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Instant reactions from Week 6

Senior Fantasy Writer
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It was rebound time for a lot of prominent Fantasy options in Week 6. And we needed it.

Cam Newton and Matthew Stafford bounced back as Top 5 Fantasy quarterbacks this week. Stevan Ridley, Gio Bernard, Reggie Bush and Maurice Jones-Drew looked like standout rushers again. We had the best game from Vincent Jackson this season, A.J. Green had his best performance since Week 1 and Larry Fitzgerald shook off a hamstring injury to score.

Even Kyle Rudolph looked like a dominant force.

The best performance for Fantasy owners should be Ridley. He was miserable prior to Week 6 with no touchdowns and 16 Fantasy points combined all season, and he missed Week 5 with a thigh injury. But the Patriots unleashed him on the Saints in a great matchup with 20 carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns and one catch for 14 yards. LeGarrette Blount (seven carries for 9 yards) and Brandon Bolden (five carries for 19 yards and two catches for 9 yards) were limited, and we hope to see this Ridley moving forward.

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The Patriots have a tough matchup in Week 7 at the Jets, but you'd start Ridley in most formats if he was guaranteed to get 20 carries no matter the opponent. And let's hope that happens after his performance against the Saints.

Injuries of note: Jimmy Graham (ankle), Randall Cobb (knee), James Jones (leg), Danny Amendola (concussion), Bilal Powell (shoulder), Mike Goodson (knee), Cecil Shorts (shoulder), Matt Schaub (leg), Thad Lewis (foot)

The Packers receiving corps was decimated against the Ravens with Cobb and Jones leaving the game in the first half. Cobb was carted off the field, and Jones left the game on the second series and didn't return.

Cobb is set for an MRI on Monday, but he might have avoided a major injury, according to initial reports. We'll know more during the week, so stay tuned to his player page. As for Jones, he expects to be OK, but we'll see what his status is for Week 7 against Cleveland.

Aaron Rodgers will obviously lean on Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley if Cobb and Jones miss time, but Jarrett Boykin (0 percent ownership on CBSSports.com) is now worth a look. Boykin had one catch for 43 yards on six targets against the Ravens.

Powell hurt his shoulder in the third quarter against the Steelers, but he expects to be OK. He failed to score double digits in Fantasy points for the first time since Week 1, but he could rebound in Week 7 against New England. He had 12 Fantasy points against the Patriots in Week 2, and it would help Powell if Goodson missed any time.

Graham hurt his ankle against the Patriots, and we hope he'll be OK. The Saints have a bye in Week 7, so Graham should have two weeks to get back to 100 percent. Shorts injured his shoulder in the first quarter against the Broncos and finished without a catch. His status for Week 7 against San Diego is unknown, and we hope he can return against the Chargers for a great matchup.

Amendola took a brutal hit to the head in the third quarter against the Saints, and his injury woes continue. His status for Week 7 at the Jets is now in doubt based on the concussion protocol.

Schaub is set for an MRI, and he might be out for Week 7 at Kansas City. Even if he starts, Fantasy owners should avoid him in a tough matchup.

Lewis is expected to be OK despite wearing a walking boot after the game. He had 25 Fantasy points against the Bengals and did great in a tough matchup without Steve Johnson (back). I wouldn't start Lewis in Week 7 at Miami even if he's OK, but he's now someone to monitor until EJ Manuel (knee) returns.

Nick Foles shines: The Eagles certainly didn't miss Michael Vick (hamstring) against Tampa Bay because Foles was a star. He was 22 of 31 passing for 296 yards and three touchdowns and also had a rushing touchdown.

Vick could be out again in Week 7 against Dallas, which is a great matchup. If Foles starts again as expected, then consider him a quality replacement for Vick or a bye-week replacement for Drew Brees or Terrelle Pryor. Foles is owned in just 28 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com.

Andre Ellington has plenty of potential: Ellington is someone you want on your Fantasy team, and he's owned in 67 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com. He should be the best Cardinals running back going forward as Rashard Mendenhall continues to struggle.

On Sunday at San Francisco, Ellington had seven carries for 56 yards and a touchdown and five catches for 36 yards. Mendenhall finished with 10 carries for 40 yards and one catch for 4 yards.

