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Instant reactions from Week 9

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Nick Foles was nothing short of amazing Sunday in Week 9 at Oakland. He shocked the NFL and Fantasy world by his performance against the Raiders.

The last time we saw Foles was Week 7 against Dallas when he passed for 2.8 yards per attempt, completed 38 percent of his passes and finished with five Fantasy points before leaving with a concussion. He certainly improved on that performance against Oakland.

Foles returned as the starter in place of Michael Vick (hamstring) and was 22 of 28 passing for 406 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions. He threw three touchdowns to Riley Cooper and one each to DeSean Jackson, Zach Ertz, Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy. He also had three carries for 14 yards, and he finished with 59 Fantasy points.

Foles will easily remain the starter for the Eagles for the rest of the season even when Vick is healthy, and he should be picked up where available. He is currently owned in just 40 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com. The Eagles play at Green Bay in Week 10, and even though that's a difficult matchup you can buy into Foles as a starting option. He has at least 35 Fantasy points in two of three starts, and apparently the Cowboys game was the exception and not the norm.

Cooper (22 percent) is worth adding in all leagues since he has a great rapport with Foles. In Foles' other previous big game in Week 6 at Tampa Bay, Cooper had four catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. Along with his three touchdowns against the Raiders, Cooper also had five catches for 139 yards.

Ertz (3 percent) and Celek (27 percent) are still low-end Fantasy options, but Ertz has more upside. He has more targets than Celek of late, and it's clear the Eagles are trying to feature their rookie tight end in a prominent role.

Injuries of note: Terrelle Pryor (knee), Darren McFadden (hamstring) Darren Sproles (concussion), Kyle Rudolph (foot), Jeremy Kerley (elbow), Robert Woods (knee), Marquise Goodwin (hamstring), Greg Little (shoulder)

While Foles was lighting things up in Oakland, Pryor was an afterthought, which was frustrating for me since he was the Start of the Week. Pryor finished 22 of 41 passing for 288 yards and two interceptions and 10 carries for 94 yards before leaving with a knee injury. Pryor said his knee was OK, but it's worth keeping an eye on heading into Week 10 at the Giants.

Here we go again with McFadden. He injured his hamstring in the first half against the Eagles and finished with five carries for 12 yards and one catch for 3 yards. Rashad Jennings stepped in for McFadden and was awesome with 15 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown and seven catches for 74 yards. If McFadden is out for Week 10 at the Giants then Jennings (12 percent) will be someone to add off the waiver wire.

Sproles' miserable season continues as he was forced from the game at the Jets in the first quarter. He finished with one catch for 2 yards, and he has now gone four games in a row with single digits in Fantasy points and two in a row with no points. Plan on Sproles being out for Week 10 against Dallas depending on how he does with the concussion protocol.

Rudolph scored a touchdown at Dallas and finished with two catches for 35 yards. But on the touchdown catch in the third quarter he injured his foot, and he will likely be questionable for Week 10 against Washington, especially since the game is Thursday night.

Goodwin scored for the second time in the past four games with two catches for 64 yards against the Chiefs, but he left in the fourth quarter. Even if he's OK in Week 10 at Pittsburgh he'll have minimal Fantasy value. The same goes for Woods, who was injured in the third quarter after he had four catches for 44 yards.

Kerley had one catch for 1 yard before leaving in the second quarter against the Saints. The Jets are off in Week 10, so Kerley will have two weeks to get healthy. He's a low-end Fantasy option when healthy.

Little had a tremendous game against Baltimore with seven catches for 122 yards on nine targets before leaving in the fourth quarter. The Browns have a bye in Week 10, so hopefully Little will be OK in Week 11. He's also a low-end Fantasy option in all leagues when healthy.

Also, keep an eye on Giovani Bernard (ribs) after he was hurt Thursday night at Miami. Bernard is expected to play in Week 10 at Baltimore.

