Who should you start? Who should you sit? To help you set your fantasy football lineups and to avoid starting a player who won’t be in the lineup, we’ll post fantasy-relevant updates and analysis here as NFL teams release their inactives, typically about 90 minutes before kickoff. Any rankings cited in this column come from our ESPN Fantasy staff ranks.
Refresh often for the latest information.
Note: After Week 12’s COVID-19-related postponements, the league has made some changes to the Week 13 schedule. The Washington-Pittsburgh game, originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon, has been moved to Monday at 5 p.m. ET. The Baltimore-Dallas game, originally scheduled for Thursday night, has been moved to Tuesday night. To see how ESPN is handling these kinds of NFL postponements for fantasy football purposes, click here.
1 p.m. ET games
Julio Jones, WR, ATL: Hamstring — Questionable
Impact: The veteran receiver says that he feels good enough to play.
Darnell Mooney, WR, CHI: Knee — Questionable
Impact: He didn’t practice on Friday, which doesn’t bode well for Sunday success.
Dante Fowler Jr., DE, ATL: Hamstring — Questionable
Kendall Sheffield, CB, ATL: Illness — Questionable
Akiem Hicks, DE, CHI: Hamstring — Questionable
Khalil Mack, LB, CHI: Back — Questionable
Christian Covington, DT, CIN: Illness — Questionable
Tony Brown, CB, CIN: Hamstring — OUT/IR
Denzel Ward, CB, CLE: Calf — OUT
Da’Shawn Hand, DE, DET: Groin — OUT
Jeff Okudah, CB, DET: Shoulder — OUT
Tracy Walker, S, DET: Personal — Questionable
Bobby Okereke, LB, IND: Ankle — OUT
Khari Willis, S, IND: Back — OUT
Davon Hamilton, DT, JAX: Knee — OUT/IR
Jarrod Wilson, S, JAX: Shoulder — Questionable
Johnathan Abram, S, LV: Knee — OUT
Trayvon Mullen, CB, LV: Illness — Questionable
Janoris Jenkins, CB, NO: Knee — OUT
Jeffery Simmons, DT, TEN: Knee — Questionable
Adoree’ Jackson, CB, TEN: Knee — OUT
4 p.m. ET games
Cam Newton, QB, NE: Abdomen — Questionable
Impact: While he has been a bit banged-up, Newton should start without issues.
Angelo Blackson, DE, ARI: Illness — Questionable
Jalen Thompson, S, ARI: Ankle — OUT
Za’Darius Smith, LB, GB: Ankle — Questionable
Krys Barnes, LB, GB: Calf — Questionable
Denzel Perryman, LB, LAC: Back — Doubtful
Uchenna Nwosu, LB, LAC: Shoulder — Questionable
Casey Hayward Jr., CB, LAC: Groin — Questionable
Sebastian Joseph-Day, DT, LAR: Hip — Questionable
Adam Butler, DT, NE: Shoulder — Questionable
Byron Cowart, DT, NE: Back — Questionable
Ja’Whaun Bentley, LB, NE: Groin — Questionable
Darius Slay, CB, PHI: Calf — Questionable
Tre Flowers, CB, SEA: Hamstring — OUT/IR
Sunday night game
Jerry Jeudy, WR, DEN: Ankle — Questionable
Impact: He has battled through this injury for a few weeks, with diminishing fantasy returns.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, KC: Illness — Questionable
Impact: His issue has been a stomach virus. Andy Reid has indicated that he thinks the rookie will play.
Official Sunday inactives should begin coming in at approximately 11:30 a.m. ET for the early games and 2:30 p.m. ET for the late games.
Madden NFL 22 teases cover athletes with goats
The Madden NFL 22 game cover will be released later this week. The day when we see which superstar nabs the cover is another big date on the NFL’s offseason calendar.
To promote this year’s cover release, EA Sports is teasing the identity of the athlete with literal goats. Former cover athlete Peyton Hillis interacts with the animals and reacts to the cover.
The video seems to promise two GOAT (greatest of all time) athletes. Given his Super Bowl win last season and his untouchable status as the NFL’s greatest QB, it’s safe to assume that Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady will be one of the athletes featured.
But who could join him? Could it be Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, who lost to Brady in Super Bowl LV? Maybe it’s a former or current Brady collaborator. Whomever it is, the ungulate ad men in the video aren’t saying.
Who do you think will be joining Brady?
WR Jamison Crowder agrees to pay cut to remain with New York Jets, source says
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder, the team’s leading receiver the last two seasons, avoided the possibility of being released by agreeing to a pay cut, a source confirmed Monday.
Crowder was due to make a non-guaranteed $10 million in base pay for 2021, the final year of a three-year, $28.5 million contract. Details of the renegotiated contract weren’t immediately available, but the new deal is expected to significantly lower his $11.4 million cap charge.
The Jets are among the league leaders in cap space (about $27 million), but they approached Crowder recently about a reduction. Crowder, who turns 28 on Thursday, skipped the voluntary portion of the offseason as the two sides haggled over the contract. NFL Network first reported the agreement.
The Jets’ mandatory minicamp starts Tuesday, and Crowder is expected to attend.
Coach Robert Saleh was optimistic that a deal would get done, saying 10 days ago that “Jamison’s definitely got a role here and we’re excited to have him.”
After signing receivers Corey Davis and Keelan Cole in free agency, and drafting Elijah Moore in the second round, the Jets had the leverage in talks with Crowder. He led the team with 59 catches and 699 yards in 2020, but his production was down because he missed four games due to leg injuries. The Jets also finished 32nd in total offense for the second straight year.
Even though Crowder is back, it will be interesting to see if his role diminishes in the regular season. Moore, selected 34th overall, has impressed the coaches in offseason practices. Like Crowder, he’s a slot receiver.
In another contract-relation development, safety Marcus Maye reported to the facility Monday ahead of the minicamp. Maye, who signed his franchise-tag tender ($10.6 million) earlier in the offseason, skipped the voluntary practices as the two sides attempt to negotiate a long-term deal. The deadline is July 15. If they can’t agree to a deal, Maye will play the 2021 season for the amount of the tender.
Cam Newton expected to practice at New England Patriots minicamp after hand injury during OTAs
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Ten days after sustaining a minor injury on his right throwing hand, New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton is expected to take part in the team’s mandatory minicamp beginning Monday, according to coach Bill Belichick.
Newton had not been present at last Thursday’s practice when reporters were present, but returned the following day. The hand apparently responded well.
“He practiced last week. I’d expect him this week too,” Belichick said Monday.
Newton has been taking top repetitions in spring practices, with Belichick having previously declared him the team’s quarterback. Belichick previously left open the possibility that Newton could face a challenge for the starting job when the team shifts from a spring teaching mode to more of an evaluation mode at the start of training camp in late July.
Jones was complimentary of Newton, noting that he gave him the nickname “Mac and Cheese” while calling him a “good mentor.”
Another notable storyline at Patriots mandatory minicamp surrounds cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Gilmore is scheduled to earn a base salary of $7 million in 2021, which is below market value for a player of his caliber, and Belichick deflected a question when asked if he’s seen Gilmore at camp.
Gilmore is not present, according to the Boston Globe.
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