We've already had two games down this week, so owners should have an idea where they stand this week. If you went against Tony Romo or Roddy White (I really hope it's not both), then you know you have to shoot for the moon and play a high-upside guy for some of your debatable decisions. On the flip side, if you had one of those guys, then playing the safe guy is probably the prudent move. Throughout this week's edition you'll see the word "upside" quite a bit to possibly help you in your decision. Don't forget you can ask me about your lineup decision on Twitter. You can give me a list of guys you're considering and I'll let you know which guys I feel are the safest and which has the highest upside. Be sure to specify.
Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans
Official Inactives: QB Jimmy Clausen, K Adi Kunalic, WR Seyi Ajirotutu, CB Darius Butler, WR Darvin Adams, LB Kion Wilson, DE Eric Norwood.
Analysis: The Panthers are fairly healthy at this point with Greg Olsen (back) getting upgraded to probable on Friday. It'll be tough to start him or his tight-end partner Jeremy Shockey in this matchup. Cam Newton gets one of his toughest tests on Sunday against the elite Texan D. He's still a top-seven QB for this week though. DeAngelo and Jonathan Stewart are nothing more than flex guys. Steve Smith might be able to hit J. Joseph deep and he needs to be in all lineups.
UPDATE: Jimmy Clausen is INACTIVE. Make sure he's on your bench in your 100-team league.
Official Inactives: QB Jeff Garcia,CB Sherrick McManis, G Mike Brisiel, T Andrew Gardner, WR Andre Johnson, TE Garrett Graham, DE Tim Bulman
Analysis: Andre will not play in this game and is likely going to be a game-time call for Week 16 as well. His owners shouldn't cut him unless they absolutely have to make a move for this week. Joel Dreessen is also questionable with a knee injury. If he doesn't go, consider Owen Daniels strong TE1. The Texans will be using a heavy dose of Arian Foster and he's our top back this week. Ben Tate is probably worth starting over DeAngelo or J-Stew.
UPDATE: If you really need help at WR, I'd go with Jacoby Jones (although I'd rather have Jerome Simpson and about 50 others)
Washington Redskins at New York Giants
Official Inactives: RB Ryan Torain, FB Mike Sellers, WR David Anderson, T Jammal Brown, DL Kentwan Balmer and LB Markus White.
Analysis: The Giants blew a lot of coverages last week against the Cowboys and Rex Grossman and his receivers got a lot of pub in the fantasy world this week. I'd say take it easy a bit. The Giants have faced the Cowboys, Packers and Saints the last three weeks. Sexy Rexy is not even close to the caliber of those quarterbacks and their offenses. Rex isn't worth starting in 12-team leagues and Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney are more WR3/flex plays. As for Roy Helu, he's a must-start and is one of the hottest fantasy backs in the league right now.
UPDATE: David Anderson being out helps Moss and Gaffney by a minute amount. Ryan Torain is a healthy scratch again and Evan Royster is the preferred handcuff for Roy Helu.
Official Inactives: T James Brewer, TE Travis Beckum, DE Osi Umenyiora, C David Baas, DT Jimmy Kennedy, LB Mark Herzlich and S Derrick Martin.
Analysis: Ahmad Bradshaw is good to go and should be starting in most leagues. That's assuming he doesn't miss curfew.This obviously means it might be time to bench Brandon Jacobs even after his big game against the Cowboys. Mario Manningham is ready to roll, but it looks abundantly clear Victor Cruz has passed him. Hakeem Nicks is an elite play, Cruz is more of a WR2 and Manningham is someone to consider for owners in deep leagues or get bonuses for longer scores. Ballard is a nice play as well with Beckum ruled out.
UPDATE: Justin Tuck is expected to play which makes NYG D/ST a bit more attractive at home against Sexy Rexy. The Big Blue O is good to go and they should be able to rack up the points. Eli is a nice play on a nice brisk day in East Rutherford.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
Official Inactives: LB Koa Misi RB Steve Slaton OL Jake Long OL Ray Feinga OL Will Barker DE Ryan Baker TE Jeron Mastrud
Analysis: Matt Moore is expected to play in this game with his concussion. He is a game-time decision, so if you're in a deep league and want to use the plus matchup, be sure to check back when we update 75 minutes before game time. If he doesn't go, Brandon Marshall is a very risky play. What's more, Jake Long is questionable with a back injury. Reggie Bush should be going in most circumstances this week with the soft Buffalo D.
