With Aaron Gleeman being dispatched to Vegas to cover the MLB winter meetings last week, I've been sharing Rotoworld's Football Daily Dose duties with Mark St. Amant. I'll be up on Rotoworld's front page on Tuesday & Thursday mornings the rest of the season while St. Amant handles Wednesdays & Fridays. Here's Thursday's dose:
Here it comes! Football's most excruciating hour of fantasy surprises, the fabulous sixty minutes of Game-Time Guesses.
Clinton Portis! Come on down.
Joseph Addai! Come on down.
Brandon Jacobs! Come on down.
Marion Barber! Come on down.
And Frank Gore! Come on down.
Here are the first five contestants on Game-Time Guesses.
Rod Roddy White, open that door and show the contestants what is at stake.
The first item at stake is a get-well matchup against a team with one winning season over the past 20 years, the Cincinnati Bungles and their 23rd ranked run defense. Clinton Portis, what is your status?
"Well, Bob, I stopped practicing weeks ago due to ongoing knee, rib, and neck injuries. Right now I feel like I just went 15 rounds with Joe Pesci's baseball bat, but my genius coach wants me to put in a full practice before he re-commits to me as the every-down back. After our Wednesday morning tete-a-tete, I followed through by taking part in all phases of practice. Shoot, Dolemite Jenkins is not even listed on the Week 15 injury report. Better yet, Southeast Jerome is going to treat the Bengals defense like he's been wearing black and gold for the past 20 years."
I'm sorry, Clinton, your footing is much too solid for Game-Time Guesses. You're dismissed. The next item at stake is a fantasy owner's dream matchup at home against a team with one winning season this decade. The Lions and their league-worst rushing defense have allowed more big plays than a bottom-feeding Arena League team. Joseph Addai, what is your status?
"Well, Bob, my often furtive coach likes to play coy with the media about my injuries, but it's not looking good right now. I missed all of Wednesday's practice, and the team was forced to go closet-diving for Dookie Davenport this week. I mean, it's the Lions, Bob. We can afford to play it safe and still come away 10-4 with the No. 1 Wild Card spot just about sewn up. I know my fantasy owners already have Domenic Rhodes out of the handcuffs and ready to go as a RB1 this Sunday."
I'm sorry, Joseph, it's looking like we'll have a good idea on your status well before game time. Either way, your owners are footloose and fancy-free with Rhodes on board. You're dismissed. The next item at stake is a marquee divisional showdown pitting the desperate Cowboys against the Super Bowl favorite Giants. Brandon Jacobs, what is your status?
"Well, Bob, I'm having trouble shaking this recurring knee injury. As much as I want to play against the Cowgirls, I realize that getting back to 100 percent for the playoffs is the first priority. Honestly, don't even ask me. Coughlin's going to make this decision on his own. In other words, make other plans for your starting lineup. I know my fantasy owners have had the luxury of Derrick Ward all season, so it's time to lean on him for a solid RB2 performance."
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Sounds like we'll know your status before game-time, Brandon. What about you, Marion Barber?
"Well, Bob, desperate times call for desperate measures. We're in a dogfight for that final Wild Card spot, and, as Jerry Jones knows, you're going to have to shoot me to get me off the field. I didn't practice Wednesday, and I'm probably going to play it safe again on Thursday, but I'm gearing up for Friday's practice. Look, man, they don't call me the Barbarian for nothing. My calf is feeling better, so you know I'm going to do everything I can to be in uniform Sunday night. At the very least, my fantasy owners have Tashard Choice safely tucked away in case of emergency."
Now we're getting somewhere. What I'm hearing sounds awfully close to game-time guessing, but we'll have a better idea come Friday afternoon. Our final item at stake is a homecoming game in Miami for one of the best backs in the league. What is your status, Frank Gore?
"Well, Bob, I have this inside sprain on my left ankle, which isn't quite as serious as a high ankle sprain. I'm dying to play in front of family and friends, but coach Singletary is already calling me a game-day decision. DeShaun Foster is taking all of the practice reps, and Martz has his boy Thomas Clayton on speed dial in case I can't go. Heck, even I know Foster stinks. I'm not sure what my fantasy owners are going to do about Sunday's game."
Did I hear "game-day decision"? DeSean Foster leading a committee attack? Congratulations, Frank Gore! You're the winner of Week 15's edition of Game-time Guesses. We'll be stumped right up until game time, and alternate options are in short supply.