Randy Moss has changed the look of three NFL franchises this season. He's also changed the outlook for many Fantasy owners.
In New England, the Patriots passing game has been altered without a proven deep threat. For one game in Minnesota, the Vikings might be glad Moss is gone after their game against the Cardinals. And now Moss heads to Tennessee where the Titans hope he can help in their playoff push. Fantasy owners are feeling the same way.
Moss should improve the value for several players in Tennessee, including Chris Johnson, since he won't see as many defenders near the line of scrimmage. But we're not here to talk about Johnson since he's owned and started in all leagues. We're going to look at Vince Young, Nate Washington and Bo Scaife, who are worth adding off the waiver wire now that Moss is their teammate.
Kenny Britt (hamstring) might be out until at least Week 12, which would leave Moss and Washington as the starting receivers for Young. It's the most talent he's had around him since coming into the NFL as a rookie in 2006. Young is worth adding in all leagues as a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback with upside or potential starter, especially for Week 10 with Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees on a bye. He's only owned in 53 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com, and he has a favorable matchup at Miami.
Even without Moss, Young has been playing well with two games with at least 20 Fantasy points in his past three outings. He has plenty of arm strength to get the ball down the field to Moss, who should be motivated to play at a high level after his hasty departure from Minnesota and a contract on the line this offseason. If Young plays well against the Dolphins he could carry that momentum to the next three games with quality matchups against Washington in Week 11, Houston in Week 12 and Jacksonville in Week 13.
As we've seen with Moss' previous stops, he usually does wonders for other receivers, which is why Wes Welker became a star and Percy Harvin was having some huge weeks. Washington should be next in line since he will get a lot of single coverage with defenses worrying about Moss and Johnson. Washington, who is owned in 44 percent of leagues, has four touchdowns on the season, and he is worth stashing on your bench or being used as a starting option in leagues where you start three receivers. His best performances could be on the way soon.
Scaife (10 percent) should also benefit with plenty of room to run in those underneath routes, and he has a great rapport with Young already. Scaife has never been a dynamic Fantasy option, but that could change now. He's not worth adding in the majority of leagues, but he is worth putting on your scout team. Remember, the tight end position has been beat up with season-ending injuries to Dallas Clark (wrist) and Jermichael Finley (knee), and Antonio Gates (foot), Zach Miller (foot), Owen Daniels (hamstring) and Vernon Davis (ankle) are also dealing with injuries. Scaife could be a decent replacement option if he starts out playing well with Moss.
The Titans have never been known as a great Fantasy team with Johnson the main option and then some spare parts. But Moss could change all that if he plays with the right amount of effort. Then several players will benefit, and Fantasy owners will also if you take a chance and add them off the waiver wire.
In case you haven't noticed ... All Brandon Pettigrew does is produce. He has three touchdowns in his past four games, and only once since Week 2 has he had fewer than six Fantasy points in a standard league. There could be some concern in Week 10 if Matthew Stafford (shoulder) is out, but Pettigrew has the dream matchup for opposing tight ends against Buffalo. Pettigrew is only owned in 66 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com, but he's a Top 12 option for the season and well worth using most weeks. And in Week 10 you should definitely plan on starting him.
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.
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Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay
Owned: 61 percent of leagues
Week 9: Completed 11 of 22 passes for 189 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions and had four carries for 26 yards at Atlanta.
Analysis: Freeman has been solid so far this season and would make a great bye-week replacement for any Fantasy owner without Rivers, Brees or Rodgers. Freeman has just two games this season with fewer than 17 Fantasy points, and he has five touchdowns and two interceptions in his past four games. In Week 2 at Carolina, Freeman passed for 178 yards and two touchdowns and finished with 23 Fantasy points, and the Panthers continue to struggle on defense this year.
David Garrard, Jacksonville
Owned: 48 percent of leagues
Week 9: Bye week.
Analysis: We had Garrard in this spot last week, and we wanted to mention him again to drive home the point. He's playing well and is worth adding for his matchup in Week 10 against Houston. In his past three full games against Indianapolis in Week 4, Buffalo in Week 5 and Dallas in Week 8, he has missed on just 13 passes with 11 total touchdowns and four turnovers. The Texans are last in the NFL in pass defense and just allowed four touchdowns at home to Rivers, who was playing without Gates and his top two wide receivers. If there's ever a week to trust Garrard this is the time.
Jon Kitna, Dallas
Owned: 60 percent of leagues
Week 9: Completed 19 of 30 passes for 183 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions at Green Bay.
Analysis: Kitna isn't the reason for the Cowboys' struggles, but he hasn't played well the past two weeks. He has two touchdowns and six interceptions as a starter, and he's not looking like a quality replacement for the injured Tony Romo (collarbone). In Week 10, you should definitely avoid Kitna with a matchup at the Giants. Even though Kitna had 187 passing yards and two touchdowns against the Giants in Week 7 in the game Romo was injured, most of his production came in garbage time. The Giants are too good to let Kitna be productive, and there are better quarterbacks available to help you this week.
