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Starting Points for Week 7

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Week 7 is upon us and with six teams off and injuries continuing to pile up, your talent pool is thinner than usual. I will help you try to find some "Bye Week Broskis" to keep your starting lineups strong.

Quarterbacks

Get 'em active ...

Tim Tebow (at Miami) -- "Tebowmania" is upon us and all the stars are aligned for a massive game from the southpaw gunslinger. Not only does he return to the state of Florida for his first start of 2011, but it just so happens to be University of Florida day put on by the Miami Dolphins. So, it will be a wildly pro-Tebow crowd and he gets to take on one of the league's most generous pass defenses. So far this year, the 'Fins are allowing 23.4 points per game to opposing quarterbacks, second in the league. Tebow himself has never produced fewer than 24 Fantasy points in a game that he has started thanks to his ability to run and hit big plays. Running quarterbacks score points and Tebow averaged 66 yards rushing per and one touchdown per game last year. Right there that is 12 points, or the direct equivalent of 300 yards passing. Think about that for a second. He does not have to complete over 50 percent of his passes or look like a traditional quarterback for our purposes, he needs to score Fantasy points and he does that with his legs, week in and week out. His legs also help him make big plays with his arm because Tebow averages 16 yards per completion and is at eight yards per attempt, despite being a 50 percent passer. Not too many quarterbacks can make that claim. It is an ideal matchup for Tebow and I would feel very comfortable giving him the start this week against a weak Miami defense. Look for another start of 24 plus points and for "Tebowmania" to run wild all over South Florida. (Projection Snapshot: 236 yards passing and two TDs with 52 yards rushing and TD)

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

Quarterback Bye Week Broski: Curtis Painter (vs. New Orleans), Matt Cassel (vs. Oakland), Colt McCoy (vs. Seattle)

Ride the pine ...

Matt Ryan (at Detroit) -- Ryan has failed to reach 170 yards passing in back to back games and has been very disappointing for his Fantasy owners in 2011. I do think that will change once he returns from his Week 8 bye, but I am expecting Matty to stay cold as ice in Week 7 against the Detroit Lions. The Lions enter the game as the sixth-ranked pass defense, allowing just 217 yards and 1.17 touchdowns per game (also sixth fewest). In terms of Fantasy production, the Lions are giving up just 11.67 points per game, fourth fewest. Only Tony Romo has thrown for multiple touchdowns or produced 17-plus points against the Lions in 2011. The Lions can get to the quarterback and generate a ton of pressure, something Ryan has struggled with this season as his Falcons have allowed 15 sacks, 10th most in the NFL. Ryan has only one game with multiple passing touchdowns all year long and there are just too many better options this week, like Tim Tebow or even Curtis "Picasso" Painter to go with Ryan on the road against a very stingy Detroit pass defense. (Projection Snapshot: 231 yards passing and one TD with one INT)

Running Backs

Get 'em active ...

Earnest Graham (vs. Chicago) -- Graham made his first start of 2011 and promptly ran for 109 yards on 17 carries against the New Orleans Saints en route to a 131 total-yard day. He should be able to produce double-digit points again for you this week against the Bears, which makes him start-worthy given all of the talent on the sidelines for Week 7. The Bears are giving up 121.8 yards rushing per game (11th) on a league high 5.4 yards per carry. I know Graham is not a big-play type of runner, but he looked very good last week and when you add in his receiving totals (averaging over four catches per game), Graham should be a very solid total-yardage play. Opposing rushers have scored in back to back games and the opposing starter has reached 80 plus yards or scored in four straight games and five of six on the year against the Bears. With LeGarrette Blount out this week, feel free to have a Graham cracker with your tea in London this week. (Projection Snapshot: 72 yards rushing, one TD, 20 yards receiving)

