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Waiver Wire: Time for a new Barber?

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Matt Forte became the latest casualty for Fantasy owners when he suffered a sprained MCL in Week 13 against Kansas City. He might return this year, but he is no longer a useful Fantasy option this season with the playoffs starting in most leagues in Week 14.

With Forte out, Marion Barber is now the starting running back for the Bears, and he should be added in all formats. Barber, who is owned in 64 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com, is not going to play like Forte. But he does have plenty of value as either a No. 2 running back or flex option.

Barber has five touchdowns in the nine games that he's played, and he should remain a candidate to score each week. He has only four games with double digits in carries, but he should be able to handle an increased workload

Barber will face the Broncos in Week 14, who have only allowed one touchdown on the ground to an opposing running back this year, but three running backs have gained more than 100 total yards against Denver in each of the past three weeks. Barber should be looking at quality production in this matchup.

The Bears also plan to give Kahlil Bell (not owned in the majority of leagues on CBSSports.com) a chance to share the ball with Barber, and Bell had four carries for 34 yards against the Chiefs. He is worth adding in deeper leagues if you lost Forte.

Neither Barber nor Bell will help you get over the loss of an elite talent like Forte, but Barber should prove to be a suitable replacement, especially if he can continue to score when the Bears get in the red zone.

In case you haven't noticed ... Maurice Morris continues to prove he's a useful Fantasy option since Kevin Smith (ankle) is having trouble staying healthy. Smith returned in Week 13 at New Orleans but he couldn't finish the game, leaving his status for Week 14 against Minnesota in doubt. But Morris has still managed double digits in Fantasy points in each of the past two games with Smith getting hurt. Morris, who is owned in 76 percent of leagues, should be added in all formats. Smith could be forced to miss several weeks, which would make Morris a quality Fantasy option in all leagues if he becomes the starter for the Lions once again.

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

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Matt Moore, Dolphins
Owned: 42 percent of leagues
Week 13: Completed 13 of 25 passes for 162 yards and one touchdown and had five carries for 22 yards and a touchdown vs. Oakland.
Analysis: We told you to add Moore last week, and we'll tell you again after he had his third game with at least 20 Fantasy points in his past five outings. Moore has nine total touchdowns and just one interception over that span, and he's using all his weapons with Brandon Marshall, Anthony Fasano, Davone Bess, Brian Hartline and Reggie Bush. He has another favorable matchup in Week 14 against the Eagles, who have allowed multiple touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in three of their past five games.

Rex Grossman, Redskins
Owned: 20 percent of leagues
Week 13: Completed 19 of 46 passes for 221 yards, one interception and one fumble vs. the Jets.
Analysis: We expected Grossman to struggle in Week 13 against the Jets, and he had just four Fantasy points. But this was the week we were waiting for with Grossman based on his matchup with the Patriots. New England has been terrible in pass defense all season, and Vince Young and Dan Orlovsky each had at least 20 Fantasy points against the Patriots the past two weeks. Grossman had at least 20 Fantasy points in each of his two games prior to facing the Jets, and he should be considered a sleeper in Week 14.

Avoid 'Em

Vince Young, Eagles
Owned: 49 percent of leagues
Week 13: Completed 17 of 29 passes for 208 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions and had five carries for 32 yards at Seattle.
Analysis: Michael Vick (ribs) is expected to return in Week 14 at Miami, but even if he's out it's not worth using Young in any leagues against the Dolphins. Miami has been solid in pass defense of late with Carson Palmer in Week 13 the lone quarterback to reach 20 Fantasy points since Week 8. Young also ruined any faith Fantasy owners might have in him with his terrible performance against the Seahawks in Week 13.

Dan Orlovsky, Colts
Owned: 2 percent of leagues
Week 13: Completed 30 of 37 passes for 353 yards, two touchdowns and one interception at New England.
Analysis: Orlovsky took advantage of a great matchup in Week 13 against the Patriots, but he should struggle this week at the Ravens. Baltimore has yet to allow multiple touchdowns to any quarterback this season, including matchups with Ben Roethlisberger twice, Matt Schaub and Mark Sanchez. Orlovsky should struggle with the defensive pressure he is going to see from the Ravens, and we're not expecting much from him in Week 14 or going forward.