Ellington now has at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league in three of his past five games, and he should only continue to improve from this point forward. I don't like him in Week 7 against Seattle on Thursday night, but he could be great in Week 8 against Atlanta.

Terrelle Pryor finally struggles: Pryor had his worst game of the season in Week 6 at the Chiefs with 216 passing yards, one touchdown and three interceptions and six carries for 60 yards. Give Kansas City credit for shutting down Pryor in the second half, but don't give up on Pryor yet.

The Raiders have a bye in Week 7, but Pryor has favorable matchups ahead in Philadelphia and the Giants after facing Pittsburgh in Week 8. Pryor can still be a starting Fantasy quarterback in those plus matchups.

Not time to panic on Marques Colston yet: Colston struggled again in Week 6 at New England with one catch for 11 yards on just three targets. This is now consecutive games with only one Fantasy point, and he has five targets combined in those two outings against the Bears and Patriots.

Colston has two games with at least nine Fantasy points on the season and four games with seven points or less. But here are two things to consider heading into the Saints' bye in Week 7. Graham hurt his ankle against New England, and if he's out for any extended period of time then Colston will benefit the most. And last year Colston also got off to a slow start with no games with double digits in Fantasy points until Week 4 before he took off with touchdowns in six of his next eight games.

His big performances are coming. And while it's frustrating now, Colston will start to reward you for your patience. If you can, buy low on Colston because the best is yet to come.

Kenbrell Thompkins is still relevant: Thompkins caught the game-winning touchdown from Tom Brady to beat the previously unbeaten Saints late in the fourth quarter, which saved his Fantasy production. He finished with three catches for 45 yards and a touchdown on six targets.

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Thompkins is tied to Rob Gronkowski, who could be out for maybe two more weeks with his injured forearm and back. Whenever Gronkowski does return, it's going to impact Thompkins the most because of his red-zone targets. Thompkins came into Week 6 with nine red-zone targets, which is among the most in the NFL. With his touchdown against the Saints, Thompkins now has double digits in Fantasy points in three of his past four games.

As for Brady, he had another sub-par game with 269 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception and two carries for 16 yards for 15 Fantasy points. He now has one game this season with more than 20 Fantasy points, and you can't trust him as a guaranteed Fantasy starter until Gronkowski is back, especially with Amendola getting hurt against the Saints.

Justin Blackmon = superstar: While Vernon Davis had arguably the most impressive game of the week with eight catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns against Arizona, you already knew he was awesome. Blackmon also solidified his potential for greatness with 14 catches for 190 yards at Denver on 20 targets.

This is now consecutive weeks with 19 Fantasy points in a standard league, and he is a must-start option in all leagues going forward. He has a dream matchup in Week 7 against San Diego, and he could get at least 19 Fantasy points again.

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

Quarterbacks: Nick Foles, Eagles (28 percent owners on CBSSports.com), Brandon Weeden, Browns (17 percent), Mike Glennon, Buccaneers (7 percent), Thad Lewis, Bills (2 percent)

Running backs: Zac Stacy, Rams (69 percent), Andre Ellington, Cardinals (67 percent), Brandon Jacobs, Giants (30 percent), Chris Ogbonnaya, Browns (15 percent), Khiry Robinson, Saints (2 percent)

Wide receivers: Michael Floyd, Cardinals (67 percent), Percy Harvin, Seahawks (55 percent), Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers (50 percent), Harry Douglas, Falcons (47 percent), Rueben Randle, Giants (46 percent), Marlon Brown, Ravens (40 percent), Brandon LaFell, Panthers (18 percent), Jacoby Jones, Ravens (15 percent), Kenny Stills, Saints (9 percent), Greg Little, Browns (8 percent), Kris Durham, Lions (5 percent), Riley Cooper, Eagles (4 percent), Marvin Jones, Bengals (0 percent), Marquise Goodwin, Bills (0 percent), Tandon Doss, Ravens (0 percent), Jarrett Boykin, Packers (0 percent)

Tight ends: Kyle Rudolph, Vikings (48 percent), Scott Chandler, Bills (21 percent), Dallas Clark, Ravens (21 percent), Lance Kendricks, Rams (4 percent), Joseph Fauria, Lions (2 percent), Timothy Wright, Buccaneers (0 percent), Benjamin Watson, Saints (0 percent)

Start 'Em/Sit 'Em star: Newton was the No. 1 quarterback heading into Sunday night's game with 36 Fantasy points, and Vincent Jackson was the No. 1 receiver with 23 points. Both players were struggling prior to Week 6, but we expected a good game in their respective matchups. They delivered that and much more.

