Sunday, December 16, 2012
Fantasy Watch: Receiver injuries in focus
By Mike Sando
Receiver injuries are affecting the NFC West on the field and on fantasy football rosters.
Let's run through what we know for Week 15:
- Arizona Cardinals: A concussion will prevent Early Doucet from playing for Arizona against the Detroit Lions. Doucet was once the Cardinals' go-to receiver on third down. The last time Doucet missed a game, in Week 12, rookie Michael Floyd played 67.5 percent of the offensive snaps, a season high at the time. Floyd played 94.4 percent the following week, when starter Andre Roberts was out. Tight end Rob Housler is questionable for the game against Detroit. That could mean additional playing time and targets for wide receivers. The problem, of course, has been getting the ball to those receivers.
- St. Louis Rams: Danny Amendola was listed as probable on the injury report, a strong indication he'll return from a foot injury. Amendola once played in a game this season when listed as doubtful. The Rams average 7.0 yards per pass attempt on third down with Amendola on the field. The figure is 6.1 yards per attempt on third down without him. If Amendola plays, there could be fewer short and intermediate opportunities for rookie Chris Givens, who has emerged as more than just a deep threat in recent weeks. Austin Pettis would probably see his playing time reduced with Amendola available. Brandon Gibson's playing time has held steady for the most part. He's coming off a strong game against Buffalo.
- Seattle Seahawks: Coach Pete Carroll declared receiver Sidney Rice ready to play despite a foot injury. Rice practiced without limitation Friday. He's been much more durable this season than in the recent past. Third receiver Doug Baldwin played a season-high 71.4 percent of the snaps against Arizona last week. Rice and Golden Tate played less than in the recent past, but the lopsided nature of the game (58-0 final score) surely had something to do with that. Rice, Tate and Baldwin are clearly the top three receivers. Jermaine Kearse and the newly re-signed Deon Butler are the only other receivers on the 53-man roster. Ben Obomanu (injured reserve), Braylon Edwards (released) and Charly Martin (injured reserve) are out of the picture.
- San Francisco 49ers: Mario Manningham has a shoulder injury and will not play against New England. That probably means additional snaps for second tight end Delanie Walker. Walker has set season highs for playing time in the two games Manningham missed previously. He was at 68.3 percent or higher in both. Walker has played 54.5 percent for the season. Randy Moss' snaps also figure to continue their recent rise. He played a season-high 50 percent against Miami last week. Rookie A.J. Jenkins played 13.8 percent, the first time he has played in a game this season. His playing time came at Ted Ginn Jr.'s expense. Ginn was at 8.6 percent against the Dolphins after playing a season-high 19.5 percent the previous week, San Francisco's first without Kyle Williams, who is on injured reserve.