Adam Levitan

Last Minute Decisions

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Week 5 Injury Questions

Saturday, October 06, 2012


We have some serious bye-week blues this week. Without the Lions, Cowboys, Raiders and Bucs in the mix, we're all missing firepower. This is when the owners that have been building the bottom of rosters get to shine.

As we get set for Week 5, we'll help you get set with some spot-start options. The Rotoworld News Page will be humming all Sunday long to bring you the latest on who is in and who is out. We've got rankings from Chris Wesseling/Mike Clay 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 our 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
FALCONS at REDSKINS
* Pierre Garcon (foot) practiced in full all week. There's plenty of breakout appeal here.

EAGLES at STEELERS
* Rashard Mendenhall (knee) will make his return from an ACL tear. He'll likely be part of a committee this week before assuming workhorse duties.

PACKERS at COLTS
* Greg Jennings (groin) is out. James Jones gets the nod as a solid spot-start in fantasy. The Colts will be without corners Vontae Davis (ankle) and Justin King (groin).

GIANTS at BROWNS
* Hakeem Nicks (knee, foot) and Ramses Barden (concussion) are out. Domenik Hixon will be an every-down wideout and is another excellent spot-start option.
* Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring) and Travis Benjamin (hamstring) are both doubtful. Look for struggling rookie Josh Gordon to start opposite Greg Little.

DOLPHINS at BENGALS
* Reggie Bush (hip, knee) is ready to rock and should be much closer to 100 percent this week.
* Bernard Scott (ankle) is back to serve as BenJarvus Green-Ellis' backup.

RAVENS at CHIEFS
* Torrey Smith (ankle) rolled an ankle slightly two Thursdays ago, but it's not a real concern. He's ready.
* Peyton Hillis (ankle) remains out. Shaun Draughn will be Jamaal Charles' backup.

4PM GAMES
TITANS at VIKINGS
* Kenny Britt (ankle) had a little setback on Thursday and is unlikely to play. In Week 6, the Titans play the Thursday night game against the Steelers. He might be targeting that one.
* Jake Locker (shoulder) is out. Veteran Matt Hasselbeck draws the start.

SEAHAWKS at PANTHERS
* Jonathan Stewart (toe) isn't even listed on the injury report.
* The Panthers will be without MLB Jon Beason (knee), adding to a nice spot for Marshawn Lynch.

BEARS at JAGUARS
* Matt Forte got a full practice in Friday. He's a go.
* Earl Bennett (hand) thinks he's going to play through a questionable tag. He's off the fantasy radar regardless.
* Laurent Robinson (concussion) is out. Look for Kevin Elliot to start.

BRONCOS at PATRIOTS
* Brandon Bolden (knee) is officially questionable. It's absolutely impossible to predict a possible role here, which is exactly what the Patriots want.
* Aaron Hernandez (ankle) is questionable, but we doubt he'll suit up. He is looking like a good bet to return in Week 6 after getting in some practice time this week.
* Julian Edelman (hand) remains out. Wes Welker will be an every-down slot man.
* Rob Gronkowski (hip) is fully expected to play through a questionable tag.
* Shane Vereen (foot) will probably suit up in a bit role.

BILLS at 49ERS
* Scott Chandler (head) and Donald Jones (head) are both ready to go.
* Brandon Jacobs (knee) is expected to be available for short-yardage work.
 
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
CHARGERS at SAINTS
* Nate Kaeding (groin) remains out. Nick Novak is a fine replacement option.
* Lance Moore (hamstring) is out. Devery Henderson will see more snaps, but the underneath targets Moore usually gets will go to Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles and Marques Colston.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
TEXANS at JETS
* Ben Tate (toe) is expected to play at less than 100 percent.
* Stephen Hill (hamstring) and Dustin Keller (hamstring) are not expected to play. The Jets' starting tight end will be Jeff Cumberland and their starting wideouts will be Jeremy Kerley and Chaz Schilens. Yikes.

MY TOUGHEST DECISION OF THE WEEK
In a half-PPR league, my flex spot came down to Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright or Leonard Hankerson, Britt doesn't look like he'll be an option after re-tweaking his ankle during Thursday's practice.

I've decided to roll with Wright simply because Pierre Garcon is healthy and projects to play the vast majority of snaps at X this week. That means Hankerson will be running short routes, blocking and going against Asante Samuel. Wright's two ugly drops in Week 4 were concerning, but the Titans were still targeting him on bubble screens after that. He's really something after the catch.
 
SURVIVOR PICK OF THE WEEK
My Survivor league started with 4935 players. We're down to 751 now and by some miracle from above, I'm still alive. So far, I've used the Lions, Bengals, Bears and Ravens -- in that order.

Call me crazy, but this looks like a really scary week. My first instinct is to take the Giants, but they often play down to the level of their competition at home. Over the last four seasons, they are 14-12 at home and 15-11 on the road. This week, the Giants will be playing without Hakeem Nicks, Kenny Phillips, Jayron Hosley, Ramses Barden, David Diehl and Rocky Bernard. The Browns are on a long week after showing reasonably well against the Browns two Thursdays ago.

Another option is the 49ers. The problem is the Bills got embarrassed last week and now have Fred Jackson/C.J. Spiller near 100 percent. It's not an ideal spot for the Niners.  

The Ravens are a poor option on the road in a hostile environment against a desperate team. I also suspect the Titans will get a spark from Matt Hasselbeck. So where does all this leave us?

I never, ever take a road team in Survivor. But I'm (foolishly?) making an exception this week and rolling with the Packers. The Colts will be without corners Vontae Davis (ankle) and Justin King (ankle). The Packers are only 2-2 so they should be focused. And the Pack really don't have many great spots left outside of a Week 8 home date with the Jaguars.



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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