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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
Cardinals coach Arians: I was not going to let Logan Thomas fail
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(8:46 pm ET) Cardinals coach Bruce Arians still believes in young quarterback Logan Thomas. Arians didn't want to ruin his confidence last season after being forced into action with multiple injuries to Arizona quarterbacks, reports the team's website.

"He's going to get a ton of work and those reps are invaluable," Arians said. "Just in decision-making, how fast you're getting it out of your hand, where you're going with it, where you're going when 'one' and 'two' are still covered. Are you still scrambling around or are you going to find your outlets? That growth process comes strictly from reps."

Arians still has a plan for the second-year pro.

"We drafted him for two years from now, not November," Arians said. "It just so happened his number got called (earlier.) I was not going to let him fail (in San Francisco) because once you fail those scars never go away.

"It's very hard to get the guys back in the locker room if you cost them the playoffs. I just wasn't going to put him in that situation. Right or wrong, it just was my decision."


DT Letroy Guion visits with Seahawks
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(6:04 pm ET) Nose tackle Letroy Guion visited with the Seahawks on Friday, adding another suitor into the mix as the Packers attempt to retain his services, per ESPN.com.

After Guion's criminal case was closed earlier in the week, with Guion paying only a fine, the Seahawks set up a visit. Guion recorded career-highs in tackles (32) and sacks (3 1/2) with the Packers in 2014. 


Panthers claim OT Jonathan Martin off waivers
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(4:27 pm ET) The Panthers announced Friday they have signed tackle Jonathan Martin off waivers, one day after the lineman was released by the 49ers. 

Martin played in 15 games with San Francisco last season, starting nine of them. Prior to that, he was a member Dolphins before being traded for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2014. The 25-year-old has started 32 of the 38 games he's played in. 

"Jonathan brings quality experience to our offensive line, having started 32 games in his career at both tackle spots," Panthers GM Dave Gettleman said. 


Panthers sign WR Jarrett Boykin to one-year deal
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(2:22 pm ET) The Panthers signed free agent wide receiver Jarrett Boykin to a one-year deal Friday, per David Newton of ESPN.com. 

The 25-year-old receiver had a big campaign with the Packers in 2013, catching 49 passes for 681 yards, but fell out of favor last season, grabbing just three balls for 23 yards in 13 games. Boykin has 57 career receptions in three seasons, all with the Packers. 


Bears sign CB Alan Ball to one-year deal
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:44 pm ET) The Bears have signed cornerback Alan Ball to a one-year contract on Friday, per the team's official website.

Ball, 29, spent the last two seasons with the Jaguars, but was limited to only seven games in 2014 due to a biceps injury. He racked up 59 total tackles, 17 passes deflected and three interceptions over that span. He has played eight NFL seasons with the Cowboys, Texans and Jags.


Titans sign CB Brandon Harris to one-year deal
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:09 pm ET) The Titans have signed cornerback Brandon Harris to a one-year contract on Friday, per the team's official website. Harris played 11 games in 2014, his first season with the Titans. He finished with 11 combined tackles and three pass deflections last season.

Redskins' Thompson, Redd to compete for third-down back role
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:24 am ET) Redskins coach Jay Gruden said this week at the NFL owners' meetings running back Chris Thompson will get the first chance to secure third-down responsibilities, according to The Washington Post. Silas Redd will also get consideration for the role of third-down back.

“Chris [Thompson] came in last year at the end and did some things, and we’re hoping that he can come back and stay healthy in the offseason and give us a little jolt back there,” Gruden said. “And Silas Redd will get every chance to do some things also.”

Although, the Redskins could look to bring in some competition before training camp begins.

“I also think that at the running back position in the draft, there’s a ton of them,” Gruden said. “It’s a very deep running back draft in my opinion, and we’re excited to add another piece at some point, hopefully. We have seven picks. Hopefully one of them will be a running back, or a free agent to compete. There are some good free agents that haven’t been signed yet. But, giving Chris an opportunity, Silas, Alfred (Morris), that’s where it starts. And we’ll add some more later on for competition.”


Falcons could bring in Matt Schaub to vie for backup QB role
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:10 am ET) Falcons coach Dan Quinn is not ruling out bringing back former Atlanta quarterback Matt Schaub to compete for the backup role behind starter Matt Ryan, per ESPN.

"Schaub is certainly somebody that we could [add]," Quinn said. "As we get through it, we'll let you know if we go down that road."

The 34-year-old Schaub was released by the Raiders in mid-March. T.J. Yates and Sean Renfree are the other quarterbacks on the Falcons' roster.


Panthers' Rivera expecting Stephen Hill to contribute in 2015
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:45 am ET) Panthers coach Ron Rivera believes wide receiver Stephen Hill is ready to make an impact in 2015 after spending the 2014 season on the practice squad, per ESPN.

“Very much so," Rivera said Wednesday during the NFL owners meeting in Phoenix. “He’s a guy we feel has an opportunity. We’re very excited about [seeing] Stephen during OTAs and minicamp.

“With his size (6-4, 215) and speed and his ability to get vertical, if he can assimilate to what we do -- and I think he will; he seems to be a very smart man -- he might be a guy that has an opportunity to contribute for us."

Rivera felt Hill's year on the practice squad was beneficial after the 2012 second-round pick failed to live up to expectations during his tenure with the Jets. 

“I thought it was a good opportunity to take a step back and take a break," Rivera said. “The thing I liked about Stephen was how he contributed to our football team’s success. He came in. He had been a second-round pick. He had no assumptions, no entitlement.

“He ran all the scout teams for us. He ran them hard. Gave us great looks, which is what makes us excited 'cause you watch a guy perform who could very easily dog it, and he didn’t. And you saw him grow. You saw him make catches. You saw him get comfortable in his own skin again."


Terence Newman reunites with Mike Zimmer in Minnesota
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:16 am ET) The Vikings announced Friday they signed cornerback Terence Newman, who played for coach Mike Zimmer in Dallas and Cincinnati.

“That’s the biggest thing. He can still play. He came in the league later. I think he was 25 when he came in,” Zimmer said, per the team's official website. “He struggled a little bit in Dallas and then played great in Cincinnati. Last year, he didn’t play quite as good, so seemingly with me, we get things fixed a little bit. I really respect him, and I think he really respects me.”

Although terms of the deal were not officially released, NFL.com reported earlier this week the veteran cornerback's deal is a one-year, $2.5 million contract.


 
 
 
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