Adam Levitan

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Wilson's World

Friday, December 14, 2012


Bryce Brown is an explosive rookie that fantasy owners are wishing horrible things upon right now. David Wilson is one that owners should be wishing they had.

Remember, Wilson was one of our favorite preseason fliers thanks to his unique, natural running ability. Early on, fumble issues and pass protection problems landed him in coach Tom Coughlin’s doghouse. But he’s slowly built more and more trust since Andre Brown’s season-ending leg injury, and now the Giants are calling upon the rookie in their biggest game of the season.

That’s because Ahmad Bradshaw’s sprained knee is expected to keep him out of Sunday’s game in Atlanta. There’s speculation from New York media outlets that he won’t even make the trip.

So now, the only question is if the staff trusts Wilson. It appears they do.

“He did a terrific job for us," offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said of Wilson's performance against the Saints in Week 14. "We're ecstatic. … I didn't know he'd be able to run over a linebacker the way he did, which was tremendous to see. He's just getting better and better. I think his comfort level is growing and he's making fewer mistakes and his entry decisions in the run game are giving him a better chance to use the skills he has, which is his toughness and speed."

For good measure, let’s get Coughlin feeling all warm and fuzzy on Wilson.

“The timing is great for David to come to the front,” Coughlin said. “And he’ll hopefully provide us with that spark we need right now to go along with the rest of our players to give us an added playmaker that people are going to have to -- flat out have to -- defend.”

Wilson is going to be a top-10 running back play come Sunday. Not bad for a guy that spent the first 13 weeks of his NFL career firmly in the doghouse.

BENGALS at EAGLES RANDOM THOUGHTS
* Bryce Brown was nothing short of terrible. He repeatedly tried to bounce runs to the edge instead of bursting between the tackles. He dropped a goal-line shovel pass that had a good chance to go for a touchdown. He fumbled an exchange with Nick Foles in the third quarter. Brown got fantasy owners to the playoffs and then crushed their dreams in Weeks 14 and 15. LeSean McCoy wouldn’t have done that to us.

* Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie shadowed A.J. Green and actually did a reasonably good job. Green just can’t be stopped on goal-line fades, which is how he scored his 11th touchdown of the year -- and first since Week 11.

* After a season of misery, the Eagles defensive line finally came to life and got six sacks on Andy Dalton. #BlameWashburn. Dalton did salvage his fantasy day with a nifty touchdown run.   

* BenJarvus Green-Ellis gets what’s blocked and falls forward on every play. It’s somehow led to 543 yards and three touchdowns in the last five weeks. Expect a faceplant in Pittsburgh next week.

* The Eagles turned the ball over four times in a five-play span in the third quarter. Nick Foles was only responsible for one of those, when he under threw a deep ball for a hobbled Jeremy Maclin. He still profiles as at least an average NFL quarterback.

NEWS OF THE DAY
We’ve already established that Adrian Peterson is not from this planet and has some kind of alien blood in his knee. Robert Griffin III is heading down that same path.

Despite last week’s seemingly gruesome knee injury, RG3 was back at practice Wednesday. On Thursday, he was moving well, taking drop-backs and planting his leg with confidence. At this point, it would be a surprise if Griffin didn’t play in Cleveland on Sunday.

And yes, I’m starting RG3 even if his mobility is somewhat compromised. This guy is the league’s No. 1 rated passer. He’s thrown 18 touchdowns and four interceptions. He now has a healthy Pierre Garcon. He arrived on this planet in a spaceship from Mars.

INJURY QUICK SLANTS: RUNNING BACKS AND QUARTERBACKS
Ronnie Brown (hamstring) is questionable. It’s potentially big news for Ryan Mathews owners in PPR formats. … Jay Cutler (neck, knee) is in no danger of missing Sunday’s brutal matchup with the Packers. … Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) still hasn’t resumed practicing. For who, for what? Montell Owens will draw another start as Rashad Jennings (concussion) hasn’t been cleared … Bilal Powell has a fractured toe, but the Jets think he can play through it. Owners can’t afford to wait until Monday night.

INJURY QUICK SLANTS: WIDE RECEIVERS AND TIGHT ENDS
Danny Amendola (heel, foot) got in another limited practice. He’s on the good side of a game-time call. … Roddy White (knee) is also headed for a game-time call. Harry Douglas is the handcuff. … Cecil Shorts (concussion) is on track to play, but nothing is official yet. … Dez Bryant wants to play Sunday. He just needs to prove he can be effective with a splint on his left index finger. Dwayne Harris is the handcuff. … Jordy Nelson remains sidelined, giving Greg Jennings another start. … Rob Gronkowski (forearm) isn’t even practicing yet. We probably won’t see him until the NFL playoffs. … Brandon Pettigrew (ankle) missed another practice. Look for Calvin Johnson and Tony Scheffler to be target monsters Sunday. … Eddie Royal (hamstring) is expected to miss another game, giving Michael Spurlock the nod in the slot.

DEPTH CHART QUICK SLANTS
Interim coach Bruce Arians said he is going to ride Vick Ballard until the wheels come off Sunday. His only backups are street pickups Mewelde Moore and Deji Karim. … Jon Baldwin will get a shot as the Chiefs’ No. 1 wideout Sunday. Don’t expect much.



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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