Adam Levitan

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Week 9 Live Blog

Sunday, November 04, 2012


Welcome to Week 9, where some wideout injuries are giving owners headaches.

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
* In a stunner, Jordy Nelson (hamstring) is active. Considering the Packers have a bye in Week 10, he must be feeling really good. I'd be hard-pressed to sit him.
* Calvin Johnson (knee) is active. Despite whispers of a limited role, we can't sit him.
* Brandon LaFell (concussion) is inactive. Louis Murphy starts, but Greg Olsen figures to see the biggest boost in targets.
* Aldrick Robinson is starting in place of the disappointing Leonard Hankerson. Robinson is an interesting deep flier with Pierre Garcon's (toe/foot) season in doubt.
* Even though Mo Massaquoi (hamstring) is active, Josh Gordon is still starting. Speaks to how impressive Gordon has been.
* Donald Brown (knee) is active, but Vick Ballard still draws the start. If Brown's knee cooperates, this will be an even timeshare.
* Brian Hartline (groin) and Ryan Tannehill (knee) are active and starting, as expected.
* In a SNF note, I'd be worried about Dez Bryant (hip). He reportedly had a setback Friday and figures to be at far less than 100 percent if active. If you have a reasonable option early, I'd go with it.

FIRST HALF OBSERVATIONS
* Excellent matchup in Green Bay as Tramon Williams is shadowing Larry Fitzgerald all over the field. Expect Williams to get some safety help over the top as well.
* Calvin Johnson (knee) looks really limited early. The Lions aren't using him on every snap. No need to panic yet -- Megatron doesn't need a ton of snaps to produce. He's getting shadowed by Derek Cox.
* Kenny Britt fumbled after making his first catch of the game on the opening series. On the Titans' very next series, Matt Hasselbeck went right back to Britt.
* The Ravens promised to ride Ray Rice much harder as they came out of their bye. So far, they're being true to their word. On the very first drive of the game, Rice rushed six times for 32 yards with a touchdown.
* Early on Alex Green and James Starks are rotating drives evenly. Starks got the opening drive. That's something we expected after Green struggled so bad in his first three chances as the feature back.
* UPDATE on Darren Sproles. A source tells ProFootballTalk.com that Sproles is definitely out for Monday's game against the Eagles, but could be back as soon as Week 10. Interesting. Considering all of Sproles' value is in catching passes, it's hard to see him playing through a broken hand. We'll know more as the week moves along.
* Bad start for Jordy Nelson. He makes a catch in the red zone and then limps off badly. Not sure if it's a new ankle injury or an aggravation of the hamstring issue. Either way, it looks like Jordy is done for the day. UPDATE: It is indeed an ankle injury for Nelson. He's officially questionable to return.
* The Bears' dominant defense is just what Jake Locker needed to get back in the lineup. Matt Hasselbeck is getting embarrassed out there. Expect Locker's shoulder to magically be at 100 percent ahead of Week 10.
* Calvin Johnson may have been limited early, but he's dominating in a way we haven't seen lately. He just caught a 38-yard pass and was unlucky to get tackled at the 1-yard line. With eight minutes left in the first half, Megatron has a 5/99/0 line.
* Well, it's safe to say Reggie Bush's knee is healthy. Check out his insane jump cut en route to a 17-yard touchdown run. He's still sharing carries with Daniel Thomas, though.
* People are going to say that Randall Cobb is going off because Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson are hurt. That's certainly not the case. He's a unique talent that the Packers will find a way to get the ball to matter what. Don't even think about selling high.
* First-half touches for Carolina's backfield: Jonathan Stewart 5, DeAngelo Williams 2, Mike Tolbert 2. Stewart is playing the most, but Williams mixed in and took a 30-yard run around the edge for a TD. Tolbert is playing in the two-minute drill. Disappointing for Stewart owners, but plenty of time left here.
* The Redskins only had two real first-half drives, but it's worth noting that Josh Morgan looks like the No. 1 wideout today. He has five targets in the first half compared to one for Aldrick Robinson and one for Santana Moss.
* First-half touches for the Packers' backfield: Alex Green 8, James Starks 5. They are alternating drives.
* Demaryius Thomas owners got a scare when he appeared to injure his knee or ankle on a long catch, but it turned out to be nothing. Thomas missed just a couple plays.

