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Waiver Wire: No shortage of upgrades

Senior Fantasy Writer
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We finally have an opportunity to chase running backs on the waiver wire. Injuries have opened the door to make unknown players like Andre Brown and Daryl Richardson viable heading into Week 2.

When Fred Jackson (knee) and Matt Forte (ankle) went down with injuries, most Fantasy owners were stuck. Backups C.J. Spiller and Michael Bush were owned in the majority of leagues, and the only enticing running back to add after Week 1 was Alfred Morris of the Redskins.

But in Week 2 we saw Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) and Steven Jackson (groin) suffer injuries, which could open the door for Brown and Richardson to make an impact in Week 3. Pierre Thomas also showed he could still be a factor for the Saints.

Other guys we'll address here include Alex Smith's hot start, why Danny Amendola continues to be underrated and Martellus Bennett turning into one of Eli Manning's best weapons.

Editor's note: Must add is for players worth adding in all leagues. Maybe add is for players worth adding in 14-team leagues or larger. Desperation add is for players worth adding only if you're, well, desperate. The ownership percentage listed is how many leagues that player was owned in the previous week for CBSSports.com.

Quarterbacks

Must add: Alex Smith, 49ers (72 percent)
Maybe add: Andy Dalton, Bengals (69 percent), Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills (62 percent), Sam Bradford, Rams (44 percent), Matt Cassel, Chiefs (30 percent)
Desperation add: Christian Ponder, Vikings (21 percent), Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (13 percent), Brandon Weeden, Browns (11 percent), Chad Henne, Jaguars (1 percent)
The breakdown: We said it last week about Smith and we'll say it again. He may never turn into a Fantasy stud, but he is playing well, especially in connecting with standout tight end Vernon Davis (three touchdowns in two games). Smith now has consecutive weeks with 21 Fantasy points, and he has more combined points than Aaron Rodgers (38), Tom Brady (38) and Matthew Stafford (28). He also doesn't hurt you with a franchise-record streak of 216 passes without an interception. Put him on your team if he's still out there ... Dalton rebounded from a poor Week 1 at Baltimore with 28 Fantasy points against the Browns. He gets a banged up Redskins defense in Week 3, which just allowed Bradford to get 29 Fantasy points. ... Cassel (40) is another quarterback with more combined Fantasy points than Rodgers, Brady and Stafford. He faces the Saints this week, and New Orleans was lit up the past two games by Robert Griffin III (28 Fantasy points) and Cam Newton (27). ... Another quarterback off to a good start (who also has more combined Fantasy points than Rodgers, Brady and Stafford) is Fitzpatrick (42). He faces the Browns, who just struggled against Dalton. ... Weeden, Tannehill and Ponder all had at least 18 Fantasy points in Week 2, but we need to see more before adding them. ... Even if Blaine Gabbert (hamstring) is out in Week 3 don't worry about Henne.

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Running backs

Must add: Pierre Thomas, Saints (62 percent), Daryl Richardson, Rams (3 percent), Andre Brown, Giants (0 percent)
Maybe add: Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers (63 percent), Mike Goodson, Raiders (19 percent), Bernard Scott, Bengals (15 percent), Lamar Miller, Dolphins (5 percent)
Desperation add: Shaun Draughn, Chiefs (3 percent), Tashard Choice, Bills (3 percent), Jackie Battle, Chargers (0 percent), Armando Allen, Bears (0 percent), Kahlil Bell, Bears (0 percent)
The breakdown: The running backs to add this week are in this order: Brown, Richardson and Thomas. Brown has the most value for Week 3 because the Giants play Carolina on Thursday night, and Bradshaw might not be ready to return is such a short amount of time after getting hurt Sunday. Brown is clearly No. 2 on the depth chart ahead of David Wilson, and Brown did well in Week 2 against the Bucs with 16 Fantasy points. The Panthers have already allowed double digits in Fantasy points to four running backs this season in Doug Martin, Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram and Thomas. ... Richardson could replace an injured Jackson -- if in fact Jackson was hurt and not benched against the Redskins -- at Chicago in Week 3. Richardson had nine Fantasy points against Washington, and the Bears have allowed double digits in Fantasy points to opposing running backs each week in Donald Brown and Cedric Benson. Richardson has clearly passed Isaiah Pead on the depth chart behind Jackson. ... Thomas only had nine carries against Carolina, but he finished with 110 rushing yards and four catches for 33 yards. He's worth stashing if he's still available even though he will continue to share touches with Sproles and Ingram. ... Dwyer was a must add last week, and he could still play a viable role for the Steelers heading into a favorable matchup in Week 3 at Oakland. But Isaac Redman isn't going away, and Rashard Mendenhall (knee) is getting closer to playing. ... Goodson, not Taiwan Jones, is looking like the handcuff for Darren McFadden again. He had a 64-yard touchdown catch at Miami and is worth stashing if you own McFadden. ... Miller took advantage of Daniel Thomas (concussion) being out, and he could emerge as the No. 2 running back for the Dolphins behind Reggie Bush. ... In deeper leagues I'm still stashing Scott, who has missed the first two games with a hand injury, to see what role he plays in tandem with BenJarvus Green-Ellis. ... Battle (18 Fantasy points) was great against the Titans in Week 2, but Ryan Mathews (shoulder) should return in Week 3 against Atlanta. Battle is only worth adding if you want to handcuff Mathews. ... Draughn again played well in garbage time for the Chiefs but remains behind Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis, and Choice, Bell and Allen are just insurance policies for Spiller and Bush.

