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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
Broncos add DeMarcus Ware to injury report, probable for Sunday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:40 am ET) The Broncos have added defensive end DeMarcus Ware to the injury report because of an illness. He has been listed as probable for Week 12 against Miami, according to the Miami Herald.

Ware is in the midst of a bounce-back season in his first year with the Broncos, registering nine sacks and two forced fumbles, along with 28 total tackles through 10 games. In 2013, he had just six sacks in 13 games with the Cowboys.


Titans WR Kendall Wright seeking more opportunities on offense
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:20 am ET) Titans receiver Kendall Wright admitted he's frustrated and is seeking more opportunities on offense, but told the Tennessean "there is nothing I can do about it, really."

"All I can do is go to work and do what the coaches ask me," Wright said. "It's not like I am going to go Dez Bryant and throw a couple of tantrums and ask for the ball. If I don't get it, I don't get it. Yeah, that is part of the frustration, but I'll get over it.

"… Any receiver would like more opportunities. But it is not my job to say anything to the coaches. If I could get more opportunities, I definitely would take them. I just want to do whatever I can to help. I don't know what I am doing right now, I don't know if it is much to be honest with you."

Wright caught four passes for a season-high 70 yards in a Week 11 loss to Pittsburgh on Monday night. A year after breaching the 1,000-yard plateau, Wright is on pace to finish the season with under 800 receiving yards. He has 43 grabs for 473 yards and four touchdowns through 10 games.


Seahawks won't rule out idea of using Richard Sherman at WR
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:33 am ET) Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told KIRO Radio 97.3 FM on Friday that he's open to the idea of using cornerback Richard Sherman at wide receiver in emergency scenarios, MyNorthwest.com reports.

"He's been very clear in that intent for a long time around here," Carroll said. "It's always been a conversation that we've had, and if I need him I'm going to him and he knows that."

Sherman was Stanford's leading receiver as a freshman and a sophomore before transitioning into a corner. He came down with 73 receptions for 1,232 yards seven touchdowns in those two seasons at Stanford.

The Seahawks traded away Percy Harvin, one of their only playmakers at wide receiver. The team is currently ranked 30th in the league with 191.8 yards per contest, having failed to surpass the 200-yard mark in each of the previous four games.


Redskins coach Jay Gruden: 'Clock is ticking' for Robert Griffin III
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:39 am ET) Redskins coach Jay Gruden told Albert Breer of the NFL Network that the "clock is ticking" for quarterback Robert Griffin III and that he has "auditioned long enough." Gruden also added that the team needs to "find a way to utilize him where we can get productive drives and stay away from negative plays and have some consistency."

"He's auditioned long enough," Gruden said. "Clock's ticking. He's gotta play. We'll see. ... We want Robert to excel, we really do. But the last two games, it hasn't been very good, anywhere. We gotta play better around him. And the biggest thing for us as play-callers, and for him, we just have to come together and jell with plays he's comfortable with. That takes time. But we don't have a lot of time."

Griffin is 32 starts into his Redskins career but has been plagued by injuries. This season alone, he has had 33 possessions, 14 of which resulted in punts and six which have resulted in turnovers. Only five of those drives have resulted in touchdowns.

"His biggest thing, he's been coddled for so long. It's not a negative, he's just been so good, he just hasn't had a lot of negative publicity," Gruden said. "Everybody's loved him. Some adversity is striking hard at him now, and how he reacts to that off the field, his mental state of mind, how it affects his confidence, hopefully it's not in a negative way. I read Drew Brees said after a couple interceptions, 'I'm never gonna lose confidence, I'm gonna come out firing all the time.'"

Over his last two starts, Griffin has completed 41 of 60 pass attempts (68.3 percent), compiling 458 yards along with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

"It's a production-based business. We haven't won many games lately with him," Gruden said. "We gotta figure out a way to get in the end zone. We just have to score. I don't care how we do it. If it's running the zone-read, I don't care. Quarterback sneaks, I don't give a damn. We gotta find a way to utilize him where we can get productive drives and stay away from negative plays and have some consistency."


Jaguars' RB Toby Gerhart just hoping to contribute
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart is just hoping to contribute, according to the Florida Times-Union.

Gerhart came into the season as a team's feature back, but lost his job due to injury. "When I got the original injury, I tried to push through it, and it got worse and worse," Gerhart said. Despite the current situation, Gerhart doesn't blame the Jaguars for sticking with Denard Robinson. "You’ve got to play the hot hand, and he’s the hot hand." Gerhart added that he would do his best to contribute over the next six games. 


Buccaneers CB Alterraun Verner optimistic for Week 12
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) Buccaneers cornerback Alterraun Verner (hamstring) is listed as questionable for Sunday's Week 12 matchup with the Bears, but he's optimistic he'll be cleared to play, Buccaneers.com reports.

"I feel good," he said after getting a limited practice in Friday. "Had a good week and was able to do a lot of things and hopefully they give me the green light to go this week. I was able to open up a lot more this week and I’m looking forward to hopefully being out there this week."

Verner has missed each of the team's last two games, but the Buccaneers defense surrendered 220 passing yards or less to each of the two starting quarterbacks they faced during that stretch.


Raiders' Tony Sparano optimistic Jackson, Carrie will play Week 13
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) Raiders coach Tony Sparano is optimistic that guard Gabe Jackson (knee) and cornerback T.J. Carrie (ankle) will be able to play in Week 13 against the Rams, CSNBayArea.com reports.

"There’s optimism," Sparano told the media. "Again, I say that today, and just went over a few of those things a little while ago. But yes, there’s optimism there."

Jackson has missed three straight games with his injury, while Carrie has played just once in the last three games.


49ers LB Patrick Willis udergoes successful toe surgery
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said Friday on Instagram that the surgery on his injured left big toe "went well," 49ers.com reports.

Willis previously indicated that he's been bothered by the injury for several seasons. Now on injured reserve, the linebacker hopes to be ready for the start of the 2015 season.


Chiefs place A.J. Jenkins on injured reserve
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) The Chiefs placed wide receiver A.J. Jenkins on injured reserve Friday. Jenkins, who missed the team's last two games with a shoulder injury, finishes the season with nine receptions for 93 yards.

Seahawks' Carroll: 'We'd be thrilled' to keep Marshawn Lynch
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told the media after Friday's practice that the team would be "thrilled" to have running back Marshawn Lynch back with the team in 2015, the Everett Herald reports.

"We want him around here for as long as he can play, and there’s never been any hesitation, there’s never been another thought about that," Carroll said. "That came totally from somewhere else. He’s under contract next year, we’ll be thrilled to have him playing for us next year. So we’ll do everything we can to get that done."

Carroll's comments come one day after telling USA Today that Lynch is "our guy" and that "we'd love to have him back." It's been speculated that the team would look to move on from Lynch after this season, as releasing the star running back would save the team $7 million in cap room.


 
 
 
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