There are ups and downs about having three games played on Thursday. While it stinks to know your team could be in trouble, fantasy owners should have a better idea where they stand in relation to getting a win vs. their opponent. If you're going against Laurent Robinson and Brandon Marshall and started Frank Gore and Ray Rice, chances are you're going to need some high-upside plays to make up some ground. As always, you can always ask me any start-sit questions on Twitter. I'll also be providing instant analysis all day on my feed, too.
Don't forget to check out our rankings and the tons of info we've posted throughout the week right here.
UPDATED AT 8:00 PM EST FOR THE SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL.
1:00 PM EST Games
Houston at Jacksonville
Official Inactives: QB Kellen Clemens, CB Brandon Harris, OG Thomas Austin, FB Lawrence Vickers, DE Tim Bulman, TE Garrett Graham, and OT Andrew Gardner.
Analysis: The Texans begin the Matt Leinart era today and fortunately for them, they take on the Jaguars. You can check out all of my Leinart analysis right here. The other good news is that Andre Johnson will make his first start since severely pulling his hamstring on October 2nd. The Jaguars have a very weak secondary and even Leinart should be able to matriculate the ball down the field. Of course having the best rushing attack in the league doesn't hurt
UPDATE: Andre is playing and his owners should have no reservations about his production today. He has a nice matchup and the Texans should use a lot of play-action passes to get him open down the field. Make no mistake though, Houston is going to run a ball a heck of a lot against the banged-up Jags D.
Official Inactives: NT Terrance Knighton, DE Aaron Kampman, DE Matt Roth, QB Dan LeFevour, WR Brian Robiskie, TE Fendi Onobun, and C John Estes.
Analysis: The Jaguars are going to be without Matt Roth (head) and Aaron Kampman (hamstring) is expected to be a game-time decision. Jacksonville is coming off another loss, has not scored more than 20 points in a game all season, they're 31st in scoring and dead last in offensive yards. Obviously on Maurice Jones-Drew is the only Jag worth starting.
UPDATE: The Jags have their second- and third-best pass rushers out for this game and are really going to struggle in getting pressure on Matt Leinart. Maurice Jones-Drew is the only player that should be starting in even the deepest of leagues.
Buffalo at New York Jets
Analysis: Man, these Bills are really banged up. C.J. Spiller is going to draw the start at tailback and should see the bulk of the carries. Johnny White, a rookie out of North Carolina, should be in the mix as well. Spiller is a decent option this week and Buffalo will likely have to use him in the passing game to keep pace with the Jets (despite NY's offensive woes). Tashard Choice is expected to be active as well. Only owners in deep leagues should even consider adding Choice. The Bills are running out of receivers as well. Donald Jones and Naaman Roosevelt are both out and Stevie Johnson (shoulder) and David Nelson (ankle) are both expected to start. Nelson doesn't usually get a bunch of snaps in two-wide sets and is used more in the slot in this offense. Nelson is a sneaky play in some deep leagues while Stevie Johnson could be benched this week as he'll have a three-hour vacation to Revis Island.
UPDATE: C.J. Spiller is expected to be featured in this game and he is a much better start than most may think. Expect the Jets to blitz quite a bit which should open the door for some slip screens for Spiller. The Clemson product should be able to flirt with 100 yards from scrimmage.
Official Inactives: QB Kevin O'Connell, RB LaDainian Tomlinson, WR Jeremy Kerley, CB Ellis Lankster, OL Austin Howard, NT Kenrick Ellis, and DL Martin Tevaseu.
Analysis: LaDainian Tomlinson is not expected to play with his MCL sprain today. On the other hand, Shonn Greene (ribs) is a full go and practiced all week. The Jets get one of the best matchups they can ask for with the Bills reeling and missing one of their best players on defense in George Wilson. In their last meeting, the Bills put Drayton Florence on Plaxico Burress and he abused him all game long. Plax is a good bet to score this week and Santonio Holmes should have no problems exploiting Leodis McKelvin.