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Patriots look like the Patriots again: We finally saw the real Tom Brady in Week 9 against the Steelers, and it's too bad New England is on a bye in Week 10 because we hope this continues. I think it will.

Brady was 23 of 33 passing for 432 yards and four touchdowns, and he should continue to play at a high level for the rest of the season with Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola healthy and the emergence of Aaron Dobson. Gronkowski had nine catches for 143 yards and a touchdown, Amendola had four catches for 122 yards and a touchdown and Dobson had five catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns.

Brady and Gronkowski are must-start Fantasy options for the rest of the season, and Amendola looks like he will be fine going forward. Consider him at least a No. 2 Fantasy receiver in the majority of leagues. Dobson (45 percent) is worth adding in all leagues, and he now has three touchdowns in his past two games.

Welcome back Chris Johnson: We've been saying it for weeks to buy low on Johnson heading into Tennessee's bye in Week 8 because of his upcoming schedule. Well, Johnson did better than expected coming out of the bye against the Rams with 23 carries for 150 yards and two touchdowns and three catches for 20 yards.

There should be no more questions about Johnson's status since he's a must-start Fantasy option the rest of the way. And to remind you again, here's his schedule to close the season: Jacksonville in Week 10, Indianapolis in Week 11, at Oakland in Week 12, at Indianapolis in Week 13, at Denver in Week 14, Arizona in Week 15, at Jacksonville in Week 16 and Houston in Week 17. There should be plenty more big games to come.

As for Shonn Greene, he also did well with nine carries for 38 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 28 yards. With all those favorable matchups, Greene can be a potential flex option in deeper leagues.

Is C.J. Spiller back? Spiller returned from his one game absence from an ankle injury and looked like the running back we hoped to see all season against the Chiefs. He had 12 carries for 116 yards and two catches for 39 yards.

His ankle still isn't 100 percent, but we hope Spiller can build off this performance heading into Week 10 at Pittsburgh. That's a tough matchup, and Fred Jackson will remain a factor since he had 16 carries for 77 yards and one catch for 22 yards. But the best of Spiller should be yet to come.

Darrel Young is the new Roy Helu: For the second time in three games we got another example of why Fantasy owners hate Redskins coach Mike Shanahan. Instead of Alfred Morris getting multiple touchdowns, Young scored three times against the Chargers. In Week 7, Roy Helu had three touchdowns against Chicago.

Morris was still good against San Diego with 25 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown, but he could have been amazing. As for Young, don't buy into him becoming Fantasy relevant. He had one Fantasy point for the season prior to Week 9.

The problem for the Redskins when it comes to Fantasy owners is Robert Griffin III. He struggled again with 10 Fantasy points against the Chargers and now has less than 20 points in five of his past six games. He's a risky starting option in a favorable matchup at Minnesota in Week 10.

Chris Ivory dominates former team: I liked Ivory heading into Week 9 against the Saints because New Orleans had struggled against the run, and he was facing his former team. Ivory was brilliant with 18 carries for 139 yards and a touchdown.

He now has double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three games. The Jets have a bye in Week 10, but Ivory faces the Bills in Week 11. He is worth starting against the Bills in that matchup.

Mike James looks legit: James had one of the best performances in Week 9 at Seattle with 28 carries for 158 yards, two catches for 8 yards and a 2-yard passing touchdown to tight end Tom Crabtree. Yes, he threw a jump pass at the goal line. With Doug Martin (shoulder) out indefinitely, James showed in this game that he can be counted on as a potential starting option.

He has a tough matchup in Week 10 against Miami on Monday night, but he could definitely be a flex option if needed. James had 14 carries for 45 yards and three catches for 8 yards in his first start for Martin in Week 8 against Carolina, but he improved dramatically against a tough Seahawks defense, which is encouraging for his Fantasy value moving forward.

