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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
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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