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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
Report: Vikings' Adrian Peterson won't attend OTAs on Tuesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/24/2015) Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is reportedly set to skip organized team activities on Tuesday, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Peterson is frustrated with management in Minnesota for not showing him support through his legal case for child abuse. Peterson has not participated in any offseason activities so far, but skipping Tuesday's workout will cost him $250,000 in bonuses if he does not attend 90 percent of OTAs and minicamps.

Peterson has three years, $44.25 million left on his contract with Minnesota.


Cardinals S Tyrann Mathieu finally cast-free
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(5/24/2015) After a couple of injury-plagued seasons, Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu enters training camp almost completely healthy, without a brace on his knee or cast on his thumb, per NFL.com. 

The Cardinals will need a healthy Mathieu to offseason the loss of former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and cornerback Antonio Cromartie. In two seasons, Mathieu has 100 tackles and three interceptions but has been hampered by nagging injuries. 

"It just feels good to be free," he said. 


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.


 
 
 
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