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Instant reactions from Week 5

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Week 5 started off on a down note with Calvin Johnson being ruled inactive with a knee injury, but that didn't stop receivers from stealing the spotlight. It was another big day for the passing games.

Seven receivers -- Alshon Jeffery, T.Y. Hilton, Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Rueben Randle, DeSean Jackson and Justin Blackmon -- scored at least 19 Fantasy points in a standard league. For Blackmon, this was his first game of the season at St. Louis and hopefully something to build on, and Bryant and Jackson continued their stellar campaigns against the Cowboys and Giants, respectively. Bryant and Jackson are must-start Fantasy options each week, and Blackmon will soon join them in that category. But the names of note are Jeffery, Hilton, Williams and Randle.

Hilton was a huge surprise since he came into the game with no touchdowns on the season and five Fantasy points combined in his past two games, but he had five catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns against Seattle. He'll be back in your lineup in Week 6 at San Diego, and hopefully he'll never come out.

Williams stepped in for the injured Miles Austin (hamstring) for the second game in a row and had four catches for 151 yards and a touchdown against Denver. As long as Austin is out you can consider Williams a viable Fantasy option, and he's owned in just 16 percent of CBSSports.com leagues.

Jeffery continues to improve after he had 10 catches for 218 yards and a touchdown against New Orleans, and he'll be on the cusp of a must-start Fantasy option every week moving forward. He now has at least 20 Fantasy points in consecutive weeks and has at least eight targets in four of five games. Jay Cutler has developed a crush on his second-year receiver, and rightfully so.

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Randle had his second game of the season with double digits in Fantasy points with six catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns against Philadelphia, but his first big game since Week 1. He's too inconsistent to trust as the No. 3 receiver for the Giants. Add Randle to your roster (he's owned in 33 percent of leagues), but don't plan on starting him any time soon as long as Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are healthy.

Austin Pettis just missed joining that group with 16 Fantasy points, despite scoring two touchdowns against the Jaguars on four catches for 49 yards. It's clear he's Sam Bradford's favorite receiver at this point, and he's worth adding in all formats since he's owned in just 38 percent of leagues.

As for Johnson, expect him back in Week 6 at Cleveland.

Injuries of note: David Wilson (neck), Michael Vick (hamstring), Blaine Gabbert (hamstring), Zac Stacy (ribs)

Wilson's injury is not considered serious, and he said after the game he was held out as a precaution. He left the game against the Eagles in the first quarter, but at least he scored a touchdown, which was a saving grace for the Start of the Week. Look for Wilson to play Thursday night at Chicago, but stay tuned to his updates throughout the week. He'll be considered a No. 2 running back/flex against the Bears.

Vick also was held out as a precaution, but his status is up in the air for Week 6 at Tampa Bay. He was on his way to a quality stat line against the Giants with 105 passing yards and 79 rushing yards before leaving in the second quarter. He was replaced by Nick Foles, and Foles would have increased Fantasy value if Vick is out against the Buccaneers.

Just when Stacy got an opportunity -- he started against the Jaguars and had 14 carries for 78 yards -- he was injured in the fourth quarter. The game was already decided when Stacy left, but he'll likely be questionable for Week 6 at Houston. If Stacy plays against the Texans he should again be considered the best St. Louis running back. Daryl Richardson had 13 carries for 48 yards, Benny Cunningham had four carries for 13 yards and Isaiah Pead did not have a touch.

Gabbert left the game after another miserable performance. He was 9 of 19 passing for 181 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He was replaced by Chad Henne, who was 7 of 13 for 89 yards and a touchdown. After the game, coach Gus Bradley said Gabbert would start in Week 6 at Denver if healthy.

Danny Amendola returns: Amendola (groin) played for the first time since Week 1, and he had four catches for 55 yards on nine targets at Cincinnati. The good news is he didn't suffer a setback and led the Patriots in targets. The bad news is he had a terrible stat line. Look for Amendola to play much better in Week 6 against New Orleans. And as he improves, Julian Edelman's value will decline.

Also, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason LaCanfora reported on Fantasy Football Today on Sunday morning that Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm) will return against the Saints.

