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Four Quarters: Tim not so tiny anymore

Michael Hurcomb
Fantasy Writer
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It's time for Superman to dust off his Tim Tebow pajamas because the boy wonder is back.

Needing a lift for his stagnant passing game, Broncos coach John Fox replaced starter Kyle Orton with Tebow in the second half of Week 5 against the Chargers. And the former Heisman-winning quarterback almost led Denver to a comeback win as his final pass of the game fell incomplete in the end zone in an encouraging 29-24 loss.

I say encouraging because Tebow has a legitimate shot at starting in Week 7 at Miami after Denver comes out of its bye in Week 6. I really thought Fox inserting Tebow into the game Sunday was his attempt to quiet the rowdy Denver faithful who have been calling for Tebow's ascension for weeks. At first, Fox appeared smart for keeping Tebow on the bench as the lefty gunslinger struggled to complete a pass on his first two drives, which ended in three-and-outs. But Tebow's confidence grew into the fourth quarter as he led Denver to touchdowns on two consecutive drives late in the game.

Tebow finished with 18 standard Fantasy points in a half of play, which was more than Andy Dalton, Tom Brady and Ryan Fitzpatrick had in four quarters. Where does that put Tebow on the Fantasy spectrum? Well, he certainly makes for an intriguing Fantasy add off waivers because he can run the ball effectively, much like fellow scramblers Michael Vick and Cam Newton.

However, Tebow's struggles are still going to come through the air since he isn't as polished a passer as Vick or Newton. That's been a major reason for Denver's hesitance in handing him the starting job. He completed just 50 percent of his passes as a rookie in 2010 and was at 40 percent (4 for 10) on Sunday.

Tebow might not be able to part the Red Sea or solve the country's economic crisis, but he might just end up silencing the critics and get his chance to quarterback an NFL team.

First Quarter -- Surprises of the Week

Ben Roethlisberger threw five touchdowns on a sprained foot against a Titans pass defense that had more interceptions (five) than passing touchdowns allowed (four) through four weeks ... Matt Cassel became the first quarterback to have multiple passing touchdowns against the Colts this season ... Alex Smith has put together back-to-back productive Fantasy weeks and hasn't thrown an interception in three games ... BenJarvus Green-Ellis stated his case as the Patriots' top back amid all the Stevan Ridley hype ... Willis McGahee produced his third 100-yard game this season against a team (San Diego) allowing just 11.5 Fantasy points per week to running backs, which was tied for third lowest in the NFL ... No one saw Chiefs running back Jackie Battle producing his first 100-yard rushing performance in Week 5, but now he is on everyone's Fantasy radar ... Jonathan Dwyer led the Steelers in rushing (107 yards), and that was even before Isaac Redman had cramping issues. But most of his yards came on a 76-yard carry. He won't be as popular of a Fantasy addition, especially with the chance Rashard Mendenhall returns to the lineup Week 6 ... Jed Collins scored for a second straight game. Apparently having Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles down near the goal line wasn't enough for the Saints offense ... Who would have thought by Week 6 that Victor Cruz would have nearly as many Fantasy points (54) as teammate Hakeem Nicks (59), who was drafted by many as a No. 1 Fantasy receiver? ... James Jones, Steve Breaston, Jason Hill, Doug Baldwin, Malcom Floyd and Darrius Heyward-Bey ranked among the top 10 Fantasy scoring receivers in Week 5. Also, Damian Williams, Jason Avant and Ben Obomanu netted 10-plus Fantasy points ... Houston's Joel Dreessen was the top Fantasy scoring tight end (17 points) for Week 5, even with Vernon Davis recording two touchdowns.

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Second Quarter -- Duds of the Week

Kevin Kolb struggled to dissect a Vikings secondary that came into the week ranked 28th in pass defense and missing cornerback Antoine Winfield ... Eric Decker could be a huge Fantasy casualty if the Broncos do make a change at quarterback since he was quickly becoming one of Orton's favorite targets. The results were ugly in Week 5 for Decker, who posted two catches for minus-4 yards ... Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore couldn't haul in one of his six targets against Houston ... Tampa's Mike Williams' days as a high-end Fantasy wide receiver are fading after another week without a touchdown and being held under seven Fantasy points for a fourth straight game ... Dexter McCluster is not developing into the impact Fantasy option owners were looking for after Jamaal Charles' season-ending injury ... Percy Harvin totaled two Fantasy points against a Cardinals defense that came into the game allowing receivers to average 27 Fantasy points per week, which was tied for fourth highest in the NFL ... Vincent Jackson was in a similar situation as he totaled three Fantasy points against a defense that was yielding 30.5 Fantasy points per week to receivers, which was tied for highest in the NFL ... Saints receiver Lance Moore couldn't parlay a favorable history against the Panthers into a productive Week 5 ... Scott Chandler played like Scott Chandler for a second straight week and is starting to lose all the Fantasy appeal he accumulated through the first three weeks ... Dallas Clark couldn't take advantage of a team allowing 10.5 Fantasy points per week to tight ends, registering just one catch for 7 yards against Kansas City ... October hasn't been kind to Jets tight end Dustin Keller, who has three catches for 19 yards in two games this month after opening the year with 16 catches for 249 yards and two touchdowns in three September games.

