Commentary

Week 13 inactives

Updated: December 1, 2013, 7:08 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com

Welcome to Week 13 of the 2013 NFL season. Here we'll be posting "live" updates and analysis as NFL teams release their inactive lists. Refresh often for the latest information.

Ruled out before Sunday

LB Lance Briggs (shoulder), QB Jason Campbell (concussion), QB Jay Cutler (ankle), WR Aaron Dobson (foot), LB Justin Houston (elbow), RB Brandon Jacobs (knee), DE Charles Johnson (knee), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder), TE Kyle Rudolph (foot), RB Daniel Thomas (ankle), CB Corey Webster (ankle).

Top players we're watching

Early afternoon games (1 p.m. ET)

RB Andre Ellington (knee, questionable): inactive
TE Rob Gronkowski (back, questionable): active
RB Stevan Ridley (healthy scratch): inactive
RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle, questionable): active
RB Mike Tolbert (knee, questionable): active
RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh, questionable): inactive

Late afternoon games (4:05 and 4:25 p.m. ET)

TE Tony Gonzalez (toe, questionable): active
RB Knowshon Moreno (ankle, probable): active
RB Zac Stacy (concussion, probable): active
TE Julius Thomas (knee, questionable): inactive

Sunday Night Football (8:30 p.m. ET)

TE Jordan Reed (concussion, questionable): inactive

Updates/analysis (most recent first)

Hakeem Nicks active (7:08 p.m. ET): Pat Hanlon of the New York Giants reports that WR Hakeem Nicks (abdomen, probable) is active for the New York Giants. Nicks claimed he could've played in Week 12, when he was deactivated with this injury, but he's apparently good to go this week. The matchup might be favorable for him, but it's unclear yet how much the Giants might involve him with their season quickly slipping away; they have Reuben Randle as a more long-term piece they can plug in at times. Nicks is our No. 32 wide receiver for Week 13.

Jordan Reed inactive (7:04 p.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that TE Jordan Reed (concussion, questionable) is inactive for the Washington Redskins. It's devastating news to Reed's owners, as all indications were that he would play, but per Schefter, Reed suffered pre-game headaches and had to be scratched. Fantasy owners are now left scrambling, with Fred Davis, Brandon Myers and Zach Miller the three most likely to be available.

Tamba Hali active (3:13 p.m. ET): The Kansas City Chiefs' official Twitter feed reports that LB Tamba Hali (ankle, questionable) is active. It's a plus for the Chiefs' D/ST, though they face arguably their toughest matchup of the season (though these teams' meeting in Denver was probably worse).

C.J. Anderson inactive (3:08 p.m. ET): The Denver Broncos' official Twitter feed reports that RB C.J. Anderson is inactive. This is an interesting development, considering Anderson was asked to take on some of the load after Knowshon Moreno got hurt during overtime in Week 12. It means Montee Ball will be the primary backup to Moreno for this week, with Ronnie Hillman, active this week, as the No. 3 back.

Julius Thomas inactive (3:08 p.m. ET): The Denver Broncos' official Twitter feed reports that TE Julius Thomas (knee, questionable) is inactive. Painful news for Thomas' fantasy owners who waited. Expect Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen to again share the tight-end chores, with Tamme the one you want as a fantasy fill-in if necessary.

Knowshon Moreno active (3:08 p.m. ET): The Denver Broncos' official Twitter feed reports that RB Knowshon Moreno (ankle, probable) is active. Moreno practiced fully on Friday, so there's every reason to believe that he'll handle close to his usual load in Week 13. Though he has begun ceding some short-yardage work to Montee Ball, something sure to continue today, he remains our No. 10 running back even accounting for this possibility.

Antonio Gates active (3:05 p.m. ET): Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that TE Antonio Gates (hamstring, probable) is active for the San Diego Chargers. There have been whispers all week that he's playing this game at less than full strength, and the amount of snaps he can play is unknown (and possibly limited). Keep that in mind if you have a strong alternative. We ranked Gates our No. 11 tight end for Week 13.

Eddie Royal inactive (3:05 p.m. ET): Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that WR Eddie Royal (toe, questionable) is inactive for the San Diego Chargers. He was downgraded to doubtful on Saturday, so his fantasy owners surely found themselves an alternative before now. Expect Seyi Ajirotutu to pick up a few additional snaps in Royal's stead.

Vontaze Burfict active (2:57 p.m. ET): Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that LB Vontaze Burfict (ankle, questionable) is active for the Cincinnati Bengals. Burfict is expected to start, per Reedy, and he checks in as Jim McCormick's No. 3 linebacker for Week 13.

Robert Woods active (2:46 p.m. ET): The Buffalo Bills' official Twitter feed reports that WR Robert Woods (ankle, probable) is active. Woods has a favorable matchup, but probably won't see the volume of targets needed to be more than a WR4/5 in larger leagues. He is our No. 41 wide receiver for Week 13.

Steve Johnson active (2:46 p.m. ET): The Buffalo Bills' official Twitter feed reports that WR Steve Johnson (groin, probable) is active. This is quite the favorable matchup for Johnson, as the Falcons have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. He's our No. 26 option for Week 13.