Start 'Em/Sit 'Em flop: I expected DeSean Jackson to struggle against Darrelle Revis and the Bucs with Foles under center, but Jackson was awesome with six catches for 64 yards and two touchdowns. His phenomenal season continues, and he should play well in Week 7 against Dalla s.

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
Lamar Miller closing the season out strong
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(8:45 pm ET) The Dolphins have mostly looked to limit running back Lamar Miller's touches this season, as he entered Week 16 with fewer than 20 touches in all but one game so far. He blew past that mark Sunday against the Vikings, and showed just what he can do in a 37-35 win.

Miller rushed the ball a season-high 19 times, and consistently had productive runs, racking up 92 yards with a long of just 14. The story was similar in the passing game, as he had five receptions for 58 yards, with a long of just 18. It was his best receiving game of the season, to go along with his second-best rushing game.

Miller has already rushed for a career-high 984 yards, and seems all-but assured of surpassing the 1,000-yard mark in the finale. He also has eight total touchdowns, after rushing for just three in his first 29 games, showing he can be an all-around back.

Assuming the Dolphins don't bring anyone in to compete for the job, Miller could be a borderline first-round value for the 2015 Fantasy season. In the near team, however, he's got a tough matchup to close out the season against the Jets, though he did have 12 Fantasy points against them in a Week 13 matchup. 


Bills DST underwhelms with favorable matchup
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(8:43 pm ET) Having scored double-digit Fantasy points (according to standard CBSSports.com scoring) in seven of its previous eight games, the Bills DST seemed like a gimme Week 16 at Oakland, which had allowed the fourth-most Fantasy points per game to DSTs this season. But for whatever reason, the defense didn't show up, allowing 26 points on 347 yards in a surprise loss for the Bills.

The points and yardage weren't even the biggest problem. The big plays that had carried the Bills DST in recent weeks, like the three touchdowns in its previous four games, were nowhere to be found. The Bills had just one sacks and zero takeaways.

The timing of this performance is all the incentive you need to sit the Bills DST for Week 17 at New England. With that matchup, it would have been a tough call otherwise.


Eli Manning throws for a season-high 391 yards, 3 TDs
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(8:36 pm ET) Giants quarterback Eli Manning picked apart the Rams in Week 16, completing 25 of 32 passes for a season-high 391 yards and three touchdowns. It was his second straight outing with three scoring passes and no turnovers.

Manning threw a pair of touchdowns to breakout rookie Odell Beckham and another to Rueben Randle. Manning has seven touchdown passes against one interception in his team's three-game win streak, and he's accounted for 30 scores against 17 turnovers this year.

He'll take on the Eagles to close out his 2014 season.


Rams take step back defensively
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(8:36 pm ET) The Rams entered Week 16 one of the hottest teams on the defensive side of the ball, but they didn't perform up to their recent standards Week 16 against the Giants, allowing 37 points on 514 yards, both season worsts. They had just one sack with zero takeaways.

Altogether, the performance came out to one Fantasy point for the Rams DST in CBSSports.com leagues, this after averaging 18.0 in its previous seven games. It allowed an average of 12.4 points on 304.1 yards during that stretch. One game doesn't undo that kind of momentum.

Unfortunately, the Rams are visiting a red hot Seattle team in Week 17, but the Seahawks' surge has been more because of their defense than their offense. Still, you'll want to weigh your options carefully. The Rams DST is a fine start for Week 17, but not automatic.


Raiders K Sebastian Janikowski kicks four FGs in Week 16 win
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:33 pm ET) Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski made four of his five field-goal attempts and added two extra points to score 14 points in his team's 26-24 win over the Bills in Week 16.

Janikowski delivered from 45 and 36 yards out in the second quarter to help his team take the lead and 38 and 49 yards in the third quarter to extend the lead to two scores. His miss came from 48 yards out just after the two-minute warning, and while the Bills were able to respond with a touchdown, the Raiders still pulled out the win.

