaryius Thomas (ankle) is inactive, while WR Eddie Royal (back) is active. Royal isn't an advised fantasy option despite the favorable-on-paper matchup. Brandon Lloyd is the only Broncos wideout you want, and he's more of a No. 2 option with Tim Tebow his quarterback.

2:44 p.m. ET -- Ryan Mathews active -- Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that RB Ryan Mathews (illness) is active. He'll split the carries with Mike Tolbert fairly evenly yet again this week, with Tolbert only slightly smarter a fantasy option because he's the goal-line back. Tolbert is a useful No. 2/flex, Mathews more of a flex play.

2:44 p.m. ET -- Floyd, Crayton inactive -- Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that both WRs Patrick Crayton (wrist) and Malcom Floyd (hamstring) are inactive. Vincent Jackson and Legedu Naanee will once again start and dominate targets among Chargers wide receivers. Jackson's matchup is a favorable one; he's a solid No. 2 option.

2:44 p.m. ET -- Antonio Gates inactive -- Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer confirms that TE Antonio Gates (toe) is inactive. Randy McMichael will start in Gates' place, but he shouldn't be targeted often enough to be a great fill-in option for fantasy teams.

2:43 p.m. ET -- Mario Manningham active -- Pat Hanlon of the Giants' official website reports that WR Mario Manningham (heel) is active. His matchup isn't especially favorable, but the Giants might have to throw a fair share this week, and he's still one of the team's top targets in the receiving game. Consider Manningham a No. 3/4 fantasy wide receiver.

2:43 p.m. ET -- Osi Umenyiora active -- Pat Hanlon of the Giants' official website reports that DE Osi Umenyiora (knee) is active. He's Jim McCormick's No. 6 defensive lineman in this week's "D Up!" rankings, and should be in all IDP lineups.

2:42 p.m. ET -- Matt Schaub active -- The Texans' official Twitter feed reports that QB Matt Schaub (right elbow) is active. Schaub remains an elite fantasy option even without his No. 1 wide receiver; the Texans might rely more on the run but have enough weapons in the passing game to keep the quarterback a top-10 play.

2:42 p.m. ET -- Arian Foster active -- The Texans' official Twitter feed reports that RB Arian Foster (hip) is active. He should dominate a terrible Broncos run defense; they've allowed the most fantasy points per game (standard ESPN scoring) to opposing running backs this season. Foster is a must-start.

2:42 p.m. ET -- Neil Rackers active -- The Texans' official Twitter feed reports that K Neil Rackers (right hamstring) is active. He was the No. 9 kicker in terms of fantasy points entering the week, so this is good news for his fantasy owners.

2:42 p.m. ET -- Brian Cushing active -- The Texans' official Twitter feed reports that LB Brian Cushing (knee) is active.

2:41 p.m. ET -- Zach Miller (OAK) active -- The Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that TE Zach Miller (foot) is active. He sure has looked healthy the past couple weeks, and is again a safe, top-10 fantasy tight end. Expect him to remain heavily involved this week.

2:41 p.m. ET -- Richard Seymour inactive -- The Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that DT Richard Seymour (hamstring) is inactive.

2:33 p.m. ET -- Andre Johnson inactive -- The Texans' official Twitter feed reports that WR Andre Johnson (ankle) is inactive. This isn't entirely surprising but it's still frustrating; get him out of your lineup. Jacoby Jones will start in Johnson's place but isn't more than a desperation option in deeper leagues.

2:31 p.m. ET -- Bernard Scott active -- The Bengals' official Twitter feed reports that RB Bernard Scott (toe) is active. His injury, as well as the depleted wide-receiver corps, should mean regular carries for Cedric Benson. Benson is a useful No. 2/flex. Scott, meanwhile, shouldn't be involved enough to help fantasy teams.

2:31 p.m. ET -- Chad Ochocinco inactive -- The Bengals' official Twitter feed confirms that WR Chad Ochocinco (ankle) is inactive, as mentioned earlier in the day.

11:50 p.m. ET -- Chad Ochocinco to be inactive -- ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that WR Chad Ochocinco (ankle) will be inactive for the Bengals. That's a 4 p.m. ET game, but here's your early word. Expect Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson to do the bulk of the receiving work for the Bengals in Ochocinco's absence, though neither is an advised fantasy option facing the Chargers defense.