Scout 'Em

Donovan McNabb, free agent
Owned: 7 percent of leagues
Week 13: Did not play.
Analysis: McNabb cleared waivers after being released by Minnesota, and he can now sign with any team he wants. The Bears should make a call because Caleb Hanie showed in his game against the Chiefs in Week 13 (minus-1 Fantasy point) that he is not the answer to replace Jay Cutler (thumb). McNabb will never return as a starting Fantasy option in the majority of leagues, even if he signs in Chicago, but he could be a No. 2 quarterback in deep two-quarterback leagues.

Matt Flynn, Packers
Owned: 6 percent of leagues
Week 13: Did not play at the Giants.
Analysis: The Packers are chasing perfection at 12-0, but at some point they might decide to rest Aaron Rodgers. Just in case you are a Rodgers owner you might want to grab Flynn now. The Packers face the Chiefs in Week 15, Chicago in Week 16 and Detroit in Week 17. If your league runs to the end of the season, you might want to grab Flynn now in case he gets a surprise start with Rodgers getting a rest.

Running back

Add 'Em

Ryan Grant, Packers
Owned: 59 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had 13 carries for 29 yards and one catch for 17 yards at the Giants.
Analysis: We're not going to tell you Grant has the chance to do much even with James Starks (ankle) likely out in Week 14 against Oakland. But if you're stuck in some deeper leagues, at least you know Grant will get touches in a good matchup, and maybe the Packers will lean on him just a little bit more against the Raiders, who have allowed a running back to score in four of the past five games.

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Toby Gerhart, Vikings
Owned: 54 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had 21 carries for 91 yards and eight catches for 42 yards vs. Denver.
Analysis: Adrian Peterson (ankle) could be out again in Week 14 against Detroit, which would allow Gerhart the chance to remain the starter. He now has double digits in Fantasy points against some tough opponents in Atlanta and Denver the past two weeks, and he has a favorable matchup against the Lions, who will again be without defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (suspended). Detroit has allowed a running back to reach 100 total yards or a touchdown in each of the past four games. If Peterson returns forget about Gerhart, but right now it looks like Gerhart will start again.

Ricky Williams, Ravens
Owned: 26 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had 16 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown at Cleveland.
Analysis: Williams did a great job in sharing carries with Ray Rice against the Browns, and he could have a similar role in Week 14 against Indianapolis. If you're stuck and looking for a running back in a deep league, add Williams and hope he gets some garbage-time touches against the Colts, who have allowed 14 touchdowns to opposing running backs this season.

Isaac Redman, Steelers
Owned: 25 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had eight carries for 51 yards vs. Cincinnati.
Analysis: The Steelers play the Browns in Week 14 on Thursday night, and they might not want to wear down Rashard Mendenhall on a short week with the playoffs in sight. Redman could see additional work and end up playing like Williams did last week against the Browns. Like Williams, you will only want to use Redman in a deeper league, but consider him a sleeper against Cleveland, which has allowed 10 touchdowns to opposing running backs this season.

Avoid 'Em

LaRod Stephens-Howling, Cardinals
Owned: 5 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had two carries for 16 yards and one catch for 52 yards and a touchdown vs. Dallas.
Analysis: Stephens-Howling was the hero against the Cowboys with his touchdown catch in overtime, but he has minimal Fantasy value going forward. He could see an increased role if Beanie Wells (knee) was lost for the season, but Wells appears determined to play through his knee injury. This was only the second touchdown on the year for Stephens-Howling, and he just doesn't touch the ball enough to be Fantasy relevant in the majority of leagues.

Scout 'Em

Ronnie Brown, Eagles
Owned: 15 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had two carries for 11 yards at Seattle.
Analysis: LeSean McCoy should be able to play for the rest of the season, but he has a nagging toe injury to monitor. If the Eagles decide to be cautious with McCoy and shut him down, we could see Brown taking on increased carries in a shared role with Dion Lewis. McCoy owners should definitely own Brown in all leagues, and he could even get a rare touchdown in his return to Miami this week depending on how the game unfolds.

