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Waiver Wire: Are you running on fumes?

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Maybe Raheem Morris was right. Maybe Tampa Bay is the best team in the NFC.

Now, the Giants, Falcons, Saints and Packers might have an argument with Morris, but that will all get settled soon enough.

As for Morris' running back, he definitely found his best one, and that's LeGarrette Blount, who ran all over Arizona in Week 8 with 22 carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns and two catches for 9 yards with a lost fumble. We told you to add him last week when his ownership was at 15 percent in CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues, but if he's still out there now run to the waiver wire.

He's at 62 percent owned heading into Week 9, but that number should reach 100 percent by Sunday. He has the chance to be a solid Fantasy option for the rest of the season, and he's worth using in all leagues. Cadillac Williams is no longer a factor after he had just four carries for 10 yards and three catches for 26 yards against the Cardinals.

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Running back could be an issue for Fantasy owners in Week 9. Several prominent players are on a bye -- Chris Johnson, Frank Gore, Maurice Jones-Drew, Knowshon Moreno, Steven Jackson and Ryan Torain -- and we also had some injuries with Beanie Wells (back) leaving his game and Joseph Addai (shoulder) and DeAngelo Williams (foot) out.

It's not a great week on the waiver wire aside from Blount, but there are a few options available to consider for Week 9 and going forward. In Indianapolis, Mike Hart (63 percent) took over for Addai against Houston on Monday night and played well with 12 carries for 84 yards and three catches for 19 yards. He left the game with an ankle injury, which should be monitored, but he is worth adding in case Addai remains out. Donald Brown (56 percent) is also worth a look, but he might have re-injured his hamstring against the Texans. He had nine carries for 16 yards and two catches for 13 yards.

Wells is expected to play in Week 9 at Minnesota, but if he's out then Tim Hightower (76 percent) would likely get the start with LaRod Stephens-Howling (2 percent) also mixed in. Hightower was the starter earlier this year, but his fumbling issues have decreased his playing time. He had one carry for no yards and one catch for 11 yards against Tampa Bay.

Stephens-Howling, however, had four carries for 41 yards and a touchdown but left the game with a rib injury. If he's able to play and Wells is out then he could end up as the starter against the Vikings depending on how much coach Ken Whisenhunt wants to punish Hightower. It's a situation worth watching all week even though it's not the greatest matchup for the Cardinals.

In New England, it appeared as if Danny Woodhead's time as a relevant Fantasy option was over. His three-game streak with double digits in Fantasy points had ended in Week 7, but he found a way to be productive again in Week 8 against Minnesota with six carries for 13 yards and a touchdown and five catches for 45 yards.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis remains the best running back for the Patriots, but Woodhead (66 percent) has done an excellent job replacing the injured Kevin Faulk (knee). In leagues where receptions count, Woodhead should be considered a starting option with 13 catches in his past two games, and he has a favorable matchup in Week 9 at Cleveland.

The Chargers found a way for all three running backs to be useful in Week 8 against Tennessee with Mike Tolbert, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles all scoring touchdowns. Mathews and Tolbert are owned in the majority of leagues, but Sproles (44 percent) is worth adding in leagues where receptions count and even in standard formats.

As we told you last week, with all the injuries at wide receiver for the Chargers, Sproles has returned as a prominent part of the offense. He had four carries for 41 yards and four catches for 36 yards with the touchdown against the Titans, and he now has 147 total yards with 13 catches in his past two games with a great matchup at Houston in Week 9.

Jahvid Best remains the starter and the best running back for the Lions, but he has struggled with his toe injury. In Week 8 against Washington, Best had 12 carries for 48 yards and five catches for 31 yards, but Kevin Smith (11 percent) ran better and could be making this into a tandem.

Smith had 12 carries for 51 yards and two catches for 16 yards against the Redskins, and he appears to be 100 percent recovered from last year's knee injury. The Lions don't have a great matchup in Week 9 against the Jets, but Smith is worth stashing on your bench, especially if Best's toe injury gets worse.

Looking past the bye week, Washington could be headed for some trouble with their running backs. Torain injured his hamstring in Week 8 at Detroit, and hopefully the week off will allow him to come back at 100 percent. But Clinton Portis (groin) has said he hopes to return in Week 10, and he is worth stashing on your roster in case Torain is out. Portis is owned in just 51 percent of leagues. Also keep an eye on Keiland Williams (3 percent) in case both running backs are out for the Redskins in Week 10 against Philadelphia.

