Fantasy Football Week 13 Sprint Pregame Active/Inactive Update

Welcome back to the Active/Inactive Update. This week has a lot less to worry about with regards to guys that are questionable for Week 13. As per usual, we'll address all the guys that could miss their games and some possible contigency plans.

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1 PM EST Games

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Panthers

Official Inactives: QB Jimmy Clausen, CB Brandon Hogan, LB Jason Phillips, LB Omar Gaither, OG Bryant Browning, WR Kealoha Pilares, WR Darvin Adams

Analysis: Cam Newton owners may have got off their high horses a bit with two sub-par outings in his last three starts. Cam is still a must-start QB. Period. DeAngelo Williams is extremely hit or miss and his owners really shouldn't count on him this week. The same goes for Jonathan Stewart.

UPDATE: Jimmy Clausen is out! The Panthers will be without their return man Kealoha Pilares and Armanti Edwards will take over for him. The Bucs missing their QB actually helps the Carolina running game since they might be able to build a lead. DeAngelo is a fringe flex.

Buccaneers

Official Inactives: WR Michael Spurlock, QB Josh Freeman, DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, OL Derek Hardman, CB Myron Lewis, OL James Lee, DE Michael Bennett

Analysis: Chances are by now you've heard about how abysmal the Panthers have been in stopping running backs. While the Bucs aren't getting much push on their O-line and providing LaGarrette Blount with running lanes, Blount should have himself a nice game and needs to be starting. Kellen Winslow is riding a hot streak with 14 receptions in his last two games and the Panthers are only 18th in TE fantasy points against. Josh Freeman is an option for some deep owners, just remember that he is questionable with a right shoulder injury. Mike Williams serving as a low-end WR2 coming off two 80-plus yardage games with a score in both.

UPDATE: Freeman has been ruled OUT. This hurts Mike Williams and knocks him down to a WR3-type guy. Although I do like K2 a bit more with Josh Johnson's propensity to throw the short routes.Josh Johnson was 11-16 with a relatively low 6.9 YPA. Expect to see a lot of dump passes and possibly more Kregg Lumpkin in passing situations. LaGarrette Blount only gets a slight downgrade and is still a high-end RB2.

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers

Bengals

Official Inactives: CB Nate Clements, LB Dontay Moch, OG Clint Boling, TE Donald Lee, WR Ryan Whalen, DT Pat Sims, DE Carlos Dunlap

Analysis: The Steelers are really turning up the heat on defense and Benson is a big gamble this week at Heinz Field The Bengals will have to play ketchup and will likely lean on the Red Rifle. However, one would think they would take away A.J. Green as well. Long story short, if you have other reliable options, bench most of your Bengals.

UPDATE: Donald Lee being out gives a slight upgrade to Jermaine Gresham and the Bengals will likely be a one-dimensional offense. If you own Bengals D/ST, it's probably time to cut bait unless you have your eye on a weak matchup in the future.

Steelers

Official Inactives: WR Arnaz Battle, QB Dennis Dixon, LB Chris Carter, G Jamon Meredith, DT Chris Hoke, LB Larry Foote, DE Al Woods

Analysis: The Bengals D ain't what it used to be. Leon Hall is out for the year, Nate Clements is questionable with a hammy and Carlos Dunlap--their best pass rusher-- is doubtful. This sets up extremely well for the Pittsburgh offense and should be deemed as an advantageous matchup. Bruce Arians said he wants to establish the run more this week, so give an upgrade to a struggling Rashard Mendenhall. Mike Wallace is an obvious start while Antonio Brown is a low-end WR2 and owners should have no concerns about Emmanuel Sanders usurping his role. Ben should be a top-10 QB, too.

UPDATE: Nate Clements is in fact out. The Bengals are really going to have a tough time sticking Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown. Wallace makes a case for being the top WR this week and Brown is a strong WR2. Big Ben gets some extra time to throw as well with Dunlap out.

Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans

Falcons

Official Inactives: T Kirk Chambers, CB Kelvin Hayden, LB Stephen Nicholas, C Brett Romberg, CB Brent Grimes, DE Cliff Matthews, QB John Parker Wilson

Analysis: The big story again with Atlanta is Julio Jones being questionable. Julio is expected to play with his hamstring ailment, but he's a risky play since he hasn't really done anything while dealing with this issue. Michael Turner (groin), also questionable, should be fine and figures to get his usual amount of work. Even though Houston's D has been spectacular this year, the banged-up talent should mean Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez get a bigger piece of the pie. There's some risk to playing Matty Ice, but there's a lot of upside.