UPDATE: Matt Moore is good to go and is ACTIVE. Even though there's a little snow in Buffalo, it shouldn't dissuade you from starting Moore for those in a real bind. Although Jake Long being out doesn't help his cause much. Long's absence also knocks Bush down a couple spots in RB Rankings.
Official Inactives: TE Scott Chandler CB Josh Nesbitt WR Kamar Aiken DE Jerron Gilbert OL Sam Young CB Josh Nesbitt TE Fred Onobun, WR Naaman Roosevelt
Analysis: C.J. Spiller still hasn't quite hit his stride since Fred-Jax went down. To make matters worse, he averages a pathetic 1.3 YPC in his three games against the Dolphins. He should still see a nice chunk of carries and is a nice RB2 this week. Stevie Johnson got shut down last time vs. Miami and is a gamble to play. He's still a low-end WR2.
UPDATE: Chandler and Roosevelt being out helps Stevie Johnson get some red-zone targets. He should have no problem topping his game last time vs. MIA as he just had two catches for 16 yards.
Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears
Official Inactives: S Jeron Johnson, LB Adrian Moten, G Paul Fanaika, T Jarriel King and DT Pep Levingston
Analysis: The Hawks are flying high with their running game and have also won two straight in convincing fashion. Marshawn Lynch is a top-10 play and should be in all lineups even with the stout Chicago D. The Seattle receiving corps is a bit of a mess with Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin alternating productive games.It's best to avoid this, but if you have to go with one it should probably be Tate.
UPDATE: The Bears missing Major Wright is a small advantage for the Seahawks and their vertical passing game. It's going to be the Beast Mode Show today though. Skittles served at intermission.
Official Inactives: QB Jay Cutler, RB Matt Forte, TE Andre Smith, OL Levi Horn, DL Henry Melton, S Major Wright.
Analysis: Would you trust Marion Barber with the football this week? It's really going to be tough to plug him in your lineup with the Seahawks likely keying in on the running game and their fourth-best YPC against. The Bears do not have much of a passing game either and the improved Seattle secondary makes just about any Bear unplayable.
UPDATE: You'd have to be in quite a pickle to start any Bear offensive guy this week. Their D should accumulate some sacks though.
New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
Official Inactives: RB Mark Ingram, CB Leigh Torrence, LB Jonathan Casillas, OT Will Robinson, TE Michael Higgins, WR Adrian Arrington, and DE Turk McBride
Analysis: Mark Ingram is out yet again and Chris Ivory will probably pick up most of the work. He had 13 carries compared to six from Pierre Thomas. Darren Sproles is still the best play this week for his quick-strike skills and Ivory is nothing more than a flex in deep leagues. Jimmy Graham's back is good to go and he's probable. Marques Colston also figures to build off his huge two-TD game last week against one of the worst secondaries in the league.
UPDATE: The fact that Minnesota has their horses ready could limit garbage time a bit in this one. Colston, Graham and Brees could all have monster games today.
Official Inactives: CB Chris Cook, S Andrew Sendejo, LB Xavier Adibi, OL Brandon Fusco, TE Allen Reisner, OL DeMarcus Love, and DE D'Aundre Reed.
Analysis: A.D. is back for fantasy owners and he put in a full practice on Friday. There's absolutely no way you can bench him. Percy Harvin drops from a no-brainer WR1 to a strong WR2 in most leagues and it should be almost impossible to bench him as well. Devin Aromashodu has been a snap monster and is a sneaky WR4-type for deep leagues.
UPDATE: Peterson is ACTIVE. Ponder, too. The Vikings are at full strength on offense and should be able to score 20 against the Saints. A play-action pass to Aromashodu seems like it could definitely happen for six today.
