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Waiver Wire: Battle for success?

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Every Ryan Mathews owner who is in a panic after what happened in Week 4 at Kansas City needs to calm down. Mathews is going to be fine, starting this week at New Orleans.

The reason Mathews didn't start at the Chiefs was probably punishment for his fumble in Week 3 against Atlanta. But Mathews is not going to play second fiddle to Jackie Battle for long.

That said, Battle is now a must-add running back this week. He won't remain the starter, but Battle has earned a role with the Chargers in some capacity after he had two touchdowns and 81 total yards against his former team. He now has four total touchdowns on the season, which is more than Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch.

Keep in mind that as talented as Mathews is, the Chargers have only used him in tandem during his career since he previously shared touches with Mike Tolbert. Battle could easily step into Tolbert's role this season as a complementary option to Mathews.

So even if Battle never has another game at this level, he is worth the gamble of adding and stashing. We know Mathews has trouble staying healthy, and if he goes down then Battle is the handcuff.

Some other big performances we'll address this week include Brandon Bolden and Brian Hartline, and we'll remind you once again that Ryan Fitzpatrick should be owned in all leagues. It also appears that Domenik Hixon and James Jones can be viable injury replacements for Hakeem Nicks (knee) and Greg Jennings (groin), respectively.

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: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills (74 percent), Christian Ponder, Vikings (50 percent)
Maybe add: Kevin Kolb, Cardinals (17 percent), Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (12 percent), Matt Hasselbeck, Titans (2 percent)
Desperation add: Tim Tebow, Jets (12 percent)
The breakdown: Fitzpatrick doesn't have the best matchup in Week 5 at San Francisco, but he's playing well enough that you can consider him a solid bye-week replacement with Tony Romo, Matthew Stafford, Carson Palmer and Josh Freeman all off. He overcame four interceptions against the Patriots in Week 4 to still get 31 Fantasy points in a standard league, and he has at least 19 Fantasy points in every game this year. You might not start Fitzpatrick every week, but he should be owned in all leagues since he currently is a Top 12 Fantasy quarterback. ... Ponder was a huge letdown in Week 4 against the Lions with four Fantasy points, but he could have a rebound game at home against the miserable Titans, who have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in every game this season. If you need a bye-week replacement you might consider giving Ponder another chance in Week 5. ... Hasselbeck might start if Jake Locker (shoulder) is out for an extended period of time, and he could do well against the Vikings. He threw two touchdowns against the Texans in Week 4 after Locker went down, but he also had two interceptions. ... Kolb may have turned the page on his dismal 2011 to become a decent Fantasy option in 2012. He has 47 Fantasy points in his past two games after a nice showing against the Dolphins in Week 4, and he faces the Rams on Thursday night this week. If you're stuck for a starter this week you could give Kolb a chance as your No. 1 option in deeper leagues. ... The same goes for Tannehill in Week 5 against the Bengals, who have been suspect against opposing quarterbacks this year. He had 431 passing yards at the Cardinals in Week 4, but he managed just one touchdown and two interceptions. Still, this game could be a catalyst for the rookie, especially with the way Hartline and Davone Bess played. ... It's clear that Mark Sanchez's days as a starting quarterback are numbered, and the Jets might be forced to turn to Tebow soon to spark their offense. Sanchez and Tebow each had zero Fantasy points against the 49ers in Week 4, but Sanchez attempted 29 passes to Tebow's one, with Sanchez completing only 13 for 103 yards. We know how Tebow has done each of the past two years for Fantasy owners when given a chance to start, so keep him on your radar.

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Running backs

Must add: Jackie Battle, Chargers (36 percent)
Maybe add: Bilal Powell, Jets (46 percent), LeGarrette Blount, Buccaneers (44 percent), Kendall Hunter, 49ers (39 percent), Danny Woodhead, Patriots (26 percent), Ronnie Hillman, Broncos (24 percent), Joique Bell, Lions (7 percent), Brandon Bolden, Patriots (0 percent)
Desperation add: Lance Ball, Broncos (7 percent), Vick Ballard, Colts (4 percent), Marcel Reece, Raiders (1 percent), James Casey, Texans (0 percent), Jorvorskie Lane, Dolphins (0 percent)
The breakdown: Another reason to like Battle this week is his matchup with the Saints. New Orleans has now allowed five running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points this season in Alfred Morris, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Jamaal Charles and Cedric Benson, and there should be enough touches for Mathews and Battle to both have good games. Consider Battle a flex option this week. ... Bolden is interesting because even though Stevan Ridley is playing great this season, including 22 Fantasy points at Buffalo in Week 4, you never know how Bill Belichick might use his running backs. In deeper leagues, you might want to stash Bolden. The same goes for Woodhead as each running back has scored in consecutive games. ... Blount had a touchdown in Week 4 against the Redskins and looks like the red-zone running back going forward. Doug Martin still has plenty of value, but he could lose his scoring chances to Blount, which increases his value in standard formats. ... Powell is still worth adding since the Jets offense needs a makeover, and Hunter and Hillman remain handcuff options to monitor. ... Bell has supplanted Kevin Smith as the No. 2 running back for the Lions behind Mikel Leshoure. He might even be worth a gamble in PPR leagues since he had six catches for 72 yards in Week 4 against the Vikings. For the second week in a row Smith did not touch the ball. ... Ballard is worth keeping an eye on following the Colts' bye week to see if his role will increase as the No. 2 running back behind Donald Brown.

