Adam Levitan

Last Minute Decisions

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Week 12's Injury Questions

Saturday, November 27, 2010


It has been nearly a month since Antonio Gates went full speed on his torn plantar fascia. For a guy that had never previously missed a game due to injury in his entire career, it's an awful long time. And the bad news is that it does not appear to be getting better.

After working out on a limited basis Thursday, Gates revealed he was in serious pain and incredibly sore. When you have taken a month off and still can't get through a practice, that's a really bad sign. Gates' outlook for the rest of the season is in real question, which is shame for the most dominant player in fantasy football. The difference between Gates and every other tight end is that significant.

Dominate while setting your lineup this week. Check out the Rotoworld News Page all morning for the latest information on game-time decisions. Also, be sure to use the rankings from Gregg Rosenthal/Chris Wesseling in combination with Evan Silva's matchup column and you'll be good to go.

If you're looking to start over, you can get a new team via SnapDraft right now.

And here is the latest injury news as we dive into Week 12:

1 P.M. GAMES
JAGUARS at GIANTS
* Maurice Jones-Drew (abdomen) was a late addition to the injury report, but should be fine.
* Mike Sims-Walker (ankle) may be able to go at less than 100 percent, but is not a fantasy option.
* Hakeem Nicks (leg) and Steve Smith (pectoral) are out. Mario Manningham and Derek Hagan are the starters.

STEELERS at BILLS
* C.J. Spiller (hamstring) has a slight chance to make his return for a fistful of carries.

TITANS at TEXANS
* Kenny Britt (hamstring) remains out.
* Kerry Collins (calf) needs another 1-2 weeks. Rusty Smith is the starter.
* Rob Bironas (ankle) is a full go.
* Andre Johnson (ankle) appears as healthy as he has been in weeks.
* Owen Daniels (hamstring) is out, giving Joel Dreessen another start.

VIKINGS at REDSKINS
* Sidney Rice (hip) appears set for another full complement of snaps.
* Bernard Berrian (groin) is a game-time decision but can not be trusted.
* Clinton Portis (groin) and Ryan Torain (hamstring) are out. Keiland Williams will start, with James Davis set for reps as well.
* Santana Moss (hamstring) is a true game-time decision.

PACKERS at FALCONS
* Donald Driver (quad) is a full go, but James Jones is the better fantasy play.

PANTHERS at BROWNS
* Tyrell Sutton (ankle) remains out, but Jonathan Stewart (ankle) is back. Look for a timeshare with Mike Goodson.
* Jimmy Clausen (concussion) has been cleared and will start.
* Jake Delhomme is starting in place of Colt McCoy (ankle).
* Josh Cribbs (foot) is a game-time decision.
* Ben Watson (ankle) may play, but he is not a fantasy option at less than 100 percent.

4 P.M. GAMES
CHIEFS at SEAHAWKS
* Mike Williams (foot) is a true game-time decision, but is expected to play limited reps even if he suits up.
* Tony Moeaki (concussion) is ready to go as a low-end TE2.
* Dexter McCluster (ankle) will play his specialist role.

BUCS at RAVENS
N/A

DOLPHINS at RAIDERS
* Brandon Marshall (hamstring) will miss the first game of his career due to injury.
* Chad Henne (knee) is ready to go.
* Zach Miller (foot) will almost certainly play, but hasn't been productive at less than 100 percent.
* Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring) will retake his starting job from Jacoby Ford.

RAMS at BRONCOS
* Danario Alexander (knee) is ready to return for his rotational receiver role.
* Demaryius Thomas (ankle) is out indefinitely.

EAGLES at BEARS
N/A

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
CHARGERS at COLTS
* Antonio Gates (toe) is a true game-time decision. Fantasy owners would be taking a huge risk by waiting for him.
* Ryan Mathews (ankle) is out. Mike Tolbert gets the nod again as the true feature back.
* Patrick Crayton (wrist) is out, while Malcom Floyd (hamstring) will likely play at less than 100 percent. Vincent Jackson is going to have a major role in his first game back.
* Austin Collie (concussion) is out, Blair White is the No. 3 receiver.
* Joseph Addai (neck) and Mike Hart (ankle) are both out. Donald Brown gets yet another start.
* Reggie Wayne (knee) will start despite a questionable tag.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
49ERS at CARDINALS
* Vernon Davis (ankle) is a full go.
* Joe Nedney (knee) remains a question mark. Seek other options.

SURVIVOR PICK OF THE WEEK
The Browns are going to be a hot play this week and with good reason. It's a chance to use a bad team at home as a double-digit favorite. Jake Delhomme is always a risk, but it's definitely worth it if there are a lot of people left in your pool. The Panthers are that bad.

MY TOUGHEST DECISION OF THE WEEK
In a 10-team expanded roster league, my flex spot came down to Ahmad Bradshaw, LeGarrette Blount or Fred Jackson. Of course, this would be an easy decision if Bradshaw hadn't fumbled away his starting job last week. But questions about Bradshaw's role next to Brandon Jacobs have me wavering.

I threw out Jackson right away. Even though I think F-Jax is underrated as both a runner and receiver out of the backfield, facing the Steelers is simply a recipe for disaster.

Getting Blount in there is tempting. He is amazing at bouncing off tackles and is the clear goal-line choice, unlike Bradshaw. Blount is not really sharing carries - he is averaging 20 carries a game over his last four. The Ravens run defense is still solid, but they are giving up 4.2 yards per carry. That's the same rate as the Jaguars.

So the question really comes down to what Bradshaw's benching means. Will he resume his normal role as the feature back after the first snap? Or will Jacobs use this opportunity to turn it into a 50-50 timeshare? I decided to stick with Bradshaw because in this matchup, the Giants don't really have the luxury of teaching Bradshaw a lesson. With both Steve Smith (pectoral) and Hakeem Nicks (leg) both out, the Giants are going to have to run to win. Bradshaw should get 15-20 touches despite his "demotion."


Adam Levitan is in his sixth season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
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