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Waiver Wire: Just in case with Ringer

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Fantasy owners were nervous about drafting Chris Johnson this season following his holdout, but none of us expected him to struggle this much. Through the first eight weeks of the season Johnson has been the biggest bust of the year.

And now we enter Week 9, where Johnson will be sharing carries with Javon Ringer. Titans coach Mike Munchak said Monday that Johnson will remain the starter, and rightfully so based on his potential and what he was paid this offseason. But it's time to consider adding Ringer since he has played better than Johnson.

Ringer, who is owned in 21 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com entering Week 9, has as many games with double digits in Fantasy points on the season as Johnson, who has gone from CJ2K to CJ0K. In Week 8 against the Colts -- who have been abused by nearly every starting running back they have faced -- Ringer had twice as many total yards as Johnson, who looks tentative and appears afraid of contact.

If Ringer starts to get increased carries then he could surpass Johnson in playing time, and you should at least stash him on your bench in case his value continues to rise while Johnson continues to fall.

In case you haven't noticed ... Antonio Brown is starting to look like the next standout receiver for the Steelers. Brown, who is owned in 74 percent of leagues, has double digits in Fantasy points in his past two games. He had seven catches for 102 yards in Week 7 at Arizona and nine catches for 67 yards and a touchdown in Week 8 against the Patriots. With Hines Ward (ankle) at less than 100 percent, Brown has turned into a viable weapon. He has 24 targets in his past two games and should be on every Fantasy roster heading into Week 9 against Baltimore.

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 Cassel, Chiefs
Owned: 65 percent of leagues
Week 8: Completed 19 of 32 passes for 261 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and had two carries for 14 yards and a fumble vs. San Diego.
Analysis: Cassel is not an add based on his previous two games against Oakland and San Diego but rather for his matchup against Miami in Week 9. The Dolphins have allowed multiple touchdowns or 300 passing yards against every quarterback they have faced this season with just two interceptions. Cassel would be a great bye-week replacement for Cam Newton or Matthew Stafford this week.

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Andy Dalton, Bengals
Owned: 65 percent of leagues
Week 8: Completed 18 of 29 passes for 168 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions at Seattle.
Analysis: Dalton struggled against the Seahawks, but he has six touchdowns in his past four games and nine touchdown passes on the season. He has a tremendous weapon in A.J. Green and solid complementary options in Jermaine Gresham and Jerome Simpson. He faces the Titans in Week 9, and Tennessee has allowed three quarterbacks to throw multiple touchdown passes in the past five games.

Avoid 'Em

Colt McCoy, Browns
Owned: 61 percent of leagues
Week 8: Completed 22 of 34 passes for 241 yards, one touchdown and one interception with eight carries for 30 yards and a lost fumble at San Francisco.
Analysis: This isn't an avoid for the rest of the season, but this is an avoid for Week 9 at Houston. Not only is this a tough matchup for McCoy since the Texans have only allowed one quarterback to reach 20 Fantasy points, but McCoy has struggled of late with just 21 Fantasy points combined in his past two games. We expect McCoy to play well in Week 10 against St. Louis, but we would ignore him in Week 9 based on his recent play and a tough opponent.

Scout 'Em

Sam Bradford, Rams
Owned: 44 percent of leagues
Week 8: Did not play.
Analysis: Bradford has been out for the past two games with an ankle injury, but hopefully he can return in Week 9 at Arizona. He should be able to finish the season strong, especially with a new weapon in Brandon Lloyd and some new confidence in his teammates coming off an upset victory against the Saints. The Rams have a favorable schedule ahead with matchups against Arizona (twice) and Seattle (twice) in four of their next six games, and Bradford could end up as a starting option in deeper formats.

Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks
Owned: 8 percent of leagues
Week 8: Completed 21 of 40 passes for 323 yards and one interception vs. Cincinnati.
Analysis: Jackson came back against the Bengals after sitting out in Week 7 at Cleveland with a pectoral injury and showed flashes of potential by getting the ball to Sidney Rice, Ben Obomanu and Doug Baldwin. Jackson now has at least 300 passing yards in two of his past three games with four touchdowns and four interceptions over that span. He has a decent matchup in Week 9 at Dallas and still faces St. Louis twice and Arizona to close the season. Jackson could be a useful starting option in deep two-quarterback leagues if he continues to play at this level.

Running back

Add 'Em

Maurice Morris, Lions
Owned: 68 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had 13 carries for 58 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 7 yards at Denver.
Analysis: We'll find out if Jahvid Best (concussion) can return in Week 10 after Detroit's bye in Week 9, but Morris is worth adding or holding onto until Best is cleared. Morris has plenty of potential as a low-end No. 2 running back or flex option if he remains the starter for the Lions, and it was good to see him get a goal-line carry instead of Keiland Williams.

