Adam Levitan

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Week 10 Live Blog

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Welcome to Week 10, where we have the makings of a very strange week. The NFL has hit us with 10 1pm ET games and just three 4pm ET games. We also have some very interesting news emerging early in the morning surrounding the Eagles and Redskins among others.

We'll have a Rotoworld staffer watching every game today, keeping an eye on these situations 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.

Editor's Note: There are lot of new updates in the Rotoworld news iPad and iPhone app. Bang it here to check it out.

1PM GAMES
INACTIVE NEWS
* DeSean Jackson is a surprise inactive. He missed a meeting Saturday, but this has been building. His attitude combined with poor play led to the Eagles sending a message today. Jason Avant gets the start as a desperation WR3.
* Rex Grossman, not John Beck, is starting for the Redskins. Downgrade Roy Helu a little as Grossman is more willing to take shots downfield.
* Donald Brown, not Delone Carter is starting for the Colts. Joseph Addai is inactive.
* Mark Ingram (heel) is active and Chris Ivory is (inactive). The three-headed monster continues.
* Julio Jones (hamstring) and Lance Moore (hamstring) are fine.
* Jermaine Gresham (hamstring) is active as a desperation play.
* Nate Washington (hip) is a full go and looking limber. The problem is he's not that good.
* Kevin Kolb (foot) is inactive. John Skelton gets another start. Meanwhile, both Todd Heap and Rob Housler are inactive.
* Mark Clayton is active for the first time all year. His role is unclear, but he could cut into Austin Pettis' slot role.

FIRST HALF OBSERVATIONS
* Ryan Torain, not Roy Helu, got the start for the Redskins. It's maddening after coach Mike Shanahan talked up Helu all week. Helu came in on third down after Torain got the first two carries of the game.
* Reggie Bush served as the Dolphins' goal-line back on the first drive. Did not execute on a first-and-goal. Did punch it in off the edge on his second chance.
* Willis McGahee looks like he has a left leg injury. Knowshon Moreno has come on and is running well. McGahee's injury appears serious as it was of the dreaded non-contact variety. UPDATE: McGahee has a hamstring injury. The 752nd hamstring injury of the season in the NFL.
* Note that DeMarco Murray is showing well as both a pass-blocker and receiver. He had the key block on Dez Bryant's touchdown catch today. There's a chance Murray sticks as a three-down back, even when Felix Jones returns.
* You can't deny that Tim Tebow has a nose for the end zone. After running one for in the first quarter today, he has 12 total touchdowns in six-plus games. The guy is a fantasy monster.
* Jeremy Maclin got put in a really bad spot by Michael Vick. Looks like he may have a concussion -- he's headed to the locker room. The Eagles are down to just Jason Avant, Steve Smith and Riley Cooper as wideouts. UPDATE: Maclin had a right shoulder injury and is back now. Seems fine.
* OK, now Knowshon Moreno is down with what looks like a serious right knee injury. It's Lance Ball time, folks.
* We've been talking up Brandon Lloyd because he's in a great spot. He plays in a dome, his coordinator is pass-happy Josh McDaniels and Sam Bradford is remarkably accurate. Lloyd is the real deal.
* Jimmy Graham has two bad third-down drops in the first quarter. He's certainly earned a mulligan.
* Laurent Robinson is not some scrub, replacement-level player. He's a really talented guy that struggled with injuries during his time in Atlanta but consistently flashed. No one should be surprised that he's lighting up the Bills today.
* The Eagles are loading up the box to stop the Cardinals' running game. Not a surprise with John Skelton under center. Beanie Wells, who is at less than 100 percent, is struggling.
* Roy Helu is playing ONLY on third downs. I guess Mike Shanahan fooled us all again. What a genius.
* It hasn't been a very good first half for Chris Johnson. He's put his shoulder into defenders a few times, but also showed little effort on a couple runs and a screen pass. He also fell down on one check down and almost caused an interception. Nothing new here so far. Javon Ringer has come on for the last two series of the half.
* DeMarco Murray exited with a shoulder injury. The severity is unclear, but owners should note his backup is rookie Phillip Tanner. UPDATE: Murray is back. He looks fine -- maybe just a stinger.
* Some fun with halftime numbers: The Broncos have zero passing yards on zero completions, but lead by 10. ... Colts RB touches: Donald Brown 14, Delone Carter 4. ... Texans RB touches: Arian Foster 12, Ben Tate 5.