SECOND HALF OBSERVATIONS
* A.J. Green is locked in a great matchup with Champ Bailey and drawing blood. Green's third-quarter touchdown means he now has a TD in seven straight games. It's also the first TD Bailey has given up since Week 13 of last season.
* UPDATE on Jordy Nelson: He's been ruled out for the rest of the game due to that first-quarter ankle injury. The Packers do have a bye in Week 10, but Nelson's health is a major issue now. He came into this one nursing a hamstring pull.
* Jermichael Finley is angry on the sideline. I'm guessing he feels like Aaron Rodgers is missing him when he's open. Fantasy owners share his frustration.
* I would consider this an obvious "sell high" moment for Mikel Leshoure. The Lions throw to score touchdowns -- he's simply gotten lucky that they have gotten stopped within the 8-yard line three times today.
* Kendall Wright is in the locker room due to a right elbow injury. His return is questionable. He's missing tons of chances for garbage-time points with the Titans getting throttled.
* Donnie Avery, who already racked up a 100-yard day, sustained a hip injury in the third quarter and is questionable to return. TY Hilton will be opposite Reggie Wayne in two-wide sets.
* Donald Brown may have aggravated his knee injury, or maybe the Colts' staff didn't think he was effective enough. We haven't seen Brown since the first quarter. leaving the reps to Vick Ballard.
* Steve Smith draws a PI call in the end zone, setting the Panthers up at the 1-yard line. The play call? Cam Newton run. Still a major fantasy asset.
* Even with Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings out, Donald Driver is seeing virtually no snaps.
* Credit Torrey Smith for impressive burst and explosion. He caught a simple in pattern in front of Joe Haden, stopped on a dime and exploded to the end zone with ease. Unique player.
* Chris Johnson's final fantasy line is going to look really good. Just be aware that he had a 14/54/0 line before breaking off an 80-yard touchdown run in garbage time.
* Santana Moss sustained a concussion. Anyway, don't get fooled into thinking he benefits from Pierre Garcon's injury. Moss plays a different position (slot) and saw just two targets today.

4PM GAMES
INACTIVE NEWS
* Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) will play through his questionable tag, as expected. He'll lead a committee that will also feature Andre Brown.
* Jonathan Dwyer (quad) and Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles') are inactive. Isaac Redman is prepping for a big workload, but is effectiveness is a concern. Redman is averaging 2.5 YPC on the season.

OBSERVATIONS
* I still can't believe that Adrian Peterson looks better than he did before his ACL tear. He did get caught from behind on a jaw-dropping, spectacular 74-yard run to open the game, but did end up getting the TD anyway. He's one of the great athletes of our generation.
* Early on, Ike Taylor is not shadowing Hakeem Nicks. Nicks looks like he'll see a lot of Keenan Lewis. Taylor is on Victor Cruz.
* Christian Ponder seems to be regressing every time he drops back to throw. Confidence is a major issue now.
* I did a blurb earlier this week about how healthy Sidney Rice is finally feeling. Evan Silva also talked up Rice in Matchups. This guy is a playmaker and trending up in a big way.
* There's something wrong with Antonio Brown's lower left leg or foot. He's on the trainers table late in the first quarter. Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery are the backups. UPDATE: Brown rolled his left ankle and is questionable to return. In related news, Sanders has scored the game's first touchdown with Brown watching.
* Percy Harvin is livid on the sideline. Following Leslie Frazier for 20 yards and waving his arms. Looks like he wants the damn ball more. Harvin came into this game tied for the league-lead in receptions with 60.
* Victor Cruz took an illegal blow from Ryan Clark and looked really shook up. A rib injury is possible. If he's out, Domenik Hixon would reassume status as one of fantasy's top adds. UPDATE: Cruz indeed has a rib injury, but his return is probable. UPDATE2: Cruz is back.
* After that Cruz hit, the Giants had the ball at the 1-yard line. Ahmad Bradshaw was taken out and Andre Brown plunged in. The Giants appear set on using Brown as their short-yardage/goal-line back.
* Here's the moment Darren McFadden haters have been waiting for. He's struggling again and now he's out with a leg injury. DMC's return is doubtful as he's in the locker room getting X-rays.
* Percy Harvin tweaked his hamstring in practice this week and it looks like he aggravated that issue. He's questionable to return as he gets stretched out on the sideline. UPDATE: Harvin got back in the game briefly, but then left again after what looked like an ankle injury. Very frustrating day for Harvin and his owners. UPDATE2: Harvin is back in. He's one tough hombre.
* As the second half opens, Antonio Brown (ankle) is not on the field. He might be done for the day. Lots of carnage in the late games today.
* Darren McFadden's X-rays came back negative, but he's done for the day. Mike Goodson is probably going to be the top add in fantasy this week.
* The Giants are paying a ton of attention to Mike Wallace, especially with Antonio Brown (ankle) sidelined. Corey Webster is getting help as he deals with a struggling 60 Minutes.
* Have to give a ton of credit as the light has come on in a big way for Doug Martin. It's not like the Raiders' are some Swiss cheese defense. They were giving up just 3.88 YPC before today.
* OK, now Mike Goodson is sidelined by a leg injury. Taiwan Jones is active, but FB Marcel Reece is operating as the tailback. What a mess.



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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