UPDATE: As expected, Julio Jones and Michael Turner are good to go. Turner should be in the vast majority of lineups while Julio is an intriguing guy with the Texans susceptible to the WR2. He's a high risk/high reward guy.

Texans

Official Inactives: QB Kellen Clemens, CB Brandon Harris, DE Tim Bulman, OL Andrew Gardner, RB Lawrence Vickers, TE Garrett Graham, OL Thomas Austin

Analysis: Andre Johnson is probably the toughest player to gauge at this point. He took the first half off last week and his owners have every right to be concerned. The Falcons are going to miss Brent Grimes as well as Kelvin Hayden (doubtful) for this game, which should limit the Falcons in bracketing Andre for most of the game. Start Johnson as a low-end WR1 this week. Switching to the ground, the Falcons are ranked second vs. the run. Even if they only allowed 15.0 rushing YPG, you're still starting Arian Foster.

UPDATE: Besides the quarterback position, the Texans are pretty healthy. Owen Daniels could see a lot of hot-read receptions with the Falcons bringing a lot of heat on the rookie T.J. Yates. They have to keep John Abraham in check.

New York Jets at Washington Redskins

Jets

Official Inactives: QB Kevin O'Connell WR Erron Riley RB Bilal Powell CB Ellis Lankster DE Mike DeVito T Austin Howard DE Martin Tevaseu

Analysis: LaDainian Tomlinson is set to come back from his MCL sprain and figures to take some third-down snaps from Shonn Greene. Nevertheless, expect to see a lot of Shonn Greene and the Jets to stretch the secondary with LaRon Landry out. And by stretch, I mean throw the ball past 15 yards. The Jets were roasted all week long for not throwing the ball deep by the New York media, so hopefully they realize they paid Santonio Holmes $50 million this summer.

UPDATE: Mike DeVito is really the only starter that is out for the Jets, so they have no excuses this week. The Jets do have to protect Mark Sanchez with Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan coming off the edge. As long as he can make some pre-snap adjustments, the Jets should be able to put up some points.

Redskins

Official Inactives: S LaRon Landry LB Markus White OL Willie Smith FB Darrel Young WR Terrence Austin CB Brandyn Thompson OL Tyler Polumbus

Analysis: Roy Helu is expected to get over 20 carries against the Jets. While this is a bad matchup for the Washington O, it's really hard to bench Helu since he'll be the focal point of the offense. Santana Moss should probably be on the pine on Revis Island.

UPDATE: Reports from Manish Mehta of the Daily News say that Revis Island will not shadow Santana Moss. Unless you were really stressing over Moss and another guy, he is still a tough guy to play.

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots

Colts

Official Inactives: TE Dallas Clark RB Ryan Mahaffey DE Jerry Hughes QB Peyton Manning TE Brody Eldridge DT Drake Nevis CB Kevin Thomas

Analysis: Dan Orlovsky actually has a fantastic matchup this week. The Patriots are dead last against the pass and they even allowed Vince Young to throw for 400 yards on them. The same Young that threw four picks on Thursday. You have to be very, very desperate to start D.O. Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne are actually guys that are worth starting this week and I think both will have double-digit fantasy points. Donald Brown also serves as a flex.

UPDATE: Jacob Tamme could be an interesting guy for those of you that are desperate for a TE. Does anyone else find it hilarious that the Patriots are favored by 20.5 points today!?

Patriots

Official Inactives: LB Dane Fletcher, OL Dan Connolly, LB Brandon Spikes, RB Shane Verreen, QB Ryan Mallett, S Patrick Chung, OL Sebastian Vollmer

Analysis: In typical Silly Billy fashion, the Patriots have Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead, Chad Ochocinco Matt Slater and Julian Edelman listed as questionable. The point is that there could be less in the way of BenJarvus Green-Ellis from getting a featured load. If there was a week to feel safe in starting him, it's this one. If both Vereen and Woodhead defy the odds and are both out, Stevan Ridley might be a sneaky play for the garbage time. This will be updated tomorrow.

UPDATE: Shane Vereen is OUT. This development may Stevan Ridley an interesting play for garbage time. This also alleviates some of the concerns of Law Firm owners. Chad Ochocinco is ACTIVE. Woo hoo!!

Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins

Raiders

Official Inactives: RB Darren McFadden, QB Jason Campbell, WR Jacoby Ford, OL Bruce Campbell, DE Jarvis Moss, RB Taiwan Jones, WR Denarius Moore

Analysis: The Raiders are missing their stud back, their starting flanker and starting split end as they take their talents to South Beach. It goes without saying that you need to have Michael Bush in your lineups (yes, I realize I just said it). The Raiders turned loose DHB and Chaz Schilens last week to lead them in targets. The Dolphins are defending the pass much better as the season has progressed. Vontae Davis figures to stick Chaz and Sean Smith should get DHB in normal 21 sets (2 RB, 1 TE). DHB gets the nod if you're desperate.

UPDATE: Taiwan Jones is out for the Raiders which could mean more snaps for Marcel Reece in very deep leagues. There is a lot on the shoulders on Michael Bush today and he should rise to the challenge.

Dolphins

Official Inactives: LB Ikaika Alama-Francis, RB Steve Slaton, OL Ray Feinga, OL Will Barker, G Vernon Carey, DE Ryan Baker, TE Will Yeatman

Analysis: One of the most surprising defensive backs this year has been Stanford Routt. Routt will likely shadow Brandon Marshall for most of this game and this creates a below-average matchup for B-Marsh. He's more of a low-end WR2. Reggie Bush is rolling right now and should be licking his pizza-flavored chops against Oakland's 27th-ranked run D. Start Bush. The Raiders are going to miss quite a few pieces in their front seven and Matt Moore should have some time to distribute the football to his receivers. Consider Moore, Hartline and Fasano more than you usually would.

UPDATE: The Raiders are limping to Sun Life Stadium.. or whatever they're calling it now. As mentinoed above, Matt Moore has some sleeper potential and Anthony Fasano could score six as well. Also, let's all hope Jared Odrick gets a sack so we can see the Pee Wee Herman dance. Tequila!

Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings

Broncos

Official Inactives: S Rahim Moore LB Von Miller TE Quinn Johnson TE Julius Thomas OL Tony Hills LB Mike Mohamed OT Manuel Ramirez

Analysis: Willis McGahee is dealing with an illness and is questionable. His name is not Peyton Hillis and he probably got not-a-pansy booster shot. Willis is good to go. Tebow gets a pass D that is ravaged by injuries and he might actually be airing it out a little. He's a decent start this week. Eric Decker is a gamble as a WR3 though.

UPDATE: Losing Von Miller is a killer, so if you were planning in rolling with DEN D/ST, think elsewhere. Besides Miller, it's business as usual with Willis good to go.

Vikings

Official Inactives: CB Asher Allen, RB Adrian Peterson, CB Chris Cook, S Andrew Sendejo, OL Brandon Fusco, OL DeMarcus Love, and DE D'Aundre Reed.

Analysis: Toby Gerhart will get the bulk of the carries and should have a much better time this week compared to last week at Atlanta. He should find the end zone and could flirt with 100 yards as a low-level RB2. Percy Harvin is questionable with a non-migraine illness. He is expected to play and should be an integral part of the offense. Start him.

UPDATE: Von Miller being out is actually huge for the Vikings. Miller hasn't missed a tackle all year and is among the league leaders in QB hits. Gerhart makes for a nice RB2 and Percy Harvin should also be in most lineups.

Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills

Titans

Official Inactives: OL Byron Stingily, DT Zach Clayton, WR Donny Avery , OL Kevin Matthews, QB Rusty Smith, CB Tommie Campbell, LB Barrett Ruud

Analysis: Chris Johnson is ready to be turned loose on a reeling Bills D. They are missing one of their best players in George Wilson and all of his owners should start him with extreme confidence (I have him ranked third in my Running Back Rankings). The wide receiver dilemma is a bit cloudy with Damian Williams likely to be the WR1. However, if you've read anything I've ever written, I believe Drayton Florence is the best matchup for any receiver on any given week. That honor goes to Nate Washington. Consider Nate as a decent WR3.

UPDATE: Barrett Ruud is out, so give a long look to Colin McCarthy in IDP leagues. Hasselbeck could also have a nice game today on top of CJ2K busting out again.

Bills

Official Inactives: S George Wilson, K Rian Lindell, WR Kamar Aiken, LB Antonio Coleman, OL Sam Young, CB Josh Nesbitt, WR Derek Hagan

Analysis: C.J. Spiller is slated to be the starter again for Buffalo. He wasn't great last week against the Jets, but he did get a featured work load. Stevie Johnson revived his fantasy stock with an eight-catch game on Revis Island. Look for him to have a positive game. Need a deep sleeper? Brad Smith led the Bills WR is snaps last week and the Bills will find creative ways to get him the ball.

