Welcome to Week 9 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
S Tyvon Branch (ankle), LB Lance Briggs (shoulder), QB Jay Cutler (groin), TE Jermichael Finley (neck), WR Santonio Holmes (hamstring), QB EJ Manuel (knee), RB Doug Martin (shoulder), LB Clay Matthews (thumb), QB Michael Vick (hamstring), WR Markus Wheaton (finger).
Top players we're watching
Early games (1 p.m. ET)
TE Jeff Cumberland (concussion, questionable): inactive
WR Marques Colston (knee, questionable): inactive
TE Jimmy Graham (foot, questionable): active
RB Daryl Richardson (foot, questionable): inactive
RB Zac Stacy (foot, questionable): active
WR Roddy White (hamstring, questionable): inactive
Late afternoon games (4:05 and 4:25 p.m. ET)
No significant players impacted
Sunday Night Football (8:30 p.m. ET)
RB Arian Foster (hamstring, questionable): active
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring, questionable): active
Updates/analysis (most recent first)
Darrius Heyward-Bey active (7:07 p.m. ET): Jim Irsay of the Indianapolis Colts tweets that WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring, questionable) is active. Heyward-Bey suffered his injury during Thursday's practice, costing him all of Friday's, but apparently it wasn't severe enough to sideline him this week. Still, he's unlikely to be playing at full strength, meaning this isn't the smartest week to judge how Reggie Wayne's injury will impact Heyward-Bey's role in the offense. He's our No. 25 wide receiver for Week 9.
Ben Tate active (7:07 p.m. ET): Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle reports that RB Ben Tate (ribs, probable) is active for the Houston Texans. Indications all weekend were that Tate was going to play through his rib injury, but what cast his value in doubt was usual starter Arian Foster's "game-time" status. Now that Foster is active, Tate can be no more than a flex-play consideration -- we ranked him 26th accounting for this -- unless Foster is active as a decoy move. Assume, at best, an even split of the rushing chores.
Arian Foster active (7:07 p.m. ET): Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle reports that RB Arian Foster (hamstring, questionable) is active for the Houston Texans. Foster might be active, but it's unclear whether he'll be the team's workhorse out of the backfield. With Case Keenum under center, one might assume Foster will be, but it's entirely possible that the Texans will divvy things up between him and backup Ben Tate (also active). It's why I ranked him 14th, four spots beneath our group ranks for Week 9. Tempering expectations somewhat would be smart.
Kenbrell Thompkins inactive (3:11 p.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that WR Kenbrell Thompkins (healthy scratch) is inactive. My, how Thompkins' stock has plummeted. He played 13 snaps in Week 8, after a 65-snap Week 7, and now he'll watch Week 9 from the sidelines. WR Aaron Dobson has clearly moved ahead of Thompkins on the Patriots' depth chart, making the latter a cut candidate in shallow formats.
Aqib Talib inactive (3:11 p.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that CB Aqib Talib (hip, questionable) is inactive. The decision makes sense, as this now allows Talib through the Week 10 bye to get back to full strength. His absence improves the matchup of opposing WR Antonio Brown, though the Patriots did perform fairly well against the Dolphins' wide receivers in Week 9 without Talib.
Rob Gronkowski active (3:11 p.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that TE Rob Gronkowski (back, probable) is active. Gronkowski had a lighter practice load than usual this week, though not enough so that his status for the week was in question. Expect him to handle full-time snaps and get enough red-zone looks to warrant his No. 3 ranking among tight ends.
Danny Amendola active (3:11 p.m. ET): The New England Patriots' official Twitter feed reports that WR Danny Amendola (groin, probable) is active. Amendola was limited somewhat during the practice week, but his "probable" tag made it clear he'd be healthy enough to play. His matchup isn't a great one, but he'll still get enough targets to warrant his No. 23 ranking among wide receivers for the week.
Willis McGahee active (2:59 p.m. ET): The Cleveland Browns' official Twitter feed reports that RB Willis McGahee (knee, probable) is active. McGahee's lackluster production, however, might mean a larger workload for Chris Ogbonnaya and/or Fozzy Whittaker. With the Browns' backfield back to being somewhat uncertain, McGahee isn't a recommended fantasy choice, checking in 34th in our running back rankings in a week with six teams on bye.
