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Waiver Wire: Time to hunt the Hunter

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Kendall Hunter is on the verge of becoming very Fantasy relevant. It could happen in Week 11 if Frank Gore is out or limited, or it could be down the road as the 49ers continue to prepare for the playoffs.

Gore hurt his knee in Week 10 against the Giants and was unable to finish the game. Coach Jim Harbaugh already said Gore should play in Week 11 against Arizona, but you know how injuries work. And Gore has already been dealing with ankle problems.

If he is out against the Cardinals then Hunter would be worth starting in the majority of leagues. He is owned in just 45 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com, but he played well against the Giants once Gore left the game. Hunter finished with six carries for 40 yards and a touchdown.

He has two touchdowns on the season and three games with at least nine Fantasy points while playing behind Gore. The 49ers would remain a run-first team with Hunter even if Gore is out.

And looking ahead, with the 49ers at 8-1 and with a firm grasp on the NFC West, they could start resting Gore as the season winds down. If San Francisco feels it can't catch Green Bay for the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC then look for Gore to get limited carries or even sit, especially if his knee and ankle problems persist.

It goes without saying that every Gore owner should add Hunter now if you don't own him already. But all Fantasy owners should grab Hunter where available in case he becomes a starter as early as Week 11.

In case you haven't noticed ... Laurent Robinson is going to continue to play well as an injury replacement for Miles Austin (hamstring). Robinson, who had three catches for 72 yards and two touchdowns in Week 10 against Buffalo, now has four touchdowns in his past three games with 44 Fantasy points over that span. The Cowboys have a favorable schedule going forward with Washington, Miami and Arizona in the next three weeks, which should help Robinson and is the timetable when Austin will likely remain out. He is owned in 70 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com, but all Fantasy owners should add him where available. It might even be worth dropping Austin to add Robinson if you need to win in your Fantasy league now with the hopes of making the playoffs.

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

Carson Palmer, Raiders
Owned: 66 percent of leagues
Week 10: Completed 14 of 20 passes for 299 yards, two touchdowns and one interception at San Diego.
Analysis: We said last week to add Palmer, and we'll hammer home the point again this week. He has now played well for two games in a row and should excel in Week 11 at Minnesota. Palmer is averaging 22 Fantasy points in two starts against Denver and San Diego, and the Vikings are a favorable opponent. If you're missing Drew Brees or Ben Roethlisberger on a bye or just lost Matt Schaub (foot) or Matt Cassel (hand) and Palmer is still available then add him and start him with him confidence.

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Avoid 'Em

Rex Grossman, Redskins
Owned: 7 percent of leagues
Week 10: Completed 21 of 32 passes for 215 yards and two interceptions at Miami.
Analysis: Grossman returned as the starter for the Redskins in Week 10 against the Dolphins in place of John Beck, and Grossman did not play well. Even though he started out the season with 41 Fantasy points in his first two games against the Giants and Arizona, he has combined for 20 points in his next four starts. The Redskins are a mess right now, and the only player in Washington worth owning in all leagues is tight end Fred Davis.

Tyler Palko, Chiefs
Owned: Not owned
Week 10: Completed 5 of 6 passes for 47 yards vs. Denver.
Analysis: Palko is expected to start for the Chiefs in Week 11 at New England and possibly the rest of the season with Cassel (hand) injured. We're not expecting much from Palko since even Cassel has struggled this season, especially recently with some favorable matchups against Oakland, Miami and Denver. If Palko does come out and play well then he could be worth adding in deeper leagues, but we're not expecting much from the career backup.

Scout 'Em

Vince Young, Eagles
Owned: 4 percent of leagues
Week 10: Did not attempt a pass vs. Arizona.
Analysis: Michael Vick has two broken ribs, so there is a chance he could sit in Week 11 at the Giants or down the road if the Eagles continue to lose. If Vick is out then Young would start, and he could be useful for Fantasy owners in deeper leagues. Young has never been a great Fantasy quarterback, but he has been good at times. He's also never had weapons like this, so Young might end up being a factor in several Fantasy leagues if Vick misses any time.

