Adam Levitan

Last Minute Decisions

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Weeks 15's Injury Questions

Saturday, December 18, 2010


The Redskins are in worse shape than the Clippers. Yes, one of the NFL's most legendary franchises is lower on the totem pole than an NBA team whose owner heckles his own players during games. At least the Clippers have some good young talent on the rise. The Redskins have overpaid old talent on the decline.

Exhibit A is Albert Haynesworth, of course. But Exhibit A1 is Donovan McNabb. Did it ever occur to the Redskins the Eagles might know what they are doing? When they are willing to trade McNabb in the division, that would be a red flag to most logical people, no? Perhaps McNabb can't play anymore?

Coach Mike Shanahan found out firsthand. Yes, his ego is probably getting the better of him here. By benching McNabb and starting Rex Grossman, he is essentially blaming McNabb for this season's laughable results. But the fact remains that McNabb is a liability. I would not downgrade Ryan Torain, Chris Cooley or even Santana Moss too much with Grossman under center.

Be smart with your squad in Week 15. Check out the Rotoworld News Page all morning for the latest information on all the 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.

I've got you covered with the latest injury news right here.

1 P.M. GAMES
CHIEFS at RAMS
* Matt Cassel (appendectomy) is tentatively expected to start. Look for a run heavy attack, with play-action passes to Dwayne Bowe.

BILLS at DOLPHINS
* Lee Evans (ankle) is done for the year. Look for Stevie Johnson to get the vast majority of receiver targets.

BROWNS at BENGALS
* Chad Ochocinco (ankle) is going to play as a low-upside WR3 despite a midweek scare.
* Terrell Owens (knee) is also ready to go.
* Colt McCoy (ankle) is ready to return. Downgrade Mohammed Massaquoi.
* Evan Moore (hip) is out. Ben Watson is a decent desperation tight end.

JAGUARS at COLTS
* David Garrard (hamstring) is expected to play, but there appears to be real concern here.
* Maurice Jones-Drew (knee) is listed as questionable, but does not appear in real danger of being limited in the game.
* Austin Collie (concussion) is back. Blair White is not an option.
* Jacob Tamme (knee) is fine despite a questionable tag. Start him as an elite tight end.
* Joseph Addai (neck) is still not expected back. Donald Brown and Javarris James are low-end options once again with Mike Hart (ankle) still sidelined.

TEXANS at TITANS
* Neil Rackers (hamstring) is a full go despite some missed practice time.

REDSKINS at COWBOYS
* Ryan Torain (hamstring) practiced in full all week. His questionable tag is a joke.
* Rex Grossman is starting in place of a healthy Donovan McNabb. See above.
* Roy Williams (groin) is a true game-time decision that should be avoided in fantasy.
* Marion Barber (calf) is tentatively expected to play and could steal some carries back from Tashard Choice.

EAGLES at GIANTS
* DeSean Jackson (foot) is fine despite some missed practice time.
* Steve Smith (knee) is out for the season. Mario Manningham (hip) is ready to fill his role.
* Hakeem Nicks (leg) is not even on the injury report.

CARDINALS at PANTHERS
* John Skelton will start once again.
* Beanie Wells (flu) is back to full strength and ready to steal some carries from Tim Hightower.

LIONS at BUCS
* Jahvid Best (toe) is back on the injury report as probable, expected to split carries evenly again with Maurice Morris.
* Shaun Hill (finger) is not ready yet. Drew Stanton gets another start.

SAINTS at RAVENS
* Chris Ivory (hamstring) is a game-time decision, but it is not looking good. Pierre Thomas gets a boost.
* Todd Heap (thigh) is out again. Last week proved that backup Ed Dickson is not an option.
* Willis McGhee is sick, leaving him off the fantasy radar.

4 P.M. GAMES
FALCONS at SEAHAWKS
* Jason Snelling (hamstring) is expected to return to his backup role.
* Ben Obomanu (hand) and Mike Williams (ankle) are both expected back, but this is a desperation zone only for fantasy owners.

JETS at STEELERS
* Heath Miller (concussion) will likely be held out one more week.

BRONCOS at RAIDERS
* Kyle Orton (arm, ribs) is a true game-time decision. There is a good chance Tim Tebow will make his first NFL start, making Brandon Lloyd a very risky proposition. Lloyd is expected to see plenty of Nnamdi Asomugha regardless.
* Zach Miller (ankle) is finally practicing fully again and looking healthy. He is back to TE1 consideration.

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
PACKERS at PATRIOTS
* Aaron Rodgers (concussion) is out, meaning Matt Flynn will start. He prepared all week as the starter and despite the tough spot, he should be improved.
* Donald Driver (quad, hand) is not even on the injury report. Bad news for James Jones.
* Aaron Hernandez (flu) is questionable. He is playing limited snaps lately anyway, leaving him off the fantasy radar.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
BEARS at VIKINGS
* This game will be played outside at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The forecast is calling for 20 degree temperatures and a chance of snow showers.
* Chester Taylor (knee) is ready to go as the goal-line back.
* Brett Favre (shoulder) is out. Joe Webb, who has WR eligibility in Yahoo leagues, will get the nod.
* Adrian Peterson (ankle, knee) is a full go.
* Percy Harvin (migraines) is ready to go as a low upside play.

SURVIVOR PICK OF THE WEEK
There are people out there that are somehow still in Survivor. Pretty incredible. From what I can gather, some teams people have left include Dallas, Atlanta and Oakland.

I would use the Raiders this week even if Kyle Orton starts. The Raiders are 4-2 at home while the Broncos are 1-6 on the road. This is also the Broncos' third straight road game, which really wears on a team.

The Falcons look like a trap spot to me. They are a notoriously uneven road team going all the way across the country while riding a seven-game winning streak. It's also their third straight road game and they may be looking ahead to a showdown with the Saints in Week 16. Although the Seahawks are awful, they have one of the biggest home field advantages in the league. Seattle is 4-2 this year at Qwest Field.

MY TOUGHEST DECISION OF THE WEEK
A bunch of my toughest decisions came down to Joe Webb. In almost all cases, I went with Webb as a WR in my lineup, as explained over on Pancake Blocks.

Outside of the Webb conundrum, my toughest lineup call was in the Buffalo Wild Wings 12-team "expert" league. I am in the semifinals and have a healthy 36 point lead after the first leg of my semifinal matchup. However, my WR3 spot is in shambles. I had Dez Bryant in there most of the year, James Jones at times and Blair White last week. But with Dez hurt, Austin Collie back and Matt Flynn/Donald Driver starting, it's a major trouble spot.

My choices came down to James Jones, Braylon Edwards, Jabar Gaffney and Jacoby Jones. Yikes. When faced with a desperation play like this, I usually simply go with the guy that has the best chance for a touchdown. In this case, the Texans/Titans games figures to be the highest scoring, so I went with Jacoby. He is still playing behind Kevin Walter still, has a touchdown in two straight games and a two-point conversion last week.

Editor's Note: For early rankings every Tuesday morning, tons of exclusive columns, subscriber-only chats, full projections updated all week and much more, get our award-winning Season Pass.


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.
Email :Adam Levitan



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