11:46 a.m. ET -- Kerry Collins active -- Jim Wyatt of the Nashville Tennesseean reports that QB Kerry Collins (right finger) is active for the Titans. Owners in two-quarterback leagues can feel free to use him, but there are more talented options/stronger matchups to consider for the championship week.

11:46 a.m. ET -- Rob Bironas active -- Jim Wyatt of the Nashville Tennesseean reports that K Rob Bironas (right groin) is active for the Titans. He was the No. 7 kicker in terms of fantasy points entering the week (standard ESPN scoring), so obviously this is good news for his owners.

11:46 a.m. ET -- Jason Babin active -- Jim Wyatt of the Nashville Tennesseean reports that DE Jason Babin (shoulder) is active for the Titans. He was Jim McCormick's No. 5 defensive lineman in this week's "D Up!" rankings, so make sure to get Babin into your IDP lineups.

11:44 a.m. ET -- Derrick Mason active -- The Ravens' official Twitter feed reports that WR Derrick Mason (ankle) is active. He's always reliable for a handful of catches, bolstering his PPR value, but don't consider him more than a No. 3/4 option in standard scoring.

11:44 a.m. ET -- Todd Heap inactive -- The Ravens' official Twitter feed reports that TE Todd Heap (thigh) is inactive. Ed Dickson will get another start in Heap's place, but he's not a strong fantasy fill-in except in the deepest of leagues.

11:43 a.m. ET -- Karlos Dansby inactive -- ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that LB Karlos Dansby (toe) is inactive for the Dolphins.

11:43 a.m. ET -- Earl Bennett active -- Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that WR Earl Bennett (ankle) is active for the Bears. The prospects of several deep throws remains present in any given week, but the Jets' defense does diminish his matchup. Only use Bennett if you're in a pinch at wide receiver.

11:41 a.m. ET -- Mark Sanchez active -- Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that QB Mark Sanchez (right shoulder) is active for the Jets. Jets coach Rex Ryan's comments about Sanchez's shoulder midweek cast some doubt upon his status, though the quarterback's Friday practice appearance at least eased those worries. Weather concerns in Chicago, however, as well as the unsavory matchup against the Bears make him a poor choice in a championship week.

11:41 a.m. ET -- Santonio Holmes active -- Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that WR Santonio Holmes (toe) is active for the Jets. Concern about his own injury as well as Mark Sanchez's, the weather and the poor matchup against the Bears limit his appeal to No. 3 wide receiver status in fantasy. He's not a clear no-go, but prepare accordingly.

11:40 a.m. ET -- Donovan McNabb active, but still backup -- The Redskins' official Twitter feed reports that QB Donovan McNabb (hamstring) is active. He'll serve as Rex Grossman's backup for a second straight week. Grossman is a surprisingly useful fill-in fantasy option, having thrown for 322 yards and four scores in a Week 15 start against the Cowboys, and now he'll face a comparably poor Jaguars defense.

11:40 a.m. ET -- Rocky McIntosh active -- The Redskins' official Twitter feed reports that LB Rocky McIntosh (hamstring) is active.

11:39 a.m. ET -- Mike Sims-Walker active -- The Jaguars' official Twitter feed reports that WR Mike Sims-Walker (ankle) is active. He has been a red-zone option in recent weeks and should continue to do so against the poor Redskins secondary. Consider him a viable No. 3 option.

11:39 a.m. ET -- Kenneth Darby active -- The Rams' official Twitter feed reports that RB Kenneth Darby (chest) is active. He'll remain Steven Jackson's little-used backup, meaning no fantasy value.

11:39 a.m. ET -- Michael Hoomanawanui inactive -- The Rams' official Twitter feed confirms that TE Michael Hoomanawanui (ankle) is inactive. Billy Bajema and Daniel Fells will continue to split up the tight-end work, with Fells the more likely of the two to lead in targets/catches. There shouldn't be enough to make him a fantasy option, however.

11:39 a.m. ET -- Chris Long active -- The Rams' official Twitter feed reports that DE Chris Long (thigh) is active.

11:36 a.m. ET -- Tom Brady active -- The Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that QB Tom Brady (right shoulder) is active. He battled the flu during the practice week and he'll be facing a Bills defense incredibly easy to attack on the ground, meaning there's a prospect he won't be needed for week-leading fantasy stats. That said, the matchup remains favorable and he's far too talented to ever sit in a championship week.

11:36 a.m. ET -- Deion Branch active -- The Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that WR Deion Branch (knee) is active. He's Tom Brady's top deep threat despite his lackluster Week 15 stats, and should be kept active in most formats.