DeMarco Murray (vs. St. Louis) -- Felix Jones is out with a high ankle sprain and in steps the rookie from Oklahoma. Murray can be effective as both a runner and a pass catcher and he should be very busy this week against lowly St. Louis, which may have to start A.J. Feeley at quarterback. The Rams enter Week 7 as the league's worst run defense, giving up 163 yards per game on 4.9 yards per carry. Murray is extremely explosive and should break off a couple of long runs on the fast track of Dallas Cowboys stadium this week. The Rams have given up at least 23 points to running backs in four of their five games this year and they are allowing nearly 26 points per game to running backs in domes. Look for Murray to be a great pickup and play this week for you at running back and roll with him in Week 7. (Projection Snapshot: 73 yards rushing, one TD; 22 yards receiving)

Running Back Bye Week Broski: Ryan Torain/Tim Hightower (at Carolina), Jackie Battle (at Oakland), Michael Bush (vs. Kansas City)

Ride the pine ...

Maurice Jones-Drew (vs. Baltimore) -- MJD has to get all the credit in the world for being third in the NFL with 572 yards rushing on an incredible 4.8 yards per carry despite getting absolutely nothing in the way of support from the Jaguars passing game, which ranks dead last in the NFL. He has played a very tough schedule so far and has delivered at least eight Fantasy points in every game, but that streak could come to an end in Week 7. The Ravens have only allowed one rusher to get to eight points against them and that was Javon Ringer, who scored on them in Week 2. No starting running back has gotten to 80 yards against the Ravens, who have allowed a league low six rushing touchdowns in their last 21 games. For the year, the Ravens are giving up only 9.4 points per game to opposing running backs, second fewest in the league, and they are the third-ranked run defense at 73.3 yards per game (3.3 yards per carry) and .2 touchdowns per game. MJD is averaging just about 12 receiving yards per game, so his points will have to come with his legs. I would recommend staying away from him this week against a Ravens team that just held Arian Foster to 49 yards on 15 carries in Week 6. (Projection Snapshot: 63 yards rushing)

James Starks (at Minnesota) -- In an ideal world, Starks would be the full-time back for the Packers, but unfortunately that is not the case and Starks' production, or lack thereof, has been very frustrating. Expect the frustration to continue in Week 7 against a much improved Vikings run defense. The Vikings are currently the league's fourth-ranked run defense at 83.5 yards per game (3.5 yards per carry) and have become tough to run on after a very slow start. In the last four weeks, the Vikings have not allowed a single 100-yard rusher and have given up just 12 points per game to the position. In fact, during that span opposing running backs are averaging just 66 yards per game rushing. That would be tough enough if Starks were the lone runner, but of course he has to share with Ryan Grant. Starks himself has not reached 65 yards rushing in four straight games and does not have a touchdown since Week 1. After all it is hard to score when you have only one goal line rushing attempt in six games. With the Vikings playing well and Starks being mired in a running back by committee on a decidedly pass first team, I would stay away from him this week unless it was as a flex option in a point-per-reception format. If you do not have any other options due to byes, the one thing Starks has going for him is that Christian Ponder is making his NFL debut and should struggle. Still, I'd rather play DeMarco Murray and Jackie Battle -- to name two -- over Starks this week. (Projection Snapshot: 43 yards rushing and 22 yards receiving)

Wide Receivers

Get 'em active ...

Nate Washington (vs. Houston) -- Washington is the top receiving option for surprisingly successful quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and the Titans and that means he should be in line for a big game against the Texans. The Texans have already allowed four touchdowns to opposing top receivers on the year, tied for third most. They have also given up an 83 percent consistency rate to the top receivers as four have scored and Anquan Boldin just put up 132 yards. In fact, no opposing No. 1 receiver has been below seven Fantasy points or five catches against the Texans and after six weeks, they are averaging 13.1 points per game. Washington himself is playing the best football of his career, as he is receiving 7.8 targets per game (22nd) and is catching a career best 71.8 percent of them. Washington is also averaging an elite 10 yards per target on the season, so look for him to be well utilized in a very favorable matchup with the Texans when the Titans return from their Week 6 bye. (Projection Snapshot; 89 yards receiving, six catches and one TD)