Cincinnati Bengals at St. Louis Rams
Official Inactives: S Robert Sands, FB Chris Pressley, RB Brian Leonard, LB Dontay Moch, OG Otis Hudson, OT Andre Smith, WR Andre Caldwell
Analysis: Cedric Benson's back has improved and he's now questionable for this one.Expect to see a heavy dose of the run and he's a strong RB2. A.J. Green is a WR1 this week and Andy Dalton is a top-12 QB against a thin secondary in a dome. If the Bengals can block James Hall and Chris Long (questionable), this game shouldn't be close. Cincy D/ST is a nice play this week (reasons below).
UPDATE: One of the more interesting developments this morning is Andre Caldwell being out despite not being on the injury report. Jerome Simpson jumps up to a nice WR3 this week in a dome against a weak opponent. He has nice upside, too. A.J. Green should have already been in your lineup; this news should make you 100 percent certain now. James Hall is also inactive which should help keep Andy Dalton well protected.
Official Inactives: QB Sam Bradford, QB A.J. Feeley, RB Quinn Porter, CB Justin King, LB Justin Cole, OT Mark LeVoir and DE James Hall
Analysis: Oh boy. Sam Bradford (ankle) and A.J. Feeley (thumb) are both not expected to play which means this is Kellen Clemens show. Yes, the same Kellen Clemens that was horrible for the Jets with a much better offensive line in front of him. The Bengals have a weak secondary at this point, but it's still going to be tough to count on Brandon Lloyd is standards. Steven Jackson is a decent play since he'll likely get a lot of dump passes and slip screens to offset the blitzes from Mike Zimmer.
UPDATE: It's Clemens Time season. He doesn't figure to be very sweet and Brandon Lloyd is a risky play this week.
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts
Official Inactives: RB Javon Ringer, LB Gerald McRath, OL Kevin Matthews, RT Byron Stingily, DT Zach Clayton, WR Donnie Avery, DE William Hayes
Analysis: Matt Hasselbeck (calf) is ready to go, so the Jake Locker Fan Club will have to remain dormant for another week. Nate Washington (ankle) is also ready to roll after putting in a full practice; he and Damian Williams are a bit risky since they are not consistently productive. Chris Johnson should have a field day in Indy.
UPDATE: Matt Hasselbeck is ACTIVE, as expected. Nate Washington is also a go. Hasselbeck has generally gone to Damian Williams more consistently which makes him a slightly better option against the porous Indy secondary. Tennessee D is also fairly healthy and could have a huge day with turnovers, sacks and possibly a score.
Official Inactives: TE Dallas Clark, QB P. Manning, CB Mike Holmes, LB Philip Wheeler, LB A.J. Edds, OT Quinn Ojinnnaka, and DE Jamaal Anderson
Analysis: The Colts are going to try and avoid an 0-14 start without Dallas Clark (neck). The Titans have Jason McCourty back close to 100 percent which means he and Cortland Finnegan should do a nice job on Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon. Those two are only worth playing in PPR or deep leagues. Donald Brown will get most of the ground work and has a low upside with their inept offense.
UPDATE: Dallas Clark is out, so if you wanted to risk Jacob Tamme in this one it's not the craziest idea. The Titans corners are likely going to lock down the outside guys and Tamme is actually a sneaky play.
Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs
Official Inactives: RB Brandon Saine, QB Graham Harrell, LB Desmond Bishop, WR Greg Jennings, DT Ryan Pickett, LT Cliff Clifton, RB James Starks
Analysis: James Jones figures to get a nice portion of the snaps at wide out with Greg Jennings sidelined with his sprained MCL. Jones is a nice high-upside play this week and he is a good bet to catch a long TD with Brandon Flowers likely to stick Jordy Nelson. The running-back situation is a bit cloudy. Brandon Saine is questionable with his concussion and James Starks has an ankle injury that kept him out last week. If both are out, Ryan Grant is an interesting RB2 this week. If Starks goes, Grant is more of a flex. Owners shouldn't rely on Starks at all this week.
