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Quick Fantasy Hits for Week 2

Senior Fantasy Writer
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As we wade into more Fantasy action, there are some nuggets that are too in-depth to get into on Fantasy Football Today , too smart for Twitter and a little too short for the full column. This is where they fit. Enjoy these Week 2 Quick Hits:

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Four interesting observations using Week 1 target data:
1. It's safe to say Randall Cobb was the Target Superstar, converting every pass thrown his way. He finished Sunday with nine targets and nine catches. With Greg Jennings possibly out for Week 2, and Cobb showing he can be trusted to hold onto the ball, he could be in line for a very big week again.
2. For as bad as Ronnie Brown's rushing stats looked after Monday night's game, he converted all five of his targets. The only other running back who caught all of his targets (minimum of five) was Reggie Bush.
3. Reggie Wayne led all wide receivers with 18 targets. He finished with nine receptions. If Week 1 is any indication, Andrew Luck will be going to Wayne often.This benefits both players. Luck, maligned for having a "bad game" because he threw just one touchdown, still passed for over 300 yards in his NFL debut. He now has a receiver who will catch at least half the balls thrown his way.
4. While a lot of waiver wire attention has been paid to Andrew Hawkins and Stephen Hill, Damian Williams was targetetd six times and finished with five receptions, a percentage of 85.7 percent. He may make for a decent flier in deeper leagues, because even assuming Kenny Britt returns, there's still the problem of a hobbled Nate Washington.

Brandon Weeden could have a very good Week 2. To say Weeden had a nightmarish Week 1 (12-35, 118 yards, four interceptions) would be a massive understatement, but there were some factors that could give his owners optimism. For one, Weeden's receviers are a much more dynamic group than advertised. According to our ADP results, Greg Little was the only Browns wide receiver taken among the first 280 players, and, after Week 1, he looks like he might be in the middle -- or even at the back -- of the Cleveland pack. Mohamed Massaquoi was targeted eight times, Travis Benjamin was targeted six times and Little, Josh Gordon and Brandon Jackson were each targeted four times. Weeden seemed to overthrow every other pass, but they did try to go deep several times and the game actually started with a great slant play to Massaquoi. Things got very ugly after the first drive, but if Weeden can stop overthrowing everyone, he can emerge from Week 2 with a totally different set of numbers.

Really, dude? Weeden? In Weeden's NFL.com draft profile, listed among his strengths were these nuggets:
• "The ball zips off his arm, and he has the ability to fit it in any tight space."
• "He is an accurate passer on throws short and long, and he has that gunslinger mentality to go for the deep ball when it's an option."
• "He understands route progressions and throwing the ball to allow his receiver to make a play."
What this adds up to is a rookie who may have just been a little too pumped up for his first game. You don't just throw away years of scouting and data on one game. His weaknesses from the draft profile were centered around his lack of athleticism and limited scrambling ability, not overthrowing receivers and missing targets. By Week 4, if he can connect with some of his speedy receivers, Weeden's Week 1 performance may look like an aberration in a promising set of games.

Some fun quick kicker stats. In leagues where you get bonuses for distance, David Akers kicked a 63-yarder, Blair Walsh hit a 55-yarder and Sebastian Janikowski nailed a 51-yarder. St. Louis' Greg Zuerlein converted a 48-yard field goal. It's Walsh, though, who makes for an intriguing pickup this week. He hit a 55-yard field gial at the end of regulation -- along with three other field goals (of 20, 38, and 42 yards) and two extra points -- inside the dome at Mall of America Field. A sixth-round draft pick this year, Walsh is owned in just 6 percent of leagues. He hit the second-longest field goal of the week in a clutch situation and added another in overtime for the win. A rookie, his name isn't as comforting as the Janikowskis or Hansons of the world, but Walsh could end up being a top kicker in Fantasy this season, considering his Week 1 performance. Granted, we're talking kickers here, but sometimes Fantasy games are decided by just a few points and a dependable kicker with a big leg could be the difference in those tight matchups.

