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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
49ers shopping LaMichael James
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5:06 pm ET) The 49ers are looking to trade running back LaMichael James in advance of next month's NFL Draft, reports the Sacramento Bee.

Meanwhile, James is aware of the trade rumors, apparently for a while now, since he tweeted Wednesday "when old news becomes new news" following the report.

James, a second-round pick in 2012, finds himself behind Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on the depth chart at running back this season. James served as the team's primary returner last year, but he wants a bigger role since he carried the ball just 12 times in 2013.


Joe Reitz stays with the Colts
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(2:11 pm ET) Offensive lineman Joe Reitz signed his restricted free agent tender offer on Thursday, giving him another year with the Colts. He started three games last season. 

Chris Johnson says arthritis reports 'not accurate'
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(2:10 pm ET) On a conference call with New York media, new Jets running back Chris Johnson said the report that he had arthritis in his knee was "not accurate," adding that he was "pretty sure I wouldn't have passed the physical" if he did have it. 

Earlier Thursday ESPN reported the Jets had "some concerns" about his knee

Johnson is expected to serve as part of a one-two punch at running back with Chris Ivory for the Jets. 


Vikings sign Kurt Coleman
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(11:31 am ET) The Vikings signed safety Kurt Coleman on Thursday. He spent the past four seasons with the Eagles and has seven career interceptions.

Coleman will try to make the final roster in Minnesota as a reserve defensive back and play on special teams.


Dwayne Bowe pleads guilty to amended charges
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:54 am ET) Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty to amended charges relating to his Nov. 10 arrest for marijuana possession, the Kansas City Star reports. He paid $610 in fines and didn't get probation. It remains to be seen if he'll be subject to the NFL's substance abuse program. 

Report: Giants should consider dealing Ryan Nassib
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:43 am ET) Now that the Giants have signed Josh Freeman to a contract, does it mean that second-year quarterback Ryan Nassib will be off the roster soon? 

The Newark Star-Ledger believes the Giants should assess Nassib's value going into the draft considering the lack of great quarterback talent available. A team looking for a quarterback-of-the-future could make an offer. 

Nassib had 19 pass attempts during the preseason last August and wasn't active for a single regular-season game. 


Robert Griffin III looking like old self
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:43 am ET) A couple of members of the Redskins organization have started raving about how good quarterback Robert Griffin III looks this offseason, reports the Washington Post.

Receiver Santana Moss said via an ESPN podcast that Griffin "looks more comfortable because he don't have to worry about that brace. I think the brace was the big discomfort last year. You know, he’s a young guy with those fiery legs that want to do so much, and that brace probably gave him a little pinch in the behind because he couldn't do the things that he was normally accustomed to doing. You can already see, when we're out there in conditioning and stuff, he's running around, looking like the old Robert Griffin."

And former tight end Chris Cooley, currently one of the team's radio broadcasters, said "he's another person right now. I was like, 'you're running unbelievably well.' It was silly to watch. ... When you watch him run, you're like, 'You're a freak. You're seriously a freak.'"


Report: Jets have concerns over Chris Johnson's knees
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:33 am ET) Less than 24 hours after signing Chris Johnson to a two-year deal that might be worth as much as $9 million, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Jets have some concerns over the condition of his knee. Johnson apparently has some arthritis in it stemming from his torn meniscus in 2013 (which he played through). 

Johnson hasn't missed a game in five straight seasons. He's expected to form a one-two punch with Chris Ivory in the Jets' backfield this year. 


Brian Cushing says he's 100 percent
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:27 am ET) Posting a picture of himself with his son from a beach, Texans linebacker Brian Cushing said via Twitter that he's been cleared for football. Cushing missed the last nine games of last season with a knee injury. 

"Quick Trip to Pensacola with my lead blocker, better believe I'm 100% #beachday #cleared #fivesixback," he wrote. 


Could Peyton Manning throw less in 2014?
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:23 am ET) Peyton Manning might be asked to throw less so "the offense can be more," ESPN speculated on Thursday. Manning threw 659 passes last season, completing 450 of them (68.3 pct.) for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. The yardage and touchdowns are NFL records. 

The thought process behind Manning being asked to throw less is that it would accentuate the run game and give the offense (read: Manning) more of an opportunity to build confidence in the running backs, namely Montee Ball.

No one on the Broncos has come out and suggested Manning will throw less. He still passed 583 times in 2012, seventh-most that year. Expect Manning to still throw plenty in 2014.


 
 
 
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