Mario Manningham active (2:42 p.m. ET): The San Francisco 49ers' official Twitter feed reports that WR Mario Manningham (knee, probable) is active. That said, Manningham's fantasy stock might suffer as a result of Michael Crabtree's starter status, as there was a good chance that the two would split snaps in two-wide sets. We didn't rank Manningham among our top 50 wide receivers for Week 13; you should be able to find a stronger alternative.

Zac Stacy active (2:40 p.m. ET): The St. Louis Rams' official Twitter feed reports that RB Zac Stacy (concussion, probable) is active. Stacy was medically cleared in advance of the weekend, so there shouldn't be any major concerns of lingering injury. It's his matchup that's the toughie; the opposing 49ers have afforded running backs only 39 fantasy points combined in their three games since the bye. Nevertheless, Stacy should take on his usual workhorse role, which is why he earned our No. 11 ranking among running backs for Week 13.

Michael Crabtree will start (2:38 p.m. ET): The San Francisco 49ers' official Twitter feed reports that WR Michael Crabtree will earn a Week 13 start. There have also been whispers that Crabtree will not be on a snap count, so he's certainly worth, at minimum, close monitoring even if he remains on your bench. We ranked him 43rd among wide receivers, and it's possible that he'll be used enough to warrant WR3 consideration in leagues 12 teams or larger. Still, it's his first game back from his Achilles' injury, so don't let your expectations get the best of you.

Tony Gonzalez active (2:32 p.m. ET): The Atlanta Falcons' official Twitter feed reports that TE Tony Gonzalez (toe, questionable) is active. He put in three limited practices and has made a habit of playing for a few weeks now despite his injury. Gonzalez might not be at full strength, but he nevertheless gets enough targets to warrant starting in most fantasy leagues. We ranked him sixth among tight ends.

Rishard Matthews active (11:53 a.m. ET): The Miami Dolphins' official Twitter feed reports that WR Rishard Matthews (back, probable) is active. He was limited early in the practice week but his probable tag was a good sign that it wasn't a major issue. He's now facing a struggling Jets secondary, meaning he's worth a look in larger leagues, checking in 49th in our wide receiver rankings.

Santonio Holmes active (11:49 a.m. ET): The New York Jets' official Twitter feed reports that WR Santonio Holmes (foot, questionable) is active. With Jeremy Kerley out, Santonio Holmes might see a slight uptick in targets. Still, this is a poor matchup for the struggling Jets passing game; the Dolphins rarely allow many fantasy points to wide receivers.

Jeremy Kerley inactive (11:49 a.m. ET): The New York Jets' official Twitter feed reports that WR Jeremy Kerley (elbow, questionable) is inactive. Kerley's quarterback hasn't been reliable enough nor has he received the volume of targets to warrant keeping on 10-team standard league rosters.

T.Y. Hilton active (11:48 a.m. ET): The Indianapolis Colts' official Twitter feed reports that WR T.Y. Hilton (shoulder, probable) is active. Hilton checked in a full Thursday practice and was never at serious risk of sitting. Though his matchup is a challenging one, he should get enough targets to be a reliable WR2. He is our No. 13 option for Week 13.

Darrelle Revis active (11:46 a.m. ET): The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' official Twitter feed reports that CB Darrelle Revis (groin, questionable) is active. Revis' active status is bad news for Steve Smith's owners, as Revis has been playing more man coverage of late, and Smith would be his most likely matchup. The Buccaneers' other defensive backs have struggled to contain opposing receivers this season, however, particularly those lined up in the slot: Slot receivers have 87 catches and 8 touchdowns against them. Brandon LaFell arguably has the better matchup among Panthers wide receivers this week.

Adrian Peterson active (11:43 a.m. ET): The Minnesota Vikings' official Twitter feed reports that RB Adrian Peterson (groin, probable) is active. Peterson's performance this season might be down from his usual standard, perhaps partly a result of his injury, but he did check in a full Friday practice and now faces a poor Bears defense that has allowed 30-plus points to opposing running backs in three of their past five games. He is our No. 1 running back for Week 13.

Kendall Wright active (11:41 a.m. ET): The Tennessee Titans' official Twitter feed reports that WR Kendall Wright (ankle, probable) is active. Wright put in full practices late in the week, so there's no real worry about his injury. He has a great matchup against the Colts, and checks in our No. 14 wide receiver for the week.

Mike Tolbert active (11:37 a.m. ET): The Carolina Panthers' official Twitter feed reports that RB Mike Tolbert (knee, questionable) is active. DeAngelo Williams' inactive status doesn't impact Tolbert significantly, outside of the chance that the Panthers merely divvy up his carries between Tolbert and Jonathan Stewart. As Tolbert is the better short-yardage back, though, a pairing in which Tolbert handles only the "dirty work" seems likely. Don't bump him up too much higher than his initial No. 39 ranking among running backs.

DeAngelo Williams inactive (11:37 a.m. ET): The Carolina Panthers' official Twitter feed reports that RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh, questionable) is inactive. Williams missed the entire practice week, then was termed "very doubtful" by Adam Schefter this morning; we'd hope you had set a contingency plan in motion in advance. With Williams out, expect Jonathan Stewart to see the most significant bump in rushing attempts.

