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Four Quarters: Life after Charles

Michael Hurcomb
Fantasy Writer
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Since I don't want to incur the cost of sending a sympathy card to the millions of Jamaal Charles owners around the world, I will let my Four Quarters column act as my medium to deliver my deepest condolences to those people who suffered the Fantasy Football kiss of death -- losing your first-round pick.

I've been there, and I'm still there. I own Charles, who suffered a torn ACL on Sunday, in a 12-team standard league, and I'm fortunate enough to have Cedric Benson and Darren Sproles on my roster as potential replacements. But Fantasy Football is still one of those sports where it's very tough to lose a first-round pick to injury or have a first-round bust because the chances of finding a equal replacement on waivers is unlikely.

Arian Foster was a steal off waivers in 2010, and we can only hope another Foster appears this season since losing Charles is going to sting.

The obvious move for Charles owners is to put a waiver claim in for Chiefs running backs Thomas Jones or Dexter McCluster. Although, the only caveat in CBSSports.com leagues is that McCluster is WR-eligible only, so keep that in mind. But I still would consider adding McCluster because if he does emerge as the Chiefs' top back, then you could end up with being able to start a running back at wide receiver, and that could definitely end up paying dividends down the road.

As for other options to consider, look at Danny Woodhead (owned 79 percent of leagues), Michael Bush (79 percent), C.J. Spiller (74 percent), Ronnie Brown (55 percent), Ricky Williams (53 percent), Deji Karim (43 percent), DeMarco Murray (36 percent), Delone Carter (32 percent), Roy Helu (31 percent), Isaac Redman (26 percent) and Javon Ringer (26 percent).

I know the uphill battle you face to stay in contention in your Fantasy leagues, but what's done is done. It's time to move on.

First Quarter -- Surprise of the Week

Raiders rookie receiver Denarius Moore stepped into the starting lineup Week 2 against the Bills because of injuries to Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy and Darius Heyward-Bey. Moore stepped up with 146 yards and one touchdown -- a 50-yarder -- on five catches. He also had a 25-yard rush. The rookie definitely earned his way into more playing time, but keep in mind he might lose targets once the Raiders start to get healthy again at receiver ... Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton shook off a Week 1 wrist injury to pass for 332 yards and two scores against Denver ... 35-year-old Matt Hasselbeck had the 22nd 300-yard passing game of his career against Baltimore and now has 621 passing yards through two games ... Dolphins rookie running back Daniel Thomas showed Sunday in his NFL debut why he is a legit rookie-of-the-year candidate by rushing for 107 yards. Be nervous Reggie Bush owners ... Willis McGahee proved he still has enough left in the tank to be a featured back, rushing for 101 yards on 28 carries with Knowshon Moreno out due to injury ... Wide receiver Eric Decker came to the Broncos' rescue in Week 2 with Brandon Lloyd inactive and Eddie Royal getting hurt, totaling 113 yards and two scores on five catches.

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Second Quarter -- Duds of the Week

Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel is already showing he misses the play calling of Charlie Weis, who is now in the college ranks. Cassel was awful in Week 1 and showed no improvement in Week 2, tossing three interceptions against Detroit ... Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has been another two-week headache for Fantasy owners. His 11-yard output in Week 2 makes the 94 percent of Lynch owners wonder when are they ever going to start this guy? ... Bears wide receiver Devin Hester caught just one of his nine targets in a loss against the Saints and Colts wide receiver Austin Collie caught three of 10 targets against the Browns. It was even worse for Jets receiver Plaxico Burress, who didn't record a catch on two targets ... Packers wide receiver James Jones voiced his displeasure during the week about his role on offense after a one-catch opener. Well, I can't wait to see what he says after a one-catch Week 2 ... Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams gained 13 yards on five carries and is averaging 2.5 yards per carry through two games.

Third Quarter -- Injury Report

The other big injury of the week was Eagles quarterback Michael Vick sustaining a concussion. You have to figure his status for Week 3 is going to be a big topic this week ... Texans running back Arian Foster made his 2011 debut Sunday against Miami, but it lasted just one half as his hamstring injury flared up again ... Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo didn't start the second half Sunday because of a fractured rib, but he eventually returned to lead Dallas to an overtime win. Unfortunately, it wasn't all good news for Dallas. Wide receiver Miles Austin had a big game against San Francisco, but he aggravated a nagging hamstring injury while running back Felix Jones suffered a shoulder injury that could keep him out moving forward. Tight end Jason Witten sustained bruised ribs, but he played through the injury and will be OK ... Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez bowed out Sunday against the Chargers with a knee injury and was seen limping badly leaving the locker room ... Malcom Floyd's hot start against the Patriots was sidelined because of a groin injury ... Broncos wide receiver Eddie Royal also sustained a groin injury Week 2 ... 49ers wide receiver Braylon Edwards exited Sunday with a knee injury.

