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Waiver Wire: Never too late to catch on

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Week 11 turned out to be fantastic for wide receivers. Greg Jennings and Steve Johnson each scored three times, eight wide receivers had multiple touchdowns and 30 finished with double digits in Fantasy points.

There were the usual suspects on top of the list like Jennings, Marques Colston and Dwayne Bowe, but there were also several receivers who Fantasy owners should be giving more attention. We've been telling you for weeks now it's great to be Nate, and again both Nate Burleson and Nate Washington played well.

Start with Washington, who is owned in 62 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com. He had five catches for 117 yards against the Redskins on nine targets and now has 12 catches for 260 yards and two touchdowns in his past three games. The downside for Washington is the quarterback situation in Tennessee is a mess, but he's taking advantage of playing opposite Randy Moss. He also has an excellent matchup in Week 12 at Houston followed by another favorable opponent against Jacksonville in Week 13.

In Detroit, Burleson had an outstanding game at Dallas with seven catches for 97 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets and a 15-yard run. He had more Fantasy points (16) than Calvin Johnson (10). Burleson is owned in just 44 percent of leagues, but he now has double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three games. The Lions offense will continue to throw the ball, and Burleson should continue to benefit with plenty of single coverage thanks to Johnson.

James Jones (63 percent ownership) didn't slow down with Donald Driver returning this past week. Even though Jennings led the Packers in receiving, Jones was the No. 2 Fantasy option with three catches for 51 yards and a touchdown on five targets and now has double digits in Fantasy points in three of his past four games. Driver's return will cut into his production, but it's never a bad idea to have one of the top three receivers in an explosive passing game.

Speaking of great pass attacks, Robert Meachem (49 percent) has been boom or bust this season with three games with double digits in Fantasy points and six with three points or less. But coming off the bye week he had three catches for 50 yards and two touchdowns against Seattle. He showed last year he can be an outstanding Fantasy option, and hopefully he can finish the season on a high note. He does have favorable matchups ahead against Dallas, Cincinnati and Atlanta.

In Indianapolis, Blair White (4 percent) could become Fantasy relevant again with Austin Collie still dealing with the lingering effects of the concussion he sustained in Week 9. He left the game at New England, which opened the door for White to have a career game with five catches for 42 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets. If Collie is out in Week 12 against San Diego or for an extended period of time then White would see his value increase, and he is worth adding now.

Another injury replacement is Derek Hagan for the Giants with the news that Hakeem Nicks (leg) is out for three weeks. Hagan (0 percent) played his first game with the Giants in Week 11 at Philadelphia and finished with three catches for 10 yards and a touchdown. Mario Manningham will see the biggest boost with Nicks out, and Steve Smith (pectoral) is hopeful of returning in Week 13, although he does not expect to be at 100 percent again this season, which should benefit Hagan.

And finally in St. Louis, Brandon Gibson (6 percent) continues to emerge as the newest weapon for Sam Bradford after he had five catches for 42 yards and a touchdown against Atlanta on 10 targets. Danny Amendola (61 percent) remains the most consistent receiver for the Rams, but Gibson now has 19 catches for 181 yards and a touchdown in his past three games.

Two wide receivers to avoid who had big games this past week include T.J. Houshmandzadeh (17 percent) and David Gettis (6 percent). Houshmandzadeh had two catches for 79 yards and a touchdown at Carolina but on just two targets, and he had only eight Fantasy points in his previous five games. Gettis had his second big game of the season with two catches for 92 yards and a touchdown against Baltimore but on just four targets, and he has a terrible quarterback situation.

Two wide receivers to scout would be Ben Obomanu, who is not owned in any leagues but had five catches for 87 yards and a touchdown at New Orleans on six targets. He has two touchdowns in his past three games with 30 Fantasy points over that span. He was moved into the starting lineup for Seattle and could see an increased role if Mike Williams (foot) is out for Week 12 against Kansas City or for an extended period of time. And in Buffalo, the Bills might have found a replacement for Roscoe Parrish (wrist) with Donald Jones (0 percent), who had five catches for 70 yards and a touchdown at Cincinnati.

In case you haven't noticed ... Keiland Williams isn't going away any time soon. Even though Clinton Portis returned in Week 11 at Tennessee, he re-injured his groin and couldn't finish the game. That allowed Williams to get the majority of touches, and he finished with 23 carries for 68 yards and six catches for 27 yards on eight targets. Portis might be out for a while, and Ryan Torain (hamstring) could also remain on the sidelines. That should allow Williams (66 percent) to remain the featured running back, so add him to your roster since he's now the new running back of choice in Mike Shanahan's always-changing backfield.

