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Week 5 Faceoffs: Moss deal fallout

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Editor's note: Each week Senior Fantasy Writers Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg will debate the value of a handful of key Fantasy players heading into a certain week that they genuinely disagree on. They not only state their case below, but they also provide owners with some alternatives. Read their takes, then make the call.

Biggest loser in the Randy Moss deal?
Dave Richard Jamey Eisenberg
Dave Richard Aaron Hernandez has been living the rookie dream, going from fourth-round pick to starting offensive contributor on a playoff contender. But with Randy Moss gone from New England, defenses will turn their attention to other possible middle- to deep-threat targets on the Pats, and that includes Hernandez. Look, if the Patriots are using Hernandez as a receiver, defenses will cover him like one, and perhaps some of those double-teams that went Moss' way will now go Hernandez's way. It's crazy to think like that since he's a rookie, but he's a unique case. His stats (18 rec., 240 yards) and his targets (20) suggest that he's about as good as he'll get now that Moss is gone. With the Patriots spreading the ball around to all their receivers and backs, Hernandez will be about as good as he has been for the rest of the year. His value won't go up as you might expect. Jamey Eisenberg Tom Brady played two full seasons with Randy Moss in 2007 and 2009 (he missed 2008 with a knee injury). It was the two best years of his career from a statistical standpoint. In two years with Moss, Brady averaged 39 touchdown passes and threw for more than 4,000 yards each year. In six years without Moss, Brady never had more than 28 touchdowns with only one 4,000-yard season. He remains a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback, but he's no longer an elite Fantasy option. He loses value in this deal, and so does Wes Welker, who will now see extra coverage from opposing defenses. The only Patriots who benefit from this move are Aaron Hernandez and Brandon Tate. Hernandez will continue to get single coverage, and he should thrive as a wide receiver playing tight end. Tate now steps into the starting role vacated by Moss, and he has the chance to be a quality No. 3 Fantasy option. You're not going to bench Brady most weeks, but he's no longer a Top 5 Fantasy quarterback.
Biggest winner in the Randy Moss deal?
Dave Richard Jamey Eisenberg
Dave Richard I don't deny that Percy Harvin benefits from Moss' arrival, but I think the Patriots can't make this move without being comfortable with their run game. True, defensive coverage will change for BenJarvus Green-Ellis since the safeties and outside linebackers won't be as concerned about getting beat through the air, but the opportunities that Moss had will be spread out amongst all Pats, and the run game is no exception. Green-Ellis is the lead dog in the Pats' rushing force now and will benefit. The mere fact that the Patriots traded Moss is evidence that they're done trying to be a dynamic passing offense. Now they'll look for a little more balance, and Green-Ellis is the healthy back who has scored in each of his last two games and has earned the trust of the coaching staff. That trust will only grow, and so will his touches. Jamey Eisenberg Percy Harvin was a star last year when he wasn't the No. 1 wide receiver and Sidney Rice was commanding attention. It's the same scenario now with Moss playing the role of Rice - - only Moss is better. Harvin, as Wes Welker did, can roam the middle of the field as the slot receiver, and he should again post outstanding stats. Last year, Harvin dominated as a rookie with 60 catches for 790 yards and six touchdowns. Moss coming to Minnesota makes Brett Favre, Visanthe Shiancoe and Harvin better in the passing game, and Adrian Peterson won't see as many defenders near the line of scrimmage. In New England, the running game for the Patriots gets worse with Moss gone because that consistent deep threat is no longer there. I still like Green-Ellis as a flex option, but don't forget that Fred Taylor (toe) could return as early as Week 6. There's no way that Green-Ellis benefits from this move. Instead, he will suffer.
Better Buffalo back in Week 5: C.J. Spiller or Fred Jackson?
Dave Richard Jamey Eisenberg