Anquan Boldin (vs. Jacksonville) -- All you need to know is that in their last 38 games, the Jaguars have surrendered a league high 28 touchdowns to opposing No. 1 receivers. They have already given up a league high five scores to top receivers in 2011 and Boldin should make it six in Week 7. Boldin is coming off of his best day of the season, as he caught eight passes for 132 yards against the Texans in Week 6 and while I don't see another 130 yards, I do think he will top 70 yards with a touchdown on Monday. Joe Flacco clearly made a point to get Boldin the ball in a favorable matchup last week as he saw a team high nine targets and I expect the same to happen this week, making Boldin a top play at the position against the Jags. (Projection Snapshot; 83 yards receiving, one TD)

Wide Receiver Bye Week Broski: Steve Breaston (at Oakland), Reggie Wayne (at New Orleans)

Ride the pine ...

Mike Williams (vs. Chicago) -- Maybe it will take a trip across the pond to London to jumpstart Williams in 2011, but I am not holding my breath. Williams has been a huge disappointment this season (but of course you already knew that), and I don't think that changes anytime soon. Consider this stat for a second: Williams has been held under 60 yards receiving in 14 of his 22 career starts. In other words, his red zone domination last year led to 11 touchdowns, which really covered up how unreliable he was as a yardage producer. Touchdowns are hard to come by and I'd much rather have a guy who gets me 70-80 yards week in and week out than Williams and his 40 yards per game average. Even if he scores a touchdown at that yardage level we are looking at the Mark Ingram of the receiver position (4-10 Fantasy pts). The Bears were roasted by Calvin Johnson (but who has not been), but other than that they have been tough on receivers. No other top receiver has scored on the Bears and for the year, they have only allowed three receiver touchdowns, tied for second fewest behind only the Redskins. Considering that Williams has converted only one of his seven (tied for 10th most) red zone chances into scores, I would rather take a more high-upside gamble than Williams this week for your teams. (Projection Snapshot: 51 yards receiving)

Tight Ends

Get 'em active ...

Dallas Clark (at New Orleans) -- Clark finally was a big part of the Indianapolis passing game in Week 6 and delivered his best totals of the year. He saw seven targets and caught six of them for 53 yards and his second touchdown of the season. Clearly, Curtis Painter is staring to discover what a valuable weapon his tight end can be because his targets have increased in each of the last three weeks. For the year, the Saints have allowed 10 points per game to opposing tight ends, seventh most in the league. Furthermore, the Saints have given up four touchdowns to tight ends in the last four weeks alone and I expect Clark will be very busy after Drew Brees carves up a very suspect Indianapolis secondary in Week 7. Look for another game of seven-plus targets for Clark who could easily put up his second straight game of double-digit Fantasy points for his owners. (Projection Snapshot: 56 yards receiving, one TD)

Tight End Bye Week Broski: Kellen Winslow (vs. Chicago)

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
Vikings' Adrian Peterson to begin probation on Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/29/2015) Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will begin his probation on Wednesday, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Peterson will begin community service, and will undergo counseling to determine whether he has a drug problem. Peterson will report to a probation officer once a month in order to take a drug test. The strict drug testing stems from an Oct. 8 pre-trail urinalysis. Peterson admitted to "smoking a little weed," though the results from the test were never disclosed. 

Probation officials will also determine whether Peterson needs to attend parenting classes. 

Per his plea agreement, Peterson was fined $4,000 and ordered to perform 80 hours of community service. He's required to perform at least 16 hours per month, which would allow him to complete to program prior to training camp.

Peterson is under contract with the Vikings for next season, and is set to earn $12.75 million. The team is not allowed to communicate with Peterson during his suspension. 


Austin Collie signs with CFL's BC Lions
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/29/2015) Free-agent receiver Austin Collie has signed with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League, the team announced Thursday.

"I’m excited to be joining the Lions and very much look forward to playing in the CFL," said Collie. "The wide-open play of the Canadian game and the passion of fans across the league is going to be a lot of fun to experience."

Collie played four seasons with the Colts and one with the Patriots. In his last NFL action, he caught four passes for 57 yards in the 2014 AFC Championship Game.


