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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
Raiders bring back Kaelin Burnett
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Raiders have inked exclusive-rights free agent Kaelin Burnett to a one-year deal. He's expected to compete for a roster spot in training camp. 

Dekoda Watson moving to strong-side LB
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) In the wake of the release of veteran linebacker Russell Allen, the Jaguars are expected to make Dekoda Watson their new starting strong-side linebacker, ESPN reports. He'll also play as a pass rusher and potentially line up as a defensive end on third downs. 

Watson had 42 total tackles, two sacks, an interception, a pass defensed, a forced fumble and a blocked punt with the Bucs last year. 


Brandon Gibson begins light jobbing
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Brandon Gibson has begun light jogging as he works his way back from a torn patellar tendon, the Miami Herald reports. The Dolphins are expected to keep him on the roster, if only because of the cap hit he'll cost, per the report. He said recently he expects to be ready for Week 1. 

'Humbled' Richardson explains 2013, promises a better 2014
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Colts running back Trent Richardson spoke openly about his disappointing 2013 season, saying that it took him too long to learn a new playbook and get over leaving Cleveland after Week 2. Richardson also told the official team website that he's planning to do everything within his power to be as prepared as possible for 2014. 

"Y'all will see a big significant difference in the way I play, the speed. I won't have to think about a lot of stuff," Richardson said earlier this offseason. "It's going to be big -- timing with the offensive line, timing with Andrew (Luck), just knowing a lot more with the program, the whole system.

"They haven't seen everything they're going to get out of me yet. A lot of it is going to come next year. A lot of it is going to come in the offseason. I'm going to put in a lot of work, as I've been doing this whole season. This season humbled me. ... This season was a lesson to me."

Colts coach Chuck Pagano has had Richardson's back, says the running back, and the coach stressed back in March that his running back's involvement in the offseason program will be key. 

"It's going to be very, very important for (Richardson) to be here for the offseason program and to dive into this thing full steam ahead, which he will," Pagano said. "He wants to be great. He's got all the talent. He's got all the ability. We would have never done what we did if we didn't believe that deep down in our core. So we look for him to have a great offseason and to have a great 2014 campaign."


Saints bring back Robert Meachem
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Saints announced Friday that the club has re-signed veteran free agent wide receiver Robert Meachem to a one-year contract.

Meachem is a seven-year NFL veteran who was originally the club's first round draft pick (27th overall) in 2007. He re-signed with the Saints prior to the start of the 2013 regular season and appeared in 15 games with five starts. He finished with 16 receptions for 324 yards with two touchdowns.

Meachem said signing with the Saints now should help with his preparations as he will be able to take part in the team's offseason conditioning program, OTAs and mini-camp. Plus, "this is home," he said.


Can Chris Johnson turn into Tomlinson?
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Jets are hoping running back Chris Johnson can do for them what LaDainian Tomlinson did in 2010, reports ESPN.

That season, Tomlinson came from San Diego to New York after he was released. He responded with a team-high 914 yards with six touchdowns on 219 carries and caught 52 passes. He was supposed to be Shonn Greene's backup, but Tomlinson was so impressive that he won the starting job and became an integral part of a team that came within one game of the Super Bowl.

Maybe Johnson, who was let go by the Titans, can do the same thing.

"I can turn the bad things people are saying into a good thing for me, to give me motivation, to keep me hungry and to keep a chip on my shoulder and prove the naysayers wrong," he said Thursday.

Johnson had a disappointing year in 2013 when he averaged just 3.9 yards per carry, but he played 13 games on a torn meniscus and was running behind a suspect offensive line for a team that didn't have its starting quarterback for half the season. The situation in New York should be improved, and hopefully being teamed with Chris Ivory will allow him to play like Tomlinson did in 2010.


Aikman worried about Tony Romo
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Former Cowboys quarterback and Hall of Famer Troy Aikman is worried about current Dallas quarterback Tony Romo coming off back surgery, reports the team's official website.

Romo, 34, is coming off back surgery in December, which was the second procedure on his back in a year.

"I came back in a relatively short period of time because of when I had my surgery, so he's at least afforded more time to get ready," Aikman said. "But having said that, two back surgeries in less than a year at his age, I would be a bit concerned.

"I'm hopeful that he's able to come back -- everybody is. This team won't be the same if he's not able to. I anticipate that he will come back. But to say that, 'Hey, he's ahead of schedule and everything's going fine,' I'm not sure how you can really measure that here in April."


Bengals, A.J. Green not talking extension - yet
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Bengals are expected to exercise the fifth-year option on receiver A.J. Green's contract by May 3, reports Pro Football Talk. But the sides have yet to discuss a long-term contract extension, according to the report.

The Bengals hold the rights to Green through the 2015 season. And in 2016, if a long-term deal hasn't been signed yet, the Bengals can use the franchise tag on Green for that season.

The report says Green can force the issue by trying to boycott offseason workouts or hold out from training camp. But Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is confident Green will be there.


Chris Snee will give it a shot this spring
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Giants guard Chris Snee will attempt to go through the Giants offseason program once he's healthy, the New York Daily News reports. Snee had hip surgery last season and an elbow surgery earlier this year. There is no timeline for him to be at 100 percent but he is expected to be on the field for the "bulk" of offseason activities. 

Report: Niners won't release Aldon Smith
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The 49ers might expect a suspension for pass rushing linebacker Aldon Smith, but they are not planning to release him, NFL Network reported on Friday.

Smith was arrested recently for making false bomb reports at a Los Angeles airport, the latest of a string of troubles for the highly talented linebacker. He was also arrested for suspicion of DUI in January, 2012 and again September, 2013. He also had marijuana on him during that September arrest. In October, 2013 he was charged with three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon. 


 
 
 
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