Adam Levitan

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Week 9 Live Blog

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Welcome to Week 9, where backups like Michael Bush and Brandon Jacobs are poised for heavy workloads.

We'll have a Rotoworld staffer watching every game today, keeping an eye on these backups along with in-game 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 constantly be updating this page through the late games. You can also hang out with other fans in the Rotoworld Forums.

* Roy Helu, not Ryan Torain, is starting for the Redskins. Helu will get a shot to grab a hot hand against the Niners' No. 1 run defense.
* Joseph Addai (hamstring) is active, but Delone Carter is starting. Changing of the guard?
* Daniel Thomas (hamstring) is active and expected to split the load with Reggie Bush.
* Plaxico Burress (back) is ready to go as a red-zone/third-down specialist. He probably won't play a full load of snaps.
* Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral) is active, as expected. He'll gut it out at less than 100 percent.
* Fred Davis (ankle) is active. He should be fine despite that mild ankle sprain.
* Leonard Hankerson, not Anthony Armstrong, is starting for the Redskins. Hankerson certainly has the talent, but it's hard to see a breakout today.
* Julio Jones (hamstring) is back in the starting lineup.
* Dallas Clark (knee) is a go.

* Delone Carter fumbled on his second carry. That's not the way you change the guard.
* The Redskins came out on their first drive and called three straight runs for Roy Helu. The time is now for him.
* Chris Ogbonnaya lost a fumble on his very first carry. Careless. So much for making the most of a huge opportunity. Guy just isn't very good.
* Chris Ivory started at running back for the Saints. Pierre Thomas was in for the next play. As usual, the Saints will use a heavy three-back rotation.
* Donald Brown was the first RB off the bench for the Colts. We might not see much of Joseph Addai today.
* No, Arian Foster is not hurt. He was taking a breather when Ben Tate broke off his TD run and then the Texans called a designed QB draw for Matt Schaub on the second TD. Simply unlucky for Foster so far.
* Yes, Darrelle Revis is shadowing Stevie Johnson. No, Johnson can't shake him.
* So far, so good for LeGarrette Blount in his return from his knee injury. Looks like the Bucs are set to give him a monster workload.
* The Redskins appear to have no intention of using Ryan Torain. Through one quarter, Roy Helu has played every offensive snap and has eight touches.
* Shonn Greene actually looks fresh and explosive coming out of the bye. He had a 41-yard scamper called back due to penalty. Signs of life here.
* Miles Austin hasn't been able to shake his hamstring injury all season. This dates back to camp. He caught a 35-yard pass in the second quarter today and then grabbed his right leg. UPDATE: Austin is officially questionable to return with that hammy issue. Big trouble.
* Looks like Dustin Keller is being checked for a concussion.
* So much for LeGarrette Blount getting the third-down work. In the first half today, Kregg Lumpkin has been the exlcusive third-down back.
* We underestimated the talent level of DeMarco Murray. The kid is big, strong and fast. Felix Jones isn't getting his job back.
* Dez Bryant fumbled at the 2-inch line in the second quarter after a big hit from Seahawks CB Richard Sherman. Dez is always oh so close to getting over the hump.
* Donald Brown is running with his chance after Delone Carter's fumble. Running well enough to shed that first-round bust label? Not yet, but he's getting there with improved play this season.
* There's no chemistry between Greg Little and Colt McCoy right now. A miscommunication between them caused a late interception and then they had confusing words on the sideline after the play.

