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Starting Points for Week 6

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With six teams not playing this weekend and injuries continuing to pile up, your talent pool is thinner than usual. Yours truly will help you try to find some "Bye Week Broskis" to keep your starting lineups strong.

Quarterbacks

Get 'em active ...

Eli Manning (vs. Buffalo) -- Yes, the interceptions were back in an ugly Week 5 loss to the Seahawks, but Eli also threw for a career high 420 yards and three touchdowns in the game. He has posted a big game in three straight weeks and has thrown 11 touchdowns with only four interceptions in his last four games. Victor Cruz has really breathed some life into this passing attack and with Cruz playing a prominent role in the offense over the last three weeks, Eli is averaging 332 yards and three scores per game through the air. See, there is still a Manning putting up huge numbers in 2011! The Bills enter this game having surrendered 10 passing scores on the year, tied for third most, and they have been especially generous of late. Over the last four games, no quarterback (including Andy Dalton and Jason Campbell) has produced fewer than 20 Fantasy points against the Bills and they have given up an average of 331 yards passing, 2.75 total touchdowns and 26 Fantasy points per game. They do generate turnovers and have 11 interceptions during that span, but those negative points have not slowed down any of the other quarterbacks and Eli showed just last week that it won't stop him from a big game either. Eli is a great start for your teams in week 6. (Projection Snapshot: 319 yards passing and two TDs with two INTs)

Quarterback Bye Week Broski: Colt McCoy (at Oakland)

For more from Nathan check out his website at thefantasyconsultant.com

Ride the pine ...

Curtis Painter (at Cincinnati) -- I was mocked on Fantasy Football Today for recommending Painter as a Bye Week Broski in Week 5 and he delivered a very solid game of 277 yards and two scores for those who took the plunge. I am well aware that Paintermania is running wild and that he has produced over 275 yards and two scores (21 plus points in both weeks) with no interceptions in his two starts, but the Bengals are one of the toughest defenses in the NFL. The Bengals are allowing just 12.4 points per game to opposing quarterbacks -- fourth fewest in the league -- and they have been especially dominant of late. Over the last three weeks, the Bengals have allowed only one passing touchdown and no quarterback has gotten to 225 yards or 12 Fantasy points against them. In fact, no quarterback has produced 20 points against them on the season and no quarterback has even hit 225 yards in all five games. They are the third-ranked pass defense in the NFL at 205.8 yards per game and I think the Bengals are going to paint an ugly picture for the Colts offense in Week 6, so keep Painter and his flowing locks on your bench. (Projection Snapshot: 200 yards passing and one TD with two INTs)

Running Backs

Get 'em active ...

Cedric Benson (vs. Indianapolis) -- Benson will not be suspended this week, which means he must be in your starting lineups against the Colts. I expect the Colts offense to struggle against an excellent Cincinnati defense in Week 6, which means we will see a heavy dose of Benson against a porous Colts run defense. Indianapolis is giving up 145.2 yards per game (second), 1.2 touchdowns per game (third) and 20 fantasy points per game (eighth). Three of the five starters against them have run for over 100 yards and four of the five have topped 100 total yards. The Colts have been especially bad in their two road games, giving up 318 yards and three touchdowns rushing while opposing runners totaled 53 Fantasy points. Benson is second in the league with 101 carries but as last week showed, carries do not always equal production. Benson is coming off of a disappointing game with just 53 yards on 24 carries, but he won't only be busy in Week 6, he will also be very productive. Look for 100-plus yards and his first red zone touchdown of the season, making Benson is a quality No. 1 running back for your teams this week. (Projection Snapshot: 113 yards rushing, one TD; 13 yards receiving)

