Commentary

Week 8 inactives

Updated: October 28, 2012, 7:03 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com

Welcome to Week 8 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 Doug Baldwin (ankle), RB Brandon Bolden (knee), WR Harry Douglas (knee), WR Pierre Garcon (foot), TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle), WR Alshon Jeffery (hand), WR Greg Jennings (groin), RB Maurice Jones-Drew (foot), QB Jake Locker (left shoulder), RB Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles'), RB DeMarco Murray (foot).

Top players we're watching

Early games (1 p.m. ET)

WR Danny Amendola (shoulder, questionable): inactive
RB Donald Brown (knee, questionable): active
TE Rob Gronkowski (hip, questionable): active
WR Brandon Lloyd (knee, questionable): active
WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring, questionable): inactive
RB Isaac Redman (ankle, questionable): inactive
RB Trent Richardson (chest, questionable): active
WR Wes Welker (ankle, questionable): active
WR Titus Young (knee, questionable): active

Late games (4:05 p.m. ET)

RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot, questionable): active
RB Felix Jones (knee, questionable): active

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

TE Jimmy Graham (ankle, questionable): active

Updates/analysis (most recent first)

Jimmy Graham active (7:03 p.m. ET): The New Orleans Saints' official Twitter feed reports that TE Jimmy Graham (ankle, questionable) is active. Graham's fantasy owners who waited this long in the hopes his game-time decision would be a positive result are rewarded. He might play limited snaps, but the matchup suits him well.

Darren Sproles active (7:03 p.m. ET): The New Orleans Saints' official Twitter feed reports that RB Darren Sproles (not injury related, probable) is active. His practice absences this week were due to an illness in the family, not a specific injury of his own, so his active status should be enough of an endorsement to keep him in the lineup as an RB2. We ranked him 14th in a game that should be full of fantasy goodness on both sides offensively speaking.

Mike Adams active (7:03 p.m. ET): The Denver Broncos' official Twitter feed reports that S Mike Adams (knee, probable) is active. Adams is Jim McCormick's No. 23 defensive back for Week 8.

Chris Harris active (7:03 p.m. ET): The Denver Broncos' official Twitter feed reports that CB Chris Harris (ankle, probable) is active. Harris is Jim McCormick's No. 25 defensive back for Week 8.

Jacob Tamme active (7:03 p.m. ET): The Denver Broncos' official Twitter feed reports that TE Jacob Tamme (hip, probable) is active. Tamme is our No. 15 tight end for the week despite the favorable matchup on paper, primarily because he hasn't quite showed the same level of chemistry with Peyton Manning this season as they did together a couple years back in Indianapolis. Joel Dreessen's presence also limits Tamme's appeal.

Felix Jones active (3:07 p.m. ET): Dan Graziano of ESPN's NFC East blog reports that RB Felix Jones (knee, questionable) is active for the Dallas Cowboys. He was limited in Friday's practice, so there should be some concern here that he won't be at full strength for this game. Couple that with his so-so performance facing an outstanding matchup granted a tremendous fill-in opportunity in Week 7 and our No. 22 ranking makes a heck of a lot of sence. Jones is a flex play, plain and simple.

DeMarcus Ware active (3:07 p.m. ET): Dan Graziano of ESPN's NFC East blog reports that LB DeMarcus Ware (illness, probable) is active for the Dallas Cowboys. Ware is Jim McCormick's No. 21 defensive lineman for Week 8.

Ahmad Bradshaw active (2:55 p.m. ET): Pat Hanlon of the New York Giants reports that RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot, questionable) is active for the New York Giants. This confirms Adam Schefter's report from earlier in the day, but it remains to be seen how many carries Bradshaw will handle. A good guess is somewhere in the neighborhood of 15, though flow of the game might change that. It's still enough to justify his RB2 status, and our No. 12 ranking of him.

