Commentary

Week 2 inactives

Updated: September 18, 2011, 3:21 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com

Welcome to Week 2. Here we'll be posting "live" updates and analysis as NFL teams release their inactive lists. Refresh often for the latest information!

For a full list of inactives for every NFL game, click here.

Top players we're watching

Ruled out before Sunday: WR Jon Baldwin (thumb), TE Travis Beckum (hamstring), WR Marques Colston (shoulder), WR Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring), WR Jacoby Ford (hamstring), K Garrett Hartley (right hip), QB Peyton Manning (neck), WR Louis Murphy (groin), WR Sidney Rice (shoulder), WR Sammie Stroughter (foot), WR Demaryius Thomas (finger), RB Derrick Ward (ankle)

Early games (1 p.m. ET)

TE Chris Cooley (knee, questionable): active
WR Santonio Holmes (knee, questionable): active
WR Calvin Johnson (ankle, questionable): active
TE Marcedes Lewis (calf, doubtful): inactive
WR Lance Moore (groin, questionable): active
WR Roy Williams (groin, questionable): inactive

Late games (4 p.m. ET)

WR Dez Bryant (thigh, questionable): inactive
WR Michael Crabtree (feet, questionable): inactive
RB Arian Foster (hamstring, questionable): active
WR Brandon Lloyd (groin, questionable): inactive
RB Knowshon Moreno (hamstring, questionable): inactive

Updates/analysis (most recent first)

Daniel Thomas active (15:02 p.m. ET): Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that RB Daniel Thomas (hamstring, probable) is active. The Dolphins will probably give Thomas a noticeable chunk of work, but he's still second on the depth chart to Reggie Bush. Bush's fantasy value takes a hit; he's more of a flex play. Thomas, meanwhile, should be kept on benches for now.

Knowshon Moreno inactive (14:52 p.m. ET): The Denver Broncos' official Twitter feed reports that RB Knowshon Moreno (hamstring, questionable) is inactive. Willis McGahee will get the start with Lance Ball backing him up. McGahee already had a leg up in the competition for goal-line carries, and his starter status elevates him to a No. 2/flex (think borderline top-20) fantasy play.

Brandon Lloyd inactive (14:52 p.m. ET): The Denver Broncos' official Twitter feed reports that WR Brandon Lloyd (groin, questionable) is inactive. Eddie Royal and Eric Decker will be asked to take on more of the receiving chores, but as the Broncos are more of a run-based offense these days, neither warrants a look except in deeper leagues.

Derrick Ward inactive (14:51 p.m. ET): The Houston Texans' official Twitter feed reports that RB Derrick Ward (ankle, out) is inactive. Arian Foster will start with Ben Tate backing him up.

Kevin Walter inactive (14:51 p.m. ET): The Houston Texans' official Twitter feed reports that WR Kevin Walter (shoulder, questionable) is inactive. He was expected to sit. Return specialist Jacoby Jones should see increased work in the passing game and is an intriguing Week 2 sleeper.

Ben Tate active (14:50 p.m. ET): The Houston Texans' official Twitter feed reports that RB Ben Tate (quadriceps, probable) is active. He'll serve as Arian Foster's backup, but a healthy Foster means that Tate will see only a handful of carries. You should be able to do better.

Arian Foster active (14:49 p.m. ET): The Houston Texans' official Twitter feed reports that RB Arian Foster (hamstring, questionable) is active. This is the big one, but his being active was also expected. I remain firm in projecting that he won't play quite as many snaps as usual, but there's no reason he shouldn't be a No. 2 option in most every league.

Andy Dalton active (14:48 p.m. ET): Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that QB Andy Dalton (right wrist, probable) is active. The rookie is not advised in fantasy leagues.

Rob Gronkowski active (14:46 p.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring, probable) is active. The Patriots roll out two tight end sets frequently enough that both Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are worth activating in most leagues.

Michael Crabtree inactive (14:44 p.m. ET): Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that WR Michael Crabtree (feet, questionable) is inactive. Apparently the 49ers didn't want to risk him playing with pain, so Braylon Edwards and Josh Morgan will do the bulk of the receiving work. Neither is a top-shelf fantasy option even with either expected to receive a few more targets.

Miles Austin active (14:42 p.m. ET): Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that WR Miles Austin (knee, probable) is active. Not that this is any surprise, but keep in mind that Dez Bryant's absence is a huge plus for Austin, who should see an increase in targets accordingly. Jason Witten also gets a bump in value.

Dez Bryant inactive (14:35 p.m. ET): Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com reports that WR Dez Bryant (thigh, questionable) is inactive. Kevin Ogletree will take over Bryant's spot as the X receiver, but Ogletree has never shown enough in the offense to warrant fantasy consideration outside of the deepest of leagues.

