Adam Levitan

Last Minute Decisions

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Week 16 Injury Questions

Friday, December 23, 2011


It’s a bad week for game-time decisions. It’s also a bad week for almost every team to be on a short week.

Fantasy Super Bowls will hinge on a lot of stars that are feeling less than 100 percent. Felix Jones, Vincent Jackson, Roy Helu, Ben Roethlisberger, Chris Johnson and Marion Barber have all thrown wrenches into best-laid plans. It’s turned what is usually a “play your best guys” time of year into an intense management week.

As we get set for Week 16, we’ll have our eye out for all the news on the injury front.

Of course, the Rotoworld News Page will be humming all Sunday morning to bring you official word on all your injured players ahead of kickoff. And to make sure you’re prepared, read every word of these rankings from Gregg Rosenthal/Chris Weaseling in combination Evan Silva’s mind-blowing Matchup Column.

If you want to draft a new team just for this week, check out SnapDraft here. And if you don’t have the Rotoworld News App, you are missing an edge.

OK, let’s get to the hurt folks:

SATURDAY 1PM GAMES
BRONCOS at BILLS
* Willis McGahee (hamstring) will be a full go.
* Stevie Johnson (groin) is relatively healthy but expected to see plenty of Champ Bailey.
* Scott Chandler (ankle) is ready to go as a high-risk desperation play.

DOLPHINS at PATRIOTS
* Anthony Fasano (concussion) is out.
* Wes Welker (knee) and BenJarvus Green-Ellis (illness) are full gos.
* Deion Branch isn’t an option as a true game-time call.
 
BROWNS at RAVENS
* Anquan Boldin (knee) is out for the rest of the regular season. Lee Evans and Torrey Smith will start, but expect a run-heavy attack out of the Ravens.
* Colt McCoy (concussion) remains out, giving Seneca Wallace another start.
* Montario Hardesty (calf) is healthy, but is now behind Chris Ogbonnaya on the depth chart.
* Mohamed Massaquoi (foot) will play but is off the fantasy radar.

JAGUARS at TITANS
* Chris Johnson’s (ankle) workload will likely depend on how he performs in the game. If he’s cutting well, he’ll push for 15-20 touches. There’s enough upside here to assume risk.  
* Nate Washington (ankle) appears as healthy as he’s been in weeks.
* Maurice Jones-Drew (ankle) is coming off a long week and is ready to go.
* Marcedes Lewis (hamstring) isn’t at 100 percent and off the fantasy radar.
* Mike Thomas (concussion) is listed as probable but still may not play. This entire passing game is hands off.

RAIDERS at CHIEFS
* Jacoby Ford (foot) and Darren McFadden (foot) remain out.
* Michael Bush (shoulder)  will be fine despite a questionable tag.
* Denarius Moore (foot) appears healthy, but is a high-risk option considering his recent history.

GIANTS at JETS
* Jake Ballard (knee) is out. Travis Beckum gets the nod.
* Mario Manningham (knee) isn’t going to play either. Ramses Barden will move into three-wide sets.
* Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) will start as a weak play. He’ll share the load with Brandon Jacobs.
* Joe McKnight (shoulder) is a game-time call. Yawn.
* Shonn Greene (rib) is practicing in full.

VIKINGS at REDSKINS
* Roy Helu (ankle, toe) is expected to play despite being at less than 100 percent. Barring an in-game setback, 15-20 touches should be in the cards.

BUCS at PANTHERS
* Arrelious Benn (concussion) is back to take his starting job back from Dezmon Briscoe.

CARDINALS at BENGALS
* A.J. Green (shoulder) is ready to go despite last week’s separation. Get him going.
* Kevin Kolb (head) is officially questionable as he‘s still not at 100 percent. The Cards are reportedly leaning toward John Skelton anyway.
* Beanie Wells (knee) will play through yet another questionable tag.

RAMS at STEELERS
* Ben Roethlisberger (ankle) is out. Charlie Batch gets the nod, downgrading Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace.
* Sam Bradford (ankle) and A.J. Feeley (thumb) are both out again. It’s the Kellen Clemens show.
* Mewelde Moore (knee) is out. Isaac Redman will get all the work behind Rashard Mendenhall.


SATURDAY 4PM GAMES
EAGLES at COWBOYS
* Felix Jones (hamstring) is headed for a game-time call. Chauncey Washington has been called up from the practice squad. Complicating matters is the fact that the results of the 1pm games could result in the Cowboys not needing to win this game. There’s too much risk here to stomach. Felix can not be in any fantasy lineups.
* Laurent Robinson (shoulder) will play again as the No. 3 receiver.
* Jeremy Maclin (hamstring) is ready to go again.  

49ERS at SEAHAWKS
* Ted Ginn (ankle) is a game-time call. Braylon Edwards will be active if Ginn is inactive.
* Doug Baldwin (ankle) apparently had a setback in practice this week. He’s not worth chasing.

CHARGERS at LIONS
* Vincent Jackson (groin) is headed for a game-time call. Owners waiting on him can protect themselves by adding Vincent Brown.
* Kevin Smith (ankle) put in a full week of practice. He’s close to 100 percent.

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
BEARS at PACKERS
* Marion Barber (calf) is not expected to play. Kahlil Bell is going to be in for all the work he can handle.
* James Starks (knee) and Brandon Saine (concussion) are ready to go as part of a four-headed monster at running back.
* Greg Jennings (knee), Jay Cutler (thumb) and Matt Forte (knee) are all out.  

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
FALCONS at SAINTS
* Mark Ingram (toe) is expected to sit again. Chris Ivory gets the call as the power back once again.
* Michael Turner (groin) rested some in practice this week but is fine.

SURVIVOR PICK OF THE WEEK
Is anyone really still alive in Survivor? If so, there are a lot of good options this week.

Baltimore is off a bad loss and home against the Browns. The Steelers similarly off an ugly loss and home against the Rams. And the Titans are also off a crippling loss and now get the Jags’ inept offense at home.  

MY TOUGHEST DECISION OF THE WEEK
In the Super Bowl of a 10-team non-PPR league with bloated starting rosters, I’ve got a whole mess going on at the flex spot thanks to game-time calls.

After much thought, it’s come down to one of these four: Vincent Jackson, Felix Jones, Antonio Brown and Laurent Robinson.

I’ve ruled out Jones for reasons stated above. He’s not 100 percent and the Cowboys might not need this game. I’ve ruled out Brown as the Steelers figure to go extremely run-heavy with Charlie Batch at the helm. The good news here is that leaves me with two guys playing at 4 pm.  

If Jackson (groin) is active, I’ll roll with his upside in a dome against the Lions’ banged-up secondary. The risk of in-game aggravation is there, but he’ll break off multiple big plays if he can just make it through three quarters. If Jackson is inactive, I’ll have to roll with Robinson even though he’ll likely be seeing plenty of Nnamdi Asomugha when on the field.



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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