UPDATE: The Bills are really struggling right now and missing George Wilson doesn't help. It's tough to count on Ryan Fitzpatrick with the improving play of Jason McCourty to complement pesky Cortland Finnegan. Stevie Johnson is still a great start.

Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears

Chiefs

Official Inactives: DE Brandon Bair, S Donald Washington, TE Jake O'Connell, LB Demorrio Urban, DT Jerrell Powe, QB Ricky Stanzi, TE Anthony Becht

Analysis: The Chiefs have all of their talent on IR and they are going to struggle mightily against the Bears. Even Marshawn Lynch wouldn't taste Dwayne Bowe this week. I had to make one Skittles joke. Sorry. In other words, Bowe is barely a WR3 this week and most owners shouldn't consider any Chief.

UPDATE: It's the Chiefs. Tyler Palko is starting. 32-team leagues should take notice.

Bears

Official Inactives: Bears: QB Jay Cutler CB D.J. Moore QB Josh McCown G Ricky Henry TE Andre Smith LB Jabara Williams DT Anthony Adams

Analysis: There is a certainly player that's right at the top of the list on guys to watch this week and it's Johnny Knox. Knox got 10 targets for 145 yards and has another nice matchup by not facing Brandon Flowers for most of the game. Forte is an obvious start and Chicago D/ST is arguably the top option this week.

UPDATE: Matt Forte has a nice matchup with the weak interior defense of Kansas City. As long as the Bears block Tamba Hali, they'll coast today.

4PM EST-4:15 PM EST Games

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

Ravens

Official Inactives: WR LaQuan Williams, CB Chykie Brown, WR Tandon Doss, LB Sergio Kindle, RB Anthony Allen, LB Ray Lewis, CB Chris Carr

Analysis: Ray Rice is the top back this week. He's going to turn Cleveland's brown eye blue. Anquan Boldin should see a lot of Joe Haden, which lowers his value a bit in shallow formats. There's a good chance that Torrey Smith scores on a bomb in this one. The Ravens are another fantasy D that figures to explode.

UPDATE: Don't let Ray Lewis being out dissuade you from thinking Baltimore isn't elite. Based on how Chicago is stinking it up, they should be the top D this week.

Browns

Official Inactives: QB Thaddeus Lewis, TE Jordan Cameron, T Oniel Cousins C/G Steve Vallos, DE Auston English, LB Quinton Spears, S T.J. Ward

Analysis: Montario Hardesty is still dealing with his calf injury and is questionable. Since Peyton Hillis is back, you're more than welcome to cut Hardesty in almost all leagues. Peyton Hillis figures to get stuffed all game long and the concern of him pulling hims hammy makes him a guy that should probably be on your benches. Greg Little was targeted 13 times last week and should see close to 10 this week. Hopefully he doesn't drop any this time.

UPDATE: Hardesty is active for the Browns. Move along. Nothing to see here.

Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals

Cowboys

Official Inactives: WR Miles Austin, QB Jon Kitna, RB Tony Fiammetta, RB Phillip Tanner, OL Daniel Loper, DE Josh Brent, QB Jon Kitna, OL David Arkin

Analysis: Laurent Robinson should go out with a bang at U of P Stadium against the Cardinals and their 25th-ranked pass D. He and Dez Bryant should be in all standard lineups. Felix Jones will play again and spend most of his time watching DeMarco Murray carve up the Cardinals. Although Phillip Tanner is out for Dallas, so Felix has a shot at eight touches in a change-of-pace role. Plan accordingly.

UPDATE: The Cowboys still should have no problems moving the ball with Fiammetta out. Murray should go off.

Cardinals

Official Inactives: WR Stephen Williams, S Kerry Rhodes, WR Chansi Stuckey, LB Joey Porter, QB Richard Bartell, TE Todd Heap, OL D'Anthony Batiste

Analysis: Beanie Wells is probable with a knee injury and is good to go. It figures to be tough sledding for the Arizona rushing attack and Wells is isn't a must-start despite the monster game last week. Kevin Kolb is back and should boost Larry Fitzgerald's value against the 14th-ranked Dallas pass D.