The 4 p.m. inactives should begin approximately 2:30 p.m. ET.

That's it for the 1 p.m. ET games' skill-position players. Among the 4 p.m.'s, here's what we know: ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that WR Dez Bryant (thigh, questionable) is "scheduled to test [his] quad injury pre-game but [the] Cowboys still do not expect him to play." All indications, meanwhile, are that RB Arian Foster (hamstring, questionable) will play, but RB Knowshon Moreno (hamstring, questionable) will not. My opinion on Foster: No. 18 running back for the week -- group ranked him closer to 10 -- and I think the Texans will employ some sort of rotation with Ben Tate. Foster appears safe to start, but temper your expectations somewhat.

Anthony Gonzalez, Blair White active (12:03 p.m. ET): Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports that WRs Anthony Gonzalez (hamstring, questionable) and Blair White (back, questionable) are active. They're depth options, however, and shouldn't see enough targets to warrant fantasy consdieration.

Reggie Wayne active (12:03 p.m. ET): Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports that WR Reggie Wayne (not injury related, probable) is active. No surprise; he's one of the few "sure things" in the Colts' offense right now.

Peyton Manning inactive (12:02 p.m. ET): Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports that QB Peyton Manning (neck, out) is inactive. Kerry Collins gets another start; after his miserable Week 1 it's understandable that fantasy owners want no part of him. He'll probably improve -- even if only because he can't be much worse -- but you should look elsewhere for quarterback help.

Jerricho Cotchery inactive (12:01 p.m. ET): The Pittsburgh Steelers' official Twitter feed reports that WR Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring, out) is inactive. He's a depth receiver in an offense with several more talented wideouts ahead of him on the depth chart. Cut him if he's eating up roster space.

Hines Ward active (12:00 p.m. ET): The Pittsburgh Steelers' official Twitter feed reports that WR Hines Ward (not injury related) is active. He wasn't expected to sit. Count on No. 3 fantasy wideout type numbers, as while he's not one of the game's elite at this stage of his career, he's one of the more reliable lower-level options, especially in PPR.

Sidney Rice inactive (11:58 a.m. ET): The Seattle Seahawks' official Twitter feed reports that WR Sidney Rice (shoulder, out) is inactive. It was expected; Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu will be the Seahawks' starters against a tough-as-nails Steelers matchup. If you can find a better alternative elsewhere, do it.

Plaxico Burress, Derrick Mason active (11:55 a.m. ET): The New York Jets' official Twitter feed reports that WRs Plaxico Burress (ankle, probable) and Derrick Mason (knee, probable) are both active. Santonio Holmes' active status ensures that Mason will be little used, and it's also a negative for Burress, who stood to benefit most should Holmes have sat. Perhaps there'll be an even split of the targets between Burress and Holmes, and since it's a Jaguars matchup and oh-so-soft, both are worth having in your lineup.

Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy inactive (11:53 a.m. ET): Paul Gutierrez of Comcast SportsNet California reports that WRs Jacoby Ford (hamstring, out) and Louis Murphy (groin, out) are both inactive. Chaz Schilens and Denarius Moore will be the Raiders' starting wideouts, if you need to dig this deep so early in the fantasy season.

Roy Williams inactive (11:49 a.m. ET): Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that WR Roy Williams (groin, questionable) is inactive. Ah, such good news for Johnny Knox, who will return to the starting lineup after being a backup in Week 1. Knox has a solid matchup in what could develop into a shootout; he's worth a look as your No. 3 wideout.

Marion Barber inactive (11:49 a.m. ET): Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that RB Marion Barber (calf, doubtful) is inactive. This leaves Kahlil Bell as Matt Forte's backup, and it means Forte will be the workhorse this week, taking practically every carry (especially the important ones at the goal line).

Javon Ringer active (11:48 a.m. ET): The Tennessee Titans' official Twitter feed reports that RB Javon Ringer (back, probable) is active. He'll serve as Chris Johnson's backup, but Johnson is expected to get a full load of carries this week, leaving little remaining for Ringer.

Nate Washington active (11:48 a.m. ET): The Tennessee Titans' official Twitter feed reports that WR Nate Washington (not injury related) is active. He's only an option in deeper leagues, due to his modest weekly target totals.

Darrius Heyward-Bey inactive (11:45 a.m. ET): ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (knee, questionable) is inactive. No word yet on the other Raiders receivers. Stay tuned.

Kevin Boss inactive (11:45 a.m. ET): ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that TE Kevin Boss (knee, questionable) is inactive. Brandon Myers will earn another start, though he shouldn't garner enough targets to be a fantasy consideration.

