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Into the deep for Week 7

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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Curtis Painter (at NO): Painter isn't going to inspire much confidence in Fantasy owners because, mainly, he's not Peyton Manning, which is understandable. But Painter has done a nice job since replacing Kerry Collins. In three games as a starter, Painter has five touchdowns and one interception and two outings with at least 21 Fantasy points. This week, he's facing the Saints, who have allowed multiple touchdowns to four quarterbacks, and Painter will likely be throwing most of the game with the Colts chasing points. With Tom Brady, Michael Vick, Eli Manning and Ryan Fitzpatrick on a bye, Painter could end up as a quality replacement in deeper formats. (Started in 8 percent of leagues in Week 6)
Matt Moore (vs. DEN): You don't want to use Moore in the majority of leagues. He has no touchdowns and three interceptions in the limited time he has played since Chad Henne (shoulder) went down in Week 4. But if you're stuck and need a quarterback this week, Moore does have a favorable matchup. Every quarterback to face the Broncos this year has had multiple touchdowns, and Moore hopefully could keep that streak alive. It's a Hail Mary call, but Moore might post quality stats against Denver. (Started in 2 percent of leagues in Week 6)
Christian Ponder (vs. GB): Like Moore, you don't want to use Ponder in the majority of leagues. He's a rookie making his first NFL start, and it's against the Packers of all teams. Yes, Green Bay has struggled in pass defense, but the Packers have done well the past two games against Matt Ryan and Sam Bradford, holding them to one touchdown and three interceptions. But the reason we would give Ponder a chance in a Hail Mary move is he will make plays running the ball, and hopefully that could lead to a Tim Tebow-like performance. If you're stuck, Ponder could come through with a quality outing. (Not started yet this season)

Running back

Maurice Morris (vs. ATL): Morris will start against the Falcons with Jahvid Best (concussion) out, and he showed in 2010 that he could be a good injury replacement for Best. When Best was dealing with a toe injury, Morris had five games with at least seven Fantasy points in the final seven games of the year, including five touchdowns over that span. The Falcons have allowed five touchdowns to opposing running backs and four to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Morris should be considered a good flex option for this week. (Not started yet this season)
Montario Hardesty (vs. SEA): Hardesty is expected to start for the injured Peyton Hillis (hamstring), and he should be used as a flex option this week. Hardesty started for Hillis in Week 3 against Miami when Hillis had strep throat, and he finished with 14 carries for 67 yards and three catches for 19 yards. He should have a similar performance against the Seahawks, who have allowed four touchdowns to opposing running backs and three to reach double digits in Fantasy points. (Started in 6 percent of leagues in Week 6)
Earnest Graham (vs. CHI): Graham did well as an injury replacement for LeGarrette Blount (knee) last week against New Orleans with 12 Fantasy points, and he has the chance for another quality outing this week against the Bears with Blount out again. The Bears have allowed three touchdowns to opposing running backs and five to reach at least nine Fantasy points. Graham might struggle to run the ball, but he's averaging four catches a game and will do well in total yardage. (Started in 57 percent of leagues in Week 6)
Ryan Torain (at CAR): Torain was a tremendous disappointment for Fantasy owners in Week 6 when he had 10 carries for 22 yards against the Eagles. He should make up for that performance this week against the Panthers. Even if Tim Hightower (shoulder) does play in this matchup, Torain will get the majority of touches. And he should do well since the Panthers have allowed 10 touchdowns to opposing running backs and six to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Give Torain another chance as a starting option in the majority of leagues. (Started in 67 percent of leagues in Week 6)
LaDainian Tomlinson (vs. SD): You're not going to start Tomlinson in the majority of leagues, but with Fred Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore, Ahmad Bradshaw, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Cedric Benson on a bye, you could be stuck. Tomlinson is getting a ceremonial start against the Chargers, his former team, and maybe the Jets give him some increased touches in this matchup. Shonn Greene remains the better Fantasy running back of this backfield, but Tomlinson could be a flex option in deeper formats. San Diego has allowed five running backs to reach at least nine Fantasy points this year. (Started in 21 percent of leagues in Week 6)

