Commentary

Week 2 inactives

Updated: September 20, 2012, 9:51 AM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com

Welcome to Week 2 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 full list of Sunday's NFL inactives, Click here.

Ruled out before Sunday: WR Jacoby Ford (foot, out), WR Devery Henderson (concussion, out), RB Fred Jackson (knee, out), RB Rashad Jennings (knee, out), TE Dustin Keller (hamstring, out), WR David Nelson (knee, out), RB Javon Ringer (elbow, out), RB Daniel Thomas (concussion, out).

Top players we're watching

Early games (1 p.m. ET)

WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring, questionable): active
WR Jeremy Maclin (hip, questionable): active
WR Hakeem Nicks (foot, questionable): active
WR Steve Smith (CAR) (knee, questionable): active
RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle, questionable): active

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

WR Kenny Britt (knee, questionable): active
WR Pierre Garcon (foot, questionable): inactive
TE Antonio Gates (ribs, questionable): inactive
QB Jake Locker (left shoulder, questionable): active
RB Ryan Mathews (shoulder, questionable): inactive
RB Rashard Mendenhall (knee, doubtful): inactive
WR Nate Washington (calf, questionable): active

Updates/analysis (most recent first)

Calvin Johnson active (19:10 p.m. ET): The Detroit Lions' official Twitter feed reports that WR Calvin Johnson (foot, probable) is active. Not that there was any doubt. Even going up against the 49ers, Johnson is too elite a talent to ever consider sitting in fantasy. We've ranked him our No. 1 wideout.

Stephen Hill active (3:14 p.m. ET): The New York Jets' official Twitter feed reports that WR Stephen Hill (calf, probable) is active. He's coming off a breakout Week 1, but faces a far stiffer pass defense in that of the Steelers, even with them missing some key personnel. Don't regard Hill much more than a WR4/flex in larger leagues, as he might now warrant a ranking higher than our No. 47 group rank, but we're talking only by a few spots.

Troy Polamalu inactive (3:12 p.m. ET): The Pittsburgh Steelers' official Twitter feed reports that S Troy Polamalu (calf, questionable) is inactive.

James Harrison inactive (3:12 p.m. ET): The Pittsburgh Steelers' official Twitter feed reports that LB James Harrison (knee, questionable) is inactive.

Jake Locker active (3:10 p.m. ET): The Tennessee Titans' official Twitter feed reports that QB Jake Locker (left shoulder, questionable) is active. He'll get the start at quarterback, though he's not a recommended fantasy option, especially accounting for his questionable tag. We ranked Locker our No. 24 quarterback this week.

Nate Washington active (3:10 p.m. ET): The Tennessee Titans' official Twitter feed reports that WR Nate Washington (calf, questionable) is active. He'll start, but probably shouldn't for most fantasy teams, classifying as a WR4 with a No. 37 ranking by our experts. Remember, in addition to his own injury questions, his quarterback, Jake Locker, is also coming back from a shoulder problem.

Kenny Britt active (3:10 p.m. ET): The Tennessee Titans' official Twitter feed reports that WR Kenny Britt (knee, questionable) is active. Britt should be closely watched by fantasy owners, as he has the ability to dominate the leaderboard on sheer talent in any given week. That said, this is his first game all year and his quarterback has been nursing a shoulder issue. Take a wait-and-see approach.

Jason Witten active (3:06 p.m. ET): Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com reports that TE Jason Witten (abdomen, probable) is active for the Cowboys. Witten pushed himself to play in the season opener and the injury impact on him showed, but he has had 10 days since to rest and should only be healthier this week. We ranked him our No. 9 tight end for the week.

Miles Austin active (3:06 p.m. ET): Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com reports that WR Miles Austin (hamstring, probable) is active for the Cowboys. He has had 10 days since the season opener to rest, so he should be closer to his usual self, but remember that this is a much tougher matchup for him than the Giants were. He's our No. 17 fantasy wideout, meaning he's a clear WR2.

DeMarco Murray active (3:06 p.m. ET): Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com reports that RB DeMarco Murray (wrist, probable) is active for the Cowboys. Going up against the Seahawks' run defense, Murray has his work cut out for him. We ranked him eighth this week, however, accounting for his exceptional running skills and the prospect of a hefty number of touches. Expect him to overcome this challenging matchup.

Rashard Mendenhall inactive (3:03 p.m. ET): The Pittsburgh Steelers' official Twitter feed reports that RB Rashard Mendenhall (knee, doubtful) is inactive. It was asking a lot for him to return from knee surgery this quickly, and the "doubtful" tag should've scared fantasy owners away besides. Jonathan Dwyer is active, so he'll share the backfield with Isaac Redman for another week.

