For those fantasy owners who have piloted their teams to the upcoming fantasy playoffs, congratulations. If you’re still looking to lock up a bid, bye, or better seed this weekend, make sure your lineup is completely ready to roll out on Sunday. A zero from a injured player or leaving a big performance on your bench this week can cost you big-time and literally ruin your season. Make sure your up-to-date with the latest on these key fantasy football players:
Expected to Play
Matt Forte-Chicago Bears-RB: Forte has been in practice all week and should be good to go against the Seahawks. His use and matchup still are questionable. Although you have to start him if he’s healthy, don’t expect too much.
DeMarco Murray-Dallas Cowboys-RB: Murray is questionable but is expected to return this week against the Eagles. He and Felix Jones may share responsibilities more than before the injury, but be ready for a solid week as the ‘Boys welcome back their feature-back.
Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Aaron Hernandez-New England Patriots: A total of 15 Pats are questionable but all these are expected to play. The Patriots gameplan will determine who gets the bulk of the fantasy points, but all should be used as normal.
Hakeem Nicks-New York Giants-WR: While Nicks is expected to play he’s still battling through injury issues. He seems to be recovering and the Giants are working to get him back to full-strength. If he can explode these last few weeks of the regular season, his fantasy owners may be glad they took a chance back in the draft.
Justin Blackmon-Jacksonville Jaguars-WR: Blackmon is probable after returning to practice Friday. On Thursday he went down with a groin injury that appeared like it might cost him, but he’ll be ready to roll with new-QB Chad Henne again this Sunday.
Brandon Stokley-Denver Broncos-WR: Stokley has been limited in practice this week but is expected to play Sunday against a shoddy Tampa pass defense (ranked last in the league).
Antonio Brown-Pittsburgh Steelers-WR: Brown was the Steelers leading wide receiver when he went down with his ankle injury. He’s expected to return Sunday (probable), but he might be best left on your bench for another week with Charlie Batch getting the start. It’s good that Brown is back, and he’ll be a huge asset once Big Ben is back under center.
Julian Edelman-New England Patriots-WR: Edelman is questionable (like Patriots always seem to be). He sustained a concussion last week but all signs point to him being back on the field Sunday in Miami.
Miles Austin-Dallas Cowboys-WR: Austin is dealing with hip and hamstring issues which may be one of the reasons for his late-season fade out of the Cowboys offense. He’s expected to be on the field, but how much he’ll be utilized remains to be seen.
Greg Jennings-Green Bay Packers-WR: Jennings will play but no one knows how much or how he’ll look. I’d leave him on the bench if at all possible for one more week.
Coby Fleener-Indianapolis Colts-TE: Fleener should return from his shoulder injury but could be more of a complement to fellow-rookie Dwayne Allen who has stepped up in his absence.
Expected to Sit
Ben Roethlisberger-Pittsburgh Steelers-QB: Big Ben is out for this weekend’s game in Baltimore-Not a good thing for Steelers fans or fantasy owners. Even worse is that he doesn’t seem all that close to getting back and the Steelers are fading fast with Charlie Batch under center.
Percy Harvin-Minnesota Vikings-WR: Harvin is doubtful.
Michael Vick-Philadelphia Eagles-QB: Whether concussion or politics-related, Vick isn’t going to play again this week.
Jonathan Stewart-Carolina Panthers-RB: Injuries in both ankles will keep him out this week.
Mohamad Sanu-Cincinnati Bengals-WR: Sanu is done for the season with a stress fracture in his foot.
Tim Tebow-New York Jets-QB: Tebow is expected to be deactivated for Sunday with his cracked ribs but I think Jets fans may still chant for him.
Expected to be a Gametime Decision
Darren McFadden-Oakland Raiders-RB: McFadden is listed as questionable with his ankle injury. Even if he’s active, word out of Oakland is that Marcel Reece still may get more touches as he continues to work his way back. If you have other options, go with them and see how and if run DMc does before putting him back in your lineup.
Danny Amendola-St. Louis Rams: Amendola missed practice all week with a heel injury. He’s listed as doubtful but played with that tag last week which is why he’s still in this section. He only played seven snaps last week, so even if he’s active I’d look elsewhere if at all possible.
Sidney Rice-Seattle Seahawks-WR: Rice was added to the injury report with a calf injury that he apparently sustained in practice this week. He’s officially questionable and Pete Carroll’s statement was, “We think he’s okay.” He’s got a tough matchup against Chicago so wasn’t a great option before the injury.
Andre Roberts-Arizona Cardinals-WR: Roberts hasn’t practiced on his bum ankle this week and is not a good option this week with the injury concerns and the instability of the Arizona passing game.