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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
Bengals OC Hue Jackson still believes in QB Andy Dalton
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(7:45 pm ET) Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson missed quarterback Andy Dalton's Pro Bowl performance Sunday. Despite hearing about his 9 of 20 passing performance, Jackson said Tuesday to ESPN he still has faith in Dalton to get the job done.

"I'm not going to stop believing in him," Jackson said. "He's going to have to prove otherwise. I believe this guy has it in him. My job, my charge as I've said before is to have him do it on a consistent basis."

Jackson added he's seen the great Dalton and thinks it's something to build on.

"I see in the first three games of the season a guy that played with moxie and tenacity and aggressiveness, and who played extremely well down that 3-0 stretch," Jackson said.


Seahawks NT Brandon Mebane expected to be full go by April
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:15 pm ET) Seahawks starting nose tackle Brandon Mebane said the surgery to fix his torn hamstring went well, and he should be full go by April, reports the Seattle Times. Mebane's season was cut short after nine games. He finished with 20 tackles and a sack.

DT Kevin Williams could retire if Seahawks win
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:03 pm ET) Seahawks defensive tackle Kevin Williams did not rule out retiring if his team beats the Patriots in Super Bowl 49, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Williams, 34, is a six-time Pro Bowler and five-time First-Team All-Pro.

He played in every game this season, recording 22 tackles, three sacks and two pass breakups.


Bills' Roman: EJ Manuel getting clean slate with new coaching staff
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:41 pm ET) Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Tuesday during his introductory press conference quarterback EJ Manuel will get a fresh start with the new coaching staff, per WGR 550. Manuel was benched in favor of veteran Kyle Orton in 2014. Orton has since retired.

"I'm not going to get into specifics. but I definitely think he's done some very good things and displayed some good traits," Roman said. "We just have to get his level of consistency a little bit greater. Really, he and everybody else, once we get thru this evaluation process, we're going to have a very clean slate, once we get going because what they might have been asked to do or done in the past is really not relevant to what we may or may not ask them to do. So to sit here and pontificate about this that and the other, is a little premature."

Manuel is 6-8 as a starter over two NFL seasons. The 2013 first-round pick has a career 58.6 completion rate. He has passed for 2,810 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 15 games (14 starts).


Bryan Stork not a lock to play in Super Bowl
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:37 pm ET) Patriots rookie center Bryan Stork said he's working with the training staff in hopes of playing in Super Bowl 49, reports ESPN.com. Stork, who nursing a knee injury, has been limited in practice.

"Nobody's working harder than Bryan to play," coach Bill Belichick said.

Stork started 11 regular-season games but missed the AFC title game after getting hurt in the divisional playoff win over Baltimore. Ryan Wendell replaced Stork and played well in the 45-7 victory over the Colts.


Colts can void RB Trent Richardson's contract
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:27 pm ET) The Colts can void running back Trent Richardson's $3.18 million guaranteed salary for 2015 because he was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, reports CBS Sports' Joel Corry, a former agent who's an expert on player contracts.

Richardson, who missed a walkthrough before the AFC title game, received a two-game suspension from the team, general manager Ryan Grigson confirmed. If Indy chooses to keep Richardson, he'd serve the second game of the suspension next season.

ESPN.com expects the Colts to exercise their option to void Richardson's contract, and the players' union to challenge that move.


Panthers LB Thomas Davis says he's not close to retirement
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:17 pm ET) Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, who turns 32 in March, is not contemplating retirement any time soon, reports ESPN.com.

“I lost two and a half years to injuries, but I also feel I gained two and a half years," said Davis, who underwent two reconstructive ACL surgeries on the same knee. "This was my 10th year and I’m going on year 11, and I still feel I have a lot of football left in me.’’

Davis has one year left on his contract, and he hopes to sign one more contract after that. Davis made 100 tackles this season after recording a team-high 123 in 2013.


Union challenges Goodell on Adrian Peterson's counseling requirement
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:16 pm ET) The NFL Players Association filed a legal brief saying Commissioner Roger Goodell's requirement that Adrian Peterson attend counseling was unlawful, reports ESPN.com. The union claims Goodell's disciplinary powers don't extend past suspensions, fines and contract terminations to counseling, the report said.

In November, Goodell suspended Peterson without pay for the rest of the season and said the Vikings running back cannot be reinstated until at least April 15. The move came after Peterson pleaded no contest to recklessly injuring his 4-year-old son last May.

In his letter to Peterson, Goodell set several requirements for reinstatement, including counseling.

"In order to assess your progress going forward, I will establish periodic reviews, the first of which will be on or about April 15, 2015," the commisssioner wrote. "At that time, I will meet with you and your representatives and the NFLPA to review the extent to which you have complied with your program of counseling and therapy and both made and lived up to an affirmative commitment to change such that this conduct will not occur again. A failure to cooperate and follow your plan will result in a lengthier suspension without pay."


Bucs QB Mike Glennon on the move?
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11:03 am ET) With the Buccaneers holding the No. 1 overall draft pick, the team has its choice of quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. The Tampa Tribune says "some around the league" believe other teams will try to trade for quarterback Mike Glennon, and that Glennon could net the Bucs a fourth- or fifth-round pick.

Glennon played in six games this season, throwing for 1,417 yards and 10 touchdowns with six interceptions. The team's refusal to play Glennon "even after their slim playoff hopes faded" has many observers believing the Bucs are ready to move on from him, the paper said.


Lions see plenty of upside in WR Corey Fuller
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:38 am ET) The Lions are looking for a solid No. 3 receiver to supplement Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, and converted track star Corey Fuller could be the guy, reports the team's website. Fuller was Johnson's backup in 2014 and played in some multi-receiver sets, catching 14 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown.

“I think I had a big improvement coming in from last year to this year,” said Fuller, a sixth-round pick in the 2013 draft. “If I just keep on progressing, who knows where I can go.”

Fuller, who brings a unique combination of speed and strength, said his main focus this offseason is improving his route running.

“The whole (route) tree,” he said. “Being able to expand the routes they throw me.”


 
 
 
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