Jonathan Dwyer active (3:03 p.m. ET): The Pittsburgh Steelers' official Twitter feed reports that RB Jonathan Dwyer (foot, probable) is active. He might get the bulk of the carries ahead of Isaac Redman after having the more productive Week 1, and we rank Dwyer our No. 27 fantasy running back for the week accordingly.

Ryan Mathews inactive (3:00 p.m. ET): Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that RB Ryan Mathews (shoulder, questionable) is inactive. Just as Adam Schefter reported this morning. Ronnie Brown and Curtis Brinkley will share the rushing chores in Mathews' absence.

Antonio Gates inactive (2:58 p.m. ET): Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that TE Antonio Gates (ribs, questionable) is inactive for the Chargers. This is probably the most shocking development on the inactives front in Week 2. With Gates out, fantasy owners are left scrambling for a replacement, with Randy McMichael set to replace Gates in the lineup. McMichael, however, isn't as handy a replacement for our purposes.

Sidney Rice active (2:52 p.m. ET): The Seattle Seahawks' official Twitter feed reports that WR Sidney Rice (knee, probable) is active. He's our No. 36-ranked wideout for the week, accounting for both his checkered injury history as well as a so-so matchup against the Cowboys.

Marshawn Lynch active (2:51 p.m. ET): The Seattle Seahawks' official Twitter feed reports that RB Marshawn Lynch (back, probable) is active. He wasn't any threat to sit, and is our No. 9 running back for the week.

Aldrick Robinson to start (2:39 p.m. ET): The Washington Redskins' official Twitter feed reports that Aldrick Robinson indeed will start this week.

Pierre Garcon inactive (2:37 p.m. ET): The Washington Redskins' official Twitter feed reports that WR Pierre Garcon (foot, questionable) is inactive. Aldrick Robinson should see the greatest increase in snaps in Garcon's absence, perhaps starting across from Josh Morgan. Neither is a recommended fantasy option outside of the deepest of leagues, but Robinson's performance bears watching.

Ryan Mathews unlikely to play (12:01 p.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reported early this morning that RB Ryan Mathews (shoulder, questionable) is unlikely to play for the Chargers. Prepare your fantasy lineup accordingly, removing Mathews if at all possible. Ronnie Brown and Curtis Brinkley will share the rushing chores in Mathews' likely absence.

Austin Collie inactive (11:57 a.m. ET): Phillip B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star reports that WR Austin Collie (head, doubtful) is inactive for the Colts. Collie wasn't expected to play, meaning Donnie Avery will start for a second consecutive week. The Colts might be throwing for most of the day, and against a mediocre Vikings pass defense at that, so Avery could be a hail-mary style play in the deepest of leagues. It's Reggie Wayne -- our No. 19 wideout -- whom we like best facing this matchup.

Brandon Flowers active (11:55 a.m. ET): The Kansas City Chiefs' official Twitter feed reports that CB Brandon Flowers (foot, questionable) is active. He's not much of an IDP option, but the significance is that it was Flowers' absence in Week 1 that contributed to the Chiefs' awful defensive peformance against the Falcons. At least Flowers' healthy return gives their pass defense a fighting chance.

Chris Ogbonnaya active (11:53 a.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that RB Chris Ogbonnaya (ankle, probable) is active. The significance here is that fellow Browns RB Brandon Jackson is inactive, leaving Ogbonnaya and Montario Hardesty as the team's primary backups. None of these players is recommended, but if you're of the belief that Trent Richardson's handcuff matters, this is evidence that he doesn't.

J.J. Watt active (11:49 a.m. ET): The Houston Texans' official Twitter feed reports that DE J.J. Watt (elbow, probable) is active. He's Jim McCormick's No. 7 defensive lineman in this week's IDP rankings, putting him in the must-start class at his position in the format.

Arian Foster active (11:49 a.m. ET): The Houston Texans' official Twitter feed reports that RB Arian Foster (illness, probable) is active. There wasn't any significant concern that he'd sit, and his Week 1 workload certainly inspired confidence in his health. Foster should be a workhorse facing a poor Jaguars defense, and he's our No. 1 running back of the week.

Brian Cushing active (11:49 a.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 for the week, which puts him in the top tier of starters at his position in the format.

Bernard Scott inactive (11:47 a.m. ET): The Cincinnati Bengals' official Twitter feed reports that RB Bernard Scott (hand, questionable) is inactive. This is more a plus for BenJarvus Green-Ellis' workload than anything, as Scott won't be around to provide a breather. "Lawfirm" is up to the task and he's facing a sorry run defense. It is therefore no surprise that he is our No. 17 running back for the week, and I'd say that we underranked him; I'd give him a 2-3 spot bump, easily.

