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Four Quarters: Ouch babe!

Michael Hurcomb
Fantasy Writer
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The mayhem started around 1:05 p.m. on Sunday and the Fantasy Football nightmare lasted all day.

The first kick in the teeth was to the 70 percent of Fantasy owners that started Marshawn Lynch. It wasn't until right before kickoff the Seahawks announced their starting running back was pulled from the lineup after suffering a back injury during pregame warmups. Little did we know that was going to be the first of many major injuries to happen in Week 7.

Shortly after the Lynch announcement, Bucs running back Earnest Graham left the game in London against the Bears with an ankle injury. It was later reported that Graham could be done for the season with a torn Achilles'.

Other early-game injuries included Willis McGahee leaving with a hand injury, LaDainian Tomlinson hitting the showers early due to an illness, Tim Hightower writhing in pain on the ground with a knee injury, Mohamed Massaquoi and Benjamin Watson both being knocked out with concussions, Santana Moss suffering a broken hand and Damian Williams sustaining a head injury.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and Ryan Mathews of the Chargers gave us scares as they both left their respective games on Sunday for a short period, but later returned without setbacks. We unfortunately have to await the status of oft-injured Matthew Stafford, who was injured on the final play of his game against Atlanta. He is getting his right knee and ankle checked out after he was rolled up on by an Atlanta defender.

Regrettably, the injury bug kept biting long after the early games were over. The late-afternoon starts brought plenty of agony as well.

Fantasy superstar Darren McFadden lasted just three touches before bowing out with a sprained right foot. Beanie Wells sustained a sprained knee, Percy Harvin re-aggravated a lingering rib injury, Greg Jennings had a big day before injuring his hand, Kevin Boss sustained a concussion and Hines Ward bowed out with an ankle injury.

There was no reprieve in the nightcap either. Colts running back Joseph Addai re-aggravated his hamstring injury and Saints rookie Mark Ingram sustained a heel injury.

These injuries were added to the list of regular Fantasy contributors that were already inactive for Week 7, which included Sam Bradford (ankle), Jahvid Best (concussion), LeGarrette Blount (knee), Peyton Hillis (hamstring), Felix Jones (ankle), Andre Johnson (hamstring), Julio Jones (hamstring), Chris Cooley (hand) and Todd Heap (hamstring).

First Quarter -- Surprises of the Week

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Drew Brees had more touchdown passes (five) than incomplete passes (four) in a rout of the Colts ... Mark Sanchez fired three touchdowns against the Chargers. The only other quarterback to throw three touchdowns against San Diego this season was Tom Brady ... Christian Ponder recorded 19 Fantasy points in his first career start ... LaRod Stephens-Howling was a top 10 Fantasy scoring running back because of a 76-yard touchdown reception ... Shonn Greene recorded his first 100-yard performance of the season facing a team yielding just 14.4 Fantasy points per contest to running backs, which was sixth-best in the NFL ... The Browns showed Peyton Hillis that Montario Hardesty can be a featured back in the NFL as he carried the rock a career-high 33 times against the Seahawks ... Michael Bush stepped in admirably for the injured Darren McFadden, rushing for 99 yards on 17 carries ... Arian Foster and Ben Tate both gashed the Titans defense for 100-yard performances. Foster added a 100-yard receiving game as well ... Plaxico Burress totaled just 25 yards in Week 7, but he racked up the Fantasy points thanks to three touchdowns ... Michael Jenkins needed just three catches for his first 100-yard game of the season. He also almost had a multi-touchdown game as well, but Jenkins was pulled down at the 1-yard line on a 72-yard catch to open the game against Green Bay ... Dezmon Briscoe had a career performance in Week 7 and had to go across the pond to get it ... Demaryius Thomas does quite well in debuts. He scored in his NFL debut last year and scored again in his 2011 debut Sunday ... Tight ends accounted for 13 touchdowns in Week 7, which included scores from Visanthe Shiancoe, Joel Dreessen, Daniel Fells, Anthony Fasano and Jared Cook.