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

Shaun Hill, Detroit
Owned: 51 percent of leagues
Week 11: Completed 32 of 47 passes for 289 yards with two touchdowns and one interception at Dallas.
Analysis: Hill had his fourth game with at least 21 Fantasy points in seven starts this season, and it's clear the Detroit passing attack will continue to post quality production. He has solid targets in Johnson, Burleson and Brandon Pettigrew, and the running game has stalled with injuries to Jahvid Best (toe) and Kevin Smith (thumb). Hill also has attempted at least 43 passes five times this season, so he's going to keep attacking the defense. Matthew Stafford (shoulder) might not return this year, and the Lions have a great schedule for the Fantasy playoffs with matchups against Tampa Bay in Week 15 and Miami in Week 16. Hill could end up making a difference for a lot of Fantasy owners down the stretch.

Avoid 'Em

Troy Smith, San Francisco
Owned: 21 percent of leagues
Week 11: Completed 16 of 31 passes for 148 yards and one interception and had five carries for 45 yards against Tampa Bay.
Analysis: Smith had played well the previous two games against Denver and St. Louis with 40 Fantasy points combined, but he struggled in what should have been a favorable matchup at home against the Bucs. He has another favorable matchup in Week 12 at Arizona, but you can't trust him in any leagues now, especially with Vernon Davis (ankle) limited or out. The 49ers might stick with Smith going forward, but if he plays another game like this we could see Alex Smith back once he's healthy enough to return from his shoulder injury.

Scout 'Em

Tony Romo, Dallas
Owned: 47 percent of leagues
Week 11: Did not play.
Analysis: If you're looking for a quarterback now then go with Jon Kitna (60 percent), who had 33 Fantasy points in Week 11 against Detroit and now has seven total touchdowns and one interception in his past two games. He is playing well in place of the injured Romo, but Romo could return in three weeks, which would be perfect timing with two great matchups against Washington in Week 15 and Arizona in Week 16. A healthy Romo at playoff time could be great for Fantasy owners, so plan accordingly if you're looking ahead to a potential championship game.

Running backs ...

Add 'Em

Mike Goodson, Carolina
Owned: 54 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had 22 carries for 120 yards and five catches for 31 yards against Baltimore.
Analysis: By the time the season is over we might look back and say Goodson was the best Fantasy option for the Panthers. DeAngelo Williams (foot) is out for the season, and Jonathan Stewart is still dealing with a concussion. If Stewart returns in Week 12 at Cleveland then Goodson would lose some Fantasy appeal, but he has run well the past two games with 220 yards against Tampa Bay and Baltimore. Fantasy owners should add Goodson and at least stash him on the bench, but if Stewart is out then he could be considered a flex option against the Browns.

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Avoid 'Em

Dimitri Nance, Green Bay
Owned: 0 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had 12 carries for 37 yards at Minnesota.
Analysis: Nance led the Packers in rushing against the Vikings, but don't expect his role to dramatically increase. He had one carry in the first half before seeing 11 carries from midway in the third quarter to the end of the game. At that point the score was 24-3, and the Vikings had obviously given up. Brandon Jackson remains the best running back for the Packers, and hopefully they will give rookie James Starks a chance. Don't waste your time with a waiver claim on Nance until he shows you more in a competitive game.

Scout 'Em

Chris Ivory, New Orleans
Owned: 40 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had 23 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown against Seattle.
Analysis: We keep waiting for Reggie Bush (leg) and Pierre Thomas (ankle) to return, but Ivory just continues to start for the Saints. He's only had two games with double digits in Fantasy points, but he could start again in Week 12 at Dallas, which is a decent matchup. Bush is hopeful of returning this week, but Thomas is not expected to return by Thanksgiving Day. That should allow Ivory to retain some value, and he could be helpful to Fantasy owners in deeper leagues this week.

Maurice Morris, Detroit
Owned: 4 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had 10 carries for 31 yards and four catches for 40 yards at Dallas.
Analysis: Best could be out for Week 12 against New England, which would allow Morris to start with Smith on injured reserve. Morris would only be worth adding in the majority of standard leagues if Best is out for the season as well. You're not going to use him against the Patriots, but he could have Fantasy value ahead with favorable matchups against Tampa Bay in Week 15 and Miami in Week 16. Keep an eye on what happens with Best, but Morris is worth stashing on your bench in deeper leagues.

Tight ends ...

Add 'Em

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had five catches for 72 yards against Seattle.
Analysis: Graham stepped in for the injured Jeremy Shockey (ribs) and played well, getting eight targets from Drew Brees. If Shockey is out again then consider using Graham in Week 12 against Dallas on Thanksgiving Day. He now has 17 Fantasy points in his past two games and is looking very much like the tight end of the future for New Orleans in 2011. He's also playing well now, so take advantage of this production while Shockey is out.

Avoid 'Em

Michael Hoomanawanui, St. Louis
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had four catches for 46 yards and one touchdown against Atlanta.
Analysis: This was Hoomanawanui's best game of his rookie year, and it might be a sign of things to come. But the Rams have used Hoomanawanui at times as well as Daniel Fells. It's hard to get a feel for who the No. 1 tight end is in this offense. And in his past four games, Hoomanawanui combined for just 10 Fantasy points on seven catches. Bradford has done a great job this season of spreading the ball around so wait until Hoomanawanui has consecutive games with double digits in Fantasy points before you consider adding him off the waiver wire.