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Brett Favre, Minnesota
Owned: 63 percent of leagues
Week 9: Completed 36 of 47 passes for 446 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions against Arizona.
Analysis: Maybe all it took was a broken ankle, a sore elbow, a hard hit to the head and losing his most explosive weapon to make Favre wake up. Or maybe it was just a bad defense in the Cardinals. Either way, don't get overexcited with this performance. He had 25 Fantasy points in this game, but he combined for 24 Fantasy points in his three previous outings against Dallas, Green Bay and New England. He does have a decent matchup in Week 10 at Chicago, but let him perform at a high level again before considering him as a starter again. The best thing for Favre could be his upcoming schedule with matchups against Washington in Week 12 and Buffalo in Week 13. He could have Sidney Rice back by then, and then his outlook could dramatically improve.
Running backs ...
|The possible return of Clinton Portis could cloudy Washington's backfield. (US Presswire)|
Owned: 63 percent of leagues
Week 9: Bye week.
Analysis: Ryan Torain (hamstring) might be able to play in Week 10 against the Eagles despite getting hurt in Week 8, but Portis could return as well after being out four games with a groin injury. We still expect Torain to remain the starter and get the majority of carries, but Portis could also factor into the mix. And if Torain is out against the Eagles then Portis would likely start or share carries with Keiland Williams (8 percent). When everyone is healthy in Washington's backfield then Torain is the best option, but Portis is worth keeping an eye on and stashing on your roster in case Torain is less than 100 percent.
Chester Taylor, Chicago
Owned: 29 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had 10 carries for 13 yards and a touchdown and caught one pass for 14 yards at Buffalo.
Analysis: The Bears talked about getting Taylor more involved in goal-line situations, and it paid off against the Bills with his first touchdown of the season. Matt Forte remains the starter and best Fantasy option for Chicago, but Taylor could be useful in touchdown-only leagues if this scenario continues for the rest of the season. He has a difficult matchup in Week 10 against Minnesota, but he might be motivated by facing his former team. If you need a bye-week replacement this week with the Saints, Chargers, Packers and Raiders on a bye then consider using Taylor in deeper leagues.
Julius Jones, New Orleans
Owned: 8 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had six carries for 68 yards at Carolina.
Analysis: Jones led the Saints in rushing against the Panthers with Chris Ivory limited with a shoulder injury. We would say Jones would be worth adding if the Saints had a game this week, but since they are on a bye, that should allow New Orleans to get healthy in their backfield. And the Saints are hoping to get Reggie Bush (leg) and possibly Pierre Thomas (ankle) back in Week 11 against Seattle. Jones had his moment in the spotlight for New Orleans against the Panthers, but he's not going to help Fantasy owners going forward as long as Bush and Thomas are able to return following the bye week.
Javarris James, Indianapolis
Owned: 2 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had four carries for 12 yards and two touchdowns at Philadelphia.
Analysis: If Joseph Addai (shoulder) and Mike Hart (ankle) remain out against Cincinnati in Week 10 then James will continue to share carries with Donald Brown. It's clear how the Colts plan to use James, which is as a goal-line option and short-yardage back. Keep an eye on what happens with Addai and Hart this week, but James is definitely intriguing since he scored twice in his first extensive action. He's not going to help you in the majority of leagues, but in deeper formats he could be worth stashing on your bench.
Mike Goodson, Carolina
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had nine carries for 29 yards and three catches for 18 yards against New Orleans.
Analysis: The Panthers are hurting at running back with DeAngelo Williams (foot) out for the past two games and Jonathan Stewart leaving the game against the Saints with a concussion. Even Tyrell Sutton (ankle) was injured in Week 9, which could leave Goodson as the starter against Tampa Bay in Week 10. Carolina has been miserable on offense, and starting quarterback Matt Moore (shoulder) is now out for the season. But if Goodson is the starter against the Bucs he would be worth a look in deeper leagues. Keep an eye on what happens with Williams and Stewart but plan on adding Goodson if you need help this week.
Wide receivers ...
Derrick Mason, Baltimore
Owned: 56 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had four catches for 42 yards and a touchdown against Miami.
Analysis: Channing Crowder called Mason an old man leading up to the game with the Dolphins, and the 36-year old proved he can still be productive when given a chance. He's not a dominant Fantasy wide receiver, and he's clearly the second option behind Anquan Boldin. But Mason now has two games with double digits in Fantasy points in his past three outings, and the Ravens passing game is beginning to look legit with Joe Flacco. In leagues where you start three wide receivers, Mason could be worth using as a starting option based on his recent play.
James Jones, Green Bay
Owned: 31 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had eight catches for 123 yards and a touchdown against Dallas.