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

Quarterbacks: Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (67 percent), Nick Foles, Eagles (40 percent), Jason Campbell, Browns (19 percent), Mike Glennon, Buccaneers (14 percent), Christian Ponder, Vikings (9 percent)

Running backs: Mike James, Buccaneers (76 percent), Chris Ivory, Jets (68 percent), Andre Brown, Giants (65 percent), Shonn Greene, Titans (21 percent), Rashad Jennings, Raiders (12 percent), Brian Leonard, Buccaneers (3 percent), Darrel Young, Redskins (0 percent)

Wide receivers: Eddie Royal, Chargers (68 percent), Aaron Dobson, Patriots (45 percent), Marlon Brown, Ravens (34 percent), Riley Cooper, Eagles (22 percent), Mike Brown, Jaguars (22 percent), Rod Streater, Raiders (13 percent), Doug Baldwin, Seahawks (12 percent), Jerricho Cotchery, Steelers (7 percent), Greg Little, Browns (6 percent), Davone Bess, Browns (3 percent), Marquise Goodwin, Bills (1 percent), Robert Meachem, Saints (1 percent), Jermaine Kearse, Seahawks (1 percent), Tiquan Underwood, Buccaneers (1 percent), Dwayne Harris, Cowboys (0 percent)

Tight ends: Jared Cook, Rams (61 percent), Timothy Wright, Buccaneers (34 percent), Brent Celek, Eagles (27 percent), Zach Ertz, Eagles (3 percent)

Start 'Em/Sit 'Em star: Keenan Allen returned from the bye week and remained a standout Fantasy option. He was a Top 10 Fantasy receiver with eight catches for 128 yards and a touchdown, and he should remain a must-start Fantasy option in all leagues for the rest of the season.

Start 'Em/Sit 'Em flop: Aside from saying to sit Foles and Brady, I also had Roethlisberger as a sit for his best game of the season. He finished as a Top 10 Fantasy quarterback with 28 of 48 passing for 400 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions, and we hope he can build off this performance. He faces Buffalo in Week 10 at home in a favorable matchup and can be considered a starter in all leagues.

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
Raiders bring back Kaelin Burnett
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Raiders have inked exclusive-rights free agent Kaelin Burnett to a one-year deal. He's expected to compete for a roster spot in training camp. 

Dekoda Watson moving to strong-side LB
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) In the wake of the release of veteran linebacker Russell Allen, the Jaguars are expected to make Dekoda Watson their new starting strong-side linebacker, ESPN reports. He'll also play as a pass rusher and potentially line up as a defensive end on third downs. 

Watson had 42 total tackles, two sacks, an interception, a pass defensed, a forced fumble and a blocked punt with the Bucs last year. 


Brandon Gibson begins light jobbing
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Brandon Gibson has begun light jogging as he works his way back from a torn patellar tendon, the Miami Herald reports. The Dolphins are expected to keep him on the roster, if only because of the cap hit he'll cost, per the report. He said recently he expects to be ready for Week 1. 

'Humbled' Richardson explains 2013, promises a better 2014
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Colts running back Trent Richardson spoke openly about his disappointing 2013 season, saying that it took him too long to learn a new playbook and get over leaving Cleveland after Week 2. Richardson also told the official team website that he's planning to do everything within his power to be as prepared as possible for 2014. 

"Y'all will see a big significant difference in the way I play, the speed. I won't have to think about a lot of stuff," Richardson said earlier this offseason. "It's going to be big -- timing with the offensive line, timing with Andrew (Luck), just knowing a lot more with the program, the whole system.

"They haven't seen everything they're going to get out of me yet. A lot of it is going to come next year. A lot of it is going to come in the offseason. I'm going to put in a lot of work, as I've been doing this whole season. This season humbled me. ... This season was a lesson to me."

Colts coach Chuck Pagano has had Richardson's back, says the running back, and the coach stressed back in March that his running back's involvement in the offseason program will be key. 