Eagles RB LeSean McCoy: 'I don't want to take less money'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/29/2015) Eagles running back LeSean McCoy reiterated Thursday that while he'd be willing to restructure his contract if asked, he would not accept a pay cut, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

"I know how hard it is to keep a team together and I want to be part of this team. But I don't want to take less money," McCoy said. "I want to figure a way to make it happen [where] we're all together."

McCoy, who is due to count $11.95 million against the cap in 2015, turned in his fourth 1,000-yard season in the last five years in 2014, finishing with 1,319 rushing yards on 312 carries and 155 receiving yards on a career-low 28 receptions. All five of his touchdowns came on the ground.


Bills' Rex Ryan won't commit to EJ Manuel as starting QB
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1/29/2015) When asked about who his starting quarterback would be in 2015, Bills coach Rex Ryan said the team would look at every available option, reports The Buffalo News.

"We're going to exhaust every resource we can," Ryan said. "We'll look at free agents. We'll look at the draft. We'll look at anything."

The Bills have former first-round pick EJ Manuel on their roster, but Ryan said he would not commit to Manuel as his starting quarterback at this time.

"To say that he's definitely going to be the guy, it's way too early to say that," Ryan said.


Bills RB Fred Jackson excited to play for new coach Rex Ryan
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/29/2015) Bills veteran running back Fred Jackson said he hasn't had the opportunity to meet with new coach Rex Ryan, but that didn't stop him from expressing his excitement about the new coaching regime in Buffalo.

"I can't wait to play for him. I've heard nothing but good things," Jackson said Wednesday of Ryan during an interview on ESPN New York 98.7 FM. "I'm looking forward to that [first] conversation when I sit down and talk to him."

The Bills finished 9-7 in 2014, which was their best record since 2004. While Jackson believes Ryan is going to "be that catalyst that comes in and pushes us over that hump," he didn't have many bad things to say about coach Doug Marrone, who opted out of his contract New Year's Eve.

"I thought he was a tremendous coach," Jackson said. "He showed up, he worked hard, he pushed players to give their best effort. He got us to a 9-7 record -- we hadn't won nine games in 10 years. There's definitely some things about him that made him a great coach. It's just the way he exited. I don't think anybody expected that. 

"Players, the way we found out is we got a generic text from him, saying that he was moving on and he had chosen to opt out of his contract." 


Justin Tuck: Raider Nation would appluad signing Ndamukong Suh
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/29/2015) If defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh doesn't sign a long-term deal with the Lions, then he will become a free agent March 10 and there will be plenty of teams interested in the Pro Bowl lineman. 

Raiders defensive end Justin Tuck indicated if Suh wanted to sign with Oakland, then he would be welcomed in Raider Nation.

"(He's) Raider-ish," Tuck said, per the Detroit Free Press. "And that's one of the reasons why I know Raider Nation would applaud that move, beyond the fact that he's an awesome football player. He kind of fits the mold of ... the toughness and the ferocious player that built the Oakland Raiders."

It is speculated Suh will receive a contract worth at least $100 million. Tuck believes the three-time All-Pro deserves such a lucrative deal.

"The thing about him, you know what you're getting every day. Some of the tactics, you could probably do without, but he's a hell of a football player," Tuck said. "I would love to have the opportunity to line up beside of him and let him take all the double teams that I normally take."


Nick Foles: 'I plan on being in Philly' in 2015
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/29/2015) There has been a lot of talk about quarterback Nick Foles' future with the Eagles, especially since Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly's former pupil at Oregon -- Marcus Mariota -- will be part of this year's draft class.

On Thursday, Foles addressed the rumors and stated he is expecting to be back on the Eagles' roster in 2015.

"Yeah you hear about it," Foles said in between doing paid appearances at Super Bowl XLIX, per NJ.com. "You are going to hear about it every single year. That's just part of it. The main word is 'rumor.' You can't put too much into it....I plan on being in Philly.

