Nick Mensio

Football Daily Dose

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Dose: Cameron Concussed

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Jordan Cameron missed six offensive snaps in last Sunday’s loss to the Bears. He had missed six offensive snaps in the previous eight games combined. We here at Rotoworld didn’t notice Cameron take any monster hits or appear injured in Week 15. But on Monday, he reported concussion symptoms to the team and was diagnosed with one. Cameron then sat out practice altogether on Wednesday. He’s going to be in a race against time to progress all the way through the league’s protocol. This isn’t the first time Cameron has dealt with a concussion. He missed the final two games of 2012 with one.

If we throw Cameron’s 9-121-1 receiving line against the Patriots in Week 14 out the window, he’s averaged a 3.4-26.2-0 line the past six weeks. The struggle has been real for him. Over the first eight games of the season, Cameron averaged a robust 6.1-74.5-0.75 stat line per week. All the quarterback switch-ups have certainly affected his game. Josh Gordon has also been straight-up balling and dominating targets since Week 8.

Fantasy owners that had Cameron penciled into Week 16 lineups need to have other plans in place just in case Cameron can’t play. Delanie Walker will be on the TE1 map this week against the Jaguars. If Dennis Pitta is available on the waiver wire, he’d be a worthwhile grab against the Patriots. Charles Clay and Zach Miller would be a couple others. Cameron has the Jets on his schedule for fantasy Super Bowl week. They’ve allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Cameron is a mid-range TE1 play if he suits up. I personally own all three of Cameron, Pitta, and Clay in one league where I’m playing for the title this week. Pitta is currently penciled in as my starter. I’m not even sure that I’d put Cameron in even if he does end up playing. The New England linebackers can’t cover at all. The Patriots have surrendered three more catches, one fewer touchdown, and 36 fewer receiving yards to tight ends through 14 games than the Jets have. That’s about as close as it gets.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $300,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 16. It's $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the FanDuel link.

News Nugget #2

The Texans are about to wrap up one of the worst seasons in their 12-year franchise history. If they lose their final two games against the Broncos and at the Titans, the 2013 version of the Texans will tie the 2005 version (2-14) for the worst single-season record since the Texans became a thing in 2002. On Wednesday, the Texans announced new – and in one case old – starters at quarterback and running back for Sunday’s Week 16 home game versus Denver.

Ben Tate, who leads the team in rushing, was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a rib injury. He’s been battling through four broken ribs for about two months now. Last Sunday, Tate suffered a setback and underwent tests Monday. Coach Wade Phillips said Tate broke a fifth rib. Tate is denying that, and says he re-injured one that had yet to heal. Either way, his season is finished. Dennis Johnson will get the start at running back this week. Deji Karim and Jonathan Grimes will back him up. Johnson should handle the vast majority of the work and needs to be owned across the board in fantasy. He can play in the passing game. Johnson is on the small side, but he can scoot.

Tate is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March. He missed his entire rookie season in 2010 and has missed another eight games the past three years due to various injuries. In total, Tate has played in just 40-of-64 possible regular season games since the Texans made him the 58th pick in the draft four Aprils ago. Most believe Tate will want more money than the Texans will be willing to offer him. It’ll be interesting to see if he actually gets what he’s looking for, considering Tate’s injury history. The league has also somewhat devalued the running back position. They’ve become too easy to find on the cheap. Earlier in the season, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport mentioned the Browns as a possible landing spot for Tate in 2014. Rapoport reiterated that again Wednesday. We’ll see what happens in March.

Now to the Texans’ quarterback situation. Case Keenum sprained his right (throwing) thumb last week against the Colts. Interim coach Wade Phillips ruled Keenum out for Week 16 and announced Matt Schaub will make his seventh start of the season. Keenum went 0-8 as a starter, while Schaub holds a 2-4 mark in his six starts. Neither quarterback has played well. Keenum has been especially terrible. Schaub will likely get to dial up a ton of passes in garbage time on Sunday, but he won’t be a fantasy option. His insertion into the lineup doesn’t change the outlook on the rest of the Texans’ skill players.

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News Nugget #3

Zac Stacy injured his hip at the tail end of the Rams’ first possession last week against the Saints. He needed to be carted to the locker room after being assisted off the field. It looked bad, but Stacy quickly returned for the Rams’ third drive. He ended up going for 133 yards and a touchdown on the ground. All is well. Stacy didn’t even appear on St. Louis’ injury report Wednesday. Fire him up as an RB1 for fantasy Super Bowl week against the Bucs at home.

Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) has yet to be cleared by the Packers’ medical staff. He participated in individual drills at Wednesday’s practice, just as he did last week. Coach Mike McCarthy said Rodgers will go through the same process he went through last week, and the team will then make a decision on his Week 16 status. Right now, signs point to Matt Flynn getting another start. But it might be time to push the envelope a bit with Rodgers. We should know by Friday who will start against the Steelers.

Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday. Beat writer John Oehser says MJD will try to practice on Friday. That’s no lock to happen. After Jordan Todman racked up 153 yards on 29 touches last week against the Bills, the Jaguars could take it slow with Jones-Drew and give Todman another start. Todman needs to be owned in all formats and would be on the RB2 map against the Titans if he gets the start on Sunday.

E.J. Manuel sprained his left knee against the Jaguars in Week 15. He practiced on Wednesday, but the knee swelled up. Coach Doug Marrone announced after practice that Thad Lewis will get the start this week against the Dolphins. Jeff Tuel will back him up. Give the Miami defense a boost in the Week 16 rankings. Manuel is fully expected to return for the season finale against New England.

Wes Welker (concussion) still hasn’t been cleared to practice. He’s recovering from two concussions in a four-week span. Welker’s status will be updated again on Thursday, but owners need to have other plans in place for Week 16. It wouldn’t be a shock if the Broncos simply held Welker out until the playoffs just to make sure he’s 100 percent for a title run.

Quarterback/Running Back Slants

Joe Flacco ended up having an MRI on his left knee. It revealed a mild MCL sprain. Flacco will start against the Patriots but will sport a brace. … The Raiders coaches have reportedly soured on Terrelle Pryor. … Carson Palmer (ankle) did not practice. He’ll be fine for Sunday at Seattle. … Raiders beat writer Steve Corkran believes sixth-round rookie RB Latavius Murray could be the starter in 2014. Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings are impending free agents. Murray “redshirted” on injured reserve this season. McFadden (ankle) returned to practice Wednesday. … Ray Rice missed practice Wednesday with a thigh issue. … Reggie Bush isn’t on the Week 16 injury report. … Andre Ellington (thigh) was limited Wednesday. … Daniel Thomas (ankle) missed practice. … Adrian Peterson (foot) and Toby Gerhart (hamstring) returned to practice. Both should play. Drop Matt Asiata. … Willis McGahee (concussion, knee) was limited Wednesday. … Ryan Mathews (foot) was limited. He’ll be fine. Mathews has been one of the bigger surprises this season. He’s an RB2. … Chris Johnson (knee) did not practice but should be okay. … Eddie Lacy (ankle) didn’t practice but will be fine for Week 16. … Jonathan Stewart (knee) is expected to be out until at least Week 17. … Donald Brown (stinger) practiced in full Wednesday.

Wide Receiver/Tight End Slants

Victor Cruz (concussion, knee) did not practice Wednesday, as expected. He may be done for the year. Rueben Randle will play every down in Week 16. … Andre Johnson (wrist) did not practice. Beat writers expressed zero concern. … Calvin Johnson (knee) did not practice, as usual. … Tavon Austin (ankle) did not practice but is out of his walking boot. … Percy Harvin (hip) did not practice. … Larry Fitzgerald (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, as expected. … Vincent Jackson (hamstring) was limited Wednesday. … Brandon Marshall (quad) took the day off. … LaVon Brazill (foot) is practicing in full. … Stevie Johnson (personal) is not expected to play this week. … Brandon Pettigrew (ankle) was spotted on crutches Wednesday. … Randall Cobb (leg, short-term I.R.) practiced for the first time since breaking his leg October 13. … Zach Miller (ribs) did not practice Wednesday. He should be fine for his juicy date with the Cardinals. … It doesn’t sound like Owen Daniels (leg, short-term I.R.) will play this week. Garrett Graham (hamstring) remained sidelined for the Texans. … Greg Olsen (foot) did not practice Wednesday. He’ll be fine for Week 16. … Jordan Reed (concussion) missed practice. … Jermaine Gresham (abdomen) practiced Wednesday. … John Carlson (concussion) has been cleared to play.

Nick Mensio is a football writer for The 2014 NFL season marks his third with Rotoworld. He can be found on Twitter at @NickMensio.
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