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Waiver Wire: Titanic hole to fill

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Kenny Britt is the No. 5 receiver in standard Fantasy leagues through the first three weeks of the season. Unfortunately for Britt and his owners, his stats aren't going to change after he suffered a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee in Week 3.

Replacing Britt won't be easy, especially since he has 17 catches for 289 yards and three touchdowns on 26 targets. But the Titans have two candidates who might be able to help Fantasy owners.

At receiver, Nate Washington is a must add. We told you to pick him up last week, and he just continues to produce. He has 21 catches for 258 yards and one touchdown on 27 targets for the season, and he will now become the No. 1 option in the passing game. Washington is owned in 51 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com following Week 3.

For owners looking for help at tight end now is the time to add Jared Cook, who is owned in 19 percent of leagues. He has struggled so far this season with just five catches for 56 yards on seven targets, but his stats should increase now that he will be needed more. Outside of Washington and Chris Johnson, Cook is the Titans' most skilled offensive player.

The Titans will also rely more on Johnson in the passing game, and you can also expect receivers Lavelle Hawkins and Damian Williams to also see an increase in production. Both are not owned in any leagues on CBSSports.com, and let them prove themselves first before adding them in the majority of leagues.

If you miss on Washington, we'll offer some other receivers to add below, and hopefully someone can step up for the rest of this season to help you replace Britt.

In case you haven't noticed ... Michael Bush has yet to have a significant impact for Fantasy owners this year, but he's someone to definitely have on your roster if he's available. He is owned in 76 percent of leagues after Week 3. Darren McFadden is the No. 1 running back in standard Fantasy leagues, but he tweaked his groin in Sunday's victory against the Jets. He should be fine for Week 4 against New England, but we all know about McFadden's injury history. Bush, who does have two touchdowns in his past two games, would be an excellent replacement if McFadden goes down since Oakland is running the ball at a high level.

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.

Quarterback

Add 'Em

Matt Hasselbeck, Titans
Owned: 51 percent of leagues
Week 3: Completed 27 of 36 passes for 311 yards, two touchdowns and one fumble vs. Denver.
Analysis: Hasselbeck will lose value with Britt out for the season, but it's hard to argue with his production. In three starts for the Titans, Hasselbeck has two games with multiple touchdown passes and two 300-yard outings. His worst performance was 18 Fantasy points in Week 2 against Baltimore. I don't like Hasselbeck's matchups over the next two weeks at Cleveland and at Pittsburgh, but he could turn into a serviceable No. 2 Fantasy quarterback to close the season and during the bye weeks. It all depends on how he will do without Britt.

Colt McCoy, Browns
Owned: 62 percent of leagues
Week 3: Completed 19 of 39 passes for 210 yards, two touchdowns and one interception vs. Miami.
Analysis: McCoy has gotten off to a nice start this season with 19 Fantasy points in Week 1 against Cincinnati and 18 Fantasy points this past week. He's not throwing for overwhelming passing yards with less than 215 each week, but he's getting the job done. Like Hasselbeck, he doesn't have the best matchup this week as the two go head to head, but McCoy can help Fantasy owners during bye weeks and as a potential starter in two-quarterback formats.

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Avoid 'Em

Curtis Painter, Colts
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 3: Completed 5 of 11 passes for 60 yards and one fumble vs. Pittsburgh.
Analysis: There's a chance Painter could start in Week 4 at Tampa Bay after Kerry Collins sustained a concussion against the Steelers. But even if Painter does start, he should not be used in the majority of Fantasy leagues. The Colts are a lost cause right now with Peyton Manning (neck) out, and it's doubtful Painter is the answer. Let him prove himself first before even considering him as a potential add candidate.

Scout 'Em

Vince Young, Eagles
Owned: 9 percent of leagues
Week 3: Did not play vs. Giants.
Analysis: Young could start in Week 4 against the 49ers if Michael Vick (hand) is unable to go. Mike Kafka has replaced Vick each of the past two weeks with Young dealing with a hamstring issue, but Kafka has two interceptions in just 16 attempts. If Vick is out then add Young immediately because the 49ers pass defense is a weakness, and Young would be a potential sleeper. But we've also seen Vick leave two games in a row, and injuries will be a concern with him all season. Young's value would sky rocket if Vick suffers a serious injury.