"I only listen to (head coach) Chip Kelly. That's what is most important. He is the one that will make the decision. Right now all I am going to do is work because I plan on being back in Philadelphia and playing with my team. That's all I ever thought. So that is what I plan on doing and I'm not looking at it any other way."

Foles added he hasn't talked with Kelly since the end of the season.

"We haven't talked a lot. He has a lot going on," Foles said. "This time of year you really just get away from everything. He is busy looking at the draft, doing all that. I saw he is more of the decision maker. Haven't really talked to him too much, but I'm sure I'll hear from him soon."


Dwyer pleads guilty in domestic violence case, gets probation
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/29/2015) Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer pleaded guilty Thursday in Maricopa County (Ariz.) Superior Court to a single count of disorderly conduct pertaining to his domestic violence case, according to The Arizona Republic.

Dwyer was sentenced to 18 months of probation and community service following the plea, according to a court spokesman.

The 25-year-old Dwyer was arrested Sept. 17 for a July 21 incident in which he allegedly head-butted his wife in the face and broke her nose after she refused his sexual advances and bit his lip, according to reports taken at the time.

Dwyer's wife told police she reported the incident in September because she feared for their child's safety after seeing reports of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's arrest on child-abuse charges.

The Cardinals placed Dwyer on the reserve/non-football injury list after his September arrest. He did not play again during the 2014 season.


Tom Brady on Peyton Manning: 'I certainly hope he comes back'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/29/2015) While the football world anxiously awaits official word from Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning about his playing status for the 2015 season, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady -- and longtime Manning rival -- said Thursday he hopes the five-time NFL MVP will continue his career.

"What a great player he's been for this league," Brady said Thursday, per NFL.com. "He's a great competitor, and I've been fortunate to play against him a bunch of times. I certainly hope he comes back, 'cause the league will miss him if he doesn't. But those decisions are up to him. I'm sure it's up to whether he's mentally and physically -- that's what he wants to do. But I certainly hope he's back."

Archie Manning, Peyton's father, told NFL Network on Thursday that his son hasn't made a decision yet.

"Well, Peyton evaluates things; he's pretty good at that," he said. "I can't tell him what to do, and he hasn't told me what he's going to do. But I do know that he's really giving a lot of things a lot of thought. He's thinking about where he is physically, he wants to see how he can do this some more, trying to get over an injury."

Archie added starting over with new Broncos coach Gary Kubiak will not be an issue for Peyton, if he decides to return next season.

"Yeah, but he loves Gary. He likes Gary," Archie Manning said. "He liked John Fox. He liked Adam Gase. All those things, I think, are considered with. But my deal is he's always made good decisions; he's pretty thorough. He's going to evaluate a lot of things, and I think he'll make a good decision."


RG3: 'I could've sat out the rest of last year' after hurting ankle
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/29/2015) During a radio interview Wednesday night, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III indicated the dislocated ankle he suffered in Week 2 against the Jaguars hindered him the rest of the season. He missed six games due to the injury.

“I had never suffered an ankle injury of that severity before, so I didn’t really know what to expect,” Griffin said, per The Washington Times. “It just became more and more tough the more games that we lost, because you know how hard your guys work, and you want to get out there and help them win games.

“I could’ve sat out the rest of last year, with how bad the ankle was, but I felt like I could play, and I wanted to get out there and play with my guys and help them win games. And that didn’t happen when I got back out there. Then coach made a decision [to bench me]. That was an unfortunate decision, and something we all had to go with because that was coach’s choice.”

Griffin will be entering the final guaranteed year of his contract in 2015. The Redskins have until May 3 to decide if they want to exercise the fifth-year option on his contract for 2016. 

Griffin added his focus this offseason will simply be on getting healthy.

“Last year, I wasn’t healthy, and it sucked,” Griffin told ESPN 980. “There’s no other way to say it other than that. When you dislocate your ankle in the second week of the season, when you and your team had big things in mind. So I guess it’s just getting healthy, getting a mental break, getting a chance to spend time with family, and then formulate my plan going forward from this year so we can go out there and win games.”


 
 
 
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