11:36 a.m. ET -- Aaron Hernandez inactive -- The Patriots' official Twitter feed confirms that TE Aaron Hernandez (hip) is inactive. This is frustrating news to Hernandez's owners, but the upshot is that it's great news if you own Rob Gronkowski (or if he's available as a free agent). Gronkowski will now be Tom Brady's go-to tight end in the passing game, against a Bills defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to the position in standard ESPN leagues. Gronkowski also scored one of his seven touchdowns against the Bills in Week 3, and Hernandez's absence does clear up some of the clutter at the position.

11:36 a.m. ET -- Devin McCourty active -- The Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that CB Devin McCourty (rib) is active.

11:35 a.m. ET -- Colt McCoy active -- Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports that QB Colt McCoy (illness) is active for the Browns. He's not a recommended fantasy option going up against the Ravens.

11:35 a.m. ET -- Peyton Hillis active -- Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports that RB Peyton Hillis (knee) is active for the Browns. Hillis' breakout game came against these Ravens in Week 3, but don't count on a repeat accounting for the Ravens' strength defending the run. He's well worth keeping active in all formats, just temper your expectations.

11:35 a.m. ET -- Josh Cribbs active -- Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports that WRs Josh Cribbs (foot) and Chansi Stuckey (thigh) are both active for the Browns. Neither should be targeted enough to be a worthy fantasy option.

11:35 a.m. ET -- Kenyon Coleman active -- Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports that DE Kenyon Coleman (knee) is active for the Browns.

11:32 a.m. ET -- Shaun Hill active, will start -- Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that both QBs Shaun Hill (right finger) and Drew Stanton (left shoulder) are active for the Lions. Hill will start, and Stanton will back him up. This is a positive for fantasy owners, as Hill has the better chance at reliable fantasy numbers if you're in a desperate spot in a two-quarterback league. Try to find a more productive alternative first, of course.

11:31 a.m. ET -- Jahvid Best, Maurice Morris active -- Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that RBs Jahvid Best (toe) and Maurice Morris (chest) are both active for the Lions. Best continues to play through his injuries and as a result splits the rushing work with Morris, diminishing the fantasy appeal of either. The Dolphins stuff the run about as well as anyone; neither Best nor Morris is an advised option. If you must pick one, Morris is probably safer as the healthier of the two.

11:31 a.m. ET -- Calvin Johnson active -- Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) is active for the Lions. Vontae Davis presents a bit of a tough matchup for Johnson, but lesser wideouts have beaten Davis for big games in the past; Johnson will continue to be regularly targeted and should find enough opportunities to remain a top play this week.

11:30 a.m. ET -- Dixon, Westbrook both active -- Matt Maiocco of Comcast SportsNet California reports that both RBs Anthony Dixon (ankle) and Brian Westbrook (not injury related) are active for the 49ers. Expect them to continue sharing the rushing work, with Westbrook taking passing downs and Dixon any goal-line work, but neither is a strong fantasy choice as a result of the time share.

11:30 a.m. ET -- Josh Morgan active -- Matt Maiocco of Comcast SportsNet California reports that WR Josh Morgan (shoulder) is active for the 49ers. The switch at quarterback back to Troy Smith is a negative for Morgan; Morgan had 10 catches for 188 yards and one touchdown the past two weeks combined with Alex Smith throwing to him. Don't get your hopes up.

11:30 a.m. ET -- Spikes, Willis active -- Matt Maiocco of Comcast SportsNet California reports that LBs Takeo Spikes (hand) and Patrick Willis (hand) are both active for the 49ers. Willis is Jim McCormick's No. 6 linebacker in his "D Up!" rankings, so he's a clear IDP start, but Spikes is also a worthy option in those formats.

11:29 a.m. ET -- Maurice Jones-Drew officially inactive -- The Jaguars' official Twitter feed confirms that RB Maurice Jones-Drew (knee) is inactive. There's your official call; see the fantasy spin below.

11:18 a.m. ET -- Maurice Jones-Drew will not play -- ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that RB Maurice Jones-Drew (knee) will not play. It's his first missed game in his career due to injury -- he sat out the 2007 finale when the Jaguars rested players -- and it opens up the starting role for Rashad Jennings. The Redskins have allowed eight touchdowns and 24.7 fantasy points per game (standard ESPN scoring) in their past six, so Jennings is a standout fill-in candidate if you need one.

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