John Skelton, Cardinals
Owned: 2 percent of leagues
Week 10: Completed 21 of 40 passes for 315 yards, three touchdowns and two interception at Philadelphia.
Analysis: The Cardinals might want to stick with Skelton instead of Kevin Kolb even when Kolb returns from his toe injury. Skelton has looked better than Kolb this season in his past two games, where he has combined for 44 Fantasy points. Larry Fitzgerald owners definitely like Skelton since the two have connected for three touchdowns. This week, Skelton has a tough test at San Francisco, but if he continues to play well while Kolb is out he could be useful for Fantasy owners in deeper leagues to close the season.

Matt Leinart, Texans
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 10: Did not attempt a pass at Tampa Bay.
Analysis: It appears like Schaub is out for the season, which would give Leinart the starting job for the Texans. While he has a lot to prove before Fantasy owners could trust him, there is an opportunity here for him to succeed when Houston returns from its bye in Week 11. Andre Johnson (hamstring) should return in Week 12 at Jacksonville, and Leinart would have plenty of talent around him. The Texans will remain a running team, but they also have a favorable schedule remaining, which could help Leinart succeed as a starter in deeper formats.

Running back

Add 'Em

Lance Ball, Broncos
Owned: 2 percent of leagues
Week 10: Had 30 carries for 96 yards at Kansas City.
Analysis: Ball is not a good Fantasy running back, but he does have a good opportunity in front of him if Willis McGahee (hamstring) is out in Week 11 against the Jets now that Knowshon Moreno (torn ACL) is out for the season. McGahee has a chance to play, but this is a short week for the Broncos with the game against the Jets on Thursday night. The Broncos are clearly going to be a run-dominated team after Tim Tebow attempted just eight passes against the Chiefs, and Ball could be a flex option in Week 11 if he starts in place of McGahee.

Avoid 'Em

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Derrick Ward, Texans
Owned: 3 percent of leagues
Week 10: Had 11 carries for 36 yards and a touchdown at Tampa Bay.
Analysis: Ward would be a solid Fantasy option if he was the starter for the Texans or played on a different team, but he's third on the pecking order behind Arian Foster and Ben Tate. Even though Houston is running the ball at an unbelievable level, Foster and Tate will get the majority of the production, with Ward only getting an extended look in a blowout situation like he had against the Bucs. Ward should only be owned if Foster or Tate suffers an injury.

Scout 'Em

Kevin Smith, Lions
Owned: 3 percent of leagues
Week 10: Had four carries for 19 yards and two catches for 10 yards at Chicago.
Analysis: The Lions re-signed Smith this past week, and he ran well toward the end of a blowout loss against the Bears. If Jahvid Best (concussion) is lost for the season then Smith might be worth adding in deeper leagues. Maurice Morris would remain the starter, but the Lions might share carries with Smith since he used to be their featured back as recently as 2009.

Taiwan Jones, Raiders
Owned: 7 percent of leagues
Week 10: Had seven carries for 39 yards at San Diego.
Analysis: As long as Darren McFadden (foot) remains out then Jones will be No. 2 on the depth chart behind Michael Bush. He ran well against the Chargers in Week 10 in his first extended look this year, and the Raiders might give him more touches to keep Bush healthy. Keep him on your radar in deeper leagues, and if you own Bush and have the roster space, you might want to add him now.

Wide receiver

Add 'Em

Denarius Moore, Raiders
Owned: 36 percent of leagues
Week 10: Had five catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns at San Diego.
Analysis: Moore is back after being non-existent for the past four games, but he has done well since Palmer took over as the starting quarterback. He has 19 targets in two games with Palmer as the starter, and his value could rise if Jacoby Ford (ankle) is out in Week 11 at Minnesota. Moore is a must-own Fantasy receiver again. Remember, he had a three-game stretch from Week 2 to Week 4 with 40 Fantasy points, and the talent is there for him to be a star. Now he has a quarterback who can get him the ball, and he should finish the season strong.

