Heading into another stacked Sunday of fantasy football, there are important lineup decisions to be made for every owner. Not only are there four teams on bye weeks, there are also a number of players still battling their way back from injuries.
As we do each Friday, we’ll run down the latest based on practice reports from Thursday. Each player on the list is placed into one of three categories. Due to the number of injuries players-I’m just going to list the players in the “Green Light” section. Players in that section are dealing with an injury but are expected to play and can be used in their normal capacities. Players on the “Yellow Light” section we are still unsure of their status for Sunday and many will be gametime decisions. The “Red Light” section is where you’ll find players who are not expected to play, and you need to have an alternate plan to replace those players.
Green Light-Expected to Play
Calvin Johnson-WR-Detroit Lions
Julio Jones-WR-Atlanta Falcons
Reggie Bush-RB-Detroit Lions
Jamaal Charles-RB-Kansas City Chiefs
Eric Decker-WR-Denver Broncos
Andre Johnson-WR-Houston Texans
Reggie Wayne-WR-Indianapolis Colts
Vernon Davis-TE-San Francisco 49ers
Steve Smith-WR-Carolina Panthers
Kenbrell Thompkins-WR-New England Patriots
Eddie Royal-WR-San Diego Chargers
Jermichael Finley-TE-Green Bay Packers
Brandon Gibson-WR-Miami Dolphins
Brandon Bolden-RB-New England Patriots
Rashard Mendenhall-RB-Arizona Cardinals
Kenjon Barner-RB-Carolina Panthers
Yellow Light-Status uncertain
Brandon Marshall-WR-Chicago Bears: Don’t freak out, Marshall is likely to play, but he hasn’t practiced this week with a foot injury. If he misses practice again today, there will be cause for concern
Rob Gronkowski-TE-New England Patriots: Gronk could be back this week, but it looks more likely that he’ll return week 6. He’s been limited all week in practice, but the Pats waived Zach Sudfeld which could be a good sign. Until the Patriots fly to Cincinnati we probably won’t know for sure.
Danny Amendola-WR-New England Patriots: Amendola reportedly has been moving well in practice, but no one outside of the Patriots coaching staff knows for sure when he’s targetting coming back. He’s definitely in play for Sunday, but until gametime we won’t know for sure.
Cecil Shorts-WR-Jacksonville Jaguars: Shorts is questionable for Sunday and hasn’t practiced yet this week. If he does miss this week, it will boost Justin Blackmon’s value in his first week back from suspension.
Stevan Ridley-RB-New England Patriots: Ridley hasn’t practiced the last two days. His injury isn’t considered serious, so see if he gives it a go today to see if he’ll be ready for the Bengals this Sunday.
Marcel Reece-RB-Oakland Raiders: Reece looks like he might get back in time for Sunday Night’s extra-late game. If he comes back, he’ll get more work than usual since Darren McFadden doesn’t look like he’ll be playing. Reece would cut into Rashad Jennings playing time and could end up being the more valuable option if he gives it a go.
Marlon Brown-WR-Baltimore Ravens: Brown hasn’t been in practice this week as he battles a hamstring injury. Brown’s status is up in the air at this point, so make sure you have another WR to plug in just in case he’s out this week.
Zach Miller-TE-Seattle Seahawks: Miller is questionable after missing pratice the last two days. I’d look for a better option at tight end this week.
Jacoby Jones-WR-Baltimore Ravens: Jones has turned in two limited practices on his way back from his knee injury he sustained in week 1. His status for this week is still uncertain, but he’ll probably be back in the next few weeks. He’s a high-risk play this week, so leave him on your bench for another week if you’ve held him or are looking to stash him.
Red Light-Not Expected to Play
Darren McFadden-RB-Oakland Raiders: Run DMC hasn’t practiced and probably won’t play this week after injuring his hamstring last week. He could still end up a gametime decision, but I would want to see him practice before starting him Sunday.
Steven Jackson-RB-Atlanta Falcons: S-Jax is not expected to play Sunday since he hasn’t returned to practice yet. If he misses week 5, he’ll have missed three games in a row but will also get an extra week to recover with Atlanta toward a week 6 bye.
Ahmad Bradshaw-RB-Indianapolis Colts: The severity of Bradshaw’s neck injury is unknown and it may require season-ending surgery. He won’t play this week, though, and is barely worth a roster spot in most leagues.
Jake Locker-QB-Tennessee Titans: Locker will miss several weeks with his hip injury although he did avoid season-ending surgery.
Santonio Holmes-WR-New York Jets, Stephen Hill-WR-New York Jets: The Jets WR’s will both miss this Monday Night’s game against the Falcons leaving Jeremy Kerley to handle the load at WR for Geno Smith in Atlanta.
Mark Ingram-RB-New Orleans Saints: Ingram still hasn’t returned to practice with his toe injury. He’s not going to be ready to roll on Sunday in Chicago.
Nate Burleson-WR-Detroit Lions: Burleson will be out a few more weeks after breaking his arm in an auto accident.
James Starks-RB-Green Bay Packers: Starks hasn’t returned to practice and has been ruled out for this week. Eddie Lacy expects to return as the number one Packer back with Johnathan Franklin will get some work as well.