Commentary

Week 8 inactives

Updated: October 27, 2013, 7:39 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com

Welcome to Week 8 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

CB Champ Bailey (foot), S Tyvon Branch (ankle), WR Nate Burleson (forearm), TE Jermichael Finley (neck), QB Nick Foles (concussion), QB Josh Freeman (concussion), CB Leon Hall (Achilles'), S Roman Harper (knee), WR Santonio Holmes (hamstring), QB EJ Manuel (knee), LB Clay Matthews (thumb), WR Quinton Patton (foot), RB Jason Snelling (ankle), RB Leon Washington (ankle), WR Markus Wheaton (finger), WR Roddy White (hamstring), RB David Wilson (neck).

Top players we're watching

Early games (1 p.m. ET)

WR Danny Amendola (concussion, questionable): active
WR Miles Austin (hamstring, questionable): inactive
WR Dwayne Bowe (groin, questionable): active
WR Julian Edelman (thigh, questionable): active
TE Jimmy Graham (foot, questionable): active
RB Brandon Jacobs (hamstring, doubtful): inactive
RB DeMarco Murray (knee, questionable): inactive
RB C.J. Spiller (ankle, doubtful): inactive

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

RB Rashard Mendenhall (toe, doubtful): inactive

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

WR James Jones (knee, doubtful): inactive

Updates/analysis (most recent first)

James Jones inactive (7:39 p.m. ET): The Green Bay Packers' official Twitter feed reports that WR James Jones (knee, doubtful) is inactive. He didn't practice this week and was listed as doubtful, so this one was clear from the start. Jarrett Boykin will step in for him for the second consecutive week, and he has a favorable matchup against the Vikings. Boykin is our No. 18 wide receiver for Week 8.

Ronnie Hillman inactive (3:07 p.m. ET): The Denver Broncos' official Twitter feed reports that RB Ronnie Hillman (healthy scratch) is inactive. He has fumbled in back-to-back games and this is a sure indication that he is in coach John Fox's doghouse. RB C.J. Anderson is active and will be the Broncos' No. 3 running back this week.

Peyton Manning active (3:07 p.m. ET): The Denver Broncos' official Twitter feed reports that QB Peyton Manning (ankle, probable) is active. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported this morning that Manning is battling sprains in both ankles, including a right high ankle sprain, but there was never any chance Manning would sit out Week 8; he's taking pain killers to deal with the injuries. Still, Manning might not be his usual record-pace self, though he couldn't ask for much more favorable a matchup than the Redskins. He is our No. 1 quarterback for Week 8, and he should remain our No. 1 quarterback despite his ailments.

Leonard Hankerson active (3:04 p.m. ET): ESPN Radio 980 in Washington, D.C., reports that WR Leonard Hankerson (foot, questionable) is active for the Washington Redskins.

Steven Jackson active (3:03 p.m. ET): D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that RB Steven Jackson (hamstring, probable) is active for the Atlanta Falcons. Jackson practiced fully this week and earned a "probable" tag, about as encouraging news as one could expect after he missed five weeks with his hamstring injury. He'll recapture early-down and short-yardage work at the bare minimum, which is plenty to cement his RB2 status. He is our No. 19 running back for Week 8.

Rashard Mendenhall inactive (2:55 p.m. ET): The Arizona Cardinals' official Twitter feed reports that RB Rashard Mendenhall (toe, doubtful) is inactive. As reported earlier by ESPN's Adam Schefter, and expected due to his doubtful tag, Mendenhall sits out this week, presenting a great opportunity for Andre Ellington in his first NFL start. Ellington is well worth low-end RB2 consideration this week.

Jeremy Kerley active (2:49 p.m. ET): Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that WR Jeremy Kerley (hamstring, probable) is active for the New York Jets.

Marvin Jones active (2:34 p.m. ET): The Cincinnati Bengals' official Twitter feed reports that WR Marvin Jones (shoulder, probable) is active. Jones put in a full Friday practice, which should've been encouraging enough for his fantasy owners in deeper leagues to trust him today. He has scored a touchdown in back-to-back weeks, but the challenging matchup against the Jets is the reason we ranked him only 46th among wide receivers.

Michael Vick active (11:58 a.m. ET): The Philadelphia Eagles' official Twitter feed reports that QB Michael Vick (hamstring, probable) is active. With Nick Foles (concussion, out) ruled out earlier in the week, Vick was already declared the starter for Week 8. He's facing a poor Giants pass defense, his matchup earning him our No. 10 ranking for the week.

Ryan Tannehill active (11:56 a.m. ET): The Miami Dolphins' official Twitter feed reports that QB Ryan Tannehill (right shoulder, probable) is active. After being limited in practice the previous two days, Tannehill logged a full session on Friday to assure his starter status for Week 8. He'll be going up against an injury-ravaged Patriots defense, but he has been too turnover-prone to date to be trusted as more than a QB2.

Justin Blackmon active (11:54 a.m. ET): The Jacksonville Jaguars' official Twitter feed reports that WR Justin Blackmon (hamstring, probable) is active. Blackmon has 43 fantasy points through three games this season, and this is another one during which his Jaguars should trail early and be therefore throwing often. He is our No. 16 wide receiver for Week 8.

