Two Minute Warning - Week 8
By Steve Schwarz, Fantasy Sports Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - There are just a few minutes left before the games begin for real and this is your last chance to set fantasy lineups. Who will be productive performers and who will be the disappointments? The answer starts with who will play and who will watch from the sidelines.
There are four teams on bye this week: Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Houston. Make sure you haven't left any of their players in your lineup.
Weather will play a factor in games on the east coast. Rain, and more importantly wind, are in the forecast for Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York and Pittsburgh.
Here is the latest injury information as we approach game-time.
Jay Cutler, Chicago - Cutler hurt his ribs in the game against Detroit, but practiced both Thursday and Friday and will play Sunday against Carolina. With the way the Bears' defense is playing, Cutler and the offense really haven't been pressured to score a lot of points. They will likely play conservative against Carolina and may not put up a lot of fantasy points. LATEST UPDATE - Cutler is active.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay - Rodgers suffered a calf injury in the blowout win over the Rams but there was never a question about his playing in Week 8. With nine touchdown passes over the past two weeks, Rodgers is obviously a must- start.
Jake Locker, Tennessee - Locker is targeting Week 9 for his return from a second shoulder injury. Matt Hasselbeck gets the start against a vulnerable Colts' pass defense and is a viable fantasy option. LATEST UPDATE - Locker is inactive.
Matt Cassel, Kansas City - Cassel (concussion) will not start this week. He has been replaced in the starting lineup by Brady Quinn. Anybody starting Quinn should examine their evaluation process as Quinn has a career record of 4-13 with a passer rating of just 65.4.
Running Backs -
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville - There is still no timetable for MJD's return. The Jaguars' tailback job belongs to Rashad Jennings, who rushed 21 times for just 44 yards last weekend, but did catch seven passes for 58 yards. LATEST UPDATE - Jones-Drew is inactive.
Trent Richardson, Cleveland - The Browns' star running back rushed for just eight yards on eight carries last week before a rib injury knocked him out of the game. He's expected to play with a better flak jacket, but it is all about pain management. He faces the No. 2 run defense this weekend. Check back after inactives are announced to make sure he's playing. LATEST UPDATE - Richardson is active.
Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh - Mendenhall is out and backup Isaac Redman is still hurting, though may be active. The Steelers' running back duties will be manned by Jonathan Dwyer, who is a viable fantasy option. LATEST UPDATE - Mendenhall and Redman are inactive.
Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants - Bradshaw has been known to play with injury and is expected to be on the field Sunday, but he was missing explosiveness last weekend. Play him at your own risk.
Darren McFadden, Oakland - McFadden is dealing with a shoulder injury, but practiced all week and will play. The more important issue is whether he can average more than 2.8 ypc, something he hasn't done since Week 3.
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle - Lynch has sporadic back issues, but practiced all week and will play. LATEST UPDATE - Lynch is active.
Donald Brown, Indianapolis - Brown did practice this week, but will be a game- time decision. Vick Ballard played reasonably well last Sunday afternoon and this could be a time-share situation until Brown is 100 percent. LATEST UPDATE - Brown is active.
Felix Jones, Dallas - Jones was limited in practice all week, but is expected to play for the injured DeMarco Murray. He likely won't get a full workload, instead sharing time in the backfield with Phillip Tanner.
Darren Sproles, New Orleans - Sproles missed two practices this week due to an illness in the family, but his excellent rapport with Drew Brees will allow him to produce his normal fantasy points.
James Starks, Green Bay - Starks has been ill this week, but returned to practice Friday and is likely to play. His appearance could cut into Alex Green's workload turning both runners into fantasy non-starters, LATEST UPDATE - Starks is active.
Brandon Bolden, New England - Bolden is inactive. Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead will man the Patriots' backfield.
Wide Receivers -
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay - Nelson is unlikely to play Sunday even though he'll go through pre-game warmups. Check back just before kickoff to get the final word. If he doesn't play, both James Jones and Randall Cobb will be must-start receivers. LATEST UPDATE - Nelson is inactive.
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants - Nicks seems to be as healthy as he has been in at least six weeks and should finally produce as we expect him to.
Pierre Garcon, Washington - Garcon will not play and with Fred Davis out for the season the receiving workload should fall on Leonard Hankerson and Santana Moss. LATEST UPDATE - Garcon is inactive.
Harry Douglas, Atlanta - Douglas (ankle) will not play in Week 8, but with Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez all having good years, Douglas has not been fantasy-worthy through the first seven weeks. LATEST UPDATE - Douglas is inactive.
Titus Young, Detroit - Nate Burleson is out, Young is questionable with a knee injury and Brandon Pettigrew is suffering from the "drops.". The Lions' rookie receiver, Ryan Broyles, could be in for a big game opposite Calvin Johnson. LATEST UPDATE - Young is active.
Laurent Robinson, Jacksonville - Robinson practiced this week, but is inactive and will not play in Week 8.
Eddie Royal, San Diego - Royal is inactive.
Brandon Lloyd, New England - Lloyd (knee) is active, but has been very up and down in his first season with the Patriots.
Tight Ends -
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans - Graham will be a game-time decision, but as the Sunday night game that doesn't leave many options for his fantasy owners. Do you feel lucky?
Rob Gronkowski, New England - "Gronk" has dealt with a hip injury all season and it hasn't slowed him, so there is no reason to think it will this week either.
10/28 12:30:28 ET