Adam Levitan

Last Minute Decisions

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Week 3 Injury Questions

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Andre Brown and Ramses Barden proved that short-term fantasy football is often about opportunity. Give a guy snaps in the right situation against a bad defense and he’ll produce.  

We’ll have plenty more backups getting looks this week. Michael Bush, Daryl Richardson, Leonard Hankerson, Damaris Johnson and James Jones are among the guys on our radar.

As we get set for kickoff, we’ll look for clues on those lesser-knowns and post it on our relentless News Page. We’ve also got rankings from Chris Wesseling/Mike Clay here and Evan Silva’s ridiculously mind-blowing Matchup Column here. Inside the Season Pass, you’ll find flex rankings and exact projections for every player.

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

OK, let’s get to the hurt folks:

1PM GAMES  
RAMS at BEARS
* Steven Jackson (groin) did not practice all week and is headed for a true game-time call. Owners should have Daryl Richardson at the ready.
* Matt Forte (ankle) is out. Consider Michael Bush a solid RB1 this week.

49ERS at VIKINGS
* Brandon Jacobs (knee) still appears doubtful. More goal-line work for Frank Gore.
* Adrian Peterson (knee) isn’t even listed on the injury report. The Vikings say they’re ready to give him even more carries.

LIONS at TITANS
* Calvin Johnson’s foot/ankle injury was never a real concern. He’s ready to go.
* Javon Ringer (elbow) practiced in full all week but is listed as questionable. Either way, the Titans are sticking with Chris Johnson as their workhorse for now.

BUCS at COWBOYS
N/A

BENGALS at REDSKINS
* Pierre Garcon’s mysterious foot injury continues to linger. He’s listed as doubtful. Leonard Hankerson looks like a good bet to start at the explosive "X" receiver spot in the Shanahan offense.
* Bernard Scott (hand) is finally ready to go. However, he’s not a threat to BenJarvus Green-Ellis just yet.

CHIEFS at SAINTS
* Despite some soreness/bruising in his surgically repaired knee, Jamaal Charles practiced all week and is listed as probable.
* Marques Colston (foot) is tentatively expected to play through a questionable tag. Lance Moore is his direct backup.
* Kevin Boss (head) is out.

JETS at DOLPHINS
* Dustin Keller (hamstring) appears headed for a true game-time call. He’s not a true fantasy option until he gets to 100 percent.
* Daniel Thomas (concussion) is ready to go. Lamar Miller returns to his third-string role.

BILLS at BROWNS
* Fred Jackson (knee) is ahead of schedule, but he remains sidelined. It’s the C.J. Spiller show.

JAGUARS at COLTS
* Rashad Jennings (knee) is still out. Maurice Jones-Drew is going to get a ton of touches.
* Blaine Gabbert (glute) is fine. Not sure if that’s a good thing for the Jags.
* Austin Collie (concussions) is listed as probable. Still, he could be ruled out at any time if doctors find something is off. The safe play for owners is to wait-and-see here.

4PM GAMES
EAGLES at CARDINALS
* Jeremy Maclin (hip) didn’t make the trip. Damaris Johnson will start in his place as a desperation fantasy play.
* Todd Heap (knee) is expected to gut it out through a questionable tag. So much for getting that look at Rob Housler.

FALCONS at CHARGERS
* Antonio Gates (ribs) practiced without issue all week. He’s ready.
* Ryan Mathews (clavicle) will make his season debut. Even if he only gets 2/3 of the running back snaps, he’s well worth a fantasy start.
* Julio Jones and Roddy White both took it easy at practice this week. It’s only because the Falcons played on Monday night.

TEXANS at BRONCOS
N/A

STEELERS at RAIDERS
* Rashard Mendenhall (knee) is still targeting Week 5 for his return. Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman will carry the load.
* Sebastian Janikowski (groin) is listed as questionable, but is not thought to be in any danger of missing this one. Just make sure the Raiders don’t sign a kicker on Saturday.

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
PATRIOTS at RAVENS
* Brandon Lloyd (thigh) picked up a questionable tag after being limited in practice all week. He should be fine.
* Aaron Hernandez (ankle) is out for a month. Look for the Pats to run more three-wide sets than usual, thus getting Wes Welker on the field plenty.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
PACKERS at SEAHAWKS
* Greg Jennings (groin) had a setback this week. He’s going to be really hard to wait for in this Monday night start. It will probably end up as a game-time call.
* James Starks (toe) isn’t ready yet. Cedric Benson’s job is safe anyway.
* Marshawn Lynch (back) practiced in full Friday. He’s healthy.

MY TOUGHEST DECISION OF THE WEEK
In a 12-team half-PPR league, my flex spot came down to Mark Ingram or Kenny Britt.

Whenever we have a decision with Ingram, the first question is if the Saints will have a lead. They are nine-point favorites over the Chiefs at home this week and are coming off two straight losses. It’s safe a bet that they’ll have control of this game.

Britt, coming off knee surgeries, played 19 snaps in last week’s season debut. Evan Silva reviewed those snaps here and came away impressed.

To me, this is an absolute coin-flip decision. Obviously one guy will end up scoring more points than the other, but neither choice is wrong. In that case, I go with the guy that has more upside and explosiveness. And that guy is clearly Britt.

SURVIVOR PICK OF THE WEEK
Last week was huge for me. I used the Bengals while about half of my remaining opponents lost with the Patriots. I’ve now survived with the Lions and Bengals.

This week, there are three strong options: The Cowboys (vs. Bucs), Bears (vs. Rams) and Saints (vs. Chiefs). I’ve chosen to roll with the Bears.

It’s an ideal spot for Chicago, as they are coming off 10 days of rest and facing a Rams team that is primed for a letdown after last week’s emotional win over the Redskins. Steven Jackson is hobbled. No Matt Forte hurts, but Michael Bush is a starting-caliber back.



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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