Scout 'Em

Joel Dreessen, Houston
Owned: 12 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had four catches for 106 yards and a touchdown at the Jets.
Analysis: Dreessen was a huge disappointment in Week 10 at Jacksonville in a favorable matchup with two catches for 24 yards and a fumble and then a total surprise last week against a tough Jets defense. He has another favorable matchup in Week 12 against Tennessee, and he could be worth starting if Owen Daniel (hamstring) remains out. Keep an eye on Daniels' status, but it might be worth adding Dreessen in deeper leagues. Hopefully the game against the Jets will motivate him to finish the season strong if Daniels remains out.

Delanie Walker, San Francisco
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had three catches for 27 yards against Tampa Bay.
Analysis: Walker could see an increased role if Vernon Davis is out for an extended period of time, and he has played well of late. In Week 8 against Denver, Walker had five catches for 85 yards. He followed that up in Week 9 with four catches for 80 yards against the Rams. Keep an eye on what happens with Davis, but Walker could be a solid replacement option in deeper leagues, especially if Davis is forced to miss an extended period of time.

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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Player News
Coach: Stephen Hill 'healthy and confident' unlike last year
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) Jets receivers coach Sanjay Lal notices a major difference with Stephen Hill as he enters his third year in the NFL.

"Healthy and confident," Lal told The Star-Ledger. "That’s the biggest thing. I think he’s believing, and believing in himself – and it’s starting to show."

Hill struggled with knee injuries, inconsistency and dropped passes his first two seasons.

"It’s been the injuries that have hindered it and kind of somewhat made it harder than it could have been," Lal said. "He’s taken the coaching the whole time. Now, he’s able to do it physically, so it’s just kind of coming together right now."

Hill has a chance to be the No. 2 receiver behind Eric Decker.


Steven Jackson misses practice
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) Falcons running back Steven Jackson missed Tuesday's practice, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The team has not said whether Jackson is hurt or just getting a day off.

Colin Kaepernick: Michael Crabtree 'a step or two quicker'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said top receiver Michael Crabtree was not fully over his Achilles injury late last season. "He’s a step or two quicker now," Kaepernick told CSNBayArea.com. "He has a burst out of his routes. He has burst when he catches the ball. (He) looks really good out there."

Crabtree missed the first 11 games last year due to a torn Achilles he suffered in May 2013. "Even at the end of last season, he wasn’t 100 percent," Kaepernick said. "And he was making plays for us. I’m excited to see what he’s going to do, now that he’s 100 percent."


Matt Johnson's injury woes continue
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) Cowboys safety Matt Johnson will miss at least a week with a hamstring injury, reports ESPN.com. He missed most of his 2012 rookie season with hamstring injuries and was out all of last year due to foot surgery.

Pete Carroll hopes Marshawn Lynch 'will figure it out'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on Tuesday addressed the contract holdout by running back Marshawn Lynch. "I love this kid," Carroll said, per the Seattle Times. "I hope he will figure it out and it will all make sense and it will come to a resolution somewhere."

Lynch can be fined $30,000 for every day he misses, and the team could try to go after a portion of his signing bonus.


Lions claim Quintin Payton
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) The Lions claimed receiver Quintin Payton off waivers from the Buccaneers, reports ESPN's Adam Caplan.

Report: Cardinals, Patrick Peterson nearing deal
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) The Cardinals are close to signing cornerback Patrick Peterson to a contract extension, reports Yahoo Sports. Peterson will get a huge raise from the $2.9 million he's scheduled to earn this season, the final year of his rookie deal.

David Wilson taken to hospital for tests on his neck
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) Giants running back David Wilson will undergo a battery of tests on his neck at the Hospital for Special Surgery after suffering what coach Tom Coughlin called a "burner," reports NFL Network. The Giants will be extra careful with Wilson, who had neck surgery in January.

Montee Ball thinks he'll get 250 carries
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) No Broncos running back has gotten 250 carries in a season since Reuben Droughns got 275 in 2004. Montee Ball, who has never started a game, told the Denver Post he "definitely" thinks he can reach 250.

Last year Knowshon Moreno led the team with 241 carries while the rookie Ball got 119. Moreno is in Miami now.

"It's an ideal situation for me, but I am taking nothing for granted," Ball said. "This is a great offense to play in because the defense always has to respect the pass, and Peyton [Manning] creates opportunities for the running backs. It's up to me to make it work to my advantage."


Report: Josh Gordon arguing second-hand smoke as defense
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) In his appeal hearing Friday, Browns receiver Josh Gordon will argue that his failed drug test resulted from second-hand smoke, reports ESPN.com. As it is, Gordon's failed test came out at 16 nanograms per milliliter, just one nanogram above the NFL threshold of 15 nanograms per milliliter, according to Pro Football Talk.

Gordon has hired the same attorney, Maurice Suh, who got Seahawks corner Richard Sherman's four-game suspension reduced to nothing. Gordon is facing a potential one-year suspension if he's not successful Friday.


 
 
 
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