Adam Levitan

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Week 12 Live Blog

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Welcome to Week 12.

A Rotoworld staffer is charting 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.

1PM GAMES
INACTIVE NEWS
* Julio Jones (ankle) is active. The Bucs have the league's worst secondary and will be without top CB Eric Wright (Achilles). I'd be hard-pressed to sit Julio.
* Percy Harvin (ankle) is inactive. Jarius Wright draws the start.
* Andrew Hawkins (knee) is inactive. Mohamed Sanu was going to play every snap anyway.
* Antonio Brown (ankle) and Jerricho Cotchery (ribs) are inactive. Plaxico Burress is up as the third receiver and red-zone threat. But I'm avoiding all Steelers wideouts with Charlie Batch starting on the road.
* Coby Fleener (shoulder) is inactive. Give Dwayne Allen a little boost.
* Jay Cutler (concussion) is back. Big news for Brandon Marshall.
* The Colts have announced Vick Ballard as their starter. It's just a formality. Ballard played 46 snaps last week compared to 17 for Brown.
* Knowshon Moreno, not Ronnie Hillman, is starting for the Broncos. It's because Moreno is bigger and better in pass protection. Expect those two and Lance Ball to all get work, leaving this as a wait-and-see situation for me.

FIRST HALF OBSERVATIONS
* There was some concern over Adrian Peterson's status because he took a taxi -- not the team bus -- to the stadium. Everyone can now relax. He's out there for the opening series.
* Ike Taylor is not shadowing Josh Gordon. He's playing sides, so he'll see Greg Little and Mo Massaquoi as well.
* Rashard Mendenhall started for the Steelers, as expected. He's listed atop their official depth chart. He's also the most talented back here, so he gets the first crack at the hot hand. However, he fumbled on his second carry. That's a sure way to lose your opportunity. UPDATE: In the Steelers' first series after the Mendy fumble, Jonathan Dwyer was the feature back.
* Jalen Parmele has been taken to the locker room with an upper left leg injury. Rashad Jennings gets another crack for now. UPDATE: Parmele is on the stationary bike now. He's officially questionable to return.
* In case you forgot, Michael Bush remains the clear-cut goal-line vulture in Chicago. He just plunged in from one yard out.
* As expected, Joe Haden is shadowing Mike Wallace. And check-down Charlie Batch is in full effect. Not good for 60 Minutes owners.
* Jacquizz Rodgers is making this backfield a full-fledged timeshare -- even on early downs and in the red zone. He scored on a five-yard TD run in the second quarter and now has six of the Falcons' first 11 carries. Michael Turner has the other five, but the Falcons are finally realizing he's a liability out there.
* First-quarter touches for the Bills' backfield: CJ Spiller 5, Fred Jackson 0. Chan Gailey true to his word so far.
* First-quarter touches for the Broncos' backfield:Knowshon Moreno 5, Ronnie Hillman 0, Lance Ball 0.
* Donald Brown's first snap of the game came with 10 minutes left in the first half. He's a strict backup behind Vick Ballard until further notice.
* Mohamed Sanu plays every snap and has a very specific package of plays designed for him in the red zone. TD heavy owners need to take note. Teams are now doubling AJ Green on every red-zone play.
* Jalen Parmele (leg) is back. He ends up missing about 1.5 quarters of game action and a chance at a 1-yard TD.
* Julio Jones looks good on that ankle. He got two shots at the end zone at the end of the second quarter. One was a questionable push-off penalty and the other he couldn't get his feet down. Unlucky.
* Now that all three of the Steelers' top backs have fumbled, Mike Tomlin is using Chris Rainey as a feature back. He even used Rainey on a 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Rainey banged into the line then bounced it wide for the score.
* Well, I think we now know what the Broncos are doing with their backfield. Knowshon Moreno had nine first-half touches. Ronnie Hillman and Lance Ball had zero.

SECOND HALF OBSERVATIONS
* The Steelers started the second half with their only running back that hasn't lost a fumble today: Chris Rainey.
* Seems like I write this every week, but Cecil Shorts is the real deal. Doesn't matter that he was a fourth-round pick out of Mount Union. He's a difference-maker weekly.
* Matt Forte got shaken up on his third-quarter fumble that was returned for a touchdown. He limped to the locker room. Even if he's OK, it's a reminder to practice proper handcuffing technique down the stretch. I wrote about that here on Tuesday. UPDATE: Looks like a right ankle injury for Forte. That's the same issue he had earlier in the season.
* My toughest decision of the week was in a 16-team PPR league. I was deciding between Kyle Rudolph and Jermichael Finley and wrote about it here. To reiterate, Rudolph is a target monster when Percy Harvin is out -- especially in the red zone.
* Some of the stats are skewed by strong early-season performances. We can put the Raiders' run defense in that category. Once stout, they are not perhaps the worst in the league. As Evan Silva said they're making BenJarvus Green-Ellis look like Jim Brown today.
* I almost always stream my D/ST all year. It just works because we can pinpoint matchups we like -- and that's always changing. For example, I recommended the Browns this week and they've paid off with five turnovers. The Browns get the Raiders and Chiefs in the next two weeks.
* Jalen Parmele aggravated the leg injury he sustained in the first quarter. He's limping badly now. Expect him to be done for the day.
* Plenty of QB2 options for owners down the stretch. Jake Locker is looking more comfortable and we know he has plus running ability. Chad Henne actually has good weapons and is playing for the 2013 starting gig. We've talked plenty about Colin Kaepernick -- who I think can be a QB1.
* Well, I jinxed Kyle Rudolph with that earlier note. He's being evaluated for a concussion now. Sigh.

4PM GAMES
INACTIVE NEWS
* Danny Amendola (foot) is not expected to play. This guy just can't stay on the field. UPDATE: In a surprise, Amendola is ACTIVE. He'll be gutting it out at far less than 100 percent. High risk kind of play.
* Colin Kaepernick will start ahead of a healthy Alex Smith. Monster fantasy upside.
* Beanie Wells (toe) is back and healthy, but reportedly is not in game shape yet. He'll rotate with La'Rod Stephens-Howling.

OBSERVATIONS
* Ryan Mathews got in a full week of practice. Therefore, he started the game. No Norv hand-wringing early on today.
* The Rams opened in a two-wide set with Chris Givens and Brandon Gibson. Looks like Danny Amendola will be used situationally.
* As expected, Beanie Wells draws the start. La'Rod Stephens-Howling is a change-of-pace player -- not a feature back.
* Yep, read option in the red zone for a Colin Kaepernick rushing touchdown. That's a fantasy owner's dream.
* Seyi Ajirotutu, not Robert Meachem, is acting as the Chargers' No. 3 wideout.
* No, Jimmy Graham is not hurt. He simply hasn't been featured yet as the Saints spread the ball around. It should come.
* Ed Dickson has a knee injury and is doubtful to return. Should lead to some extra targets for Dennis Pitta.
* Marques Colston got upended and landed on his head while trying to make a high catch over the middle. He walked under his own power to the locker room. If he misses time, Jimmy Graham and Lance Moore would benefit. Devery Henderson has been a situational deep threat even when other Saints wideouts are sidelined. UPDATE: Colston passed his concussion tests and will return.
* Everyone knows the drill with Larry Fitzgerald by now. Given his quarterback situation, he's a weekly WR3 with upside. Sad.
* Kendall Hunter is down with a foot injury and getting carted off. The third-stringer is Anthony Dixon, but Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James might have a chance to get active if Hunter misses time.



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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