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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
Redskins pick up QB Robert Griffin III's fifth-year option
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(12:03 pm ET) Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan announced Monday that the team will pick up quarterback Robert Griffin III's fifth-year option for the 2016 season, a move worth $16.155 million, per The Washington Post

The Redskins have already announced that Griffin will be the starter this season, and locking him up would not affect the team's plans, if they have any, to draft a quarterback. NFL Media insider Albert Breer said the team views the option as a franchise tag of sorts. 

The risk comes in that if Griffin is hurt during this season, the Redskins would be on the hook to pay the full $16 million. If Griffin does not perform well in 2015, the Redskins could release the quarterback without taking a salary-cap hit. 

Griffin threw for 1,694 yards and four touchdowns with six interceptions last season.


Steelers WR Antonio Brown arrives at team facility
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(10:52 am ET) Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was noticably absent during the first few days of the team's offseason workout program, was back in camp on Monday, the team reported. 

Speculation bloomed that Brown was dissatisfied with his contract, which is scheduled to pay him $6 million this season, but Brown wrote on Twitter that he was spending time with his newborn child and would be back soon. 

The receiver racked up 1,815 yards and 138 catches for the Steelers last season.


Joe Flacco: Ravens don't need to draft wide receiver
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:35 am ET) When your Super Bowl quarterback doesn't believe his team needs to draft a wide receiver, then perhaps it doesn't.

Joe Flacco feels the Ravens are well-stocked in that area despite having lost Torrey Smith to free agency. They still boast Steve Smith, Marlon Brown, Kamar Aiken, Michael Campanero and Jeremy Butler, but are expected to seriously considering adding a wideout as early as the first round.

"Obviously, without Torrey now, the one thing we probably don't have as much of is that speed, is that one guy who can stretch the field," Flacco told ESPN. "But I'm not going to say we need it. I think we got really good guys and I think we're good with who we have."


Report: Cowboys out of running for Adrian Peterson; Cardinals still alive
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:28 am ET) The Cowboys, once considered the frontrunners to trade for Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, are now out of the running, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, who added that only the Cardinals are serious contenders.

The claim is that a deal for Peterson must be made by Friday or Peterson will stay with Minnesota. That will be contingent on Arizona's ability or inability to identify its future featured back. Peterson could bring the Vikings a second-round pick.


Colts sign ILB Jerrell Freeman to qualifying offer
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:16 am ET) Linebacker Jerrell Freeman has signed his one-year qualifying offer for a reported $2.35 million and will remain with the Colts for a fourth season, the team website has reported. He had been a restricted free agent.

The three-year starter led Indianapolis in tackles in 2012 and 2013 before losing four games to a hamstring injury last year. He still finished with 95 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.


Cardinals' Larry Foote '50-50' on playing in 2015
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/26/2015) Though Larry Foote is on the Cardinals' coaching staff at the moment, he hasn't ruled out a potential return to the team

Speaking to the team's website, Foote said he's "50-50" about playing in 2015. He talked about the factors that could play into whether or not he returns to playing. 

“Draft, what happens with (suspended linebacker) Darryl Washington, stuff like that, how my knee feels (after offseason surgery),” Foote said. “I’ll sit down with (Bruce Arians) and the next couple of months are really going to be the deciding factor.”

If Foote doesn't play, he'll be the linebackers coach for Arizona's upcoming season. He's been adjusting to the role of being a coach this offseason. 

“I am starting to like coaching,” Foote said. “It’s a little tough in the office, eating M&Ms, snacking all day, drinking coffee. I started my diet a couple days ago.”


Panthers pick up option on Luke Kuechly contract
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/25/2015) What was promised by general manager Dave Gettleman is now official - the Panthers have picked up the fifth-year option on the rookie contract of standout linebacker Luke Kuechly, per the team website.

The two-time Pro Bowler has led the NFL in tackles in two of his three seasons and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. He has racked up 473 tackles since 2012, the most in the NFL.


Ravens TE Dennis Pitta hopeful for 2015 return
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/25/2015) Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta hopes to take the field in time for the 2015 season, but admits it's too early to determine if that goal can become a reality.

Pitta has undergone surgeries to repair a fractured and dislocated hip in each of the last two years.

"We still have some time to be able to assess where I'm at," Pitta told the Baltimore Sun. "I sure hope that I'll be on the field next year. That's my hope; that's my goal. We'll just see if I can get there."

Pitta has played in just seven games in the last two seasons combined.


Mark Sanchez: Eagles said Tim Tebow was just a camp arm
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4/25/2015) Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez said he wasn't concerned that the team signed Tim Tebow, because the Eagles told him Tebow was just there to throw in camp.

"We needed another guy to throw while Sam's (Bradford) still recovering. So that's the reason (for the signing), at least as explained to me," Sanchez said, per CSN Philadelphia

The Eagles signed Tebow on Monday. He hasn't played in the NFL since getting cut by the Patriots at the end of training camp prior to the 2013 season. He spent last year as a television analyst for the SEC Network. 

Tebow and Sanchez were teammates on the Jets in 2012. Tebow's presence as a back-up created a quarterback controversy among fans and media that last ed throughout the season. 


Vikings CB Terence Newman has familiarity with Mike Zimmer
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2015) Vikings cornerback Terence Newman won't have a steep learning curve now that he's with his new team. 

Newman played under Vikings coach Mike Zimmer when he was the defensive coordinator with the Cowboys. Drafted in 2003, Newman learned Zimmer's defense from his rookie season through 2006, before Zimmer left to take the same position with the Falcons. 

“I just know exactly what to expect from him as a coach, as well as everybody else in this locker room,” Newman told the Vikings' website. “You play your best football under him.”

In his career, Newman has recorded 741 tackles and 37 interceptions. Entering his 13th NFL year, Newman has already impressed his teammates with voluntary workouts underway. 

“I met with him and he seemed like a great guy,” cornerback Xavier Rhodes said. “Like he’s going to come in and teach us what we need to know about the technique of the game and about the defense because he’s been in it before, so he’s going to help us out a lot. He’s a big asset to this team and the defense.”


 
 
 
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