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Week 2: Sunday Headlines

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Welcome to Week 2. We have digested initial impressions are ready to see who was for real in Week 1.

A Rotoworld staffer will be watching each game, keeping an eye out for injuries, depth chart changes and potential breakout players. If you have a specific question about something going on in a specific game, ask me on Twitter (@adamlevitan) and we will try to get you an answer in this space.

So check back often as we'll be constantly updating this page through the late games. You can also hang out with other fans in the Rotoworld Forums.

1 P.M. GAMES
INACTIVE NEWS
* Lance Moore (groin) is ready to make his 2011 debut. He's in a nice spot with Marques Colston (collarbone) out and the Bears' defense pushing everything underneath.
* Roy Williams (groin) is inactive. Johnny Knox gets the start and is a nice upside play for owners in search of a sneaky start.
* Calvin Johnson (ankle) is a full go.
* Santonio Holmes (quad) is also ready to play, but may not be 100 percent. Still, it's almost impossible to sit him against the Jags' leaky secondary.
* The Raiders will be playing without Jacoby Ford, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Kevin Boss and Louis Murphy due to various injuries. Look for a run-heavy attack while Denarius Moore and Chaz Schilens start at wideout.
* Cecil Shorts is getting a chance to start with Jason Hill (hip) out. Interesting prospect. It doesn't hurt that Marcedes Lewis (calf) is out.

FIRST HALF OBSERVATIONS
* Interesting start for the Colts. They open up in a no-huddle offense and use three wideouts to include Austin Collie. Collie snags two catches in the first five plays.
* Emmanuel Sanders is playing over Antonio Brown. Regardless of Brown's big preseason, Sanders is the better player and the one to own.
* No worries on Santanio Holmes' quad. Made a triple move and caught a 17-yard touchdown already.
* The Packers are using Charles Woodson to monitor Steve Smith very closely.
* Rashard Mendenhall was stuffed at the goal line by the Seahawks. Remember that Isaac Redman is lurking as a potential vulture if Mendy struggles in the role.
* Mike Wallace drew a long pass interference penalty in the end zone, setting up the note above.
* The Panthers used Jonathan Stewart over DeAngelo Williams at the goal line on their first possession. Stewart was stuffed on his chance, however.
* Jamaal Charles appeared to injure his left knee after running into the Lions' mascot. Not kidding. He's getting carted off and this has the look of a serious injury. UPDATE: Charles is done for the day. We don't have any more details as of yet.
* Earl Bennett has a chest injury and is questionable to return. With Roy Williams already out, the Bears' primary wideouts are Johnny Knox and Devin Hester.
* Delone Carter is running really hard and getting most of the work inside the 10-yard line.
* Roy Helu had two really nice runs to bring the Redskins into the red zone, but Tim Hightower comes back in for the goal-line work.
* Michael Bush is the vulture to Darren McFadden. For the second straight week, Bush is being used as the main goal-line back and has a first-half touchdown plunge. UPDATE: McFadden just got the call from five yards out and scored. Only the true 1-yard scores will be Bush's.
* Evan Moore doesn't play that many snaps, but Colt McCoy locks on to him in the red zone. Touchdown-heavy owners shoud take note.
* I led a Dose earlier this week with Fred Davis because he's a player and the Redskins know it. They just ran a play-action from the 1-yard line and Davis was wide open in the back of the end zone.
* Montario Hardesty has been on the field for just one snap in the first half. There's no committee here, even as the Browns go extremely run-heavy.
* Nothing wrong physically with Larry Fitzgerald or Beanie Wells. The Cardinals simply can't put a drive together and the Redskins are dominating time of possession. The 'Skins didn't even punt in the first half.
* Couple notes from NYJ/JAX: Plaxico Burress has no targets despite 24 snaps. And Cecil Shorts has no targets either even though he got the start.