UPDATE: Kolb is active. He has a decent schedule and is worth owning in two-QB leagues.

Green Bay Packers at New York Giants

Packers

Official Inactives: CB Davon House, LB A.J. Hawk, LB Desmond Bishop, TE D.J. Williams, LB Jamari Lattimore, LT Chad Clifton, O T Josh Sitton

Analysis: James Starks used the extra days from Thanksgiving and is pretty close to 100 percent. Who cares? The Packers don't run enough.

UPDATE: The Packers are set on the offensive side, but they are missing some key pieces on D with Bishop and Hawk out. Rodgers, Nelson, Jennings and Finley should have above-average games in this shootout.

Giants

Official Inactives: LB Mark Herzlich, DT Jimmy Kennedy, OL Stacy Andrews, RB Da'Rel Scott, WR Mario Manningham, DE Osi Umenyiora, C David Baas

Analysis: Mario Manningham is doubtful with his knee injury and there was talk that he could be shutting it down. Feel free to cut him if you have to. Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks are both probable and both have extremely high upside in this one. Ahmad Bradshaw is a game-time decision and said he will get a full load in the event he suits up. They play in the late game, so Bradshaw owners need to have an alternative that starts at the same time or later. If there's a reliable option that plays at 1 PM EST, you might want to just play it safe.

UPDATE: Ahmad Bradshaw is ACTIVE. The Giants need a huge game out of him and you should use their confidence to help push you over the edge to start him over a questionable guy. Eli, Cruz and Nicks are green lit.

St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers

Rams

Official Inactives: Sam Bradford, RB Cadillac Williams, OL Kevin Hughes, OT Mark LeVoir, DE C.J. Au You, WR Danario Alexander, S Darian Stewart, LB Josh Hull

Analysis: Danario Alexander is going to make his return to the lineup and is someone that owners might consider stashing in deep leagues. Obviously he should not be played. S-Jax and Brandon Lloyd are the only guys that should be starting in standard fantasy leagues. They're obviously not must-start guys with the stout SF D.

UPDATE: Darian Stewart is out for the secondary and Danario Alexander is OUT. So much for the idea above. He shouldn't be owned in any league. Feel free to take a shot on S-Jax or Lloyd. OH! Sam Bradford will not play as well and A.J. Feeley shouldn't be in your lineup.

49ers

Official Inactives: CB Shawntae Spencer, FB Moran Norris, OL Daniel Kilgore, OL Mike Person, QB Scott Tolzien, DT Ian Williams, WR Braylon Edwards

Analysis: Braylon Edwards is questionable with a knee injury. Michael Crabtree could be viewed as a low-end WR3 with the lack of talent around him. The main man is going to be a healthy Frank Gore taking on the worst rushing D in the league. Gore's relatively clean bill of health doesn't change how Kendall Hunter needs to be owned in all leagues.

UPDATE: Frank. Gore.

Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints (Sunday Night Football 8:20 PM EST)

Lions

Official Inactives: CB Chris Houston, FS Louis Delmas, QB Drew Stanton, RB Aaron Brown, G Leonard Davis, DE Lawrence Jackson and CB Brandon McDonald.

Analysis: The big story of the day is with Lions. Kevin Smith is a game-time decision with his ankle sprain. He is expected to play though. There is huge upside with Silent Bob and he would probably be a top-10 back provided he has a full game. However, the fact that he plays on Sunday Night Football makes it a huge gamble. Of course it'd be nice to have Maurice Morris, but if you don't and have a decent option that plays earlier, it's probably best to keep Smith on the bench.

UPDATE: Kevin Smith is ACTIVE. Reports from beat writers indicate that he looked great in warmups and fantasy owners should feel free to put him in their lineups. Obviously, Maurice Morris should be on all benches.

Saints

Official Inactives: RB Chris Ivory, WR Adrian Arrington, TE Michael Higgins, OT Will Robinson, DE Turk McBride, LB Martez Wilson and CB Johnny Patrick

Analysis: This sets up great for the Saints. Suh is suspended and Chris Houston and Louis Delmas are both doubtful with knee injuries. Delmas and Houston are their best two pass defenders in the secondary. Expect another monster from Drew Brees.

UPDATE: Nothing out of the blue for New Orleans here. As mentioned above, the Saints should impose their will on the Detroit D. We'll set the O/U on Brees scores at 4.5.

If you need an unequivocal answer for your lineup decision, hit me up on Twitter where I answer questions all morning.

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