To help you set your lineups and avoid starting a player who doesn’t take the field, we will post fantasy-relevant updates and analysis here as NFL teams release their Sunday inactive lists before kickoff. Any rankings cited in this column come from our ESPN Fantasy staff ranks.
Teams on bye this week: Bears, Bengals, Cardinals, Patriots, Redskins, Texans
Refresh often for the latest information.
Ruled out before Sunday
RB Spencer Ware (concussion), QB Alex Smith (head), RB Jamaal Charles (knee, injured reserve), RB James Starks (knee), QB Tony Romo (back), S Barry Church (forearm), TE Hunter Henry (knee), LB Jatavis Brown (knee), S Kam Chancellor (groin), LB James Laurinaitis (quad), RB Thomas Rawls (leg), DE Michael Bennett (knee).
Early games, 1 p.m. ET (six scheduled)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (knee, questionable)
RB DeAngelo Williams (knee, questionable)
LB C.J. Mosley (thigh, questionable)
WR Steve Smith Sr. (ankle, questionable)
WR Dez Bryant (knee, questionable)
WR Jeremy Maclin (groin, questionable)
DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle, questionable)
WR DeVante Parker (hamstring, questionable)
DE Ezekiel Ansah (ankle, questionable)
RB Theo Riddick (ankle, questionable)
RB Jerick McKinnon (ankle, questionable)
S Andrew Sendejo (ankle, questionable)
Late games, 4:05 and 4:25 p.m. ET (four scheduled)
LB Luke Kuechly (groin, questionable)
RB Carlos Hyde (shoulder, questionable)
TE Dwayne Allen (ankle, questionable)
WR Randall Cobb (hamstring, questionable)
TE Delanie Walker (groin, questionable)
WR Travis Benjamin (knee, questionable)
WR Tyrell Williams (knee, questionable)
LB Denzel Perryman (hamstring, doubtful)
Sunday night game, 8:30 ET
WR Amari Cooper (back, questionable)
Updates/analysis (most recent first)
DuJuan Harris (9:50 a.m.): With Carlos Hyde now not expected to play Sunday, ESPN’s Mike Clay notes that Harris “is the add and an RB3/flex fantasy option.” Harris is now expected to get the start, though both Shaun Draughn and Mike Davis should see some touches in the San Francisco backfield.
Ben Roethlisberger (7:55 a.m.): Be very cautious in starting Big Ben, even if it turns out that he is active for this game. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the Steelers do think Roethlisberger will be active, “but if he’s not healthy enough, they may have him [serve as the] backup.”
Jerick McKinnon (7:50 a.m.): According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, despite being limited in practice this week, the Vikings running back will return to the lineup today. McKinnon missed last week’s game with an ankle injury.
Steve Smith Sr. (7:35 a.m.): ESPN’s Adam Schefter says that the Ravens have two game plans ready to go today — one with the veteran receiver, and one without. It doesn’t get more questionable that that, folks. Don’t lock in your lineups without checking on his status once inactives are officially announced.
Carlos Hyde (7:30 a.m.): The running back will be a game-time call for the 49ers, but Schefter reports that “it does not sound promising that he will be active.” Given the 4 p.m. start, if you don’t have any other late options, you can’t afford to wait on Hyde.
James Laurinaitis (7:25 a.m.): The Saints have placed the veteran linebacker on IR, reports ESPN’s Field Yates. DT Sheldon Rankins (broken fibula on Aug. 15) has been added to the 53-man roster and is expected to make his NFL debut Sunday, though how much he will play remains to be seen.
Official Sunday inactives should begin coming in at approximately 11:30 a.m. ET for the early games, 2:30 p.m. ET for the late games and 7 p.m. ET for the Sunday night game.