In case you haven't noticed ... Matthew Stafford played better than we could have hoped in Week 8 against Washington with 212 passing yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He could have had five touchdowns if not for DeAngelo Hall stepping in front of Calvin Johnson in the end zone. Stafford is owned in 73 percent of leagues, but he could be a tremendous Fantasy option for the rest of the year based on Detroit's offense. He has a tough matchup in Week 9 against the Jets, but Stafford appears ready to go after missing five games with the shoulder injury.

Each Tuesday we will highlight players who might be available in your league and whether you should consider picking them up off waivers based on their recent performances. The players chosen are based on the percentage of ownership in CBSSports.com leagues.

Quarterbacks ...

Add 'Em

David Garrard, Jacksonville
Owned: 28 percent of leagues
Week 8: Completed 17 of 21 passes for 260 yards and four touchdowns and had a rushing touchdown with a lost fumble at Dallas.
Analysis: Most people will look at this game and say the Cowboys defense is just awful and they have given up on the season. They might be right, but Garrard deserves plenty of credit for his recent play. Prior to getting a concussion against Tennessee in Week 6 and missing Week 7 at Kansas City, Garrard was playing well. In his past three full games against Indianapolis in Week 4, Buffalo in Week 5 and now Dallas, he has missed on just 13 passes with 11 total touchdowns and four turnovers. The Jaguars have a bye in Week 9, but they face Houston in Week 10, which should be an excellent matchup. Plan ahead and add Garrard now.

Avoid 'Em

Jason Campbell, Oakland
Owned: 12 percent of leagues
Week 8: Completed 15 of 27 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns against Seattle.
Analysis: Campbell was a star against the Seahawks, but that had more to do with Seattle's poor pass defense than Campbell playing well. The Raiders, who were missing Louis Murphy (chest) and got nothing from Zach Miller (one catch for 8 yards), had three players catch at least one pass for 50 yards in Darrius Heyward-Bey, Marcel Reece and Michael Bush. That speaks to poor tackling, which was evident in the game. Campbell also is expected to return to the bench once Bruce Gradkowski (shoulder) is healthy, and the Raiders have a tougher opponent in Week 9 in Kansas City. Don't expect Campbell to play like that again.

Scout 'Em

Tarvaris Jackson, Minnesota
Owned: 8 percent of leagues
Week 8: Completed 4 of 6 passes for 36 yards and a touchdown and also had one carry for 33 yards at New England.
Analysis: Brett Favre (head) is going to play in Week 9 against Arizona, but it's clear the end is near. He already has the broken bone in his ankle and a sore elbow, and now he's taking vicious hits to the face, which caused him to leave the game against the Patriots. If Jackson takes over at some point he would be worth a look because of all the weapons for the Vikings even with Randy Moss gone. You might not start Jackson in the majority of formats, but he could be worth stashing on your bench in leagues where you start two quarterbacks.

Wide receivers ...

Add 'Em

Mario Manningham, New York Giants
Owned: 53 percent of leagues
Week 8: Bye week.
Analysis: Manningham is the No. 3 wide receiver for the Giants behind Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith, but he's still posting quality stats. And this week he has a favorable matchup at Seattle. In his past two games against Detroit and Dallas, Manningham has seven catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns. The Seahawks have allowed six wide receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year, and Manningham could extend his touchdown streak to three this week.

Steve Breaston, Arizona
Owned: 52 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had eight catches for 147 yards and one carry for 14 yards against Tampa Bay.
Analysis: Breaston returned after missing three games with a knee injury and played well against the Bucs. He now has three games this year with double digits in Fantasy points in four outings, and he's doing well in the starter's role vacated by Anquan Boldin. With Larry Fitzgerald drawing plenty of double teams, Breaston is becoming a go-to threat. You can't ignore his production, and the Cardinals will continue to rely on him, especially in Week 9 at Minnesota.

Brandon Tate, New England
Owned: 20 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had three catches for 101 yards and a touchdown against Minnesota.
Analysis: Tate finally was able to catch a deep ball, and it came on a broken play against the Vikings. But you have to hope it's a sign of things to come, and he has a favorable matchup in Week 9 at Cleveland. The Browns have allowed 10 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers and seven have reached double digits in Fantasy points. Look for Tom Brady to take a few shots downfield for Tate, especially if he's matched up with Cleveland defensive back Eric Wright. That said, Tate is only worth owning in deeper leagues.