Steve Johnson active (11:44 a.m. ET): The Buffalo Bills' official Twitter feed reports that WR Steve Johnson (groin, probable) is active. He's a solid fantasy option as the Bills' No. 1 target in the passing game.

Chris Cooley active (11:42 a.m. ET): The Washington Redskins' official Twitter feed reports that TE Chris Cooley (knee, questionable) is active. He's no automatic in fantasy, however; Fred Davis is very much involved in the offense. The Redskins do go to two tight-end sets fairly often, which helps both options, but given the choice, Davis might be the safer pick if you must choose from these two.

Santonio Holmes active (11:40 a.m. ET): ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that WR Santonio Holmes (knee, questionable) is active. This is excellent news for Holmes' owners, who have been salivating over his matchup with the Jaguars all week. He's got the go-ahead to activate in fantasy, what with the matchup more than overcoming the health risk.

Mohamed Massaquoi active (11:39 a.m. ET): Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports that WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring, probable) is active. He's a "starter," but that often doesn't mean much in fantasy. Massaquoi isn't an advised option in fantasy because of his inconsistent track record.

Lee Evans active (11:37 a.m. ET): The Baltimore Ravens' official Twitter feed reports that WR Lee Evans (ankle, probable) is active. He had a forgettable Week 1 fantasy-wise, and might disappoint at any given time; his history is unpredictable statistically. Regard him only a No. 3/4 wideout.

Vonta Leach active (11:37 a.m. ET): The Baltimore Ravens' official Twitter feed reports that RB Vonta Leach (foot, probable) is active. It's a plus for Ray Rice; Rice is a must-start across the board.

Jermichael Finley active (11:36 a.m. ET): The Green Bay Packers' official Twitter feed reports that TE Jermichael Finley (ankle, probable) is active. Don't sweat his listing on the injury report or his "lackluster" Week 1; he's a critical part of this pass attack and should be targeted regularly every game he's healthy.

Sammie Stroughter inactive (11:34 a.m. ET): The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' official Twitter feed reports that WR Sammie Stroughter (foot, out) is inactive. Preston Parker is expected to inherit his slot-receiver role, but he's not recommended in fantasy.

Kellen Winslow active (11:34 a.m. ET): The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' official Twitter feed reports that TE Kellen Winslow (not injury related) is active. He remains a useful, low-end No. 1 tight end.

LaRod Stephens-Howling inactive (11:32 a.m. ET): The Arizona Cardinals' official Twitter feed reports that RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (hand, questionable) is inactive. Chester Taylor, meanwhile, is active for the first time for the Cardinals. He's not a significant threat to Beanie Wells' touches, however, after Wells excelled in Week 1. Consider Wells a solid No. 2 fantasy option.

Calvin Johnson active (11:31 a.m. ET): The Lions' official website reports that WR Calvin Johnson (ankle, questionable) is active. There wasn't a significant chance that Megatron was going to sit this week, but his injury did bear watching. He's got the go-ahead, and that includes for his fantasy owners. Expect him to be a key part of the offense with solid stats.

Jon Baldwin inactive (11:30 a.m. ET): Josh Looney of the Chiefs' official website reports that WR Jon Baldwin (thumb, out) is inactive.

Maurice Jones-Drew active (11:28 a.m. ET): The Jacksonville Jaguars' official Twitter feed reports that RB Maurice Jones-Drew (not injury related) is active. No surprise. While this is a challenging matchup for him on paper, the Jaguars' offense flows through Jones-Drew. Expect a run-heavy attack even against the Jets, and a good 20-plus touches.

Marcedes Lewis inactive (11:27 a.m. ET): The Jacksonville Jaguars' official Twitter feed reports that TE Marcedes Lewis (calf, doubtful) is inactive. This was expected; Zach Miller will start and take over his role in the offense. Miller might see a few more targets than usual, but we'd hope you have a more reliable fill-in for the week.

Lance Moore active (11:24 a.m. ET): The New Orleans Saints' official Twitter feed reports that WR Lance Moore (groin, questionable) is active. He's probably behind both Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem in the pecking order this week, but his role bears watching for future week matchups.

Marques Colston inactive (11:22 a.m. ET): The New Orleans Saints' official Twitter feed reports that WR Marques Colston (shoulder, out) is inactive. This was expected; Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem will each see an increase in targets accordingly. Henderson is the more boom-or-bust of the two; Meachem is the more middle-of-the-line No. 3 option for the week.

Garrett Hartley inactive (11:22 a.m. ET): The New Orleans Saints' official Twitter feed reports that K Garrett Hartley (right hip, out) is inactive. As expected. John Kasay will kick for the Saints yet again.

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