I just have one request for Washington coach Mike Shanahan: Keep Roy Helu as the starting running back for the rest of the season. Let's just see what he can do.
It's clear the Redskins are not going to make the playoffs, and Tim Hightower (knee) is already lost for the season. Ryan Torain is not the long-term answer at running back, and Tashard Choice should also be a reserve. Helu has the upside to be a key contributor in the backfield if he gets an opportunity, which he proved in Week 9 against San Francisco.
Helu, who is owned in 52 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com, started against the 49ers and had 10 carries for 41 yards and a franchise-record 14 catches for 105 yards. We hope he will remain the starter for Week 10 at Miami and the rest of the year, and he's worth adding in all leagues.
Since it's Shanahan, don't be surprised if he goes back to Torain at some point or decides to give Choice an extended look. But it's worth the gamble to add Helu, and you can definitely drop running backs like DeAngelo Williams, Ryan Grant and Joseph Addai at this point to add him to your roster.
In case you haven't noticed ... It's hard to trust Lance Moore, who is owned in 68 percent of leagues, because Drew Brees spreads the ball around so much to all of his weapons. But he's been productive the past two games, and maybe Brees will start to rely on him a little more. In his past two outings against St. Louis and Tampa Bay, Moore has 10 catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns. He also has 12 targets over that span, and as more teams start to pay attention to Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles and Marques Colston, Moore could benefit with all the single coverage. He is worth holding onto as a No. 3 or 4 Fantasy receiver to close the year.
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.
Carson Palmer, Raiders
Owned: 61 percent of leagues
Week 9: Completed 19 of 35 passes for 332 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions vs. Denver.
Analysis: There are no quarterbacks on a bye in Week 10, so you might not need to add a quarterback in the majority of leagues to start. But you might need a quarterback for Week 11, and the Raiders play at Minnesota. Palmer obviously used the bye in Week 9 to get used to his receivers, and he threw the ball well against the Broncos. The turnovers are a problem, but Palmer showed he can still be a quality Fantasy quarterback if needed if he continues to play like he did against Denver.
Matt Moore, Dolphins
Owned: 8 percent of leagues
Week 9: Completed 17 of 23 passes for 244 yards and three touchdowns at Kansas City.
Analysis: Moore had a fantastic game against the Chiefs with 27 Fantasy points, but don't expect him to play like that on a regular basis. In his previous three starts combined against the Jets, Denver and Giants he had 27 total Fantasy points. He could have another quality start against the Redskins in Week 10, but he is still too risky to start even in two-quarterback leagues based on his inconsistent play.
Colt McCoy, Browns
Owned: 58 percent of leagues
Week 9: Completed 14 of 22 passes for 146 yards, one touchdowns and one interception at Houston.
Analysis: I want to see how McCoy does in Week 10 against St. Louis, and I would even consider him a starter in two-quarterback leagues this week. Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur was the offensive coordinator for the Rams last year, and he should know this defense well. We'll find out if McCoy can take advantage of a good matchup, and he could be in an audition for his job. McCoy has not played well of late with an average of 10 Fantasy points in his past three games, but this is a chance for him to play well against St. Louis at home.
Chris Ogbonnaya, Browns
Owned: 64 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had 13 carries for 28 yards and one catch for 13 yards with a fumble at Houston.
Analysis: Ogbonnaya was terrible in his first start for the Browns in place of the injured Peyton Hillis (hamstring) and Montario Hardesty (calf) with one Fantasy point against the Texans. But he will start again in Week 10 against St. Louis, and this is a much better matchup. We can understand if you give up on Ogbonnaya after his dismal performance, but he remains worth using as a flex option based on the matchup with the Rams.
Marion Barber, Bears
Owned: 40 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had nine carries for 31 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 8 yards at Philadelphia.