Tim Tebow, Broncos
Owned: 6 percent of leagues
Week 3: Did not play at Tennessee.
Analysis: Coach John Fox reiterated his confidence in starter Kyle Orton on Monday, but the Tebow watch is now on with Denver at 1-2. The Broncos travel to Green Bay this week before facing San Diego at home prior to the bye in Week 6. If Denver is 1-4 at that point then Fox might make a switch at quarterback to see if Tebow is the answer to help winning games. He is by no means someone to add now outside of the deepest of leagues, but if Tebow does get the starting job keep in mind he had three games with at least 23 Fantasy points in three starts last year.

Running back

Add 'Em

Bernard Scott, Bengals
Owned: 43 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had two carries for 10 yards vs. San Francisco.
Analysis: We told Fantasy owners to add Scott last week when the news broke that Cedric Benson could be facing a three-game suspension. We'll find out Tuesday just how long Benson could be out, but the Bengals next three games are against Buffalo, Jacksonville and Indianapolis, which are three favorable opponents. If Scott starts in at least one of those games then he could be a useful flex option if Benson is suspended as expected.

Kendall Hunter, 49ers
Owned: 18 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had nine carries for 26 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 12 yards at Cincinnati.
Analysis: Frank Gore is expected to play in Week 4 at the Eagles, but he left Week 3 against the Bengals with an ankle injury. That allowed Hunter to score his first NFL touchdown. If Gore is out or limited against the Eagles then Hunter would see an increased role in a favorable matchup. You'll want Hunter on your roster in case he ends up starting in Week 4 if Gore is out.

Montario Hardesty, Browns
Owned: 47 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had 14 carries for 67 yards and three catches for 19 yards vs. Miami.
Analysis: Peyton Hillis missed Sunday's game against the Dolphins with strep throat, and Hardesty did a nice job filling in. Hillis should return in Week 4 against the Titans, but the Browns have said they want to increase Hardesty's carries to help ease the burden on Hillis. And if Hillis goes down again or is out in Week 4 then Hardesty showed he can get the job done.

Avoid 'Em

Chester Taylor, Cardinals
Owned: 9 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had eight carries for 20 yards and one catch for 12 yards at Seattle.
Analysis: Beanie Wells was out Sunday with a hamstring injury, but Taylor was outplayed by Alfonso Smith, who had 17 carries for 54 yards and three catches for 21 yards. Wells said he should return in Week 4 against the Giants, but if he's out again then add Smith, who is not owned in any leagues. Taylor showed last year his best days are behind him, and he's likely not going to help Fantasy owners much this season.

Scout 'Em

Stevan Ridley, Patriots
Owned: 10 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had seven carries for 44 yards and one catch for 8 yards at Buffalo.
Analysis: The Patriots need some life in their running game, and Ridley played well against the Bills in limited touches. We might not see him take over for BenJarvus Green-Ellis just yet, but keep Ridley on your radar if you don't just add him now. Eventually, Ridley could be the starting running back for the Patriots, and his value would skyrocket.

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Wide receiver

Add 'Em

Denarius Moore, Raiders
Owned: 55 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had four catches for 34 yards and one carry for 23 yards and a touchdown vs. the Jets.
Analysis: I still want to see how Moore does as a receiver with Jacoby Ford (hamstring) healthy, but Moore has now been productive for two consecutive games. He has another favorable matchup this week against New England, and he's worth adding in all leagues. Consider Moore a solid replacement for Britt, and hopefully he won't lose value once Ford comes back in Week 4 against the Patriots.

Torrey Smith, Ravens
Owned: 3 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had five catches for 152 yards and three touchdowns at St. Louis.
Analysis: Smith may never come close to a game like he had against the Rams again, but he is worth adding on the chance he remains involved. The Ravens had high hopes for Smith in the preseason, but he struggled. Baltimore then added Lee Evans, but he's dealing with an ankle injury. Smith is perfect for this offense, which is in desperate need of a deep threat, and he had eight targets against St. Louis. Take a flier on Smith and hope this production continues.

Avoid 'Em

Josh Cribbs, Browns
Owned: 4 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had three catches for 49 yards and a touchdown vs. Miami.
Analysis: Cribbs scored his first touchdown of the season against the Dolphins, but he's still more of a niche offensive player than a quality receiver. He had six targets Sunday, but he has just 12 for the season. The best receiver for the Browns this year is Mohammed Massaquoi, who has eight catches for 148 yards and a touchdown, but he's also not worth adding in the majority of leagues.

Michael Jenkins, Vikings
Owned: 3 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had nine catches for 88 yards vs. Detroit.
Analysis: Fantasy owners in deep point per reception leagues might want to take a flier on Jenkins in case this type of production continues, but he should not be added in most standard formats. He did have 11 targets, which is nice, but the only Vikings to own in the majority of leagues are Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin. After that, you're probably reaching.

