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Waiver Wire: Mr. Smith comes back to Motown

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

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
Vikings' Bridgewater 'extremely comfortable' with leadership role
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Vikings second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is embracing his role as leader of the offense, the Star Tribune reports.

"I’m a young guy still on the team, but guys are pushing me forward to say something in the huddle, or break the team down, or break the offense down," Bridgewater said. "That just gives you that confidence in yourself, confidence in your leadership and I’ve been extremely comfortable doing that so far."

Coach Mike Zimmer is satsfied with the work Bridgewater has done during the offseason.

"It’s hard to never not be pleased with Teddy because he’s such a hard worker," Zimmer said. "We wanted him to get bigger and stronger; he looks a little bit bigger to me. He’s always worked real hard. The leadership things are starting to come better. I think he’s been doing a good job the two days we’ve been out here against the defense."

Bridgewater made 12 starts in his rookie season and played 13 games in all, racking up 2,919 yards, 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 64.4 percent of his passes.


Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders hoping to reach 1,000 yards
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders believes the new offensive scheme in Denver will effect his numbers, accoridng to the team's website.

Sanders is working with new offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and coach Gary Kubiak to install the team's new offense and noted it's very different from last year's spread attack.

"You talk about going from a no-huddle offense to an offense that's huddling up, to an offense that is predicated off running a football and then throwing it. It's different," Sanders said. 

"It's a totally different set up, but I tell you what, the more and more I'm in it," said Sanders. "Because we can get the run game going and just use my vertical speed on cross routes and all these different combinations of routes is based off the play action, then I think the offense will be successful with Peyton Manning at the helm."

Sanders, who totaled 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns in 2014, doesn't think he'll accomplish the same numbers.

"Of course obviously it's not going to be one of those offenses, well I'm praying that it is, but obviously it's not going to be one of those offenses where you catch it and you're going to have two receivers catching over 100 passes," said Sanders. "Hopefully, my goal is really to try to get a 1,000 yards to just help this team win ball games."


Cowboys rookie La'el Collins taking reps at RT in OTAs
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Cowboys rookie offensive lineman La'el Collins started offseason team activities on Wednesday taking reps at right tackle, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Collins, who was signed as an undrafted free agent, could also see time at left guard. But the rookie is taking his first reps with the team at right tackle with Darrion Weems while Doug Free recovers from ankle surgery.

"We think he has the physical ability to play a couple of different spots," coach Jason Garrett said. "He was a tackle for most of his career in college but did play guard. We see him as a guy who can maybe do both of those things as he goes.

"The big thing for him is to try to get him acclimated as quickly as we can. So right now he's going to play right tackle for us. He and Darrion Weems are competing at that spot in Doug Free's absence and we'll just see how that unfolds." 


Vikings' Adrian Peterson on absence from OTAs: 'It's business'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said in a statement on Wednesday that his absence from OTAs has "nothing to do with wanting to be traded," ESPN reports.

"The reason I'm not attending OTAs has nothing to do with wanting to be traded. It's about securing my future with the Vikings. It's business, not personal and I understand that firsthand. Go Vikings."

It was reported earlier Wednesday that coach Mike Zimmer said that Peterson could "either play for us or not play." The running back has expressed frustration with team management for not showing him support during his legal case for child abuse.


Report: Falcons' Dezmen Southward undergoes knee surgery
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Falcons defensive backs Dezmen Southward underwent a minor-knee operation Wednesday, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Southward did not attend Tuesday's OTA and it is not known how long he'll be sidelined.


Julius Thomas trying to fit into Jaguars' offense
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas said after Wednesday's organized team activity that he intends to make it work with quarterback Blake Bortles, reports The Florida Times-Union.

"There is no 'Here's me coming in, and Blake's going to get on my page.' I'm going to be on Blake's page," Thomas said. "Whatever he expects, that's what I am going to do. He's the quarterback. He's the one in control of that huddle, and I like catching passes so I will make sure I do exactly what he wants."

With Thomas entering his first season with the Jaguars, he said it will take time to develop a rapport with Bortles.

"I think that getting good chemistry with a quarterback probably takes a couple of thousand passes," Thomas said.


Cowboys RB Darren McFadden not concerned with playing time
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) With the Cowboys just beginning their organized team activities this week, running back Darren McFadden said he just wants to concentrate on becoming familiar with the team, reports the team's official website.

"For me, I'm just going out there grinding," he said. "However the coaches put me out there – whether it's first team or second team. When it comes time for them to make a decision, it's totally up to them. I'm just trying to get that playbook down and take advantage of this opportunity."

McFadden is competing with Joseph Randle to be the first-team running back, and he said he just wants to work hard and not worry about how many repetitions he's receiving with the first team.

"Once you've been in a place so long like Oakland, you can get set in your ways," McFadden said Wednesday, after his second OTA practice with the Cowboys. "Coming out here and being around guys that work so hard, it just brings out the best in you. It's something I look forward to."


Chiefs' Mike Catapano on his health: I feel better than ever
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) After missing the entire 2014 season with a gastrointestinal virus, Chiefs defensive end Mike Catapano was able to participate in the team's OTA on Wednesday, reports The Kansas City Star.

"Every time I step on the field now it's with purpose and with extra vigor that I never really had," Catapano said. "It feels great. I feel better than ever."

Catapano played in 15 games during his rookie season in 2013 and he totaled four tackles and one sack. He said he's ready to surpass that in 2015.

"I'm ready to show that I offer a lot to this team. I'm ready to step up in big situations and starting situations," Catapano said. "I just want to keep getting better every day… and play to the best of my abilities."


Broncos' Manning, Sanders keeping up with Thomas during holdout
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is holding out of offseason workouts while he continues to negotiate a long-term deal with the team, but teammates Emmanuel Sanders and Peyton Manning have been keeping up with the star receiver, the Denver Post reports.

"One thing a lot of people don’t realize is when you’re playing on a one-year deal, there’s a lot of things going through your head," Sanders said. "As much as you guys want to say, ‘Don’t think about it,' of course it’s going to cross your mind because you’re talking about a lot of money at stake. When you’re playing these one-year deals, it’s a lot of stress on you. No matter how much you don’t want it to be, it’s going to happen. We’re all human."

Manning would like to have Thomas in workouts but understands the business aspects of his decision.

"I keep up with Demaryius. He’s my buddy," Manning said. "They got that business side of it to work out, but he’s been a great teammate to me, been a great friend to me since I’ve been here in Denver, so I keep up with him. Obviously want him to get back here as soon as possible, but we want what’s best for him, and he certainly deserves what’s best for him."

Thomas has started 16 games for three straight season, topping 90 receptions, 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns in each.


Raiders sign Horace Miller, Milton Williams
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) The Raiders have signed linebacker Horace Miller and wide receiver Milton Williams, the team announced on Wednesday.

Miller was waived by the Panthers earlier this offseason after spending one week on the active roster but seeing no playing time. Williams originally signed with the Raiders earlier this month before being waived a few days later.


 
 
 
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