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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
Giants' Bennett Jackson making transition to safety
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Giants second-year cornerback Bennett Jackson is spending the offseason transitioning to safety. 

"At the end of the day, I’m a DB,’" Jackson said, per the New York Post. "I think my strengths are cover skills, I got good speed and I got good ball skills. The thing it’s gonna take for me to get out there and make an impact is, I just got to learn the defense and really just communicate the calls fluently."

"It is all in front of him," coach Tom Coughlin said. "We think he can cover. He has done a good job of getting us lined up and then we will see how he plays."


O'Brien impressed with Jadeveon Clowney's work ethic
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Texans coach Bill O'Brien has been impressed with the work defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has put in to recover from microfracture surgery in his knee. 

"I've been impressed with the way JD's been working," O'Brien said, per HoustonTexans.com. "He's been out there. He's in early. He's rehabbing. But he's also being able to take part in some of the things that we do in the weight room. He's not able to do all of the things that we do on the field just yet, because of his rehab. But he's on the right track."


AJ McCarron throwing deep for Bengals
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron has recovered from the shoulder soreness that bothered him for most of his rookie year. 

McCarron is now throwing deep again. "I feel great," McCarron said, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Body feels great and I feel like I'm slinging it better than I ever have, really."


Brooks Reed injured, may miss time at Falcons' OTAs
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Falcons linebacker Brooks Reed suffered a groin injury during the recently-completed voluntary minicamp, per ESPN.

The injury was termed "minor", but it still might keep Reed from full participation in the Falcons' upcoming OTAs, which start Tuesday. 


GM: EJ Manuel on 'equal footing' with Bills' other QBs
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Bills general manager Doug Whaley denied reports that the team is moving on from quarterback EJ Manuel

The team acquired Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor in the offseason.

In an interview with Jim Rome, Whaley said, "I look at it this way, in this business controversy sells,. The more controversy that you can drum up then the more intereste people are going to be."

"For us we’re excited about the future of all three of those guys," Whaley said. "It’s going to be a great competition. And we can keep three quarterbacks. So I dismiss that as just someone trying to get something stirred during this down time and lack of media stories for the NFL." 

Whaley said all three quarterbacks have an equal shot of winning the starting job. 

"I look for him to come in and compete and try to take the job," he said. "Everybody has got an equal footing. It’s a clean slate for all four of our quarterbacks. We’re not tied to anybody. We just want the best man to start."


Bengals' Vontaze Burfict may start year on PUP
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict's rehab may not be progressing as quickly as the team had hoped.

Burfict had microfracture knee surgery and initial post-surgery reports said that he could be recovered by the start of training camp. 

This week, the team's website said that Burfict's status was "up in the air" and that a return by the start of the season would be a "tight call".

If Burfict isn't ready by the opener, the Bengals may choose to put him on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. 


So far, so good for Texans rookie CB Kevin Johnson
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) First impressions aren't necessarily important for first-round picks in the NFL. They are far more critical to lower selections and undrafted free agents who desperately need to raise a few eyebrows immediately lest they be back out looking for work.

But whether necessary or not, Texans first-rounder Kevin Johnson is making one heck of a first impression on Bill O'Brien. The clornerback opened some eyes at minicamp.

"This is a guy that's a very quick guy," O'Brien said. "He's a tall guy. He's a guy that has really good transition ability. He's got what I call really good recover transition. If he's getting beat, he can stick his foot in the ground and really make up a lot of ground.

"He's a very bright player. If you ask him questions in the morning meeting, he really has obviously studied the night before. He's working out on his own and doing things to help stay up on material that's being installed."

Johnson believes he needs to do the little things right to make a big impact in his rookie year.

"From the training room to the classroom to the film study, everything is just more detailed," he told the team website. "I'm just trying to take it all in and use everything around here and just get better."


Bears CB Tim Jennings could transition into slot role
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Bears cornerback Tim Jennings is "still trying to figure out" where he will fit into the secondary this season, the Chicago Tribune is reporting.

The nine-year veteran, who is entering his sixth season in the Windy City, has 95 career starts and led the league in interceptions in 2012. He is even a two-time Pro Bowler. But he spent significant time as the slot corner in minicamp. That's an unsatisfying role for him that he just might be forced to embrace.

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio prefers his outside corners tall and physical. Jennings is 5-8, 185 pounds. He might still earn an outside role opposite Kyle Fuller, but do achieve that goal he must at the very least outperform free agent pickup Alan Ball, who better fits the ideal description.

If the words of new coach John Fox are any indication, that's unlikely to happen.

"Dimension-wise, he's built like a nickel corner," Fox said. "He's played it before."

Jennings has started all but three games over the last seven years.


Report: Cardinals' Daryl Washington unsure of NFL standing
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) 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
(5/22/2015) 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.


 
 
 
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