NFL Football Column: Football Daily Dose
A Final Farewell
A fractured bone typically takes 4-6 weeks to heal. It doesn’t matter if you’re Adrian Peterson, Barack Obama or Rob Gronkowski.
Gronkowski fractured his right forearm on Nov. 18. That means Sunday will mark exactly six weeks since his injury. So will he play? After all, the Patriots still have a chance to secure a first-round bye in the playoffs. They need the Colts to knock off the Texans and then they’ll need to beat the Dolphins.
"When the doctors clear me, when the training staff clears me, when I'm medically ready to play and they let me play, I'm sure that's when I'll be out there," Gronkowski said. "Basically, the doctors know what they're talking about. They'll know when it's safe and sound and ready to go,"
It’s a typically Patriot non-answer answer. And it leaves owners playing into Week 17 in a bind that has become very typical for the tight end spot this season. A position that was so deep in 2011 shrunk to kiddie-pool size depths in 2012, reminding us about the idea of position scarcity…
My 2013 Top-12
OK, it’s silly to take this too seriously. Between now and 2013 fantasy drafts, there will be free agency, the draft, offseason injuries and literally thousands of Rotoworld blurbs to track. But with the overriding drafting theory of position scarcity in mind, here is my top-12 in half-PPR for next year if we were drafting today:
1. Adrian Peterson – LeBron James and Peterson are the two most unique athletes of this generation.
2. Arian Foster – Rapidly accumulating workload and declining YPC numbers are concerning, but the scheme/personnel fit is too perfect. Plus, we have a clear handcuff in Ben Tate. That means something on draft day.
3. Calvin Johnson – The definition of unstoppable. No one opposite him, defenses in punt gunner formation…and it doesn’t matter.
4. Ray Rice – The move away from Cam Cameron isn’t as big a help as people think, but it certainly can’t hurt. Another clear handcuff in intriguing Bernard Pierce.
5. Doug Martin – How many NFL runners play on three downs, have explosive big-play ability and get the goal-line work?
6. C.J. Spiller – Yes, Fred Jackson is under contract through 2014. Chan Gailey could be a goner, though.
7. Marshawn Lynch – Do you realize that Lynch is still 26 years old? Crazy, right?
8. Jamaal Charles – One would think that the Chiefs would find a way to upgrade the quarterback position, therefore getting the Charles more leads to pound out. The offensive line is still there.
9. Rob Gronkowski – Somehow, there were only five tight ends I would have felt good about starting each week this season: Gronk, Aaron Hernandez, Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten. That’s it. Next year, Gonzalez might be retired and Witten will be 31.
10. Aaron Hernandez – Essentially a wideout with tight end eligibility. See above note about scarcity.
11. LeSean McCoy – During Weeks 12 and 13, some suggested that Bryce Brown is better than McCoy. That has proven to be nothing short of absolute cooky-talk. Flip on the game tape of McCoy’s Week 16 game against the Redskins and you’ll find a truly special talent in all phases. And with Andy Reid gone, the Eagles can only get better in the red zone.
12. Jimmy Graham – A lost year for the Saints has correlated to a lost year for Graham. He’s battled wrist and finger issues, dropped a ton of passes and lost red-zone looks to David Thomas. Everything will get back to normal next year.
* Yes, I know there are no quarterbacks in my 2013 top-12 for drafting. Obviously, QBs score the most raw points in fantasy. But in a 12-team league, here are quarterbacks I’m fine with as my starter: Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford, Colin Kaepernick, Tony Romo, Andrew Luck and Michael Vick (in Buffalo?). Yes, that’s 12. Which means I’d be happy to be the 10th, 11th or 12th guy to take a QB on draft day. Don’t worry, we’ll talk plenty more about this as we get set for 2013.
DOSE IS DONE: SEE YOU NEXT YEAR
Well, this is the final Dose of the year. From myself, Pat Daugherty and Matt Stroup (the Dose team), we sincerely thank you for reading. Rotoworld got more than a billion page views this year, which is as mind-boggling to us as it is to you.
Fantasy football is a partial information game. We know X player will start, but we don’t know how many touches he’ll get, how he’ll fare on those touches or if he’ll break his leg in the first quarter. Some owners know 10 percent of the information available. If we are aware of 50 percent, we’re at an advantage.
With our blurbs, Doses, Matchups, Rankings, columns, season pass, tweets and everything else, our goal is to let you make the most informed decisions as humanly possible. If you do that, you have won. The outcomes can be hard to swallow at times, but ridding our souls of the results-oriented chains can be truly liberating. And that goes for both fantasy football and life in general. I could talk about this topic all day, but I’ll spare everyone…until next year!
WEEK 17 INJURY QUICK SLANTS: RUNNING BACKS AND TIGHT ENDS
Vernon Davis (concussion) got a limited practice in, putting him on track to play Sunday. … Ahmad Bradshaw (knee) remains on track to carry a full workload against the Eagles. … Matt Forte (ankle) got back in a limited practice. … Jonathan Stewart (ankle) sustained a setback. It’s the DeAngelo Williams show again Sunday. … Owen Daniels is nursing a sore hamstring. The Texans need to win Sunday, but not at the cost of a long-term injury for their No. 2 receiving option. … Chris Johnson (ankle) is still expected to play Sunday despite not practicing Thursday. … Trent Richardson (ankle) is unlikely to be active against the Steelers. Montario Hardesty will answer the bell.
WEEK 17 INJURY QUICK SLANTS: WIDE RECEIVERS AND QUARTERBACKS
Jordy Nelson (hamstring) is practicing in full this week. Meanwhile, Randall Cobb (ankle) appears to be on the wrong side of a game-time call. … Kendall Wright (ribs) is fully expected to return after one week off. … Roddy White (knee) didn’t practice Thursday and the Falcons have nothing to play for Sunday. I wouldn’t be surprised if he sits the whole game. … Mike Wallace is nursing a hip issue, is headed for unrestricted free agency and the Steelers can’t make the playoffs. You do the math. … Hakeem Nicks (knee) is battling, but he’s going to be a weak play even if he suits up Sunday.
JETS THREE-RING CIRCUS NOTE OF THE DAY
Try to follow me here: Mark Sanchez was benched after Week 15. But instead of going to backup quarterback Tim Tebow, the Jets started Greg McElroy in Week 16. Now McElroy has a concussion and won’t play in Week 17. Tebow time? Nope. Back to Sanchez.
It’s pretty easy to see what’s going on here. A) Sanchez will be on the Jets in 2013 thanks to his absurd $8.25 million in guarantees next season. Tebow will be in Jacksonville. B) If Tebow starts Week 17, plays well and leads the Jets to a win, the entire hierarchy from Rex Ryan to Mike Tannenbaum will look like fools.
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