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Waiver Wire: Mr. Smith comes back to Motown

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Welcome back, Kevin Smith. It's good to see you again. It will be good to have you owned in all Fantasy leagues for Week 12.

Smith, who spent three years in Detroit, did not have a team when the season started, and the Lions decided to bring him back in Week 10 with Jahvid Best (concussion) out. Smith got a little playing time against the Bears in Week 10, but he exploded in Week 11 against Carolina with 16 carries for 140 yards and two touchdowns and four catches for 61 yards and a touchdown.

He had 38 Fantasy points against the Panthers. To put his performance in perspective, it was the second-best Fantasy outing for a running back this season behind Arian Foster's 40 points in Week 7.

Smith, who is owned in 7 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com, is worth adding in all formats. But the question now is if Smith can do it again and what his role will be moving forward. Keep in mind that Smith's breakout game came against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL.

For Week 12, he should be considered a starting Fantasy running back, especially if Adrian Peterson (ankle) and Fred Jackson (calf) are out. He has a matchup where he can succeed against Green Bay on Thanksgiving Day. The Packers have allowed either a touchdown or 100 total yards to a running back in each of their past seven games.

Smith can play a significant role for Fantasy owners down the stretch, especially if Best is out for the rest of the season. Maurice Morris doesn't have as much talent as Smith, and Keiland Williams has no Fantasy value at all.

You should plan to add Smith now in case he plays a prominent role for many Fantasy teams heading into the playoffs. His return could turn into a great benefit for the Lions and Fantasy owners.

In case you haven't noticed ... Chris Ogbonnaya has become a quality replacement running back for the Browns and Fantasy owners. Ogbonnaya had 18 Fantasy points against Jacksonville in Week 11 and has 40 carries for 205 yards and a touchdown and four catches for 38 yards in his past two games. Peyton Hillis (hamstring) has already been ruled out for Week 12 at Cincinnati, and Montario Hardesty (calf) is no lock to return. Put Hardesty, who is owned in 38 percent of leagues, on your scout list, but Ogbonnaya (64 percent) should be owned in all formats. He is facing a Bengals run defense in Week 12 that has allowed either a touchdown or 100 total yards to a running back in each of its past five games.

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 Leinart, Texans
Owned: 23 percent of leagues
Week 11: On bye.
Analysis: Leinart will start in Week 12 against Jacksonville and he's worth adding in all leagues with the hope he can play close to the level of Matt Schaub (foot) before he got injured. Leinart has plenty of talent around him in Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels and Arian Foster, and Foster told me Sunday that Leinart can get the job done. Schaub averaged 18 Fantasy points a game, and Leinart has the potential to reach that total on a weekly basis if he makes smart decisions and takes advantage of his weapons.

Vince Young, Eagles
Owned: 16 percent of leagues
Week 11: Completed 23 of 36 passes for 258 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions at the Giants.
Analysis: Michael Vick (ribs) could be out again in Week 12 against New England, which would allow Young to start in a favorable matchup. He lost out on another two Fantasy points against the Giants when DeSean Jackson was flagged for taunting, but Young has the potential for 18-plus Fantasy points in Week 12. If you're stuck at quarterback this week then pick up Young as a replacement option.

Matt Moore, Dolphins
Owned: 16 percent of leagues
Week 11: Completed 14 of 20 passes for 160 yards and three touchdowns vs. Buffalo.
Analysis: Moore is worth a look in deeper leagues because he has been a big reason for Miami's three-game winning streak. He has two games over that span with three touchdowns, but keep in mind who he has faced in Kansas City and Buffalo. Every time Moore has been forced to throw, and he has four games with at least 26 passes, he has combined for one touchdown and four interceptions. We'll see how he does at Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, but Moore is worth a look with all the injuries at quarterback.

Avoid 'Em

Rex Grossman, Redskins
Owned: 9 percent of leagues
Week 11: Completed 25 of 38 passes for 289 yards, two touchdowns and one interception vs. Dallas.
Analysis: Grossman had his best game of the season against the Cowboys with 28 Fantasy points, but he remains too risky to use in most formats. He plays at Seattle in Week 12, and Grossman has two touchdowns and five interceptions in three road starts this year. Grossman is only worth starting in the deepest of leagues against the Seahawks.

