The NFL returns on Sunday after a quick Thursday of Seahawks-Eagles with a full slate of games. Sunday will feature some prominent absences as Adrian Peterson, Darren McFadden and Miles Austin are all officially out. Mario Manningham is also likely sitting as he is listed as doubtful for Sunday.
Most of the big names are listed as probable this week, which is good news for folks trying to get their lineups set. The biggest game-time decision is probably going to be Kevin Smith. He suffered an ankle injury on Thanksgiving that some feared was a high ankle sprain, but he has been on the practice field this week, which indicates it might not be as serious as first believed.
For those wondering, the designations break down as follows:
Out: 0% change of playing
Doubtful: 25% chance of playing
Questionable: 50% chance of playing
Probable: 75% chance of playing
For fantasy purposes, you can almost always assume a probable player can be slotted into your lineup. I would be somewhat shocked if any of those Probable players ended up inactive this Sunday barring any news tonight or tomorrow. Questionable players on the other hand put you in a tough position. At least half if not more of these guys will play, but you will likely find yourself waiting on a "game-time decision" for most of them. It is not a problem for 1:00pm ET starts, but the 4:05 and 4:15pm ET starts, it can become a pain in the butt setting your lineup. For those I simply suggest trying to slot them into your flex position (if you have one) so you have some flexibility between running backs and wide receivers (and maybe even tight ends).
This Sunday we'll have final updates for all of these players so check back then. And of course, feel free to tweet us @sbnationfantasy with any sit/start questions you might have.
K Rian Lindell, Bills
K Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders
RB Cedric Benson, Bengals
RB Frank Gore, 49ers
RB Shonn Greene, Jets
RB Peyton Hillis, Browns
RB Willis McGahee, Broncos
RB James Starks, Packers
RB LaRod Stephens-Howling, Cardinals
RB Ladanian Tomlinson, Jets
RB Beanie Wells, Cardinals
WR Donnie Avery, Titans
WR Victor Cruz, Giants
WR Jabar Gaffney, Redskins
WR Hakeem Nicks, Giants
WR Chad Ochocinco, Patriots
WR Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers
WR Jerome Simpson, Bengals
WR Donte' Stallworth, Redskins