UPDATE: LaDainian Tomlinson and Jeremy Kerley are both out with their knee issues. Joe McKnight should see most of the third-down work and give Shonn Greene the occasional blow. Despite the ugly games from Greene, this matchup is too good to have him on the bench in most leagues. Kerley being out helps the value of Plaxico and Santonio Holmes today. Holmes should have him best game of the season today and expect Plaxico to score six as well.
Cleveland at Cincinnati
Official Inactives: QB Thaddeus Lewis, SS T.J. Ward, FB Owen Marecic, OL Steve Vallos, OL Oniel Cousins, LB Quinton Spears, DE Jayme Mitchell.
Analysis: In case you're wondering why Peyton Hillis is not in the "Notables Ruled Out" section, it's because Pat Shurmur upgraded him from "out" to "questionable" earlier in the week. Hillis was reportedly running at full speed in practice and there's a good chance he plays. This sounds great and all, but the Browns have a bad matchup against the Bengals and who know how this backfield rotation will work? It's best to avoid this situation. The only guy that is worth starting in Cleveland is Greg Little. Little should have a pretty good game and has been targeted consistently. He's just a game away from making an impact.
UPDATE: Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty are both active for today's game. Pat Shurmur did say that no back will have a featured load and there's really no reason to play any Brown. There is also some weather concerns in Cincy, which slightly lowers the expectations of Greg Little.
Official Inactives: S Robert Sands, LB Dontay Moch, OG Clint Boling, OT Anthony Collins, TE Donald Lee, WR Ryan Whalen, DE Carlos Dunlap
Analysis: A.J. Green is questionable with his sore knee. He will probably suit up, but the Browns are expected to put Joe Haden on him for the the majority of the game. Haden is one of the best lockdown corners in the league and Green owners in shallow-type formats might want to consider benching him. Andre Caldwell and Jerome Simpson are coming off positive games last week, however, it's a little risky to start either one. The Bengals will probably play the clock-control game and the only guy that is a slam-dunk start is Cedric Benson.
UPDATE: The Bengals do have A.J. Green for today and he should get his usual load. However, with Joe Haden on him and the chances of rain, he is far from a must-start this week. Expect to see a lot of Cedric Benson today.
Minnesota at Atlanta
Analysis: The Vikings will have to take on the second-ranked run D in Atlanta without arguably the most talented running back the league has seen in the past five years. Toby Gerhart will get the start and should be able to flirt with 18 touches. The Vikings are also going to utilize Percy Harvin at different spots on the field, including tailback. Harvin is questionable with a rib injury, but he should be starting in most fantasy leagues today.
UPDATE: Percy is good to go, as expected. He makes for a very strong start this week and could lead the team in touches at the Georgia Dome. Toby Gerhart will get the start and the Vikings may mix in a little Lorenzo Booker. You're obviously not starting Booker.
Official Inactives: CB Kelvin Hayden, DT Carlton Powell, DE Cliff Matthews, C Brett Romberg, CB Darrin Walls, LB Spencer Adkins, and OL Kirk Chambers.
Analysis: Julio Jones is expected to give it a go against one of the worst pass defenses in the league. The Vikings have very little speed in the secondary and Julio is a good bet to score on a long TD. Roddy White is coming off a big game with his seven-catch, 147-yard outing against Tennessee. White probably won't have that much success, he's still a solid start as a low-end WR1 in 12-team leagues. You're obviously starting Michael Turner and Matt Ryan is also a decent QB to start this week.
UPDATE: Julio is a go and should put his hamstring to good use today on a lot of fly and post routes. The Vikings have no chance of being able to cover Julio, Roddy and Tony Gone. This one could get ugly quickly.
Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis
Official Inactives: QB Kevin Kolb, WR S. Williams, S Kerry Rhodes, FB R. Maiu’a, LB Joey Porter, OT D’Anthony Batiste and TE R. Housler.
