Commentary

Week 1 inactives

Updated: September 9, 2012, 7:11 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com

Welcome to Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season. Here we'll be posting "live" updates and analysis as NFL teams release their inactive lists. Refresh often for the latest information!

For a complete report of all NFL inactives, click here.

Ruled out before Sunday: RB James Starks (toe), WR Golden Tate (knee), RB Shane Vereen (foot).

Top players we're watching

Early games (1 p.m. ET)

WR Austin Collie (head, questionable): inactive
WR Marques Colston (foot, questionable): active
RB Arian Foster (knee, questionable): active
WR Steve Johnson (groin, questionable): active
TE Dustin Keller (hamstring, questionable): active
RB Adrian Peterson (knee, questionable): active
RB Trent Richardson (knee, questionable): active

Late games (4:25 p.m. ET)

RB Brandon Jacobs (knee, questionable): inactive
RB Marshawn Lynch (back, questionable): active
RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle, questionable): inactive
RB Beanie Wells (hamstring, questionable): active

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

RB Rashard Mendenhall (knee, doubtful): inactive

Updates/analysis (most recent first)

Rashard Mendenhall inactive (19:09 p.m. ET): ESPN's Josina Anderson reports that RB Rashard Mendenhall (knee, doubtful) is inactive for the Steelers. This was expected; Mendenhall is still working his way back from knee surgery and shouldn't be counted on in fantasy leagues at least through the month of September. Isaac Redman will get the start in Mendenhall's stead.

Isaac Redman active (19:09 p.m. ET): ESPN's Josina Anderson reports that RB Isaac Redman (ankle, probable) is active. He'll be the Steelers' starting running back and warrants flex-play consideration; we ranked him the No. 30 running back for Week 1.

James Harrison inactive (19:09 p.m. ET): ESPN's Josina Anderson reports that LB James Harrison (knee, questionable) is inactive.

Arrelious Benn inactive (3:11 p.m. ET): The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' official Twitter feed reports that WR Arrelious Benn (knee, questionable) is inactive. The team also reports that Benn should return to action in Week 2, but he's not fantasy-relevant.

Matt Flynn active (3:10 p.m. ET): The Seattle Seahawks' official Twitter feed reports that QB Matt Flynn (right elbow, probable) is active. He'll be the Seahawks' backup quarterback, however, as Russell Wilson stole the gig from him in the preseason. Just providing you the heads up in case you typically ignore the preseason.

Ted Ginn inactive (3:08 p.m. ET): The San Francisco 49ers' official Twitter feed reports that WR Ted Ginn (ankle, questionable) is inactive. Expect the 49ers to use Kyle Williams on punt returns, LaMichael James on kick returns, this week.

Brandon Jacobs inactive (3:06 p.m. ET): The San Francisco 49ers' official Twitter feed reports that RB Brandon Jacobs (knee, questionable) is inactive. This is a plus for Frank Gore, as it virtually guarantees him the goal-line work, which would fuel his fantasy value. Kendall Hunter might take a little of the burden off Gore, but not enough to warrant fantasy consideration.

Marshawn Lynch active (3:04 p.m. ET): The Seattle Seahawks' official Twitter feed reports that RB Marshawn Lynch (back, questionable) is active. He's likely to start and get the bulk of the carries, but backup Robert Turbin will probably be more involved than usual as a change-of-pace back. We ranked Lynch our No. 15 running back for the week accounting his potentially limited role, but that's still a useful RB2.

Beanie Wells active (3:03 p.m. ET): Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports that RB Beanie Wells (hamstring, questionable) is active for the Cardinals. He's likely to split work with backup Ryan Williams considering his injury status, so don't expect much more than flex-play consideration with either.

Steve Smith active (3:01 p.m. ET): The Carolina Panthers' official Twitter feed reports that WR Steve Smith (foot, probable) is active. His status was never really in jeopardy for the week, and we have him ranked our No. 8 wideout for Week 1.