Second Quarter -- Duds of the Week

The Raiders quarterback tandem of Carson Palmer and Kyle Boller each totaled minus-2 Fantasy points ... Charlie Whitehurst was also in the negative with minus-1 Fantasy point as he replaced the injured Tarvaris Jackson ... Matt Cassel, coming off a four-touchdown performance, finished with 2 Fantasy points against a defense allowing quarterbacks to average 22.7 Fantasy points per week, which was third-highest in the NFL ... Tashard Choice was the only Cowboys' running back that couldn't take advantage of the worst run defense in the NFL. He was even benched after fumbling in the third quarter ... Rashard Mendenhall followed his best performance of the season with a stinker against Arizona, which was yielding 17.6 Fantasy points per week to running backs ... What else is there to say about Chris Johnson? He is becoming a regular in this space and heads the list of the most disappointing Fantasy option of the season ... It's about time for Fantasy owners to bail on Denarius Moore, who had his third straight horrific performance ... It's not like we didn't expect Vincent Jackson to have a poor performance going up against Darrelle Revis, but he still makes this list because of his one-point Fantasy performance ... Miles Austin also had just a one-point performance as he was facing the team allowing the most Fantasy points to receivers, but that was more of Dallas taking to the ground to beat St. Louis ... Doug Baldwin was activated in 40 percent of Fantasy leagues following a string of solid performances. He delivered a no-catch week ... Greg Olsen has been held out of the end zone in two straight games and had his season-worst performance Week 7.

Third Quarter -- Injury Report

Is it really worth rehashing all the misery Fantasy owners endured Week 7? If you a glutton for punishment, then just re-read the lead to this column.

Fourth Quarter -- Early Look Ahead

Fantasy owners are going to have to find more bye-week replacements in Week 8 as six more teams -- Atlanta, Chicago, Green Bay, N.Y. Jets, Oakland and Tampa Bay -- are off ... New England at Pittsburgh could be another playoff preview. The Steelers own the league's best pass defense, but are you really going to sit your Patriots superstars? ... Dallas at Philadelphia should be a great NFC East showdown ... The Monday night game in Week 8 is San Diego at Kansas City. A few weeks ago this game looked like a laugher. But Kansas City is at .500 thanks to a three-game winning streak and back in the AFC West hunt.

Overtime -- Q & A

I've got Matthew Stafford and Tim Tebow. An owner wants Tebow and Frank Gore for Aaron Rodgers. That leaves me with Ray Rice, LeGarrette Blount and DeMarco Murray. Should I make this trade? --SyrNYBones (Twitter)

MH: I would. I think you can get by with Stafford and Tebow, but Rodgers has been lights out every week and it doesn't appear he will be slowing down. Blount is likely back after his team's bye week, and Murray could very well remain his team's top running back, so you have decent depth at running back. You are taking a gamble by dealing Gore, but Rodgers is clearly worth it.

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As a Felix Jones owner, should I dump him? --MrBuffBills (Twitter)

MH: As much as I like Murray, the answer is no. Murray faced the league's worst run defense and took advantage. I still think we need to see how he does against a good run defense. Also, the league now has footage on Murray, so we aren't expecting many more 200-yard performances. Let's not forget either that the Cowboys also love Jones. He might not be performing up to expectations this year (mostly due to shoulder and ankle injuries), but there is no reason to cut him in Fantasy.

Is Alfonso Smith worth adding off waivers for a bye-week replacement next week? --sjo2009 (Twitter)

MH: No. I don't care if he is going to be the Cardinals' feature back with Beanie Wells potentially sidelined. The Ravens have been stout against the run this season, yielding 9.4 Fantasy points per week to running backs. They have also given up one rushing score to running backs in their first five games.

