Adam Levitan

Last Minute Decisions

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Weeks 17's Injury Questions

Saturday, January 01, 2011


There are a lot of reasons you should be up to date on the latest injuries and playoff scenarios as we get set for Week 17. Some fantasy leagues are still running. Maybe you fired in some SnapDraft action, like me. Or perhaps you have a score to settle with Vegas (entertainment purposes only, of course).

Regardless, Gregg Rosenthal laid out the "who is trying and who isn't" situations in Goal Line Stand. The only update there is that the Bears are now hinting they may rest some starters.

As for the teams already eliminated from the playoffs, we are always on the lookout for talent. I'll have my eye in Denver, where a healthy Ryan Mathews will get a chance to prove he can be a feature back. Has his pass protection improved at all? Is he willing to put his nose in there? His matchup when running the ball couldn't be much better, but you can't play for the Chargers if you can't protect Philip Rivers.

How about some talented receiver prospects like Jerome Simpson in Cincinnati, Danario Alexander in St. Louis, Houston's Jacoby Jones or Philadelphia's Riley Cooper. They are all headed for tons of snaps, let's see what they can do.

Have your radar up for Week 17. 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 and you'll be good to go.

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

1 P.M. GAMES
MIAMI at NEW ENGLAND
* Aaron Hernandez (hip) was downgraded on Friday and is not expected to play. Upgrade Rob Gronkowski.
* Deion Branch (knee) is likely going to sit out this meaningless game.
* Anthony Fasano (knee) is out. Mickey Shuler is expected to get the start.

BILLS at JETS
* Ryan Fitzpatrick (knee) is headed for a true game-time decision. Brian Brohm is the next man up.
* Mark Sanchez (shoulder) is going to start, but is expected to be pulled extremely early.
* Santonio Holmes (quad) also can't be trusted as a guy that may be sat down after a series or two.
* David Nelson (ribs) and Donald Jones (head) are both out. Naaman Rooselvelt will get another look.

BENGALS at RAVENS
* Chad Ochocinco (ankle) is out. Jerome Simpson is a sleeper WR3 play.
* Jermaine Gresham (knee) is almost certainly out.
* Todd Heap (thigh) is expected to play, but is a risk as he eases his way back into action.

STEELERS at BROWNS
* Peyton Hillis (ribs) looks like a true game-time decision. Even if active, he is a weak fantasy option in this brutal matchup.
* Ben Watson (ankle) is a go.

RAIDERS at CHIEFS
* Darren McFadden (toe) is a game-time decision and will likely split carries with Michael Bush even if active.

PANTHERS at FALCONS
* Steve Smith (calf) may end up playing, but no one should be using him.

BUCS at SAINTS
* Marques Colston had a scope on his knee earlier this week. It is hard to see him playing. Robert Meachem gets a bump.
* Pierre Thomas (ankle) is a game-time decision, but we suspect he will sit. It's an aggravation of the ankle problem that marred his season. Chris Ivory (hamstring) is looking very healthy and could very well be the feature back.
* Jeremy Shockey (groin) is banged up and losing reps to Jimmy Graham. David Thomas (knee) is also a question mark.
* Sammie Straighter (hamstring) may be up with Arrelious Benn (knee) out for the year. Stroughter is a weak fantasy option regardless.

VIKINGS at LIONS
* Calvin Johnson (ankle) is a true game-time decision. We will know his status nice and early Sunday.
* Brett Favre (concussion) is almost certainly out. Joe Webb gets another shot.
* Sidney Rice (concussion) is also likely out. Bernard Berrian will start opposite Percy Harvin.

4 P.M. GAMES
COWBOYS at EAGLES
* Kevin Kolb is fully expected to start in place of Michael Vick (quad).
* DeSean Jackson (foot) is expected to be held out for rest purposes. Jason Avant gets the nod.
* Jon Kitna (oblique) is expected to sit. Stephen McGee will start.

GIANTS at REDSKINS
* Hakeem Nicks (toe) is out. Mario Manningham will start across from Derek Hagan.
* Ahmad Bradshaw (ankle) is a full go in this must-win.
* Ryan Torain (ribs) should be fine despite a questionable tag.

BEARS at PACKERS
* Earl Bennett (ankle) may be held out as the Bears get ready for the playoffs.

JAGUARS at TEXANS
* Andre Johnson (ankle) is headed for surgery on his ankle and is out this week. Get Jacoby Jones going.
* David Garrard (finger) is out. Trent Edwards gets the nod.
* Maurice Jones-Drew (knee) is out, giving Rashad Jennings a chance to redeem himself.
* Mike Sims-Walker (ankle) is ready in this dream matchup.

TITANS at COLTS
* Mike Hart (ankle) may be healthy, but is fourth on the totem pole right now.

CHARGERS at BRONCOS
* Mike Tolbert (neck) is out. This is Ryan Mathews' big chance to shine.
* Malcom Floyd (hamstring) is ready to go opposite Vincent Jackson.
* Knowshon Moreno (ribs) is tentatively expected to play, but this could be a hot hand situation.

CARDINALS at 49ERS
* Alex Smith will be the starting quarterback for interim coach Jim Tomsula.

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
RAMS at SEAHAWKS
* Matt Hasselbeck (hip) looks like he is going to gut it out in this "playoff" game. Charlie Whitehurst will be extra prepared this week.

SURVIVOR PICK OF THE WEEK
Is anyone out there really still in Survivor? Perhaps you've negotiated a chop of the prize pool with others?

If I'm still in and playing, I'm obviously looking for a team with plenty to play for at home. The Ravens certainly fit the bill against a Bengals team coming off an upset win. Great spot. Same can be said for the Colts, Falcons and Packers.

I certainly would not trust the Chargers who aren't used to playing with nothing on the line, or the Steelers who have a tough spot in Cleveland.

MY TOUGHEST DECISION OF THE WEEK
None! I know there are still some leagues out there that go through Week 17, but I'm not in any of them. That said, we still need some action. I fired in a SnapDraft team, picks are here.


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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