Damian Williams, Titans
Owned: 8 percent of leagues
Week 10: Had five catches for 107 yards and a touchdown at Carolina.
Analysis: Williams had seven targets against the Panthers, and he has stepped up his performance since Kenny Britt (knee) was lost for the season. Williams has four touchdowns in his past six games, and Matt Hasselbeck is relying on him quite a bit, especially with Nate Washington and Jared Cook disappearing. If he continues to play at this level he could be a solid No. 3 Fantasy receiver for the rest of the year.

Vincent Brown, Chargers
Owned: 3 percent of leagues
Week 10: Had five catches for 97 yards and a touchdown vs. Oakland.
Analysis: We had Brown as a scout last week, and then he played well against the Raiders. He should have had two touchdowns in Week 10, but it's clear as long as Malcom Floyd (hip) is out that Brown will remain a significant contributor in the passing game since he has nine catches for 176 yards and a touchdown in his past two outings. He also has 15 targets over that span, and Philip Rivers will not be afraid to throw his way going forward.

Avoid 'Em

Chad Ochocinco, Patriots
Owned: 24 percent of leagues
Week 10: Had two catches for 65 yards at the Jets.
Analysis: There was an Ochocinco sighting Sunday night in Week 10 when he finally looked like he was involved. But just because he was running free on a long reception doesn't mean he is back to being a solid contributor. He only had two targets against the Jets, and he disappeared in the second half. He might be getting more playing time in recent weeks, but he's still fifth on the pecking order at best behind Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. Our advice is to leave Ochocinco alone in the majority of leagues.

Jerricho Cotchery, Steelers
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 10: Had two catches for 29 yards and a touchdown at Cincinnati.
Analysis: Cotchery had one touchdown against the Bengals, and he also had another one called back due to a penalty. But even with the sudden involvement (which comes with Emmanuel Sanders out), he is not worth owning in the majority of leagues. He might continue to play ahead of Hines Ward as the No. 3 receiver, but Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Heath Miller will still dominate the targets. Cotchery should only be added in deeper leagues if Sanders is out for the rest of the season and he continues to play at this level on a consistent basis.

Scout 'Em

Harry Douglas, Falcons
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 10: Had eight catches for 133 yards vs. New Orleans.
Analysis: Douglas has played well of late with at least five Fantasy points in three of his past four games, and he could have an opportunity to remain relevant if Julio Jones (hamstring) is out. Jones left the game with the Saints, and although he's expected to play in Week 11 against Tennessee, he's already dealt with one hamstring injury this season, which knocked him out for two games. Douglas had 14 targets against the Saints, and Matt Ryan will continue to look in his direction if Jones is out.

Steve Smith, Eagles
Owned: 4 percent of leagues
Week 10: Had five catches for 47 yards vs. Arizona.
Analysis: The Eagles receiving corps was out of whack against the Cardinals with DeSean Jackson benched for missing a team meeting and then Jeremy Maclin (shoulder/hamstring) getting hurt. Jackson should return in Week 11 at the Giants, but Maclin could sit out. That could open the door for Smith and Jason Avant to step up, but Smith had his best performance of the season against the Cardinals, including 10 targets. If he's back to 100 percent with his knee injury then he should be considered the No. 3 receiver for the Eagles and would benefit the most if Maclin is out.

Tight end

Add 'Em

Ed Dickson, Ravens
Owned: 23 percent of leagues
Week 10: Had 10 catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns at Seattle.
Analysis: We've been waiting for Dickson to do something since his performance in Week 1 when he had 11 Fantasy points against the Steelers, but he's disappeared ever since. But he rebounded in a big way against the Seahawks, including 14 targets. Dickson continues to share playing time with Dennis Pitta, but Dickson has more big-play ability. He is worth adding and starting in deeper leagues in Week 11 against Cincinnati.

Avoid 'Em

Jermaine Gresham, Bengals
Owned: 52 percent of leagues
Week 10: Had four catches for 23 yards and a touchdown vs. Pittsburgh.
Analysis: This is an avoid for one week only since Fantasy owners can still rely on Gresham as the season winds down. He played well against the Steelers, especially after being out the previous two games with a hamstring injury. But he faces Baltimore in Week 11, so those owners without Jimmy Graham, Owen Daniels or Heath Miller this week should look elsewhere for a one-week replacement since the Ravens have been phenomenal against tight ends all season.