Janikowski has made 19 of his 22 attempts this season. He'll get to kick in Denver when the Raiders hit the road to face the Broncos in Week 17.


Consistency remains out of Ryan Tannehill's grasp
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(8:30 pm ET) Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill snapped a streak of disappointing performances in Week 16 against the Vikings, as he put together arguably the finest performance of his career.

Tannehill, who has found his greatest success this season when utilizing his legs, did it all with his arm Sunday. He racked up 396 yards through the air on 35 of 47 passing, the second-best total of his career, and added a career-best four touchdowns, while tossing one interception as well.

Tannehill has taken his game to another level this season, but consistency remains an issue. He has scored 30-plus points in two of the last five games, but had just 40 in the other three combined. He had consecutive 20-plus-point games just twice overall, heading into Week 17 against the Jets.

With the Dolphins announcing they will be keeping coach Joe Philbin around for the 2015 season, Tannehill's job should be secure. His upside is apparent, but he has still shown it only in flashes. He shouldn't be viewed as a top-10 quarterback for Fantasy purposes heading into the offseason. 


Kenbrell Thompkins leads Raiders receivers in Week 16 win
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:29 pm ET) Raiders wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins led his team with five receptions and 90 yards in Sunday's 26-24 win over the Bills in Week 16.

Thompkins' highlights have ben few and far between this season, but he was able to haul in a 50-yard reception on third-and-13 late in the first quarter to set his team up with first-and-goal. The Raiders would score their first touchdown of the game two plays later. Thompkins came into the game just just 170 yards on 15 receptions.

Receiver Andre Holmes also came through with a big play in the win, hauling in a 51-yard pass late in the fourth quarter on another third-and-long play. The Raiders scored a key touchdown four plays later. Holmes finished with 73 yards on three receptions.

Two Raiders managed to catch touchdowns in the victory, and for both players, it was their only catch of the game. Wide receiver James Jones hauled in a wide-open three-yard touchdown early in the second quarter, while fullback Jamize Olawale scored the decisive one-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

The Raiders have a trip to Denver to face the Broncos on tap in Week 17.


Odell Beckham show rolls on unabated
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(8:29 pm ET) Giants wideout Odell Beckham shredded the Rams for eight catches, 148 yards and two touchdowns Sunday, his third straight 100-yard game in what's looking like a Rookie-of-the-Year season. Beckham is the first rookie in NFL history with at least 130 yards and a touchdown catch in three straight games.

With his 9-yard scoring grab in the first quarter and his 80-yarder in the third, Beckham has 11 touchdown catches, a Giants' rookie record. He has at least six catches and 90 receiving yards in eight straight games.

Beckham drew a game-high 12 targets and continued to make the adjustment to the NFL look easy. He has 1,120 receiving yards in 11 games.

Beckham plays the Eagles in Week 17.


Giants DST comes through again
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(8:28 pm ET) The Giants DST continued its strong finish Week 16 at St. Louis, scoring double-digit Fantasy points for the fourth straight game after doing so just twice in its first 11. It allowed 27 points on 387 yards and had only two sacks, but it made up for those lackluster numbers with four takeaways, including three fumble recoveries.

Sacks had carried the Giants DST the previous three weeks. It had no fewer than seven against the Redskins, Titans or Jaguars. It'll give up some points at times but has also shown a knack for big plays in recent weeks. Unfortunately, its matchup Week 17 against the Eagles is just too dangerous for you to use it in Fantasy.


Raiders RB Darren McFadden tallies 54 yards vs. Bills
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:22 pm ET) Raiders running back Darren McFadden rushed for 54 yards on just nine carries in his team's 26-24 win over the Bills in Week 16.

McFadden's 25-yard carry in the fourth quarter was a flashback to his days as one of the elite running backs in the league, as he was able to cut through the defense before being forced out of bounds at the one-yard line. The 25-yard pickup was his longest rush of the season. He did take a backseat to Latavius Murray in the win, touching the ball 10 times to 26 for the starter. McFadden will likely serve as a complementary back again when the Raiders face the Broncos in Week 17.


 
 
 
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