Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 5
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Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 5

Eight morning games today, and I'll be here until the early kickoffs to let you know who is playing and who isn't in these games. There aren't a lot of guys whose playing status is in question this morning, we'll see what's up with Calvin Johnson @Bigplaycj, Marlon Brown and others. Keep updating this post until 1 p.m. Eastern for the latest.

-- Danny Amendola @DannyAmendola is officially active for the Patriots today. I felt very positive about starting him until this morning, when news came out about how his snaps are expected to be limited. Thus, I can't recommend Amendola as anything more than a WR3, and not a great one at that.
-- Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson, and Brandon Bolden @BB_HulkSmash are all active for the Patriots today. I would start Thompkins as a high-end WR3, keep Dobson and Bolden on the bench. Leon Washington is also active, and he is expected to get some carries today. LeGarrette Blount @L_Blount27 is just a low-end flex play with today's news.
-- Here's the biggest news of the morning: Calvin Johnson is OUT today. He was limited on the injury report as questionable with a knee injury, but this is unexpected. As such, Ryan Broyles and Brandon Pettigrew get healthy bumps up. Matthew Stafford, obviously, loses some sizzle today in a good matchup.
-- Marlon Brown and Jacoby Jones are inactive for today's game versus the Dolphins. Torrey Smith is going to be a target monster.
-- Brandon Marshall is active despite missing some practice time during the week with a foot injury. You know what to do.
-- Cecil Shorts is active. I think he's worth a WR3 spot against the Rams' bad defense.
-- Eddie Lacy and Jermichael Finley are back from their concussions and active for the Packers. Lacy is a strong RB2 against a Lions' defense that has allowed a lot of fantasy points to running backs this year. Finley is fine as a TE1, too. Johnathan Franklin will be the third-down back today. James Starks is out.
-- Kenny Britt is active for the Titans. He shouldn't be active for your fantasy team.
-- This doesn't have anything to do with injuries, but Rams rookie running back Zac Stacy is expected to start versus the Jaguars today. He will still split carries with Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson. It's a great matchup against the Jaguars, but it's hard to trust anyone here. Stacy is a so-so flex.


Players already ruled out for Week 5 include: Rob Gronkowski, Stevan Ridley, Ahmad Bradshaw, Jake Locker, and Steven Jackson.

Fantasy Analysis:

Once again, Gronkowski didn't travel with the Patriots on their road trip. We'll see if he can come back next week, and it sounds like the odds look good there. But that's what I thought at this time last week. He's been frustrating to own.
Ridley is out with a knee injury. His fantasy owners are probably thanking the gods for taking the decision to play him or not out of their hands this week. LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden will carry the load against a good Bengals run defense. Blount is the better start, but he's only a flex play. Bolden is expected to get the valuable goal-line carries.
Bradshaw is out indefinitely with his neck injury, and it's possible his season is over. Even against the Seahawks, Trent Richardson is a healthy RB2 today. He's going to get plenty of work.
Locker will miss a handful of games because of hip injury, leaving Ryan Fitzpatrick to lead the Titans' offense. I don't think his inclusion drastically changes the fantasy values of those around him. But Locker was playing very well; Fitzpatrick has a tough act to follow.
Jackson is out once again because of his hamstring injury. Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers are flex options only against the Jets' stout run defense.

Source:
NFL.com

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Brian Murphy -
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Los Angeles, CA
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2002
Follow me on Twitter: @Spokes_Murphy.

I have played fantasy sports since 2001, specializing in fantasy football and baseball. I wrote for FFToolbox from 2002-2005 and re-joined in 2009.

I am a journalism/mass communication grad student at Cal State University, Northridge. I am aiming to be a sports reporter for a website, newspaper, magazine, anything. I am a graduate from the University of Central Florida. I make my home in Long Beach, Calif.

While I grew up in California, my favorite football team has always been the New York Giants.
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