Bolden does better than Blount: The Patriots were without Stevan Ridley (knee) against the Bengals, but LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden failed to take advantage of the opportunity. Blount had 12 carries for 51 yards and a fumble, and Bolden had five carries for 24 yards and six catches for 40 yards. If Ridley is back against the Saints then Blount and Bolden will go back to reserve roles, with Bolden retaining minimal value in PPR leagues.

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Pierre Thomas first in second city: Thomas is from Chicago, and he loves playing in his hometown. He came into Week 5 with 192 rushing yards and a touchdown and 19 catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns in two career games at Chicago. On Sunday, he had 19 carries for 36 yards and nine catches for 55 yards and two touchdowns. He's a nice flex option as long as Mark Ingram (toe) remains out.

Giovani Bernard not getting it done: Bernard was outplayed by BenJarvus Green-Ellis against the Patriots, but don't get down on Bernard yet. Green-Ellis had 19 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown against his former team, and Bernard was held to 13 carries for 62 yards and a fumble and two catches for 7 yards, which was his second down game in a row. Look for both Bengals running backs to shine in Week 6 at Buffalo. If Bernard struggles against the Bills then hit the panic button.

Welcome back Chris Johnson: Johnson had his best Fantasy game of the season with 10 carries for 17 yards and four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. It was the first time he was involved as a receiver with a season high in receptions -- consider that going forward with Ryan Fitzpatrick replacing Jake Locker (hip) -- and hopefully he can continue to produce. He has some tough games ahead against the Seahawks and 49ers before his bye in Week 8. But after the bye is when Johnson will shine with matchups against St. Louis, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Oakland and Indianapolis again through Week 13. Buy low if you can.

Trent Richardson struggles again: Richardson's two-game touchdown streak ended Sunday against Seattle, and he finished with 18 carries for just 56 yards. It's becoming clear that if Richardson doesn't score he has minimal Fantasy production. He has yet to top 60 rushing yards this season. You have to start Richardson in Week 6 at San Diego, but if he struggles there in a good matchup it's going to make plenty of Fantasy owners nervous about starting him in all leagues.

Waiver Wire preview: Here is a preview of the players we will highlight on Playing the Waiver Wire for Tuesday.

Quarterbacks: Bradford (79 percent ownership on CBSSports.com), Alex Smith, Chiefs (77 percent), Foles (5 percent)

Running backs: Bolden (29 percent), Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (25 percent), Stacy (12 percent)

Wide receivers: Jeffery (81 percent), Golden Tate, Seahawks (65 percent), Percy Harvin, Seahawks (39 percent), Robert Woods, Bills (39 percent), Austin Pettis, Rams (38 percent), Randle (33 percent), Williams (16 percent), Kris Durham, Lions (2 percent)

Tight ends: Charles Clay, Dolphins (80 percent), Brent Celek, Eagles (33 percent), Lance Kendricks, Rams (1 percent)

Start 'Em/Sit 'Em star: James Jones. He had four catches for 127 yards and a touchdown on six targets. Jones had 18 Fantasy points and was just behind Jeffery, Hilton, Randle, Jackson and Blackmon, who was also listed as a start.

Start 'Em/Sit 'Em flop: Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck. I had both quarterbacks on the sit list, but both finished as Top 10 quarterbacks. Wilson completed 15 of 31 passes for 210 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, while rushing for a career-high 102 yards on 13 carries with a lost fumble. Luck completed 16 of 29 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns and also lost a fumble. Both of his touchdowns went to Hilton, who was also listed as a sit, unfortunately.

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 .

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Player News
Patriots' Devin McCourty: There's a 'chance that I might not be back'
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) With the Patriots deciding to use their franchise tag on kicker Stephen Gostkowski, safety Devin McCourty knows his time in New England could be coming to an end. 

In an interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson, McCourty said he didn't have much information on what the Patriots would do and was going off of various media reports that came down to the organization deciding whether to franchise him or Gostkowski. 

Now that Gostkowski is ineligible from hitting the free agent market, McCourty will test the waters beginning on March 10. 

"I guess it's more realistic now that [there's] a chance that I might not be back there," McCourty said. "Or there's still a chance that I will, but I guess [there's] more of a chance now with the franchise tag going to Steve that I could be playing in a different place. Still, keeping an open mind and trying to enjoy the process."

In 2014, McCourty recorded 68 tackles and two interceptions. 