Wide receivers

Must add: Danny Amendola, Rams (72 percent), Mike Williams, Buccaneers (64 percent), Greg Little, Browns (60 percent), Andrew Hawkins, Bengals (22 percent)
Maybe add: Kendall Wright, Titans (55 percent), Jerome Simpson, Vikings (26 percent), Leonard Hankerson, Redskins (9 percent), Brandon Gibson, Rams (4 percent), Brian Hartline, Dolphins (3 percent), Donnie Avery, Colts (2 percent)
Desperation add: Andre Roberts, Cardinals (8 percent), Brandon Tate, Bengals (0 percent), Julian Edelman, Patriots (0 percent)
The breakdown: Fantasy owners apparently weren't sold on Amendola's Week 1 performance at Detroit when he had five catches for 70 yards on nine targets. For those of you who waited it might be too late. In Week 2 against the Redskins he had 15 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown on 16 targets, which were second to only Victor Cruz for this scoring period. Amendola is clearly the No. 1 receiver for the Rams, and he should continue to play at a high level all year as long as he stays healthy. ... Williams is on his way to double digits in touchdowns for the second time in three years after scoring in each of the first two games. He only has five catches and eight targets over that span, but his track record makes him worth adding. ... Little's ownership dropped from 82 percent in Week 1 to 60 percent in Week 2 after he was held without a catch against the Eagles. That was a mistake. Little had five catches for 57 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals and still remains a breakout candidate. ... Hawkins looked like a possession receiver in Week 1 with eight catches for 86 yards on nine targets against the Ravens. He showed his big-play ability in Week 2 against the Browns with two catches for 56 yards and a touchdown on three targets. He can definitely serve as a No. 4 Fantasy receiver. ... Hartline could emerge as Miami's No. 1 receiver after he had nine catches for 111 yards on 12 targets, but the Dolphins passing game is still inconsistent. ... Wright and Hankerson each had their first NFL touchdowns, but they remain part of a crowded receiving corps for their respective teams. ... Gibson and Roberts each have two touchdowns through two games for their respective teams, but I still want to see more. Gibson has the higher value of the two with the better quarterback. ... Edelman could see a bump in value with Aaron Hernandez (ankle) now out for at least two weeks. ... Simpson has one more game for his suspension, but he could emerge as a quality reserve for Fantasy owners and an eventual bye-week replacement. ... Avery looks like a solid option for Andrew Luck.

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Tight ends

Must add: Kyle Rudolph, Vikings (61 percent), Martellus Bennett, Giants (45 percent), Dennis Pitta, Ravens (37 percent)
Maybe add: Heath Miller, Steelers (38 percent), Scott Chandler, Bills (15 percent), Brandon Myers, Raiders (1 percent)
Desperation add: Kellen Davis, Bears (4 percent), Anthony Fasano, Dolphins (4 percent), Dante Rosario, Chargers (0 percent), Anthony McCoy, Seahawks (0 percent)
The breakdown: Through two weeks, the Top 5 tight ends in standard leagues have three obvious names (Davis, Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski) and two surprises in Bennett and Rosario. We're not buying into Rosario unless Antonio Gates (ribs) is out for an extended period of time. But we are backing Bennett. He now has nine catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns in two games on 16 targets, and he will fill the No. 3 receiver role behind Hakeem Nicks and Cruz. He's a No. 1 Fantasy tight end going forward. ... Rudolph also is a No. 1 Fantasy tight end with eight catches for 102 yards and one touchdown on 12 targets through two games. ... Here's what Pitta has done in his past five games, including the playoffs: 26 catches, 270 yards and three touchdowns. He has 13 catches for 138 yards and a touchdown this season on a whopping 24 targets, which leads all tight ends. If you want to know if he can remain relevant, the answer is yes. ... Miller and Chandler can be great replacement options if you lost Hernandez. Both have two touchdowns through two games. And you have to like what Myers has done for the Raiders with 11 catches for 151 yards through two games, and he has yet to drop a pass. ... Fasano, Davis and McCoy are just fliers because they will be inconsistent most of the year.