Hakeem Nicks active (2:55 p.m. ET): Pat Hanlon of the New York Giants reports that WR Hakeem Nicks (knee, probable) is active for the New York Giants. Nicks seems to be playing through his inury, and suffering somewhat statistically because of it, but the more time passes, the closer he gets to full strength. To that end: He practiced in full this week for the first time since he initially got hurt. We ranked him our No. 19 wideout, and he's probably not a far leap to returning to WR1 status.

Sebastian Janikowski active (2:45 p.m. ET): The Oakland Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that K Sebastian Janikowski (left groin, probable) is active. Janikowski has landed on the injury report on multiple occasions this season, yet as he's the only kicker on the roster, it's always obvious he's going to play. He's our No. 8 kicker for Week 8 in what's a favorable matchup against a miserable Chiefs defense.

Taiwan Jones inactive (2:45 p.m. ET): The Oakland Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that RB Taiwan Jones (knee, questionable) is inactive. Injuries have ruined his chances of carving out the clear backup role to the injury-prone Darren McFadden, as Jones has zero touches in five games this season. He serves no fantasy purpose beyond handcuff status in leagues with incredibly deep benches.

Darren McFadden active (2:45 p.m. ET): The Oakland Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that RB Darren McFadden (shoulder, probable) is active. He has been dealing with this shoulder problem for some time, perhaps contributing to his lackluster statistics to date. That said, this is a favorable matchup for him, as the Chiefs have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, and 25 points or more to the position in three of their past five games. McFadden is our No. 8 running back for Week 8.

Brandon Myers active (2:45 p.m. ET): The Oakland Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that TE Brandon Myers (knee, probable) is active. Myers has been much more involved in the Raiders' pass attack than expected, though through six games he has yet to score a touchdown. He's our No. 14 tight end for the week, making him a useful bye-week/injury plug-in.

Matt Shaughnessy active (2:45 p.m. ET): The Oakland Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that DE Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder, questionable) is active. Shaughnessy is Jim McCormick's No. 15 defensive lineman for Week 8, making him a lower-end starter in most IDP formats.

Matt Cassel active (2:39 p.m. ET): The Kansas City Chiefs' official Twitter feed reports that QB Matt Cassel (concussion, probable) is active. Cassel is only active as the backup, as coach Romeo Crennel pronounced Brady Quinn his starting quarterback -- at least for Week 8 -- earlier in the week. Cassel isn't worth keeping on a fantasy roster in his new role.

Peyton Hillis active (2:39 p.m. ET): The Kansas City Chiefs' official Twitter feed reports that RB Peyton Hillis (ankle, probable) is active. Hillis practiced in full both Thursday and Friday, so he's ready to go, albeit in a backup role. It's unclear to what degree he'll be involved, as Jamaal Charles is off to an outstanding start, particularly how well he has handled a hefty number of carries, but this is a game where the Chiefs could run the football 30-plus times. Consider Hillis mostly a garbage-time prospect, his likely minimal involvement explaining his No. 44 ranking among running backs.

Eddie Royal inactive (12:16 p.m. ET): Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that WR Eddie Royal (hamstring, questionable) is inactive for the San Diego Chargers. Royal's absence shouldn't affect any fantasy owners except for those in leagues that reward return yards.

Marshawn Lynch active (12:14 p.m. ET): The Seattle Seahawks' official Twitter feed reports that RB Marshawn Lynch (back, probable) is active. Lynch is our No. 9 running back for Week 8, making him a clear RB1 in all formats.

Jay Cutler active (12:13 p.m. ET): The Chicago Bears' official Twitter feed reports that QB Jay Cutler (ribs, probable) is active. Cutler checks in as our No. 16 quarterback for the week, both because of his inconsistent nature as well as the fact that the Panthers' defense is weaker against the run than the pass.

London Fletcher active (12:12 p.m. ET): The Washington Redskins' official Twitter feed reports that LB London Fletcher (hamstring, questionable) is active. Well hey hey! There's the surprise of Week 8. Fletcher's consecutive games streak will remain alive, though it's unclear whether he'll be able to handle a full slate of snaps. He's not on Jim McCormick's IDP rankings for Week 8, which underscores the risk involved, but Fletcher has long been one of that format's best. It's up to you how you feel in this risk/reward scenario.

