Waiting it out: Julio, DeMarco, Hilton TBD for Week 16

BY John Halpin • December 19, 2014

Fantasy football's three biggest question marks heading into the weekend are Falcons WR Julio Jones, Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray and Colts WR T.Y. Hilton. Jones (hip) hasn't practiced since injuring his hip against the Packers on Dec. 8. Head coach Mike Smith said Monday that he expects Jones to play against the Saints, but not much since then has offered much hope or clarity. We might be tracking toward another gametime decision here.

Murray's (hand) status is also expected to be a gametime decision, but his game is at 4:25 p.m. ET, which is a fantasy problem. The guess here is that Murray will play, but if you haven't handcuffed Joseph Randle or Lance Dunbar to him, some widely available late-game RBs you can grab that will let you wait on the decision are Kerwynn Williams, Stepfan Taylor, Benny Cunningham and Bryce Brown. None of those are good options, but if you really want to wait until the inactive lists are released at about 3 p.m., you can.

Hilton (hamstring) didn't practice on Thursday, and the Indianapolis Star says that "casts doubt" on Hilton's availability for Sunday. With the Colts likely locked into the 3 or 4 seed in the AFC, they've signaled a willingness to rest players if necessary. Donte Moncrief is owned in 6.1 percent of FOXSports.com leagues, and could be in line for a big day against the Cowboys.

In other news ...

Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) is "on target" to start Sunday, according to head coach Ron Rivera. Newton isn't a recommended fantasy start against the Browns seventh-ranked pass defense. You have to wonder if Newton's running ability will be restrained.

"Some of the short-yardage stuff, Polk's obviously the more powerful back." So said LeSean McCoy this week about teammate Chris Polk, who got two goal-line touchdowns last week. Sounds like we can expect more of that – sorry, McCoy owners.

It sounds like 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) will play on Sunday, and teammate Carlos Hyde (ankle) won't.

Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) didn't practice Thursday, and a gametime decision looms on his status. Andre Johnson (concussion) is expected to return.

In case you missed it, Jimmy Clausen will start at quarterback for the Bears this week, and Case Keenum will be under center for the Texans. It's sad that we probably won't get to see Garbage Time Jay Cutler again in 2014.

Did you like anything about Thursday's Titans-Jaguars game? Toby Gerhart owners were rewarded with a touchdown, and while Charlie Whitehurst played well, it's not like any fantasy owners cared.

Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) hasn't practiced this week. Look for Andre Williams to start against the Rams.

Chargers QB Philip Rivers (rib, back) is "ready to roll," according to head coach Mike McCoy, but RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) appears unlikely to play against the 49ers.

We've got two Saturday games this weekend: Eagles-Redskins and Chargers-49ers. Don't forget to set your lineups on time.

Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (knee, ankle) missed Thursday's practice, and the team didn't give any good hints about his status for Sunday. Stay tuned.

Here's my tentative DraftKings tournament roster for the weekend. If I win, everyone gets a new bike for Christmas!

QB: Matthew Stafford $7,000

RB: Tre Mason $4,600

RB: Isaiah Crowell $4,300

WR: Calvin Johnson $8,700

WR: Jordy Nelson $7,700

WR: Marques Colston $4,600

TE: Jason Witten $4,000

Flex: Harry Douglas $5,600

DST: Ravens $3,400

Note: If Hilton can't play, I might sub in Moncrief ($4,100) or Hakeem Nicks ($3,400) somewhere.

Make sure to check out our Sunday morning chat, featuring Adam MeyerJoel Beall and me from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. ET, as well as our Week 16 rankings, which will be updated Friday night. Good luck this week!

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