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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
Coach: Stephen Hill 'healthy and confident' unlike last year
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) Jets receivers coach Sanjay Lal notices a major difference with Stephen Hill as he enters his third year in the NFL.

"Healthy and confident," Lal told The Star-Ledger. "That’s the biggest thing. I think he’s believing, and believing in himself – and it’s starting to show."

Hill struggled with knee injuries, inconsistency and dropped passes his first two seasons.

"It’s been the injuries that have hindered it and kind of somewhat made it harder than it could have been," Lal said. "He’s taken the coaching the whole time. Now, he’s able to do it physically, so it’s just kind of coming together right now."

Hill has a chance to be the No. 2 receiver behind Eric Decker.


Steven Jackson misses practice
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) Falcons running back Steven Jackson missed Tuesday's practice, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The team has not said whether Jackson is hurt or just getting a day off.

Colin Kaepernick: Michael Crabtree 'a step or two quicker'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said top receiver Michael Crabtree was not fully over his Achilles injury late last season. "He’s a step or two quicker now," Kaepernick told CSNBayArea.com. "He has a burst out of his routes. He has burst when he catches the ball. (He) looks really good out there."

Crabtree missed the first 11 games last year due to a torn Achilles he suffered in May 2013. "Even at the end of last season, he wasn’t 100 percent," Kaepernick said. "And he was making plays for us. I’m excited to see what he’s going to do, now that he’s 100 percent."


Matt Johnson's injury woes continue
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) Cowboys safety Matt Johnson will miss at least a week with a hamstring injury, reports ESPN.com. He missed most of his 2012 rookie season with hamstring injuries and was out all of last year due to foot surgery.

Pete Carroll hopes Marshawn Lynch 'will figure it out'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on Tuesday addressed the contract holdout by running back Marshawn Lynch. "I love this kid," Carroll said, per the Seattle Times. "I hope he will figure it out and it will all make sense and it will come to a resolution somewhere."

Lynch can be fined $30,000 for every day he misses, and the team could try to go after a portion of his signing bonus.


Lions claim Quintin Payton
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) The Lions claimed receiver Quintin Payton off waivers from the Buccaneers, reports ESPN's Adam Caplan.

Report: Cardinals, Patrick Peterson nearing deal
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) The Cardinals are close to signing cornerback Patrick Peterson to a contract extension, reports Yahoo Sports. Peterson will get a huge raise from the $2.9 million he's scheduled to earn this season, the final year of his rookie deal.

David Wilson taken to hospital for tests on his neck
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) Giants running back David Wilson will undergo a battery of tests on his neck at the Hospital for Special Surgery after suffering what coach Tom Coughlin called a "burner," reports NFL Network. The Giants will be extra careful with Wilson, who had neck surgery in January.

Montee Ball thinks he'll get 250 carries
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) No Broncos running back has gotten 250 carries in a season since Reuben Droughns got 275 in 2004. Montee Ball, who has never started a game, told the Denver Post he "definitely" thinks he can reach 250.

Last year Knowshon Moreno led the team with 241 carries while the rookie Ball got 119. Moreno is in Miami now.

"It's an ideal situation for me, but I am taking nothing for granted," Ball said. "This is a great offense to play in because the defense always has to respect the pass, and Peyton [Manning] creates opportunities for the running backs. It's up to me to make it work to my advantage."


Report: Josh Gordon arguing second-hand smoke as defense
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) In his appeal hearing Friday, Browns receiver Josh Gordon will argue that his failed drug test resulted from second-hand smoke, reports ESPN.com. As it is, Gordon's failed test came out at 16 nanograms per milliliter, just one nanogram above the NFL threshold of 15 nanograms per milliliter, according to Pro Football Talk.

Gordon has hired the same attorney, Maurice Suh, who got Seahawks corner Richard Sherman's four-game suspension reduced to nothing. Gordon is facing a potential one-year suspension if he's not successful Friday.


 
 
 
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