If I never get another question about Andrew Hawkins, I will be a happy man. But it's part of the job. I swung and missed badly on Ronnie Brown last week, figuring, based on all the reports, coach comments, offensive system from last year and extenuating circumstances, that he'd get 20 touches in Week 1. But there was still a part of me that thought Curtis Brinkley could eat into carries. There's no better way to explain it than odds. It was 3/1 that Brown would get 20 touches and maybe 8/1 that Brinkley would get the most. But that's too long for Twitter. So, before another Week 2 debacle, here are some totally unofficial, quick odds on some of the biggest names from this week:

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Kevin Ogletree
Odds that he's this year's Laurent Robinson: 3/1
Odds that he's a one-week wonder: 8/1
Over/under on touchdowns for the entire season: 7
Odds that he doesn't have another 100-yard game this season: 16/1
I'm betting on: The over on TDs, but I'm not ready to declare him a Robinson-style 10 TD lock.

Stephen Hill
Odds that he leads the Jets in receiving yards: 10/1
Odds that he finishes the year with fewer than 600 receiving yards: 8/1
Odds that Tim Tebow finishes the season with more touchdowns than Hill: 4/1
Over/under on percentage owned by the start of Week 2 games: 65
I'm betting on: The over on percentage owned, and I might put a little faith in Tebow scoring more touchdowns. On the flip side to that, I don't see Hill leading the Jets in receving yards, but I can see him as an 800-yard, seven-touchdown receiver this season.

Alfred Morris
Odds that he starts all 16 games for Washington: 250/1
Odds that he rushes for 1,000 yards this season: 35/1
Odds that he doesn't have one 100-yard rushing game this season: 75/1
I'm betting on: The 1,000 yard rushing season. If he can stay healthy, Shanahan will stick with him for the entire season, which could have him (in that offense) at 1,000 yards by Week 11. Going with the 16-game slate is a slippery slope -- he could get hurt, or, if he does break out and Washington locks up a playoff bid, he could be rested in Week 17.

Trent Richardson
Odds that he doesn't have a 100 yard rushing game this season: 150/1
Odds that he'll miss time with an injury: 55/1
Over/under on touchdowns for the entire season: 8
Odds that he has his first 100-yard rushing game by Week 3: 45/1
I'm betting on: The over on touchdowns and the 100-yard game by Week 3. And I'll parlay that for a big payday. Richardson was rusty in Week 1 and may still be rusty in Week 2, but he should hit his stride by Week 3. After that, he could be a huge breakout candidate for the rest of the season.

Reggie Bush quietly had a great Week 1 game. Maybe a bigger deal wasn't made about it because Miami was so bad overall, but Bush averaged 4.9 yards per carry, while catching six passes for 46 yards. He's already managed 16 percent of his receiving total from last year and that number should remain steady, as Miami's lack of big playmaking wide receivers opens up plenty of opportunities for Bush to catch more passes. PPR owners may want to pay attention to Bush and maybe even offer a deal before he scores some touchdowns and starts to pile on his point totals. He's currently owned in 100 percent of leagues, but started in just 67 percent.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyFB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasyfootball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Cowboys' Garrett: DL Nick Hayden an 'important signing'
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett made it a point of emphasis to mention to reporters at the NFL Meetings that re-signing defensive lineman Nick Hayden was important, reports the Dallas Morning News.

“Well, we’re always trying to get better and we have to get better,’’ Garrett said. “We have to bring some impact players into our defense. But Nick has been such a good player for us as a leader of that defensive line and he’s a really productive player. There’s a lot of the dirty work but he’s one of those guys who makes a lot of hits on the ball, is around the football a lot and simply makes a lot of plays.

"That was an important signing for us.’’

Hayden has started all 16 games with the Cowboys for two consecutive seasons. Over his seven-year career, he has 135 total tackles, two sacks, two passes defensed and one forced fumble.