Scout 'Em

Victor Cruz, Giants
Owned: 2 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had three catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns at Philadelphia.
Analysis: Cruz stepped up with Mario Manningham (concussion) out, and the Giants allowed him to play in his natural spot, outside. He is not a slot receiver, and he will not be successful in that role once Manningham returns. But keep Cruz on your radar in case Manningham remains out in Week 4 at Arizona, which is a favorable matchup. And also keep in mind that Cruz had great production against the Eagles, but his first touchdown came as the result of terrible tackling. He also had just five targets.

Andre Caldwell, Bengals
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had six catches for 53 yards vs. San Francisco.
Analysis: Caldwell will see an increase in production with Jordan Shipley (knee) out for the season, and he could be worth adding in deep PPR leagues. He had 12 targets against the 49ers, and he will be needed in the slot role between A.J. Green and Jerome Simpson. Caldwell likely won't have many games with double digits in Fantasy points in standard leagues, but he could average five catches a game.

Donald Jones, Bills
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had five catches for 101 yards vs. New England.
Analysis: Jones is worth keeping an eye on with the way the Bills offense is playing right now. He is the No. 4 target for Fantasy owners behind Steve Johnson, David Nelson and Scott Chandler, but Jones had 10 targets against the Patriots. If he continues to see double digits in targets then consider adding him in deeper formats.

Dane Sanzenbacher, Bears
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had five catches for 27 yards and a touchdown vs. Green Bay.
Analysis: We had Sanzenbacher as an avoid last week, but he continues to play well with Earl Bennett (chest) dealing with an injury. Sanzenbacher has now scored two weeks in a row, and he could remain reliable even when Bennett returns. We wouldn't run out and add Sanzenbacher in all leagues, but he does have seven targets in each of the past two weeks, which shows that he is being involved in the passing game quite a bit.

Tight end

Add 'Em

Brandon Pettigrew, Lions
Owned: 68 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had 11 catches for 112 yards at Minnesota.
Analysis: Many Fantasy owners were fed up with Pettigrew after his first two starts, and his ownership dropped from 82 percent. It's time to add him again after his performance against the Vikings, which included 13 targets. We hope this type of production continues, and he still remains a quality starting option in the majority of Fantasy leagues. You want to have the targets for Matthew Stafford on your Fantasy team because that offense is clicking, and Pettigrew showed in Week 3 that he can be an elite player.

Scott Chandler, Bills
Owned: 59 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had two catches for 10 yards and a touchdown vs. New England.
Analysis: All Chandler does is score touchdowns, and he now has four on the season. We'd like to see him more involved in the passing game since his targets have decreased each week from five in Week 1 to three in Week 3. But as long as he's catching touchdowns he's worth stashing on your bench or using as a starter. The Bills passing game is on fire right now, and Chandler is a solid red-zone threat. Hopefully he can keep this up all season.

Avoid 'Em

Kellen Davis, Bears
Owned: Not owned
Week 3: Had one catch for 32 yards and a touchdown vs. Green Bay.
Analysis: Similar to Jeff King for the Cardinals, you don't want tight ends who are not heavily involved. Davis had a nice touchdown catch against the Packers, but he only had two targets in the game. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz does not like using tight ends, and Davis has just three catches on the season. He also has just eight targets.

Scout 'Em

Randy McMichael, Chargers
Owned: 9 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had four catches for 51 yards vs. Kansas City.
Analysis: Antonio Gates missed Week 3 with a foot injury, and his return is uncertain. McMichael played well against the Chiefs with five targets, and he has a great matchup in Week 4 against Miami, which is one of his former teams. The Dolphins have allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and McMichael is a solid replacement if Gates remains out.

Todd Heap, Cardinals
Owned: 33 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had six catches for 61 yards at Seattle.
Analysis: Heap finally showed signs of life with his new team, and the best part about his performance against the Seahawks was he had 10 targets. If that continues then his value will rise since the Cardinals are in need of playmakers aside from Larry Fitzgerald in the passing game. Continue to monitor Heap's production before adding him in the majority of leagues because he could eventually emerge as a starting Fantasy option.

James Casey, Texans
Owned: 0 percent of leagues
Week 3: Had five catches for 126 yards and a touchdown at New Orleans.
Analysis: Casey plays a variety of roles for the Texans as a fullback and extra tight end. We'll find out if he can continue to be involved in the offense, but after his performance against the Saints you have to assume he should see an increase in targets after he had seven in Week 3. And if something happens to starting tight end Daniels then look for Casey's value to rise.