Dave Richard The Bills didn't draft Spiller with their top pick in April for his special-teams play, nor did they pick him to get a few touches per week. They might have been coddling him for a little bit, but by trading away Marshawn Lynch they're in a position to take the training wheels off of Spiller even if Jackson starts. What better time to do it than against a bad defense at home? Jacksonville has allowed six rushing touchdowns this season and struggled with smaller backs, a perfect fit for Buffalo to roll its rookie out for a bigger workload. It's risky, but if you've been waiting patiently with Spiller, using him as a flex or even a No. 2 rusher in deeper leagues could pay off better than if you use Jackson, whose versatility will be lost because Spiller has better receiving skills and speed. Jamey Eisenberg The Bills named Jackson the starter for Week 5 against Jacksonville with Marshawn Lynch now in Seattle, and he will be the better Fantasy running back this week. Spiller should also play well, but he's better suited as a flex option. I would consider Jackson as a No. 2 Fantasy running back based on the amount of carries he will get as well as the matchup. The Jaguars have allowed five touchdowns to opposing running backs and a rushing touchdown in each game when you factor in Michael Vick scoring in Week 3. Jackson has the chance for his best game this year, and he should start to play well now that Lynch is gone. If you have to choose between Jackson and Spiller, Jackson is your best bet.
Start Joe Flacco vs. Denver?
Dave Richard Jamey Eisenberg
Dave Richard So far the only time we saw Flacco put up big numbers with Anquan Boldin was against the Browns, who Boldin shredded for three scores. The Broncos are a different animal -- they have done a great job this year limiting the opponents' star receiver, including Reggie Wayne in Week 3. That's Champ Bailey doing his thing, and he'll be lined up across from Boldin for much of Sunday. Denver has also done a great job against opposing tight ends and rushers out of the backfield. That means Derrick Mason and T.J. Houshmandzadeh will have to pick up the slack -- a lot to ask. If you're looking for stats, Fantasy no-name guys like Shaun Hill and Sam Bradford should outperform Flacco. He faced these same Broncos at home last year and had 175 yards and one touchdown -- a fair expectation for Week 5.
I'd rather start: Shaun Hill (vs. STL), Sam Bradford (at DET), Mark Sanchez (vs. MIN)
Jamey Eisenberg Flacco has turned the corner after the debacle at Cincinnati in Week 2, and he's ready to be the No. 1 Fantasy quarterback many expected. He dominated the Browns in Week 3, and he showed a lot of poise in the comeback effort at Pittsburgh. This week he faces the Broncos at home, and he will keep on rolling. Denver is still dealing with injuries in the secondary with starting cornerback Andre Goodman (quad), and the Broncos have allowed nine touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks with three interceptions (all from Matt Hasselbeck). Flacco is also tremendous at home with nine touchdowns and one interception in his past five games with at least 230 passing yards in each contest. This is also Denver's second game in a row heading east for a 1 p.m. start, and that's never a good situation. Flacco should be considered a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback in this matchup.
I'd start him over: Sam Bradford (at DET), Mark Sanchez (vs. MIN), Matt Schaub (vs. NYG)
Start Malcom Floyd at Oakland?
Dave Richard Jamey Eisenberg
Dave Richard Forget about Floyd's history against the Raiders -- he was in a different role with them in the past and didn't have the same kinds of opportunities he has now. And forget about last week -- Floyd didn't do much because the Chargers didn't need him, instead relying on Antonio Gates. But Gates' history against the Raiders isn't pretty (one touchdown in his last five meetings with no 100-yard games) because they try to take him out of the Bolts' game plan, sometimes with a cornerback you might have heard of, Nnamdi Asomugha. So when Rivers looks to throw, Floyd has as good a chance as any receiver to make a play. I like the way Rivers is moving the ball, and with him throwing at least two touchdowns in every game this season and Gates struggling against the Raiders, Floyd could make some plays.
I'd start him over: Santana Moss (vs. GB), Johnny Knox (at CAR), Derrick Mason (vs. DEN)
Jamey Eisenberg Floyd has been great this year and has done well replacing Vincent Jackson, but he should only be considered a No. 3 Fantasy wide receiver this week. He will likely see a lot of Nnamdi Asomugha, and that means little production. The Raiders have allowed five touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, but only Nate Washington has topped 50 yards in a game this season. Floyd, in a secondary role, has struggled with Oakland with only six catches for 125 yards and no touchdowns in his past five meetings. He's going to see more targets, but he will also get increased attention. That could lead to a bad outing based on the matchup.
I'd rather start: Donald Driver (at WAS), Chad Ochocinco (vs. TB), Percy Harvin (at NYJ)

