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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
Report: Cardinals' Daryl Washington unsure of NFL standing
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7:32 pm ET) Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington is approaching the one-year mark for his suspension though his NFL status is still in limbo. 

But according to a report from FOX Sports 910 in Phoenix, Washington is unsure about his status with the league. He was suspended a year ago on May 30, 2014 for being a multiple offender of the NFL's substance-abuse policy. 

However, he was expected to apply for reinstatement a month ago but did not do so. 

Assuming Washington is reinstated to the NFL at some point he will likely be subjected to punishment under the NFL's domestic violence policy. On March 24, 2014, he pleaded guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend. 


Titans' Massaquoi rehabbing shoulder, to miss OTA's
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(4:34 pm ET) Outside linebacker Jonathan Massaquoi will not participate in the Titans' first organized team activities, per ESPN.com.

Massaquoi, who was claimed off waivers from the Falcons earlier this year, is recovering from shoulder surgery. He had a bone spur removed from the area, but the procedure was categorized as a minor cleanup.

Massaquoi recorded 22 tackles in 15 games with Atlanta last season.


Entering third season, 49ers' Lawrence Okoye eyeing roster spot
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(4:04 pm ET) This might finally be the year Lawrence Okoye can crack a spot on the 49ers' roster, per the Bay Area News Group.

Okoye, a former British Olympics discus thrower and rugby player, is feeling confident about his improvements and feels like his potential is worth a roster spot.

“It’s very different from the first time I came here. I’m feeling very good about things,” Okoye said Thursday while sitting at his locker. “I’m just happy I was given the opportunity to stay here so long, so I could catch up. I have a good opportunity to show what I can do.”

Okoye has worked under new head coach Jim Tomsula for two years and with Justin Smith's retirement, his emergence might be rewarded.

“You’re going to get lots of people telling you things. But the main thing is to just keep yourself motivated, despite what people say about you," Okoye said. "People will write you off. People will say this or that. Just keep yourself motivated, keep going every day and you’ll be good.”

 


Bengals' Terrelle Pryor still dreams about winning it all
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(3:45 pm ET) Terrelle Pryor's chances of taking the Bengals to the Super Bowl and winning it are slim, but that won’t stop him from dreaming.

Pryor -- in his fourth year in the league -- dreams about winning the Super Bowl with quite some frequency, he just isn't sure what team he's doing it with.

“I don’t know the team. It’s always in black uniforms,” Pryor said. “I didn’t see any orange. No, it’s not the Raiders. But I believe it can happen because I can visualize it like that. I’m into visualization.”

Pryor hasn't played a down since the 2013 regular season, when he passed for 1,798 yards, seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 11 games.


Flowers' college position coach thinks he can fill in for injured Beatty
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(3:18 pm ET) Things are moving really fast for Giants offensive lineman Ereck Flowers. The eighth overall pick in the draft, because of an injury to Will Beatty, might have inherited a huge workload this season, per nj.com.

Art Kehoe, Flowers' offensive line coach at the University of Miami, thinks Flowers will be up to the task of protecting quarterback Eli Manning.

"I'm sure he raised his level up a notch or two, but I think he plays every week, I think he plays hard in practice," Kehoe said. "He's an unproven commodity at the next level, and he's a high draft pick, [the Giants] drafted him to be a fixer, so I'm sure he's going in there to do what he did in Miami — scrap his ass off every day in practice, and if you're supposed to be a badass the next weekend [against] your opponent, he's gonna be there and he's gonna bring everything he's got. That's what he does. He wants to know that there's a dude, and he has to take care of him, and he'll be up to the challenge.

Giants' 2013 first-round pick, Justin Pugh is also a top candidate to fill in for the injured Beatty.


Union: Goodell must back off hearing of Patriots QB Tom Brady
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:00 pm ET) NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith is growing impatient awaiting word from Roger Goodell on the request of the NFL commissioner to recuse himself as arbitrator of the appeal hearings ofPatriots quarterback Tom Brady.