Avoid 'Em

David Gettis, Carolina
Owned: 23 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had no catches and one carry for minus-12 yards at St. Louis.
Analysis: So much for Gettis becoming a go-to threat for the Panthers. He had eight catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns against San Francisco in Week 7, and then he disappeared against the Rams. He'll likely be hit or miss all season, but the Panthers passing attack doesn't warrant anyone being owned aside from wide receiver Steve Smith. Leave Gettis on the waiver wire until he has at least two games in a row with consistent production.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland
Owned: 5 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had five catches and 105 yards and a touchdown against Seattle.
Analysis: It was nice to see Heyward-Bey play well against the Seahawks. He had nine targets and will likely see an increase in production with Murphy out and Miller (foot) banged up. But don't look at the game with the Seahawks as an indication of Heyward-Bey about to have a breakout year. Seattle couldn't tackle anyone in that game, including Heyward-Bey's 69-yard touchdown catch. If he plays well against Kansas City in Week 9 then we might say to add him, but for now just leave him on the waiver wire in standard leagues.

Scout 'Em

Sidney Rice, Minnesota
Owned: 48 percent of leagues
Week 8: On PUP list.
Analysis: The Vikings now have a need for Rice with Moss being waived Tuesday, and Rice is getting closer to a full recovery. He is expected to be activated off the PUP list with his hip injury prior to Week 10, but he might not play right away. Minnesota has a need at wide receiver, and Rice should be able to fill the void. Don't expect the Rice we saw last year when he was 100 percent and Favre was playing at a high level, but he could be someone to use as a No. 2 or 3 Fantasy option down the stretch as long as he doesn't suffer a setback with his hip.

Tight ends ...

Add 'Em

Jacob Tamme, Indianapolis
Owned: 43 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown against Houston.
Analysis: Dallas Clark who? Clark is out for the season with a wrist injury, and Tamme stepped in and played just like Clark against Houston. Now, he's not going to produce at Clark's level, but for one game he was right there. With all the injuries in Indianapolis (Clark and Collie), Tamme has the chance to see plenty of targets from Peyton Manning (he had nine Monday night). He has a great matchup in Week 9 at Philadelphia, and Tamme is going to become an every-week starter in the majority of leagues.

Greg Olsen, Chicago
Owned: 40 percent of leagues
Week 8: Bye week.
Analysis: Olsen hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 3 and has just three catches for 43 yards in his past three games. He's been asked to do more blocking than pass catching recently, and he's playing exactly the way many Fantasy owners feared when Mike Martz took over as offensive coordinator. But he's facing the Bills in Week 9, and Buffalo has been the worst team at defending tight ends. Martz should be able to get Olsen involved for this matchup, and he's worth adding in deeper leagues if you need a tight end this week with Vernon Davis, Chris Cooley and Marcedes Lewis on a bye.

Avoid 'Em

Tony Moeaki, Kansas City
Owned: 68 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had three catches for 45 yards against Buffalo.
Analysis: It's time to give up on the rookie since it seems like he's no longer a significant part of the offense. Since scoring a touchdown in two of his first three games he has just 12 catches for 158 yards. And in his past three weeks, he has faced some of the worst pass defenses against opposing tight ends in Houston, Jacksonville and the Bills. He has another favorable matchup in Week 9 at Oakland, but all we can tell you is use him at your own risk since he only has 10 Fantasy points in his past three games.

Scout 'Em

Daniel Fells, St. Louis
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had four catches for 35 yards and a touchdown against Carolina.
Analysis: The Rams are in need of help at wide receiver, and Fells could be ready to fill the void. He had seven targets against the Panthers, which was the same amount as Danny Amendola. Fells now has two touchdowns on the season, and he could be a useful Fantasy option in Week 10 against San Francisco following the bye in Week 9. Keep an eye on his health as he was dealing with a back injury after the game with Carolina, but in deeper leagues he could be worth adding if you need help at tight end.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can also follow Jamey at @jameyeisenberg . Do you have a question or a comment for our Fantasy staff? Drop us a line at dmfantasyfootball@cbs.com .

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As for being at full strength, Gronkowski cautioned that there is still plenty of work remaining before that hurdle is cleared.

"If it were 100 percent, I'd be doing every single thing so no, I'm not 100 percent right now, obviously not," Gronkowski said. "I'm working my way to get to that and I'm working every single day to get to that and improving every single day. I'm preparing myself to my max ability right now for the first regular game. I can't really say anything from here on out because it's far away. Every single day, I'm just giving it everything I've got in the rehab room and out here on the field. I'm preparing myself and listening to my trainers, what they have for me so that I'm ready to go when it comes down to it. Hopefully, I am.

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