Cliff Avril active (12:11 p.m. ET): The Detroit Lions' official Twitter feed reports that DE Cliff Avril (back, questionable) is active. Avril is Jim McCormick's No. 14 defensive lineman for Week 8.

Louis Delmas active (12:11 p.m. ET): The Detroit Lions' official Twitter feed reports that S Louis Delmas (knee, questionable) is active. Delmas, who had seven total tackles and an interception in his 2012 debut in Week 6 but took a step backwards statistically in Week 7, remains a fringe IDP league starter. He ranks 24th among defensive backs in Jim McCormick's Week 8 rankings.

Calvin Johnson active (12:11 p.m. ET): The Detroit Lions' official Twitter feed reports that WR Calvin Johnson (knee, probable) is active. Johnson's matchup is one of his poorest in 2012, but on skills alone he's a difficult man to sit. We ranked him fourth, because we believe talent overcomes even the most treacherous matchups, plus the Lions will likely continue to throw early and often in this game.

Brandon Pettigrew active (12:11 p.m. ET): The Detroit Lions' official Twitter feed reports that TE Brandon Pettigrew (knee, probable) is active. Pettigrew is our No. 12 tight end for the week, and is probably more attractive in PPR leagues, where he might haul in a greater number of passes, yet at shorter distances. It's a volume rank for sure.

Stephen Tulloch active (12:11 p.m. ET): The Detroit Lions' official Twitter feed reports that LB Stephen Tulloch (knee, probable) is active. Tulloch checks in as Jim McCormick's No. 19 linebacker for Week 8.

T.J. Ward active (12:07 p.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that S T.J. Ward (hand, probable) is active. Ward has been a bit of a disappointment in IDP leagues so far this season, but on skills alone -- as well as the prospect that the Browns defense will spend significant time on the field -- he's Jim McCormick's No. 14 defensive back for Week 8.

Jeremy Kerley active (12:06 p.m. ET): The New York Jets' official Twitter feed reports that WR Jeremy Kerley (finger, probable) is active. The Dolphins' defense is weaker against the pass than the run, so the Jets might come out throwing in this one. Though no one offensive player on the Jets' side stands out especially, Kerley has been their de facto No. 1 wideout in recent weeks. He's our No. 30 wideout for Week 8, so regard him a WR3.

LaRon Landry active (12:06 p.m. ET): The New York Jets' official Twitter feed reports that S LaRon Landry (heel, probable) is active. Landry is Jim McCormick's No. 11 defensive back for Week 8.

Mark Sanchez active (12:06 p.m. ET): The New York Jets' official Twitter feed reports that QB Mark Sanchez (back, probable) is active. Sanchez hasn't done much in his career, let alone this season, to earn fantasy owners' trust, but this is a better matchup for him than what the Jets' running backs will experience against the Dolphins. If you're in a pinch or a two-quarterback league, he might warrant a look.

Brandon Gibson active (12:03 p.m. ET): The St. Louis Rams' official Twitter feed reports that WR Brandon Gibson (illness, probable) is active. Gibson might be heavily involved should the Rams need to lean on the pass in Week 8, and he checks in as our No. 33 wideout for the week. Consider him a useful WR3, more so in PPR than standard formats.

Charles Johnson active (12:02 p.m. ET): The Carolina Panthers' official Twitter feed reports that DE Charles Johnson (hip, probable) is active. Johnson checks in as Jim McCormick's No. 11 defensive lineman for Week 8.

Montario Hardesty active (12:01 p.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that RB Montario Hardesty (knee, probable) is active. Hardesty might take on a larger role as the Browns aim to keep Trent Richardson (ribs) fresh, though he's expected to remain primarily a backup, his fantasy appeal tied to the possibility of an early Richardson exit. That's not enough to make Hardesty fantasy-worthy going up against a solid Chargers run defense. We ranked him 33rd.

