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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: Titans S Bernard Pollard wants to be released
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:52 am ET) Titans safety Bernard Pollard has requested a release from his contract, The Tennessean reports. He is scheduled to make $3.1 million in the final season of his two-year deal in 2015.

Pollard submitted his request to general manager Ruston Webster at the end of the regular season, per the report. He is recovering from a ruptured Achilles and wants to play in 2015, but said on The Tennessean's Bernard Pollard Show earlier this month that he was unsure of his future with the Titans.

"I am not getting any younger, so I want to win, I really do. I want to win,'' Pollard said. "Looking at how things took place this year, looking at where (the Titans) need to be for next year, that is a tough, tough question, and I don't even know if they can give me the answer. I have one year on my deal, but it is going to take some time."

Pollard has been out of his walking boot for a month and is making progress in rehab. He suffered his Achilles injury in Week 5 and was placed on injured reserve.


Patriots fairly healthy heading into Super Bowl Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) The Patriots will be at nearly full strength for Sunday’s Super Bowl as the following players have been listed as probable: Tom Brady (ankle), Dont’a Hightower (shoulder), Chris Jones (elbow), Akeem Ayers (knee), Darrelle Revis (non-injury-related) and Sealver Siliga (foot).

All except Brady were limited participants in practice Friday. The only question mark is center Bryan Stork, who is questionable with a knee injury and was limited in practice Friday.

The Patriots are currently 1-point favorites against Seattle.


Seahawks unveil final injury report in preparation for Super Bowl
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) The Seahawks have listed the following players as probable for the Super Bowl on Sunday: J.R. Sweezy (ankle), Justin Britt (knee), Marshawn Lynch (back), Earl Thomas (shoulder), Richard Sherman (elbow) and Kam Chancellor (knee).

Chancellor was a late addition to the injury report, when he fell on the next-to-last play of practice and missed the last play. He was not limping on his way off. All other players were full participants in practice Friday.

The Seahawks are currently 1-point underdogs against New England.


Saints tight end Jimmy Graham to avoid surgery on shoulder
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he will avoid surgery on his shoulder after testing it at the Pro Bowl. 

"I’ve been doing rehab and I’m going to start back on my rehab Monday and really there’s going to be no surgery," Graham told SiriusXM radio. "I’m just going to do rehab, strengthen the area. That’s what’s best — not having to take six months off and try to heal up with a surgery, but now have those six months to work on all things I need to to try and hopefully get to a place like (the Super Bowl) next year."

Graham, who had 85 catches for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014, fought off the injury for most of the season. He was still unsure about having surgery before the Pro Bowl last week.

"It was something that really needed some rest and unfortunately it wasn’t able to get that during the season," he said. "It happened early and then you have about 10 straight weeks of trying to make it to the game. Now after having about three or four weeks and last week kind of testing it at the Pro Bowl, it feels great."


Vikings' Greg Jennings: We all want Adrian Peterson back
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) Vikings veteran wideout Greg Jennings said during a SiriusXM NFL Radio interview on Friday that embattled running back Adrian Peterson is wanted back by everyone in the organization, per ESPN.

"I don't know if he'll be back. I can't answer that question," Jennings said. "But what I do know is that if he does come back, he'd be accepted with open arms. As an organization from the Wilfs on down, we all want him back. So, I mean, it's a touchy subject and he's been the franchise player -- face of that team -- for eight years. So it will be a loss, a huge loss, if we can't get him back, and that's the nature of this business."

In November, Peterson was suspended by the league without pay for the rest of the season, making him ineligible for reinstatement until at least April 15. The move came after Peterson pleaded no contest to recklessly injuring his 4-year-old son last May. He is under contract with the Vikings for next season, and is set to earn $12.75 million.

It's unclear at this point if Jennings has talked to Zygi and Mark Wilf about the Peterson situation. What is clear is that the team is not allowed to communicate with Peterson during his suspension.


Eagles' Maclin believes contract will take care of itself
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin believes he will be back in Philadelphia in next season. His representatives and the Eagles are in the process of negotiating a new contract for the 27-year-old, who will become a free agent in March unless he is re-signed.

"I'm excited about what the future holds," Maclin said on Friday. "Once again, both sides have made it known what we want to do. I think it will take care of itself."

He could be franchise tagged if a deal is not signed. The tag number for wide receivers is yet to be determined.

Maclin had 85 catches in 2014 for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns in Philadelphia.


Bears sign LB DeDe Lattimore to two-year contract extension
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) The Bears have signed linebacker DeDe Lattimore to a two-year contract extension. He appeared in 10 games as a rookie in 2014, recording five special teams tackles.

Jaguars' Khan 'very optimistic' about WR Blackmon being reinstated
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) Jaguars owner Shahid Khan said Friday he is "very optimistic" about wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who missed the 2014 season after being suspended indefinitely for a third violation of the league's substance abuse policy, being reinstated to the NFL.

"I think he's paid his dues and I think he's got his life together," Khan said, per The Florida Times-Union.


NFLPA president Eric Winston: New conduct policy 'violates CBA'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) After the union field a grievance last week against the NFL over changes to the NFL personal conduct policy, Players Association president Eric Winston said Thursday the new policy "violates the CBA in several ways and we're going to be grieving this as far as we can."

NFL owners unanimously approved the changes in December.

"We have an agreement with the league and they have an agreement with us," Winston said, per the Associated Press. "We're going to hold them to that agreement. Many aspects of this policy fall outside of the CBA and we're going to continue fighting it going forward."

Following former Ravens running back Ray Rice's domestic violence case and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's child abuse case, a more extensive list of prohibited conduct was included in the policy, as well as criteria for paid leave for anyone charged with a violent crime. A suspension of six games without pay for violations involving assault, sexual assault, battery, domestic violence, child abuse and other forms of family violence will be in effect.

"The league's revised conduct policy was the product of a tremendous amount of analysis and work and is based on input from a broad and diverse group of experts within and outside of football, including current players, former players, and the NFL Players Association," the league said in a statement last week.

"We and the public firmly believe that all NFL personnel should be held accountable to a stronger, more effective conduct policy. Clearly, the union does not share that belief."


Eric Decker 'pushing' for Demaryius Thomas to sign with Jets
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/30/2015) Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is set to become a free agent in March, unless he agrees to a contract extension or Denver uses the franchise tag on him. If he does become a free agent, former teammate Eric Decker hopes Thomas would consider joining him on the Jets roster.

Decker spent a few days in Arizona this week with Thomas filming a commercial.

“I’ve been pushing for the entire year now,” Decker said in a telephone interview with The New York Post. “It was just another opportunity to talk to him about it. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens. I think it would be tough for Denver to let him go. So whether they franchise-tag him here in the next month or give him a long-term deal, he’s just one of those premier players in this league.

"If he happens to make it to free agency, I would love to sign him because playing alongside him for four years and especially the last two years made it a lot of fun and made it a lot easier. He’s just one of the great players in this league.”

Thomas recorded a career-best 1,619 receiving yards in 2014. It was his third straight season of 1,000-plus receiving yards. He also had at least 10 touchdowns for a third straight season.


 
 
 
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