Adam Levitan

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Week 3 Live Blog

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Welcome to Week 3, the week before the byes kick in.

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!

* Pierre Garcon (foot) is inactive. I really like Leonard Hankerson as a spot-start as the starting "X" receiver. The Bengals are down their two starting corners in Leon Hall (calf) and Dre Kirkpatrick (foot).
* Mikel Leshoure is not only active, but he's starting ahead of Kevin Smith. Everyone around the Lions expects Leshoure to carry the load. I just pulled Smith from one of my lineups in favor of Ben Tate.
* Steven Jackson (groin) will start, but is expected to be limited. And he has a tough matchup.
* Marques Colston (foot) is ready to rock.
* Austin Collie (concussions) is active, but Donnie Avery is starting. For now, it's a situation to avoid.

* One target, one drop for Jason Witten. This is reaching Jermichael Finley/Greg Little proportions for Witten. Strange.
* Lions weren't kidding about throwing Mikel Leshoure right into the mix. Three carries, 13 yards on the very first drive. Kevin Smith didn't touch the ball.
* The Dolphins pulled Reggie Bush at the goal-line. Daniel Thomas came in to vulture the goal-line score.
* The Vikings didn't list Adrian Peterson on the injury report this week and said they're ready to increase his workload. They obviously have no concerns about that ACL has Peterson got eight carries on the game's very first drive.
* C.J. Spiller is not only an insane talent, but his coach knows how to create space. He just got wide open on a screen pass and waltzed in for a 32-yard score. Again, don't "sell high" on Spiller even though Fred Jackson is coming back sooner than expected. The Bills are better with Spiller in there.
* Well, perhaps I put the jinx on C.J. Spiller. Near the end of the first quarter, he got taken to the ground by Browns FS Usama Young. All of Young's weight landed on Spiller's left shoulder and it looked bad. Spiller had to be carted to the locker room and was in a ton of pain. Tashard Choice has come on. UPDATE: Spiller is done for the day.
* Perhaps the Jets have finally seen enough of Shonn Greene. They're using Bilal Powell a ton on early downs in the first quarter. An eventual changing of the guard shouldn't shock anyone.
* Jake Locker FINALLY looks comfortable in the pocket today and is showing his sizable upside. He's started 8-of-10 for 138 yards with a touchdown. Ideal QB2 with QB1 upside, just like Christian Ponder.
* Yes, Steven Jackson started and is playing. But he has a big wrap on his upper leg and looks even slower than usual. Daryl Richardson is a better option for the Rams today.
* Marques Colston has dropped a touchdown pass for the third straight week. Owners have to stay the course here.
* Austin Collie is getting on the field for the Colts, but he's rotating in as a situational receiver. Again, owners are going to have to be patient here. The Colts are playing well with Donnie Avery opposite Reggie Wayne.
* I think Danny Amendola's ridiculous Week 2 performance said more about the Redskins' atrocious secondary than Amendola himself. He has one catch in the first half this week against the Bears.
* Dez Bryant has one catch for nine yards late in the first half and doesn't look happy about it. He's getting animated with the WRs coach on the sidelines. The guy wants the rock.

* Four more injuries we're tracking right now. Jared Cook and Reggie Bush went down late in the first half and aren't on the sidelines for the second half. Dexter McCluster has an apparently serious elbow injury. Carnage. Laurent Robinson (head) is done for the day.
* A.J. Green merely had the wind knocked out of him on a reverse. He'll be fine.
* Reggie Bush is trying to get his knee loose on the sideline. Daniel Thomas is on as the feature back and struggling. Lamar Miller is the better player here.
* Jared Cook was on his way to a big game when he sustained a left shoulder injury. He was quickly ruled out for the day, a sign of a somewhat serious injury.
* No, Calvin Johnson is not hurt. The Titans are pushing everything underneath and Matthew Stafford is settling. The good news is the Lions are trailing big, setting CJ up for a bunch of fourth-quarter opportunities.
* Austin Collie went down with a right knee injury in the third quarter and got carted off. Yet another injury to sigh at.
* Kyle Rudolph is a really, really talented guy. He's not going to be an unknown anymore after a ridiculous touchdown catch in this one. On  a related note, the Vikings continue to insist on taking Percy Harvin out of the game when near the goal-line. No idea why.
* Leonard Hankerson hasn't had much of a chance to get going. The Redskins haven't been able to protect RG3 and the running game has been much more effective than the passing game. Hankerson's biggest contributions have come as a blocker.
* A note on BAL/NE later tonight: Torrey Smith (personal) is tentatively expected to play. If he can't go, Jacoby Jones will start. UPDATE: Smith is back with the team and is fully expected to play.
* Jason Witten just dropped a sure touchdown pass as his nightmare season continues. Inexcusable.
* Miles Austin is missing some time as he gets rib X-rays in the locker room. UPDATE: X-rays were negative. Austin is back in.
* Well, we have our answer about the Lions' backfield. Even though the Lions have been trailing for most of the game, Mikel Leshoure has 26 carries for 100 yards deep in the fourth quarter. Kevin Smith hasn't even touched the ball.
* Shaun Hill is one of the true quarterback "handcuffs." With Stafford down due to a leg injury, he's dominating. The guy can play.
* Not sure what's going on with Mikel Leshoure. He may have been on a strict snap count, so the Lions are holding him out of the overtime period. Joique Bell, not Kevin Smith, is on.

* Michael Turner will start and have his normal role despite last week's DUI.
* Ryan Mathews and Antonio Gates are ready to rock. The Chargers are confident enough in Mathews that they made Ronnie Brown a healthy scratch.
* Sebastian Janikowski (groin) is a go, as expected.

* Well the late games started as poorly as possible for me. Julio Jones took a shot on his right hand from Chargers S Eric Weddle after a 19-yard catch and went to the locker room. He's questionable to return. Harry Douglas is now an every-down wideout. UPDATE: Jones is back on the field and immediately got two catches. Owners can breathe a sigh of relief.
* Ryan Mathews looks good early, but the Chargers are easing him in. On the second series, Jackie Battle is the early-down back and Mathews comes in on third down.
* Roddy White just had a touchdown catch called back by offensive pass interference. Questionable call.
* Yeah, Darren McFadden still has it. Guy just needs a crease. When the zone-blocking scheme is working, it can be dominant. See the Shanahan offenses.
* The Texans are promising to use Ben Tate a decent amount. They are staying true to their word. Foster has five carries compared to three for Tate so far.
* Yes, Antonio Gates is playing. Philip Rivers actually missed him wide open down the seam for a sure TD in the first quarter. Health is not an issue here.
* Julio Jones is unstoppable and the Falcons know it. They just ran an elaborate motion scheme and set in order to set him up for a one-on-one fade. Easy TD. Just too big and athletic.
* Philip Rivers has trust in Antonio Gates and Malcom Floyd. He doesn't have it in Robert Meachem. Even when Meachem is open on the sideline, he's trying to force it in to Gates.
* Beanie Wells hasn't looked right all day and now he's down with a toe injury. Ryan Williams would be an intriguing prospect if given a full workload.
* Willis McGahee has picked up a rib injury. With Knowshon Moreno inactive, Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball are rotating.

Adam Levitan is in his seventh 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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