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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
John Carlson's unexpected retirement leaves Cardinals in a bind at TE
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(6:35 pm ET) The unexpected retirement of John Carlson has left the Cardinals depleted of experienced tight ends on the roster, reports ESPN.com.

Troy Niklas, last year's second-round pick, and Darren Fells are currently the only tight ends on the team who caught passes in 2014, combining for eight receptions and 109 yards during the regular season.

Carlson caught 33 passes for 350 yards and one touchdown last season.

Dolphins cut ties with Heath, Hocker, Rose
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5:54 pm ET) The Dolphins waived defensive back T.J. Heath, kicker Zach Hocker and defensive back Lowell Rose on Tuesday, the team announced.

Heath and Rose were with the team during the 2014 season, while Hocker was signed in the offseason. 


Raiders release Bojay Filimoeatu, Jansen Watson, Justin Jackson
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(5:50 pm ET) The Raiders have released linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu, cornerback Jansen Watson and linebacker Justin Jackson, reports ESPN.

Filimoeatu played in eight games with the Raiders last season, Watson played with the team's practice squad and Jackson played with three other teams in 2014.

Patriots axe CB Alfonzo Dennard, two others
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:25 pm ET) As expected, the Patriots have announced the release of cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, who exceeded expectations for three years after having been taken in the seventh round of the 2012 draft.

Dennard started 20 of 29 games in which he played and racked up 92 tackles and five interceptions. He also started in four postseason games with two picks. But he played just six games a year ago and lost time to a hamstring injury.

Long snapper Tyler Ott and linebacker Deontae Skinner were also cut loose by the Patriots on Tuesday.


Report: Chiefs release quarterback Terrelle Pryor
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4:14 pm ET) The Chiefs have reportedly cut ties with quarterback Terrelle Pryor, according to Pro Football Talk. 

Pryor was signed by Kansas City in January and coach Andy Reid wanted to give him a chance to earn the starting quarterback role.

"We're going to give him an opportunity to play quarterback and see how he does," Reid said. "He’s there lifting everyday and doing his thing. We can’t meet with him but he shows up everyday and does what he can do."

Pryor last started as a quarterback in 2013 with the Raiders, totaling 2,374 yards with seven touchdown passes and 11 interceptions.


Cardinals cut Zach Bauman, Roc Carmichael
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:47 pm ET) The Cardinals released running back Zach Bauman and cornerback Roc Carmichael on Tuesday, reports Fox Sports Arizona.

Bauman and Carmichael did not appear in any games last season.


Vikings WR Mike Wallace on his speed: Nobody can run with me
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:35 pm ET) Vikings wide receiver Mike Wallace was not shy in expressing confidence in his speed, reports the Pioneer Press.

"Without a doubt, I'm the fastest player in the NFL," Wallace said. "If somebody feels foggy about that, we can [race]. I'm never going to back down from competition."

Wallace was recently acquired in a trade with the Dolphins. He struggled to connect on the deep ball with Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill during the last two seasons, but he expects that to change with the Vikings.

"The last couple of years I haven't been able to showcase my separation, but I'm positive that it will happen now," Wallace said.


Patriots DE Jabaal Sheard embraces his versatilty
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:06 pm ET) Patriots newcomer Jabaal Sheard will have a stable position at defensive end, which could prove beneficial to his career. He is coming from a Cleveland team that used three different defensive coordinators during his time there and utilized him both as a defensive end in a 4-3 and outside linebacker in a 3-4.

The Patriots generally remain in a four-man front. But Sheard is claiming an appreciation for the Browns for developing his versatility.

"Throughout the course of the years, I learned three different defenses," Sheard told NESN. "I learned how to drop back. It made me diverse and able to do a number of different things. I think the three defensive coordinators definitely helped me. I think it prepared me to be a coach some day. We'll see how that goes."

Sheard's sack totals decreased every year until the last one with the Browns. It peaked at 8.5 as a rookie before dropping to seven and 5.5 the next two seasons.


Cardinals TE John Carlson announces retirement
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1:55 pm ET) Cardinals tight end John Carlson has decided to retire from the NFL, the team announced.

"After much thought and consideration, my wife Danielle and I know that this is best decision for us," Carlson said in a statement. "I was blessed to play seven seasons in the NFL for three tremendous organizations - the Cardinals, Vikings and Seahawks. I will always treasure the experiences and relationships made during that time but I'm also very excited about the next phase of my life and what's ahead."

Carlson announced the decision Tuesday and the Cardinals placed him on the reserve/retired list. In 2014, he caught 33 passes for 350 yards and one touchdown.


Patriots LT Nate Solder: 'I would love to stay'
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:52 pm ET) Patriots left tackle Nate Solder is hoping to stick around despite being in the final season of his rookie contract.

"I would love to stay," he told the Boston Herald. "...Who knows what will happen? My approach with that, too, is just to do the best I can while I'm here."

Solder is set to earn a guaranteed $7.438 million in 2015. The team could work out an extension with him to lessen a cap hit or prevent him from becoming a free agent in March. The Patriots did draft offensive linemen over the weekend, but none play his position.


 
 
 
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