Analysis: Early reports Sunday morning have Kevin Kolb as OUT for the game against the Rams. John Skelton is expected to start and should have a better game than he did last week against the Niners. Larry Fitzgerald is still safe to start and the Rams do not have the personnel to stick him. Beanie Wells gets to take on the worst run D in the league; although they have been better in the past month. Beanie is technically probable with a knee, he's safe to start as a RB2 this week.
UPDATE: Kolb is out and John Skelton will get the start. Skelton did not finish the game last week and Rich Bartel came in to spell him. Skelton should not be in any starting fantasy lineups. Larry Fitzgerald and Beanie Wells should be fine this week against a porous defense in a weather-proof setting.
Analysis: Danario Alexander is still dealing with a hamstring and is questionable for today. Before his injury, he was playing well and could be an impact for fantasy teams once he hits the field. He should not be starting in any fantasy league until he proves healthy and capable. Brandon Lloyd should have a nice game against the Cardinals and is a strong WR2 this week. Steven Jackson is also a must-start RB1 at home.
UPDATE: Danario Alexander is out once again. The Rams are likely to use Austin Pettis out of the slot and and Brandon Gibson in two-wide sets. St. Louis will lean on Steven Jackson a ton today and Brandon Lloyd should see as many as half the receiving targets today.
Carolina at Indianapolis
Official Inactives: QB Jimmy Clausen, CB Brandon Hogan, LB Jason Phillips, LB Omar Gaither, OT Lee Ziemba, WR Darvin Adams, DT Frank Kearse.
Analysis: Legedu Naanee (Achilles) did make the trip to Indy and is a game-time call as the starter opposite Steve Smith. If Naanee does sit this one out, expect Brandon LaFell to have a good game against the Colts. He is someone fantasy owners could start for those that are in a real bind with injuries or deep leagues this week. Steve Smith and Cam Newton are no-brainer starts and DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are low-end flexes.
UPDATE: Legedu Naanee is active, which takes the wind of the the Brandon LaFell hype boat. Steve Smith and Cam Newton are good to go and get an excellent opportunity to rebound in a dome today.
Official Inactives: DE Mario Addison, QB Peyton Manning, TE Dallas Clark, LG Joe Reitz, TE Brody Eldrige, DT Drake Nevis.
Analysis: The Panthers allow the most fantasy points to running backs and this week Donald Brown could become an asset as a RB2. Pierre Garcon gets the edge over Reggie Wayne since Wayne will likely square off against Chris Gamble. Garcon will probably lead the team in yards from scrimmage against Captain Munnerlyn. Start any Colt at your own peril.
UPDATE: Joseph Addai is active today, but he should not be active in your lineup The Addai activity raises some concerns for Donald Brown and he is really no more than a flex play at this point.
Tampa Bay at Tennessee
Analysis: The Bucs shocked a lot of people last week by hangin' with the Packers. Josh Freeman did a much better job going through his progressions and his patient fantasy owners are hoping this is the sign of things to come. While it very well could be Freeman getting his groove back, he is still very risky to start. LaGarrette Blount put some separation from Kregg Lumpkin after a big game at Lambeau. He's really the only Buc that should have your trust this week as a low-level RB2.
UPDATE: Nothing to see here. Although it is pouring in Nashville and those of you that were on the fence to start Josh Freeman or Mike Williams, this could sway your decision against them.
Official Inactives: RB Jamie Harper DT Zach Clayton WR Donny Avery OL Kevin Matthews QB Rusty Smith T David Stewart LB Barrett Ruud
Analysis: Matt Hasselbeck is good to go for this one and Jake Locker will be forced to wait in the wings for at least another week. However, the threat of Locker makes Hasselbeck is big gamble because if things don't start out nicely, he could get the hook in favor of Locker.
UPDATE: Barrett Ruud being out means that Colin McCarthy could serve as a LB2 in the slop today. The Titans will likely use a run-heavy approach today and Chris Johnson should be good to go despite his disaster of a season.
