Can it be Week Seventeen already? The final weekend of the 2012 NFLUK fantasy season is here, and with it one final chance to scramble your way to the top of the weekly leaderboard for a chance to win a mother lode of NFL goodies. The battle for supremacy in the cumulative table is no less heated, with a season’s worth of hard graft set to pay off for one triumphant manager.
Whether you’re serious about winning or playing purely for fun, the last weekend of NFL action always throws up fantasy surprises as younger players are given an audition for next season or successful teams rest key starters. So let’s get you set for the finale with another helping of the latest injury and depth chart news from around the league:
- NY Giants’ RB Ahmad Bradshaw managed a limited practice on Thursday, a day on which he has typically been rested for the majority of 2012. The extra reps bode well for a significant number of carries against Philadelphia.
- Green Bay WR Jordy Nelson practiced in full on Thursday and will play against the Vikings, while Randall Cobb (ankle) missed a second straight day. With the Packers already qualified for post-season action, Nelson might have expected his reps to be limited, but Cobb’s status could change all that. Keep an eye on Friday’s end-of-practice reports to see how the Pack’s receiver depth chart shakes out.
- Atlanta WR Roddy White (knee) missed practice on Thursday but did the same in Week 16 before registering a huge game on Saturday night. With the Falcons already qualified as the NFC’s top seed, White - like many of the Falcons’ starters - is unlikely to play the whole game.
- Cleveland QBs Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy are both expected to miss Sunday’s game with shoulder issues. The Browns expect to start Thaddeus Lewis in what could be a field day for the Steelers’ defense.
- Tennessee WR Kendall Wright practiced on Thursday and will play versus Jacksonville on Sunday.
- NY Jets QB Mark Sanchez has been reinstated in the light of Greg McElroy’s concussion. The Jets’ offense remains hands-off, but the Buffalo Bills’ defense could be an intriguing matchup play.
- Chicago RB Matt Forte put in a limited Thursday practice and will start against Detroit on Sunday. There’s a sense that he’ll be at less than full speed against the Lion’s underrated front seven.
- San Francisco TE Vernon Davis is still struggling with a concussion, though managed a limited practice on Thursday. Look for reserve Delanie Walker to pick up extra passing reps even if Davis suits up versus Arizona.
- Seattle WR Sidney Rice practiced in full on Thursday and will play on Sunday versus the Rams. Still, there’s some thought he’ll be given plays off in order to ensure he’s fully fit for the post-season.
- Denver RB Knowshon Moreno is working through a rib issue but practiced in full on Thursday. If Broncos’ starters play a full game - which team observers believe they will - Moreno has a good matchup against Cleveland.
- New England TE Rob Gronkowski managed a limited practice on Thursday but is not expected to play this weekend as things stand. The Patriots want to get their premier receiving threat completely healthy for the post-season.
- Cleveland RB Trent Richardson will see reduced snaps on Sunday, assuming he’s able to shake off an ankle issue. Team observers expect Montario Hardesty to see the bulk of the carries, and would be in for a heavy load should Richardson sit out.
- San Francisco DE Justin Smith has a partially torn left triceps and is likely to miss Week 17. It’s a big downgrade for the 49ers’ defense, though it should get a boost against the Cardinals’ feeble attack this weekend.
- Pittsburgh WR Mike Wallace has missed consecutive mid-week sessions with a hip ailment. He’ll need to take part in Friday’s practice if he’s to play a meaningful role in the Steelers’ Week 17 game. TE Heath Miller has been placed on injured reserve.
- Green Bay RB James Starks is still on the shelf with a knee injury, meaning Green Bay’s Week 17 backfield should again be a rotation between Ryan Grant, Alex Green and DaJuan Harris. At this point Grant looks like the best bet for carries.
- NY Giants WR Hakeem Nicks put in a very limited practice on Thursday and may well miss the Giants’ season finale against the Eagles. The team will know more after Friday’s session.
- Seattle CB Richard Sherman has won his appeal against a four-game ban for performance enhancing drugs and will suit up against the Rams’ so-so offense on Sunday in what looks like an enticing matchup for Seattle’s Team D.