Brandon Saine, Packers
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had six carries for 16 yards and four catches for 29 yards at the Giants.
Analysis: With Starks out and Grant not known for his receiving prowess, the Packers could turn to Saine in passing situations. He played well against the Giants and he could see an increased role going forward. If you want to take the safe Green Bay running back with Starks out then go with Grant. But if you want the Packers running back with upside then add Saine now since he could have plenty to offer depending on how long Starks is out.

Wide receiver

Add 'Em

Malcom Floyd, Chargers
Owned: 45 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had four catches for 108 yards and a touchdown at Jacksonville.
Analysis: Floyd returned in Week 13 after being out four games with a hip injury and once again showed his big-play ability. He only has two touchdowns on the season, but he has three games with at least 100 yards in only eight games played. The Chargers close the season with favorable matchups against Buffalo, Detroit and Oakland in three of their final four games, and Floyd should be considered a solid No. 3 Fantasy receiver in standard formats.

Riley Cooper, Eagles
Owned: 15 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had five catches for 94 yards at Seattle.
Analysis: We'll continue to mention Cooper here as long as Jeremy Maclin (hamstring/shoulder) is out, and Maclin has now missed the past three games. During that time Cooper has racked up 29 Fantasy points with at least seven points in each game. If Vick returns as expected that could hinder Cooper since he had a tremendous rapport with Young, but Vick will likely realize Cooper is a playmaker and a solid Fantasy option. He would be considered a solid No. 3 Fantasy receiver in all leagues against Miami if Maclin remains out.

Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
Owned: 7 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had four catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns at Minnesota.
Analysis: Thomas is not going to become a consistent Fantasy option with Tim Tebow as the quarterback in Denver, but it's hard to overlook his production against the Vikings. This could be what happens with the Broncos going forward; teams will try to take away Eric Decker, who is clearly Tebow's No. 1 option, and Thomas could see more targets. He is only worth adding in deeper leagues, but as Tebow develops and starts to use more of his weapons then Thomas will benefit.

Devin Aromashodu, Vikings
Owned: Not owned in the majority of leagues
Week 13: Had six catches for 90 yards vs. Denver.
Analysis: The Vikings plan to replace the injured Michael Jenkins (knee) with Aromashodu, who had a whopping 15 targets against the Broncos. Christian Ponder clearly tried to get Aromashodu the ball as often as possible, and he will start opposite Percy Harvin for the rest of the season. The Vikings could be throwing a lot to end the season, especially if Peterson remains out, and Aromashodu should be heavily targeted in matchups against Detroit, New Orleans, Washington and Chicago, his former team. In deeper leagues, consider Aromashodu a solid sleeper to end the year.

Avoid 'Em

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Raiders
Owned: 5 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had one catch for 40 yards and a touchdown at Miami.
Analysis: Even with Denarious Moore (foot) and Jacoby Ford (foot) out, Houshmandzadeh had been quiet before his touchdown against the Dolphins. He had just three targets against Miami, and he has just three catches since joining the Raiders in Week 9. Moore and Ford should return soon, and Houshmandzadeh will return to a reserve role. Don't expect the touchdown catch to motivate him going forward for the rest of the year.

Scout 'Em

Andre Roberts, Cardinals
Owned: 2 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had six catches for 111 yards vs. Dallas.
Analysis: Roberts is still looking for his first touchdown this season, but he has played well of late. He has at least five Fantasy points in four of his past five games. He had six targets against the Cowboys and he could emerge as a go-to receiver for Kevin Kolb along with Larry Fitzgerald and Early Doucet. Continue to monitor Roberts, especially if you are evaluating receivers heading into 2012 in keeper and dynasty leagues.

Kyle Williams, 49ers
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had two catches for 66 yards and a touchdown vs. St. Louis.
Analysis: Williams has done a nice job for the 49ers of late with double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three games. But he had just two targets against the Rams, and his best game in terms of targets was Week 11 against Arizona with five. If Williams continues to find the end zone then his value will obviously rise, but we want to see it first before recommending him in the majority of Fantasy leagues.