Mohamed Massaquoi inactive (12:01 p.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that WR Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring, questionable) is inactive. With Massaquoi out again, Greg Little and Josh Gordon will again be starters in Week 8.

Jerod Mayo active (11:59 a.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that LB Jerod Mayo (elbow, questionable) is active. Mayo is Jim McCormick's No. 2 linebacker for Week 8, making him a top option in all IDP formats.

James Starks active (11:57 a.m. ET): The Green Bay Packers' official Twitter feed reports that RB James Starks (illness, probable) is active. Starks hasn't carved out much of a role in the Packers' offense thus far this season, and his role in this game might be mere garbage-time product ... if there is garbage time this week.

Laurent Robinson inactive (11:55 a.m. ET): The Jacksonville Jaguars' official Twitter feed reports that WR Laurent Robinson (concussion, questionable) is inactive. Robinson has been slow to recover from his concussions, and his absence is yet another reason we suggest you don't go anywhere near the Jaguars' passing game, even in a game they might trail all day against the Packers.

Titus Young active (11:53 a.m. ET): The Detroit Lions' official Twitter feed reports that WR Titus Young (knee, questionable) is active. With Nate Burleson (broken leg) now on IR and out for the season, Young's role in the Lions' passing game takes on greater significance. That said, he was a limited practice participant all week and will be facing a tough Seahawks pass defense. There will be greater weeks ahead for Young, our No. 32 wideout for Week 8.

Jonathan Dwyer active (11:51 a.m. ET): The Pittsburgh Steelers' official Twitter feed reports that RB Jonathan Dwyer (not injury related, probable) is active. He'll get the bulk of the rushing work with RBs Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman inactive, and is coming off a 122-rushing-yard Week 7. Dwyer is our No. 22 running back for the week and warrants RB2/flex status.

Isaac Redman inactive (11:51 a.m. ET): The Pittsburgh Steelers' official Twitter feed reports that RB Isaac Redman (ankle, questionable) is inactive. He joins Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles') on the sidelines, meaning Jonathan Dwyer's owners can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that he'll again be the Steelers' primary running back. We ranked Dwyer 22nd for the week, and perhaps he deserves low-end RB2 consideration in these heavy bye weeks.

Blaine Gabbert active (11:49 a.m. ET): The Jacksonville Jaguars' official Twitter feed reports that QB Blaine Gabbert (left shoulder, probable) is active. There had been some concern when Gabbert suffered his injury in Week 7 that he might not be available for this game, but apparently he's good enough to go, as his "probable" tag hinted. That said, why would fantasy owners trust a guy as unproductive as him? We merely ranked him 24th for the week because the Jaguars will need to throw early and often, plus we rank 25 quarterbacks for the week ... and only 26 will be in action between 1 p.m. ET Sunday and Monday Night Football.

Danny Amendola inactive (11:46 a.m. ET): The St. Louis Rams' official Twitter feed reports that WR Danny Amendola (shoulder, questionable) is inactive. This confirms Chris Mortensen's earlier report, and it shouldn't be any surprise to fantasy owners. The Rams are on bye after this game, so perhaps Amendola will be ready for Week 10. Unfortunately, that matchup is a poor one: At San Francisco.

Donald Brown active (11:44 a.m. ET): Phillip B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star reports that RB Donald Brown (knee, questionable) is active for the Indianapolis Colts. Brown, however, will not start, as Vick Ballard gets that honor. Expect Brown to cut into Ballard's number of touches, the split detracting from either of their matchups this week. We ranked Ballard 25th and Brown 35th among running backs for Week 8, but perhaps those numbers should now narrow more closely together. Think low-end flex plays.

Rob Gronkowski active (11:42 a.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that TE Rob Gronkowski (hip, questionable) is active. With Aaron Hernandez (ankle) already ruled out, Gronkowski should see a healthy number of targets this week, easing any concern facing a Rams defense typically stronger against the pass than run. We ranked Gronkowski our No. 1 tight end for the week.

