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NOTE: This column is a living document and may be updated throughout the morning. Major changes to the content will be in red. Check back often for additions as gameday inactives are announced and lineup / depth chart changes are reported. I'll also be retweeting those reports with quick bits of analysis, so make sure you're following @JeneBramel and checking my timeline on Twitter.
Carolina at Minnesota
Charles Johnson hasn't practiced since Wednesday but made the trip to Minnesota and could play. If Johnson cannot go, Mario Addison and Kony Ealy would see more snaps. Star Lotulelei is doubtful but could return next week.
Sharrif Floyd managed just a limited Friday practice this week after not playing last week. He's a game time decision once again. The Vikings are otherwise healthy. The matchup should be favorable for Brian Robison should you need a high variance play in sack-heavy leagues.
Cincinnati at Tampa Bay
Vontaze Burfict still hasn't practiced since knee surgery after Week 8. He'll again be replaced by Vinny Rey today. Margus Hunt is also still out with an ankle injury but Will Clarke has yet to see an increase in snaps.
Lavonte David had a limited Friday practice and is again listed questionable. He tweaked his hamstring strain late last week. David told reporters he was confident he could play today. Consider him a game time decision, however. Danny Lansanah moved to weak side linebacker last week and played every down. That's the likely plan again today if David cannot go. Michael Johnson draws a tough matchup today, but Jacquies Smith should still be safe to use as the Bengals are fighting multiple injuries at right tackle.
1130 ET: David is inactive.
Cleveland at Buffalo
Karlos Dansby is out. Craig Robertson played every down for him last week, with Chris Kirksey playing a mostly base defensive role only. There were a few snaps for Tank Carder, but the Browns to go dime against the Falcons. That may not be possible with Tashaun Gipson out with a knee injury. I'm not sure we can fully trust Kirksey today, and the coaches haven't been specific on their plans, but the door is open for full time duty for Kirksey now.
The Bills are healthy. Jerry Hughes has an unfavorable matchup against Joe Thomas today, making him a risky bet even at home as hot as he's been. Consider other options today if you have them.
New Orleans at Pittsburgh
The Saints are healthy. David Hawthorne was back playing every down last week and has a strong matchup today. Keenan Lewis also played every snap last week. The matchup would be strong even if he wasn't facing his former team on the road. He's a high upside, risk-reward play in corner required leagues.
Mike Tomlin wasn't optimistic about Ryan Shazier on Monday, but Shazier increased his practice participation all week and fully practiced on Friday. I don't expect Shazier to play every down, but he'll see rotational duty and could be back in an every-down role next week.
New York Giants at Jacksonville
The Giants are still without Cullen Jenkins and Jacquian Williams. Jameel McClain remains the lone every down backer, with Spencer Paysinger and Mark Herzlich rotating for Williams. It's not a great matchup for McClain or Devon Kennard, who has been productive in his base-only role. Mathias Kiwanuka was a late week scratch in a great matchup. Damontre Moore and Robert Ayers are both worth considering as high risk - high reward plays. I expect Ayers to get 40+ snaps, with Moore's snap count dependent on game flow. If the Giants get an early lead and put Jacksonville in a passing situation, Moore could get 30-40 snaps, too.
Jeremiah George is closer to returning, but isn't a lock to play today. I think we continue to see J.T. Thomas for at least one more week in the middle and playing every down. Telvin Smith Sr was promoted to a full time player last week and has another solid matchup today. Consider him a LB3 with LB2+ upside. Andre Branch should be back this week, but Chris Clemons has been playing too well to see his snap count change much.
Oakland at St. Louis
The Raiders are healthy and have no expected depth chart changes today.
St. Louis listed half of their starting front as probable with various mild ailments and rest days, but there are no expected changes to the front seven. The Raiders haven't been a favorable pass rush matchup, but I would roll with Robert Quinn anyway. He's continued to put pressure on the quarterback in recent weeks and always plays well at home.
San Diego at Baltimore
Andrew Gachkar is doubtful with a knee injury today. That could mean a return to every-down duty for Donald Butler, as Gachkar was replacing Butler in nickel packages. It's a risky bet, but the matchup and stat crew is favorable enough to use Butler if you're stuck for better options.