Scout 'Em

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Jake Locker, Titans
Owned: 3 percent of leagues
Week 11: Completed 9 of 19 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns at Atlanta and had one carry for 11 yards.
Analysis: The Titans might start Locker in Week 12 against Tampa Bay if Matt Hasselbeck (elbow) is out, and Locker looked ready to step in with his performance against the Falcons. He would have a favorable matchup against the Bucs if you want to gamble and add him now, but Locker's main Fantasy value lies in the future. Still, with all the quarterbacks hurt, Locker could be needed as a starting option in deeper leagues.

Caleb Hanie, Bears
Owned: Not owned
Week 11: Did not play.
Analysis: The Bears will turn to Hanie now for the foreseeable future with Jay Cutler (thumb) out. We'll find out if he can play at a high level and take advantage of playing for offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Keep in mind the Bears will rely heavily on their ground game and Cutler had just five games with at least 20 Fantasy points. But Hanie has an opportunity in front of him that could lead to success. The last time he played was as Cutler's replacement in the NFC Championship Game against the Packers last season, and he finished with 153 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Kyle Orton, free agent
Owned: 7 percent of leagues
Week 11: Did not play.
Analysis: The Broncos waived Orton on Tuesday, and he has the chance to land with a team looking for a starting quarterback. The obvious destinations would be Houston, Chicago or Kansas City where he could keep the Texans and Bears in playoff contention or help the Chiefs get back in the mix in the AFC West. Keep an eye on where he lands because he could provide a boost for Fantasy owners if he returns as a starter as an injury replacement.

Running back

Add 'Em

Ryan Grant, Packers
Owned: 57 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had four carries for 16 yards vs. Tampa Bay.
Analysis: There is a chance James Starks (knee) could play in Week 12 at Detroit, but he might sit out with the game on Thanksgiving Day during a short week. That could open the door for Grant to produce with increased touches. Grant has not run well this season, but he's only had one game with double digits in carries, which was Week 3 at Chicago when he had 17 for 92 yards. Grant is not going to produce at a high level, but he could be needed in deeper leagues if Starks can't play.

Donald Brown, Colts
Owned: 26 percent of leagues
Week 11: On bye.
Analysis: Joseph Addai (hamstring) could return in Week 12, but if he's out then Brown would have a dream matchup against Carolina. The Colts don't have many promising Fantasy options at this point, but the starting running back against the Panthers would have plenty of potential (see Smith above). Brown has at least six Fantasy points in four of his past five games with two touchdowns over that span, and he would have more value than Delone Carter if Addai remains out. Brown should be the No. 2 running back to add this week behind Smith.

Avoid 'Em

C.J. Spiller, Bills
Owned: 29 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had three carries for 2 yards and two catches for 18 yards at Miami.
Analysis: Jackson could sit in Week 12 at the Jets, which would open the door for Spiller to start. But he would only be worth using in deep point per reception leagues since he could also see playing time at receiver with Donald Jones (ankle) out. Still, Spiller got stuffed at the goal line against the Dolphins, and Buffalo's offensive line woes will limit his production. He is not going to be a quality replacement for Jackson.

Scout 'Em

Joe McKnight, Jets
Owned: 6 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had 16 carries for 59 yards and six catches for 62 yards and a fumble at Denver.
Analysis: McKnight stepped up against the Broncos with LaDainian Tomlinson (knee) out and Shonn Greene (ribs) going down. Greene should return in Week 12 against Buffalo, but Tomlinson could be out again. If that scenario happens then McKnight is worth adding in deeper leagues. And if Greene is out then McKnight should be added in all formats. Just keep an eye on the news heading into the matchup with the Bills. Buffalo has struggled in run defense all season, and last year McKnight started against the Bills in the season finale with Greene and Tomlinson resting and had 32 carries for 158 yards and two catches for 15 yards.