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Fourth Quarter -- Early Look Ahead

Houston and New Orleans will do battle at 1 p.m. on Sunday, a game that's going to feature two high-powered offenses. There could be a lot of Fantasy points racked up in that game ... The Bills dropped 41 points on the Chiefs in Week 1 and the Lions dropped 48 points on the Chiefs in Week 2. San Diego awaits K.C. in Week 3, so make sure to get your Chargers players active ... The first Bears/Packers game will take place in Week 3. It's worth pointing out that all three games last season -- including the NFC Championship -- were low-scoring, tightly-contested games. Chicago won the first meeting, 20-17, while Green Bay took the last two, 10-3 and 21-14.

Overtime -- Q and A

Even though Titus Young is the third receiver in Detroit, does he warrant a watch or pick up this week? -- Kevin J. (via @CBSFantasyFB)

MH: I wouldn't add Young at this time. Most of his yards (89) came on two big catches, so if he doesn't catch the deep ball, then his numbers won't be impressive.

Does Kenny Britt have a chance to be a top 5 Fantasy wide receiver? -- Alec Hurd (via @CBSFantasyFB)

MH: Without a doubt. I covered the Titans game on Sunday and Tennessee has a great game plan to get Britt into open spaces to make plays. He also finally has a quarterback in Matt Hasselbeck that can get him the ball on a consistent basis. His confidence should be sky high after demolishing a vaunted Ravens defense.

Is Tim Hightower in danger of losing his starting job to Roy Helu? --Rob Mapstone (via @CBSFantasyFB)

MH: I wouldn't say in the immediate future Hightower has anything to worry about. Hightower has done well since arriving in the preseason, but coach Mike Shanahan does like Helu a lot and probably will continue to develop him as a nice fallback option in case anything happens to Hightower.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow us on Facebook. You can also follow Michael via Twitter @CBSHurc

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Player News
Report: 49ers still interested in re-signing Michael Crabtree
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:13 pm ET) Although wide receiver Michael Crabtree is on the verge of becoming a free agent March 10, the 49ers are interested in re-signing him, a source told CSNBayArea.com.

Agents can begin negotiations with teams on free agents beginning Saturday and it is not know how much interest Crabtree would generate. In 2014, he hauled in 68 receptions for 698 yards and four touchdowns over 16 games.


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by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:04 pm ET) The Cowboys announced the signing of linebacker Keith Rivers on Thursday.

The contract is a one-year deal. Rivers appeared in 12 games for the Bills during the 2014 season and totaled 16 tackles.


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(2:47 pm ET) The Dolphins re-signed safety Jordan Kovacs on Thursday, his agent informed the Sun-Sentinel.

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(2:35 pm ET) Free-agent wide receiver Jerome Simpson met with the 49ers on Wednesday, sources told CSNBayArea.com.

Simpson did not play in 2014 after being released by the Vikings in September. In 2013, he registered 48 receptions for 726 yards and one touchdown for the Vikings.


Report: Ndamukong Suh to visit Raiders next week
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2:19 pm ET) Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is set to visit the Raiders next week, a source told NFL.com

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Report: Tyvon Branch scheduled to meet with Redskins
(1:55 pm ET) Free agent safety Tyvon Branch is scheduled to visit the Redskins, reports FOX Sports NFL Insider Mike Garafolo.  

The 28-year-old Branch has played seven seasons in the NFL -- all with the Raiders. However, due to injuries, he has only played in five games the last two seasons.

Branch has totaled 476 tackles, 20 passes defensed and four interceptions in his career.


Report: DA will not pursue charges against Ray McDonald
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:55 pm ET) Defensive end Ray McDonald's agent has begun informing teams that the Santa Clara District Attorney has decided not to pursue charges against his client, reports NFL.com.

McDonald was facing a sexual assault allegation. The 49ers released him last year when the allegation arose. He is currently a free agent.


Report: Seahawks could make a run at CB Tramon Williams
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:50 pm ET) Seahawks general manager, a former Packers executive, will reportedly seek cornerback Tramon Williams to replace unrestricted free agent Byron Maxwell in Seattle, if Williams is not signed by Green Bay before March 10 -- the start of free agency, according to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Wednesday.

Williams rejected a two-year contract worth $8 million from the Packers earlier this offseason, according to a source. He is seeking a three-to-four-year contract with more guaranteed money. Last season, he totaled 71 tackles and added three interceptions, tied for a team high.

>> Want more NFL offseason? >> Mock drafts | Free agency tracker


Report: Packers not ruling out bringing A.J. Hawk back
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:35 pm ET) Although the Packers recently released linebacker A.J. Hawk, the team is not opposed to bringing him back, a source told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Packers released Hawk on Feb. 25, but the team has left open the possibility of his return. Hawk, 31, recently underwent ankle surgery, but intends to play in 2015.


Reports: Buccaneers to re-sign cornerback Mike Jenkins
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:30 pm ET) The Buccaneers will be bringing back Mike Jenkins in 2015, a source told SportsTalkFlorida.com.

The contract is a one-year deal. Jenkins missed all, but one game in 2014 after suffering a pectoral injury.


 
 
 
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