Adam Levitan

Last Minute Decisions

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Week 7 Injury Questions

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The bloated bye week is our time to shine. With elite offenses such as Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Diego and Denver all off, owners that have been building the bottom of their rosters will have a big edge.

As we get set for Week 7, we’ll help you get set. 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 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 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:

* Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) sat out practice Wednesday, participated Thursday and then sat out Friday. If he suits up, he’ll be spelled often by Andre Brown and David Wilson.
* Pierre Garcon (foot) is out again and has no timetable for a return. Leonard Hankerson draws the start.
* Hakeem Nicks (knee, foot) appears as healthy as he’s been all season and he’s facing the league’s worst pass defense.

* Adrian Peterson (ankle) took it easy in practice this week because the Vikings have a Thursday game in Week 8. He’s a full go.
* Jerome Simpson (back) will start but could be matched up with Patrick Peterson.
* Kevin Kolb (ribs) is out at least six weeks. It’s the John Skelton show.
* Todd Heap (knee) is off the fantasy radar even if he plays through a questionable tag.

* Dez Bryant’s groin injury is not new. He’s been playing through tightness for a while and is fully expected to start Sunday barring a setback in warmups. If owners are frightened, they can handcuff direct backup Kevin Ogletree.
* DeMarco Murray (foot) is out. Felix Jones gets the start as a solid RB2.

* Jimmy Graham (ankle) is a true game-time call. If he plays, there’s chatter that he’ll be extremely limited and could even act as a decoy. Still, it would be almost impossible for me to sit a player of this caliber if he’s active. UPDATE: Graham has been ruled OUT. David Thomas draws the start at tight end.
* Lance Moore (hamstring) practiced in full and would soak up some underneath targets if Graham sits.
* Vincent Jackson (calf) is ready to rock. No concerns here.

* Greg Jennings (groin) remains out. It’s James Jones on stage again.
* Jermichael Finley (shoulder) should be closer to 100 percent this week.
* Aaron Rodgers’ calf tweak was never a real concern.

* Ben Tate (toe) had his best week of practice in a while. Look for a few more touches this week.

* Trent Richardson’s rib cartilage injury looks like a non-issue now. The Browns have expressed confidence that he won’t be limited at all.
* Mohamed Massa quoi (hamstring) and Travis Benjamin (hamstring) are both expected back, but Josh Gordon and Greg Little still project as starters. Regardless, look for a heavy rotation here.
* Donald Brown (knee) remains out. Vick Ballard will get more carries this week as the Colts figure to at least hang in the game.

* Jake Locker (shoulder) appears to be targeting Week 8 for his return. Matt Hasselbeck gets the nod again in this plus matchup.
* Kenny Britt isn’t even listed on the injury report. Get him going.

* Laurent Robinson (concussions) remains out. Cecil Shorts draws the start.

* Wes Welker (ankle) will play through another questionable tag.
* Aaron Hernandez (ankle) says he’s feeling much better this week. Expect a bump in snaps.
* Rob Gronkowski (hip) should be just fine as well despite the questionable listing.
* Brandon Bolden (knee) is out. Stevan Ridley gets a boost in carries and Shane Vereen will be the change-of-pace option.
* Bilal Powell (shoulder) is out and Joe McKnight (ankle) is not expected to play. Shonn Greene will be backed up by Jonathan Grimes.
* Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) and Isaac Redman (ankle) are both out. Jonathan Dwyer will start but he’ll cede carries to Baron Batch and the Steelers figure to go pass heavy.
* Brian Leonard (ribs) is not expected to play. Cedric Peerman will handle passing-down work.

* Brandon Pettigrew (knee) and Titus Young (knee) have been playing all season despite limited practices. They’re fine.
* Earl Bennett got sick on Friday. He’s expected to fill in for Alshon Jeffery, who is out with a broken hand.

In a 16-team full-PPR league, my tight end spot came down to Jermichael Finley or Kyle Rudolph. When I took these two guys on draft day, I expected Jermichael to have a monster year and Rudolph to play well enough to be used as trade bait. Things don’t always go according to plan.

Shoulder injury or not, Finley just hasn’t been producing on Sundays. Despite otherworldly talent, he hasn’t reached 90 yards in any of his last 23 games. Last week, a limited Finley played just 24 snaps. The drops are just brutal and have to be in Aaron Rodgers’ head when he drops back to pass.

Meanwhile, Rudolph is healthy and played all 84 offensive snaps last week. He’s the Vikings’ go-to guy in the red zone and his stock is on the rise. After just a little thought, the answer here is Rudolph in a landslide.
My two picks from last week, the Falcons and Bucs, survived. We’re on to Week 8.

I believe the best play on the board this week is the Patriots -- and it’s not even close. They are angry and embarrassed after last week’s meltdown in Seattle. The Jets, meanwhile, have an inflated public view thanks to the cupcake spot they were handed against the Colts last week.

The notion that “Patriots/Jets games are always close” doesn’t really faze me. The Patriots are at home, highly motivated and the talent gap is gargantuan.

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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