Scout 'Em

Jacob Tamme, Colts
Owned: 2 percent of leagues
Week 9: Had six catches for 75 yards vs. Jacksonville.
Analysis: We had Tamme in this spot last week, and we'll keep him here again as long as Dallas Clark (leg) is out. Tamme had eight targets against the Jaguars, and we'll find out what the Colts do with Clark after the bye in Week 11. But Tamme showed in 2010 that he could step up when Clark was out with a wrist injury, and he could be a useful option for Fantasy owners in deeper leagues even with the poor quarterback play for the Colts with Peyton Manning (neck) 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
Report: Cardinals' Daryl Washington unsure of NFL standing
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington is approaching the one-year mark for his suspension though his NFL status is still in limbo. 

But according to a report from FOX Sports 910 in Phoenix, Washington is unsure about his status with the league. He was suspended a year ago on May 30, 2014 for being a multiple offender of the NFL's substance-abuse policy. 

However, he was expected to apply for reinstatement a month ago but did not do so. 

Assuming Washington is reinstated to the NFL at some point he will likely be subjected to punishment under the NFL's domestic violence policy. On March 24, 2014, he pleaded guilty to assaulting his ex-girlfriend. 


Titans' Massaquoi rehabbing shoulder, to miss OTA's
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/22/2015) Outside linebacker Jonathan Massaquoi will not participate in the Titans' first organized team activities, per ESPN.com.

Massaquoi, who was claimed off waivers from the Falcons earlier this year, is recovering from shoulder surgery. He had a bone spur removed from the area, but the procedure was categorized as a minor cleanup.

Massaquoi recorded 22 tackles in 15 games with Atlanta last season.


Entering third season, 49ers' Lawrence Okoye eyeing roster spot
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/22/2015) This might finally be the year Lawrence Okoye can crack a spot on the 49ers' roster, per the Bay Area News Group.

Okoye, a former British Olympics discus thrower and rugby player, is feeling confident about his improvements and feels like his potential is worth a roster spot.

“It’s very different from the first time I came here. I’m feeling very good about things,” Okoye said Thursday while sitting at his locker. “I’m just happy I was given the opportunity to stay here so long, so I could catch up. I have a good opportunity to show what I can do.”

Okoye has worked under new head coach Jim Tomsula for two years and with Justin Smith's retirement, his emergence might be rewarded.

“You’re going to get lots of people telling you things. But the main thing is to just keep yourself motivated, despite what people say about you," Okoye said. "People will write you off. People will say this or that. Just keep yourself motivated, keep going every day and you’ll be good.”

 


Bengals' Terrelle Pryor still dreams about winning it all
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/22/2015) Terrelle Pryor's chances of taking the Bengals to the Super Bowl and winning it are slim, but that won’t stop him from dreaming.

Pryor -- in his fourth year in the league -- dreams about winning the Super Bowl with quite some frequency, he just isn't sure what team he's doing it with.

“I don’t know the team. It’s always in black uniforms,” Pryor said. “I didn’t see any orange. No, it’s not the Raiders. But I believe it can happen because I can visualize it like that. I’m into visualization.”

Pryor hasn't played a down since the 2013 regular season, when he passed for 1,798 yards, seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 11 games.


Flowers' college position coach thinks he can fill in for injured Beatty
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/22/2015) Things are moving really fast for Giants offensive lineman Ereck Flowers. The eighth overall pick in the draft, because of an injury to Will Beatty, might have inherited a huge workload this season, per nj.com.

Art Kehoe, Flowers' offensive line coach at the University of Miami, thinks Flowers will be up to the task of protecting quarterback Eli Manning.

"I'm sure he raised his level up a notch or two, but I think he plays every week, I think he plays hard in practice," Kehoe said. "He's an unproven commodity at the next level, and he's a high draft pick, [the Giants] drafted him to be a fixer, so I'm sure he's going in there to do what he did in Miami — scrap his ass off every day in practice, and if you're supposed to be a badass the next weekend [against] your opponent, he's gonna be there and he's gonna bring everything he's got. That's what he does. He wants to know that there's a dude, and he has to take care of him, and he'll be up to the challenge.