Jonathan Stewart inactive (2:59 p.m. ET): The Carolina Panthers' official Twitter feed reports that RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle, questionable) is inactive. This merely confirms what Stewart himself tweeted earlier this morning.

Alfred Morris to start (12:19 p.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that RB Alfred Morris is expected to start at running back for the Redskins in Week 1. Fantasy owners should prepare accordingly, albeit with the knowledge that we ranked Morris 44th at the position for the week. If you're the gambling type, take a look at Morris as a flex, but remember, Mike Shanahan is still the coach. Just how much do trust his word?

Javon Ringer inactive (12:07 p.m. ET): The Tennessee Titans' official Twitter feed reports that RB Javon Ringer is inactive. The relevance here is that Ringer was expected to serve as Chris Johnson's primary backup, and with him now sidelined, Johnson might be all the more a workhorse in the opener. Darius Reynaud becomes the likely No. 2 back, but he shouldn't receive many touches.

T.Y. Hilton inactive (12:05 p.m. ET): ESPNChicago's Michael C. Wright reports that WR T.Y. Hilton (shoulder, questionable) is inactive. Hilton's absence, coupled with Austin Collie's detailed below, is another plus for Donnie Avery. Avery could warrant WR3/4 status if you play in a league of 12 teams or greater.

Delone Carter inactive (12:05 p.m. ET): ESPNChicago's Michael C. Wright reports that RB Delone Carter (chest, questionable) is inactive. Carter wasn't expected to handle many carries in a backup role this season, so his absence shouldn't be of concern.

Brian Cushing active (12:00 p.m. ET): The Houston Texans' official Twitter feed reports that LB Brian Cushing (ribs, probable) is active. He's Jim McCormick's No. 8 linebacker in this week's "D Up!" rankings and is therefore well worth activating in IDP formats.

Andre Johnson active (12:00 p.m. ET): The Houston Texans' official Twitter feed reports that WR Andre Johnson (chest, probable) is active. Not much doubt here; Johnson was never a threat to sit. He's our No. 3 fantasy wideout for the week and therefore a start in all formats.

J.J. Watt active (12:00 p.m. ET): The Houston Texans' official Twitter feed reports that DE J.J. Watt (elbow, probable) is active. He's Jim McCormick's No. 18 defensive lineman in this week's "D Up!" rankings, meaning he's a solid No. 2 option for IDP owners.

Ben Tate active (12:00 p.m. ET): The Houston Texans' official Twitter feed reports that RB Ben Tate (head, probable) is active. He's not likely to get as many touches this week what with Arian Foster healthy, but Tate might also be utilized more than your typical backup, if you're in a pinch. We ranked him 21st this week, but that was also accounting for the possibility that Foster might sit.

Owen Daniels active (12:00 p.m. ET): The Houston Texans' official Twitter feed reports that TE Owen Daniels (illness, probable) is active. He's a backup-level fantasy tight end, ranked 12th by the group this week. You should be able to find a more productive alternative.

Brandon Flowers inactive (11:55 a.m. ET): The Kansas City Chiefs' official Twitter feed reports that CB Brandon Flowers (foot, questionable) is inactive. This, as well as the Week 1 suspension of Tamba Hali, is a plus for the Falcons, particularly their passing game. Flowers isn't an elite option in IDP formats, so no loss in terms of him specifically, but bump up Matt Ryan and his receivers accordingly.

Derrick Johnson active (11:53 a.m. ET): The Kansas City Chiefs' official Twitter feed reports that LB Derrick Johnson (ankle, questionable) is active. Johnson is Jim McCormick's No. 2 linebacker in this week's "D Up!" rankings, so he's a must-start in all IDP formats.

Santonio Holmes active (11:51 a.m. ET): The New York Jets' official Twitter feed reports that WR Santonio Holmes (ribs, probable) is active. Again, the Jets' offensive woes from the preseason are a concern with Holmes, as they are for Keller, discussed below. We ranked Holmes our No. 29 wideout for the week, so he's a WR3 at best in all formats (if you use that many each week).

