Commentary

Week 11 inactives

Updated: November 18, 2012, 7:11 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com

Welcome to Week 11 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 Jason Avant (hamstring), WR Jon Baldwin (head), WR Antonio Brown (ankle), TE Coby Fleener (shoulder), TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle), WR Greg Jennings (groin), RB Maurice Jones-Drew (foot), QB Kevin Kolb (ribs), LB Clay Matthews (hamstring), S Troy Polamalu (calf), QB Ben Roethlisberger (right shoulder), RB Ben Tate (hamstring), QB Michael Vick (concussion), S Charles Woodson (collarbone).

Top players we're watching

Early games (1 p.m. ET)

TE Owen Daniels (back, questionable): active
WR Pierre Garcon (foot, questionable): active
WR Andrew Hawkins (knee, questionable): inactive
WR Calvin Johnson (knee, questionable): active
WR Julio Jones (ankle, questionable): active
WR Jeremy Kerley (heel, questionable): active
RB DeMarco Murray (foot, doubtful): inactive
RB Michael Turner (groin, questionable): active

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

TE Rob Gronkowski (hip, questionable): active
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring, questionable): active
WR Brandon Lloyd (knee, questionable): active
RB Ryan Mathews (neck, questionable): active
RB Darren Sproles (hand, questionable): inactive
WR Wes Welker (ankle, questionable): active

Updates/analysis (most recent first)

Rashard Mendenhall active (7:11 p.m. ET): Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that RB Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles', probable) is active for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mendenhall will get the start and the bulk of the carries, though the Steelers will have Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman both active as well. That detracts slightly from Mendenhall's matchup; it's one reason we have him only 21st for the week. The other is that the Ravens have performed better as a run defense the past two weeks, limiting foes to 24 fantasy points combined (12.0 per game), less than the 20.6 they allowed on average in six games before the bye.

Ryan Clark active (7:11 p.m. ET): Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that S Ryan Clark (concussion, probable) is active for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Clark is Jim McCormick's No. 9 defensive back for the week, making him a top-shelf option in IDP formats.

Terrell Suggs active (6:55 p.m. ET): The Baltimore Ravens' official Twitter feed reports that LB Terrell Suggs (ankle, probable) is active. Suggs is Jim McCormick's No. 29 linebacker for Week 11.

Torrey Smith active (6:55 p.m. ET): The Baltimore Ravens' official Twitter feed reports that WR Torrey Smith (chest, probable) is active. Smith is our No. 22 wide receiver for Week 11. ESPN Stats & Information notes that Joe Flacco's 49.2 completion percentage to Smith ranks 43rd among 44 NFL quarterback-wide receiver duos with at least 50 attempts, but Smith's 19.0 average target distance ranks highest in the NFL. That helps explain Smith's low receptions total but high weekly upside; he's boom/bust, plain and simple, even this week.

Ed Reed active (6:55 p.m. ET): The Baltimore Ravens' official Twitter feed reports that S Ed Reed (shoulder, probable) is active. Reed is Jim McCormick's No. 30 defensive back, making him worth a look in larger IDP leagues.

Haloti Ngata active (6:55 p.m. ET): The Baltimore Ravens' official Twitter feed reports that DT Haloti Ngata (shoulder, probable) is active. Ngata's fantasy production has waned in recent weeks as a result of his injury. He checks in as Jim McCormick's No. 28 defensive lineman this week accordingly.

Bernard Pollard active (6:55 p.m. ET): The Baltimore Ravens' official Twitter feed reports that S Bernard Pollard (chest, probable) is active. Pollard is one of the best defensive backs in IDP leagues; he's Jim McCormick's No. 4 option for Week 11.

Ray Rice active (6:55 p.m. ET): The Baltimore Ravens' official Twitter feed reports that RB Ray Rice (toe, probable) is active. Rice is a no-brainer regardless of matchup, checking in as our No. 3 running back this week. If this Steelers matchup scares you, ESPN Stats & Information points out this: Rice totaled 235 yards from scrimmage and 3 TDs against the Steelers in 2011, becoming the first player to reach those marks against them in a season in 11 years.