Trent Richardson active (11:45 a.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that RB Trent Richardson (knee, probable) is active. He's still working himself back to full health, and it showed in his Week 1 performance. Richardson is our No. 21 fantasy running back for the week, meaning he's more a flex play than anything at this stage of season.

Ed Reed active (11:44 a.m. ET): The Baltimore Ravens' official Twitter feed reports that S Ed Reed (thigh, probable) is active. He's Jim McCormick's No. 26 defensive back in this week's IDP rankings, which puts him on the lower tiers of fantasy options in those formats. However, Reed's presence is a boon to the Ravens' D/ST in team-based defensive leagues.

Patrick Chung active (11:43 a.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that S Patrick Chung (shoulder, probable) is active. He's Jim McCormick's No. 11 defensive back in this week's IDP rankings, meaning he's a solid No. 2 option in those formats.

Ryan Williams active (11:42 a.m. ET): The Arizona Cardinals' official Twitter feed reports that RB Ryan Williams (knee, probable) is active. He's likely to share carries with Beanie Wells, not to mention the Cardinals might not be running much at all late in the game, facing a treacherous assignment against the Patriots. We ranked Williams our No. 33 fantasy running back for the week, and Wells 32nd.

Patrick Peterson active (11:42 a.m. ET): The Arizona Cardinals' official Twitter feed reports that CB Patrick Peterson (groin, questionable) is active. His presence is a plus in both IDP formats and to the D/ST, as he's an explosive return man. However, considering the matchup against the Patriots, any advantage Peterson provides on special teams will be negated by what'll probably be poor defensive numbers. Avoid Arizona's D/ST regardless of this news.

Victor Cruz active (11:39 a.m. ET): The New York Giants' official Twitter feed reports that WR Victor Cruz (not injury related, probable) is active. There was never really any doubt that he'd play, and keep in mind that fellow wideout Hakeem Nicks was questionable entering the week. Cruz is our No. 9 fantasy wideout for the week.

Steve Smith active (11:37 a.m. ET): The Carolina Panthers' official Twitter feed reports that WR Steve Smith (knee, questionable) is active. He'll be facing a Saints defense expected to be missing two of its cornerbacks, so don't sweat his injury status. This is a favorable matchup and we ranked him our No. 5 wideout for the week.

Jonathan Stewart active (11:37 a.m. ET): The Carolina Panthers' official Twitter feed reports that RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle, questionable) is active. He's not expected to start; DeAngelo Williams will instead. As Stewart's injury might limit him, the Panthers might limit his touches accordingly. Neither back is a recommended fantasy play, with Stewart our 30th-ranked at running back, Williams 31st.

Prince Amukamara inactive (11:36 a.m. ET): The New York Giants' official Twitter feed reports that CB Prince Amukamara (ankle, questionable) is inactive. This is a plus for the Bucs' passing game, so bump up players like Josh Freeman, Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams accordingly. It's Williams whose fantasy stock might get a bump; he could warrant WR4/flex consideration if you're in a pinch in a larger league.

Jeremy Maclin active (11:33 a.m. ET): The Philadelphia Eagles' official Twitter feed reports that WR Jeremy Maclin (hip, questionable) is active. He will start, per ESPN's Sal Paolantonio. It's difficult to pick and choose between the two Eagles wideouts, but Maclin was the better of the two in fantasy in Week 1. He's our No. 24 ranked wideout for the week.

DeSean Jackson active (11:33 a.m. ET): The Philadelphia Eagles' official Twitter feed reports that WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring, questionable) is active. As with Maclin, Jackson will start, per ESPN's Sal Paolantonio. We rank Jackson our No. 23 fantasy wideout for the week.

John Skelton inactive (11:31 a.m. ET): The Arizona Cardinals' official Twitter feed reports that QB John Skelton (ankle, doubtful) is inactive. Kevin Kolb gets the start, as expected. He'll be tasked with throwing often against the Patriots, yet isn't recommended nevertheless.

Adrian Peterson active (11:30 a.m. ET): The Minnesota Vikings' official Twitter feed reports that RB Adrian Peterson (knee, probable) is active. Coming off an incredible Week 1, Peterson now faces a Colts run defense that was slaughtered by Matt Forte and Michael Bush in Week 1. Naturally, Peterson is our No. 5 fantasy running back for the week.

Hakeem Nicks active (11:27 a.m. ET): Pat Hanlon of the New York Giants reports that WR Hakeem Nicks (foot, questionable) is active. He's our No. 10 wideout facing the mediocre Bucs pass defense.