SECOND HALF OBSERVATIONS
* Chris Johnson is getting outplayed by Javon Ringer and now finds himself on the sideline. Really unexplainable, but Ringer looks to be more decisive and effective.
* A Mike Williams 17-yard touchdown was called back due to an illegal shift penalty. Unlucky.
* OK, Beanie Wells is getting tons of work now and he's really impressing. Runs so hard, over people. Coach Whiz showing supreme confidence.
* Anyone still doubting Matthew Stafford or Kenny Britt?
* Montario Hardesty just fumbled near the goal line but the Browns were lucky enough to get it back. Still, won't help his role increase.
* Blaine Gabbert has come on for Luke McCown, who has turned in an anemic performance for the ages. He threw four picks in three quarters. The Gabbert era may start in earnest sooner than we thought.
* Another guy I'm impressed with today: Roy Helu. Really good burst and excellent receiver out of backfield. If Tim Hightower were to get hurt, Helu would be a monster.
* I know Scott Chandler now has three touchdowns in two games, but I'm still not buying it. Guy just isn't athletic enough to consistently do this.
* If you read Rotoworld during August, you knew about Denarius Moore. Now everyone will. The kid can play and he should continue to get significant reps even when Jacoby Ford and Darrius Heyward-Bey get healthy. It's a joke if DHB keeps starting over Moore.


4 P.M. GAMES

INACTIVE NEWS
* Brandon Lloyd and Knowshon Moreno are both out. Eric Decker and Willis McGahee are the starters.
* Arian Foster is active and starting.
* Dez Bryant will not play. Kevin Ogletree gets the start.
* Kevin Walter is inactive and Jacoby Jones is starting, as expected.

OBSERVATIONS
* Felix Jones went down with apparent arm injury on the first drive. If you can, the time is now to pick up Tashard Choice. UPDATE: Jones has come back in the game.
* So far, so good on Willis McGahee. He was spelled by Lance Ball briefly on the first drive, but rushed seven times and scored a goal-line touchdown on that drive. Looks fresh, more decisive than Moreno usually does.
* Arian Foster is also off to a good start. The first seven rushes for the Titans went to Foster and he looks healthy.
* Braylon Edwards left with a knee injury and is questionable to return. The Niners' offense keeps getting more and more narrow -- it's bad news for Frank Gore.
* Eddie Royal went down with what looks like a serious groin pull. More interestingly, the Broncos only dressed three wideouts today. That means Tim Tebow -- yes, that Tim Tebow -- has come on as the No. 3 receiver. He lined up in the slot on the first play following Royal's injury. So weird.
* Chad Ochocinco is barely playing once again. Hopefully you listened to us and didn't draft him. But if you did, it's hard to see any real production until after the Week 7 bye.
* Not a good half for Eric Decker in his start. First he had a bad penalty that infuriated John Fox. Then he fumbled after a 19-yard catch. Ugly.
* Get Daniel Thomas back on your radar. He's predictably outpeforming Reggie Bush between the tackles.
* UPDATE ON JAMAAL CHARLES: He's reportedly done for the season with a torn ACL. The Chiefs will now go with some kind of ugly committee headed by the washed up Thomas Jones. Dexter McCluster, Jackie Battle and LeRon McClain will also get plenty of work, but I'm not sprinting to the wire to grab any of these guys. The Chiefs' season is in the toilet. Perhaps it's worth noting that McCluster has WR eligibility in Yahoo leagues.
* Tony Romo is out with cracked ribs. Jon Kitna has come on. We remember what happened last year under Kitna -- Jason Witten went off and Miles Austin struggled. UPDATE: Looks like Romo is going to try to play through this. He's coming back in. Dude is tough if nothing else.
* Arian Foster aggravated his hamstring injury. YIKES. He's questionable to return, but there's more concern long-term here. Ben Tate could end up being a beast for the foreseeable future.
* Eric Decker is a player. Despite that slow start, he's now lighting up the Bengals' secondary. Impressive size, athleticism. Definitely worth a look in fantasy with both Brandon Lloyd and Eddie Royal banged up.
* No word on what's going on with Antonio Gates. Have to think there's some kind of injury there as he has zero catches through three quarters.
* Hopefully you bought low on two prime candidates after last week: Vincent Jackson and Owen Daniels are both set for big years.
* Speaking of the trade market, I recommended selling Reggie Bush last week here. Hopefully you did.



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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