Ryan Mathews active (3:04 p.m. ET): Ricky Henne of the San Diego Chargers reports that RB Ryan Mathews (neck, questionable) is active for the San Diego Chargers. Mathews was a legitimate game-time decision, so a limited snap count might be in order here, with Jackie Battle and/or Ronnie Brown taking on a larger role as backups. If you waited this long on Mathews, he's well worth keeping in there, as we ranked him 13th for the week. Still, he's a RB2, plain and simple, keeping in mind matchup and health risk.

Eric Weddle active (3:04 p.m. ET): Ricky Henne of the San Diego Chargers reports that S Eric Weddle (illness, probable) is active for the San Diego Chargers. Weddle is Jim McCormick's No. 3 defensive back for Week 11.

Donald Brown active (3:00 p.m. ET): ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss reports that RB Donald Brown (knee, probable) is active for the Indianapolis Colts. Brown will again serve in rotation with Vick Ballard, limiting either of their fantasy appeal. Sure enough, we ranked Brown 25th, Ballard 26th, making neither more than a flex consideration. One thing to consider: Brown has totaled fewer touches (29) than Ballard (46) the past three weeks combined, and he's the one of the two facing health questions; I personally had Ballard higher (25 to 29) and stand by that ranking.

Elvis Dumervil active (2:59 p.m. ET): The Denver Broncos' official Twitter feed reports that DE Elvis Dumervil (shoulder, questionable) is active. Dumervil is Jim McCormick's No. 10 defensive lineman for the week, so get him into all IDP lineups.

Wes Welker active (2:55 p.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that WR Wes Welker (ankle, questionable) is active. Welker practiced in full on Friday, so his "questionable" tag was probably more strategic than anything, especially being that it has become routine among Patriots players in recent weeks. He'll be facing a Colts defense missing its two best cornerbacks, so there's every reason to believe another big game is coming. Welker is our No. 8 wide receiver for Week 11.

Brandon Lloyd active (2:55 p.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that WR Brandon Lloyd (knee, questionable) is active. Questionable listings have become routine for Lloyd, but he hasn't been a significant threat to be held out for weeks. Once again, he's a Q-tag-active, and we already accounted for any health risk in our No. 26 ranking of him among wideouts.

Rob Gronkowski active (2:55 p.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that TE Rob Gronkowski (hip, questionable) is active. Gronkowski put in a limited practice on Friday, but he hasn't been any threat to sit despite questionable tags for weeks now. He'll be heavily targeted with Aaron Hernandez sidelined, and he checks in as our No. 2 tight end for Week 11.

Jerod Mayo active (2:55 p.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that LB Jerod Mayo (elbow, probable) is active. Mayo is Jim McCormick's No. 8 linebacker for Week 11, making him an elite option in any IDP format.

Darren Sproles inactive (2:38 p.m. ET): The New Orleans Saints' official Twitter feed reports that RB Darren Sproles (hand, questionable) is inactive. With Sproles surprisingly out, the Saints will once again lean on Mark Ingram and Chris Ivory to share their rushing chores. Ivory has been the home-run hitter of the two, with 24 fantasy points the past two weeks to Ingram's 12, though Ingram is the one with more carries during that span (23-17). Consider them your safe/upside plays, Ingram "safe," Ivory "upside," at least applying those designations strictly within their own backfield (as opposed to comparative to the entire league's running back pool, where Ingram might hardly be deemed "safe'). We ranked the two identically, at No. 26 among running backs, but we also did so assuming Sproles would play. With Sproles out, I'd bump Ivory up from my No. 24 ranking to 21st (which would be between Marcel Reece and Rashard Mendenhall, among yet-to-play players), and Ingram from 30th to 24th (between Mendenhall and Vick Ballard).

Darrius Heyward-Bey active (2:38 p.m. ET): The Oakland Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring, questionable) is active. Heyward-Bey's status was very much in question, but apparently he was good enough to play following warmups. Temper your expectations for him somewhat accounting for the injury, but that Saints matchup is a juicy one. We ranked him our No. 30 wideout for Week 11.

Marcel Reece active (2:38 p.m. ET): The Oakland Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that RB Marcel Reece (hamstring, probable) is active. With both Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson out, Reece again will serve as the Raiders' lead back, following a 104-scrimmage-yard performance and a two-game stretch totaling 15 receptions. The Saints represent one of the most favorable matchups for a running back and even if the Raiders fall behind early, Reece's fantasy value wouldn't take the kind of hit your typical running back would; he'll remain involved in the receiving game. That explains our No. 15 ranking of Reece, making him well worth a look as a RB2.

