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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
49ers K Phil Dawson scores five points vs. Chargers Week 16
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:14 am ET) 49ers kicker Phil Dawson made five extra points but missed his only field-goal attempt in his team's 38-35 overtime loss to the Chargers in Week 16.

Dawson didn't have much of a shot at converting his lone field-goal try, as his team tasked him with attempting to avoid overtime by nailing a 60-yard field goal at the end of regulation. He didn't come close, and the 49ers went on to lose in overtime.

Dawson has made 23 of his 29 attempts this season and is now 5 for 8 from 50 yards or more. He'll square off with the Cardinals in Week 17.


49ers WR Michael Crabtree plays sparingly vs. Chargers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:11 am ET) 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree managed just one catch for five yards in his team's 38-35 overtime loss to the Chargers in Week 16.

Crabtree, who was questionable to play Saturday due to a knee injury, remained on the sidelines for large portions of the game, even donning a baseball cap at one point. It appeared he was set to play only in an emergency situation. However, the receiving corps was struck by multiple injuries, leaving the team to turn to Crabtree late, and he recorded his only catch in overtime.

Crabtree will try and heal up in time to serve a larger role in his team's season finale against the Cardinals in Week 17.


49ers WR Anquan Boldin catches seven passes vs. Chargers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:08 am ET) 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin recorded a team-high seven receptions on nine targets for 61 yards in his team's 38-35 overtime loss to the Chargers in Week 16.

Boldin managed more than half of the team's receiving production Saturday, as the other San Francisco players combined for only 53 yards on eight receptions, though rookie Bruce Ellington did managed to catch a touchdown.

Boldin had his best performance since a nine-catch, 137-yard breakout in Week 12. He's racked up 81 receptions for 981 yards with four touchdowns going into a Week 17 matchup with the Cardinals, a team for which he played from 2003 to 2009. He'll be looking to secure his seventh career 1,000-yard performance in the season finale.


49ers WR Bruce Ellington scores twice in Week 16 loss
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:03 am ET) 49ers wide receiver Bruce Ellington tallied three rushing attempts for 12 yards and a touchdown and added an eight-yard touchdown reception in his team's 38-35 overtime loss to the Chargers in Week 16.

Ellington scored both of his touchdowns in the second quarter, first hauling in the eight-yard touchdown on a play-action pass for which he was wide open. He then added the rushing touchdown on a jet play on third-and-goal where he took the ball on the move immediately after the snap and found a crease on the right side for the score.

It wasn't all positive for the rookie, as he was ruled out in the second half with a hamstring injury. If he can heal sufficiently during the upcoming week, he'll be in line to face the Cardinals in Week 17.


49ers RB Frank Gore rumbles for 158 yards vs. Chargers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:58 am ET) 49ers running back Frank Gore racked up 26 carries for 158 rushing yards with one touchdown in his team's 38-35 overtime loss to the Chargers in Week 16.

Both numbers represent season highs for Gore, who hasn't had a better rushing day since the 2009 season. He set the tone early, shaking off would-be tacklers en route to a 52-yard score less than two minutes into the game. Gore continually proved difficult to tackle, as he would have managed his third 100-yard game of the season even without the long touchdown.

Gore is now up to 962 rushing yards and four rushing scores on 230 carries. He has a reasonable shot at cracking the 1,000-yard mark in his team's Week 17 matchup with the Cardinals.


49ers QB Colin Kaepernick tallies 151 rushing yards vs. Chargers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:54 am ET) 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed 15 of his 24 pass attempts for jsut 114 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions but added 151 rushing yards on seven carries in his team's 38-35 overtime loss to the Chargers in Week 16.

Kaepernick had little trouble picking up chunks of yards against a defense that seemed adverse to tackling -- the 49ers set a new team record with 355 rushing yards in the game -- but his highlight came on a 90-yard scamper where he went untouched after crossing the line of scrimmage, with the Chargers committing a penalty on the play for good measure.

The rushing touchdown was the first of the season for Kaepernick, and his 151 rushing yards marked a new regular-season high. However, he's also failed to top 175 passing yards in any of his last four games. The 49ers will look to close out the season in strong fashion when they face the Cardinals in Week 17.


Chargers K Nick Novak nails game-winner in Week 16
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:49 am ET) Chargers kicker Nick Novak made his only field-goal attempt Saturday, hitting the game-winning kick from 40 yards out in his team's 38-35 overtime win over the 49ers in Week 16.

Novak had all week to think about missing two of his three attempts against the Broncos in Week 15 but drilled the key attempt early in the overtime period to send the Chargers home with a win. He also added five extra points, giving him his best point total in three December contests. Novak has a matchup with the Chiefs on the calendar for Week 17.


Chargers WR Malcom Floyd scores key TD in Week 16 win
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:46 am ET) Chargers wide receiver Malcom Floyd caught just four of his season-high 10 targets for 50 yards Saturday but also scored a crucial touchdown in his team's 38-35 overtime win over the 49ers in Week 16.

Floyd hadn't been on the same page as quarterback Philip Rivers for much of the night but came through when it mattered, hauling in the game-tying touchdown on an 11-yard post play with just 29 seconds left in regulation. He's up to 49 receptions, 827 yards and six touchdowns going into a Week 17 matchup with the Chiefs.


Chargers WR Dontrelle Inman catches seven passes Week 16
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:43 am ET) Chargers wide receiver Dontrelle Inman racked up seven receptions on nine targets for 79 yards in his team's 38-35 overtime win over the 49ers in Week 16.

The coaches opened the second half with Inman in the lineup and the team down 28-7, and the little-used receiver was able to reward the gamble with an excellent half of football, picking up all his receptions in the second half. It was the first time this season Inman had even seen a target in a game, but he was able to pick up three first downs, including one on a crucial fourth-and-10 with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter and his team down seven points. The Chargers tied the game two plays later before winning in overtime.

Inman may have earned himself a significant role in his team's Week 17 matchup with the Chiefs, especially if Keenan Allen is unable to return to action.


Chargers TE Antonio Gates scores twice in Week 16 win
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:37 am ET) Chargers tight end Antonio Gates caught seven of his nine targets for 92 yards with two touchdowns in his team's 38-35 overtime win over the 49ers in Week 16.

Gates had a quiet first half but helped lead the charge to come back from a three-touchdown deficit. His first score was on a one-yard catch on third-and-goal that he juggled a bit, but he was able to hang on while taking a hit at the goal line. His second score was on a wide-open 21-yard reception in the fourth quarter to bring his team to within one touchdown.

It was the fourth multiscore game of the season for Gates, who is now up to 65 receptions, 754 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season. He'll match up with the Chiefs in Week 17.


 
 
 
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