Third Quarter -- Injury Report

Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson sustained a pectoral injury against the Giants. The Seahawks are on a bye Week 6, but pec injuries can end seasons, so Charlie Whitehurst might be up for Seattle in Week 7 ... Bucs running back LeGarrette Blount didn't finish Sunday's blowout loss to the 49ers because of a knee injury ... Chargers running back Mike Tolbert sustained a concussion against the Broncos ... Chris Johnson's disappointing season continued Sunday as he couldn't finish the game against Pittsburgh because of hamstring tightness ... Steelers running back Isaac Redman made his first career start Sunday against the Titans, but ended up as a disappointing bye-week replacement and left the game in the fourth quarter due to cramping ... Joseph Addai sustained another injury, this time to his hamstring ... Hines Ward finished the game Sunday, but it was revealed afterward he sustained a chest injury ... Falcons rookie Julio Jones disappointed many Fantasy owners in Week 5 and then pulled up lame with a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter against the Packers ... 49ers receiver Josh Morgan and Bills receiver Donald Jones sustained ankle injuries that could keep them out several weeks ... Steelers tight end Heath Miller scored a touchdown and suffered a shoulder injury in Week 5 ... Texans tight end James Casey could be done for the year after sustaining a torn pectoral muscle against Oakland.

Fourth Quarter -- Early Look Ahead

Arizona, Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, Seattle and Tennessee are all on byes in Week 6 ... San Francisco at Detroit is a surprising battle of teams that haven't been contenders for some time. It will also feature one team thriving on offense -- Detroit -- and the other team winning thanks to defense -- San Francisco ... Buffalo at N.Y. Giants will feature two teams that can move the ball, but that also have suspect defenses ... Philadelphia at Washington, New Orleans at Tampa Bay and Minnesota at Chicago should be good divisional battles ... Dallas will be fresh coming off their bye and travel to New England for what could be an offensive showdown. Quarterback Tony Romo has gotten time to rest his ailing ribs and should get back one of his favorite targets in Miles Austin, who has been hampered by a hamstring injury.

Overtime -- Q & A

In a league where you can start a second quarterback as a flex, who would you take for the rest of season: Alex Smith or Rex Grossman? My other quarterback is Tony Romo. --texasbruin67 (Twitter)

MH: I'm going with Smith. 49ers coach John Harbaugh seems to be an excellent mentor of quarterbacks because he has turned Smith into a respectable signal caller. Smith seems to be grasping the West Coast offense and has thrown only one interception in 126 pass attempts. Grossman probably has the potential to have bigger performances, but Smith will be the more steady option.

I have a trade offer to consider: Ryan Fitzpatrick for Ryan Mathews. Who will have the better second half? --Will Fagan (Twitter)

MH: My only hesitation with Mathews is his propensity for injury. Mathews has been fragile dating back to his days at Fresno State and watching him play Sunday there was a few times that he could have knocked himself out of competition for several weeks. However, if he stays healthy, then you have yourself a high-end Fantasy running back. That's enough to keep me on Mathews' side in this trade. Fitzpatrick is already slowing down this season and showing the same inconsistencies he had a year ago.

I have Antonio Brown in a points-per-reception league. Should I keep him or drop him for any of these options: Titus Young, Doug Baldwin, Steve Breaston, Darrius Heyward-Bey or Malcom Floyd? --Kevin Thompson (Facebook)

MH: I can't believe I'm going to say this, but DHB finally seems to be coming around in Oakland and I would certainly consider dumping Brown to pick him up. I'm a little more hesitant to recommend Breaston just because I want to wait to see what kind of impact rookie Jon Baldwin has on the Chiefs' passing game once he is active. I have similar reservations about Baldwin once Mike Williams returns and also because of the uncertainty right now at quarterback for Seattle.

Would you make this trade: I get Roddy White, Ahmad Bradshaw and James Starks in return for Matt Forte? -- Jake Nuckolls (Facebook)

MH: I'm a huge Forte fan, but I would consider this trade because I think you are getting two players in White and Bradshaw that have yet to hit their stride. The presence of Julio Jones has made White a little less valuable than in previous years, but he is still a top 20 Fantasy scoring receiver and could have some huge games in store if Jones has to sit idle because of his hamstring injury. Also, coach Tom Coughlin said Sunday the Giants need to get back to being a power-run team, so hopefully that will mean a boost in production for Bradshaw. Starks is the throw-in piece in this trade, but he is merely running back depth. With that said, this is not an overwhelming trade, meaning I'm as likely to stay put with Forte than make the trade. Perhaps if the third piece was a little more intriguing then it's a done deal. But you only make this trade if you have the same beliefs that I have in White and Bradshaw.