Kregg Lumpkin, Bucs
Owned: 10 percent of leagues
Week 8: On bye.
Analysis: We'll find out this week if LeGarrette Blount (knee) is able to return after missing the past two games, but if he remains out then Lumpkin would be the starter for the Bucs with Earnest Graham (Achilles' tendon) done for the season. Even if Blount is back, Lumpkin is worth adding in point-per-reception leagues since he will be in on passing downs, and he had six catches for 37 yards against the Bears in Week 7 after Graham got hurt.

Chris Ogbonnaya, Browns
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had 11 carries 37 yards and five catches for 24 yards at San Francisco.
Analysis: It's funny how things work that Ogbonnaya could be the starting running back in Week 9 against the Texans, his former team. Peyton Hillis (hamstring) remains day to day after being out the past two games, and Montario Hardesty (calf) was injured against the 49ers. Ogbonnaya would have a favorable matchup against Houston, and he has proven to be a solid receiver out of the backfield the past two weeks with 10 catches for 67 yards.

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Curtis Brinkley, Chargers
Owned: Not owned
Week 8: Had 10 carries 43 yards and a touchdown and three catches for 24 yards at Kansas City.
Analysis: Brinkley would be considered a must-add running back if he's healthy and Ryan Mathews (groin) and Mike Tolbert (hamstring) are out in Week 9 against Green Bay. Brinkley played great against the Chiefs, but he left the game with a concussion. He is worth taking a flier on, especially if you own Mathews or Tolbert, but his status is up in the air following the head injury. It's also a difficult matchup for him against the Packers.

Avoid 'Em

Bernard Scott, Bengals
Owned: 75 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had 22 carries for 76 yards and three catches for no yards at Seattle.
Analysis: Scott was a good replacement for the suspended Cedric Benson at the Seahawks, but with Benson back in Week 9 at Tennessee, Scott will return to his reserve role. He has minimal Fantasy value as the backup to Benson since he combined for 13 Fantasy points in the six previous games this year when Benson was active.

Chris Ivory, Saints
Owned: 4 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had six carries for 18 yards at St. Louis.
Analysis: Ivory could be a solid Fantasy running back in all leagues if he played for a different team, but he is the No. 4 option in the Saints' backfield behind Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas. He got an opportunity to play against the Rams with Ingram (heel) out but he failed to produce, like most of his teammates, in an easy matchup. Unless Ingram is out for an extended period of time and Thomas gets hurt also you should leave Ivory on the waiver wire in most formats.

Scout 'Em

Tashard Choice, Redskins
Owned: 16 percent of leagues
Week 8: Did not play.
Analysis: Mike Shanahan got a new toy to play with after the Redskins added Choice off waivers following his release from Dallas. Choice has done nothing this season as the No. 3 running back for the Cowboys with five Fantasy points on the season, but the Redskins need a spark in their backfield after losing Tim Hightower (knee) and watching Ryan Torain struggle, with rookie Roy Helu not ready for a featured role. The addition of Choice makes it difficult to trust any of Washington's running backs now, but if Choice ends up in a featured role he could be valuable as the season goes on.

Phillip Tanner, Cowboys
Owned: 7 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had one carry for 2 yards and two catches for 19 yards at Philadelphia.
Analysis: With Choice gone and Felix Jones (ankle) out, Tanner is now the No. 2 running back for the Cowboys behind DeMarco Murray. If something happens to Murray then Tanner would see a significant boost in Fantasy value, and he is worth keeping an eye on in all leagues. In deeper formats you might want to add Tanner now just in case Jones remains out for another week or two. As Tanner showed in Week 7 against St. Louis, he could be productive behind Murray when he has a quality matchup.

Kevin Faulk, Patriots
Owned: Not owned
Week 8: Had six carries for 32 yards and five catches for 20 yards at Pittsburgh.
Analysis: Tom Brady got his security blanket back in Faulk, who came off the PUP list prior to the game against the Steelers and was the most productive running back for New England. His return will hurt all the Patriots running backs, and he is worth adding in PPR leagues. Faulk had five targets against the Steelers, and Brady will continue to look for him often as the season goes on.

Wide receiver

Add 'Em

Michael Crabtree, 49ers
Owned: 57 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had five catches for 54 yards and a touchdown vs. Cleveland.
Analysis: Crabtree is starting to look like a quality receiver the past two games with 14 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown, and he has 24 targets over that span. Alex Smith appears to finally feel comfortable with Crabtree, and his foot problems are hopefully over. He has a favorable matchup in Week 9 at Washington, and Crabtree could be a potential starter in all Fantasy leagues against the Redskins.