Do you agree with Dave or Jamey? Cast your vote and send your thoughts or questions to DMFantasyFootball@cbs.com. Be sure to put Attn: Fantasy Faceoff in the subject field. Include your full name, hometown and state.

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Player News
Report: Josh McCown to miss 'several weeks' with thumb injury
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/19/2014) Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown is undergoing a second test on his injured thumb, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports reports Friday. McCown left Thursday's game in Atlanta in the second quarter after hitting his hand on a helmet during a throw. According to the report, he is expected to miss "several weeks" with the injury.

If that is the case, the Buccaneers will turn to Mike Glennon moving forward. Tampa Bay will have 10 days before their Week 4 matchup at Pittsburgh.

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Lynch is dealing with a back issue. After sitting out Wednesday, Lynch returned to full practice Thursday and Friday. 


Carson Palmer among notable players listed questionable for Week 3
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(9/19/2014) The Cardinals have nine players listed on the injury report for Week 3. Punter David Zastudil (groin) and linebacker Alex Okafor (thigh) were the only players officially ruled out for Sunday's game against the 49ers.

Deemed questionable were tight end Rob Housler (hip), defensive tackle Frostee Rucker (calf) and quarterback Carson Palmer (shoulder).

Linebacker Kevin Minter (quad), center Lyle Sendlein (ankle), running back Andre Ellington (foot) and linebacker Larry Foote (shoulder) were each ruled probable for Sunday.

Seahawks list nine on final injury report
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(9/19/2014) The Seahawks have listed nine players on the final injury report heading into Week 3.

Only Tharold Simon has been ruled out for the game. Bruce Irvin didn't practice throughout the week, but is questionable for the game. 

Kam Chancellor, Cooper Helfet, Marshawn Lynch, Christine Michael, Zach Miller, Mike Morgan and Kevin Pierre-Louis are all probable. 


Cordarrelle Patterson, Kyle Rudolph expected to go
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/19/2014) The Vikings should have their offensive playmakers for Week 3.

Both Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Rudolph are probable entering the game. Rudolph was limited in practice Friday, but Pattterson was able to practice in full. 


Vikings release final injury report
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/19/2014) The Vikings have released their final injury report before Week 3.

Chad Greenway, Rodney Smith and Brandon Watts will all enter the game listed as questionable.

The Sharrif Floyd, Phil Loadholt, Michael Mauti and Xavier Rhodes are all probable heading into the contest.

Both Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Rudolph are considered probable for Week 3. 


49ers list lengthy injury report for Week 3
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/19/2014) The 49ers have nine players listed on the injury report for Week 3. Center Marcus Martin, who's nursing an knee injury, was the only player ruled out for Sunday's game against the Cardinals.

Deemed questionable are cornerback Tramaine Brock (toe), tackle Anthony Davis (hamstring), tight end Vernon Davis (ankle) and tight end Vance McDonald (knee).

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick (back), running back Carlos Hyde (calf), defensive end Justin Smith (not injury related) and tackle Joe Staley (knee) were ruled probable for Sunday.

The Raiders list nine players on final injury report
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/19/2014) The Raiders have nine players listed on the injury report for Week 3. Linebacker Sio Moore, who's nursing an ankle injury, was the only player ruled out for Sunday's game against the Patriots.

Deemed questionable are cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (knee). running back Maurice Jones-Drew (hand), tackle Matt McCants (knee), linebacker Nick Roach (concussion), cornerback Carlos Rogers (knee), defensive lineman Antonio Smith (back) and wide receiver Rod Streater (hip).

Justin Tuck, who is dealing with an illness, was the only player ruled probable for Sunday.


Dolphins issue lengthy injury list for Week 3
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(9/19/2014) The Dolphins have officially ruled out running back Knowshon Moreno (elbow) for their Sunday game against Kansas City. Also out are linebacker Koa Misi (ankle) and guard Shelley Smith (knee).

Listed as doubtful are defensive end Terrence Fede (knee), center Mike Pouncey (hip) and linebacker Jordan Tripp (chest).

Tight end Charles Clay (knee) and guard Billy Turner (foot) are considered questionable.

The probables are safeties Walt Aikens (hand) and Louis Delmas (calf), tackle Branden Albert (shoulder) and linebackers Jonathan Freeny (calif), Jelani Jenkins (shoulder) and Philip Wheeler (thumb).


Chargers issue injury report with seven probables
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(9/19/2014) The Chargers have issued an extensive injury report for their Sunday game in Buffalo. Ruled out are running back Ryan Mathews (knee) and linebacker Melvin Ingram (hamstring).

Listed as questionable are safety Jahleel Addae (hamstring), wide receiver Keenan Allen (groin) and linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring).

The probables are cornerbacks Chris Davis (ankle) and Brandon Flowers (groin), linebacker Dwight Freeney (non-injury related), tight end Antonio Gates (hamstring), defensive end Corey Liuget (ankle) and offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger (back) and Johnnie Troutman (back).


 
 
 
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