4PM EST-4:15 PM EST Games
Chicago at Oakland
Official Inactives: QB Jay Cutler, CB D.J. Moore, QB Josh McCown, G Ricky Henry, TE Andre Smith, LB Jabara Williams, DT Anthony Adams
Analysis: Just when it looked like the Bears had a chance to contend with the Packers, their star QB goes down with a broken thumb. Caleb Hanie gets the start and essentially destroys the value of Earl Bennett. Hanie might establish some rapport with one of the receivers, but there's no way to tell until we see something today. Devin Hester will also lose offensive duties in a effort to get him more touches in special teams. Matt Forte has a nice matchup and is good to go. Duh.
UPDATE: Caleb Hanie has a fairly healthy team around him and the Bears will need to protect him and keep the turnovers down.
QB Jason Campbell, WR Jacoby Ford, WR Denarius Moore, RB Darren McFadden, RB Taiwan Jones, G B. Campbell and DE Jarvis Moss
Analysis: The Raiders are in deep trouble at receiver. Jacoby Ford is out and Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey are both questionable for this one. Heyward-Bey has been medically cleared and should play. If Moore and DHB can't go though, Chaz Schilens makes for a desperation start in some leagues (Moore owners might want to handcuff with Chaz). Run DMC is also out and Michael Bush should be safe to start for another week. Taiwan Jones missed a lot of practice and is questionable with a hamstring. Rock Cartwright would become Bush's backup. All of these injuries make Carson Palmer a risky play against the ball-hawking Bears.
UPDATE: Ouch on the Raiders. They will not have Denarius Moore and they will have to turn back to Darrius Heyward-Bey after demoting him to a bench role for the past month. He's a risky start.
Washington at Seattle
Official Inactives: CB DJ Johnson, LB Markus White, OL Willie Smith, DE Kentwan Balmer, WR David Anderson, WR Niles Paul, OL Tyler Polumbus
Analysis: Santana Moss (hand) is probable for this game and makes for an intriguing WR3 in some leagues. He has the speed to beat the bigger corners in Seattle and his conditioning shouldn't be a concern coming off a hand issue. Jabar Gaffney is back to being waiver-wire fodder in standard formats. Secondly, everyone's favorite coach has a new back to play with as the Skins signed Evan Royster off the practice squad. Ryan Torain hasn't done much in a really long time while Roy Helu has an impressive 4.9 YPC. It's best to avoid this situation, but if you have to play one guy, Helu should be the best option.
UPDATE: The weather is suppose to be pretty nasty, so maybe the Skins will have some consistency in their running back rotation. Nobody on Washington is safe to start this week. Helu figures to offer the highest upside.
Official Inactives: DT Alan Branch, OL Jarriel King, CB Byron Maxwell, QB Josh Portis, CB Ron Parker, G Allen Barbre, WR Deon Butler
Analysis: Sidney Rice did hit the practice field with his knee injury and is expected to start. He'll likely have DeAngelo Hall on him for most of the game and Rice hasn't done much recently to warrant a start.Conversely, Marshawn Lynch has been the model of consistency with three good games in a row. He should continue this stretch against the 18th-ranked run D of Washington. He's the only Seahawk that should be reliable this week.
UPDATE: Sidney Rice is active and should see his usual load at wide receiver. The Seahawks should have some success in running the football today.
Denver at San Diego
Official Inactives: WR Quan Cosby, TE Quinn Johnson, TE Julius Thomas, OL Tony Hills, DE Derrick Harvey, OT Manuel Ramirez
Analysis: The Broncos are probably the healthiest team in the league with only one player on the injury report. Daniel Fells is probable with a concussion. Denver should have some level of success against the Chargers and this could be the week where Tim Tebow completes 15 passes against the struggling SD secondary. Tebow is a low-end QB1 this week, start Willis McGahee in most leagues and there is really no scenario that should have any other Bronco in your offensive lineup. On the defensive side, Von Miller is on a roll and has emerged as a player that should be in most IDP lineups. Elvis Dumervil is also an above-average DE this week.
UPDATE: Tim Tebow.