Golden Tate, Seahawks
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had four catches for 47 yards and a touchdown vs. Philadelphia.
Analysis: Tate has been the receiver to step up for the Seahawks with Sidney Rice (concussion) out. Tate now has two touchdowns in his past two games, and he could become Tarvaris Jackson's new favorite weapon to close the season. We still expect Doug Baldwin to play a prominent role, and Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu will also remain involved. But Tate is the hot hand right now, and he could be worth adding in deep Fantasy leagues to close the season.

Tight end

Add 'Em

Anthony Fasano, Dolphins
Owned: 10 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had four catches for 66 yards vs. Oakland.
Analysis: Fasano has done well since Moore took over for Chad Henne (shoulder), and he has at least six Fantasy points in five of his past seven games with four touchdowns over that span. Fasano has been the most consistent target for Moore behind Marshall, and you should consider using him with starting tight ends like Greg Olsen, Owen Daniels and Brandon Pettigrew struggling of late.

Avoid 'Em

Evan Moore, Browns
Owned: 2 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had two catches for 28 yards and a touchdown vs. Baltimore.
Analysis: Moore scored the first touchdown for a tight end against the Ravens this season, but he has not been a factor for the most part this year. This was his first touchdown since Week 2, and he has just three catches for 31 yards since Week 9. Maybe the Browns will start to use Moore more for the rest of the year, but he has a lot to prove before Fantasy owners can count on him in the majority of leagues.

Scout 'Em

Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 13: Had one catch for 19 yards and a touchdown vs. Denver.
Analysis: The Vikings need to get Rudolph more involved since he will be the starting tight end in 2012 with Visanthe Shiancoe gone. Rudolph now has two touchdowns in his past three games, and he is capable of doing more with increased targets. He only has six targets in his past three games, but he has the chance to develop a solid rapport with Ponder heading into 2012. Shiancoe could also be out in Week 14 at Detroit with a hand injury.

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 adjust practice squad
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:44 pm ET) The Vikings signed guard Austin Wentworth to their practice squad and waived cornerback Kendall James from the squad.

T.Y. Hilton a divisive figure Week 1
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:40 pm ET) T.Y. Hilton is the Colts' most explosive receiver and he opens the season with a projected shootout in Denver. Indy will throw plenty to keep up with Peyton Manning, making Hilton an easy start, right?

Senior Fantasy Writer Dave Richard thinks so, ranking Hilton 13th among wideouts. Colleague Jamey Eisenberg isn't on board.

Eisenberg buries Hilton at 41st in his rankings, noting Hilton's struggles when playing outdoors. Hilton averages 79.9 receiving yards in indoor games, 48.6 yards outside. Hilton averages 7.3 yards after the catch indoors, 4.5 yards outdoors. But he's scored the same number of touchdowns, six, in each setting.

Hilton ranked 16th in the NFL last year with 138 targets; that will be tough to duplicate this season with a healthy Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen and Hakeem Nicks' arrival.

But in this game, with Andrew Luck expected to throw 40 times, consider Hilton a high-end WR3 with the potential to go off.


Steven Jackson ready to go for Week 1
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:38 pm ET) Falcons running back Steven Jackson, who missed most of training camp nursing a hamstring problem, says he's amped up to face the Saints on Sunday.

"I'm extremely excited for Week 1," he told the team's website. "It's been a training camp that I missed the majority of the time, but I've been working hard physically and mentally to prepare for this coming Sunday. I feel good about it."


Julio Jones looking to make up for lost touchdowns
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:26 pm ET) Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who missed the final 11 weeks last year with a fractured foot, will be taking on the division rival Saints for the first time in nearly a full calendar year when they come to town in Week 1. He scored a touchdown in that last meeting, catching seven passes for 76 yards, and seems eager to do so again.

"That's a big emphasis this year," wide receiver Julio Jones told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We have to score in the red zone. We have too many weapons to get [stopped] in the red zone."

Jones was referring to last year's season opener -- a game the Falcons lost 23-17 after stalling twice inside the 10-yard line. Given the Jones' size and physicality, the Falcons will obviously look to him in those situations, especially with tight Tony Gonzalez now out of the picture.