Tyvon Branch inactive (2:38 p.m. ET): The Oakland Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that S Tyvon Branch (neck, questionable) is inactive. Heads up to those of you in IDP leagues, as Branch is one of the better defensive backs in the format. He's out for this week.

Sebastian Janikowski active (2:38 p.m. ET): The Oakland Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that K Sebastian Janikowski (left groin, probable) is active. Janikowski is our No. 3 kicker for the week.

Brandon Myers active (2:38 p.m. ET): The Oakland Raiders' official Twitter feed reports that TE Brandon Myers (shoulder, probable) is active. Myers received his concussion clearance by mid-week and put in full practices both Thursday and Friday, so his injury was never that much of a concern here. He could be in line for a few additional targets with Darrius Heyward-Bey sidelined, but even without that knowledge we had Myers ranked a healthy 14th accounting for his favorable Saints matchup.

D'Qwell Jackson active (12:05 p.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that LB D'Qwell Jackson (calf, probable) is active. Jackson is Jim McCormick's No. 16 linebacker for Week 11.

Trent Richardson active (12:05 p.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that RB Trent Richardson (chest/finger, probable) is active. Richardson is a no-brainer in any week, regularly performing at the low-end of the RB1 class. He's coming off back-to-back games of 20-plus carries and is our No. 8 running back for the week.

T.J. Ward active (12:05 p.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that S T.J. Ward (hand, probable) is active. Ward is Jim McCormick's No. 16 defensive back for the week.

Brandon Weeden active (12:05 p.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that QB Brandon Weeden (groin, probable) is active. Weeden is coming off back-to-back poor performances (9 total fantasy points) and is going up against a decent Cowboys pass defense. He's only worth a look in two-quarterback leagues, ranking 20th for Week 11.

Michael Bennett active (12:02 p.m. ET): The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' official Twitter feed reports that DE Michael Bennett (shoulder, probable) is active. Bennett is Jim McCormick's No. 11 defensive lineman this week.

Steve Smith active (12:02 p.m. ET): The Carolina Panthers' official Twitter feed reports that WR Steve Smith (not injury related, probable) is active. Smith faces a tremendous matchup against the Saints this week, checking in as our No. 17 wide receiver.

Jonathan Babineaux active (12:01 p.m. ET): The Atlanta Falcons' official Twitter feed reports that DT Jonathan Babineaux (thigh, probable) is active. Babineaux is worth a look in deeper IDP leagues; he's 29th among defensive linemen in Jim McCormick's rankings this week.

Tony Gonzalez active (12:01 p.m. ET): The Atlanta Falcons' official Twitter feed reports that TE Tony Gonzalez (shoulder, probable) is active. With Julio Jones potentially playing limited snaps this week, Gonzalez might receive a few additional targets. He's our No. 3 tight end for Week 11, and is a clear fantasy start in all formats.

John Abraham active (12:01 p.m. ET): The Atlanta Falcons' official Twitter feed reports that DE John Abraham (back, questionable) is active. Abraham is one of the most valuable players in IDP leagues, checking in second among defensive linemen in Jim McCormick's rankings.

Harry Douglas active (12:01 p.m. ET): The Atlanta Falcons' official Twitter feed reports that WR Harry Douglas (ankle, probable) is active. Douglas would be the likely benefactor of additional snaps/targets when/if the Falcons decide to give Julio Jones in-game rest. Being that it's difficult to predict how limited Jones might be -- that's usually dictated by game flow and the player's ability to press through pain -- Douglas can't be trusted in fantasy despite potentially additional work.

Vontaze Burfict active (11:58 a.m. ET): The Cincinnati Bengals' official Twitter feed reports that LB Vontaze Burfict (elbow, probable) is active. Burfict is Jim McCormick's No. 27 linebacker for Week 11.

Chris Givens active (11:55 a.m. ET): The St. Louis Rams' official Twitter feed reports that WR Chris Givens is active. A scratch for disciplinary reasons in Week 10, Givens returns to action this week, checking in as our No. 46 wide receiver. We'll see whether he suffers any in snap count in his first game back.