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Jerome Simpson, Bengals
Owned: 35 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had one catch for 14 yards and a touchdown at Seattle.
Analysis: Simpson continues to play well as the No. 2 receiver for the Bengals behind Green. He only had two targets against the Seahawks, but he now has at least seven Fantasy points in his past two games. Because Dalton is inexperienced, Simpson will have some inconsistent performances, but he is worth stashing on your bench as a reserve receiver who you could start in the right matchup.

Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers
Owned: 32 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had five catches for 70 yards vs. New England.
Analysis: As we said with Brown -- and about Sanders last week -- as long as Ward is out then Sanders will have increased Fantasy value. He now has 10 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown in his past two games and 15 targets over that span. Brown has more value, but Sanders can be a quality Fantasy reserve going forward and a spot starter in the right matchup.

Jon Baldwin, Chiefs
Owned: 3 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown vs. San Diego.
Analysis: Baldwin had his first significant game for the Chiefs and Fantasy owners against the Chargers on Monday night. He had eight targets and showed a glimpse of why the Chiefs selected him in the first round of the NFL Draft. While we still have minimal expectations for Baldwin going forward, his big performance comes at the right time with a matchup against the Dolphins in Week 9. If you need help at receiver for this week then take a flier on Baldwin.

Avoid 'Em

Laurent Robinson, Cowboys
Owned: 2 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had five catches for 103 yards and a touchdown at Philadelphia.
Analysis: Ignore the final stat line with Robinson because he caught a 70-yard touchdown against the Eagles in the fourth quarter of a blowout loss. Robinson played well when Miles Austin (hamstring) was out, but in his previous two games prior to Week 8 he had six Fantasy points. He's just too low on the pecking order behind Jason Witten, Dez Bryant and Austin to have any significant Fantasy value.

Scout 'Em

Ben Obomanu, Seahawks
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had four catches for 107 yards vs. Cincinnati.
Analysis: Rice remains the best receiver for the Seahawks, but Obomanu might be No. 2 in the pecking order along with Doug Baldwin (40 percent ownership). The only difference between Obomanu and Baldwin is Obomanu might be more consistent. He has at least eight Fantasy points in three of his past four games, while Baldwin's Fantasy value depends on the health of Mike Williams. Still, both could be worth owning as Jackson continues to improve for the Seahawks. And Obomanu continues to benefit, which is why his Fantasy value is on the rise.

Titus Young, Lions
Owned: 6 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had four catches for 66 yards and a touchdown at Denver.
Analysis: Young scored his first touchdown of the season Sunday and we hope he can build on this performance. With Nate Burleson struggling, Young has the chance to become a viable option for the Lions and Fantasy owners. Detroit is on a bye in Week 9, but if you need help at receiver in Week 10 then take a flier on Young now and hope he can string together some consistent performances to close the year.

Tight end

Add 'Em

Brent Celek, Eagles
Owned: 22 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had seven catches for 94 yards and a touchdown vs. Dallas.
Analysis: Celek is starting to play better in his past two games with 11 catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns with 18 targets over that span. Michael Vick said before the season his goal was to get Celek more involved, and that's finally coming to fruition. He has a great matchup against the Bears in Week 9, and Celek is an excellent bye-week replacement this week based on his recent production.

Avoid 'Em

Tony Scheffler, Lions
Owned: 2 percent
Week 8: Had three catches for 38 yards and a touchdown at Denver.
Analysis: Scheffler scored against the Broncos (his former team) in Week 8, but he has minimal Fantasy value going forward. This was his first touchdown since Week 2 and he is clearly entrenched as the No. 2 tight end for the Lions behind Brandon Pettigrew. Detroit is on a bye in Week 9, and even with a favorable matchup in Week 10 at the Bears, Scheffler would only be worth owning if Pettigrew suffered an injury.

Scout 'Em

Scott Chandler, Bills
Owned: 26 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had two catches for 35 yards and two touchdowns vs. Washington.
Analysis: Chandler was back to Fantasy relevance in Week 8 with his performance against the Redskins, but this was the first time he had any Fantasy points since Week 3. He's a boom or bust tight end, and if he doesn't score then his production is limited. In a good matchup you can plan on using Chandler, but otherwise he won't help you much if he can't find the end zone.

Joel Dreessen, Texans
Owned: 5 percent of leagues
Week 8: Had two catches for 19 yards and a touchdown vs. Jacksonville.
Analysis: Dreessen has been the player to benefit the most with Andre Johnson (hamstring) out. Since Johnson was hurt in Week 4 against the Steelers, Dreessen has three touchdowns in three of the last four games. The Texans have done a nice job of using both tight ends with Dreessen and Owen Daniels, and Dreessen can be added in deeper leagues as long as Johnson remains out.