Analysis: Donald Driver missed the Cowboys game with a quad injury, which allowed Jones to play at a high level. In two of his past three games, Jones has at least 10 Fantasy points. The only cause for concern in adding Jones in all leagues is the Packers are on a bye in Week 10, and Driver could be back at 100 percent in Week 11 at Minnesota. But even then, having the No. 3 wide receiver for the Packers could still be a good thing with the way Rodgers is playing this season and Finley out for the year.
Nate Burleson, Detroit
Owned: 22 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown against the Jets.
Analysis: You're going to have to monitor the injury status for Stafford (shoulder) and even Shaun Hill (forearm) because Burleson's value will be lower if Drew Stanton is starting in Week 10 even with a favorable matchup at Buffalo. Burleson has done well as the No. 2 wide receiver for the Lions playing opposite Calvin Johnson. He has three touchdowns in his past four games and continues to play at a high level with 14 catches in his past two outings. The quarterback scenario in Detroit makes Burleson's outlook a little murky, but he's still worth adding since this Lions offense has become explosive in the passing game.
Seyi Ajirotutu, San Diego
Owned: 6 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had four catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns at Houston.
Analysis: If Malcom Floyd (hamstring) and Legedu Naanee (hamstring) remain out for Week 11 then Ajirotutu would be worth adding in all leagues. But the thought is with the Chargers on a bye in Week 10 that should allow enough time for Floyd and Naanee to get back at 100 percent. And in Week 12, the Chargers will get Vincent Jackson back from suspension. Let's also keep in mind this great game against the Texans came against a terrible secondary, and the Chargers were without Antonio Gates (foot). We had Ajirotutu as a sleeper prior to Week 9, but he's not worth adding in the majority of leagues since this might have been his only opportunity to be a star.
Earl Bennett, Chicago
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had four catches for 52 yards and a touchdown at Buffalo.
Analysis: Bennett was in a car accident following the game with the Bills, but he's expected to be fine for Week 10 against Minnesota. That's the good news. In terms of his Fantasy value, he's not worth adding in the majority of leagues. This was his first touchdown of the season, and he has yet to top 76 yards in a game. He has played better in recent weeks with 23 Fantasy points against Seattle, Washington and Buffalo, but those are three of the worst pass defenses in the NFL. The schedule gets tougher from here on out for the Bears, and Bennett is not the primary receiving target for Jay Cutler.
Bernard Berrian, Minnesota
Owned: 13 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had nine catches for 89 yards against Arizona.
Analysis: Like we said with Favre, let's see him do that again before running out and adding him. This was the first game without Moss, which was a good thing to see him play at this level. But he also was without Moss for the first three games of the season and had just five catches for 38 yards. He's still looking for his first touchdown, but it was good to see him get 11 targets in the game. The problem for Berrian could be that by the time he gets back on track, Rice is expected to return. But if he plays well in Week 10 at Chicago, which is his former team -- he had nine catches for 132 yards in two games against the Bears last year -- then he might be worth adding as a No. 3 wide receiver in deeper leagues.
Blair White, Indianapolis
Owned: 4 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had three catches for 42 yards at Philadelphia.
Analysis: White could benefit with Anthony Gonzalez (knee) out for the season and now Austin Collie dealing with a concussion. The Colts are down to three healthy wide receivers in White, Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon, and White could see an increase in targets. He's not worth adding in the majority of leagues, but he did have five targets in the game against the Eagles. We've always said anyone catching passes from Peyton Manning has increased value, so continue to keep White on your radar, especially if Collie is out for an extended period of time.
Tight ends ...
Joel Dreessen, Houston
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had five catches for 67 yards against San Diego.
Analysis: Dreessen played well with Daniels out against the Chargers, and he has another favorable matchup in Week 10 at Jacksonville. He had a team-high eight targets against San Diego, and he's played better than Daniels this season since he's been dealing with knee and hamstring problems. Dreessen isn't going to be an every-week starter for Fantasy owners this season even if Daniels is out, but he could be a good one-week replacement if you need someone for this week. The Jaguars have allowed five touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season.
Randy McMichael, San Diego
Owned: 4 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had two catches for 23 yards and two touchdowns at Houston.
Analysis: Gates is expected to return in Week 11 following the bye week, which means McMichael should enjoy his moment in the spotlight because it might not happen again. He had two touchdowns against the Texans, but it was his only two catches of the game. He came into the game with five catches for 61 yards on the season, and he would only be worth using again if Gates is out for an extended period of time.
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had three catches for 49 yards and a touchdown at Carolina.
Analysis: Keep an eye on Graham following the bye in Week 10 because if Jeremy Shockey (ribs) is out then Graham would be starting in deeper leagues in Week 11 against Seattle. Shockey got injured against the Panthers, which allowed Graham increased playing time. He had four targets and scored his first NFL touchdown. He would still share playing time with David Thomas if Shockey is out, but Graham has plenty of value in keeper leagues since he could end up as the starting tight end for the Saints in 2011.
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