Marshawn Lynch active (2:57 p.m. ET): The Seattle Seahawks' official Twitter feed reports that RB Marshawn Lynch (knee, probable) is active. Lynch missed both Wednesday's and Thursday's practices before returning on Friday, but there was never any serious reason to doubt his status for Week 9. He's facing a Buccaneers defense that has allowed 55 fantasy points combined to opposing running backs the past three weeks, so expect a good game from our No. 4 running back for the week.
Nick Foles active (2:31 p.m. ET): The Philadelphia Eagles' official Twitter feed reports that QB Nick Foles (concussion, probable) is active. Foles gets the start this week in place of the injured Michael Vick (hamstring), though he's playing a Raiders defense allowing a middling 15.9 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Foles checks in our No. 15 quarterback for Week 9.
DeSean Jackson active (2:31 p.m. ET): The Philadelphia Eagles' official Twitter feed reports that WR DeSean Jackson (ankle, probable) is active. Jackson scored two touchdowns in Nick Foles' last start, and he's facing a Raiders defense allowing 21.7 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. Jackson is our No. 5 wide receiver for Week 9.
Eddie Royal active (11:50 a.m. ET): Ricky Henne of the San Diego Chargers reports that WR Eddie Royal (toe, questionable) is active. Royal has endured quite an up-and-down fantasy season, and the main reasons he's on the fantasy radar for Week 9 are that he's coming off a solid output and is now facing a weak Redskins pass defense. Royal is our No. 38 wide receiver for the week.
Miles Austin inactive (11:49 a.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that WR Miles Austin (hamstring, doubtful) is inactive for the Dallas Cowboys. Austin's absence has only helped Terrance Williams develop into one of 2013's most pleasant breakout stories, as Williams has touchdowns in four straight games. He's in prime shape for a fifth against a poor Vikings pass defense.
Zac Stacy active (11:44 a.m. ET): The St. Louis Rams' official Twitter feed reports that RB Zac Stacy (foot, questionable) is active. This confirms Adam Schefter's report from earlier, but the bigger news now is that Daryl Richardson, Stacy's projected fill-in (if necessary), is inactive. Stacy's fantasy value gets a slight boost with some backfield clarity; I might consider him a potential top-15 running back for Week 9.
Daryl Richardson inactive (11:44 a.m. ET): The St. Louis Rams' official Twitter feed reports that RB Daryl Richardson (foot, questionable) is inactive. So Zac Stacy is in and Richardson is not. It's poor timing for Richardson; he might have been able to open some eyes in a larger share of the rushing load in a backup role.
Fred Jackson active (11:42 a.m. ET): The Buffalo Bills' official Twitter feed reports that RB Fred Jackson (knee, probable) is active. With Jeff Tuel under center this week, expect Jackson to shoulder much of the offensive load, as the Bills' most producive running back to date. Despite the challenging matchup against the breakout fantasy defense of the year, he is our No. 10 running back for Week 9.
C.J. Spiller active (11:42 a.m. ET): The Buffalo Bills' official Twitter feed reports that RB C.J. Spiller (ankle, probable) is active. Spiller's "probable" tag hinted that he'd be closer to full strength this week, but he'll probably play limited snaps as has been the case for weeks. The Bills will need to go run-heavy with Jeff Tuel at quarterback, so Spiller could be worth your while as a flex. He is our No. 24 running back for Week 9.
Jeff Cumberland inactive (11:40 a.m. ET): The New York Jets' official Twitter feed reports that TE Jeff Cumberland (concussion, questionable) is inactive. At last check, Cumberland was at the final stage of the NFL's concussion protocol, so perhaps he wasn't formally cleared in time for this week. With Cumberland out, expect the Jets to lean more on their wide receivers than backup tight end (and popular preseason sleeper) Zach Sudfeld. Sudfeld doesn't warrant the add.