* Updating some first-half injuries: Dallas Clark (leg) is done for the day. Dustin Keller (head) has surprisingly returned. Miles Austin (hamstring) is done for the day.
* Fred Jackson sustained a neck stinger in the third quarter. C.J. Spiller has come on, for now, but F-Jax looks like he'll be just fine. UPDATE: Jackson has returned.
* Daniel Thomas (hamstring) is active, but playing sparingly. The Dolphins apparently preferred to use Reggie Bush today.
* Santonio Holmes is slightly more involved today. He drew a 42-yard pass interference call and then caught an 8-yard score. Signs of life as the Jets come out of their bye.
* Ben Tate is a really talented guy, but I get the feeling that anyone could run behind this offensive line. The holes are like tunnels.
* John Beck is so uncomfortable in the pocket. He can't read the defense and can't locate the open man. Ever. He's a third-string talent that checks down at every opportunity, which has led to Roy Helu's monster PPR day.
* Laurent Robinson is going to be a quality pickup this week. Miles Austin (hamstring) is in trouble and Tony Romo loves throwing to Robinson. Tons of chemistry there.
* Maybe Josh Freeman's thumb was bothering him more than he let on. Or maybe he's just not that good. Either way, major regression for him this year. I don't have high hopes for a turnaround in the second half. As for Matt Ryan's turnaround? Yeah, it's coming. Colts' secondary is awful, but Ryan has so much room for improvement going forward.
* I can't explain Marshawn Lynch going over 100 yards. Sell, sell, sell after this one.
* Fred Davis is becoming the king of garbage time yards. Last week, he had 72 of his 94 yards after the Skins were down 20-0. This week, he's dancing to a similar tune.
* Shonn Greene sustained a head injury in the fourth quarter. Possible concussion -- could be a chance for Joe McKnight.

* Ryan Mathews (groin) and Malcom Floyd (hip) are both inactive. Look for a heavy load of Mike Tolbert.
* Willis McGahee (hand) is active and starting.
* Sebastian Janikowski (hamstring) is ready to go.
* Kevin Faulk led the Patriots' backfield in snaps last week. This week, he's inactive. Guy is too old and been through too much with the ACL surgery.
* Wes Welker (neck) is active, as expected. So is BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe).
* Sam Bradford (ankle) is active and starting. Great spot for him with Brandon Lloyd in there against the Cards' awful secondary.
* Beanie Wells (knee) is a go. Kevin Kolb (toe) is out.

* The Raiders' starting wideouts were listed as Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey. The first pass of the game was a vertical route intended for Moore. However, Jacoby Ford appears to be playing more on the outside, ahead of DHB.
* Vincent Jackson lives. The game's No. 1 "buy low" candidate over the last few weeks has a touchdown early on.
* Signs of life from Chris Johnson early on. He broke off a 20-yard run and a 21-yard catch on the Titans' first drive.
* Speaking of "buy lows," Jermichael Finley is on the board. Too much talent to hold that guy down all year.
* Big-time drive for Tim Tebow late in the first quarter. He broke off a 32-yard run on a pretty quarterback option and then threw a PERFECT deep post to Eric Decker for a 27-yard TD. The Broncos are playing to Tebow's strengths -- screen passes, shovel passes, designed runs. Huge fantasy upside.
* Looks like Chris Johnson is getting back to his bread-and-butter, outside running. He's not picking much up between the tackles, but he's got that bounce today.
* Just one quick thought on Frank Gore: He gets the Steelers in Week 15 and the Seahawks in Week 16. Those are two of the toughest matchups you'll find in the fantasy playoffs for a running back.
* The Raiders apparently went into their bye and decided Darrius Heyward-Bey isn't one of their top wideouts. Either that, or he's injured. Chaz Schilens and Jacoby Ford are playing in front of him. So is T.J. Housh.
* Beanie Wells is struggling with a neck stinger, but also looks pretty gimpy on that knee. Again, I'd be surprised if he makes it through the year.
* I heard some whispers that John Skelton's strong arm might give Larry Fitzgerald and company a boost. Um, no. Skelton can't play. He has no pocket awareness and is wildly inaccurate.
* Tough break for the Rams as Greg Salas suffered what looks like a serious injury in the fourth quarter. It's either a knee or an ankle and he's getting carted off. Salas, playing the full-time slot role for Sam Bradford, had seven catches before leaving.
* A note to pack away on the Patriots. With the game on the line, Rob Gronkowski was the intended receiver on three straight plays. He caught the go-ahead touchdown on the last one. Guy is a beast.

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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