Adam Levitan

Last Minute Decisions

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Week 11 Injury Questions

Saturday, November 17, 2012


It’s a week for game-time decisions. Mammoth fantasy names such as Julio Jones, Owen Daniels, Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews are going to test their respective injuries in pregame and go from there.   

As we get set for kickoff, we’ll be scouring the league for clues 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.

OK, let’s get to the hurt folks:

1PM GAMES  
EAGLES at REDSKINS
* Michael Vick (concussion) is out. Unless Nick Foles absolutely faceplants, we probably have seen Vick’s last snap as an Eagle.
* Drama king Jeremy Maclin will play through a back strain.
* Pierre Garcon (foot) is expected to play. He’ll be less than 100 percent, but will start at X. High risk, high reward situation.
* Santana Moss (concussion) is fine but off the fantasy radar as a bit role player.

PACKERS at LIONS
* Jordy Nelson (hamstring, ankle) got a full week of practice in. He appears 100 percent now.
* John Kuhn (hamstring) is back as the clear third-down and possible goal-line back. It leaves starter James Starks and change-of-pace guy Alex Green is weak options.
* Greg Jennings (groin) remains sidelined. Owners would be hard-pressed to find better options than James Jones and Randall Cobb.
* Calvin Johnson (knee) and Titus Young (knee) are both ready to rock.

CARDINALS at FALCONS
* Julio Jones was able to play through his ankle injury last week. But he didn’t practice at all this week and looks like a true-game time call. Harry Douglas would be a desperation backup plan for owners.
* Michael Turner (groin) should play through a questionable tag. However, it’s scary to think how ineffective he could be at less than 100 percent.
* Kevin Kolb (ribs) still isn’t close. John Skelton gets the nod again.

BUCS at PANTHERS
N/A

BROWNS at COWBOYS
* DeMarco Murray (foot) still isn’t sufficiently healed. Felix Jones gets another start.
* Trent Richardson (ribs) comes out of the bye much closer to 100 percent. Expect a massive workload.

JETS at RAMS
* Jeremy Kerley (hamstring, heel) is listed as questionable. He should be fine, but owners should check back Sunday morning.
* Bilal Powell (concussion) appears medically cleared. He’ll likely play a small role behind Shonn Greene.

JAGUARS at TEXANS
* Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) doesn’t appear all that close.
* Ben Tate (hamstring) remains out. Justin Forsett will backup workhorse Arian Foster once again.
* Owen Daniels (hip) is officially a game-time call, but appears on track to play. He practiced all week.

BENGALS at CHIEFS
* Andrew Hawkins (knee) was a late addition to the injury report. He might have gotten hurt at practice. Avoid.
* Jon Baldwin (head) is out. Perhaps Steve Breaston will actually be active.
* Brady Quinn (concussion) looks like he’s been cleared, but he’ll still come off the bench behind Matt Cassel.

4PM GAMES
COLTS at PATRIOTS
* Aaron Hernandez (ankle) is not expected to play yet again. He could be targeting Thanksgiving for his return.
* Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Rob Gronkowski are all expected to play through the Patriots’ questionable “questionable” tags.
* Donald Brown (knee) is ready to go. He’ll rotate every couple series with Vick Ballard.
* Coby Fleener (shoulder) remains sidelined. Dwayne Allen gets a small bump.

SAINTS at RAIDERS
* Darren McFadden (ankle) and Mike Goodson (ankle) remain out. It’s the Marcel Reece show.
* Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring) looks like a game-time call at best. Derek Hagan is his backup, but Rod Streater is the more explosive option.
* Brandon Myers (head) got full clearance early in the week.
* Darren Sproles (hand) is tentatively expected to play despite a little swelling. Still, he’s shaping up as a risky option considering all his value is tied up in catching the football.

CHARGERS at BRONCOS
* Ryan Mathews (neck) got back in a limited practice Friday. He’s a game-time call and workload would be a concern if he’s active. Jackie Battle is handcuff as the early-down and goal-line back. Ronnie Brown is the passing-down back.

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
RAVENS at STEELERS
* Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder, ribs) is out. Byron Leftwich caps the upside of the entire passing game.
* Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) is back and expected to start.
* Antonio Brown (ankle) is out. Emmanuel Sanders gets another start.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
BEARS at 49ERS
* Jay Cutler (concussion) is out. Jason Campbell will start in this brutal matchup.
* Alex Smith (concussion) is expected to start. Sorry, Colin Kaepernick speculators.

MY TOUGHEST DECISION OF THE WEEK
In a 10-team non-PPR league, my flex spot came down to Vernon Davis, Danario Alexander or Brandon LaFell. I already chose to ride with Greg Olsen over Davis at my tight end spot.

I think it’s a plus matchup for all three of these guys. The Bears’ Cover 2 dares teams to beat them up the seam with tight ends. As Evan Silva pointed out in Matchups, Alexander projects to avoid the coverage of Champ Bailey. LaFell is facing the Bucs’ league-worst pass defense.

In the end, I decided to go with Alexander. With that troublesome left knee finally healed, he’s secured an every-down role and has become a focal point of his team’s passing attack. We can’t safely say the same for Davis and LaFell.

SURVIVOR PICK OF THE WEEK
Well, it was a good run. Heading into last week, there were 348 entries left in my Survivor pool, which started with more than 5,000 runners. I busted with the 49ers. I don’t really regret the play even though I did think the Steelers were the most likely winner of the week. Strategy is part of the game, and the optimal play was the Niners.

This week, the most likely winner is clearly the Texans. I would use them because they play on the road in Weeks 12, 13 and 14. No strong reason to save them for home matchups with the Colts (Week 15) or the Vikings (Week 16). A lot can change by then.



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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