Adam Levitan

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Week 12 Live Blog

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Welcome to Week 12, where backups like C.J. Spiller, Toby Gerhart, Vince Young and Riley Cooper have the attention of fantasy owners. It's also where players such as Andre Johnson, Santana Moss and Emmanuel Sanders are making their return from injuries.

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

Editor's Note: Get the latest news from Rotoworld on your iPhone or iPad here.

1PM GAMES
INACTIVE NEWS
* LaDainian Tomlinson (knee) is inactive. Look for Joe McKnight to get 8-12 touches behind Shonn Greene.
* Joseph Addai (hamstring) is active and starting for the Colts. Look for a hot hand situation between Addai, Donald Brown and Delone Carter. Impossible to project touches.
* Peyton Hillis (hamstring) and Montario Hardesty (calf) are both active, along with Chris Ogbonnaya. The Browns did not name a starter. Look for all three to see carries in this poor matchup.
* Percy Harvin (ribs) and AJ Green (knee) are active, as expected.
* Kevin Kolb (foot) is inactive. John Skelton gets another start. Also in Arizona, Todd Heap (hamstring) makes his return as a weak TE2.
* UPDATE: Montario Hardesty's calf tightened up in warmups and he will only play in an emergency situation. Peyton Hillis will start, but isn't at 100 percent. Chris Ogbonnaya could end up with the most touches here again.
* Greg Olsen collided with a teammate during warmups and walked gingerly to the locker room. His status for the game is unclear, leaving Jeremy Shockey to possibly handle the load.

FIRST HALF OBSERVATIONS
* Greg Olsen ended up starting after his scare in warmups. He jogged out of the tunnel and appeared to be in good shape.
* Chris Ogbonnaya was in for the Browns on their first play, but Peyton Hillis got the first and second carries of the game. They'll ride Hillis as long as they can, he looks healthy and is acting as the every-down back.
* Joseph Addai indeed started for the Colts. He got the first two carries of the game, but looked a little tentative.
* Shonn Greene is getting some third-down work with LaDainian Tomlinson (knee) inactive. Surprising Joe McKnight isn't getting in there early. Greene showing surprisingly good hands in the passing game.
* The Texans reportedly wanted to get Ben Tate double-digit carries today. But that will likely only come in a blowout. Arian Foster had eight touches compared to one for Tate midway through the first quarter.
* As promised, the Bills are using C.J. Spiller as a true feature back. He has eight touches on their first two drives compared to one for Johnny White and none for Tashard Choice. Spiller also got two chances from inside the Jets' 10-yard line.
* The word out of Arizona all week was that Beanie Wells' knee was getting much better. And today he ripped off a career-long run of 71 yards in the first quarter. The burst is back. UPDATE: Beanie took a hit on his thigh in the second quarter and landed on his knee. It's something to monitor.
* Cam Newton scores on another designed quarterback draw. That's 10 rushing touchdowns on the year with five-plus games to go. The NFL record for rushing TDs by a quarterback is 12, set by Steve Grogan in 1976. Newton still has five games left after today.
* Marcedes Lewis is going to take some heat for his entire season after signing that monster contract. His second-quarter ridiculous drop in the end zone today is the icing on the cake.
* So far, so good for Stevie Johnson vs. Darrrelle Revis. Johnson is working over the Island for four early catches. Ryan Fitzpatrick certainly not afraid to throw at Revis.
* Andre Johnson's return has been uneventful so far. He looks healthy, but Matt Leinart is checking down relentlessly.
* Larry Fitzgerald is also struggling, thanks in part to poor communication with John Skelton. These two haven't been on same page over the last two weeks. His Week 11 touchdown was a complete fluke.
* Julio Jones is playing and looks healthy, but hasn't been part of the offense yet. Strange. He got whistled for offensive pass interference against Cedric Griffin early on and then disappeared from there.
* Brandon LaFell is a name to watch. He's seeing extra snaps today and is significantly more talented than Legedu Naanee.
* Greg Little has three drops in the first half. Brutal. He has a lot of room for growth though, as we look long term. And in the meantime, Colt McCoy is still showing faith in the rookie as his No. 1 receiver.
* Matt Leinart got hurt after taking a sack in the second quarter. Third-stringer T.J. Yates is on now.