Analysis: Barber has now scored a touchdown in three consecutive games, and he is consistent with nine Fantasy points in each outing over that span. Matt Forte is still the workhorse for the Bears, but Chicago is not afraid to lean on Barber, especially in short-yardage situations. With the way running backs have been injured this season you should add Barber and sit on him just in case something happens to Forte.
D.J. Ware, Giants
Owned: 25 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had seven carries for 23 yards at New England.
Analysis: We'll find out this week if Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) is able to return at San Francisco, but Ware is worth stashing in case Bradshaw's injury is season-ending. Brandon Jacobs will remain the starter in place of Bradshaw, but the Giants will continue to give Ware some touches. And since Jacobs has already missed time with a knee injury this year, Ware could end up starting for the Giants if he goes down again.
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Marcel Reece, Raiders
Owned: Not owned
Week 9: Had three catches for 51 yards and a touchdown vs. Denver.
Analysis: Reece has two touchdowns on the season, both coming against the Broncos. He is the fullback for the Raiders, and even though he is doing a good job catching the ball with Darren McFadden (foot) out, the only Oakland running back to use now is Michael Bush. Reece is only worth adding in the deepest of point-per-reception leagues.
Danny Woodhead, Patriots
Owned: 27 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had seven carries for 26 yards and three catches for 34 yards vs. the Giants.
Analysis: If Kevin Faulk (knee) remains out then Woodhead could start to play like the running back we saw in 2010. BenJarvus Green-Ellis continues to deal with a toe problem, and the Patriots need someone to step up in passing situations out of the backfield. It looked like Faulk would retain that role when he returned in Week 9 against the Steelers, but Faulk was out against the Giants. That allowed Woodhead to step up, and he could be factor for the Patriots to close the season.
Donald Brown, Colts
Owned: 17 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had 16 carries for 70 yards vs. Atlanta.
Analysis: Brown has been the most productive Fantasy running back for the Colts over the past four games with 30 Fantasy points over that span and two touchdowns. He would be worth adding in all leagues if Joseph Addai was out for an extended period of time, but he appears close to a return from his nagging hamstring injury. Until that happens you can consider Brown as a flex option in deeper leagues, but once Addai is back and Brown is sharing carries with Delone Carter also then his value will be minimal.
Torrey Smith, Ravens
Owned: 64 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown at Pittsburgh.
Analysis: Forget about Smith's game-winning touchdown for a second against the Steelers. The important stat to look at with Smith is his targets, and he has 18 over his past two games. The Ravens are trying to get him involved, and that should continue to happen as the season goes on. He will be a boom or bust Fantasy option all year, but he is worth stashing on your roster and using when he has a favorable matchup.
Steve Breaston, Chiefs
Owned: 48 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had seven catches for 115 yards vs. Miami.
Analysis: Breaston had 11 targets against the Dolphins, and he is not going to disappear even though Jon Baldwin is starting to get more involved. He still has 24 targets over his past three games, and with more teams trying to take away Dwayne Bowe, Breaston should remain a reliable threat for Matt Cassel. Breaston should be owned in all PPR leagues, and he could be a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in standard formats as well since he has two games with double digits in Fantasy points in his past four outings.
Jerome Simpson, Bengals
Owned: 34 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had three catches for 43 yards and a touchdown at Tennessee.
Analysis: We continue to mention Simpson in this column as an add, and at some point his ownership will rise. He now has a touchdown or 100 yards receiving in each of his past three games, and his targets should start to increase as teams pay more attention to A.J. Green. He had 10 targets against the Titans, and Andy Dalton might be throwing a lot in the next two games against Pittsburgh and Baltimore, which will help Simpson stay involved.
Laurent Robinson, Cowboys
Owned: 15 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had five catches for 32 yards and a touchdown vs. Seattle.
Analysis: Robinson gets the chance to start with Miles Austin (hamstring) out for at least two weeks, and he should be added in all leagues. He has played well of late with 10 catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns in his past two outings, and he has 13 targets over that span. Dez Bryant and Jason Witten will benefit the most without Austin, but Robinson could be a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in all formats with the increased playing time he's about to receive.
