Adam Levitan

Football Daily Dose

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Dose: Thanksgiving Leftovers

Friday, November 29, 2013


From everyone at Rotoworld, we hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving. Let’s dig right into quick-hitting recaps of what you missed in each of the three games:

PACKERS at LIONS RANDOM THOUGHTS
* Remember when Reggie Bush guaranteed he wouldn’t fumble again this season? Of course you do, because it was just nine days ago. Well, Bush coughed up a red-zone fumble in the first quarter of this one. However, he was not benched in any way, shape or form. Bush went on to rush 20 times for 117 yards with a touchdown and added five catches for 65 yards. The Lions ended up rolling to a 40-10 win, putting the fumble further under the bridge.
* Joique Bell played more than expected, but his 22 touches were a product of the Lions completely dominating time of possession 40:26 to 19:34. I would not want to rely on Bell going forward.
* Nate Burleson strangely had zero catches on one target. We’ll have to check the snap count, but it looked like he was playing behind Kris Durham and Jeremy Ross. I honestly have no idea why. Owners need to track this story before thinking about using him against the Eagles in Week 14.
* Matt Flynn was so atrocious that he should have been benched. He was under heavy pressure all day, but also anticipated the rush when it wasn’t there and missed open receivers. Therefore, Eddie Lacy had no shot as the Lions stacked the box. The Packers had seven first downs compared to 30 for Detroit.
* Flynn’s performance also buried Jordy Nelson (2/14/0) and Jarrett Boykin (0/0/0). James Jones got saved a little bit with a 56-yard catch on a meaningless final drive.

Editor’s Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $300,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 13. It's $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the link.       

RAIDERS at COWBOYS RANDOM THOUGHTS
* Lance Dunbar came out of nowhere for a 12/82/0 line on the ground and one catch for 12 yards. It’s not a changing of the guard as he had just 18 carries all year before this. And he left with a sprained knee. Meanwhile, DeMarco Murray punched in three scores from inside the 7-yard line to give owners a dreamy Thanksgiving gift.
* Dez Bryant was very quiet early, but got going late and finished with a 7/61/1 line on a team-leading nine targets.
* Terrance Williams saw six targets and Miles Austin saw five, but they combined for four catches and 35 yards. Neither one is a real option for us right now as they rotate.
* Andre Holmes started again with Denarius Moore (shoulder) inactive. This time, he went off for a 7/136/0 line. He does have some appeal as a 6’4/210 athlete, but only in the deepest of formats. This passing game won’t typically support two wideouts.
*Darren McFadden (hamstring) was active. As promised by everyone around the Raiders, he played well behind Rashad Jennings. McFadden finished with five carries for 13 yards and no catches while Jennings had 17 carries for 35 yards with two touchdowns and one catch for eight yards. Things got complicated, however, as Jennings sustained a concussion late in the game. He has 10 days to get ready for Week 14, but should be considered day to day for now.

STEELERS at RAVENS RANDOM THOUGHTS
* Le’Veon Bell (16/73/1 on the ground plus seven catches for 63 yards) sustained what looked like a severe concussion at the goal-line on the final drive. To make matters worse for owners, he actually got into the end zone but his helmet popped off at the 1-foot line. By rule, the play is dead right there. So now we have Bell questionable for Week 14 and missing a touchdown he earned with a ton of heart.
*Jerricho Cotchery continues to rack up touchdowns. The Steelers called his number on a critical fourth-and-goal late and he came wide open on a pick play for his eighth TD on just 26 catches. I still don’t like starting these exclusively TD-dependent players.
*The Ravens running game was inept again as they reverted to a committee again. Ray Rice 12 carries for 32 yards, Bernard Pierce nine carries for 35 yards.
* Torrey Smith could have had a much bigger game, but owners will be fine with a 6/93/1 line on a team-leading 10 targets. He was open all night.
* Jacoby Jones got a piece of turkey as he was huge in the return game and scored a 4/53/0 line as the No. 2 wideout. He’s playing far ahead of Marlon Brown, but isn’t good enough to be worth a play outside of return yardage leagues.


NEWS OF THE DAY #1
I don’t think it would make any sense for Knowshon Moreno to play Sunday. He looked extremely hobbled during overtime last week, was on crutches afterward and was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his ankle. The Broncos are going to be in the playoffs and they should be able to beat an overmatched Chiefs team without their top back.

However, I don’t run the Broncos. They continue to call Moreno day to day, and he practiced on a limited basis Thursday – saying “I feel good.” Moreno is expected to practice again Friday.

Given the participation, it looks like Moreno will be a game-time decision at worst Sunday. The game starts at 4:25pm ET, so owners are going to need other late-game options at the ready. Ideally, that backup plan is Montee Ball, who took the first-team practice reps on Wednesday.

NEWS OF THE DAY #2
Zac Stacy (concussion) was able to run sprints on the side of Wednesday’s practice. On Thursday, he went full speed with the team. Stacy still hasn’t been cleared for contact, but coach Jeff Fisher said “everything looks good” for the potential return of his main back.

Stacy’s final tests will come on Friday and at that point, I’d expect the Rams to announce he’s ready to rock. So much for those Benny Cunningham adds.

NEWS OF THE DAY #3
Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) could have played on Thursday if it were a 7-on-7, non-contact game. He’s throwing fine and without pain. The problem is that his bone isn’t completely healed, so the risk of aggravation on a hit is high.

The good news for owners of Rodgers and all other Packers (especially Eddie Lacy/Jordy Nelson) is that the former MVP seems very confident that he’ll be ready for Week 14. That’s a home game against the Falcons, aka the dream. It’s going to be perfect timing for a lot of people that grinded their way into the fantasy playoffs.

INJURY QUICK SLANTS: QUARTERBACK AND RUNNING BACK
Darren Sproles (ankle) is practicing in full this week. Unfortunately, he has a brutal matchup at SEA and Pierre Thomas is hot. … Ryan Mathews’ hamstring aggravation turned out to be nothing. He’s fully expected to play Sunday. … Chris Ivory is practicing on a limited basis. Consider him a game-time call for now, and keep stashing Bilal Powell. … As C.J. Spiller (ankle) comes out of the bye, he says he’s feeling back to his old self. There’s massive upside in starting him vs. the Falcons, but the floor is low as we’ve seen too. Fred Jackson is a safer play.

INJURY QUICK SLANTS: WIDE RECEIVER AND TIGHT END
Aaron Dobson (foot) hasn’t practiced this week. It looks like Kenbrell Thompkins will be manning the X spot Sunday. … Jordan Reed (concussion) practiced again and should be fine for Sunday night. … Michael Crabtree (Achilles) is practicing in full. He’s going to play Sunday, but no one knows how many snaps he’ll see.

DEPTH CHART QUICK SLANTS
The Bengals continue to say they aren’t sold on any of their No. 2 wideouts. It’s a value-crushing rotation between Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Andrew Hawkins. … The Jags are talking up a continued timeshare between Maurice Jones-Drew and Jordan Todman. It turns this week from a tough spot for MJD into a really bad one. The Browns’ front seven is no joke. … Marcus Thigpen is expected to be ahead of Mike Gillislee as Lamar Miller’s new backup. … Darrelle Revis (groin) is a game-time call. Steve Smith owners need to track this.



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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