Adam Levitan

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Week 6 Live Blog

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Welcome to Week 6, where running back questions are taking center stage early. Ryan Torain, Delone Carter, Daniel Thomas, Earnest Graham and Rashard Mendenhall are all involved in fluid situations this week.

We'll have a Rotoworld staffer watching every game today, keeping an eye on these backfield situations along with in-game injuries and depth chart changes. 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.

* Delone Carter is starting in place of Joseph Addai (hamstring). He'll likely get the goal-line work, but Donald Brown will see plenty of work as well. Note that Bengals MLB Rey Maualuga (ankle) is inactive and special teamer Dan Skuta is starting in his place.
* Mike Sims-Walker is a stunning healthy scratch today. Danario Alexander is starting and a nice upside player if he can sustain health. Alexander has difference-making natural ability.
* Ryan Torain is starting and will thus get the first shot to get the "hot hand." Look for Tim Hightower to play mostly on third downs and Roy Helu to be used as a change-of-pace option.
* Rashard Mendenhall is starting, as expected. But ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that he'll be on a short leash. I don't really buy that, Mendenhall is their guy.

* As expected, Ryan Torain gets the first carry for the Redskins. His one-cut style looks awfully familiar to anyone that watched the Broncos' running game under Mike Shanhan. Puts one foot in ground and goes with power.
* Dallas Clark is really hurting his team. Tons of drops last few weeks, now a fumble that leads to a Bengals' touchdown. Hard to trust him in fantasy.
* A.J. Green is no joke. Just went up and over Jerraud Powers for an 11-yard score. A couple plays before that, he dominated as a blocker out wide. Impressive strength, ball skills and hands.
* Da'Rel Scott, not D.J. Ware is the first back off the bench for the Giants behind Ahmad Bradshaw. Interesting.
* The first eight carries of the game for Indy have gone to Delone Carter. Donald Brown gets his first touch on a third-down screen.
* Bernard Scott getting a series to himself late in the first quarter. Bengals hae been putting an emphasis on keeping him involved lately, perhaps in preparation for an eventual Cedric Benson suspension.
* The Lions continue to use Brandon Pettigrew as their short-yardage back. They dump it to him, he gets four or five yards and it's as good as a first-down run. Pettigrew turning into a PPR beast.
* We have talked about slot receivers in a Chan Gailey offense a lot this season. Naaman Roosevelt has that job now. Adjust accordingly.
* LeSean McCoy owners shouldn't worry about that Dion Lewis near-touchdown run. McCoy was just getting a breather after a long run. After that, Michael Vick tried a sneak before McCoy punched it in off the edge from 1-yard out.
* Donald Brown lives! After Delone Carter got all the first-quarter work, Brown comes in a impressively bounces a run to the outside for an 18-yard touchdown.
* Chris Cooley looks to have a severe hand or finger injury. He's done for the day after taking a big first-quarter hit. Fred Davis was getting the majority of tight end targets anyway.
* Biggest mismatch of season: Packers passing game vs. Rams secondary. Joke.
* This is the second straight week that the Steelers' offensive line has shown significant improvement. Plus matchups on deck as well. Rashard Mendenhall trending upward.
* Rex Grossman has thrown four balls that should have been intercepted in the first half. Only two have actually been picked. Cue the calls for John Beck.

* Interesting performance from Greg Salas so far today. He's playing well ahead of Austin Pettis, getting just about every rep in the slot. The underneath is wide open now that Mike Sims-Walker is apparently in the doghouse.
* Jacob Lacey was getting absolutely lit up by Jerome Simpson all day. Midway through the third quarter, the Colts have finally benched Lacey.
* We loved Mario Manningham before the season and he face-planted. Now he's ready to break out. Is there such a thing as an in-season post-hype sleeper? The talent was always there.
* I don't think Tim Hightower has played a single snap. Roy Helu handling the majority of third-down work.
* Michael Vick left the game briefy because he reportedly had dirt in his eyes. That allowed Vince Young to come on for an ugly interception. Vick ended up missing just a couple plays.
* Rex Grossman was just picked off for the fourth time. John Beck is warming up. It's hard to describe how bad Grossman has been today with both accuracy and decision-making. UPDATE: Beck is in.
* Roddy White has drawn two pass interference calls in the end zone. Both would have likely been caught. Brutal break for owners.
* Pierre Garcon continues to show marked improvement in his hands and his route-running. His chemistry with Curtis Painter is blatent.
* Dallas Clark just redeemed himself. Sick one-handed catch in back of end zone for a 1-yard touchdowns.
* Jonathan Stewart continues to outplay DeAngelo Williams on a weekly basis. The Panthers can't bench Williams, however, because of the absurdly stupid contract they gave him in July.
* Best play for Eagles' offense is get ball to LeSean McCoy anywhere on field. Let him make people miss. Guys is really, really special.

* Joe Haden (knee) is inactive for the Browns. Denarius Moore will eat up Dimitri Patterson or Buster Skrine.
* BenJarvus Green-Ellis is active, as expected. So is Danny Woodhead -- not good news for Stevan Ridley.
* LeGarrette Blount (knee) is inactive and will likely miss Week 7 as well.

* BenJarvus Green-Ellis was not in on the Patriots' first drive. It was the Stevan Ridley show, with Shane Vereen getting his first snap of the season as well. It's possible BJGE was only "up" in case of emergency -- like Tim Hightower was earlier today.
* Peyton Hillis played the first two series for the Browns. Montario Hardesty came on for the third series.
* Greg Little was wide open in the flat at the Raiders' 5-yard line and went to turn upfield for the score. But he slipped and therefore ended up one inch short of the end zone. Brutal luck for those owners spot-starting Little today.
* Tom Brady is icing his elbow, but no one else is warming up. Probably just a little soreness.
* Jason Campbell looks like he suffered a severe injury at the end of a scramble. He was reaching for a first down and got hit from the top, immediately grimacing in pain. Kyle Boller has come on to finish out the first half. Yes, Terrelle Pryor is the No. 3 quarterback today.
* Chad Ochocinco played three snaps in the first half. Maybe they swing a trade for Brandon Lloyd?
* Felix Jones' little nicks continue to boggle the mind. First, he admitted that his shoulder still isn't 100 percent despite the Cowboys' bye last week. Now he's out of the game with what looks like a minor ankle injury. Frustrating.
* Jacoby Jones lives. He's certainly behind Kevin Walter in the pecking order right now, but he's the one that is capable of making the big plays.
* Peyton Hillis has one rush since the first quarter. Montario Hardesty assuming control here, which is strange considering all the rhetoric out of Cleveland this week. There may be more than meets the eye here.
* Updating the Hillis situation: The Browns are saying Hillis pulled his hamstring in the first half. He's on the sideline in full pads, but looks done for the day. Meanwhile, Montario Hardesty has not impressed. UPDATE: Hillis was in for a couple fourth-quarter plays. The pull obviously isn't severe, but his value depends on workloads. He won't get tons of touches at less than 100 percent.
* Don't buy Kevin Boss' touchdown catch in the box score. It came off a fake punt, not in the flow of the offense.
* Jason Campbell is done for the year with a broken collabone. It's an injury that's going to be very hard for the Raiders' offense to overcome. Kyle Boller is truly backup-caliber at best. David Garrard, anyone?
* Robert Meachem is not hurt. He's just getting lost with Marques Colston back and Jimmy Graham dominating. Drew Brees missed a wide-open Meachem in the back of the end zone with three minutes left in the game.

Adam Levitan is in his seventh 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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