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
Philip Rivers skipping practices so he can rest up for Saturday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:24 am ET) Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has started 142 straight games, the second-longest active streak behind Eli Manning's 166. With San Diego on a short week before Saturday's game against the 49ers, Rivers missed practice Tuesday and Wednesday with chest and back injuries, though he did participate in a Wednesday morning walkthrough.

"I hate not practicing," he told ESPN.com. "But I think at some point you have to do what's best for me and the team. And practicing [Wednesday] wouldn't have been beneficial to moving toward Saturday."

Added Rivers about his playing status: "At this point in the week, I think there's no doubt."

If Rivers surprisingly sits out, backup Kellen Clemens would start. He went 4-5 as a starter with St. Louis last year.

"One of the reasons we brought Kellen in here is that he was very competitive last year, thrown into a tough situation," offensive coordinator Frank Reich told the website. "He played well against some really tough defenses. He's a very smart competitive guy."

The Chargers are 1-point underdogs at San Francisco.


Broncos promote S Josh Bush
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:06 am ET) The Broncos elevated safety Josh Bush to the actie roster. The third-year pro had been on the team's practice squad for a month.

Eagles' Chris Polk gets first-team reps in practice
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) Eagles running back Chris Polk received first-team reps in practice on Wednesday, according to CSNPhilly.com.

Polk opened practice with the starters and ran a couple of plays. LeSean McCoy watched the plays from the sideline. Following practice, McCoy stressed that it wasn't a big deal. "We rotate all the time," he said. "[Running back coach Duce Staley] pulled me out. [Darren] Sproles wasn't in either." Polk is coming off a three touchdown performance in Week 15. It's possible he could find his way into more playing time given the practice situation. 


Seahawks without three offensive lineman on Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) The Seahawks did not have three of their offensive linemen at practice on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

Max Unger, Russell Okung and J.R. Sweezy were all held out. Unger has missed the past four games due to an ankle and knee issue. He was able to practice last Friday, but did not play on Sunday. Okung is dealing with a bruised lung, but there's a chance he'll recover in time for Sunday's game. "[Okung is] going to have some stuff done [Thursday] that will let us know where he sits and all that," head coach Pete Carrol said. "He’s not out of the plan yet."

Sweezy is dealing with an ankle injury. His appearance on the injury report comes as somewhat of a surprise. 


Lions pick up CB Josh Thomas
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) The Lions have claimed cornerback Josh Thomas on waivers, according to the New York Post

Thomas was cut by the Jets on Tuesday, but found a new job quickly. He's played in three games this season, registering two tackles. 


Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch sits out on Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch did not practice on Wednesday.

Lynch has been using Wednesday as a veteran's day all season, so the move isn't a big surprise. He's been battling a back injury throughout most of the season, but has been able to play through it. Lynch has 1133 rushing yards, with 10 touchdowns, this year. 


Texans' DeAndre Hopkins unable to practice on Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins did not practice on Wednesday.

Hopkins is dealing with an ankle injury, and was unable to go. Hopkins has played in all 14 games this season. He has 1167 yards on 69 receptions. Hopkins has caught six touchdowns. His status will likely be determined based on how much he is able to practice on Thursday and Friday. 


49ers WR Michael Crabtree misses practice Wednesday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) 49ers wideout Michael Crabtree did not practice Wednesday due to a knee injury, reports CSNBayArea.com. Crabtree, who has not cleared 60 receiving yards since Week 11, isn't believed to be seriously hurt.

He's scheduled to play the Chargers on Saturday night. If Crabtree can't go, it could mean increased targets for fellow starter Anquan Boldin.


Raiders QB Derek Carr limited by thumb injury
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was limited in Wednesday's practice with a thumb injury, but coach Tony Sparano isn't too concerned, reports CSNBayArea.com. Carr has thrown one or zero touchdown passes in four of his past five games entering Sunday's contest against Buffalo.

Report: Jay Cutler to be benched Week 16
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/17/2014) The Bears will bench starting quarterback Jay Cutler Week 16 against the Lions, according to ESPN.

The move comes as a big surprise given the seven-year, $126 million contract Cutler signed in January. Cutler has had a big problem with turnovers this season, throwing 18 interceptions and fumbling 12 times. The move could mark the end of Cutler's season as the starter, and puts his future in Chicago in jeopardy. 

The team will turn to Jimmy Clausen to replace Cutler.


 
 
 
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