Adam Levitan

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Week 11 Live Blog

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Welcome to Week 11, where studs such as Julio Jones, Pierre Garcon, Ryan Mathews and Owen Daniels are expected to gut it out at less than 100 percent.

A Rotoworld staffer is charting every game today, keeping an eye on how those players are moving, 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.

1PM GAMES
INACTIVE NEWS
* Julio Jones (ankle) is active. Depending on game flow and how he feels, he could be limited. Still, I'm never sitting this guy anytime he suits up.
* Pierre Garcon (foot) is finally making his return. He's an even riskier option than Julio because his injury is more severe and the Redskins' passing offense is obviously worse.
* DeMarco Murray (foot) remains sidelined. Next time a running back sustains a foot sprain and says it's not a big deal, do yourself a favor and ignore him.
* Jets No. 1 wideout Jeremy Kerley will play through a hamstring strain.
* Explosive Bengals slot man Andrew Hawkins (knee) is inactive.
* Owen Daniels (hip) is ready to return. Get him going.

FIRST HALF OBSERVATIONS
* Brent Celek continues to regress. He's been at fault in a handful on interceptions, including this one on Nick Foles' first series as a starter. Expect the Eagles to upgrade the tight end position this offseason. Again, that interception should not be placed on Foles. He hit Celek right in the hands.
* Andre Johnson is really coming around. Over the last few weeks, he's looked 100 percent while getting open at will. If the Texans ever get behind big and are forced to air it out, he's going to go off. Johnson had three catches for 74 yards on the first drive today.
* No lingering punishment for Chris Givens. He starts a week after getting scratched due to a curfew violation.
* Unlucky break for Doug Martin owners. The Bucs got a first-and-goal from the 3-yard line and Martin lined up in the backfield. But they went play action and Josh Freeman hit the third-string tight end for a score.
* Looks like Blaine Gabbert hurt his throwing elbow when he fumbled on the first drive against the Texans. Chad Henne is getting set to come on. Difference? Negligible. Gabbert is probable to return.
* Owners need to move on from Mason Crosby. The Packers passed on a 49-yard FG attempt in a dome on a fourth-and-four.
* Brandon Flowers was doing a good job on AJ Green throughout the first quarter. But on a goal-line play, Green found himself matched up with Javier Arenas. Andy Dalton threw a fade into good double coverage and Green somehow came down with the ball anyway. Outside of Calvin Johnson, no NFL wideout is better. Green has a touchdown in nine straight games.
* Let's not get too high on LaRod Stephens-Howling's big start today. This Falcons' defense is bad and Beanie Wells is due back next week.
* Julio Jones (ankle) appears to be moving fairly well, but he's seeing Patrick Peterson on the majority of snaps. William Gay is on Roddy White.
* Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said he was going to take a hard line with turnovers. Well, Peyton Hillis just lost a bad fumble. Expect him to get sat down for awhile, leaving Shaun Draughn to back up workhorse Jamaal Charles.
* Larry Fitzgerald owners are going to be sick. He was wide open in the end zone after beating Robert McClain badly and John Skelton just overthrew him. Just an awful throw for an NFL quarterback. UPDATE: Looks like the Cards have seen enough of Skelton. They're going to sixth-round rookie Ryan Lindley.
* Rashad Jennings has really been struggling of late. So the Jags made a surprise move, starting plodder Jalen Parmele and using him as a feature back in the first half. Really bad sign for Jennings. And no, I wouldn't add Parmele with Jones-Drew due back in a couple weeks anyway.
* It's way past time to take Cecil Shorts seriously. The fact that he went to Mount Union and was undrafted means nothing at this point. Clearly, his talent has been greatly underrated. He's a difference-maker weekly as the Jags' No. 1 wideout.
* I love Danny Amendola's talent and role in his offense, but he's just always banged up. Now it's a heel injury that has him questionable to return. He's appeared in just eight of 26 possible games over the last two seasons. UPDATE: I will also add that Amendola is a tough hombre. He's back in the game for the tail end of the first half.
* Couple of big WR injury notes to pass along: Dwayne Bowe appeared to bang his head while failing to come up with a high deep ball. He's on the sideline without a helmet now, a sign of a concussion. Terrence Copper has come on. Also, Steve Smith came down hard on his left hand after a touchdown pass was nullified by offensive pass interference. He's in the locker room. UPDATE: Smith is back in for the final drive of the first half. X-rays were apparently negative.
* Contrary to earlier beliefs, Jermichael Finley is indeed alive. The uber-talented pass-catching tight end hauled in a 20-yard touchdown from Aaron Rodgers, but let's not overreact here. It was the only target Finley saw in the entire first half.

