Commentary

Week 7 inactives

Updated: October 21, 2012, 7:19 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com

Welcome to Week 7 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 list of NFL inactives, click here

Ruled out before Sunday: WR Danny Amendola (shoulder), RB Brandon Bolden (knee), RB Donald Brown (knee), TE Jimmy Graham (ankle), WR Alshon Jeffery (hand), WR Greg Jennings (groin), QB Kevin Kolb (ribs), QB Jake Locker (left shoulder), RB Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles), RB DeMarco Murray (foot), RB Isaac Redman (ankle), RB Javon Ringer (knee), WR Laurent Robinson (concussion).

Top players we're watching

Early games (1 p.m. ET)

RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot, questionable): active
WR Dez Bryant (groin, questionable): active
TE Jermichael Finley (shoulder, probable): active
WR Pierre Garcon (foot, doubtful): inactive
RB Trent Richardson (chest, questionable): active

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

TE Rob Gronkowski (hip, questionable): active
TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle, questionable): active
WR Wes Welker (ankle, questionable): active

Updates/analysis (most recent first)

Andrew Hawkins active (7:19 p.m. ET): WR Andrew Hawkins (back, probable) is active for the Cincinnati Bengals. Hawkins has had modest fantasy numbers despite favorable matchups the past two weeks, explaining our No. 35 ranking of him among wideouts this week. He's a bye-week fill-in

Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman inactive (7:13 p.m. ET): The Steelers' official website confirms that RBs Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles', out) and RB Isaac Redman (ankle, out) are both inactive for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both had previously been declared out, leaving the Steelers' backfield in the hands of Jonathan Dwyer, Baron Batch and Chris Rainey. Dwyer is the probable starter and team leader in carries, making him the flex-play plug-in for fantasy owners to trust. We ranked him our No. 23 running back for Week 7.

Lawrence Timmons active (7:13 p.m. ET): The Steelers' official inactives report confirms that LB Lawrence Timmons (foot, probable) is active for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He's Jim McCormick's No. 25 linebacker for the week, making him a lower-end IDP option or a potential bye-week plug-in.

Stephen Hill active (3:07 p.m. ET): The New York Jets' official Twitter feed reports that WR Stephen Hill (hamstring, probable) is active. He's our No. 39 wideout for the week, meaning he's a bye-week fill-in at best.

Dustin Keller active (3:07 p.m. ET): The New York Jets' official Twitter feed reports that TE Dustin Keller (hamstring, probable) is active. Keller hasn't made much of a fantasy impact as of yet, and we'd like to see his target total increase before we rank him as an option for our purposes. He checks in at No. 17 for Week 7.

Jeremy Kerley active (3:07 p.m. ET): The New York Jets' official Twitter feed reports that WR Jeremy Kerley (finger, probable) is active. Kerley continues to serve as the Jets' de facto No. 1 wideout, which explains our No. 30 ranking of him for the week. Don't expect any miracles, however.

Bilal Powell inactive (3:07 p.m. ET): The New York Jets' official Twitter feed reports that RB Bilal Powell (shoulder, doubtful) is inactive. He wasn't expected to play, but with Powell out, the Jets are sure to put almost all of the rushing chores on Shonn Greene. Take note if you own Greene.

Patrick Chung inactive (3:05 p.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that S Patrick Chung (shoulder, questionable) is inactive.

Julian Edelman active (3:05 p.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that WR Julian Edelman (hand, questionable) is active. With Edelman out, Wes Welker has no competition for snaps out of the slot, further cementing his status as a must-start in all formats.

Rob Gronkowski active (3:05 p.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that TE Rob Gronkowski (hip, questionable) is active. Gronkowski is our No. 1 tight end for the week, going up against a Jets team that isn't as good as its Week 6 numbers.

Aaron Hernandez active (3:05 p.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle, questionable) is active. Hernandez is only getting healthier with each passing week, and his questionable tag shouldn't be of severe concern after his nine-point fantasy Week 6. He should play more snaps this week than last and is our No. 3 tight end for Week 7.