"It's going to be very, very important for (Richardson) to be here for the offseason program and to dive into this thing full steam ahead, which he will," Pagano said. "He wants to be great. He's got all the talent. He's got all the ability. We would have never done what we did if we didn't believe that deep down in our core. So we look for him to have a great offseason and to have a great 2014 campaign."


Saints bring back Robert Meachem
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Saints announced Friday that the club has re-signed veteran free agent wide receiver Robert Meachem to a one-year contract.

Meachem is a seven-year NFL veteran who was originally the club's first round draft pick (27th overall) in 2007. He re-signed with the Saints prior to the start of the 2013 regular season and appeared in 15 games with five starts. He finished with 16 receptions for 324 yards with two touchdowns.

Meachem said signing with the Saints now should help with his preparations as he will be able to take part in the team's offseason conditioning program, OTAs and mini-camp. Plus, "this is home," he said.


Can Chris Johnson turn into Tomlinson?
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Jets are hoping running back Chris Johnson can do for them what LaDainian Tomlinson did in 2010, reports ESPN.

That season, Tomlinson came from San Diego to New York after he was released. He responded with a team-high 914 yards with six touchdowns on 219 carries and caught 52 passes. He was supposed to be Shonn Greene's backup, but Tomlinson was so impressive that he won the starting job and became an integral part of a team that came within one game of the Super Bowl.

Maybe Johnson, who was let go by the Titans, can do the same thing.

"I can turn the bad things people are saying into a good thing for me, to give me motivation, to keep me hungry and to keep a chip on my shoulder and prove the naysayers wrong," he said Thursday.

Johnson had a disappointing year in 2013 when he averaged just 3.9 yards per carry, but he played 13 games on a torn meniscus and was running behind a suspect offensive line for a team that didn't have its starting quarterback for half the season. The situation in New York should be improved, and hopefully being teamed with Chris Ivory will allow him to play like Tomlinson did in 2010.


Aikman worried about Tony Romo
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(4/18/2014) Former Cowboys quarterback and Hall of Famer Troy Aikman is worried about current Dallas quarterback Tony Romo coming off back surgery, reports the team's official website.

Romo, 34, is coming off back surgery in December, which was the second procedure on his back in a year.

"I came back in a relatively short period of time because of when I had my surgery, so he's at least afforded more time to get ready," Aikman said. "But having said that, two back surgeries in less than a year at his age, I would be a bit concerned.

"I'm hopeful that he's able to come back -- everybody is. This team won't be the same if he's not able to. I anticipate that he will come back. But to say that, 'Hey, he's ahead of schedule and everything's going fine,' I'm not sure how you can really measure that here in April."


Bengals, A.J. Green not talking extension - yet
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Bengals are expected to exercise the fifth-year option on receiver A.J. Green's contract by May 3, reports Pro Football Talk. But the sides have yet to discuss a long-term contract extension, according to the report.

The Bengals hold the rights to Green through the 2015 season. And in 2016, if a long-term deal hasn't been signed yet, the Bengals can use the franchise tag on Green for that season.

The report says Green can force the issue by trying to boycott offseason workouts or hold out from training camp. But Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is confident Green will be there.


Chris Snee will give it a shot this spring
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Giants guard Chris Snee will attempt to go through the Giants offseason program once he's healthy, the New York Daily News reports. Snee had hip surgery last season and an elbow surgery earlier this year. There is no timeline for him to be at 100 percent but he is expected to be on the field for the "bulk" of offseason activities. 

Report: Niners won't release Aldon Smith
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The 49ers might expect a suspension for pass rushing linebacker Aldon Smith, but they are not planning to release him, NFL Network reported on Friday.

Smith was arrested recently for making false bomb reports at a Los Angeles airport, the latest of a string of troubles for the highly talented linebacker. He was also arrested for suspicion of DUI in January, 2012 and again September, 2013. He also had marijuana on him during that September arrest. In October, 2013 he was charged with three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon. 


 
 
 
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