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Into the deep for Week 6

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Every week I'll dive into some sleepers beyond what we write in Start 'Em and Sit 'Em to help some of you in deeper leagues. Some weeks will have more guys than others, but this should be helpful for those owners in 14- and 16-team leagues.

Quarterback

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Joe Flacco (vs. HOU): I like teams coming off their bye because two weeks to prepare for an opponent is usually a good thing. Flacco has been studying the Texans defense since he last played in Week 4, and he should be ready to go. In his past two games coming off a bye, Flacco has passed for 441 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He has faced Houston twice in his career, including last season, and has 420 passing yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in those matchups. The Texans just lost standout linebacker Mario Williams (pectoral), and Houston has allowed multiple touchdown passes in two of the past three games against Drew Brees and Jason Campbell. (Start percentage for Week 4: 26 percent)
Colt McCoy (at OAK): The Raiders have found out that losing cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha will hurt their secondary because three of five quarterbacks that they faced have passed for at least 300 yards, and four of them have thrown for multiple touchdowns. McCoy has posted solid numbers so far this season with at least 18 Fantasy points in three of four starts, and the Browns are trying to improve their passing game by giving Greg Little and Evan Moore increased playing time. If you're looking for a bye-week replacement in Week 6 then plan on using McCoy based on the matchup. (Start percentage for Week 4: 4 percent)
Sam Bradford (at GB): This is my Hail Mary for this week since Bradford has the chance to throw for plenty of yards in what should be a Packers victory. He will likely get plenty of late-game stats. Bradford, who has been sacked 18 times this season, should face plenty of pressure in his matchup with Green Bay on Sunday in Week 6. The Packers are among the league leaders in sacks with 12, and they will come after Bradford with the hope of forcing him into several mistakes. But if Bradford has time, he might be able to attack this secondary. The Packers are No. 30 in pass defense, and four quarterbacks have scored multiple touchdowns against Green Bay. (Start percentage for Week 4: 9 percent)

Running back

Mark Ingram (at TB): Ingram had his first game with double digits in Fantasy points last week at Carolina with nine carries for 32 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 17 yards. I would love to see what he could do with more carries, but that will be difficult since he continues to share playing time with Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas. Still, he could be a good starting option this week based on the matchup. The Bucs have allowed four rushing touchdowns this season, including two last week against San Francisco, and three running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points. At some point we'd love to call Ingram a must-start Fantasy option, but for now he should be considered a fringe starter with upside. (Start percentage for Week 5: 55 percent)
Michael Bush (vs. CLE): The key for Bush is scoring touchdowns, and he had a three-game scoring streak snapped in Week 5 at Houston. But he has the chance to score against the Browns, who have struggled in run defense. Now, Cleveland has allowed just one rushing touchdown on the season, but three running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points in four games. Bush has scored in two home games in a row, and he has the chance for about 8-10 Fantasy points in this matchup. (Start percentage for Week 5: 19 percent)
Earnest Graham (vs. NO): Graham is going to start with LeGarrette Blount (knee) out, and he should be a useful No. 2 running back or flex option depending on your league. The Saints have allowed three rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs and three have reached double digits in Fantasy points, including DeAngelo Williams last week. Graham was once a quality Fantasy option in 2007-08 when he made 20 starts and scored 14 touchdowns. He's not going to produce like Blount, but he could be a quality replacement this week as he will get the majority of touches with Blount out. (Start percentage for Week 5: 10 percent)
Montario Hardesty (at OAK): The Browns are saying Peyton Hillis will get his full workload again this week, but Hardesty will still touch the ball enough where you can use him in deeper formats. He has 13 Fantasy points in his past two games, and the Raiders have allowed six touchdowns to opposing running backs and five to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Hillis should get plenty of production, but Hardesty has eight catches for 68 yards the past two games, which could lead to some increased totals in the passing game. (Start percentage for Week 4: 2 percent)
Jason Snelling (vs. CAR): Snelling has done next to nothing so far this season with three carries for 12 yards and 10 catches for 64 yards, but he might be needed in the passing game with Julio Jones (hamstring) out. This is more like a Hail Mary call since the Falcons still have Michael Turner, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez to do the heavy lifting, but Atlanta does have a favorable matchup against the Panthers. Carolina has allowed seven touchdowns to opposing running backs and five to reach double digits in Fantasy points, including John Kuhn and Jed Collins, and Snelling could come away with a cheap score this week. (Start percentage for Week 5: 1 percent)