Jones has expressed concern recently that he's not quite ready for a full workload yet, but even if the Falcons rest him a little more than usual, you can bet they'll take advantage of his time on the field. Even though the Saints technically ranked second against the pass last year, allowing 194.1 yards per game, you shouldn't hesitate to start Jones in Fantasy. Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard both rank him fifth among wide receivers for the week.


Bill Belichick: No decision on Gronk's status yet
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:15 pm ET) While Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (knee) said he'll definitely play Sunday at Miami, coach Bill Belichick said no final decision has been made, reports CSNNE.com.

"I'm glad that Rob's optimistic about this situation," Belichick said. "We'll go through the week of practice and take a look at everything, everybody, and see where everybody's at and try to do what we like is best for the team. With all due respect to Rob -- I'm glad he feels the way he does -- but in the end, we'll have to make the decision we feel like is best for the team and we'll do that as we go through the week."


Antonio Brown to return punts
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:02 pm ET) Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said receiver Antonio Brown will return punts along with rookie Dri Archer. "He's a Pro Bowl-caliber return man, so that's how you play him," Tomlin said of Brown.

Matt Ryan begins with familiar foe
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12:58 pm ET) Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan made the most of his opening-week matchup against the Saints last season, completing 25 for 38 passes for 304 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. The hope is he can do something similar with the Saints coming to town in Week 1.

While last year's opener was at New Orleans, this one is at home, where Ryan went without a touchdown against the Saints in Week 12 last year. But he was without star wide receiver Julio Jones in that game. The Saints did rank second against the pass last year, allowing 194.1 yards per game, but against the Falcons, coming off a year in which they threw the ball more often than any other team, that probably won't impact a Ryan's numbers too much. It certainly didn't limit his yardage last year. Even in that Week 12 meeting, he threw for 292.

Bottom line: Based on where you drafted Ryan, you'd need an awfully good reason to consider sitting him in Fantasy, and this matchup against the Saints isn't it. Jamey Eisenberg ranks him ninth among quarterbacks for the week, and Dave Richard is even more optimistic, ranking him sixth.


Real test for Reggie Wayne comes Week 1
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:56 pm ET) Colts receiver Reggie Wayne, 35, looked sharp in training camp in his return from a torn ACL. The comeback continued in the third preseason game, when Wayne suited up for the first time and caught two passes for 11 yards and was targeted a third time. (Both receptions were negated by penalties).

"It felt good," Wayne told reporters. "Everything felt normal and that's what I expected. Coach tells you you've got about 8-10 plays and you feel like that's the perfect number, but once you go out there and start playing and getting involved, you feel like that's not enough.

"It was good to get a real live game under my belt," Wayne added. "There is no way you can simulate that."

Wayne didn't play much, however, and it will be interesting to see if he plays a full complement of snaps in Sunday night's anticipated shootout in Denver. Wayne caught five of eight targets for 50 yards against the Broncos in Week 7 last year before reaching for an underthrown pass midway through the fourth quarter and ripping up his right knee.

Wayne appears ready to reclaim his spot as Andrew Luck's chain mover, but watch his usage closely. Keep expectations in check and start him as a WR3.

Le'Veon Bell, LeGarrette Blount will play Week 1 as expected
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:50 pm ET) Steelers coach Mike Tomlin confirmed running backs Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount will play Sunday against the Browns despite their recent arrests on marijuana possession charges, reports NFL.com.

Saints have tough first test
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12:39 pm ET) Coming off a season in which they excelled against the pass, allowing the second-fewest yards per game (194.1) while recording the fourth-most sacks (49), the Saints will have a chance to validate that performance when they travel to Atlanta in Week 1 to take on the most pass-heavy offense in the NFL.

The Falcons threw the ball 68.7 percent of the time last year, according to TeamRankings.com, tops in the league. They ranked seventh in passing offense, averaging 265.2 yards per game. The Saints limited the Falcons to 271 yards through the air in their second meeting with them last year, but of course, star wide receiver Julio Jones was out for that game. The Falcons threw for 341 yards in the teams' first meeting.

With Jones back to full health, both Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard expect the Saints DST to struggle in this one, ranking it 21st at the position. Even if the Saints are able to slow the Falcons' passing attack, they're vulnerable against the run, having allowed the fifth-most yards per carry last season.


 
 
 
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