SECOND HALF OBSERVATIONS
* Dwayne Bowe's injury is officially being called a neck -- not a concussion. Good news. He's questionable to return now.
* Matt Cassel is getting benched for ineffectiveness. It's Brady Quinn's turn. Another yawner of a QB change. Skelton/Lindley, Gabbert/Henne, Cassel/Quinn...can we really tell the difference?
* OK, Chad Henne is proving that he's better than Blaine Gabbert on this day. Long run? I doubt it. Still, expect Henne to get another start in Week 12. And don't be surprised if the Jags acquire or draft a new franchise QB this offseason. Gabbert clearly isn't the guy.
* Updating the Steve Smith situation: He just dislocated a finger, got it popped back in and is good to go.
* Interesting to note that Kevin Smith is back from the dead and acting as the third-down back today. So much for Joique Bell's expanding role.
* No Bilal Powell wasn't getting goal-line work over Shonn Greene. It was a third-down draw play from the 5-yard line that worked. Powell plays on all third downs no matter what the situation.
* Credit Felix Jones for running with more purpose the last two weeks. He takes a lot of criticism, but his skill set is still unique. When right, he has game-breaking speed and can be a goal-line pile-mover like he was on a 2-yard TD run in the third quarter.
* Well, Julio Jones hasn't been right on that bad ankle all day. And now he's aggravated the issue and is questionable to return. Owners would be wise to roster Harry Douglas ASAP. Julio needs a week off.
* Jordy Nelson does not look inhibited by his hamstring injury. He's just not getting much separation from Chris Houston. Surprising.
* We've talked a lot about Dez Bryant gaining more and more of Tony Romo's trust lately. Running the right routes, not breaking off routes, going hard on every play. It's finally all coming together. He has 10 catches and a touchdown on 12 targets so far today. Miles Austin has two catches on five targets.
* Titus Young is not hurt either. He's been targeted three times midway through the fourth quarter and has just one catch. The Lions have gone TE-heavy with Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler combining for 13 targets.
* The Packers have seen enough of Alex Green. he has zero carries today and James Starks has 20 deep in the fourth quarter. John Kuhn has been the third-down back.
* Randall Cobb's role isn't going to be reduced when Greg Jennings gets back. Cobb is the biggest difference-maker among their wideouts and backs, period. If Jennings ends up playing significant snaps, it will come at the expense of James Jones.
* Well, I hope LeSean McCoy owners were practicing proper handcuffing technique. He's getting carted off on a stretcher after a helmet-to-helmet hit. Backup Bryce Brown is a legit talent. UPDATE: The Eagles confirmed that McCoy has a concussion.
* Jeremy Maclin was not hurt. He slid to the slot a lot with Riley Cooper playing in place of usual slot man Jason Avant (hamstring). It's not a productive position in the Eagles' offense.

4PM GAMES
INACTIVE NEWS
* Early reports are good on Ryan Mathews (neck). He's expected to start and carry a full workload. UPDATE: Mathews is indeed active and reportedly feeling strong. He's ready to rock.
* If Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring) can't go, journeyman Derek Hagan will start against the Saints' rancid secondary. UPDATE: DHB is surprisingly active and starting.
* Aaron Hernandez (ankle) is almost certainly out once again. Sigh. UPDATE: Hernandez is inactive.
* FOX's Jay Glazer is reporting that Darren Sproles is not going to play today in order to give his hand another week of rest. Glazer is among the most accurate reporters in the game. Adjust accordingly. UPDATE: Sproles is officially INACTIVE.

OBSERVATIONS
* Looks like Darrius Heyward-Bey was only active as insurance. He didn't start and didn't play on the Raiders' opening drive. Hagan and Rod Streater are in there opposite Denarius Moore. UPDATE: DHB is playing, but not every snap. He was targeted on an unsuccessful goal-line pick play in the second quarter.
* Yes, the Raiders left Jimmy Graham wide open on a goal-line play. Who could have suspected the Saints might be going to him?
* Well, reports on Ryan Mathews were erroneous. He didn't start, didn't play on the first series and isn't in on the second offensive series. Jackie Battle is acting as the feature back. UPDATE: Mathews is in for the third series. The only one that knows why he didn't start is Norv Turner.
* Man, Marcel Reece is impressive. Not only is he running well as the clear feature back, but he's lining up at tight end and shaking linebackers. PPR monster.
* Note from the early Cardinals vs. Falcons game: Rookie Michael Floyd was benched after lining up incorrectly. One step forward, two steps back for him.
* More handcuffing news: Willis McGahee owners should have Ronnie Hillman rostered. McGahee is favoring his right knee early on. UPDATE: McGahee has a right knee injury and is questionable to return.
* Per Mike Reiss, running back snaps in the first half for the Patriots: Stevan Ridley 14, Shane Vereen 10, Danny Woodhead 6.
* The Robert Meachem vs. Danario Alexander "battle" isn't even close. Meachem didn't even play a snap until there was less than two minutes left in the first half.
* The TY Hilton watch is back on. Donnie Avery has a concussion and is done for the day. There's a reasonable argument to be made that Hilton is a better player than Avery. Add him.
* Danario Alexander is matching up with Tony Carter while Malcom Floyd gets Champ Bailey. DX is the real deal when healthy. He's leading the way with seven targets and has a 3/31/1 line in the third quarter. Remember that as a senior at Mizzou, DX had 113 catches, 1781 yards and 14 touchdowns. Then he had five surgeries on his left knee. Health has always been the lone question.



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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