Toby Gerhart, Vikings
Owned: 10 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had seven carries for 18 yards vs. Oakland.
Analysis: Peterson could sit out in Week 12 at Atlanta, but Gerhart would not be a quality replacement option in a tough matchup against the Falcons, who just held Chris Johnson to two Fantasy points in Week 11. We would rather see the Vikings use Percy Harvin in the backfield over Gerhart if Peterson is out. And if Peterson does sit in Week 12, the early reports are he would be out for just one game depending on the severity of his ankle injury. If you have to add Gerhart, do it with low expectations.

Wide receiver

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Add 'Em

Santana Moss, Redskins
Owned: 60 percent of leagues
Week 11: Did not play.
Analysis: Moss has missed the past four games after having hand surgery, but he's getting close to a return. He could be useful to Fantasy owners since he had at least seven points in each of his first four games, with two touchdowns over that span. We'd love to see Moss back in Week 14 against New England since that would be a favorable matchup. In the meantime, keep an eye on Jabar Gaffney (48 percent), who has double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three games.

Jerome Simpson, Bengals
Owned: 40 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had eight catches for 152 yards at Baltimore.
Analysis: Simpson is a regular in this column, and he continues to play well with at least seven Fantasy points in three of his past four games. He had his best performance of the season against the Ravens with A.J. Green (knee) out. Now, he does have tough matchups ahead if he remains the No. 1 target against Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Houston the next three games, but he's still worth adding in all formats since Andy Dalton continues to throw his way. He had 13 targets in Week 11.

Nate Burleson, Lions
Owned: 40 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had seven catches for 63 yards and a touchdown vs. Carolina.
Analysis: Burleson has become more involved over the past two games with 16 targets, and he has 15 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown over that span for his best two-game stretch of the season. He should see plenty of targets in Week 12 against Green Bay, and it might be time to add Burleson again after he was dropped in most leagues earlier this year.

Michael Crabtree, 49ers
Owned: 66 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had seven catches for 120 yards vs. Arizona.
Analysis: Crabtree is an inconsistent Fantasy option since he has just two games with double digits in Fantasy points on the season, but the 49ers might be throwing more as the year goes on. Crabtree is the best receiver on the team, and he had 10 targets against the Cardinals. We like Crabtree in Weeks 13 and 14 with matchups against St. Louis and Arizona in consecutive games.

Avoid 'Em

Johnny Knox, Bears
Owned: 23 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had three catches for 97 yards and a touchdown vs. San Diego.
Analysis: Knox had his best outing of the season with his first touchdown, but it comes in the same game when Cutler breaks his thumb. Maybe Knox comes out and plays well with Hanie, but we're not buying it since Knox has been a disappointment all year. He had just five targets against the Chargers, and playing time could be tough to come by if the Bears get conservative, as expected, and rely more on their run game.

Scout 'Em

Riley Cooper, Eagles
Owned: Not owned
Week 11: Had five catches for 75 yards and a touchdown at the Giants.
Analysis: Cooper had his first catch of the season against the Giants, but he appeared to have an instant rapport with Young with 12 targets. If Jeremy Maclin (shoulder) remains out against New England in Week 12 then Cooper might be worth starting in deeper leagues based on the matchup. Keep an eye on what happens with Maclin and Vick, but Cooper could be a useful Fantasy option to close the year.

Tight end

Add 'Em

Jermaine Gresham, Bengals
Owned: 56 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had three catches for 48 yards at Baltimore.
Analysis: Gresham should have had a touchdown against the Ravens, but the play was ruled incomplete. He should rebound in Week 12 against Cleveland. Gresham scored against the Browns in Week 1 and Cleveland has allowed five touchdowns to tight ends on the season. Even Marcedes Lewis had seven catches for 64 yards against the Browns in Week 11, which should bode well for Gresham.

Avoid 'Em

Charles Clay, Dolphins
Owned: Not owned
Week 11: Had four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown vs. Buffalo.
Analysis: Anthony Fasano (9 percent) remains the tight end to own for the Dolphins, and we had him as a sleeper in Week 11. He had his fourth touchdown in his past five games and has developed a solid rapport with Moore. Clay also has played well with Moore, but this was his first touchdown on the season. Don't expect many more to close the year since he had just four targets against the Bills, which was a season high.