Tennessee at Houston
Kam Wimbley is out with a hamstring strain. Shaun Phillips will see more time, but there's no clear fantasy advantage situation here. Micheal Griffin is questionable and may try to play through a shoulder injury today. Daimion Stafford will see more snaps whether Griffin is active or not. I'd avoid Griffin, despite the strong matchup, as there's a high risk of him leaving early.
JaDeveon Clowney continues to struggle to fully recover from knee surgery. The Texans may be best served to shut him down for the season, but that option hasn't been raised yet. He's out today, putting Whitney Mercilus in an every-down role in a great matchup. Akeem Dent didn't practice this week, but his snaps won't go to Brian Cushing. With D.J. Swearinger Sr also rotating on some series due to nagging injury, J.J. Watt may be the only Texans' defender to trust in fantasy leagues right now.
Washington at Indianapolis
Ryan Clark was limited all week and listed questionable, but expected to play. Fair warning on all Washington defenders: the Indianapolis home stat crew is one of the least favorable in the NFL if your league gives half the number of points for assists as solos. That's the opposite of the Washington crew. It's not a reason to bench Keenan Robinson, but if you're flush with LB2+ options you should consider looking elsewhere today.
The Colts are healthy. There's been no indication from the coaches that LaRon Landry will see more than rotational duty again this week.
Arizona at Atlanta
The Cardinals have not altered their rotational plans in the back seven for weeks. The game script in Atlanta slightly favors nickel defensive backs Deone Bucannon and Tyrann Mathieu, but it's not a stellar matchup. Calais Campbell continues to play well after returning from his knee sprain and should be in all lineups today.
Robert Alford is out again this week. The Falcons are otherwise healthy. Joplo Bartu and Prince Shembo continue to rotate at inside linebacker. Neither are trustworthy options today. William Moore has been activated and will see snaps ahead of Kemal Ishmael today. Moore will reportedly be wearing a harness and there's been no indication from the coaches how much he'll play. I'd avoid both Moore and Ishmael today. I'll post/tweet any updates about the projected starting lineup if they come out before the early games.
New England at Green Bay
Chandler Jones was back at practice this week but there were Saturday reports suggesting his work was conditioning only and he is unlikely to play today. If he is active, it would be in a rotational role only. Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower have been the every-down linebackers (with hybrid Rob Ninkovich) in Jones' absence and should continue to play those roles today.
The Packers plan to keep Clay Matthews inside, but he'll see snaps from just about everywhere against the Patriots today. It's a higher variance play, but Matthews has upside at both inside linebacker and pass rusher today and should be in lineups in all but the most tackle heavy formats. It's also a strong matchup for both Morgan Burnett and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Denver at Kansas City
Aqib Talib is questionable. He wasn't able to play through his hamstring injury last week and isn't a safe bet today either. Brandon Marshall fully practiced Friday, cleared the concussion protocol, and will start tonight. Lamin Barrow started at middle linebacker over Steven Johnson last week and could do so again tonight but will play in the base defense only and is not a viable fantasy option.
The Chiefs are healthy. It's a terrible matchup for both Justin Houston and Tamba Hali. Both are very high risk options and under consideration only because the Chiefs are at home. The only inside linebacker of value is Josh Mauga. Ron Parker is expected to move back to safety with Eric Berry on the injured list after his recent lymphoma diagnosis.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Miami at New York Jets
The Dolphins are very thin at cornerback. Neither Cortland Finnegan or Jamar Taylor are expected to play. The Jets don't have a sustaining passing game, however, so there's no advantage play here. The front seven for Miami is healthy and all have strong big play potential. Get Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon in lineups and don't shy away from Jelani Jenkins despite the lower tackle expectation.
Muhammad Wilkerson is out with a toe injury that may limit him for weeks. Jaiquawn Jarrett is still battling a calf injury and rotated more last week than he did just before the bye week. I'm not sure there are any Jets' defenders with above-average upside this week.
Best of luck in your fantasy games this weekend. Reading the Defense returns on Tuesday. Follow me on Twitter @JeneBramel for breaking news and analysis during the games today.