From everyone here at The Dose, a very happy Thanksgiving to you, your family and your fantasy football teams. Enjoy the games and have a great day.
It's around this time every year I start making "never again" and "dead to me" declarations. As in, I'll never take x again and y is dead to me. Sometimes it's warranted and sometimes it's not. For instance, Vernon Davis was on my "never again" list after he burned me for two straight years. Oops. On the flip side, I wrote off LaDainian Tomlinson somewhere in the middle of last season. That's worked out.
A good place to look for these guys is in the busts of the year. This isn't a list of guys that got hurt (Anthony Gonzalez) or that we had some idea were going to be busts (Tomlinson). This is a list of guys that seemed to be primed for big years and flat out busted.
1. Matt Forte: Jay Cutler was supposed to spread things out, the offensive line was vastly improved, he had no competition for carries, the Bears would score more. Um, no. That said, Forte is still third among running backs in receptions and is on pace for almost 1,500 total yards. He's far from dead to me.
2. Steve Slaton: We've talked enough about the fumbles. No one could have predicted it and as long as Slaton makes it through the rest of this year without more issues, I'd welcome him back in the future.
3. Eddie Royal: The dangers of banking on a guy in a new system. He's dead to a lot of people out there and deservedly so. If he bounces back next year, it won't be on my team.
4. Pierre Thomas: We thought he was the feature back, but Sean Payton and Mike Bell had other ideas. Let's wait and see on this one. If he establishes the No. 1 role, he's still a beast.
5. Jason Witten: The No. 16 tight end in fantasy is not being used as the weapon that he is. That's scary enough for me to stay away.
Packers at Lions
- Matthew Stafford (shoulder) will not play. Daunte Culpepper gets the start.
- Calvin Johnson (knee, hand) is officially a game-time decision. He didn't practice at all this week and ESPN's Adam Schefter is guessing that Megatron won't suit up. Leave him on your bench for now.
- Ryan Grant (neck) practiced in full Wednesday and is good to go in a great matchup.
Raiders at Cowboys
- Tony Romo (back) will start and isn't expected to be limited at all.
- Jason Witten (foot) is a game-time decision. At this point, you should probably find a better option as Witten is a low upside guy even if he plays.
- Richard Seymour (back) will start but isn't 100 percent.
Giants at Broncos
- Ahmad Bradshaw (ankles) will not play. It's unclear how long he'll be out. Danny Ware steps in as the third-down back.
- Kyle Orton (ankle) will start at less than 100 percent.
- Brian Dawkins (neck) will start, hurting Kevin Boss' chances of production.
News of the Day No. 1
In the second half of the Ravens' brutal loss to the Colts last week, they lined up for a first-and-goal from the one-yard line. On first down, Joe Flacco attempted a sneak. On second down, Willis McGahee tried to go up the gut and was stuffed. On third down, the Ravens called McGahee's number again and he went backwards.
Maybe we were being a little optimistic, but the thought did run through our head that this could create an opportunity for Ray Rice get some goal-line work. It's still possible, but coach John Harbaugh's thoughts on the play are not promising. Harbaugh put the blame for the failure squarely on the blocking. "There was nowhere for Willis to go," said Harbaugh.
News of the Day No. 2
Michael Turner (ankle) made a surprising return to Falcons practice Wednesday, even though he was limited. We still think there's a good chance he'll rest another week, especially considering the Falcons are playing the Bucs. But Turner now has a chance of suiting up.
Meanwhile, Jerious Norwood (hip) finally returned to a full practice. Even if Turner sits, he'll play behind Jason Snelling. Wait until Sunday morning to sort this backfield out.
News of the Day No. 3
Cedric Benson (hip) did not practice Wednesday, but that doesn't mean he won't play Sunday. We're still considering him a full question mark. But even if Benson does play, coach Marvin Lewis said that Bernard Scott has earned a role.
Lewis would be wise to monitor Benson's carries. Before going down in Week 10, he was averaging 24.75 carries/game. He was bound to break down. Scott is a real talent and should be used for about 6-8 carries/game.
Injury Quick Slants: Running Backs
Reggie Bush (knee) returned to practice Wednesday. It looks like the Saints just held him out last week as a precaution in a game they knew they could win anyway…Marshawn Lynch (shoulder) practiced in full and will be fine to split carries with Fred Jackson Sunday…
Steven Jackson missed practice with a surprise back injury, but he should be fine.…Julius Jones (ribs, lung) was held out of practice but coach Jim Mora said again he expects Jones to play this week. Let's see if he puts in a full workout Friday…Sammy Morris says he'll be a game-time decision this week once again.
Injury Quick Slants: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
Anthony Gonzalez (knee) still hasn't resumed practicing and he doesn't seem close…Lance Moore (ankle) returned to Saints practice Wednesday but is still a question mark for Monday night…Anthony Fasano (hip) resumed practicing in full after missing the last two games.
Injury Quick Slants: Quaterbacks
Kurt Warner (concussion) said again Wednesday that he expects to play this week…Ben Roethlisberger (concussion-like symptoms) practiced fully and will start Sunday.
Depth Chart Quick Slants
Raiders coach Tom Cable refused to name a starting running back for this week. Avoid all three backs, including Darren McFadden…Neil Rackers tweaked his groin in Wednesday's practice and the Cardinals have already contacted Mike Nugent and Matt Bryant.
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