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.
Detroit at Atlanta
Ezekiel Ansah is probable with a toe injury and safe to use in a favorable matchup. Josh Bynes was added to the injury report yesterday with a tooth problem, but he's active and expected to play today. He's been used in place on Tahir Whitehead in nickel packages and will likely continue to be today.
Prince Shembo was back to a full practice on Friday and could be closer to reclaiming the starting inside linebacker job over Joplo Bartu. But until we see confirmation on the field or from Mike Smith, it's a situation to avoid.
Baltimore at Cincinnati
The Ravens are healthy. Balitmore has used a much heavier safety rotation, which now includes Will Hill, in recent weeks. Watch for Hill to see more snaps today, but none of the four Ravens' safeties are safe fantasy options right now. Terrell Suggs has increased his snap count recently, but has an unfavorable matchup today.
Rey Maualuga remains out with a hamstring injury. He'll be replaced by Vinny Rey again. Vontaze Burfict and Emmanuel Lamur both fully practiced on Thursday and Friday and are expected to be back in their usual every-down roles. Whether they'll last the entire game is a legitimate worry, however, given their recent durability issues.
Buffalo at New York Jets
Preston Brown has won a starting outside linebacker job, with Keith Rivers healthy but in a reserve role now. Brown played every down last week, including all dime snaps. That's likely to continue today, with Nigel Bradham manning the nickel spot with Brown. Aaron Williams is questionable with a neck injury, but has a good chance to play in rotation with Da'Norris Searcy and Duke Williams.
The Jets are healthy and have no expected depth chart changes.
Chicago at New England
The Bears' issues at linebacker continue. Lance Briggs and Jon Bostic remain doubtful and are very unlikely to play. We should see Khaseem Greene start and play every down at weak side linebacker and Shea McClellin play his usual base strong side linebacker role. Last week, Darryl Sharpton and D.J. Williams rotated, with Sharpton playing mostly in passing situations. I expect the same to occur today. Chris Conte will be back from a shoulder injury, but has had lots of difficulty hitting with it in past games. He may rotate with Brock Vereen today with Danny McCray out.. Kyle Fuller is probable and will play.
Most New England beat writers believe the Patriots will try Domininque Easley in Chandler Jones' former role. If Easley can pull that off, he'll have great value in DT-required leagues and Dont'a Hightower will hold onto his LB2+ fantasy value. The Patriots' beat writers are savvy and often discuss how the team aligns in pregame warmups. With luck, we'll have some confirmation of Bill Belichick's plans soon.
Houston at Tennessee
Brian Cushing is questionable, but didn't practice all week and is not expected to play. Bill O'Brien would not commit to any particular alignment with Cushing out. Justin Tuggle and Mike Mohammed likely start and there's a good chance both will play every down. But O'Brien mentioned Akeem Dent, D.J. Swearinger Sr and Danieal Manning as possibilities in some packages. It's a risk to start Tuggle or Mohammed today. Jadeveon Clowney will be back today and could see a large role immediately with Brooks Reed limited by a groin injury.
The Titans are healthy. Avery Williamson and Wesley Woodyard should continue to rotate dime snaps and both can be expected to play about 85% of the defensive snaps.
Miami at Jacksonville
Koa Misi is back on the injury report with an ankle injury he suffered during practice on Thursday. He's questionable. If he cannot go, Jason Trusnik would replace him and could play every down again. The Dolphins have a number of players listed probable, but all shouuld play.
J.T. Thomas is expected to start at middle linebacker, with a mix of Dakoda Watson and LaRoy Reynolds moving into Thomas' former outside linebacker spot. I think Geno Hayes gets the nod next to Telvin Smith Sr in the nickel, however. If you believe the Dolphins can get and hold a lead in Jacksonville, both Thomas and Hayes have LB3 value today. Otherwise, it may be best to wait and see how the Jaguars align in all packages before committing to a fantasy decision with their linebackers.
Minnesota at Tampa Bay
I have had lots of questions about Gerald Hodges this week. He's doubtful with a hamstring but does not have a defensive role with Chad Greenway back fully healthy. When Hodges recovers, he's unlikely to see any defensive snaps.