Wide receiver

James Jones (vs. STL): Jones is fourth on the pecking order at best for the Packers in the passing game behind Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley and Jordy Nelson, but the fourth option for Aaron Rodgers is better than most. Heading into Week 6 against St. Louis, Jones now has eight catches for 188 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games. He also has a good matchup this week. The Rams have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing receivers. He should be considered a No. 3 Fantasy option this week. (Start percentage for Week 5: 4 percent)
Greg Little (at OAK): Little is coming off his best game of the season with six catches for 57 yards in Week 4 against Tennessee, and the Browns have said they want to increase his playing time, starting this week against the Raiders. Oakland has allowed six touchdowns to opposing receivers and five have reached double digits in Fantasy points. If you're stuck this week and need a No. 3 receiver with upside then give Little a chance in deeper formats. He could reward you with a good performance based on the matchup. (Start percentage for Week 4: 0 percent)
David Nelson (at NYG): Even though Nelson scored last week against the Eagles, his production the past two games has been disappointing with just three catches for 24 yards. Even more concerning is just five targets over that span, but he should be more involved this week against the Giants. They have allowed five touchdowns to opposing receivers and five have reached double digits in Fantasy points. If you look at receivers who have hurt the Giants it's been Jabar Gaffney, Anthony Armstrong, Doug Baldwin and Ben Obomanu. Nelson fits in with that bunch, and his targets should increase with Donald Jones (ankle) out. (Start percentage for Week 5: 29 percent)
Jabar Gaffney (vs. PHI): Just like the Giants, the Eagles have struggled with secondary receivers as well while locking down No. 1 options, which is why we have Santana Moss as a bust alert this week. The Eagles have allowed four touchdowns the past two weeks against Victor Cruz, Josh Morgan and Nelson, and Gaffney might see an increase in targets this week. He had 10 in his past two games, and he's had at least six Fantasy points in each game this season. He should be able to reach that total again in this matchup, and he can be considered a No. 3 Fantasy option. (Start percentage for Week 4: 14 percent)
Darrius Heyward-Bey (vs. CLE): Don't look now, but Heyward-Bey might be turning into a third-year breakout receiver. He now has 11 catches for 214 yards and a touchdown in his past two games against New England and the Texans, and he had 12 targets in Week 5. The Raiders are relying on Heyward-Bey as a playmaker, and he has rewarded them with quality production. The Browns could be without standout cornerback Joe Haden (knee), which would open the door for Heyward-Bey to have another quality performance this week. (Start percentage for Week 5: 2 percent)

Tight end

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Fred Davis (vs. PHI): The way to attack the Eagles is with their safeties and linebackers, and Rex Grossman will have to rely on Davis in this matchup. He has struggled the past two games with five catches for 59 yards after starting the season off well with 11 catches for 191 yards and a touchdown in his first two games. We can see Davis having an impact against the Eagles, who have allowed three touchdowns to tight ends this season. (Start percentage for Week 4: 38 percent)
Visanthe Shiancoe (at CHI): Shiancoe is not a good Fantasy option, but he does have a good matchup this week. The Bears have allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends with five touchdowns allowed over the past three games. They also have allowed at least seven Fantasy points to five tight ends, and Shiancoe does have two touchdowns against the Bears in his past four meetings. Hopefully this a week where Shiancoe takes advantage of a good opportunity, and we consider him a bye-week replacement. (Start percentage for Week 5: 18 percent)
Benjamin Watson (at OAK): The Texans beat up the Raiders last week with Owen Daniels and Joel Dreessen catching 12 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown, and Oakland has allowed four tight ends to reach at least seven Fantasy points this season. Watson is coming off his best game of the season in Week 4 against the Titans with six catches for 48 yards and a touchdown, and he has 11 catches for 112 yards in his past two games. Even with Moore expected to see more production, Watson will remain heavily involved. He is worth using if you need a tight this week based on the matchup. (Start percentage for Week 4: 6 percent)
Heath Miller (vs. JAC): Like Watson, Miller comes into his Week 6 matchup against the Jaguars playing well against a favorable opponent. He had three catches for 46 yards and a touchdown against Tennessee last week and now has at least seven Fantasy points in two of his past three games. The Jaguars have allowed a tight end to score against them in four consecutive games, and Miller could keep that streak alive. He won't need to do much blocking in this game compared to what he normally does because Jacksonville has a weak pass rush. (Start percentage for Week 5: 11 percent)

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Jets backfield takes shape following Johnson signing
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5:53 pm ET) With the Jets signing Chris Johnson on Wednesday, the rest of their backfield should start to take shape, reports the New York Daily News.