Justin Blackmon active (11:48 a.m. ET): The Jacksonville Jaguars' official Twitter feed reports that WR Justin Blackmon (ankle, probable) is active. Blackmon is always going to be limited by the skill set, or lack thereof, of his quarterback Blaine Gabbert. We've ranked Blackmon our No. 35 wideout for the week accordingly.

Trent Richardson active (11:45 a.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that RB Trent Richardson (knee, questionable) is active. We've ranked him our No. 23 running back for the week and have some concerns about his injury, perhaps leading to a more limited role in his NFL debut. That's still a flex-play ranking in most formats, however.

Dustin Keller active (11:44 a.m. ET): ESPN's AFC East blogger James Walker reports that TE Dustin Keller (hamstring, questionable) is active for the Jets. Keller is our No. 14 fantasy tight end for the week, and considering how poor the Jets' passing game looked during the preseason, some caution with him is recommended. Only use him if you're in a pinch or are in a deep league.

Austin Collie inactive (11:41 a.m. ET): ESPNChicago's Michael C. Wright reports that WR Austin Collie (head, questionable) is inactive for the Colts. This grants Donnie Avery an opportunity to start, placing him on a list of players to watch as potentially interesting Week 2 pickups. Avery could be a fantasy option in uber-deep leagues, but for now, he's more worth keeping tabs on in the opener.

Steve Johnson active (11:39 a.m. ET): The Buffalo Bills' official Twitter feed reports that WR Steve Johnson (groin, questionable) is active. He'll start and has a favorable enough career history against Darrelle Revis and the Jets that he's well worth getting into your lineup as a WR2. We ranked Johnson the No. 19 fantasy wideout accordindly.

Arian Foster active (11:36 a.m. ET): The Houston Texans' official Twitter feed reports that RB Arian Foster (knee, questionable) is active. There's a chance that his workload might be limited accounting for his injury, hence our ranking him only our No. 6 running back. But Foster's active status is huge news in fantasy because that's still a must-start valuation. Ben Tate might see additional work in a change-of-pace or run-out-the-clock role, but don't use him unless you play in a deep league and are in a pinch.

Patrick Chung active (11:34 a.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that S Patrick Chung (shoulder, probable) is active. He was Jim McCormick's No. 16 defensive back in this week's "D Up!" rankings, so get Chung into your lineups in IDP formats.

Marques Colston active (11:32 a.m. ET): The New Orleans Saints' official Twitter feed reports that WR Marques Colston (foot, questionable) is active. If you're a Colston owner who had some fear of his questionable tag, his active status should allay your fears. We ranked him our No. 15 fantasy wideout for the week, meaning he's worth starting in all formats.

Adrian Peterson active (11:30 a.m. ET): The Minnesota Vikings' official Twitter feed reports that RB Adrian Peterson (knee, questionable) is active and will start. Peterson's active status is unsurprising; that he will start, however, might be. We ranked him 43rd among running backs for the week, but that number is rising, and while we have concerns about his fantasy potential in his first game since recovering from major knee surgery, he might make a compelling flex-play case even in 10-team leagues.

Jason Babin active (11:28 a.m. ET): The Philadelphia Eagles' official Twitter feed reports that DE Jason Babin (calf, probable) is active. Babin was Jim McCormick's No. 19 defensive linemen in this week's "D Up!" rankings, so get Babin into your lineups.

Jonathan Stewart says he won't play (10:14 a.m. ET): RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle, questionable) reported via his Twitter account that he is unlikely to play in Week 1. Stewart tweeted: "Sorry panther fans but it Looks like I'll be missing the game opener this year due to my recent ankle sprain!" As the Panthers play during the 4 p.m. ET game block, fantasy owners should prepare as if Stewart will be on the inactives list, meaning RB DeAngelo Williams becomes an all-the-more-attractive fantasy option facing a poor Bucs run defense. We ranked Williams the No. 12 running back this week; he might even make a case for borderline top-10 value.