Wes Welker active (3:05 p.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that WR Wes Welker (ankle, questionable) is active. What a surprise. The Patriots continue to pace the league in questionable tags-turned-active, and Welker's health was never seriously in doubt here. Once again Tom Brady's go-to guy in the passing game, Welker is our No. 6 wideout for Week 7.

Sebastian Janikowski active (3:01 p.m. ET): The Oakland Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that K Sebastian Janikowski (left groin, probable) is active. Janikowski checks in as our No. 6 kicker for the week.

Taiwan Jones inactive (3:01 p.m. ET): The Oakland Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that RB Taiwan Jones (knee, questionable) is inactive. Mike Goodson will serve as the Raiders' little-used backup running back this week.

Darren McFadden active (3:01 p.m. ET): The Oakland Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that RB Darren McFadden (shoulder, probable) is active. No worries here. McFadden is going up against a Jaguars defense that has allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. He's our No. 3 running back for Week 7.

Denarius Moore active (3:01 p.m. ET): The Oakland Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that WR Denarius Moore (shoulder, probable) is active. Moore continues to pace Raiders wideouts in targets, though he's going up against a Jaguars defense softer against the run than the pass. We ranked him 23rd at the position accordingly.

Brandon Myers active (3:01 p.m. ET): The Oakland Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that TE Brandon Myers (ear, probable) is active. Myers is an intriguing bye-week plug-in, more involved in the Raiders' pass attack than expected, which is why he's our No. 16 tight end for the week. Still, the Jaguars have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the position, so keep your expectations realistic.

Johnathan Joseph active (12:14 p.m. ET): The Houston Texans' official Twitter feed reports that CB Johnathan Joseph (groin, questionable) is active. He's likely to play limited snaps this week, capping his IDP appeal -- Jim McCormick did not rank him this week with good reason -- but Joseph's active status is a negative for the Ravens' passing game. Heads up if you're a Joe Flacco owner.

Kyle Williams active (12:12 p.m. ET): The Buffalo Bills' official Twitter feed reports that DT Kyle Williams (ankle, questionable) is active. He's Jim McCormick's No. 21 defensive lineman this week, so consider him a No. 2 option in IDP formats.

Mario Williams active (12:12 p.m. ET): The Buffalo Bills' official Twitter feed reports that DE Mario Williams (wrist, probable) is active. Williams is a solid play in IDP formats, coming in as Jim McCormick's No. 11 defensive lineman for Week 7.

Colin McCarthy inactive (12:11 p.m. ET): The Tennessee Titans' official Twitter feed reports that LB Colin McCarthy (ankle, questionable) is inactive. McCarthy's absence is somewhat surprising, though there were hints he'd be unavailable this week. Zac Diles gets the start in his place.

Dwight Freeney active (12:09 p.m. ET): Phillip B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star reports that LB Dwight Freeney (ankle, probable) is active for the Indianapolis Colts. Freeney is Jim McCormick's No. 29 defensive lineman for the week, making him a viable fill-in for IDP owners this week.

Josh Gordon active (12:08 p.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that WR Josh Gordon (knee, probable) is active. He's a boom-or-bust fantasy type but has leaned much, much more towards the former the past couple weeks, and should again in Week 7. We did rank Gordon 36th accounting for his need to complete one long catch to get the statistical job done, but his odds at least are decent of that this week.

Greg Little active (12:08 p.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that WR Greg Little (illness, probable) is active. Little might see a few extra targets with Mohamed Massaquoi out, but Josh Gordon has been the Browns' receiving star the past couple of weeks. Little is our No. 47 wideout for Week 7.

T.J. Ward active (12:08 p.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that S T.J. Ward (hand, probable) is active. He's Jim McCormick's No. 18 defensive back, as Ward's statistical output has disappointed in recent weeks. Ward remains an IDP asset, but more on the class of No. 2 options at his position.