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
Earl Thomas on bad shoulder: 'I'll still play fearless'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(8:50 pm ET) Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, who dislocated his shoulder in the NFC Championship Game, could remain limited in practice this week ahead of the Super Bowl, reports the Seattle Times. But he said he won't be thinking about the injury against the Patriots.

"When I come alive nothing is limited,’’ he said. “I’ll still play fearless, throw my body around, and let whatever happens, happens.’’

Thomas did allow that he might have to rely more on his teammates.

“My mindset is I have an opportunity to really trust my teammates,’’ he said. “This is the first game I’m going to have to trust them because of my injury. So I really, really, really trust my teammates, and that’s what I’m banking on, my teammates doing what they need to do and I need to come through myself.’’

It's unclear if Thomas will need offseason surgery.

The Seahawks are 1-point underdogs after opening as 2.5-point favorites.


Colts QB Matt Hasselbeck pondering retirement
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(8:17 pm ET) Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck told ESPN.com he's not sure if he'll retire or return for a 17th season. Hasselbeck, 39, appeared in four games this season and played well, posting a 102.6 passer rating.

He's set to hit unrestricted free agency.


Colts expected to part ways with center A.Q. Shipley
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(8:11 pm ET) Colts center A.Q. Shipley is headed for unrestricted free agency, and the team is expected to let him go, reports ESPN.com. 

"Shipley went from starting in Week 1 to losing his starting job, to being inactive, to being the third-string center," the report said. "All without any explanation from coach Chuck Pagano or anybody in the front office."

Shipley, 28, has played in 45 career games, starting 19.


Report: Dolphins aim to re-sign TE Charles Clay
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(6:57 pm ET) The Dolphins have privately indicated they want to re-sign impending free agent tight end Charles Clay and will make him an offer in coming weeks, reports the Miami Herald. Clay caught 58 passes for 605 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games this season.

Miami also is high on Clay's backup, Dion Sims, who's signed through 2016, the paper said.


Browns extremely thin -- and short -- at wide receiver
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(6:19 pm ET) With wideout Josh Gordon facing a one-year suspension, the Browns are dangerously thin at receiver entering 2015. ESPN.com notes the Browns have two returning slot receivers in Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel and "an undersized situational receiver" in 5-10 Travis Benjamin.

Miles Austin is scheduled for unrestricted free agency after catching 47 passes for 568 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games. Tight end Jordan Cameron also is set to be an unrestricted free agent.

Hawkins, a 5-7, 180-pounder, led the team with 63 grabs for 824 yards, with two touchdowns. Cleveland failed to add a wideout in last year's draft but almost certainly must address the position in the 2015 draft.


Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas to practice this week
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:43 pm ET) Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told SiriusXM NFL Radio that cornerback Richard Sherman (elbow) and safety Earl Thomas (shoulder) will practice this week and should be "good to go" for the Super Bowl. Both got hurt in the NFC Championship Game.

Seattle is a 1-point underdog to the Patriots after opening as a 2.5-point favorite.


New optimism regarding Justin Blackmon's potential return
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:48 pm ET) A lot of people inside the NFL are optimistic Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon is "overcoming his issues" and will be back in the league in 2015, reports Fox Sports. Blackmon got suspended in November 2013 following his third violation of the league's substance-abuse policy.

He checked into a treatment facility last September. General manager Dave Caldwell said recently he hopes Blackmon wins reinstatement, but is not counting on it.


Reports: Josh Gordon tests positive again, facing 1-year ban
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:55 pm ET) Browns wideout Josh Gordon tested positive for alcohol and "now will be subject to a one-year banishment," sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Gordon was suspended for the first 10 games this season for a repeat violation of the league's drug policy.

Pro Football Talk reports that because of Gordon's past DUI, alcohol was one of the substances for which he was being tested. The website said a one-year suspension is likely a "done deal."

The Browns also suspended Gordon for missing a Saturday walkthrough before the regular-season finale, and CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported then the Browns might be ready to part ways with the ultra-talented 23-year-old.

The Browns released the following statement regarding the news: 

"Clearly we are very disappointed to hear the latest report regarding Josh. At this point, due to the confidential nature of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, we have not been made aware by the league of a failed test. We are in the process of gathering more information and will provide further comment at the appropriate time."


Report: Jordan Cameron expected to leave via free agency
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:14 pm ET) Browns tight end Jordan Cameron is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and ESPNCleveland.com does not expect him to re-sign with Cleveland. A concussion and shoulder injury limited Cameron to 10 games this season.

The 26-year-old caught 24 passes for 424 yards and two touchdowns after a breakout 2013 season in which he made 80 grabs for 917 yards and seven scores.


Pats C Bryan Stork showing 'no noticeable signs of injury'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:53 pm ET) Patriots starting center Bryan Stork, who missed the AFC title game with a knee injury, practiced Sunday and "continues to show no noticeable signs of injury," reports ESPN.com. The rookie is on track to play in the Super Bowl.

New England is a 1-point favorite over Seattle after opening as a 2.5-point underdog.


 
 
 
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