The report says Johnson and Chris Ivory will work as a tandem, and Bilal Powell will be the No. 3 running back. Mike Goodson is expected to be released before the start of the season.


Chris Johnson excited for 'fresh start'
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5:48 pm ET) New Jets running back Chris Johnson's two-year deal is worth $8 million with another $1 million in incentives, reports Pro Football Talk. Johnson was scheduled to make $8 million for the Titans in 2014 alone before he was released.

Meanwhile, Johnson told the Tennessean that he's looking forward to this opportunity with the Jets.

"I have a fresh start. Now I am going to go out there with a chip on my shoulder," Johnson said. "I know a lot of people are doubting me. I want to prove everybody wrong who has doubts in me."


Bengals sign punter T.J. Conley
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4:21 pm ET) The Bengals signed free agent punter T.J. Conley on Wednesday. 

Conley punted in 16 games for the Jets in 2011. He averaged 42.7 yards on 92 punts, and his 38.8-yard net average was the highest in Jets history. He had 32 inside-20 kicks with just six touchbacks, and his plus-26 differential on inside-20s to touchbacks ranked tied for third in the NFL.

Conley did not play in the 2012 or 2013 regular seasons. He was with the Jets in the 2012 preseason and with Cleveland in the 2013 preseason.

Conley will challenge incumbent Kevin Huber for the starting job, but most likely he won't make the final roster.


Chris Johnson signs two-year deal with the Jets
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(3:19 pm ET) The Jets have signed running back Chris Johnson to a two-year deal, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

Johnson told reporters on Tuesday he was taking free agency one day at a time and added that he had other visits planned, but the Jets must have made him an improved offer to lock up the one-time 2,000-yard running back. 

Johnson has totaled at least 1,400 yards in each of his last four seasons with the Titans since running for 2,006 yards in 2009. He also scored 10 touchdowns in 2013 (four receiving). 


Clay Matthews says it's thumbs up for training camp
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:37 pm ET) Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said he's diligently rehabbing his injured thumb, comparing it to a torn ACL rather than a typical bone break. As part of the injury he also had surgery on his forearm, which got damaged when he re-injured the thumb late last season. But he told USA Today that he'll be ready for the start of training camp, though he'll miss offseason workouts. 

Mike James resumes running and cutting
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:28 pm ET) Buccaneers running back Mike James is working his way back into football shape after breaking his left ankle last season. He told the Tampa Bay Times that he's been running and cutting and is aiming to get back to full strength and speed. Asked if he would be ready for the team's April minicamp, James said he and the team are "taking everything day by day." 

Josh Freeman signs with Giants
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12:33 pm ET) The Giants have signed quarterback Josh Freeman, reports FOX Sports.

Freeman spent last season with the Buccaneers and Vikings. His only appearance for Minnesota was against the Giants, and he completed 20 of 53 passes for 190 yards and an interception.

Freeman will try and make the final roster for the Giants as a backup to Eli Manning, who is coming off ankle surgery this offseason. The Giants also have Curtis Painter and Ryan Nassib on the roster.


Rob Gronkowski will 'take his time' coming back
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12:26 pm ET) Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will "take his time and then take more time" coming back from a torn ACL suffered last season, a source told Bleacher Report

Gronkowski's heart was questioned last year when he took his time coming back from forearm and back procedures. This year he might not care how long he takes as he wants to practice patience in his rehab. 

The knee injury happened in December of last year. Usually it takes nine months to come back from an ACL injury without incident. That would mean he'd be ready to hit the field by late August. 


Haloti Ngata turned down extension with Ravens
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(11:10 am ET) Looking to free up cap space earlier this offseason, the Ravens offered a "lucrative, long-term" deal with defensive lineman Haloti Ngata so that he wouldn't cost $16 million in cap space. Ngata, 30 years old with two years left on his current deal, wasn't willing to take the extension, NFL Network reports. 

Report: Ravens planning to add two running backs
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:47 am ET) The Ravens are aware of what's been going on with Ray Rice this offseason but were planning to add a pair of running backs this offseason anyway. NFL Network reports that they now believe that one of those two might have to start depending on what happens with Rice. 

The veteran running back had a horrible 2013 season (under 1,000 total yards) and then was indicted on a third-degree aggravated assault charge when he struck his then-fiancee and current wife Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino. 


 
 
 
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