SECOND HALF OBSERVATIONS
* Matt Leinart is done for the day with a left shoulder injury. Fifth-round rookie T.J. Yates, a favorite of some draftniks, has the load on him now. Leinart may have broken a collarbone.
* Chris Johnson's demise last week had a lot to do with the Falcons' dominant run defense. He's not great, but CJ2K is good enough to exploit plus matchups. He still has a few of those left on the schedule. I'd rather have him than Frank Gore, who has a brutal schedule in Weeks 15 and 16.
* Julio Jones may have aggravated his hamstring injury. Harry Douglas and Eric Weems are now joining Roddy White for some three-wide sets in the second half. Jones is getting his hammy stretched on the sideline.
* Although Joseph Addai looks healthy, the Colts have leaned on Donald Brown for most of this game. Brown is the superior player right now, period. Delone Carter hasn't even sniffed the field.
* Not a good scene in Arizona. Beanie Wells took a shot on his right knee, fumbled and stayed down. Yes, that's the same knee that has been giving him trouble for most of the season. UPDATE: Beanie is earning a reputation as a warrior now. He's back in and broke off a 53-yard run. Impressive.
* Rookie Blaine Gabbert has been yanked in favor of Luke McCown. Gabbert has shown no signs of being a long-term franchise quarterback.

4PM GAMES
INACTIVE NEWS
* Denarius Moore (ankle) is inactive and Darrius Heyward-Bey (head) is expected to function as the Raiders' No. 1 WR.
* Evan Royster is active behind Ryan Torain and Roy Helu. Again, predicting touches here is a futile exercise, but at least LT Trent Williams (knee) is active.
* Ryan Mathews (knee) is active, but there are rumors that Mike Tolbert will start.
* Eagles CB Nnamdi Asomugha (knee) is active and figures to cover Rob Gronkowski.
* As expected, Jeremy Maclin and Michael Vick are out. Backups Riley Cooper and Vince Young are strong spot plays.
* The Redskins didn't announce a lineup change at running back, so it's likely that Ryan Torain starts again. But Roy Helu is a good bet to lead the way in snaps if the 'Skins go pass heavy.

OBSERVATIONS
* Roy Helu started for the Redskins. The first play from scrimmage is a screen pass to him that goes for nine yards. If Helu can win an every-down job, he'll be a PPR monster. We'll see if Mike Shanahan trusts him.
* Darrius Heyward-Bey got the start and looks healthy early with a nice catch over the middle.
* Despite rumors to the contrary, Ryan Mathews is starting. We'll see how his knee holds up. Still expecting plenty of Mike Tolbert.
* OK, Roy Helu is running with this chance now. If Shanahan doesn't stick with him, the coach will need his head examined. Helu has 12 touches in the first quarter.
* BenJarvus Green-Ellis has played on 14-of-15 offensive snaps for the Patriots to start this one.
* DeSean Jackson is running free all over the field, but Vince Young is missing him. UPDATE: Now Young is finding D-Jax, but he's dropping touchdown passes. He's scared to take hits, maybe because he doesn't have his contract?
* Tarvaris Jackson is clearly playing hurt. He's grimacing after throwing passes.
* Caleb Hanie is doing his best Tyler Palko impersonation. If you didn't dump Earl Bennett yet, the time is now.
* Vincent Brown is struggling again today with mental and physical mistakes. And with Malcom Floyd reportedly close, the rookie's chance could be ending.
* Sidney Rice banged his head on the turf in the third quarter. He got helped off the field and then walked to the locker room. UPDATE: Rice will not return. If this is another concussion, he's in trouble. Rice sustained a mild one against the Ravens in Week 10.
* No, Vincent Jackson is not hurt. He's just getting dominated by Champ Bailey, as usual.
* I can't really explain how Marshawn Lynch keeps doing it, but he does. He falls forward and gets what's blocked. That's been good enough for a TD in seven straight games and 100 or more rushing yards in three of last four.
* DeSean Jackson isn't playing in garbage time for the Eagles even though the rest of the starters are. Could be punishment for another game filled with drops and poor routes. He is looking like a track guy trying to play football out there.



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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