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
RB DeMarco Murray held to season-low 73 rushing yards
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(8:29 pm ET) NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray averaged under 4.0 yards per carry for the first time this season in the Cowboys' Thanksgiving loss to the Eagles. Murray carried 20 times for a season-low 73 yards (3.7 ypc) but did punch in a 1-yard touchdown, his first score since Week 7.

Murray tied his season high with six catches for 40 yards. It was the fourth time this year he's hauled in six passes.

Murray, who's been held under 100 yards rushing only twice, visits the Bears next Thursday.


Tony Romo's TD streak ends in disastrous performance
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(8:24 pm ET) Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo saw his streak of 38 straight games with a touchdown pass come to an end Thursday against the Eagles. Looking uncomfortable in the pocket and missing some easy throws, Romo completed 18 of 29 passes for 199 yards with two interceptions.

He took four sacks and seemed eager to avoid big hits to his surgically-repaired back.

Both of Romo's interceptions came on underthrown balls, and he also underthrew Dez Bryant on a potential big gainer. But Romo often had no one open to throw to.

He'll try to bounce back next Thursday at Chicago.


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(8:13 pm ET) Eagles rookie kicker Cody Parkey converted all four of his field-goal tries against the Cowboys and is 27 for 29 this season. He was good from 31, 22, 26 and 25 yards. Parkey added three PATs for 15 points.

He'll play the Seahawks in Week 14.


Eagles get offensive contributions Week 13
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(8:08 pm ET) The Eagles got several offensive contributions in their Thursday blowout of the Cowboys. Wideout Riley Cooper caught four of seven targets for 32 yards, and tight end Brett Celek had a 7-yard reception.

Running back Darren Sproles caught all three of his targets for 19 yards and had a 13-yard run. Running back Chris Polk, playing mainly in garbage time, ran 11 times for 49 yards. Receiver Josh Huff added a 7-yard rush.

They'll all play the Seahawks in Week 14.


Jordan Matthews catches fifth TD in last five games
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(8:05 pm ET) Eagles wideout Jordan Matthews continued his productive rookie season in Thursday's win at Dallas, catching four of five targets for 51 yards and a touchdown. It was Matthews' fifth score in the last five games.

On the Eagles' second drive, Mark Sanchez rolled right and hit Matthews for a 27-yard touchdown. Matthews has caught at least four passes in all but three games.

He'll play the Seahawks in Week 14.


Jeremy Maclin posts fourth 100-yard game
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:59 pm ET) Eagles wideout Jeremy Maclin reasserted himself Thursday as the team's leading receiver, catching a game-high eight passes for 108 yards. He was targeted a game-high 10 times.

It was Maclin's fourth 100-yard game this season, and it put him over 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career.

Maclin's biggest play came when he caught a sideline route and cut all the way across the field for a 58-yard gain. That set up a field goal on Phillys' third drive.

Maclin plays the Seahawks in Week 14.


LeSean McCoy busts out on Thanksgiving
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:52 pm ET) Eagles RB LeSean McCoy busted out for a season-high 159 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries in Thursday's win at Dallas. McCoy sprinted 35 yards around right end on his second rush and averaged 6.4 yards per carry on the day.

Midway through the third quarter, McCoy used a vicious stiff-arm to scoot 38 yards for a touchdown, his third score in the past four games and fourth this season. McCoy has run for 289 yards over the past two weeks. He was not targeted in the passing game.

McCoy coughed up his second fumble of the season, but it didn't matter in this blowout. He plays the Seahawks in Week 14.


Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has big first half in easy win
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:48 pm ET) Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez did almost all his damage in the first half of Thursday's 33-10 rout at Dallas, throwing for 202 yards and accounting for two touchdowns. He finished 20 of 29 for 217 yards and a touchdown and ran five times for 29 yards and another score.

After committing six turnovers in his previous two games, Sanchez did not have a turnover Thursday.

Sanchez came out on fire. He led the Eagles to 80- and 88-yard touchdown drives on their first two possessions. Sanchez capped the first march with a 2-yard keeper off a zone read, and he ended the second with a 27-yard scoring strike to rookie Jordan Matthews.

Sanchez plays the Seahawks in Week 14.


Eagles TE Trey Burton leaves with hamstring injury
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7:22 pm ET) Eagles tight end Trey Burton, who plays mainly on special teams, left the game against the Cowboys in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury.

Frank Gore among 49ers probables active Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:21 pm ET) Six players listed as probable for Week 13 on the 49ers' final injury report are active Thursday, including running backs Frank Gore (knee) and Bruce Miller (shoulder), safeties Eric Reid (ankle) and Raymond Ventrone (groin), defensive tackle Justin Smith (back) and wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (quad).

Gore struggled in Week 12, managing just 36 yards on 13 carries, but he wasn't thought to be in danger of missing the key NFC West battle.


 
 
 
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