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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
Report: Patriots hoping to sign Darrelle Revis to long-term extension
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) The Patriots are reportedly looking to sign cornerback Darrelle Revis to a long-term extension, according Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

However, New England has not ruled out paying Revis the $20 million team option in 2015, Rapoport reports. The decision needs to be made by April 1, when a $12 million roster bonus kicks in for Revis.

Revis totaled 47 tackles in 16 games for the Patriots, grabbing two interceptions and forcing one fumble.


C.J. Spiller expecting 'March Madness' style free agency
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) Bills running back C.J. Spiller is getting healthy again. Spiller, who has fully recovered from a shoulder injury, just ended the final season of his contract and is looking at his options for next season.

"Physically, I’m back to 100 percent, back to doing normal activities," Spiller told The Post and Courier on Friday. "As far as football, free agency will start in March, and I’ll get with my people next week and get a game plan together."

Spiller has played five seasons for the Bills, only playing two full years. He ran for 1,244 yards in 2012 with six touchdowns.

"I guess you could say it’ll be March Madness," Spiller said with a smile. "It’ll be a fun March."


Report: Rams among teams interested in trade for Eagles' Foles
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) Teams are beginning to show interest in Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, as reports are surfacing Philadelphia is unsure of what to do with the third-year quarterback, per NJ.com. A source said the Rams have interest in Foles should the Eagles choose to trade him this offseason. 

The Titans and Texans have also been mentioned as teams that would have interest in Foles, if he hits the trade market.

It's still unclear if the Eagles would be willing to move Foles. NJ.com reported last week the Eagles, who have the 20th pick in the NFL Draft, are considering making a run at Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota in the draft. 

"From No. 20, it's certainly not going to be easy,'' a source said. "It's probably going to take moving up twice to do it. There's going to be some wheeling and dealing involved.

"Can it happen? I don't know. But they're going to try."

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly recruited Mariota to Oregon and coached him for two years.

"Obviously, [with] my relationship with coach Kelly, it'd be a lot of fun to be a part of that offense and be a part of that team," Mariota said when asked about a potential reunion with Kelly.

Foles is 15-9 as a starter in the NFL, but he has yet to play a full season. He has completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 6,753 yards, 46 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.


Colts' Luck on new contract: 'There's nothing there right now'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) An ESPN report surfaced last week stating the Colts were working on making quarterback Andrew Luck the highest-paid player in the NFL. When asked about the subject at the Pro Bowl, Luck seemed surprise when he heard the news.

"There's nothing there right now," Luck said, per The Indianapolis Star. "I didn't think about it all during the season and it's only been a few days since it ended. I haven't thought about it. I will have conversations with my agent just because you have to prepare, but I'm not sure where that report came from."

Luck has two years remaining on the $22 million deal he signed as a rookie in 2012. It includes a team option for 2016, which must be exercised later this year.

Luck just completed his third season in the NFL. He has been to the Pro Bowl every year he's been in the NFL. He's gone 11-5 in every season as an NFL starter. He threw for a career-best 40 touchdowns in 2014 and led Indianapolis to the AFC title game this season.


Seahawks' Sherman disappointed he won't receive gifts from Pro Bowl
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) In case you missed Sunday's Pro Bowl, Team Irvin knocked off Team Carter, 32-28, thanks to a second-half rally, which included touchdown catches by Emmanuel Sanders and Jimmy Graham.

While many Pro Bowl players that made the original roster were absent from the game due to injuries, Pro Bowl players from the Patriots and Seahawks also did not play due to preparations for next Sunday's Super Bowl.

One player who seemed upset about missing the Pro Bowl was Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. However, it was for a reason you probably wouldn't suspect.

“Only thing I’m disappointed in is they won’t give us our gifts from the Pro Bowl, which is kind of dumb,” Sherman said, per The Boston Globe. “The NFL is the only league that punishes the players who actually make the All-Star game by not giving them their gifts. It’s supposed to be watches and some other stuff, but we don’t get them so I couldn’t tell you.”