Shonn Greene (vs. Miami) -- Rex Ryan said the Jets were going to get back to running the football in Week 5 against the Patriots and that sure seemed to be the case as Shonn Greene had his best game of 2011. He ran it a season high 21 times and produced, you guessed it, a season high 83 yards and a touchdown. Clearly having center Nick Mangold back was a huge piece of the puzzle for Greene and he should continue to have success in Week 6 against the Dolphins. The Fins are giving up an average of 148 total yards per game to opposing running backs, including 104 yards rushing, and are giving up 17 points per game to the position. I expect Miami to struggle offensively with Matt Moore under center, which means that the Jets should be able to wear down the Dolphins defense with a power ground attack as the game progresses. Greene is that fourth quarter hammer (LaDainian only had two carries last week) and should see another 20-plus carries and approach 100 total yards with a touchdown. (Projection Snapshot: 88 yards rushing, one TD; 12 yards receiving)

Running Back Bye Week Broski: James Starks/Ryan Grant (vs. St. Louis), Ryan Torain (vs. PHI), Earnest Graham (vs. NO if Blount is out)

Ride the pine ...

BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs. Dallas) -- I loved Green-Ellis last week against what has turned out to be a surprisingly soft Jets run defense and he had his best game of the year by far with a career high 136 yards rushing and two scores. One thing Bill Belichick is a master at is developing a game plan that limits the effectiveness of an opponent’s strengths while exploiting their weaknesses. That's why the Pats called a season high 34 rushing plays in Week 5 and why they will probably air it out a ton in Week 6. The Cowboys are actually tops in the NFL against the run, giving up just 61.8 yards and .25 touchdowns per game. No running back has reached 50 yards against the Boys and they are only allowing 12 points per game to the position, third fewest in the league. A closer examination however reveals that half of those 12 points per game come from receiving totals, so they are in essence allowing a total of 6 points per week to running backs on rushing totals alone. You can, however, throw on the Cowboys, which is where I expect to see Tom Brady and company attack this defense. Only Rex Grossman failed to put up 19-plus points against the Dallas pass defense, so look for the Pats to rely much more on the aerial assault this week than they did in Week 5. Yes, Green-Ellis could easily punch in a short touchdown, but even with that, I'd put his upside at about 10 points this week. I'd rather play a higher upside option and keep the red-hot Law Firm reserved in Week 6. (Projection Snapshot: 43 yards rushing)

Mark Ingram (at Tampa Bay) -- Ingram may be the most frustrating running back (who is healthy) in all of Fantasy Football right now. He plays for an awesome team and is their goal line back, yet he has only two scores on the year and has yet to reach 60 total yards in a game. Ingram has seen as many as 17 carries and as few as nine and has only averaged over four yards per carry in one game so far. Last week, he had a perfect matchup with Carolina and was only able to pick up 32 yards and a score on nine runs. This week he faces another defense that just gave up over 200 yards and two touchdowns on the ground the week before, so he should be a must start, right? I am not so sure after taking a closer look at the Bucs defensive performances. Tampa Bay is definitely much better at home and the numbers certainly bear that out so far. In 2011, the Bucs are giving up an average of 17.4 points per game to opposing running backs, which is fairly generous. However, they are giving up an average of 31.5 points per game on the road and only 8.7 per game at home. In their last two home games, they held the Falcons (with Michael The Burner Turner) and Colts running backs to just 10 points combined. When you consider that Ingram is accounting for only 27.4 percent of the New Orleans running back Fantasy production, it is hard to get too excited about him this week. Much like I feel about BenJarvus Green-Ellis, sure he could score and get your 10-11 points, or he could fail to score and leave with 4 or 5 like he has already done three times in 2011. To put it clearly in perspective, Ingram has just one more Fantasy point on the year than his less heralded backfield mate, Pierre Thomas. The Bucaneers were just embarrassed and will play tough at home in a big divisional game, so look for Ingram to post very modest totals. (Projection Snapshot: 43 yards rushing)

Wide Receivers

Get 'em active ...