Brandon Weeden active (12:08 p.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that QB Brandon Weeden (foot, probable) is active. In this battle of rookie quarterbacks, Weeden earns a No. 20 rating, making him a desperation fill-in in two-quarterback leagues.

Ben Tate active (12:05 p.m. ET): The Houston Texans' official Twitter feed reports that RB Ben Tate (toe, probable) is active. Arian Foster has been a workhorse thus far, leaving little in the way of scraps for Tate. With many teams on bye, Tate could be a hail-mary flex option for some, especially since a Ravens matchup is no longer nearly as scary as it was a couple seasons back. We ranked him 33rd.

Terrell Suggs active (12:01 p.m. ET): The Baltimore Ravens' official Twitter feed reports that LB Terrell Suggs is active. His is a remarkable recovery from a partially torn Achilles', in terms of the swiftness of return. In fantasy, IDP owners shouldn't race to activate Suggs, who might play limited snaps in his 2012 debut, his his performance bears watching.

Haloti Ngata active (12:01 p.m. ET): The Baltimore Ravens' official Twitter feed reports that DT Haloti Ngata (knee, questionable) is active. His knee injury was a legitimate concern entering the week, and Jim McCormick ranked him 26th among defensive linemen accordingly. It's a good week to consider slotting Ngata out if you have the luxury in an IDP league. But hey, at least he's active.

Janoris Jenkins active (12:00 p.m. ET): The St. Louis Rams' official Twitter feed reports that CB Janoris Jenkins (back, probable) is active. He's Jim McCormick's No. 28 defensive back for the week, making him a lower-end starter in IDP formats if you need to dig deep.

Alex Green active (11:59 a.m. ET): The Green Bay Packers' official Twitter feed reports that RB Alex Green (shoulder, probable) is active. Green's practice limitations earlier this week might mean a few less touches this week than last, but let's not forget that the Rams are easier to attack via the ground than the air. Yes, the Packers will throw. A lot. But Green is a solid flex play for Week 7 at worst, and in fact we ranked him 19th.

Aaron Rodgers active (11:59 a.m. ET): The Green Bay Packers' official Twitter feed reports that QB Aaron Rodgers (calf, probable) is active. He's fine. The Rams' pass defense is off to a hot start, but Rodgers is also coming off one of the best games of his career in one against a tough defense. He's fine, and our No. 1 quarterback for Week 7.

Vincent Jackson active (11:57 a.m. ET): The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' official Twitter feed reports that WR Vincent Jackson (calf, probable) is active. No concerns here. The Saints' defense has struggled mightily this season, allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts. Jackson is our No. 9 wide receiver for Week 7.

Lance Moore active (11:56 a.m. ET): The New Orleans Saints' official Twitter feed reports that WR Lance Moore (hamstring, probable) is active. With Jimmy Graham inactive, Moore might be leaned upon more in the passing game, which bumps up his matchup for Week 7. We rank him a solid WR3 at 27th, but he might warrant moving up a couple spots considering Graham's absence.

Jared Allen active (11:55 a.m. ET): The Minnesota Vikings' official Twitter feed reports that DE Jared Allen (groin, probable) is active. He's Jim McCormick's No. 1 defensive lineman for the week, and understandably so, talented as he is. Allen is a must for those in IDP formats.

Adrian Peterson active (11:55 a.m. ET): The Minnesota Vikings' official Twitter feed reports that RB Adrian Peterson (ankle, probable) is active. He's fine despite the injury-report listing, and might be needed more in a matchup against a Cardinals team that struggled more against the run than pass in Week 6. We ranked ADP fifth among running backs for Week 7.

Christian Ponder active (11:55 a.m. ET): The Minnesota Vikings' official Twitter feed reports that QB Christian Ponder (knee, probable) is active. Ponder's matchup against the Cardinals is a shaky one; that defense has been stronger lately against the pass than the run and the youngster has been making more conservative throws so far this season (though he has been successful doing so). He's our No. 19 quarterback for Week 7.