Wide receiver

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Eric Decker (at MIA): Fantasy owners are concerned about Decker now that Tebow is the starting quarterback for the Broncos. In Denver's last game in Week 5 against San Diego, where Tebow played the second half, Decker finished with two catches for minus-4 yards. But we expect Decker to play well against the Dolphins, who have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing receivers and five to reach double digits in Fantasy points. With Brandon Lloyd now gone after being traded to St. Louis, Decker assumes the No. 1 receiver spot for the Broncos, which should lead to quality production. (Started in 75 percent of leagues in Week 5)
Steve Breaston (at OAK): Breaston is coming off two solid games heading into a positive matchup. He had four catches for 91 yards against Minnesota in Week 4 and four catches for 50 yards and two touchdowns at Indianapolis in Week 5. The Raiders have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing receivers and seven have reached at least eight Fantasy points. Breaston should be useful as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver or flex option, and hopefully his recent production continues against the Raiders. (Started in 21 percent of leagues in Week 5)
Percy Harvin (vs. GB): Harvin is coming off arguably his best game of the season in Week 6 at Chicago when he had seven catches for 78 yards on nine targets. We hope he can build off that game and start to develop a rapport with Ponder. The Packers have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing receivers and 11 to reach at least eight Fantasy points, and Harvin has two touchdowns in four career meetings with Green Bay. (Started in 42 percent of leagues in Week 6)
Nate Burleson (vs. ATL): The 49ers may have found a way to take Calvin Johnson away in the red zone by putting two defenders on him, but that opened the door for Brandon Pettigrew and Nate Burleson to score. It was a solid game for Burleson against San Francisco in Week 6 with four catches for 34 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. He has a favorable matchup this week against the Falcons, who have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing receivers and seven to reach at least eight Fantasy points. Let's hope he can build off last week's performance and play at a high level for the rest of the year. (Started in 15 percent of leagues in Week 6)
Darrius Heyward-Bey (vs. KC): We're a little leery of starting Carson Palmer in Fantasy leagues this week since he just joined the Raiders on Tuesday. But Palmer should help Heyward-Bey remain a quality Fantasy option, and he's playing at a high level coming into this matchup. He's averaging double digits in Fantasy points in his past three outings, and the Chiefs have allowed eight touchdowns to opposing receivers and six to reach at least eight Fantasy points. (Started in 47 percent of leagues in Week 5)

Tight end

Ed Dickson (at JAC): Dickson has struggled since his big game in Week 1 against Pittsburgh when he had 11 Fantasy points. Since then, he has 13 Fantasy points combined in his past four outings. But this is a good week to use Dickson since the Jaguars have struggled with tight ends. Dustin Keller, Greg Olsen, Jimmy Graham and Jermaine Gresham have all scored against the Jaguars, and we expect Dickson to find the end zone also. He is one of my favorite sleepers in Week 7. (Started in 13 percent of leagues in Week 6)
Benjamin Watson (vs. SEA): The Seahawks have struggled the past two games to defend tight ends with Tony Gonzalez and Jake Ballard scoring touchdowns and reaching double digits in Fantasy points. Watson could find the end zone against Seattle as well since he has two touchdowns on the year, and he remains heavily involved in the passing game for the Browns with at least eight targets in his past three outings. We would consider Watson a quality bye-week replacement. (Started in 21 percent of leagues in Week 6)
Lance Kendricks (at DAL): Kendricks had his best game of the season against the Packers in Week 6 with four catches for 71 yards, and we hope he can build on that performance moving forward. He had six targets in the game, and he could be reliable now for the Rams with Lloyd coming from Denver and likely drawing plenty of coverage from opposing defenses. Kendricks has a good matchup in Week 7 at Dallas since the Cowboys have allowed four tight ends to reach at least seven Fantasy points. We hope this is the start of something special for Kendricks. (Started in 1 percent of leagues in Week 6)

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
Raiders not expected to re-sign DT Pat Sims
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:23 pm ET) Raiders defensive tackle Pat Sims saw his playing time decrease in 2014, and the team is unlikely to re-sign him, reports ESPN.com. Sims played 37 percent of the defensive snaps and finished with 25 tackles and no sacks.

Sims, 29, spent the past two seasons with Oakland after a five-year run in Cincinnati.


Packers not expected to make offer to WR Jarrett Boykin
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:29 am ET) Packers wideout Jarrett Boykin is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and it's unlikely the team even makes him an offer, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Boykin lost the No. 3 receiver job this season to rookie Davante Adams, who outperformed any Packers rookie wideout since James Jones in 2007.

Boykin finished the year with the same number of catches as drops, three, the paper noted.

If Randall Cobb re-signs with Green Bay, the Packers will enter 2015 with Jordy Nelson, Cobb and Adams as their three primary wideouts.


Jaguars MLB Paul Posluszny says he'll be 100 percent for OTAs
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:16 am ET) Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, who tore his pectoral muscle and missed the last nine weeks of the season, told the team's website he's recovering well from surgery and will be 100 percent for the offseason program starting in mid-April.