Brandon Lloyd active (11:42 a.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that WR Brandon Lloyd (knee, questionable) is active. Lloyd hasn't "clicked" with Tom Brady through seven weeks of the season, and he's going up against a Rams team that has gotten outstanding play out of its secondary thus far; they've allowed the 12th-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers, a number that would be even better if not for Week 7's game against the loaded Packers. Approach Lloyd cautiously, as our No. 25 ranking among wideouts hints.

Wes Welker active (11:42 a.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that WR Wes Welker (ankle, questionable) is active. He's a targets/receptions hog, and should continue to be so on the underneath routes against a Rams team strong at the corners. We ranked Welker 11th among wideouts for the week.

Trent Richardson active (11:38 a.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that RB Trent Richardson (chest, questionable) is active. Richardson has performed extremely poorly while playing through injuries the past two weeks -- combined 5 fantasy points in those contests -- so temper your expectations due to his questionable tag. He might play limited snaps, and checks in as merely our No. 17 running back for Week 8.

Jermichael Finley active (11:36 a.m. ET): The Green Bay Packers' official Twitter feed reports that TE Jermichael Finley (shoulder, probable) is active. The interesting fantasy takeaway from the Packers' inactives list is that Finley, who previously looked like a shaky option, might now take on a more integral role in the passing game now that Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson are out, especially in red-zone situations. We ranked Finley the No. 16 tight end for the week, and I had him exactly at that spot as well, but I'd move him up a few spaces accordingly -- think around 11th-12th, in the Greg Olsen-Brent Celek-Brandon Pettigrew class.

Aaron Rodgers active (11:34 a.m. ET): The Green Bay Packers' official Twitter feed reports that QB Aaron Rodgers (calf, probable) is active. No shock here, and the absences of both Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson shouldn't terribly impact Rodgers' fantasy prospects for Week 8. It's an immensely favorable matchup for Rodgers and the Packers, and Randall Cobb and James Jones are more than adequate receivers for him to put to use. We ranked Rodgers No. 1 for the week; maybe that's now a spot or two too high, but are you really going to sit the guy?

Jordy Nelson inactive (11:32 a.m. ET): The Green Bay Packers' official Twitter feed reports that WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring, questionable) is inactive. This confirms Adam Schefter's early assumption. Again, this is good news for Randall Cobb and James Jones, and it's not terribly damaging to Aaron Rodgers' fantasy prospects. After all, this home matchup against the Jaguars is tremendously favorable for all Packers offensive players.

Danny Amendola will be inactive (11:03 a.m. ET): ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that WR Danny Amendola (shoulder, questionable) is will be inactive for the St. Louis Rams. Mortensen tweeted the news approximately 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, though we should have official word within the next 30-45 minutes. We didn't rank Amendola, accounting for the lengthy, difficult track recovering from his injury, but if you had held out hopes he'd return in Week 8, find alternate arrangements.

Jordy Nelson unlikely to play (10:14 a.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring, questionable) is unlikely to play for the Green Bay Packers. Per Schefter via Twitter on Sunday morning, "Nelson plans to test hamstring in pregame warmups before making final decision, but he is unlikely to play today vs. Jags." Nelson's status sounds like a bit of a precautionary move, but fantasy owners need plan accordingly and find a viable fill-in. The Packers' game has a 1 p.m. ET kickoff, so we'll have the inactives report on Nelson about 75-90 minutes in advance of that, but consider this a plus for other Packers wideouts like Randall Cobb and James Jones.

Ahmad Bradshaw expected to play (10:12 a.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot, questionable) is expected to play for the New York Giants. Per Schefter via Twitter on Sunday morning, "Given Ahmad Bradshaw's history of playing through foot injuries, and that he practiced limited on Friday, he is expected to play today." Bradshaw might have his workload more closely managed than usual this week, meaning potentially fewer carries, but considering both his level of production as well as the matchup -- Cowboys have allowed 34 fantasy points to opposing running backs the past two weeks combined -- Bradshaw should be a fine RB2 for Week 8.