UPDATE: Starks AND Saine are INACTIVE. Ryan Grant is good to go as a RB2 this week and should see close to 20 touches today. James Jones is the best option among the GB pass catchers not named Jordy or Jermichael. A nice sleeper today.
Official Inactives: S Jon McGraw QB Tyler Palko TE Jake O'Connell WR Jeremy Urban OL David Mims DE Jerrell Powe DE Brandon Blair
Analysis: Kyle Orton is getting the start for the Chiefs this week. He will likely be asked to throw the ball a little to keep pace with the Pack and could accumulate some nice yardage totals. He's a decent guy in two-QB leagues. Dwayne Bowe is sort of playable this week as a low-end WR2. Ignore their running game unless you're thinking of trying out Dexter McCluster in your deep PPR.
UPDATE: Tyler Palko is active, so if you're starting Orton you have nothing to worry about expect for Orton. The Packers D is fairly healthy in this game with the exception of Desmond Bishop.
4PM EST-4:15 PM EST Games
Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders
Official Inactives: RB Aaron Brown, CB Aaron Berry, G Leonard Davis, S Louis Delmas, DE Keyunta Dawson, QB Drew Stanton, DE Lawrence Jackson
Analysis: Kevin Smith has been a fantasy news lightning rod since he showed up on the scene against the Panthers the week before Thanksgiving. He is questionable with an ankle sprain. He has enormous upside and he should not be on many benches this week. His owners do need to make sure they have an insurance policy though. Calvin is long overdue for a big game this week. Nate Burleson is also an interesting play in most leagues. Obviously Stafford should be starting in all leagues.
UPDATE: Kevin Smith is active and is starting. He is safe to put in most lineups this week.
Official Inactives:QB Jason Campbell, WR Jacoby Ford, RB Darren McFadden, OL Bruce Campbell, DT John Henderson, RB Taiwan Jones, S Michael Huff
Analysis: Darren McFadden (foot) is not officially ruled out, but multiple reports have him as out for this one. Michael Bush is good to go against the Detroit D. Denarius Moore (foot) is expected to play and could have a big game for owners seeking a lot of upside. Carson Palmer is an interesting play for desperate owners with the way Detroit has played defense lately (not counting all of the self-inflicted Ponder turnovers).
UPDATE: Run DMC is in fact out, as expected. Michael Bush should see a heavy dose of carries and should put Suh to the test.
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos
Official Inactives: WR Deion Branch, S Patrick Chung, LB Brandon Spikes, RB Shane Vereen, OL Sebastian Vollmer, QB Ryan Mallett, OL Nick McDonald
Analysis: The Pats are a little banged up. Welker is questionable with his knee, but his owners should not be concerned in the slightest. Danny Woodhead (abdomen) could be out as well and Shane Vereen (hamstring) has already been ruled out. Expect to see a nice amount of Stevan Ridley to compliment BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Neither guy are worth starting in standard leagues with the way New England is expected to sling it through the air. Branch's absence sets up extremely well for Aaron Hernandez to get more snaps in the slot. Brady and Gronk are no-brainers.
UPDATE: Woodhead is active and the Pats are likely to use several different running backs today.
Official Inactives: S Brian Dawkins, S David Bruton, LB Mike Mohamed, OL Manny Ramirez, OL Tony Hills, TE Julius Thomas, DE Derrick Harvey
Analysis: Demaryius Thomas has gone off in his last two games and gets the best matchup for fantasy wide receivers. He's really almost a must-start player this week and has enough upside to be the top guy for the week (to be clear, I'm not saying it will happen; I'm saying it could). Willis McGahee could be big factor in this game as the Broncos try to keep Tom Brady off the field. Tebow might have to pass it around quite a bit and is a QB1 this week.
UPDATE:Nothing to update here. Eric Decker could also be a useful WR3 this week.