"That shouldn't be an issue for us," he said.

Posluszny posted six straight years of 100-plus tackles until making 69 in seven games this season.


Tamba Hali says he wants to be back in Kansas City in 2015
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1:45 am ET) Outside linebacker Tamba Hali once again expressed an interest in returning to the only team he's ever played for in the Chiefs.

"At this stage of my career, it isn’t about money," Hali said. "The Kansas City Chiefs have taken care of me, financially. I have some good people in my corner that have positioned me to be able to live a lifestyle a lot of people won’t be able to live. So I’m not one of those guys who gets all bent out of shape over money. I love playing the game, I want to win a championship in Kansas City."

Hali totaled 59 tackles including six sacks and three forced fumbles in 16 games. It was his lowest sack total since 2008.

"If money is going to be a hindrance in doing that, we’ll find a way … we’ve got to get Justin (Houston) paid and get our guys, Dee Ford, ready to be playing at a higher level … but we’ve got to get Houston paid, I’m optimistic about that … that’s something we’ve got to get done."


Report: Seahawks' Richard Sherman finishes elbow treatment
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/27/2015) Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said Tuesday his elbow is improving daily and he's finished with treat, according to Ed Werder of ESPN. 

According to Werder, Sherman tore ligaments in his elbow in the NFC Championship game against the Packers. Sherman was seen grimacing in pain throughout the game after suffering the injury.

The Seahawks are currently 1-point underdogs for the Super Bowl, according to VegasInsider.com.


Seahawks GM: Russell Wilson's contract to present roster challenge
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/27/2015) The Seahawks are preparing to re-sign quarterback Russell Wilson. With Wilson making under $1 million per year in his first three seasons, Seattle has been able to give other players contract extensions. Now, general manager John Schneider knows it will be tough on the team to get Wilson at the hefty price tag.

"It presents challenges, there is no question," Schneider said. "We haven’t sat down with his representatives. We are still going to be drafting young players and playing young players, so we might not be able to dip into free agency like you may want to here and there or compensate somebody else that you want to compensate that is already on your team, but just the fact that we’re going to continue to keep drafted players and playing young players should help us compensate for whatever level of compensation (for Wilson’s contract) is."

Wilson threw for 3,475 yards in 2014 with 20 touchdown passes and seven interceptions. He also ran for 849 yards and six touchdowns.


Cardinals' Drew Stanton says he'll be healthy by April
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/27/2015) Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton is on the road to recovery. The 30-year-old quarterback is in the middle of a rehab program to be able to get back on the field this spring

"I’ll be full strength by time we start offseason program," Stanton said at Tuesday’s Super Bowl Media Day. "I don’t really need to do anything now so just kinda let my body rest to get away from the game a little bit, spend time with my family and get refreshed for next season."

Stanton said he would have needed one more week before trying to give it a go in the playoffs with the knee injury.

"I was going to need at least another week to have a shot," Stanton said. "That was my hope. So, I was trying to find ways to get ready to go, talking to the training staff and talking to guys (about) what I can be doing when we would get back from that flight from Carolina. It didn’t work out unfortunately, but it was a difficult situation the way everything ended. At the same time, I think that the building blocks are starting to fall into place for us." 


Bengals OC Hue Jackson still believes in QB Andy Dalton
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/27/2015) Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson missed quarterback Andy Dalton's Pro Bowl performance Sunday. Despite hearing about his 9 of 20 passing performance, Jackson said Tuesday to ESPN he still has faith in Dalton to get the job done.

"I'm not going to stop believing in him," Jackson said. "He's going to have to prove otherwise. I believe this guy has it in him. My job, my charge as I've said before is to have him do it on a consistent basis."

Jackson added he's seen the great Dalton and thinks it's something to build on.

"I see in the first three games of the season a guy that played with moxie and tenacity and aggressiveness, and who played extremely well down that 3-0 stretch," Jackson said.


Seahawks NT Brandon Mebane expected to be full go by April
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/27/2015) Seahawks starting nose tackle Brandon Mebane said the surgery to fix his torn hamstring went well, and he should be full go by April, reports the Seattle Times. Mebane's season was cut short after nine games. He finished with 20 tackles and a sack.

DT Kevin Williams could retire if Seahawks win
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/27/2015) Seahawks defensive tackle Kevin Williams did not rule out retiring if his team beats the Patriots in Super Bowl 49, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Williams, 34, is a six-time Pro Bowler and five-time First-Team All-Pro.

He played in every game this season, recording 22 tackles, three sacks and two pass breakups.


 
 
 
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