Scout 'Em

Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars
Owned: 18 percent of leagues
Week 11: Had seven catches for 64 yards at Cleveland.
Analysis: Lewis had his best game of the season, and Blaine Gabbert finally looked in his direction on a consistent basis with 11 targets. We're not optimistic for Lewis in Week 12 against Houston, but he is worth keeping an eye on in case he becomes more involved in the passing game. Remember, Lewis had 10 touchdowns last season and is still capable of making plays when his number is called.

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
Steelers not expected to re-sign Ike Taylor
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:55 am ET) The Steelers likely won't re-sign impending free agent cornerback Ike Taylor, reports ESPN.com. Taylor, 34, dealt with multiple injuries this season and finished with 16 tackles in five games.

Taylor has spent his entire 12-year career with Pittsburgh. He said this month he's OK with 2014 being his last season.


Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart looking to build off strong finish
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:37 am ET) Over the last five weeks of the regular season, Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart rushed for 486 yards, second only to Dallas' DeMarco Murray. Stewart followed that up with 123 yards and a touchdown in the playoff win over Arizona.

"I'm really excited for next year," Stewart told the team's website. "You have to find your zone throughout the offseason. It starts now."

Stewart got the chance to be a workhorse when DeAngelo Williams fractured his hand Week 13. ESPN.com reports there's a "strong possibility" the Panthers will release the 31-year-old Williams this offseason, leaving Stewart, 27, as the unquestioned starter.

"It's just part of the journey," Stewart said of the individual success he had toward season's end. "The moment you start focusing on that, you miss out on other things along the journey."


Report: Patriots hoping to sign Darrelle Revis to long-term extension
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) The Patriots are reportedly looking to sign cornerback Darrelle Revis to a long-term extension, according Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

However, New England has not ruled out paying Revis the $20 million team option in 2015, Rapoport reports. The decision needs to be made by April 1, when a $12 million roster bonus kicks in for Revis.

Revis totaled 47 tackles in 16 games for the Patriots, grabbing two interceptions and forcing one fumble.


C.J. Spiller expecting 'March Madness' style free agency
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) Bills running back C.J. Spiller is getting healthy again. Spiller, who has fully recovered from a shoulder injury, just ended the final season of his contract and is looking at his options for next season.

"Physically, I’m back to 100 percent, back to doing normal activities," Spiller told The Post and Courier on Friday. "As far as football, free agency will start in March, and I’ll get with my people next week and get a game plan together."

Spiller has played five seasons for the Bills, only playing two full years. He ran for 1,244 yards in 2012 with six touchdowns.

"I guess you could say it’ll be March Madness," Spiller said with a smile. "It’ll be a fun March."


Report: Rams among teams interested in trade for Eagles' Foles
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) Teams are beginning to show interest in Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, as reports are surfacing Philadelphia is unsure of what to do with the third-year quarterback, per NJ.com. A source said the Rams have interest in Foles should the Eagles choose to trade him this offseason. 

The Titans and Texans have also been mentioned as teams that would have interest in Foles, if he hits the trade market.

It's still unclear if the Eagles would be willing to move Foles. NJ.com reported last week the Eagles, who have the 20th pick in the NFL Draft, are considering making a run at Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota in the draft. 

"From No. 20, it's certainly not going to be easy,'' a source said. "It's probably going to take moving up twice to do it. There's going to be some wheeling and dealing involved.

"Can it happen? I don't know. But they're going to try."

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly recruited Mariota to Oregon and coached him for two years.

"Obviously, [with] my relationship with coach Kelly, it'd be a lot of fun to be a part of that offense and be a part of that team," Mariota said when asked about a potential reunion with Kelly.

Foles is 15-9 as a starter in the NFL, but he has yet to play a full season. He has completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 6,753 yards, 46 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.


Colts' Luck on new contract: 'There's nothing there right now'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) An ESPN report surfaced last week stating the Colts were working on making quarterback Andrew Luck the highest-paid player in the NFL. When asked about the subject at the Pro Bowl, Luck seemed surprise when he heard the news.

"There's nothing there right now," Luck said, per The Indianapolis Star. "I didn't think about it all during the season and it's only been a few days since it ended. I haven't thought about it. I will have conversations with my agent just because you have to prepare, but I'm not sure where that report came from."