Jacoby Ford, Raiders
Owned: 18 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had five catches for 105 yards and a touchdown vs. Denver.
Analysis: Ford obviously likes the addition of Palmer because in his first start against the Broncos, Ford had his best game of the year. We had high expectations for Ford coming into the season, but a broken hand hurt limited his production to start the year. We hope he can finish the season strong, and he's worth taking a flier on in all leagues. We don't expect Darrius Heyward-Bey to disappear, and Denarius Moore also showed signs of life against Denver, but Ford could be Oakland's best receiver from this point forward.
Josh Cribbs, Browns
Owned: 4 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had five catches for 50 yards and a touchdown at Houston.
Analysis: Fantasy owners are leery of using Cleveland receivers, and rightfully so. The Browns passing game isn't exactly flashy, but Cribbs has been productive the past two weeks with seven catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns against San Francisco and Houston. He has favorable matchups the next two games against St. Louis in Week 10 and Jacksonville in Week 11, and Fantasy owners in deeper leagues might be able to use him as a starting option if he continues to play at this level.
Earl Bennett, Bears
Owned: 5 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had five catches for 95 yards and a touchdown at Philadelphia.
Analysis: Bennett returned in Week 9 after missing the past five games with a chest injury, and he showed an instant rapport with Jay Cutler once again. The two played with each other at Vanderbilt, and Cutler targeted Bennett five times. He might not score on a consistent basis with only five career touchdowns prior to this year, but he should be used in all PPR formats. He had 100 catches over his past two seasons and should finish the year as Chicago's best receiver as long as he can remain healthy.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Raiders
Owned: 15 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had one catch for 28 yards vs. Denver.
Analysis: Even though Houshmandzadeh is back with Palmer, don't expect him to be much of a factor going forward. He had just four targets against the Broncos, and the Raiders should rely on Ford, Moore and Heyward-Bey over Houshmandzadeh. His best days are behind him, and Fantasy owners should ignore him in all leagues.
Vincent Brown, Chargers
Owned: Not owned
Week 9: Had four catches for 79 yards vs. Green Bay.
Analysis: The Chargers could lean on Brown going forward as long as Malcom Floyd (hip) remains out. Floyd was out against the Packers, and Brown had six targets in the game. He is clearly behind Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates and Mike Tolbert on the pecking order for passes, but Philip Rivers will spread the ball around. If Brown plays well against Oakland in Week 10 and Floyd is out for an extended period of time then you should consider adding him in deeper leagues.
Jake Ballard, Giants
Owned: 60 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had four catches for 67 yards and a touchdown at New England.
Analysis: Fantasy owners need to realize that Ballard is for real. He has three touchdowns in his past five games and continues to be a favorite target for Eli Manning with 14 targets in his past two games. At this point Ballard has become a better starting option than Vernon Davis, so if he's still available add him in all leagues.
Anthony Fasano, Dolphins
Owned: 2 percent
Week 9: Had two catches for 38 yards and two touchdowns at Kansas City.
Analysis: Fasano had a great game in Week 9 with 15 Fantasy points, but he's just too inconsistent to trust. Prior to Week 9, Fasano had just 19 Fantasy points on the season. If he starts to become more of a red-zone target for the Dolphins then he might be worth adding in all leagues, but Fantasy owners can do much better than Fasano in most formats.
Jacob Tamme, Colts
Owned: Not owned
Week 9: Had two catches for 6 yards vs. Atlanta.
Analysis: Dallas Clark (leg) is out for Week 10 against Jacksonville and possibly longer, and Tamme showed in 2010 that he could be a capable replacement for Clark when he had 67 catches for 631 yards and four touchdowns. Granted, that was with Peyton Manning at quarterback, but if Tamme starts to play well with Clark out then he could be worth adding in deeper formats.