Adam Levitan

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Week 14 Live Blog

Sunday, December 09, 2012


Welcome to Week 14.

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
* Top Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers (hamstring) is active. Bad news for Josh Gordon and Brandon Weeden.
* Rashard Mendenhall is a healthy scratch again as the Steelers lean on workhorse Jonathan Dwyer. Mendy, an impending free agent, is probably done as a Steeler.
* Michael Bush (ribs) is active behind a 100 percent Matt Forte.
* Michael Turner (elbow) is active, as expected. The Falcons should reduce his role, but I doubt they will.
* Brandon LaFell (toe, foot) and Jonathan Stewart (ankles) are inactive. Good spot for Greg Olsen.
* Danny Amendola (foot/heel) is inactive. Chris Givens makes for an excellent sleeper play.
* Stevie Johnson (hamstring) is active, as expected.
* The Chargers will be without three of their starting offensive linemen. Not good news for Antonio Gates, who could be asked to block more than usual.

FIRST HALF OBSERVATIONS
* The Steelers' very first play of the game was a wideout screen to Mike Wallace. Perhaps he's working his way out of the doghouse?
* Bears K Robbie Gould sustained a calf injury in pregame warmups. He's questionable to kick in this game. Brutal break for owners.
* Kenny Britt has two catches on the Titans' very first drive. His role was expanded under new OC Dowell Loggains even though the production wasn't there. Plenty of upside here for a strong finish. The same can be said for Jared Cook, who capped the first drive with a TD.
* Brent Celek sustained a concussion on the very first drive of the game when he took a shot to the back of the head from Lavonte David. He'll give owners a one catch for one yard day. Clay Harbor has come on.
* Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe was spotted vomiting on the field and then walked to the sideline under his own power during the first quarter. Gross. UPDATE: He's got a rib injury and is done for the day.
* After one quarter, Adrian Peterson is on pace for 48 carries, 416 yards and eight touchdowns. He is not human.
* It's not looking good for Bryce Brown. The Bucs' top-ranked run defense is stuffing everything up the gut and stacking the box against Nick Foles. Brown hasn't had a glimmer of daylight through one quarter.
* DeMarco Murray assured us that he came out of his 27-touch return last week feeling fine. He proved it by leaping over the pile for a TD early in the second quarter. He's a special talent when healthy.
* Back-to-back weeks with a lost fumble for Alfred Morris. If he wasn't already established as a beast, I'd say this could lead to some Shanahanigans.
* Jamaal Charles has a rib injury and is questionable to return. But unlike the aforementioned Dwayne Bowe, he hasn't gone to the locker room yet. Peyton Hillis has come on as the feature back. UPDATE: Charles returned after missing just one series.
* Very tough day for Danario Alexander so far. Two bad drops over the middle on third downs. Separation hasn't been great even though top Steelers CB Ike Taylor is out. UPDATE: Well, I spoke too soon. Alexander redeemed himself with a sick double-move for a 39-yard TD on a 3rd-and-1. Philip Rivers' faith in Alexander is strong.
* First-half touches for the Bills' backfield: Fred Jackson 9, CJ Spiller 5.
* Dez Bryant is healthy, but the Cowboys just can't get anything going downfield. The passing game is sputtering badly. Expect Dez to be a focal point of the offense in the second half.

SECOND HALF OBSERVATIONS
* Jags starting RB/special teams ace/FB Montell Owens is missing time due to cramps. Way to blow your big chance, kid.
* I know Cam Newton had a really rough stretch this season, but I'd still consider him a top-4 quarterback in 2013. Running ability in addition to red-zone runs is unmatched. He has 117 rushing yards and a touchdown early in the third quarter.
* Mike Williams is the latest wideout to make Nnamdi Asomugha silly. He just went to the goal line and posted up for a back-shoulder throw and Nnamdi didn't even have a shot at breaking it up.
* Delone Carter scored a touchdown, but he picked up an ankle injury shortly after. The only healthy back left for the Colts is Vick Ballard.
* Strange off day for AJ Green. He has three drops, including one in the end zone. Awful timing for owners.
* Through three quarters, Matt Forte has 17 touches and Michael Bush has one. That's been the kind of split the Bears have been working toward over the last month.
* The Eagles somehow ended up with rugged ILB Jamar Chaney on Vincent Jackson on a third-and-goal early in the fourth quarter. Predictable result as V-Jax gets wide open on an arrow route. Coverage busts all year long for the Eagles.
* Montell Owens lives! Back from those cramps, he busted a 32-yard touchdown run. This further proves that any NFL athlete with a chance at a feature back role deserves a look in fantasy when in the right matchup.
* Well, Fred Jackson's right leg bent the wrong way and he limped off. Chan Gailey has no choice but to ride CJ Spiller now. F-Jax's injury has the look of a season-ending one.
* Donnie Avery continues to bungle prime opportunities. He just had an awful drop in the end zone on a ball that hit him in the hands. Outside of last week, it's been a recurring theme all year. If TY Hilton can take over that No. 2 wideout job next year, look out.
* Man, this Danario Alexander is the real deal. We've been through his numbers from college and his left knee woes. Now he's just balling. Philip Rivers trusts him in jump-ball situations when in 1-on-1 coverage.
* Dez Bryant's left hand appeared to be bothering him as he got looked at by docs. Then he came back on the field for a third-down play and recorded his seventh TD in the last five games.
* Everyone says Robert Griffin III can't stay healthy playing the way he does at the NFL level. Maybe "everyone" is right, for once. RG3 has a knee injury and is questionable to return. Looked like a minor sprain.
* Kyle Rudolph is, in fact, alive. He recovered the onside kick to ice the game for the Vikings. Chalk up another Vikings win in spite of Christian Ponder's ineptitude.
* With the Eagles in catch-up mode for the entire fourth quarter, Bryce Brown has barely played. Dion Lewis is the better pass protector.


4PM GAMES
INACTIVE NEWS
* Both Adam Schefter and Jason La Canfora are reporting that Hakeem Nicks (knee) is expected to start and play his usual role. UPDATE: It's official: Nicks ran relatively well in warmups and is active.
* Andre Roberts (ankle) and Beanie Wells (knee) are both active. I'd be hard-pressed to start either.
* Chris Ivory (hamstring) is inactive. Expect a couple more touches for Mark Ingram.

OBSERVATIONS
* Hey, I'm running good with LMD decisions! Martellus Bennett, when healthy, is proving to be a primary read for Eli Manning in the red zone.
* Ahmad Bradshaw is in the locker room for an undisclosed reason. David Wilson is having a big day on kickoff returns -- will the Giants trust him as a feature back? UPDATE: Bradshaw is back in. So much for that idea.
* Well, John Skelton is trying to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald. He's just not good enough to do it. Richard Sherman is undercutting routes and making life hard on the duo. The Seahawks' D/ST is headed for a monster day.
* Looks like Beanie Wells has been benched. William Powell has been running more effectively.
* Meanwhile, Marshawn Lynch is just chilling on the sideline with a coat on talking to a teammate. He doesn't look hurt, but Robert Turbin is handling the load. The Seahawks are up 24-0 midway through the second quarter. UPDATE: Lynch's back has tightened up a little, but he was allowed to come back into a 31-0 game. He's fine.
* I mentioned earlier about how Cam Newton's legs make him a fantasy beast even when the passing game isn't working. Colin Kaepernick is in the same boat. Just as effective -- if not more -- with his running ability. I'd love to have Kaep as my QB1 next season.



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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