Steve Johnson (at N.Y. Giants) -- Touchdown Steve has gone without in back-to-back games and I get the sense that many Fantasy owners are panicking with him. I would not do that, especially when you consider that no teams are harder on opposing No. 1 Fantasy receivers than the Eagles and Bengals, his last two opponents. No opposing No. 1 receiver had reached 70 yards against either team and only Hakeem Nicks (who was held to 23 yards against Philly) scored against them. In other words, he struggled in some very tough matchups. Over the first three weeks of the year, Johnson was averaging seven catches for 85 yards and a score per game and I look for him to return to those numbers against the Giants in Week 6. The Giants are allowing 25.6 points per game to opposing receivers, ninth most, and I expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to get the ball back into the hands of his top receiver this week. Look for a relatively high scoring affair and feel very comfortable keeping Steve Johnson in your lineups. (Projection Snapshot: 75 yards receiving, five catches and one TD)

A.J. Green (vs. Indianapolis) -- Give the man eight or more targets in a game and A.J. Green will produce double-digit Fantasy points every single time. Green enters Week 6 with an 80 percent consistency rate (tied for third among wide receivers) and when he gets the chances to make plays, the man makes plays. Green has seen eight or more targets in three games and in those contests he has picked up 332 yards receiving and two scores. He is posting amazing efficiency numbers for a rookie wide receiver, as he is catching nearly 60 percent of his targets and averaging 9.8 yards per target. Andy Dalton is going to Green more and more as the year progresses and I do not expect that trend to stop against the Colts in Week 6. The Colts have been abused by true. No. 1 receivers. In Week 1 Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 95 yards and a score. In Week 3, Mike Wallace erupted for 144 yards and a score on five catches and just last week Dwayne Bowe caught 7 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns of his own. Look for Green to stay hot and feast on a Colts team that can not handle big, fast stud receivers. (Projection Snapshot; 88 yards receiving, one TD)

Wide Receiver Bye Week Broski: Mario Manningham/Victor Cruz (vs. Buffalo)

Ride the pine ...

Brandon Marshall (at N.Y. Jets) -- Marshall leads the NFL with seven drops through his four games and will have to deal with Revis Island and a new quarterback in Week 6. Matt Moore has not exactly been a productive quarterback in his NFL tenure, although he did have a nice little stretch at the end of 2009. Since then however, Moore has thrown only five touchdowns with 11 interceptions while averaging less than 200 yards per game and right around six yards per attempt. That is not a recipe for success when you have to face the Jets' excellent pass defense that has allowed only one passing touchdown in its last four games and has held every quarterback not named Tom Brady or Tony Romo to less than 165 yards passing. When they have not played Brady or Romo, the Jets have held opposing receivers to just 25 points total in those three games. Since we all know Matt Moore is no Romo, I think it is best to stay away from all Dolphins other than running back Daniel Thomas in Week 6, and that includes Marshall. If you need any more reasons as to why to sit Marshall, keep in mind that he was held to just two catches for 16 yards in his only game against Revis as a member of the Fins. Yes, he did score in that game, but seven points (or one if he does not score) is not enough to pay the Fantasy bills in the year of passing. (Projection Snapshot: 35 yards receiving)

Tight Ends

Get 'em active ...

Dustin Keller (vs. Miami) -- Keller is in a slump with just three catches for 19 yards in his last two games, but look for him to turn it around against the Dolphins in Week 6. After their first four games, the Fins are allowing a 75 percent consistency rate to opposing starting tight ends and are giving up 12.5 points per game to the position, second most in the league. Keller himself owns Miami, with 17 catches for 202 yards and three scores in his last three meetings with them. He has a 67 percent big game rate during that span and if the Jets look back to their 2-0 start, they will see that Keller was a huge factor with 11 catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Getting Keller involved off of play action should be a point of emphasis for offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer this week. Given Keller's excellent history of success against Miami and the fact that it is a very favorable matchup, owners should look to get him back into lineups for Week 6. (Projection Snapshot: 64 yards receiving, one TD)

Tight End Bye Week Broski: Heath Miller (vs. Jacksonville)

Good luck this week!