Patriots' Tom Brady on Deflategate: 'My feelings got hurt'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) If you have been out of the loop for the last week, then you might be unaware the Patriots have been under a lot of scrutiny since the AFC title game due to improperly inflated footballs used against the Colts. The media hoopla has transformed the controversy into what we know as Deflategate.

If you haven't been out of the loop, then you are well aware of the nonstop coverage it has received the last week and despite the Patriots pleas for it to go away, it just won't.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has had to deal with the backlash from Deflategate, and he found himself talking about the subject again Monday morning during an interview with WEEI.

“It’s all speculation,” Brady said. “I’ve tried to wrap my head around it, too. I’ve done that and I’m trying to move past that, because I continue to try to rehash things. I personalized a lot of things and thought this was all about me, and my feelings got hurt. Then I moved past it, because it’s not serving me. What’s serving me is try to prepare for the game ahead. I’ll deal with whatever happens later. I’ll have my opportunity to try to figure out what happened and figure out a theory like everyone else is trying to do. But this isn’t the time for that. Honestly, I’m not interested in trying to find out right now, because we have the biggest game of our season ahead.”

One topic Brady didn't have a problem addressing was the speculation coach Bill Belichick threw him under the bus during a press conference on Thursday. But Brady came to the defense of Belichick, who has won three Super Bowls as the Patriots coach.

“I’ve never once felt that we’re not on the same page,” Brady said. “He’s a great coach. He’s the only coach I’ve ever played for; he’s the only coach I’d ever want to play for. There’s a lot of people over the years that have criticized him, but I’d say there’s not one player who’s ever played for him who’s not had an unbelievable amount of respect for him and how he prepares and his diligence and his preparation."


Giants' Odell Beckham says he played with hamstring tears
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham said he played all season with two tears in his hamstrings, according to the New York Daily News.

Beckham took part in the Pro Bowl on Sunday, but admitted he's still not fully healed. Beckham said the injuries prevented him from getting to that "last gear that I wanted to have." He added that the injuries really bothered him against the Eagles and Colts. Beckham said he was "stumbling" and falling over during those games. He added that he's not sure whether he'll ever be 100 percent again.

The rookie had a tremendous season, hauling in 91 balls for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. 


Patriots' Tom Brady meeting with NFL after Super Bowl 49
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Patriots quarterback Tom Brady doesn't expect to meet with the NFL until after Super Bowl XLIX, according to NFL.com.

The Patriots have been in the headlines all week due to Deflategate, and it appears the situation won't be resolved until after the season. "I believe they're going to do [a meeting] after the season," Brady said. "So we'll deal with it after this game. I think everybody is locked in, ready to go for the Super Bowl." Both Brady and coach Bill Belichick have held separate press conferences during the week to deny the team's involvement in deflating their footballs. 

The Patriots are subject to punishment from the NFL if the league finds any wrongdoing during the investigation. 


Earl Thomas on bad shoulder: 'I'll still play fearless'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, who dislocated his shoulder in the NFC Championship Game, could remain limited in practice this week ahead of the Super Bowl, reports the Seattle Times. But he said he won't be thinking about the injury against the Patriots.

"When I come alive nothing is limited,’’ he said. “I’ll still play fearless, throw my body around, and let whatever happens, happens.’’

Thomas did allow that he might have to rely more on his teammates.

“My mindset is I have an opportunity to really trust my teammates,’’ he said. “This is the first game I’m going to have to trust them because of my injury. So I really, really, really trust my teammates, and that’s what I’m banking on, my teammates doing what they need to do and I need to come through myself.’’

It's unclear if Thomas will need offseason surgery.

The Seahawks are 1-point underdogs after opening as 2.5-point favorites.


Colts QB Matt Hasselbeck pondering retirement
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck told ESPN.com he's not sure if he'll retire or return for a 17th season. Hasselbeck, 39, appeared in four games this season and played well, posting a 102.6 passer rating.

He's set to hit unrestricted free agency.


 
 
 
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