Report: Texans' Andre Johnson given permission to seek trade
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Wide receiver Andre Johnson has been given permission by the Texans to seek a trade, according to a report from the Houston Chronicle

The Texans told Johnson that he'd have a reduced role this upcoming season opposite of DeAndre Hopkins. Therefore, Johnson wanted out of his deal. If a trade cannot be made with a suitor, Johnson will be released

Johnson was the third overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft and is the greatest player in the history of the Texans. He's recorded 1,012 catches, 13,597 yards and 64 touchdowns in his career.

A trade could be difficult, however, based on Johnson's upcoming $16.1 million cap figure and $10.5 million base salary for the 2015 season. 


Colts RB Vick Ballard (Achilles) 'on schedule' with recovery
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Running back Vick Ballard is poised to be back in the Colts' plans for the 2015 season. 

Ballard, who has missed almost all of the previous two seasons due to injuries, hasn't suffered any setbacks with his recovery, according to the Colts' official website. Ballard tore his ACL in 2013 and suffered an Achilles tear before the 2014 season. 

“Vick’s doing well. He’s going through rehab right now. He’s on schedule,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "He’s been working his tail. When the doctors say he’s 100 percent and ready to roll, then we’ll get him back on the field.”

Ballard led the Colts in rushing as a rookie in 2012 with 814 yards and two touchdowns. He only played in one game in 2013 before tearing his ACL in a practice the following week. His Achilles tear came during the 2014 preseason. 


Report: Jaguars looking for help at RB this offseason
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) It appears Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart will have new role in 2015. 

According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, the Jaguars are planning to move Gerhart around on offense at H-back in addition to running back. This also means the Jaguars will be in the market for additional help at running back. 

Gerhart was plagued by injuries in 2014, which paved the way for Denard Robinson to assert himself as a potential starting running back down the road. Robinson, however, is injury prone himself, which goes back to his days as a standout quarterback in college at Michigan.

Robinson's 2014 season ended on injured reserve with a mid-foot sprain.

Gerhart's season ended with just 326 yards and a patry 3.2 yards per carry average. Robinson emerged late in the year and ran for 582 yards and held a 4.3 yards per carry average.  


Report: Titans parting ways with safety Bernard Pollard
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) The Titans will release veteran safety Bernard Pollard, according to a report from The Tennessean

Pollard had previously requested for the Titans to release him. He's coming off a season that ended prematurely due to an Achilles tear in early October. He was slated to earn $3.5 million with the Titans this year if he stayed on. 

In the five games he appeared in during the 2014 season, Pollard recorded 27 tackles and one sack. 


Report: Browns looking to add another quarterback
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) The Browns are not done just yet in their search for quarterback talent, according to ESPN.com. Cleveland is reportedly looking to add at least one more quarterback through the draft or free agency.

The Browns made their signing of Josh McCown to a three-year deal official last week, but appear to want another to go along with him and Johnny Manziel.


Report: Redskins will pursue Ndamukong Suh as free agent
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) After the Lions chose not to use the franchise tag to retain DE Ndamukong Suh, it became more likely that he'll become an unrestricted free agent on March 10. 

When Suh hits the market, the Redskins will be interested in signing him, reported Dianna Marie Russini of DC's NBC 4, citing sources within the organization. 


Browns don't use franchise tag on Jordan Cameron
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) The Browns won't use their franchise tag on any player, meaning that TE Jordan Cameron will become a free agent on March 10. 

Cameron had 24 catches for 424 yards and two touchdowns last season, at a salary of $1.431 million.


No franchise tag for Broncos' Julius Thomas
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) The Broncos will not use their franchise tag on TE Julius Thomas. The team instead tagged WR Demaryius Thomas. 

Julius Thomas will be able to become a free agent on March 10. He had 43 catches for 489 yards and 12 touchdowns last year. Thomas made $645,000 salary last year. 


Report: Bills do not apply franchise tag to linebacker Jerry Hughes
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) The Bills reportedly chose not to apply their franchise tag to linebacker Jerry Hughes Monday, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

Buffalo has been working on signing Hughes to a new, long term deal for the past month. The veteran linebacker racked up 10 sacks and totaled 54 tackles in all 16 games in 2014 for the Bills. 


 
 
 
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