Several big-name running backs land on Week 16 injury report

RotoExperts.com delivers all the important player news with in-depth fantasy analysis for Week 15.

Quarterbacks

  • Tom Brady (shoulder, finger, rib) is listed as probable for Week 16. His owners should start him without hesitation against the Jaguars. Brady has not met expectations in recent games, but this matchup looks good.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick (ankle) is listed as questionable and will be a game-time decision. QB Brian Brohm could be in line to start against Atlanta, and his inexperience does not bode well for the Bills' passing game. That scenario also makes the Falcons defense a very good starting option.
  • Matt Moore (shoulder) is listed as questionable for Week 16, but he did fully practice on Friday. While he should start, Moore should not be used in anything but two-quarterback fantasy leagues.
  • Matt Ryan (toe) was limited in practices throughout the week but is expected to start against Buffalo. Still, Ryan cannot be counted on for acceptable fantasy totals, so keep him reserved during fantasy championship week.

Running backs

  • Ahmad Bradshaw (ankle, foot) missed practices this week, but he needs the rest to make sure he can play on Sundays. Use him as a flex option this week, as he has played through the injuries with no major setbacks.
  • Donald Brown (chest) was able to practice in full this week but still might be a game-time decision. The rookie has not been a factor in recent weeks, so he should not be used in important fantasy playoff games. The Colts could be trying to keep him well-rested until the postseason.
  • Correll Buckhalter (ankle) was limited in late-week practices. He might not see enough quality touches against his former team, the Eagles, so keep him reserved.
  • Reggie Bush (knee) was limited in practices this week, though he is still expected to play. Bush should be considered a potential flex starter, as the Saints still have to wrap up the No. 1 seed in the NFC and are unlikely to rest their top players.
  • Justin Fargas (knee) was held out of practices throughout the week. Keep him reserved and expect Michael Bush to provide the best fantasy production among the Oakland backs.
  • Steven Jackson (back) was not able to practice throughout the week, but missing workouts has become customary for him late in the season. He will still suit and deliver quality fantasy numbers.
  • Julius Jones (ribs) was able to practice in full by Thursday but is listed as questionable to face the Packers. However, most smart fantasy owners have stopped using him by this point of their seasons. RB Justin Forsett should at least see a significant share of the workload and is a useful flex starter in larger leagues.
  • Rashard Mendenhall (hip) was able to practice in full by Thursday and will start in Week 16. Even if his yardage numbers against the Ravens are only adequate, he will still get some chances to finish off drives with scoring runs. Start Mendenhall with confidence.
  • Fred Taylor (ankle) is listed as questionable. Fantasy players should not gamble and use him this deep into their playoffs.
  • Michael Turner (ankle) was held out of practices throughout the week. It's not looking good for him, and fantasy owners should give starting consideration to RB Jason Snelling against Buffalo's soft run defense.
  • Brian Westbrook (head) is listed as probable to face the Broncos but might not see enough field time to be useful in fantasy leagues. Even though his workload will be limited, his presence makes RBs LeSean McCoy and Leonard Weaver less useful. Fantasy owners should simply steer clear of the situation this week.
  • DeAngelo Williams (ankle) is listed as doubtful for Week 16. With RB Tyrell Sutton (calf) also missing practices, RB Jonathan Stewart should get most of the reps against the Giants. Stewart is a very good flex start who will deliver at least acceptable fantasy totals.

Wide receivers

  • Antonio Bryant (groin) was limited in practices throughout the week. He has been statistically erratic this season and is a risky play who is best reserved in the fantasy postseason.
  • Braylon Edwards (knee) was back in full practices by Thursday and will start against the Colts. He has been unreliable for fantasy purposes this season, so only consider him for use in larger leagues.
  • Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was a full participant in practices by Thursday. He is a must-start in an all-important fantasy playoff week.
  • Pierre Garcon (hand) was held out of practices throughout the week. It is uncertain just how much he will play even if he is active against the Jets, so keep Garcon on the bench.
  • Devin Hester (calf) was limited in practices this week. He is not reliable when healthy, so keep him reserved in Week 16.
  • Calvin Johnson (knee) was a full participant in practices and will start against the 49ers. He is capable of providing good production against any opponent and has overcome quarterback issues in the past, so keep him in your lineup.
  • Jeremy Maclin (foot) was limited in practices but is expected to play against the Broncos. How much he will actually be used is uncertain, however, so keep him on your bench.
  • Hakeem Nicks (hamstring) was limited in practices this week. If you have a player of similar value, consider using the alternative. Fantasy owners should be trying to minimize risk as much as possible in fantasy championship games.
  • Devin Thomas (ankle) is listed as doubtful for Week 16. WR Malcolm Kelly is expected to start in his place but should not be used in fantasy playoff games.
  • Hines Ward (hamstring) was able to fully practice by Thursday. Keep him active, as he will be a key performer for the Steelers as they try to keep their postseason hopes alive against Baltimore. WR Mike Wallace (knee) was also practicing fully by Thursday and should be considered a viable No. 3 option, especially in larger leagues.

Tight ends

  • Todd Heap (chest) was able to practice in full by Thursday. He has not been a reliable fantasy player this season, even for adequate production, and should only be used if you are reaching deep for a starting option.
  • Zach Miller (head) was limited in practices throughout the week. The Raiders tight end has not been a quality starter for most of the 2009 season, so he will not be a factor in many lineup decisions.
  • Jeremy Shockey (toe) was limited in practices this week. He has been regularly disappointing in recent games that he's been able to play, so consider another option for Week 16.
  • Kellen Winslow (knee) was back at full practices by Thursday and will start against the Saints. He remains a must-start for most of his fantasy owners, as he can often provide solid stats against any opponent.

Scott Engel is Managing Director and Senior NFL Editor at www.rotoexperts.com. Consult the RotoExperts Furious Five for more Fantasy Championship Week advice.

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