Giants' 2013 first-round pick, Justin Pugh is also a top candidate to fill in for the injured Beatty.


Union: Goodell must back off hearing of Patriots QB Tom Brady
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith is growing impatient awaiting word from Roger Goodell on the request of the NFL commissioner to recuse himself as arbitrator of the appeal hearings ofPatriots quarterback Tom Brady.

The league suspended Brady for the first four games next season for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal, claiming that he likely knew that game balls were being deflated for his benefit before the 2014 AFC title game.

Smith is claiming that neither Goodell nor the Wells Report, which investigated the incident, could legitimately claim impartiality. He added that the NFLPA will "advance the volume" of the request if they don't hear from Goodell by next week. Part of the union's press release reads as follows:

Given a process that has contained procedural violations of our collective bargaining agreement, the Commissioner's role as a central witness in the appeal hearing and his evident partiality with respect to the Wells report, the Commissioner must designate a neutral party to serve as arbitrator in this matter. The players also believe that the Commissioner's history of inconsistently issuing discipline against our players makes him ill-suited to hear this appeal in a fair-minded manner.

As for the Wells Report, Smith stated that "you can't really have credibility just because you slap the word independent on a piece of paper." He offered into evidence the findings in regard to NFL official Walt Anderson, who was a key figure in the investigation, citing one part of the report questions his memory and another credits it.


Zimmer happy with progress of Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) Mike Zimmer has expressed optimism that underachieving Vikings wideout Cordarrelle Patterson is gaining a better understanding of route-running and the nuances of playing the position in the NFL, which would allow his talent to result in greater productivity.

Patterson took a step back in 2014 after a mediocre rookie year. He played in every game, but managed just 33 receptions for 384 yards and one touchdown. He has since stated that 2015 is his make-or-break year and is apparently acting like it in the offseason.

"He's done real well," Zimmer told Fox Sports North. "He's running routes good. He's working hard. So we just need him to continue to do those things and continue to keep getting consistent and keep improving. I've been impressed."


GM: Dolphins LT Branden Albert should be fine for Week 1
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey has expressed optimism that left tackle Branden Albert will be ready to roll by the regular season opener.

Albert has been rehabbing from a torn ACL and MCL sustained last November against Detroit. He had signed a five-year, $46 million contract the previous March and had been performing particularly well before going down.

"It's been a long rehab and he's really attacked it every day," Hickey told SiriusXM NFL Radio, adding that there was a "reasonable explanation" that he would be ready for Week 1. "We really like his progress. He's out there with his team working out. We're really encouraged by what we're seeing with him."

Ja'Wuan Williams was forced to move to left tackle following the Albert injury in 2014. But he struggled at that position and is expected to move to his more familiar right tackle spot this year.


Report: Bills still want to extend Marcell Dareus
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) The Bills still want to extend the contract of defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, according to a report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

Despite the one-game suspension levied by the league against Dareus on Thursday, the team still hopes to have an extension wrapped up before the start of training camp. 

2015 is scheduled to be the last season of Dareus' current contract. He'll make $8.06 million.


Shanahan: Struggles of Robert Griffin III unrelated to injury
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/22/2015) Former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan does not believe injuries have prevented quarterback Robert Griffin III from maximizing his potential in the NFL. Rather, he feels it was the team not creating an offensive system that best fits his talents and his own belief that he could play a traditional role at that position.

Griffin sustained a serious knee injury in the 2012 playoffs. He then struggled in 2013 in an offense designed to transform him into a drop-back quarterback rather than one that took advantage of his mobility. He suffered another knee injury last year and did not perform well in the offense of new coach Jay Gruden.

"I don't think getting hurt has anything to do with it," Shanahan told 106.7 The Fan. "In college he didn't have a route tree, didn't have a playbook. That does take some time. ... If you take a quarterback like that you must run the kind of system that allows him to be successful. ... I really believe Robert thought he was more of a drop-back quarterback. He hasn't done things the NFL asks you to do. It does take some growing pains. You better really work on it inside and out."

Some have wondered why the Redskins went so hard after Griffin if they weren't willing to create an offense that maximizes his skill set.


 
 
 
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