Cliff Avril active (11:54 a.m. ET): Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that DE Cliff Avril (back, probable) is active for the Detroit Lions. Avril is Jim McCormick's No. 21 defensive lineman for Week 11.

Jason Hanson active (11:54 a.m. ET): Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that K Jason Hanson (left foot, probable) is active for the Detroit Lions. Hanson is our fifth-ranked kicker for Week 11.

Titus Young active (11:54 a.m. ET): Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that WR Titus Young (knee, probable) is active for the Detroit Lions. Young checks in as our No. 33 wideout for Week 11, as despite his outburst three weeks ago, he still remains the clear No. 2 to Calvin Johnson in the Lions' passing game, as his past two fantasy outputs showed (11 total points). The Lions might be throwing more often than usual in this game, however, meaning Young might warrant more attention than his ranking in PPR formats.

Jordy Nelson active (11:51 a.m. ET): The Green Bay Packers' official Twitter feed reports that WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring, probable) is active. The bye week should have helped Nelson's hamstring to heal, and the Packers were understandably conservative with him during the practice week. However, Nelson has 65 fantasy points in his past four healthy games, during that time recapturing his status as Aaron Rodgers' most valuable receiving weapon. We ranked Nelson 13th for Week 11.

Alex Green active (11:51 a.m. ET): The Green Bay Packers' official Twitter feed reports that RB Alex Green (knee, probable) is active. Green's lackluster production in recent weeks has opened the door for James Starks to sneak in as the more attractive fantasy play of the Packers' two running backs. Starks checks in as our No. 24 running back; Green is 32nd.

DeMarco Murray inactive (11:48 a.m. ET): Bryan Broaddus of the Dallas Cowboys reports that RB DeMarco Murray (foot, doubtful) is inactive for the Dallas Cowboys. No shock here. Murray's "doubtful" status is at least an improvement upon past weeks, and it might signal that the Cowboys are merely playing it safe here knowing they play in four days, in a division home game against the Redskins on Thanksgiving. Expect Felix Jones, our No. 18 running back for Week 11, to get the start and the bulk of the carries yet again.

Dwayne Bowe active (11:47 a.m. ET): The Kansas City Chiefs' official Twitter feed reports that WR Dwayne Bowe (thigh, probable) is active. Bowe is our No. 27 wideout for Week 11, is production waning in recent weeks as a product of the injuries and poor performance from his quarterbacks.

Brady Quinn active (11:47 a.m. ET): The Kansas City Chiefs' official Twitter feed reports that QB Brady Quinn (head, questionable) is active. Quinn will serve as Matt Cassel's backup in Week 11, and he probably won't see any action this week unless Cassel performs poorly in the early stages of the game.

Todd Heap inactive (11:44 a.m. ET): The Arizona Cardinals' official Twitter feed reports that TE Todd Heap (knee, questionable) is inactive. Rob Housler, who has 22 fantasy points combined the past six games (3.7 per contest), will again serve as the Cardinals' pass-catching tight end. Housler ranks 20th for Week 11.

Calais Campbell inactive (11:42 a.m. ET): The Arizona Cardinals' official Twitter feed reports that DE Calais Campbell (calf, questionable) is inactive. Heads up, fantasy owners in IDP leagues, as Campbell is traditionally one of the better defensive linemen out there.

Jeremy Maclin active (11:41 a.m. ET): The Philadelphia Eagles' official Twitter feed reports that WR Jeremy Maclin (back, probable) is active. Maclin's -- and DeSean Jackson's -- matchup looks favorable on paper, but he'll have Nick Foles rather than Michael Vick throwing him the football this week, capping his fantasy upside. Maclin is our No. 25 wideout for Week 11, meaning he's more WR3/flex consideration with the (injury-driven) change at quarterback.

Bilal Powell active (11:40 a.m. ET): The New York Jets' official Twitter feed reports that RB Bilal Powell (concussion, questionable) is active. Powell will serve as Shonn Greene's backup, but this is a poor matchup for either running back. Powell isn't recommended in fantasy leagues.

Joe McKnight active (11:40 a.m. ET): The New York Jets' official Twitter feed reports that RB Joe McKnight (ankle, questionable) is active. McKnight does much of his work on special teams, so he's a non-factor in fantasy except in uber-deep leagues that reward for return yards.