The league suspended Brady for the first four games next season for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal, claiming that he likely knew that game balls were being deflated for his benefit before the 2014 AFC title game.

Smith is claiming that neither Goodell nor the Wells Report, which investigated the incident, could legitimately claim impartiality. He added that the NFLPA will "advance the volume" of the request if they don't hear from Goodell by next week. Part of the union's press release reads as follows:

Given a process that has contained procedural violations of our collective bargaining agreement, the Commissioner's role as a central witness in the appeal hearing and his evident partiality with respect to the Wells report, the Commissioner must designate a neutral party to serve as arbitrator in this matter. The players also believe that the Commissioner's history of inconsistently issuing discipline against our players makes him ill-suited to hear this appeal in a fair-minded manner.

As for the Wells Report, Smith stated that "you can't really have credibility just because you slap the word independent on a piece of paper." He offered into evidence the findings in regard to NFL official Walt Anderson, who was a key figure in the investigation, citing one part of the report questions his memory and another credits it.


Zimmer happy with progress of Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:32 pm ET) Mike Zimmer has expressed optimism that underachieving Vikings wideout Cordarrelle Patterson is gaining a better understanding of route-running and the nuances of playing the position in the NFL, which would allow his talent to result in greater productivity.

Patterson took a step back in 2014 after a mediocre rookie year. He played in every game, but managed just 33 receptions for 384 yards and one touchdown. He has since stated that 2015 is his make-or-break year and is apparently acting like it in the offseason.

"He's done real well," Zimmer told Fox Sports North. "He's running routes good. He's working hard. So we just need him to continue to do those things and continue to keep getting consistent and keep improving. I've been impressed."


GM: Dolphins LT Branden Albert should be fine for Week 1
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:22 pm ET) Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey has expressed optimism that left tackle Branden Albert will be ready to roll by the regular season opener.

Albert has been rehabbing from a torn ACL and MCL sustained last November against Detroit. He had signed a five-year, $46 million contract the previous March and had been performing particularly well before going down.

"It's been a long rehab and he's really attacked it every day," Hickey told SiriusXM NFL Radio, adding that there was a "reasonable explanation" that he would be ready for Week 1. "We really like his progress. He's out there with his team working out. We're really encouraged by what we're seeing with him."

Ja'Wuan Williams was forced to move to left tackle following the Albert injury in 2014. But he struggled at that position and is expected to move to his more familiar right tackle spot this year.


Report: Bills still want to extend Marcell Dareus
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(1:15 pm ET) The Bills still want to extend the contract of defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, according to a report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

Despite the one-game suspension levied by the league against Dareus on Thursday, the team still hopes to have an extension wrapped up before the start of training camp. 

2015 is scheduled to be the last season of Dareus' current contract. He'll make $8.06 million.


Shanahan: Struggles of Robert Griffin III unrelated to injury
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:13 pm ET) Former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan does not believe injuries have prevented quarterback Robert Griffin III from maximizing his potential in the NFL. Rather, he feels it was the team not creating an offensive system that best fits his talents and his own belief that he could play a traditional role at that position.

Griffin sustained a serious knee injury in the 2012 playoffs. He then struggled in 2013 in an offense designed to transform him into a drop-back quarterback rather than one that took advantage of his mobility. He suffered another knee injury last year and did not perform well in the offense of new coach Jay Gruden.

"I don't think getting hurt has anything to do with it," Shanahan told 106.7 The Fan. "In college he didn't have a route tree, didn't have a playbook. That does take some time. ... If you take a quarterback like that you must run the kind of system that allows him to be successful. ... I really believe Robert thought he was more of a drop-back quarterback. He hasn't done things the NFL asks you to do. It does take some growing pains. You better really work on it inside and out."

Some have wondered why the Redskins went so hard after Griffin if they weren't willing to create an offense that maximizes his skill set.


 
 
 
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