Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 12
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Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 12

As you finish off the last of those Thanksgiving leftovers, it's time to rev up your drive toward the fantasy playoffs. As another tool to help you reach that goal, we'll be here all morning, running through who is active and inactive in the eight early games. It's a rather thin crop thanks to a number of fantasy contributors being ruled out prior to Sunday. The most important name to watch is Julio Jones @juliojones_11, but we'll get to most everyone else, so keep refreshing this post until kickoff.

Players who have already been ruled out for Week 12 include Percy Harvin, Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, Willis McGahee and Maurice Jones-Drew. For a full rundown of injuries across the league this week, click on the link below to the NFL's official injury report.

-- Big news from the Broncos. The starting running back for Denver today is not Ronnie Hillman @MrHillman2U. Reportedly, it is Knowshon Moreno @knowshonmoreno. Now, this might mean that Moreno gets the first few snaps before giving way, but it's clear that this will be a three-man backfield today. Hillman is the best of the three, but he's just a low-end RB2 at best. Probably more of a flex.
-- Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins @YoungBabyHawk is inactive. He was listed as doubtful on the injury report due to a knee injury. He shouldn't be close to your starting lineup anyway, especially with bye weeks completed. Mohamed Sanu will take his place in the lineup.
-- As expected, Plaxico Burress is active for the Steelers. No. Just, no. Big end zone target, yes. But are you really going to depend a has-been just because of one or two tosses into the end zone from Charlie Batch.
-- Joe Haden is active for the Browns. He had been suffering from an oblique injury. As if Mike Wallace needed another challenge to deal with today.
-- Julio Jones is indeed active for the Falcons today against the Bucs. Once again, the risk of re-injury with his ankle is fairly high. But you really should start him against the league's worst pass defense. The Falcons might really need him as this game could turn into a shootout.
-- In related news, the Buccaneers will be without cornerback Eric Wright today because of an Achilles injury. Matt Ryan, your rebound game is ready.
-- Demaryius Thomas is active for the Broncos. He was probable on the injury report because of knee pain. Absolute must-start.
-- Jay Cutler is officially starting against the Vikings. With his latest concussion a thing of the past, he is a decent QB2. Matt Forte should be smiling as he should find more room to run.
-- Dwayne Bowe @DwayneBowe82 is active for the Chiefs. His neck injury isn't much of a worry, but quarterback Brady Quinn and a matchup against Champ Bailey are. Bowe is a deep WR3.
-- Running back Fred Jackson @Fred22Jackson is active for the Bills. He'll probably get double-digit touches against the Colts, but C.J. Spiller is the main man in that backfield now. Spiller is a legit RB1 while Jackson is more of a mid-range RB2.
-- A bit of obvious news, but Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece out inactive for the Raiders. Marcel Reece is a strong RB2 for another week.
-- Colts tight end Coby Fleener @CobyFleener is still out because of his shoulder injury. His return does not appear imminent. Dwayne Allen is a fringe TE1 versus the Bills.
-- Colts wide receiver Donnie Avery is active despite suffering a concussion one week ago. He is such a tease. I'd much rather play T.Y. Hilton if you need one of the two.
-- Colts news all day! Donald Brown is active, but Vick Ballard will get another start at running back. This is a great matchup, so Ballard is a worthy flex play. Brown should be cut in most leagues as he is seeing far fewer snaps than Ballard.
-- Some late-game notes: Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings is not expected to play versus the Giants tonight. He practiced in limited fashion throughout the week, but he is not in game shape. A Week 13 return is looking promising, however.
-- Beanie Wells will play for the Cardinals for the first time in two months today. However, he will rotate with LaRod Stephens-Howling, and his carries will be limited. Plus, the Cardinals can't run block. Wells' name is bigger than his fantasy value. He is a mid-range flex option against the Rams.
-- Brandon Marshall is good to go for Bears. He missed some practice time during the week with a shoulder injury, but he's fine. Start him.
-- WR Darrius Heyward-Bey and Brandon Myers are up for the Raiders. As always, the Raiders will be throwing often today against the Bengals. DHB is a WR3, but Myers, because of the heavy usage lately, is a fine TE1. Cincy isn't great at defending the tight end.
-- Danny Amendola, as expected, is "highly unlikely" to play versus the Cardinals today, according to ESPN. He will go through pregame warmups, but don't get cute. Put him on your bench.
-- Steelers running back Isaac Redman is active. He's probably the No. 3 RB in that offense, so there's nothing there.
-- Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano is active despite being listed as questionable with a hip injury. He has caught one pass in four consecutive weeks.

Fantasy Analysis:

Harvin was ruled out on Saturday after he didn't make the flight to Chicago with the Vikings. He is still battling an ankle that is sprained in three places. He didn't practice at all this week and is reportedly still walking with a limp, so next week may not look good either. All Vikings except for Adrian Peterson should be on your bench versus the Bears.
Brown isn't quite ready to come back from his high ankle sprain, but since he went through three limited practices this week, he should be able to return next week. However, his fantasy stock will largely depend on who is throwing him passes. Today, the Steelers start Charlie Batch at QB. As such, I'm pretty down on everything associated with that passing game.
The Eagles will start Nick Foles and Bryce Brown in place of Vick and McCoy. Foles is a low-end QB2 while I like Brown as a mid-range RB2. He should get 17-20 touches against a burnable Panthers defense. Vick is reportedly progressing well from his concussion, but McCoy remains foggy and sensitive to light. Look for Brown to get more than one start.
McGahee was put on injured reserve this week after he tore the MCL and suffered a compression fracture in his right knee. Ronnie Hillman will get the first crack when it comes to carries, but he'll be sharing with Lance Ball and Knowshon Moreno. The Chiefs present a fantastic matchup, but I see Hillman as a low-end RB2 today as he may not get more than 10-12 touches. And he will lose all goal-line opportunities.
In other backup running back news, Jalen Parmele will be the Jaguars' starter today versus the Titans. Rashad Jennings has been moved to special teams duty, and MJD will miss at least a couple more weeks. Parmele isn't a great talent, but he got 27 touches last week against the Texans. That workload automatically puts him in the RB2 range. And after today, Parmele will probably be the starter against the Bills and Jets in Weeks 13 and 14, respectively. You've got to like that.

Source:
NFL.com

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Brian Murphy -
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Los Angeles, CA
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2002
Follow me on Twitter: @Spokes_Murphy.

I have played fantasy sports since 2001, specializing in fantasy football and baseball. I wrote for FFToolbox from 2002-2005 and re-joined in 2009.

I am a journalism/mass communication grad student at Cal State University, Northridge. I am aiming to be a sports reporter for a website, newspaper, magazine, anything. I am a graduate from the University of Central Florida. I make my home in Long Beach, Calif.

While I grew up in California, my favorite football team has always been the New York Giants.
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