SECOND HALF OBSERVATIONS
* Julio Jones has aggravated his hamstring injury. He's questionable to return. The hamstrings strike again!
* A.J. Green is dealing with a knee injury and has been in and out of the lineup. He sustained the injury on a ridiculous touchdown catch in the first half.
* The first completed pass of the day for the Broncos comes with just under four minutes left in the third quarter.
* The Redskins are going to a passing, spread scheme in the second half. That means Roy Helu, not Ryan Torain, is back as the every-down back. This is becoming impossible to predict.
* Damian Williams has impressed today, but this Panthers' defense is a joke. Let's not go overboard on Williams as anything more than depth.
* If the Texans ever got in a close game, Arian Foster would absolutely go off. Right now, his upside is capped by leaving games early thanks to lopsided scores. This Houston team is no joke.
* I've been impressed by Leonard Hankerson. He's big and runs really crisp routes. With Rex Grossman at least willing to go down the field, Hankerson will have some big games. UPDATE: Hankerson sustained a right hip injury deep in the fourth quarter. The rookie appears to be in a lot of pain.
* It's tough to explain Michael Vick's struggles. I don't think it's related to DeSean Jackson not being out there, but that certainly doesn't help the receivers find room underneath. My advice to Vick would be just to cut it loose and run. Who cares what people think.
* For the second straight week, Curtis Painter has been replaced by Dan Orlovsky. The Colts are on the clock...
* It's a total dud for Cam Newton today. Cortland Finnegan locked up Steve Smith, the Panthers couldn't protect Newton and the rookie was simply off with his accuracy. Don't panic here, it's an off day.
* Chris Johnson really got it going in the second half, in large part thanks to the Panthers' inept defense. But take a look at CJ2K's schedule going forward -- there's plenty of room for more days like this.
* Jeremy Maclin now has a hamstring injury and is questionable to return. Dude got really banged up today.

4PM GAMES
INACTIVE NEWS
* Lee Evans (ankle) is inactive. Torrey Smith's every-down role is secure.
* Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks are both active. Get 'em going.
* Frank Gore (ankle) reportedly looked good in warmups. He's a full go as well.
* Kevin Smith is active behind Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams. It's a situation to monitor.
* Jason Hanson (knee) appears fine. He's active and attempting 50-yarders in warmups.

OBSERVATIONS
* The 49ers have strangely come out with a pass-heavy approach. Alex Smith threw nine passes on the first drive and only two runs were called. However, Frank Gore's ankle looks fine. He's playing every down.
* Matthew Stafford appears to have a little limp going after a first-quarter hit. Nothing serious, but he's going to take some abuse today -- especially if the Lions fall further behind.
* Ray Rice is finding out that this Seahawks' run defense is no joke. They've been impressively flying under the radar all year.
* Earl Bennett has four catches for 44 yards in the first half. That Vanderbilt connection is something -- we know Jay Cutler likes to stare Bennett down. The question is if Bennett can keep getting open.
* Ugly drop for Victor Cruz at the end of the first half. On the next play, Eli Manning targets Cruz and gets picked off by Carlos Rogers.
* Kendall Hunter, not Frank Gore, is on to start the second half. Gore is watching from the sideline with his helmet in his hand. The 49ers have reported no official injury. Perhaps the Niners just don't think Gore is effective enough on that gimpy ankle? UPDATE: Gore came back in for a third-down play on the second drive of the second half. Looks like he'll gut it out at less than 100 percent.
* As expected, Carlos Rogers is matching up with Victor Cruz in the slot every time the Giants go three-wide. But surprisingly, Cruz is getting open at will. Impressive.
* I've always thought the Ravens should use their tight ends like the Patriots use theirs. Ed Dickson is a player and I'm not sold on Torrey Smith or Anquan Boldin. Dickson has racked up 11 targets with 3:39 still left in the third quarter today.
* The Lions had no intention of using Kevin Smith today, but that could change with the game in blowout mode. I'm anxious to see how Smith looks -- perhaps the Lions are as well.
* Sidney Rice is dealing with a head injury aka possible concussion. He's questionable to return.
* D.J. Ware is playing ahead of Brandon Jacobs as the Giants have been in comeback mode for the majority of the fourth quarter. Ware is the Giants' "passing" back with Ahmad Bradshaw out.
* Calvin Johnson got hurt in total garbage time. He got crunched between two defenders on Matthew Stafford's fourth interception of the day. Could be a concussion.



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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