Giants' Coughlin: WR Victor Cruz looks 'really good'
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is encouraged that wide receiver Victor Cruz can return to form, according to the NY Daily News. Cruz suffered a torn patellar tendon that forced him to miss 10 games last season.

“I think he will be back to the player that he was and hopefully better. Victor looks really good, he’s starting to run, I was in the field house watching him rehab, he’s coming along well.” … As for when Cruz will be back at practice, full-time, Coughlin added, “I don’t know. I shouldn’t say this, because medically I really do not have a definite answer, but by training camp, hopefully. He will work his way through.”

Through his five years in the NFL, Cruz has 264 receptions for 3,963 yards and 24 touchdowns.


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(3/26/2015) Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower is going to miss between six and seven months, according to the Boston Globe.

Hightower had surgery this February to repair a torn right labrum. The team is concerned that he might not be able to be ready for the start of the reguar season. He played through the injury for a good portion of the 2014 season prior to surgery.

The 25-year-old started all 12 games he played, collecting 89 total tackles, six sacks, two passes defensed and one forced fumble.


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"I like the pistol," head coach Mike McCarthy said during a break at the NFL owners meetings this week. "I think there's a lot of value regardless of the injury to Aaron. I know he likes it. There's a place for it year-round in your offense."

Although McCarthy has no intention of turning Rodgers into an option quarterback, the system provides unpredictability for opposing offenses.

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(3/26/2015) The Vikings have signed cornerback Terence Newman to a one-year, $2.5 million contract with $750,000 in guarantees on Thursday, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. 

Newman spent the last three seasons with the Bengals after playing nine years for the Cowboys. The 36-year-old has had at least one interception in each year of his 13-year career. The cornerback has recorded 741 total tackles, two sacks, 147 passes defensed, 37 interceptions, and eight forced fumbles. 


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“You never want to put a player in a position where he’s doing something he’s uncomfortable with," Kubiak said. “One of things about having a veteran, especially like Peyton, he’s going to let you know, 'This is what I do best and this is what I feel comfortable with.' That’s what you need to go do as a coach. You might tweak things here or there that you think may help, but you’re never going to take him out of his comfort zone and what he feels like he does best.”

Manning, 39, recently took a pay cut of $4 million to help clear salary cap space for the team.


LB Brandon Magee still committed to playing in NFL
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) After being released by the Buccaneers, linebacker Brandon Magee is going to participate in spring training with the Boston Red Sox. That being said, he is still committed to playing in the NFL, according to Pro Football Talk. 

Magee's agent, Blake Baratz, emailed Pro Football Talk regarding his client's desire to resume his NFL career.

“There have been rumors circulating that Brandon Magee, who was recently released by Tampa Bay, has given up football with the intention of playing professional baseball. This could not be further from the truth,” Baratz wrote. “While he does attend spring training for a few weeks up until the beginning of the NFL off-season program, he is 100% fully committed to playing in the NFL.”

Magee, 24, has seen action in 17 games the last two seasons, nine of which were in 2014 with the Buccaneers. He has registered 10 total tackles in his career.


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Hopkins led Houston with 1,210 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns last year. He has 128 catches for 2,012 yards and eight scores in his two NFL seasons.


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by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Giants running back Shane Vereen is being viewed as much more than just a third-down running back, according to nj.com.

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"I see him in that regard as a pass receiver coming out of the backfield, a pass protector, a guy who runs the ball in the three-wide offense in the run game, if you will, which is very prevalent today in our sport," coach Tom Coughlin said at the NFL Annual Meetings this week. "So I see him in that regard."

Last season the Giants did not have one receiving touchdown by a running back. Vereen, formerly of the Patriots, had three receiving touchdowns out of the backfield last year.

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“He knows, and his agent knows, how much we want him back,” Hunt said. “We just all have to be patient, and eventually, we’re going to get him signed to a long-term deal.”

Houston has 48.5 sacks in his four-year career. 

“I’ve been very consistent in saying that we not only value Justin as a football player, that we not only value Justin as a person and leader, and we want him to be a Chief for life,” Hunt said.


 
 
 
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