Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 16


Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 16

For the majority of fantasy leagues, this is the day a champion is crowned. For those of you vying for the pinnacle, you know what's at stake. Bragging rights, pride ... maybe something more tangible. You know what to do. Stay the course. Go with the guys who brought you here. Stay calm. As like every week, make the educated decisions and trust them. Good luck.
Anyway, let's get to the early game injury concerns. A bunch of guys are dinged up, but Jonathan Stewart @Jonathanstewar1, Alex Green @AGreen_20 and Kendall Wright seem to be at most risk of missing today's action. Not exactly marquee names, but we'll make sure to cover all of the active/inactive news in today's early games to get you set for championship week.

Players who have already been ruled out for Week 16 include Jordy Nelson, Ryan Mathews, Rob Gronkowski, Maurice Jones-Drew, Rashad Jennings and Delone Carter. Click the link below to the league's official injury report for a full rundown of injured players in the NFL this week.

-- Packers running back Alex Green has yet to gain clearance after suffering a concussion in Week 15 and he won't play today against the Titans. Ryan Grant @RyanGrant25 will start in his place. It's a nice story for Green -- and a nice matchup -- but he will share work with DuJuan Harris and John Kuhn. Grant is a very mediocre flex play, but he should get 10-12 touches.
-- Bengals kicker Mike Nugent is out for another game due to calf injury. Josh Brown is his replacement. Moving on ....
-- Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart is inactive. It's somewhat surprising after he practiced Friday and beat writers thought he'd suit up. But with him out, I like DeAngelo Williams as a nice RB2 at home against a sorry defense traveling across the country.
-- Robert Griffin III @RGIII is officially active and starting for the Redskins. Get him into your lineup if you haven't already done so.
-- As expected, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is a healthy scratch. Trent Edwards will back up Nick Foles versus the Redskins.
-- Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Aaron Hernandez are all active for the Patriots. Welker and Hernandez are must-starts versus the Jaguars while Lloyd has become a low-end WR2 following his Week 15 explosion.
-- Eagles running back LeSean McCoy is officially active for the first time in a month after suffering a concussion in Week 11. He will start and get the most carries against the Redskins, but Bryce Brown will be involved. I think McCoy is only a high-end flex option in a rather tough matchup. Brown should be benched or dropped.
-- Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline is active. He was listed as questionable on injury report due to back injury. He shouldn't be on your radar. Reggie Bush should see a ton of work versus the Bills.
-- Chiefs tight end Tony Moeaki is inactive. The Chiefs haven't said he has a concussion, but he has a concussion. No matter. Jamaal Charles is the only Chief worth Week 16 consideration anyway.
-- Eagles tight end Brent Celek is active after missing a game due to a concussion. The Redskins are absolutely awful at defending tight ends, so Celek is worth a look if you are desperate.
-- Texans tight end Owen Daniels is active. The yards really haven't been there for him lately, but given the state of the position, he is still a decent TE1.
-- Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and Greg McElroy are all active for the Jets today. McElroy will start. So there's that. Should be fun to watch.
-- Jets tight end Dustin Keller @DUSTINKELLER81 is inactive because of ankle injury. Backup TE Jeff Cumberland scored last week, but he is not a fantasy option. That's a familiar refrain with the Jets. However, I do like Shonn Greene to get 20+ carries and 90-100 yards against the Chargers.
-- Chargers running back Ronnie Brown is active despite a hamstring injury. His inclusion makes this entire backfield off limits for championship week. Curtis Brinkley should get the most carries, but Jackie Battle has the best shot at a score.
-- Cowboys wideouts Dez Bryant @DezBryant and Kevin Ogletree are active. Dez is a must-start. Ogletree ... had a really nice game back in Week 1.
-- Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright is inactive because he has at least one broken rib. That should mean a few more targets for Kenny Britt and Nate Washington. I really like Britt as a WR3 versus the Packers.
-- Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is ready to go after being listed on this week's injury report with an abdomen injury. Uh, you're starting him.
-- Saints running back Pierre Thomas is active. He is a very weak flex option against the Cowboys as he continues to share touches with Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles.
-- Bills tight end Scott Chandler is active. He is a clear TE2 versus the Dolphins.
-- Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray is active in a tremendous matchup against the Saints. You've got to start him.
-- Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is active despite rib injury. With Antonio Brown looking good, Sanders isn't even a WR3 option.
-- Saints tight end Jimmy Graham is active for the game against the Cowboys. He has been bogged down by a wrist injury, but he needs to stay in your lineup. He's a top-3 option, at worst.

Fantasy Analysis:

Nelson remains M.I.A. because of a hamstring injury. James Jones benefited from Nelson's absence and scored three touchdowns last week, but he is still best used as a WR3. He has a very nice matchup today against Tennessee, but Jones is always hard to trust.
Mathews' season ended the way it began: with a broken collarbone. Ronnie Brown, Curtis Brinkley and Jackie Battle will all be active versus the Jets, and none of them are viable flex plays.
Gronkowski is practicing more and more, but he won't play until Week 17 at the earliest. By that time, it won't matter to the majority of you who held on to him in hopes of some late-season help. Sorry.
MJD and Jennings are both out for another week, so Montell Owens will continue carrying the majority of the load in Jacksonville's backfield. However, this is a game against the Patriots where the Jags could find themselves trailing 21-0 quickly and forced to abandon the ground game. Plus, the Pats have a solid run defense. Owens is a weak flex option.
Carter is still nursing an ankle injury, so Vick Ballard should see almost all of the carries for the Colts today in a plus matchup versus the Chiefs. He is a solid RB2. Let's hope he will not lose any more goal-line touches to Mewelde Moore.


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