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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
Sammy Watkins risky in Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:25 am ET) The Bills haven't had a bonafide No. 1 receiver since the days of Jim Kelly to Andre Reed, but rookie Sammy Watkins has the talent to be their best wide receiver since the franchise's Super Bowl era. Sure, Eric Moulds, Lee Evans and Stevie Johnson were fine, but with the right quarterback, Watkins can be special.

Unfortunately, Watkins will be catching passes from second-year signal caller EJ Manuel. The team seems to have little confidence in Manuel being the answer at quarterback just one year after drafting him in the first round last year. Kyle Orton was pulled out of retirement and handed a pricy one-year deal, and one can easily picture the scenario where he's starting games for the team in November and December.

Will Manuel respond to the job-security threat with elevated play? His best shot is to feed his star rookie early and often. Bears cornerback Charles Tillman has made a career off shutting down No. 1 receivers, but he's not the same player at 33 as he was at 25. While he was a plus in coverage as recently as 2012, Tillman struggled on the field between injuries last year. If Watkins had a top-16 quarterback delivering the ball, I'd like him for a big game in Week 1. As it is, Fantasy owners would be best holding off on starting Watkins until the quarterback situation plays itself out for better or for worse.


Fred Jackson may have trouble finding running room in Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:04 am ET) Bills running back Fred Jackson will face a Bears team in Week 1 that did a terrible job at defending the run last season. However, his Week 1 success may not be as pre-ordained as that of running mate, C.J. Spiller.

Unlike Spiller, Jackson does much of his work without the benefit of big plays, grinding out his numbers by taking what the defense gives rather than providing a home-run threat on any down. While most of the members of the Bears back seven that was responsible for surrendering so many big plays has returned, the team has overhauled the defense line, signing three new defensive ends and drafting two rotational defensive tackles.

Two of those free-agent additions are Lamarr Houston and Willie Young, the two players that graded out as the best 4-3 defensive ends in run stop percentage last season, per Pro Football Focus. With those two players in tow and second-round draft pick Ego Ferguson taking up space in the middle, Jackson could have difficulty converting on short-yardage or goal-line situations.

It's also fair to wonder how many long scoring drives the Bills will be able to put together if Jackson and the offensive line can't stymie the line's potentially improved rush defense. EJ Manuel hasn't done enough at this point in his career to trust his ability to pick defenses apart with his arm. If the Bills have trouble finding the red zone, Jackson could wind up being a Week 1 Flex option Fantasy owners come to regret.


C.J. Spiller could ride big plays to productive Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:39 am ET) Bills running back C.J. Spiller has feasted on big plays ever since emerging as a Fantasy weapon. In 2012, he was third in the league in breakaway percentage, a statistic tracked by Pro Football Focus that determines how much of a player's rushing yardage total is accrued on plays of at least 15 yards. Spiller topped the league in the category last season. Clearly, if he can find a seam, he has the ability to wrea havoc on a defense.

Spiller will be squaring off with the Bears on Sunday. Last season, the Bears turned in by far the worst run defense performance in the league. They surrendered 2,583 rushing yards and 5.3 yards per rush, both marks placing them last in the league. They overhauled the defensive line in the offseason as a result, drafting two rotational defensive tackles and signing three defensive ends.

But if those players can't keep Spiller bottled up at the line all game, he's a threat to break a long touchdown or two. While the Bears run defense was obviously porous as a unit, the back seven was particularly offensive, ranking last in Football Outsiders' second-level yardage and open-field yardage statistics. The Bears didn't do much to upgrade those two levels of the defense either, meaning plenty of broken tackles and long gains are there for the taking if Spiller can find a little daylight. He's a trustworthy RB2 in Week 1 and a must-use in any Flex conversations.


EJ Manuel will look to conquer road woes Sunday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:20 am ET) Bills quarterback EJ Manuel endured what could at best be described as an uneven rookie season last year. Going 4-6 as a starter, Manuel particularly struggled on the road, where he turned in poor performances against the Jets, Browns, Steelers and Buccaneers before turning in a quality performance against the Jaguars in Week 14, his last game of the season.

Manuel opens this season on the road as well, heading to Soldier Field to take on the Bears Sunday. He'll be facing a new-look Chicago defensive line, rebuilt after the Bears defense struggled to generate a pass rush last season. Whether that pass rush can be effective could be the key to Manuel's success; the quarterback averaged 6.9 yards per attempt when under no pressure last season, but just 5.0 yards per attempt when faced with pressure.

Is there a good reason to start Manuel in Week 1? Not really. Every Fantasy team should be looking at a healthy roster heading into the beginning of the season, and there are anywhere from 14 to 20 QBs worth using over Manuel no matter the matchup. But a good performance in an unfavorable environment against a potentially improved pass rush would go a long way towards making the second-year player Fantasy relevant in 2014.


Patriots claim Don Jones off waivers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/1/2014) The Patriots have been awarded safety Don Jones on waivers from the Dolphins and waived offensive lineman Chris Barker in a corresponding move.

The Patriots will likely be looking for some extra insight on their Week 1 opponent after bringing the former Dolphin into the fold. The move leaves the Patriots with six safeties on the roster.


Jets release Ellis Lankster, re-sign A.J. Edds
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/1/2014) The Jets released cornerback Ellis Lankster and re-signed inside linebacker A.J. Edds Monday.

Report: Chris Conte to start if medically cleared
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/1/2014) Bears safety Chris Conte will be the team's starting free safety in Sunday's season opener against the Bills, provided he's medically cleared to play, ESPN reports.

Conte has been locked in a position battle with rookie Brock Vereen, and despite suffering a concussion during the team's third preseason game, he's done enough to be named the starter. It wouldn't be surprising to see Vereen overtake Conte in the starting lineup, with the latter grading out as a below-average starter, according to ProFootballFocus.com, who particularly struggles in run support.


Report: Raiders going with Derek Carr over Matt Schaub
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/1/2014) Raiders players have been told the team will start rookie Derek Carr over veteran Matt Schaub at quarterback, reports Fox Sports. Carr threw three touchdown passes in last Thursday's preseason finale while Schaub has battled elbow problems.

Oakland opens the season Sunday at the Jets.


Emmanuel Sanders a strong flex option Week 1
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/1/2014) Assuming Wes Welker returns from his concussion and plays Week 1, teammate Emmanuel Sanders still will be a strong flex option. Colts-Broncos is a guaranteed shootout -- the over/under is a whopping 55, highest on the board -- and Peyton Manning can support three productive Fantasy receivers with ease.

Plus, Manning has taken a liking to Sanders. When Sanders debuted in the third preseason game, the duo hooked up for 67- and 29-yard touchdowns in the first half.

"You just throw it as far as you can, and it's hard to outthrow that guy," Manning told the team's website.

Sanders finished with five catches for 128 yards on eight first-half targets, doing most of that before Welker got concussed. Sanders was not 100 percent for that game; he had just come back from a quad injury.

Now Sanders, who started building chemistry with Manning at informal Duke University workouts, "looks ready for the big stage," the website said.

"Peyton puts it on the money," Sanders said. "He takes pride in throwing the perfect football. He takes pride in being perfect all around, in general. He makes my job easy."

Manning is going to help Sanders reach a level he has not hit before, starting Sunday night.

Redskins complete practice squad
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/1/2014) The Redskins filled out their 10-man practice squad by signing safety Akeem Davis and linebacker Chaz Sutton, reports the Washington Post.

 
 
 
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