Is the Texans DST worth a pick up? Houston's second half schedule looks easy --LadyFantasy82 (Twitter)

MH: The Texans defense has been a laughing stock for years, but not anymore. Perhaps the team's biggest offseason acquisition was hiring defensive guru Wade Phillips, who brought his 3-4 scheme to Houston. Thus far, the results have been impressive. The Texans are a top 10 defense and are applying constant pressure on the quarterback. The second half of the schedule does look favorable as the toughest offenses it will face are Atlanta and Carolina. The Texans DST was a top 10 Fantasy scoring outfit before Week 7, so you should scoop them off waivers before it's too late.

Is Demaryius Thomas the guy to own in Fantasy in the Broncos passing game? --Mike Halbany (Twitter)

MH: The short answer is yes. Thomas returning to full health was part of the reason Denver parted ways with Brandon Lloyd as it targeted Thomas as the guy who could be the team's new downfield threat. Also, Thomas was targeted 10 times in Tebow's first start. The Broncos have high hopes for this former first-round pick, so he could end up being a decent Fantasy play down the stretch.

Is it time to dump Percy Harvin? --Jer Nazareta (Facebook)

MH: I can't say yes. Logic tells me it would be OK to tell you to dump Harvin, but just knowing the type of player he can be when at 100 percent prevents me from doing so. There has to be somebody else on your roster you can cut for wide receiver help. I know his lingering rib injury doesn't strengthen my argument, but I do feel Christian Ponder might be a suitable enough quarterback to get Harvin involved on offense once he is healthy.

What's wrong with Vincent Jackson this year? --Bob Firster (Facebook)

MH: It's hard to pick on a guy with two 100-yard performances and three receiving touchdowns, but I understand the frustration. He has posted two straight subpar outings, but that's because he has been injured and had a tough matchup against the Jets. Also, he has been missing Antonio Gates, who can draw safety coverage when on the field, which frees up favorable one-on-one matchups for V-Jax. If Gates can stay on the field and Jackson can shake his injury issues, then he should be a good Fantasy option down the stretch.

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

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Player News
Giants pulling long-term contract offer to Jason Pierre-Paul
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(7/6/2015) In the wake of a Fourth of July fireworks mishap, the Giants on Monday pulled their long-term contract offer to defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who remains hospitalized in Miami, per NFL.com insider Ian Rapaport. 

The Giants had applied the franchise tag to Pierre-Paul this offseason, but the player has not yet signed it, technically leaving him not under contract with the team. The Giants move to yank the longer deal is a bit of gamesmanship, since according to Rapoport, Pierre-Paul was not going to sign the $60 million deal anyway. 


Bills sign veteran tackle Wayne Hunter
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(7/6/2015) The Bills took another step to shore up their offensive line, signing veteran tackle Wayne Hunter to a one-year deal Monday, per the National Football Post. 

Hunter, who has not played in the NFL since 2012, did spend three years with the Jets under new Bills coach Rex Ryan from 2009-2011. 

Hunter's deal is reportedly worth $870,000.


RB Khiry Robinson could be odd man out in Saints backfield
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(7/6/2015) Running back Khiry Robinson is a fan favorite with the Saints, but the third-year pro, who once was viewed as a breakout candidate for the team, may find his role squeezed by the presence of Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller, per ESPN.com. 

Robinson dealt with a broken arm last season, which limited him to 12 carries and 32 yards over the final 10 weeks of the year. The Saints then re-upped with Ingram and brought in Spiller to replace Pierre Thomas, meaning Robinson will have to fight hard in training camp to establish a role. 

"I just gotta keep working," Robinson said. "It's all love in the backfield. We all work together, try to help each other. So I think it's a good thing we've got a full backfield again. So if anybody goes down, we've got another player right up there to do the same thing."


Report: Giants Jason Pierre-Paul hurt in fireworks accident
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(7/5/2015) Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul reportedly hurt his hand in a Fourth of July fireworks accident in Miami, according to the Daily News

The paper reports that the injury is not considered career-threatening, but that varying accounts of what happened have been reported. The Giants have not confirmed nor denied the incident. 