Thad Lewis inactive (11:38 a.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that QB Thad Lewis (ribs, doubtful) is inactive for the Buffalo Bills. The "doubtful" tag was a dead giveaway, and while there was never an official confirmation by the team before Sunday, it became obvious more than a day ago that Jeff Tuel would get the start; Schefter confirms that Tuel will indeed start. Tuel, if you recall, nearly started the season opener, then struggled in relief duty in Week 5, meaning the Bills will almost assuredly go with a run-heavy approach this week. Tuel isn't a recommended fantasy option in any week, let alone one against the Chiefs.
DeMarco Murray active (11:38 a.m. ET): ESPN's Ed Werder reports that RB DeMarco Murray (knee, probable) is active for the Dallas Cowboys. He put in a full week of practice, so there were never any serious concerns here. Murray is facing a terribly slow-starting Vikings run defense, so this is a prime week to use him. He checks in at No. 9 in our running back rankings.
Roddy White inactive (11:37 a.m. ET): The Atlanta Falcons' official Twitter feed reports that WR Roddy White (hamstring, questionable) is inactive. The Falcons are smart to let White have another week to heal, especially with Harry Douglas and Drew Davis performing fine in his absence. Both fill-ins' fantasy values get a slight boost with the news, though the matchup against the Panthers isn't that attractive.
Jimmy Graham active (11:34 a.m. ET): The New Orleans Saints' official Twitter feed reports that TE Jimmy Graham (foot, questionable) is active. The chatter all week was that Graham would play significantly more snaps than last week's 17, but let's also not forget that he tallied 15 fantasy points with those 17 snaps. Graham was used situationally in the red zone to ease him back from injury, a role assured of keeping him close to his usual statistical self. Is there any doubt he should remain the No. 1 tight end for Week 9?
Marques Colston inactive (11:34 a.m. ET): The New Orleans Saints' official Twitter feed reports that WR Marques Colston (knee, questionable) is inactive. OK then. Colston has been a major fantasy disappointment this season, with the Saints spreading the ball around more than ever. Colston's absence, at least, clears up some of the clutter. It's a plus specifically for WR Kenny Stills, who now might jump as many as 10 spots higher than my initial No. 34 ranking among wide receivers.
Josh Freeman inactive (11:32 a.m. ET): The Minnesota Vikings' official Twitter feed reports that QB Josh Freeman (healthy scratch) is inactive. Christian Ponder was previously announced the Vikings' Week 9 starter, and Matt Cassel will now be his backup. Freeman wasn't listed on the injury report, as he has healed from his concussion, so this puts him in the cut classification in fantasy leagues, even those that require two starting quarterbacks.
Jonathan Stewart active (11:29 a.m. ET): The Carolina Panthers' official Twitter feed reports that RB Jonathan Stewart is active. He'll play somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-10 touches, as hinted by the team, though the smart play in fantasy is to keep him reserved to evaluate how strong he is fresh off injury.
DeAngelo Williams active (11:29 a.m. ET): The Carolina Panthers' official Twitter feed reports that RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh, probable) is active. He's active, but then so is RB Jonathan Stewart, whose expected workload was hinted earlier in the week to be between 6-10 touches. Williams isn't enough of a touchdown bet to be much more than a flex play going forward, now that Stewart is healthy, and he's our No. 19 running back for Week 9 (remember, six teams on bye).
James Jones likely to play (10:53 a.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that WR James Jones (knee, questionable) is likely to play for the Green Bay Packers. Per Schefter via Twitter, the Packers "believe" that Jones will play in the Monday night game. It's just a little advanced warning for Jones' owners, as well as those of either Jarrett Boykin and Myles White, both of whom are also impacted by Jones' status for the game. Jones checks in as our No. 24 wide receiver and Boykin No. 17, and fantasy owners should still keep a similar amount of concern indicated by his ranking about the former.
Zac Stacy expected to play (10:50 a.m. ET): ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that RB Zac Stacy (foot, questionable) is expected to play for the St. Louis Rams. It's great news for Stacy's owners, who might have been worried after he injured the ankle during last Monday's game. Stacy did put in a full Thursday and limited Friday practice, so there shouldn't be many ineffectiveness concerns. He is our No. 17 running back for Week 9.