Jonathan Stewart active (11:37 a.m. ET): The Carolina Panthers' official Twitter feed reports that RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle, questionable) is active. DeAngelo Williams' inactive status is a pleasant surprise if you're Stewart's owner, as it means that most of the early-down, between-the-20s work should belong to the latter. Stewart might cede all short-yardage work -- meaning the goal-line carries -- to Mike Tolbert (and/or Cam Newton), but there might be enough here to justify flex status. We ranked him 36th among running backs; I might be tempted to make a top-30 argument now, the main hesitation the difficult matchup (Bucs have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to running backs).

Steve Smith active (11:37 a.m. ET): The Carolina Panthers' official Twitter feed reports that WR Steve Smith (knee, probable) is active. Smith might be active, but news of Darrelle Revis' active status on the opposite site overshadows this news, as Revis is most likely to shadow Smith for the majority of the game. Expect difficulty for Smith to find openings today -- barring an extensive setback-related injury absence by Revis mid-game -- meaning our No. 24 ranking of Smith for Week 13 might even be too generous. He's a mid-range WR3 in my book, at best.

Andre Ellington inactive (11:36 a.m. ET): Darren Urban of the Arizona Cardinals reports that RB Andre Ellington (knee, questionable) is inactive. It's bad (and somewhat unexpected) news for Ellington's owners, as after pre-game warmups the Cardinals decided that Ellington would be unable to go due to the injury he suffered during Thursday's practice. With Ellington out, Rashard Mendenhall gets a slight bump in fantasy value, though it's possible that Stepfan Taylor and/or Alfonso Smith might merely take on Ellington's duties in some combination instead.

Stevan Ridley inactive (11:31 a.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that that RB Stevan Ridley (healthy scratch) is inactive. This follows up on Adam Schefter's earlier hint about Ridley's declining role; sit Ridley if you own him.

Rob Gronkowski active (11:31 a.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that TE Rob Gronkowski (back, questionable) is active. Gronkowski put in only limited practices this week, but those tend to be more maintenance-related than anything; questionable tags tend not to mean much on the Patriots' injury report. His fantasy owners should have no fear this week, and he checked in our No. 1 tight end.

Aqib Talib active (11:31 a.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that CB Aqib Talib (hip, questionable) is active. Talib's active status means a downgrade for Andre Johnson's matchup, though Johnson is still our ninth-ranked wide receiver for Week 13. It merely caps his upside for the contest.

Shane Vereen active (11:31 a.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that RB Shane Vereen (wrist, probable) is active. With Stevan Ridley continuing to struggle with fumbles, Vereen is the one truly reliable play among Patriots running backs, even if it's mostly because of how often he's lined up as a receiver. He's particularly attractive in PPR leagues, but even in standard, he checked in 15th in our running back rankings.

Mike Brown active (11:29 a.m. ET): Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union reports that WR Mike Brown (shoulder, questionable) is active for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was limited throughout the practice week, so exercise caution with him in deeper leagues (which are the only ones in which he's roster-worthy).

Jordan Reed will play (11:24 a.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that TE Jordan Reed (concussion, questionable) will play for the Washington Redskins. This is great news to hear in advance of the 1 p.m. ET kickoffs, as Reed's fantasy owners can now make a more educated choice rather than playing the wait-and-guess game involved with Sunday night players. It means that he has passed the league's concussion protocol. We ranked Reed our No. 8 tight end for Week 13.

Donald Brown earns the start (11:09 a.m. ET): RB Donald Brown will start for the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13, replacing RB Trent Richardson in the lineup. This was a move a long time coming; Brown has outperformed Richardson in recent weeks despite his backup status. That said, "starts" are often overrated for fantasy purposes; the point is the larger share of the rushing pie, something that is often determined on a series-by-series basis in-game. Consider this news a plus for Brown, who had a disappointing Week 12, but now has quite a bounce-back opportunity against a Titans defense that afforded him a season-best 21 fantasy points in Week 11, being that his odds of getting the bulk of the work have increased. Ranked our No. 21 running back initially, Brown is now a surefire RB2, though I personally would not push him higher than my initial No. 17 spot with this news.

Stevan Ridley's role to be small (10:55 a.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that RB Stevan Ridley isn't expected to be given many carries by the New England Patriots, if Ridley is active at all. Bear in mind that Ridley is not on the injury report -- an inactive listing would mean he's a healthy scratch -- so this is a hint that he's in Bill Belichick's doghouse for his fumbling problems. It also suggests that Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden might be the workhorses for the Patriots in Week 13. Plan accordingly.

Julius Thomas a true game-time decision (10:38 a.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Denver Broncos have made no final decision on TE Julius Thomas' (knee, questionable) status, and that Thomas' pre-game warmup will determine his status for Week 13. Schefter also notes that Thomas' chances of playing "are iffy at best," as of 10:31 a.m. ET on Sunday. The Broncos' game is one during the 4 p.m. ET block, so let this report drive your decision-making at tight end. You might not be able to wait if your best alternative has a 1 p.m. ET kickoff.

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