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Postseason Extra: No ordinary Joe

Senior Fantasy Writer
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We're one week closer to finding out who will be playing in Super Bowl XLVII, but it might be hard to match the excitement from the Divisional Round of the playoffs. The four games this past weekend were all entertaining.

On Saturday, the Ravens beat the Broncos in double overtime, and the 49ers had an offensive onslaught against the Packers. Then on Sunday, the Falcons had a game-winning field goal to hold off a furious comeback from the Seahawks, and the Patriots were able to handle the Texans.

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Along the way we had some great individual performances, which could help some players heading into 2013 when it comes to their Fantasy value. And that's what we're here to address in this Playoff Stockwatch. You can see what we said about 10 players from the Wild Card Round, but here are five guys who have improved their draft value for next year, and five guys who might see their value decline.

Five on the rise

Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers: The way Crabtree has closed the season has been remarkable, and he has the look of a Top 10 Fantasy receiver heading into next year. He had nine catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns against the Packers on Saturday, which gives him three games with multiple scores in his past four outings. He ended the season with at least nine Fantasy points in eight of his past 10 games -- including the playoffs -- and he is worth drafting by Round 6 in all formats.

Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens: Flacco, who is a free agent this offseason, is doing a great job to earn a big paycheck -- even though there's no way he leaves Baltimore. He had 331 passing yards and three touchdowns against the Broncos on Saturday and now has 613 passing yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions in two playoff victories. He has at least 18 Fantasy points in seven of his past 10 games. More importantly, he has nine touchdowns, one interception and at least 250 passing yards in the four full games he played with Jim Caldwell as the offensive coordinator. Flacco looks like a solid No. 2 Fantasy quarterback with upside next season.

Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers: The second-year quarterback showed how dynamic he can be with 263 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception and 181 rushing yards and two touchdowns against the Packers. Since taking over for Alex Smith in Week 11 he now has at least 18 Fantasy points in six of eight starts. He has the chance to be a low-end No. 1 Fantasy starter in 2013, and we like him with a mid-round pick. Pairing Kaepernick and Flacco together next season might not be a bad idea if you're inclined to wait for a quarterback on Draft Day.

Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Falcons: There's a good chance Michael Turner will be cut during the offseason. He'll be 31 next season and is scheduled to make $5.5 million. That could give Rodgers the starting job, and he has the ability to be a solid No. 2 Fantasy running back. He played great against the Seahawks with 10 carries for 64 yards and two catches for 8 yards. And if you want a tutorial in blitz protection, watch Rodgers block for Matt Ryan. Rodgers only had two games with double digits in Fantasy points in 2012, but he had double digits in carries just three times. With more work, Rodgers could be a star.

Shane Vereen, RB, Patriots: Vereen stole the spotlight for the Patriots against the Texans with seven carries for 41 yards and a touchdown and five catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns. He took on the passing-down role with Danny Woodhead (thumb) hurt, and that could be foreshadowing for next season with Woodhead a free agent. A Vereen-Stevan Ridley combo would look nice in the New England backfield, with Ridley still the better Fantasy option because of his goal-line work. Still, if Woodhead is gone, Vereen would be worth drafting with a mid-round pick, with his value higher in PPR formats.

Five on the decline

Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots: Gronkowski broke his left forearm again Sunday against the Texans and underwent surgery Monday. He should be fine for the start of the 2013 season, but Fantasy owners will now be hesitant to draft him in Round 1 in standard leagues. Prior to breaking his arm the first time in Week 12, Gronkowski was on pace to finish with 229 Fantasy points, which would have made him the No. 1 receiver, not just the top tight end. He's still worth drafting in Round 2, but his value is slightly lower following the season-ending injury.

Greg Jennings, WR, Packers: Jennings is a free agent this offseason, and he's not expected to return to the Packers. That's a bad thing because leaving Aaron Rodgers will likely hurt his production. He's coming off a down year due to injuries (he missed eight games) and had just two games with double digits in Fantasy points when he was healthy. A logical landing spot for him is Miami since former Green Bay offensive coordinator Joe Philbin is the head coach for the Dolphins, and they need a No. 1 receiver. If that happens then Jennings would be a low-end No. 2 Fantasy option at best.

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos: Moreno was hurt in Saturday's loss against the Ravens, leaving in the third quarter with a knee injury. The extent of the injury is unknown, but Moreno went from a Fantasy hero to close the season to a backup again in 2013. Willis McGahee is expected to return to the starting job, and Ronnie Hillman will take on a bigger role. That will leave Moreno once again in a reserve role. He had double digits in Fantasy points in five of his final six games once McGahee (knee) got hurt, but Moreno will only be worth a late-round pick next season.

