Adam Levitan

Last Minute Decisions

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Week 13 Injury Questions

Saturday, December 03, 2011


We wait and wait for our studs to get back from injury. Darren McFadden's owners have been in pain for more than a month. So have the owners of players like Miles Austin  and Ahmad Bradshaw. But how much can we really expect after so much time off?

Leg injuries prevent players from staying in shape during their layoffs. Before performing at optimal levels, an "ease-in" period is often needed.

As we get set for Week 13, we'll have an eye on how teams are managing guys coming off injuries.

Of course, the Rotoworld News Page will be humming all Sunday morning to bring you the latest from around the league. Also, be sure to read every word of these rankings from Gregg Rosenthal/Chris Wesseling in combination with Evan Silva's unprecedented Matchup Column.

If you want to draft a new team just for this week, check out SnapDraft here. And if you don't have it already, you need the Rotoworld App for your iPhone/iPod. Badly.

OK, let's get to the hurt folks:

1PM GAMES
JETS at REDSKINS
* LaDainian Tomlinson (knee) is back to reclaim his third-down role from Shonn Greene/Joe McKnight.
* Jeremy Kerley (knee) is ready to go as the No. 3 receiver, sending Patrick Turner back to the bench.

CHIEFS at BEARS
* Devin Hester's shin is getting better, but his role is still expected to be on special teams.
* Jay Cutler (thumb) may be done for the regular season. Caleb Hanie is the man here.

TITANS at BILLS
* Naaman Roosevelt (shoulder) is ready to play, but Brad Smith has won the wideout job opposite Stevie Johnson. David Nelson remains in the slot.
* Jared Cook is a go after a concussion scare.
* Rian Lindell (shoulder) needs another week. Dave Rayner will kick for the Bills.

RAIDERS at DOLPHINS
* Darren McFadden (foot) still isn't ready. It's the Michael Bush show.
* Jacoby Ford (foot) and Denarius Moore (foot) are both out as well. Darrius Heyward-Bey and Chaz Schilens will be the Raiders' starting wideouts, which is a concern for Carson Palmer.
* Taiwan Jones (hamstring) is out. Marcel Reece is headed for a fistful of touches again.
* Sebastian Janikowski (hamstring) is expected to kick through his questionable tag.  
* Dan Carpenter (groin) will make his return.

BENGALS at STEELERS
* Cedric Benson (foot) took a couple days off this week, but will start in this brutal matchup.
* Emmanuel Sanders (knee) will be active as a kick returner and depth at wideout. Antonio Brown's role as the No. 2 receiver won't be affected.

BRONCOS at VIKINGS
* Adrian Peterson (ankle) is out. Plodding Toby Gerhart gets the call again.
* Eddie Royal (toe) is headed for a true game-time call. Demaryius Thomas will start and figures to be open plenty if Royal can't go, but he'd be extremely risky with Tim Tebow at the helm.
* Percy Harvin popped up with an illness late in the week. It's not thought to be related to migraines and he's expected to play, but it's something to monitor.
* Michael Jenkins (knee) is done for the year. Greg Camarillo steps in outside.  

PANTHERS at BUCS
* Josh Freeman (shoulder) is officially a game-time call, but he's expected to give it a go. Just be aware the damage is on Freeman's throwing side.

COLTS at PATRIOTS
* Joseph Addai (hamstring) was a late addition to the injury report, hinting at an aggravation. Donald Brown is a strong bet to lead this backfield in touches and Addai may end up inactive.
* Dallas Clark (leg) remains out.
* Chad Ochocinco (hamstring) is expected to play. Yawn.

FALCONS at TEXANS
* Julio Jones (hamstring) is expected to play, but is a risky WR3 coming off his airball. Jones didn't practice on Wednesday or Thursday, meaning he's at far less than 100 percent.
* Michael Turner (groin) should be a full go, but is just a high-end RB2 in this difficult matchup.  

4PM GAMES
RAVENS at BROWNS
* Peyton Hillis (hamstring) is a full go while Montario Hardesty (calf) is ready for a backup role. Look for something like 6-9 touches for Hardesty.   

PACKERS at GIANTS
* Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) is a true game-time call. If active, he'll likely share the load with Brandon Jacobs. It's a situation to avoid if possible.
* James Starks (knee, ankle) practiced in full this week. He's a full go.
* Mario Manningham (knee) won't play in this one and is in danger of missing the rest of the season. Victor Cruz is bordering on WR1 status.
* Hakeem Nicks (ribs, concussion) is a full go.

COWBOYS at CARDINALS
* Miles Austin (hamstring) remains out, meaning Laurent Robinson is in.
* Kevin Kolb (toe) finally makes his return, sending John Skelton back to the bench.
* Beanie Wells (knee) is all systems go as a strong RB2.
* Todd Heap (hamstring) will likely be active, but isn't a fantasy option.

RAMS at 49ERS
* Sam Bradford (ankle) is a true game-time call after aggravating his ankle in Week 12. He's off the radar against the defense anyway.
* Braylon Edwards (knee) is not expected to play. Ted Ginn and Kyle Williams will rotate opposite Michael Crabtree.

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
LIONS at SAINTS
* Kevin Smith (ankle) is expected to play barring a setback. If he can sustain health, he'll carry a major load in this potential shootout.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
CHARGERS at JAGUARS
* Malcom Floyd (hip) is ready to return, rendering Vincent Brown a non-factor.
* Jason Hill was cut this week. Jarrett Dillard and Cecil Shorts are going to get a chance.

SURVIVOR PICK OF THE WEEK
The most likely winner of the week is obviously the Patriots. The oddsmakers have tabbed them as a 20-point favorite over the Dan Orlovsky led Colts. The Niners are also a strong play as they need to keep winning to stay clear of the Saints for a bye.

If you've used those two teams, it's going to be hairy. I'd stay away from a Ravens team susceptible to bad road losses. The Bears are a sneaky one as the Chiefs put everything they had into last week's Monday Night Football loss. And if I was really desperate, I'd consider the Bills at home against the Titans. Buffalo almost always shows up at home no matter how bad the freefall is.   

MY TOUGHEST DECISION OF THE WEEK
In a 10-team half-PPR, my WR3 spot came down to Vincent Jackson vs. Laurent Robinson. After much deliberation, I've decided to roll with Jackson.

The pattern of Jackson alternating duds with monster games all year is too strong to ignore. He's had four 100-yard games this year, each coming after games with 63 yards or less. Jacksonville's banged-up secondary has been buttered up to give up a big day.
Robinson is still a really strong play with Miles Austin out again. But without a 100-yard game in any of his last four, the upside just isn't a high.



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.
Email :Adam Levitan



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