The Giants applied the franchise tag to Pierre-Paul this offseason, but the 26-year-old has not yet signed it as he seeks a long-term deal, meaning that he technically is not under contract. 

Pierre-Paul had 53 tackles and 12 1/2 sacks last year for New York. 


Report: Torn pectoral sidelines Vikings CB Josh Robinson
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/4/2015) The Vikings secondary took a hit last month when cornerback Josh Robinson sustained a partially torn pectoral muscle, a league source has told ESPN.

The nickel back played in 690 snaps last season and was expected to battle several others for playing time. The injury could sideline him from training camp and land him on the PUP list.


Report: Packers' Andrew Quarless arrested on gun charges
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(7/4/2015) Packers tight end Andrew Quarless was arrested for firing a gun twice in Miami on Saturday, per the Miami New Times.

Quarless was involved in a fight at South Beach and fired the gun into the ground. 


Titans receivers can thrive in YAC with Marcus Mariota's accuracy
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(7/3/2015) The Titans wide receiving corps could gain more yards after the catch this season because of rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota and his accurate throws, per ESPN.com.

The Titans were 24th in the league in yards after the catch last season, but with Mariota under center that can all change.

“If you have an accurate quarterback, it allows us to get more yards after that catch,” wide receiver Harry Douglas said. “And that’s one thing that makes a receiver dynamic -- first being able to catch the ball and then being able to do some things with it after you catch it. I feel like [to this point] Marcus has done everything he needs to do to get the ball to his receivers.”


Saints RB Khiry Robinson doesn't feel he's on outside looking in
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(7/3/2015) Saints running back Khiry Robinson might be the least known of his backfield counterparts, but he doesn't feel like the off man out, per ESPN.com.

Robinson knows the team is heavily invested in the likes of Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller, but he's still confident he can thrive in whatever role the Saints put him in.

“I’m the type of person, I’m gonna get what I get and do what I do with it. So whether it’s 20 carries or one carry, I’m gonna do the best of my ability every play,” Robinson said.

Robinson has shown flashes of success during his three years in the league. Injuries played a key role against him last season, which can ultimately put him as the third back on the depth chart. He will use the offseason to continue to improve and challenge his counterparts for playing time.

“I just gotta keep working,” Robinson. “It’s all love in the backfield. We all work together, try to help each other. So I think it’s a good thing we’ve got a full backfield again. So if anybody goes down, we’ve got another player right up there to do the same thing.”


Browns OL Michael Bowie itching to compete for starting spot
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/3/2015) Browns offensive lineman Michael Bowie is not required to report to training camp until the end of July. But never mind that - he's heading out after the last Independence Day firework explodes in the sky.

Bowie is itching to get started. He missed all of last season due to a shoulder injury after starting for Seattle on its Super Bowl title team in 2013. He is seeking to stay in tip-top shape in an attempt to land a starting spot on a Cleveland line that is the strength of the team.

"It's up to them to decide who is the best five," Bowie told the team website. "All I can do is take care of my business. Hopefully I can get a shot. That's what I'm working for."

Bowie participated fully in the offseason program, working mostly with the second team at right tackle. That will likely be the spot at which he competes for a starting job. Incumbent Mitchell Schwartz has not performed particularly well there and Mike Pettine has vowed there will be competition all over the field in camp.


Skins LB Ryan Kerrigan nearly recovered from knee surgery
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/3/2015) Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan appears to be on target to join the team for training camp after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery that prevented him from participating in earlier offseason activities.

Kerrigan, who registered a career-high 13 1/2 sacks a year ago, had the operation to alleviate pain in the area.

"My leg feels really good and I'm glad I got the surgery -- not just for football, but it makes my everyday life feel better, so I'm glad I got it done," he told CSN Washington. "Now it's just a matter of getting stronger and getting into shape."

Kerrigan added that he's been running and now only needs to regain strength to insure his place at training camp.


 
 
 
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