Dashon Goldson was back to a full practice on Friday and should be back in the lineup this week. The Buccaneers are otherwise healthy on defense. Michael Johnson is off the injury report entirely and can be used in a matchup that leans favorable today.
Seattle at Carolina
Byron Maxwell and Bobby Wagner remain out with injury. Kam Chancellor is struggling through an ankle injury, but the full Friday practice is a good sign. K.J. Wright will stay at middle linebacker and Malcolm Smith outside. Both will be every-down players again this week.
The Panthers are healthy and have no expected depth chart changes. I'm still not sure I trust Charles Johnson, but his last two weeks have been strong enough to consider him a risk-reward matchup play.
St. Louis at Kansas City
Janoris Jenkins is questionable but did not practice all week and is unlikely to play. Trumaine Johnson fully practiced on Friday and should be back. T.J. McDonald has been cleared to play after a concussion last week.
Eric Berry was limited all week. He's a game time decision. Andy Reid told reporters if Berry was active, he'd start and play his usual role. The Chiefs are otherwise healthy.
Indianapolis at Pittsburgh
The Colts should get Arthur Jones back into the defensive line rotation today. Wait a week before using him in fantasy lineups. LaRon Landry will miss the final game of his four game suspension today.
Ryan Shazier fully practiced on Thursday and Friday and is probable today. Sean Spence hasn't been consistent and I think it's likely we'll see Shazier play in all packages immediately. If you need a LB3/4 today, Shazier is trustworthy.
Oakland at Cleveland
LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and Usama Young (ACL/MCL) are out for the year. Benson Mayowa will replace him, but doesn't have much fantasy upside, particularly in today's matchup. Brandion Ross is back at safety for the Raiders. There's some upside there, but not as much as Tyvon Branch and Young had. Justin Tuck took Friday practice off and is questionable today.
There's nothing new to report with the Cleveland linebacker rotations. Status quo for Chris Kirksey and Barkevious Mingo. Don't hope for more than 35-40 snaps for either linebacker.
Philadelphia at Arizona
Mychal Kendricks fully practiced on Friday and has a chance to play today. Earlier in the week, local sources felt strongly Kendricks would sit this week, but the tone changed after Friday practice. If he is active, we may see the Eagles rest him more than usual. It's a late game, so put Kendricks in your lineup only if you've got a hedge to insert if he's inactive.
Calais Campbell wants to play after managing back to back limited practices this week, but is still a game time decision and wouldn't be likely to play his usual 80-90% of the defensive snaps if he goes. The Cardinals won't want to see him trapped on the field for long drives against the Eagles' speed offense. Tyrann Mathieu and Tony Jefferson platooned last week, but the Eagles' offense could force a much higher than usual snap count for both Mathieu and Deone Bucannon. Mathieu is a good start today and Bucannon has upside in deeper leagues.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Green Bay at New Orleans
Morgan Burnett is listed questionable but did not practice all week. Despite Mike McCarthy telling reporters on Friday that Burnett had improved late in the week, I expect him to be inactive tonight. Look for Sean Richardson to replace Burnett. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is now a full time player at safety and has a very strong matchup tonight. Get him in lineups. Datone Jones is out again this week. Sam Shields is also unlikely to play.
Keenan Lewis is expected to play through knee and shoulder injuries tonight. David Hawthorne has been seeing nickel snaps lately and should be safe to use against the Packers' multi wide receiver offense.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Washington at Dallas
Brian Orakpo is out for the year. We'll see more Trent Murphy in Orakpo's absence but I wouldn't rush to roster or start Murphy in big play leagues. Perry Riley fully practiced all week and will play Monday night. Will Compton is part of the game plan, however, according to Jim Haslett. It's not certain how Washington will rotate Riley and Compton, but the rotation makes both risky starts despite the stellar matchup.
Bruce Carter fully practiced this week and will return. Most reports this week have Carter as a base outside linebacker only, with Justin Durant and Rolando McClain to get the nickel snaps. We'll see if that holds through the game. Drop McClain about a half-tier in your weekly expectation.
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.