Antoine Winfield active (11:55 a.m. ET): The Minnesota Vikings' official Twitter feed reports that CB Antoine Winfield (knee, probable) is active. Winfield is Jim McCormick's No. 13 defensive back, making him a solid No. 2 option in IDP formats.

Hakeem Nicks active (11:52 a.m. ET): Pat Hanlon of the New York Giants reports that WR Hakeem Nicks (foot, probable) is active. Nicks was listed as probable, but his health is more of a concern than your typical "probable" player. What suits him here: He's facing a Redskins defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wideouts. Nicks is well worth using this week, and we ranked him 13th at the position accordingly.

Andre Brown active (11:50 a.m. ET): Pat Hanlon of the New York Giants reports that RB Andre Brown (concussion, probable) is active. He had no issues during the practice week and might play an integral role this week, what with starter Ahmad Bradshaw nursing a foot issue. Brown is one of the better clear backup running backs this week, a six-bye-team week in which backups actually matter, but note that we still ranked him 32nd at the position.

Fred Davis active (11:49 a.m. ET): The Washington Redskins' official Twitter feed reports that TE Fred Davis (knee, probable) is active. Once again, Robert Griffin III spread things around in Week 6 with Pierre Garcon out, and we expect he'll do the same here as well. Davis' skills back him up as our No. 12 tight end, but that's not a clear-cut starter, even going up against the Giants, who have performed better defensively in recent weeks.

Jermichael Finley active (11:47 a.m. ET): The Green Bay Packers' official Twitter feed reports that TE Jermichael Finley (shoulder, probable) is active. He'll be playing at less than 100 percent yet again, and hasn't been getting the looks necessary to justify his preseason top-10-tight end draft stock. Remember, the Rams' defense is strong against the pass, so this isn't the matchup in which to exploit Finley. We ranked him 14th; most of that has to do with the thinner player pool due to the six bye teams.

Pierre Garcon inactive (11:45 a.m. ET): The Washington Redskins' official Twitter feed reports that WR Pierre Garcon (foot, doubtful) is inactive. No shock here. Garcon missed Week 6 and he was doubtful for this week, so his fantasy owners certainly should've been looking elsewhere for fill-ins. The Giants' pass defense ranking -- ninth in fantasy points allowed to opposing wideouts -- offers some hope to Robert Griffin III's owners, but don't reach to grab any of the Redskins' wideouts, except as bye-week fill-ins/desperation options. Griffin will be fine; he'll spread the ball around too much to make any one wideout a great fantasy play.

Trent Richardson active (11:43 a.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that RB Trent Richardson (chest, questionable) is active. He'll start, but play wearing a flak jacket to protect his ribs. As Stephania Bell noted on Fantasy Football Now, Richardson's performance will be tied to pain tolerance; if he can deal with it then he'll be primed to dominate the poor Colts run defense. We ranked Richardson sixth among running backs with some hope he'll last the full 60 minutes.

Ahmad Bradshaw active (11:37 a.m. ET): Pat Hanlon of the New York Giants reports that RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot, questionable) is active. Bradshaw's limited practice work this week had his fantasy owners concerned, and this matchup should be of some worry as well, as the Redskins have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Expect backups Andre Brown and David Wilson to get some work to keep Bradshaw fresh, but we still rank the starter our No. 13 running back for the week. Remember, it's a six-team bye week.

Dez Bryant active (11:41 a.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that WR Dez Bryant (groin, questionable) is active for the Dallas Cowboys. Bryant will start against a Panthers defense that, while solid defending wide receivers statistically to date, remains without top cover corner Chris Gamble. Bryant has 28 targets, 21 catches and 33 fantasy points in his past two games and easily earns our No. 13 ranking at his position accordingly.