Glossary
Target Conversion Rate or Catch Rate (TCR): The percentage of a player's targets (passes thrown to them) that are converted into receptions. Over 60 percent is excellent, 66 percent is elite and under 52.5 percent is worrisome.
Yards per Target (YPT): A player's receiving yards divided by his targets. In other words, the numbers of yards a team gains on average every time they attempt a pass to a certain player. Over 10 is exceptional, over 8 is solid and 6 or lower is horrendous.
Red Zone Opportunities: A player's total number of pass+rush+targets inside the opponent's 20 yard line
Red Zone TD Rate: The percentage of a player's Red Zone opportunities that result in a TD
Goal Line Opportunities: A player's total number of pass+rush+targets inside the opponent's 5 yard line
Goal Line TD Rate: The percentage of a player's Goal Line opportunities that result in a TD
Consistency Rate: The percentage of quality starts a player gives you out of 16 games. For QBs that is a game with 300+ yards passing OR multiple TDs. For RBs/WRs: A game with 100+ yards rush/rec or a game with a TD. For TEs: A game with 60+ yards receiving or a TD. For a Kicker: A game with multiple FGs.
Big Game Rate: The percentage of dominant starts a player gives you out of 16 games (games missed with injury count as a bad game since they do not help your Fantasy teams). For a QB that is a game with 300+ yards and 2+ TDs or 200+ yards and 3+ TDs. For a RB/WR that is a game with 100+ combined rush/rec yards and a TD or a game with multiple TDs. For a TE that is a game of 60+ yards and a TD, 100+ yards or a game with multiple TDs.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Nathan at @NathanZeguraTFC .

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Player News
Report: Rams among teams interested in trade for Eagles' Foles
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:02 am ET) Teams are beginning to show interest in Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, as reports are surfacing Philadelphia is unsure of what to do with the third-year quarterback, per NJ.com. A source said the Rams have interest in Foles should the Eagles choose to trade him this offseason. 

The Titans and Texans have also been mentioned as teams that would have interest in Foles, if he hits the trade market.

It's still unclear if the Eagles would be willing to move Foles. NJ.com reported last week the Eagles, who have the 20th pick in the NFL Draft, are considering making a run at Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota in the draft. 

"From No. 20, it's certainly not going to be easy,'' a source said. "It's probably going to take moving up twice to do it. There's going to be some wheeling and dealing involved.

"Can it happen? I don't know. But they're going to try."

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly recruited Mariota to Oregon and coached him for two years.

"Obviously, [with] my relationship with coach Kelly, it'd be a lot of fun to be a part of that offense and be a part of that team," Mariota said when asked about a potential reunion with Kelly.

Foles is 15-9 as a starter in the NFL, but he has yet to play a full season. He has completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 6,753 yards, 46 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.


Colts' Luck on new contract: 'There's nothing there right now'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:01 am ET) An ESPN report surfaced last week stating the Colts were working on making quarterback Andrew Luck the highest-paid player in the NFL. When asked about the subject at the Pro Bowl, Luck seemed surprise when he heard the news.

"There's nothing there right now," Luck said, per The Indianapolis Star. "I didn't think about it all during the season and it's only been a few days since it ended. I haven't thought about it. I will have conversations with my agent just because you have to prepare, but I'm not sure where that report came from."

Luck has two years remaining on the $22 million deal he signed as a rookie in 2012. It includes a team option for 2016, which must be exercised later this year.

Luck just completed his third season in the NFL. He has been to the Pro Bowl every year he's been in the NFL. He's gone 11-5 in every season as an NFL starter. He threw for a career-best 40 touchdowns in 2014 and led Indianapolis to the AFC title game this season.