Luck has two years remaining on the $22 million deal he signed as a rookie in 2012. It includes a team option for 2016, which must be exercised later this year.

Luck just completed his third season in the NFL. He has been to the Pro Bowl every year he's been in the NFL. He's gone 11-5 in every season as an NFL starter. He threw for a career-best 40 touchdowns in 2014 and led Indianapolis to the AFC title game this season.


Seahawks' Sherman disappointed he won't receive gifts from Pro Bowl
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) In case you missed Sunday's Pro Bowl, Team Irvin knocked off Team Carter, 32-28, thanks to a second-half rally, which included touchdown catches by Emmanuel Sanders and Jimmy Graham.

While many Pro Bowl players that made the original roster were absent from the game due to injuries, Pro Bowl players from the Patriots and Seahawks also did not play due to preparations for next Sunday's Super Bowl.

One player who seemed upset about missing the Pro Bowl was Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. However, it was for a reason you probably wouldn't suspect.

“Only thing I’m disappointed in is they won’t give us our gifts from the Pro Bowl, which is kind of dumb,” Sherman said, per The Boston Globe. “The NFL is the only league that punishes the players who actually make the All-Star game by not giving them their gifts. It’s supposed to be watches and some other stuff, but we don’t get them so I couldn’t tell you.”


Patriots' Tom Brady on Deflategate: 'My feelings got hurt'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) If you have been out of the loop for the last week, then you might be unaware the Patriots have been under a lot of scrutiny since the AFC title game due to improperly inflated footballs used against the Colts. The media hoopla has transformed the controversy into what we know as Deflategate.

If you haven't been out of the loop, then you are well aware of the nonstop coverage it has received the last week and despite the Patriots pleas for it to go away, it just won't.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has had to deal with the backlash from Deflategate, and he found himself talking about the subject again Monday morning during an interview with WEEI.

“It’s all speculation,” Brady said. “I’ve tried to wrap my head around it, too. I’ve done that and I’m trying to move past that, because I continue to try to rehash things. I personalized a lot of things and thought this was all about me, and my feelings got hurt. Then I moved past it, because it’s not serving me. What’s serving me is try to prepare for the game ahead. I’ll deal with whatever happens later. I’ll have my opportunity to try to figure out what happened and figure out a theory like everyone else is trying to do. But this isn’t the time for that. Honestly, I’m not interested in trying to find out right now, because we have the biggest game of our season ahead.”

One topic Brady didn't have a problem addressing was the speculation coach Bill Belichick threw him under the bus during a press conference on Thursday. But Brady came to the defense of Belichick, who has won three Super Bowls as the Patriots coach.

“I’ve never once felt that we’re not on the same page,” Brady said. “He’s a great coach. He’s the only coach I’ve ever played for; he’s the only coach I’d ever want to play for. There’s a lot of people over the years that have criticized him, but I’d say there’s not one player who’s ever played for him who’s not had an unbelievable amount of respect for him and how he prepares and his diligence and his preparation."


Giants' Odell Beckham says he played with hamstring tears
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/26/2015) Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham said he played all season with two tears in his hamstrings, according to the New York Daily News.

Beckham took part in the Pro Bowl on Sunday, but admitted he's still not fully healed. Beckham said the injuries prevented him from getting to that "last gear that I wanted to have." He added that the injuries really bothered him against the Eagles and Colts. Beckham said he was "stumbling" and falling over during those games. He added that he's not sure whether he'll ever be 100 percent again.

The rookie had a tremendous season, hauling in 91 balls for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. 


Patriots' Tom Brady meeting with NFL after Super Bowl 49
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Patriots quarterback Tom Brady doesn't expect to meet with the NFL until after Super Bowl XLIX, according to NFL.com.

The Patriots have been in the headlines all week due to Deflategate, and it appears the situation won't be resolved until after the season. "I believe they're going to do [a meeting] after the season," Brady said. "So we'll deal with it after this game. I think everybody is locked in, ready to go for the Super Bowl." Both Brady and coach Bill Belichick have held separate press conferences during the week to deny the team's involvement in deflating their footballs. 

The Patriots are subject to punishment from the NFL if the league finds any wrongdoing during the investigation. 


 
 
 
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