Matt Schaub, QB, Texans: Schaub played well, statistically, against the Patriots with 343 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception, but he closed the season on a down note. He had 16 Fantasy points or less in seven of his final nine games -- including the playoffs -- and he needs more weapons. Houston has a tremendous ground game with Arian Foster, but Schaub basically has to rely on Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels as his lone playmakers in the passing game. Unless the receiving corps is upgraded this offseason, Schaub should only be drafted as a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback with a late-round pick.

Sidney Rice, WR, Seahawks: Rice had four catches for 60 yards in the playoff loss at Atlanta, and that game summed up the end of his regular season. Even with Russell Wilson playing like a star at the end of the year, Rice was quiet with just one game with double digits in Fantasy points in his final eight outings, including the playoffs. He has the chance to be a starting Fantasy receiver based on his talent level and with a developing star in Wilson, but he did not produce at a high level on a consistent basis during the year. Heading into 2013, Rice should be viewed as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best. He should only be drafted with a late-round pick.

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
Michael Bennett misses Seahawks' workouts
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(8:40 pm ET) Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett missed the opening of the team's strength and conditions workout on Monday.

The two-week program is voluntary for veterans, so Bennett won't be punished for missing it. The Seattle Times reported that Bennett was not satisfied with his contract. Bennett is in the second year of a four-year, $28.5 million contract. 

A source told the Times that Bennett won't report, because he wants the team to renegotiate. 


Dolphins waive OG Davonte Wallace
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(7:55 pm ET) The Dolphins waived offensive guard Davonte Wallace on Tuesday, the team announced.

Wallace, 23, has yet to appear in an NFL game over the last two seasons.


Raiders move Taiwan Jones to running back
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(7:14 pm ET) After spending the last two seasons as a cornerback, the Raiders will move Taiwan Jones back to running back this season, reports CSNBayArea.com.

Jones was drafted in 2011 as a running back out of Eastern Washington. He has been playing in the defensive back field since the 2013 season. Jones missed 15 games last season with a foot injury.


Raiders' Del Rio on Michael Crabtree: Good to have him on team
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(6:27 pm ET) Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he is pleased the team was recently able to add veteran wide receiver Michael Crabtree, reports CSNBayArea.com.

"It's great to have Michael on board," Del Rio said. "Obviously, he's a guy that's been a productive player on a real good team the last several years and comes in here eager to join our organization and become a good teammate and to find his way and create a role for himself. So, he's a guy that has an outstanding catching radius, a real good understanding of how to get himself open and find some of the soft spots in a defense. He knows how to go up and make the contested catch and those kinds of things. We feel good about being able to acquire Michael."

Crabtree is trying to rebound after a disappointing 2014 season where he caught 68 passes for 698 yards and four touchdowns.


Ravens sign LS Patrick Scales to exclusive rights tender
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(6:12 pm ET) The Ravens signed long snapper Patrick Scales to his exclusive rights tender, the team announced.

Attorney: Greg Hardy seeks to have domestic charges expunged
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:34 pm ET) Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy has filed a petition to have domestic violence charges expunged from the record, according to his attorney per the Charlotte Observer.

The process to have the charges removed could take up to four months.

"Every day Americans who have misdemeanor charges dismissed file for expungement of the charges from their record," said Chris Fialko, Hardy's attorney.

Hardy has the charges against him dismissed in February after his accuser and ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder was unable to testify in a jury trial. Holder received a settlement from Hardy in an undisclosed amount, according to prosecutors.


Stephen Jones: Cowboys' Tony Romo will have big year
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4:50 pm ET) Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones is optimistic about his team's quarterback for the upcoming season. 

In an appearance on Dallas' KRLD-FM radio, Jones predicted that Tony Romo will have a career year. 

"No question in my mind," Jones said. "I think he keeps getting better. I actually had a visit with him ... and he said he's felt as good as he has felt in years, in terms of his off-season and how his body feels and the work that he's doing. The last couple of years he has been dealing with off-season surgeries and some uncomfortable things. But he said he thinks he's ready to have the best year he's ever had."


Chiefs waive CB Shaquille Richardson
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:46 pm ET) The Chiefs released cornerback Shaquille Richardson on Tuesday, the team announced.

Richardson was signed to a one-year deal in February. He has never appeared in an NFL game.


Cowboys sign Lance Dunbar, Chris Jones to tender offers
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:43 pm ET) The Cowboys signed running back Lance Dunbar and punter Chris Jones to their restricted free agent tender offers Tuesday, reports The Dallas Morning News. The offers were for $1.542 million.

Jerrell Freeman skipping Colts' voluntary workouts
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3:29 pm ET) Colts linebacker Jerrell Freeman was a no-show at the team's offseason workouts that started on Monday.

Freeman is a restricted free agent and still hasn't signed his offer from the team, per the Indy Star. The Colts offered a one-year $2.35 million deal that would require a second-round pick as compensation from any team that signs Freeman. 

Freeman has until Friday to get an offer from another team. The Colts workouts are voluntary, so there will be no penalty for Freeman missing them.


 
 
 
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