Seahawks' Sherman disappointed he won't receive gifts from Pro Bowl
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:48 am ET) In case you missed Sunday's Pro Bowl, Team Irvin knocked off Team Carter, 32-28, thanks to a second-half rally, which included touchdown catches by Emmanuel Sanders and Jimmy Graham.

While many Pro Bowl players that made the original roster were absent from the game due to injuries, Pro Bowl players from the Patriots and Seahawks also did not play due to preparations for next Sunday's Super Bowl.

One player who seemed upset about missing the Pro Bowl was Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. However, it was for a reason you probably wouldn't suspect.

“Only thing I’m disappointed in is they won’t give us our gifts from the Pro Bowl, which is kind of dumb,” Sherman said, per The Boston Globe. “The NFL is the only league that punishes the players who actually make the All-Star game by not giving them their gifts. It’s supposed to be watches and some other stuff, but we don’t get them so I couldn’t tell you.”


Patriots' Tom Brady on Deflategate: 'My feelings got hurt'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:33 am ET) If you have been out of the loop for the last week, then you might be unaware the Patriots have been under a lot of scrutiny since the AFC title game due to improperly inflated footballs used against the Colts. The media hoopla has transformed the controversy into what we know as Deflategate.

If you haven't been out of the loop, then you are well aware of the nonstop coverage it has received the last week and despite the Patriots pleas for it to go away, it just won't.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has had to deal with the backlash from Deflategate, and he found himself talking about the subject again Monday morning during an interview with WEEI.

“It’s all speculation,” Brady said. “I’ve tried to wrap my head around it, too. I’ve done that and I’m trying to move past that, because I continue to try to rehash things. I personalized a lot of things and thought this was all about me, and my feelings got hurt. Then I moved past it, because it’s not serving me. What’s serving me is try to prepare for the game ahead. I’ll deal with whatever happens later. I’ll have my opportunity to try to figure out what happened and figure out a theory like everyone else is trying to do. But this isn’t the time for that. Honestly, I’m not interested in trying to find out right now, because we have the biggest game of our season ahead.”

One topic Brady didn't have a problem addressing was the speculation coach Bill Belichick threw him under the bus during a press conference on Thursday. But Brady came to the defense of Belichick, who has won three Super Bowls as the Patriots coach.

“I’ve never once felt that we’re not on the same page,” Brady said. “He’s a great coach. He’s the only coach I’ve ever played for; he’s the only coach I’d ever want to play for. There’s a lot of people over the years that have criticized him, but I’d say there’s not one player who’s ever played for him who’s not had an unbelievable amount of respect for him and how he prepares and his diligence and his preparation."


Giants' Odell Beckham says he played with hamstring tears
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:24 am ET) Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham said he played all season with two tears in his hamstrings, according to the New York Daily News.

Beckham took part in the Pro Bowl on Sunday, but admitted he's still not fully healed. Beckham said the injuries prevented him from getting to that "last gear that I wanted to have." He added that the injuries really bothered him against the Eagles and Colts. Beckham said he was "stumbling" and falling over during those games. He added that he's not sure whether he'll ever be 100 percent again.

The rookie had a tremendous season, hauling in 91 balls for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. 


Patriots' Tom Brady meeting with NFL after Super Bowl 49
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Patriots quarterback Tom Brady doesn't expect to meet with the NFL until after Super Bowl XLIX, according to NFL.com.

The Patriots have been in the headlines all week due to Deflategate, and it appears the situation won't be resolved until after the season. "I believe they're going to do [a meeting] after the season," Brady said. "So we'll deal with it after this game. I think everybody is locked in, ready to go for the Super Bowl." Both Brady and coach Bill Belichick have held separate press conferences during the week to deny the team's involvement in deflating their footballs. 

The Patriots are subject to punishment from the NFL if the league finds any wrongdoing during the investigation. 


Earl Thomas on bad shoulder: 'I'll still play fearless'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) 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
(1/25/2015) 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
(1/25/2015) 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
(1/25/2015) 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.


 
 
 
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