Official Inactives: T Marcus McNeill, CB Marcus Gilbert, DE Luis Castillo, WR Bryan Walters, G Tyronne Green, WR Malcom Floyd, G Louis Vasquez
Analysis: Floyd is out yet again and the Chargers will trot out Vincent Brown to start alongside of V-Jax. Brown has a favorable matchup and will likely be matched up with Andre Goodman and a little bit of Chris Harris mixed in as well. Vincent Jackson should have Champ Bailey shadow him. It's impossible to bench V-Jax, despite his feast or famine tendencies this year. Ryan Mathews is probable with his knee injury. He should be safe to start as a high-end RB2. Start Philip Rivers at your own risk, he should be able to score at least twice though.
UPDATE: The Chargers are without Marcus McNeill yet again and they will have a really tough time protecting Rivers with Von Miller chasing after him. Mike Tolbert could get the start with some reports that Ryan Mathews is not healthy. Neither guy is a must-start option.
New England at Philadelphia
Official Inactives: WR Chad Ochocinco, CB Devin McCourty, SS Pat Chung, MLB Brandon Spikes, C Dan Connolly, LB Dane Fletcher and QB Ryan Mallett.
Analysis: Is Ocho notable? Probably not. The Patriots have no use for him and expect to see a heavy dose of Wes Welker today. Deion Branch (hip) is questionable for the Philly game, so if he's out we can expect to see Aaron Hernandez line up out wide. As for the running backs, this is a nice matchup and all, but BenJarvus Green-Ellis has yet to assert himself as a player that fantasy owners can plug into their lineups with some level or certainty. He's more of a flex play this week.
UPDATE: Nnamdi Asomugha is active for this game and should be on Welker for most of the game. The Patriots are really banged up in the secondary and this game could be a shootout.
Official Inactives: QB Michael Vick, WR Jeremy Maclin, OL King Dunlap, DE Brandon Graham, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie , OL Julian Vandervelde, DE Phillip Hunt
Analysis: The Eagles have not yet officially ruled out Jeremy Maclin and Michael Vick, but they are both extremely unlikely to give it a go in this must-win game. Vince Young gets the start and is a player worth starting with the very susceptible pass defense of New England (especially with Chung and McCourty out). Riley Cooper will start opposite DeSean Jackson and is guy that could have a nice showing. LeSean McCoy is locked and loaded for a big game.
UPDATE: Vick and Maclin are not playing which makes Vince Young and Riley Cooper better than your average backup fill-in. The Philly O-line has to keep Young upright and expect them to run a lot to keep the Patriots honest.
Pittsburgh at Kansas City (Sunday Night Football 8:20 PM EST)
Official Inactives: LB LaMarr Woodley, LB Stevenson Sylvester, QB Dennis Dixon, DE Al Woods, OT Jamon Meredith, NT Chris Hoke and WR Arnaz Battle.
Analysis: Ben Roethlisberger practiced all week with his right thumb injury and fully expected to play (and play well against the lowly Chiefs D). Emmanuel Sanders will make his return, but he has seen Antonio Brown run away with the starting gig as one of the most targeted receivers in all of football. Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Rashard Mendenhall are must-start options.
UPDATE: Besides LaMarr Woodley being out, the Steelers are pretty healthy. It should be interesting to see how they will use Emmanuel Sanders today. Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown are both must-start guys this week and Rashard Mendenhall should have a nice opportunity to beef up his rushing numbers. This game should get ugly quickly. NBC probably wishes they could have a different game for tonight's broadcast.
Official Inactives: QB Kyle Orton, TE Jake O’Connell, OG Ryan Lilja, DE Brandon Bair, NT Jerrell Powe, LB Demorrio Williams, DB Donald Washington.
Analysis: The Chiefs haven't seen any ACL tears in a while and will go with Tyler Palko against the vaunted Pittsburgh D. Dwayne Bowe is far from a safe start against the third-ranked pass defense. Besides Bowe, there is really no Chief that should be owned in most leagues.
UPDATE: One would think that Orton is a better option that Palko, but that's an argument for another day. There's really no reason to feel comfortable in starting any Chief in fantasy, even Dwyane Bowe.
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