New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles
Official Inactives: QB Kevin O'Connell, WR Eron Riley, RB Bilal Powell, CB Marquice Cole, OT Austin Howard, DT Kenrick Ellis, DT Martin Tevaseu
Analysis: The Jets are pretty healthy with only Mike Devito (knee) the only starter up in the air. Joe McKnight is expected to start after putting in an entire week of practice. The Jets will likely attack the Wide 9 D with a heavy dose of Shonn Greene, which makes him our 10th-ranked back this week. Santonio Holmes should still see six catches or so and could score. He's a WR2. Plax should be on the bench in most leagues.
UPDATE: The Jets are pretty healthy and have a tough test in Philly this week. If they can limit LeSean McCoy, they should have success.
Official Inactives: CB Brandon Hughes, DE Darryl Tapp, DT Cedric Thornton, G Julian Vandervelde, OT Winston Justice, DT Trevor Laws, LB Greg Lloyd
Analysis: Jeremy Maclin claims that he's over his hammy issue and should be ready for a full load. He might see a lot of Revis though, so he's a WR2 at best. DeSean Jackson could tear the top off the defense with Jim Leonard out. He's also a WR2. Michael Vick is a risky guy to start at some level because of the way the Jets have been putting pressure on the QB. He's still a top-10 play though.
UPDATE: The Jets are going to play Revis at LCB and Cromartie at LCB for most of the game. That means Maclin won't see a lot of Revis and D-Jax will, in normal sets. Start them as you had planned though since it doesn't make a huge difference.
Cleveland Browns at Arizona Cardinals
Official Inactives: QB Colt McCoy, RB Owen Marecic, OL Oniel Cousins, CB James Dockery, DT Kiante Tripp, OL Steve Vallos, S T.J. Ward
Analysis: Seneca Wallace will get the start for the Browns at U of P Stadium. Plain and simple, do not start any Browns this week unless you're desperate.
UPDATE: Seneca Wallace was a fun QB to use in Madden few years ago.
Official Inactives: WR Stephen Williams, S Rashad Johnson, WR Jaymar Johnson, LB Joey Porter, QB Kevin Kolb, S Sean Considine, OL D'Anthony Batiste
Analysis: Kevin Kolb is not expected to play and it will be John Skelton at the helm this week. The Fordham product had a nice showing last week with three scores. His inconsistencies make him tough to play. Fitz will likely see a lot of Joe Haden, but that shouldn't stop his owners from playing him at home in the dome. The Cardinals will need to block red-hot Jabaal Sheard to get their O going. Beanie Wells is a strong back this week, too.
UPDATE: Skelton is drawing the start. Maybe the Cardinals can trick him to think he's coming in as a reliever because his best games have been when he doesn't start.
Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers(Sunday Night Football 8:20 PM EST)
Official Inactives: WR LaQuan Williams, WR Tandon Doss, RB Anthony Allen, CB Danny Gorrer, LB Chavis Williams, DT Brandon McKinney and LB Sergio Kindle.
Analysis: Billy Cundiff is questionable with a toe injury and is a game-time decision. If you own Cundiff, switch him out right now. Ray Rice should be a busy man against the slow SD D and the Ravens figure to play clock control in So Cal.Anquan Boldin is the best bet for a receiving score and owners should look elsewhere if they're going to lean on Torrey Smith.
UPDATE: Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb are both active. The Ravens defensive front seven vs. the San Diego offensive line is a huge battle to watch.
Official Inactives: DE Jacques Cesaire, WR Bryan Walters, CB Shareece Wright, OT Tony Moll, DE/OLB Everette Brown and LB Nate Triplett.
Analysis: The Chargers really, really need to block Terrell Suggs this week if they're going to get their offense humming. Rivers is a whole different QB when he can set his feet and take his time in the pocket. When he rushes and is under duress, that's when the turnovers happen. The Ravens are playing outstanding defense which means only Vincent Jackson and Gates are player that should be in most lineups. If you have Rivers, he's a borderline QB1 this week.
UPDATE: Lardarius Webb being active does hurt Rivers and V-Jax by a smidgen. A lack of protection will make it tough for Rivers to hit Jackson on a lot of deep balls. Expect the Ravens to try and make Sunday night a nightmare for Rivers.
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