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 and on Facebook.

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Player News
Sidney Rice opting to return to Seattle
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(2:05 am ET) The Seahawks re-signed free-agent wide receiver Sidney Rice to a one-year deal Wednesday, after being cut earlier in the offseason.

Financial terms of the deal are not yet known, though it will surely pay him less than the $8.5 million he was initially set to make before he was cut. Rice is recovering from a torn ACL in October, but has been cleared to return to football activities. 


Jaguars sign Mike Brown
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(2:03 am ET) The Jaguars signed exclusive rights free agent receiver Mike Brown Wednesday. The terms of the contract are not immediately available.

Brown finished third on the team in receiving yards a year ago, finishing with 32 receptions for 446 yards and a pair of touchdowns in 11 games. 


Jets backfield takes shape following Johnson signing
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/16/2014) With the Jets signing Chris Johnson on Wednesday, the rest of their backfield should start to take shape, reports the New York Daily News.

The report says Johnson and Chris Ivory will work as a tandem, and Bilal Powell will be the No. 3 running back. Mike Goodson is expected to be released before the start of the season.


Chris Johnson excited for 'fresh start'
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/16/2014) New Jets running back Chris Johnson's two-year deal is worth $8 million with another $1 million in incentives, reports Pro Football Talk. Johnson was scheduled to make $8 million for the Titans in 2014 alone before he was released.

Meanwhile, Johnson told the Tennessean that he's looking forward to this opportunity with the Jets.

"I have a fresh start. Now I am going to go out there with a chip on my shoulder," Johnson said. "I know a lot of people are doubting me. I want to prove everybody wrong who has doubts in me."


Bengals sign punter T.J. Conley
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/16/2014) The Bengals signed free agent punter T.J. Conley on Wednesday. 

Conley punted in 16 games for the Jets in 2011. He averaged 42.7 yards on 92 punts, and his 38.8-yard net average was the highest in Jets history. He had 32 inside-20 kicks with just six touchbacks, and his plus-26 differential on inside-20s to touchbacks ranked tied for third in the NFL.

Conley did not play in the 2012 or 2013 regular seasons. He was with the Jets in the 2012 preseason and with Cleveland in the 2013 preseason.

Conley will challenge incumbent Kevin Huber for the starting job, but most likely he won't make the final roster.


Chris Johnson signs two-year deal with the Jets
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/16/2014) The Jets have signed running back Chris Johnson to a two-year deal, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

Johnson told reporters on Tuesday he was taking free agency one day at a time and added that he had other visits planned, but the Jets must have made him an improved offer to lock up the one-time 2,000-yard running back. 

Johnson has totaled at least 1,400 yards in each of his last four seasons with the Titans since running for 2,006 yards in 2009. He also scored 10 touchdowns in 2013 (four receiving). 


Clay Matthews says it's thumbs up for training camp
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/16/2014) Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said he's diligently rehabbing his injured thumb, comparing it to a torn ACL rather than a typical bone break. As part of the injury he also had surgery on his forearm, which got damaged when he re-injured the thumb late last season. But he told USA Today that he'll be ready for the start of training camp, though he'll miss offseason workouts. 

Mike James resumes running and cutting
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/16/2014) Buccaneers running back Mike James is working his way back into football shape after breaking his left ankle last season. He told the Tampa Bay Times that he's been running and cutting and is aiming to get back to full strength and speed. Asked if he would be ready for the team's April minicamp, James said he and the team are "taking everything day by day." 

Josh Freeman signs with Giants
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/16/2014) The Giants have signed quarterback Josh Freeman, reports FOX Sports.

Freeman spent last season with the Buccaneers and Vikings. His only appearance for Minnesota was against the Giants, and he completed 20 of 53 passes for 190 yards and an interception.

Freeman will try and make the final roster for the Giants as a backup to Eli Manning, who is coming off ankle surgery this offseason. The Giants also have Curtis Painter and Ryan Nassib on the roster.


Rob Gronkowski will 'take his time' coming back
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/16/2014) Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will "take his time and then take more time" coming back from a torn ACL suffered last season, a source told Bleacher Report

Gronkowski's heart was questioned last year when he took his time coming back from forearm and back procedures. This year he might not care how long he takes as he wants to practice patience in his rehab. 

The knee injury happened in December of last year. Usually it takes nine months to come back from an ACL injury without incident. That would mean he'd be ready to hit the field by late August. 


 
 
 
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