Adam Levitan

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Week 2 Live Blog

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Welcome to Week 2, where last week's breakouts are trying to prove they're for real. We'll have our eyes on the likes of Robert Griffin III, Stevan Ridley, Dexter McCluster, Kevin Ogletree and everyone else the fantasy world is buzzing about.

A Rotoworld staffer is watching every game today, keeping an eye on in-game injuries, depth chart changes and potential breakout players. We'll also be watching to see why a certain player is under- or over-performing. 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: For exclusive projections, early rankings, IDP strategies, chats with Evan Silva, the Running Back Report and tons more, check out the Season Pass!

1PM GAMES
INACTIVE NEWS
* Denarius Moore (hamstring) is active. He might be on a snap count, but there's upside here as a WR3 play. For what it's worth, coach Dennis Allen says Moore will play "significant" snaps.
* Hakeem Nicks (foot) is active, as expected. He's the kind of guy I close my eyes and start when he suits up.
* Jonathan Stewart (ankle) is active. If he's truly healthy, he'll be more effective than DeAngelo Williams.
* Steve Smith (knee) is a go, as expected.
* Jeremy Maclin (hip) and DeSean Jackson (hamstring) are both starting at less than 100 percent in this tough matchup.
* Bernard Scott (hand) is still not ready to play somehow. It means a few more carries for BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

FIRST HALF OBSERVATIONS
* Beanie Wells got the first carry of the game for the Cardinals. It confirms that Ryan Williams started last week because Wells' hamstring was still balky.
* Well, David Wilson got in the game early despite last week's fumble. He also let an easy catch go right through his hands in the red zone.
* The Texans look like they came in with a plan to use Ben Tate significantly more this week. On the first drive, Arian Foster had three touches and Tate had three.
* Mark Ingram got off to a great start, but failed to convert a goal-line chance. That's where he has to excel to give owners significant value.
* Here's something interesting we've been monitoring all week and will continue to: Julian Edelman, not Wes Welker, started for the Patriots. UPDATE: Edelman is also in for Welker on the Patriots' second drive. We're digging to find out what's going on.
* We have our first big injury of the day. Aaron Hernandez got rolled up on and it looked like a seriously sprained ankle. Welker got his first snap of the day after Hernandez was helped off. Bottom line is that Edelman is playing over Welker in two-wide sets.
* Owners of Martellus Bennett and Jimmy Graham are going to be sick. Both dropped easy passes that would have been TDs late in the first quarter.
* Darren McFadden got poked in the eye and left for a play. Mike Goodson immediately ripped off a 64-yard screen pass for a touchdown. Handcuffers take notice.
* I've been saying it all week: C.J. Spiller is no freaking joke. Yes, he's better than Fred Jackson. Yes, he could easily be the No. 1 fantasy player for the next month or more. It's early in the second quarter and Spiller already has 104 yards and two touchdowns.
* We have our second big injury of the day. Ahmad Bradshaw has gone to the locker room for X-rays on his neck. This is David Wilson's big chance, he has to secure the football. UPDATE: Bradshaw is back on the sidelines, but doesn't have his helmet. UPDATE 2: Bradshaw is done for the day. The Giants haven't liked what they've seen from David Wilson though -- Andre Brown is acting as the feature back.
* As I mentioned in the inactives section of this blog, certain guys you have to start when they're active. Hakeem Nicks is one of those guys because he's just too talented. Nicks has a 5/93/1 line in the first half. He's torturing Aqib Talib.
* I talked up Brandon LaFell all summer because he's an every-down wideout in an explosive offense. That hasn't changed. LaFell went 5/70 in the first half and added a 25-yard run. There's sustainable WR3 value here.

SECOND HALF OBSERVATIONS
* Yes, Jeremy Maclin (hip) is playing. No, he wasn't targeted at all in the first half. Yes, he's getting locked up by Lardarius Webb. UPDATE: Maclin found himself wide open on a blown coverage by the Ravens for a touchdown early in the third quarter. He's alive.
* So much for Maclin's resurgence. He went down hard on his right side and was in a ton pain on the field. He ended up getting carted to the locker room. Rookie Damaris Johnson is on as Jason Avant sticks in the slot.
* Brian Hartline is just eating up Raiders CB Patrick Lee. I wouldn't get too excited though -- the only reason Lee is playing is because Ron Bartell (shoulder) is hurt.
* Percy Harvin is the entire passing offense for the Vikings. He's getting worked so much that he got some leg cramps. Harvin should be fine.
* If you thought Blaine Gabbert has taken a major step forward, you need to pop in the game tape from today. He was just as inaccurate and jittery as he was last season. Gabbert left late with a leg injury, but the Jags probably should have gone to Chad Henne anyway.
* More frustration for Mark Ingram owners. Drew Brees just dove in for a one-yard sneak. Again, without those chances, Ingram is going to have his upside capped.
* Prettty telling numbers here. With Ahmad Bradshaw out, Andre Brown has 15 touches and David Wilson has three. Elite running ability isn't everything. Pass protection, ball security means more to the Giants.

4PM GAMES
INACTIVE NEWS
* Pierre Garcon (foot) is inactive. Aldrick Robinson starts the "X" receiver spot, which is the money position in a Shanahan offense.
* Ryan Mathews (collarbone) is out. Curtis Brinkley is starting.
* Antonio Gates (ribs) is tentatively expected to suit up. UPDATE: Gates is INACTIVE in a surprise. Randy McMichael will draw the start, but is only a desperation option. In four starts last year, McMike averaged 3.0 catches for 27.7 yards with no touchdowns.
* Nate Washington (calf) is active, but is expected to be limited.

OBSERVATIONS
* Early on, Aldrick Robinson is rotating with Leonard Hankerson at that X spot. Hankerson does have some experience there.
* Jason Witten is really involved early. He's running wide open deep down the seam, but is coming up just short on catches. It's a sign he's getting older.
* Shonn Greene is jogging to the locker room with an undisclosed injury, possibly a concussion. Bilal Powell would be the power back if Greene misses time. UPDATE: Greene is back in the game. Apparently he doesn't have a concussion.
* Strange that Jonathan Dwyer's first snap came midway through the second quarter. An inept Isaac Redman handled the load early, but the Steelers have to see that Dwyer is a better pure runner.
* It's time to ask if the Titans have the worst offensive line in the NFL. Not only can they open no lanes for Chris Johnson, but Jake Locker is running for his life. Major concern.
* Danny Amendola has a 12/133/1 line in the first half. Do not adjust your screen, that is not a misprint. Sam Bradford loves to lock on to Amendola was targeted nine times in the opener.
* Couple of no-shows in the first half from talented wideouts. Dez Bryant has been taken out of the game and has one drop. Tony Romo just looks to Miles Austin and Jason Witten more often. And Kenny Britt has barely played as the Titans struggle to sustain drives.
* Hopefully you didn't go overboard on Kevin Ogletree. As we predicted, he's been a bit player in Week 2. Ogletree has just one target thorugh the first drive of the third quarter.
* It looks like Steven Jackson may have gotten himself benched. He picked up an unsportsmanlike penalty for spiking the ball in the second quarter and hasn't returned. He's watching from the sideline with his helmet in hand. Jeff Fisher doesn't mess around. Daryl Richardson has capably handled the load.
* Another hot Week 1 waiver-wire add that's faceplanting is Stephen Hill. Predictable. Again, Week 1 is going to be Mark Sanchez's best game of the year.



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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