Cecil Shorts active (11:54 a.m. ET): The Jacksonville Jaguars' official Twitter feed reports that WR Cecil Shorts (shoulder, probable) is active. Shorts certainly enters this game healthier than last, but he caught eight passes in Week 7 nevertheless and the Jaguars should be throwing a fair share today. He is our No. 21 wide receiver this week.

Dwayne Bowe active (11:48 a.m. ET): The Kansas City Chiefs' official Twitter feed reports that WR Dwayne Bowe (groin, questionable) is active. Let's not all get too excited now. Bowe is coming off season highs in catches and receiving yards, but let's also not overlook that those numbers were 5 and 66, respectively, and the result was a paltry 6 fantasy points, his third-best single-game total all year. He's also going up against a Browns defense allowing the eighth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers, so it makes sense that, even in a week heavy on byes, he's only our No. 30 wide receiver.

Miles Austin inactive (11:45 a.m. ET): The Dallas Cowboys' official Twitter feed reports that WR Miles Austin (hamstring, questionable) is inactive. The Cowboys have no reason to push Austin with Terrance Williams performing well in his absence, so they're shutting him down for this week in an attempt to get him back to full strength before their Week 11 bye. Williams' fantasy value is at its maximum as a result; he is our No. 20 wide receiver for Week 8 and that might even be a few spots too low now.

Fred Jackson active (11:42 a.m. ET): The Buffalo Bills' official Twitter feed reports that RB Fred Jackson (knee, probable) is active. C.J. Spiller is inactive, so Jackson has the Bills' backfield almost entirely to himself, though to be fair, we should point out that Spiller had been playing barely 12-15 snaps per week recently. Don't expect a massive bump to Jackson's touches, but this cements his value as a low-end RB1/high-end RB2.

C.J. Spiller inactive (11:42 a.m. ET): The Buffalo Bills' official Twitter feed reports that RB C.J. Spiller (ankle, doubtful) is inactive. It's the smart call, as the Bills' bye week doesn't arrive until Week 12, and if this helps him heal up for Week 9 rather than forcing him to play at less than full strength for four more weeks, it'll please everyone. With Spiller out, Fred Jackson will get the lion's share of the carries, with Tashard Choice serving as his backup.

Jimmy Graham active (11:38 a.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that TE Jimmy Graham (foot, questionable) is active for the New Orleans Saints. Well now! There's our pleasant surprise of Week 8. Graham missed both Wednesday's and Thursday's practices before appearing in limited fashion on Friday, so he's assuredly playing this game at less than full strength. Still, even with limited snaps, Graham should get his usual looks in the red zone, propping up his fantasy value. I'd rank him between 4-7 with this news -- initially I had him No. 1 -- which is still a start in most every league.

DeMarco Murray inactive (11:35 a.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that RB DeMarco Murray (knee, questionable) is inactive for the Dallas Cowboys. No surprise here, Murray's injury always appeared to be a multi-week one. He has pushed hard to play, however, putting in limited practice appearances all week, so it seems likely that he'll be back in time for Week 9. For now, Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar will share the rushing duties, with Dunbar handling most of the passing-down work.

Brandon Bolden active (11:32 a.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that RB Brandon Bolden (knee, questionable) is active. Bolden will play primarily on passing downs, meaning limited touches and therefore greater value in PPR leagues. He is our No. 31 running back for Week 8.

Danny Amendola active (11:32 a.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that WR Danny Amendola (concussion, questionable) is active. A healthy Amendola matches up nicely against the Dolphins, and he should be expected to challenge for the team lead in targets this week. He is our No. 19 wide receiver for Week 8, though his fantasy value is greater in PPR or half-PPR leagues.

Aqib Talib inactive (11:32 a.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that CB Aqib Talib (hip, questionable) is inactive. Talib's absence is a plus for the Dolphins, as he has been one of the league's most effective cornerbacks thus far. Bump up Mike Wallace's value a tad as a result.

Julian Edelman active (11:32 a.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that WR Julian Edelman (thigh, questionable) is active. Danny Amendola is also active, however, meaning Edelman will probably play limited snaps and only be used in three-receiver sets. He is our No. 26 wide receiver for Week 8.

Brandon Jacobs inactive (11:21 a.m. ET): Pat Hanlon of the New York Giants reports that RB Brandon Jacobs (hamstring, doubtful) is inactive. The "doubtful" tag was a dead give-away, despite the fact that Jacobs traveled with the team. With Jacobs out, Peyton Hillis and Michael Cox will share backfield duties for the second straight week. Expect the Giants to pass early and often, however, and Hillis is only in his second game since being signed off the street. He's a flex-play fill-in at best.

Rashard Mendenhall will not play (11:12 a.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that RB Rashard Mendenhall (toe, doubtful) is will not play for the Arizona Cardinals. As Mendenhall's is one of the games that starts during the 4 p.m. ET hour, we're getting this report out now so Mendenhall owners can prepare. RB Andre Ellington will get his first NFL start in Mendenhall's place, and to date, he has averaged substantially greater yards per touch (7.7) than Mendenhall (3.4) thus season. With the news, Ellington bumps up to low-end RB2 value for Week 8.

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