Jeremy Kerley active (11:38 a.m. ET): The New York Jets' official Twitter feed reports that WR Jeremy Kerley (heel, questionable) is active. Don't sweat his Friday missed practice, as reports widely had him available to play in Week 11. Remember, the Rams' pass defense is weaker than their run D, so Kerley might see a few targets here if you're digging deep at the position. We rank him 36th among wideouts.

Andrew Hawkins inactive (11:36 a.m. ET): The Cincinnati Bengals' official Twitter feed reports that WR Andrew Hawkins (knee, questionable) is inactive. Hawkins was a late addition to the injury report, so his absence is not a shock as he might have suffered it in a late-week practice. With him out, Mohamed Sanu gets the start, though he's not a recommended fantasy fill-in. Seek an alternative from another team.

Calvin Johnson active (11:33 a.m. ET): Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that WR Calvin Johnson (knee, questionable) is active for the Detroit Lions. Megatron put in enough practice time this week that he was never any serious threat to sit, and he's our No. 1 wideout for Week 11, with good reason. He's coming off a season-high 207-yard game, in one where he had more health concern than this, and in his career, he has followed up each of his previous two 200-yard games with a 100-yard performance. Incidentally, he has also averaged 89 yards per game with 10 total TDs -- his most against any opponent -- in nine career games against the Packers.

Louis Delmas inactive (11:33 a.m. ET): Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that S Louis Delmas (knee, doubtful) is inactive for the Detroit Lions. No surprises here, as Delmas was listed as doubtful. The Lions might be playing it safely here, what with them playing in four days on Thanksgiving.

Owen Daniels active (11:32 a.m. ET): The Houston Texans' official Twitter feed reports that TE Owen Daniels (back, questionable) is active. After missing Week 10, Daniels put in a full week of practice, meaning he shouldn't have been a major concern entering this game. We ranked him our No. 6 tight end despite his facing a Jaguars team allowing the second-fewest fantasy points per game to the position. The reason: Daniels' healthy weekly target total (7.0 per game).

Michael Turner active (11:32 a.m. ET): The Atlanta Falcons' official Twitter feed reports that RB Michael Turner (groin, questionable) is active. Turner had one of the worst fantasy days of his career facing an outstanding matchup against the Saints in Week 11, which drops his overall appeal into the "unpredictable" category & hence our No. 18 ranking of him this week. He has visibly lost a step and performed poorly at the goal line last week, so while the Cardinals' run defense has struggled, you should still not slot him as any more than a low-end RB2.

Santana Moss active (11:31 a.m. ET): ESPN Radio 980 AM in Washington, D.C. reports that WR Santana Moss (head, probable) is active for the Washington Redskins. Moss' targets might decline slightly with Pierre Garcon back in action, and we ranked him the lower of the two, at No. 42.

Pierre Garcon active (11:31 a.m. ET): ESPN Radio 980 AM in Washington, D.C. reports that WR Pierre Garcon (foot, questionable) is active for the Washington Redskins. Garcon's active status had been widely reported since late in the week, but the reality for fantasy owners is that he has tried to play through the injury before, and had 10 fantasy points combined doing so in Weeks 4-5. Prepare accordingly, as we rate him our No. 39 wideout for Week 11.

Julio Jones active (11:26 a.m. ET): ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that WR Julio Jones (ankle, questionable) is active for the Atlanta Falcons. Mortensen reported earlier in the day that Jones is likely to be limited this week, so prepare for a more limited snap count, a worry considering Jones' occasional tendency to run cold in given weeks. We ranked Jones our No. 9 wideout and I had him 10th; accounting for the health questions I'd now slot him closer to 20th, meaning he's closer to the borderline of "starter" status in ESPN standard leagues. Consider alternatives if you're rich at the position. Otherwise? Roll the dice.

Joe Haden out (11:25 a.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that CB Joe Haden (oblique, questionable) is out for the Cleveland Browns. Big, big news for the Cowboys' passing game, as Haden is the Browns' top cover corner. Consider this: In the four games that Haden has missed this season, the Browns have allowed 133 fantasy points to opposing wide receivers (33.3 per game). In the five in which he has played, they have allowed 91 (18.2 per game). Heads up if you own Miles Austin or Dez Bryant.