Wide receivers

Must add: Mike Williams, Buccaneers (67 percent), Kendall Wright, Titans (44 percent), James Jones, Packers (36 percent), Brian Hartline, Dolphins (33 percent), Andre Roberts, Cardinals (12 percent), Domenik Hixon, Giants (1 percent)
Maybe add: Greg Little, Browns (51 percent), Jerome Simpson, Vikings (48 percent), Davone Bess, Dolphins (27 percent), Jeremy Kerley, Jets (18 percent), T.Y. Hilton, Colts (13 percent)
Desperation add: Donald Jones, Bills (4 percent), Joe Morgan, Saints (0 percent)
The breakdown: Hartline had 12 catches for 253 yards and a touchdown in Week 4 at Arizona on 19 targets. As a result, he is now the No. 3 receiver in standard leagues with 51 Fantasy points behind A.J. Green (60) and Roddy White (57), and he is No. 3 in targets with 48 behind Dwayne Bowe and Victor Cruz, who each have 49. No matter what you think of Tannehill or the Dolphins offense, Hartline is worth adding in all leagues. ... Hixon, not Ramses Barden, stepped up in Week 4 at Philadelphia with Nicks out. He had six catches for 114 yards on 11 targets, while Barden had two catches for 36 yards on four targets. Keep in mind Hixon was ahead of Barden on the depth chart to start the season, and Barden's big game in Week 3 at Carolina (nine catches for 138 yards) came when Hixon was out with a concussion. Of course if Nicks returns in Week 5 against Cleveland then Hixon's value will be limited. ... Jennings left Week 4 against the Saints and Jones finished the game with five catches for 56 yards and two touchdowns. He now has three touchdowns on the season and two games with double digits in Fantasy points. The problem is the one game Jennings missed in Week 2 against Chicago, Jones finished with two catches for minus-1 yard, but he dropped a touchdown in that game. Still, if this groin problem continues to linger for Jennings than Jones will have increased value. ... In three-receiver leagues you should definitely consider Williams, Roberts and Wright as bye-week replacements. Williams has a touchdown or 100 yards receiving in three of four games, Roberts has four touchdowns on the season and Wright has two touchdowns in his past three games. Of this trio, Roberts would be the one to target this week, and he continues to benefit with plenty of single coverage opposite Larry Fitzgerald. ... Bess is starting to improve with 12 catches for 209 yards in his past two games against the Jets and Cardinals on 19 targets, and he should remain productive as the complementary option to Hartline. ... Kerley might see an increase in production with Santonio Holmes (foot) hurt, but the Jets will likely spread targets around to Stephen Hill, Chaz Schilens and Dustin Keller as well, making none of the Jets receivers must-add options.

Tight ends

Must add: Heath Miller, Steelers (73 percent), Greg Olsen, Panthers (72 percent), Scott Chandler, Bills (39 percent)
Maybe add: Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars (20 percent)
Desperation add: Joel Dreessen, Broncos (5 percent)
The breakdown: Miller and Chandler have done a fantastic job of finding the end zone and both are Top 10 tight ends entering Week 5. They each have four touchdowns and Miller's scores have come in just three games. They are great bye-week replacements, especially Chandler at the 49ers, who have allowed four touchdowns to tight ends already this year. ... Olsen had another big game for the second week in a row with six catches for 89 yards and a touchdown at Atlanta. He now has 13 catches for 187 yards and a touchdown against the Giants and Falcons in consecutive weeks on 21 targets and is back as a must-own tight end. ... Lewis isn't someone to start most weeks, but if you're stuck for a bye-week replacement then he could be a home run pick. He has two touchdowns in four games and two games with a combined one catch for 8 yards. He only has nine targets on the season, but Jason Witten just destroyed the Bears defense on Monday night.

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
Levine Toilolo bulks up
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:39 am ET) Falcons tight end Levine Toilolo "added a lot of muscle in the offseason, especially to his upper body," reports the team's website. The 6-8 Toilolo played at 265 pounds last year. The website did not say how much Toilolo weighs now.

Toilolo figures to start now that Tony Gonzalez has retired. He won't get nearly as many passes thrown his way, but could become a red-zone factor. Toilolo caught 11 balls for 55 yards and two touchdowns last season while appearing in every game.


Andre Johnson hints at Texans return
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:01 am ET) Disgruntled wide receiver Andre Johnson told NFL.com that he will "hopefully" be at Texans training camp. 

"We'll see what happens," Johnson said. "Camp is three weeks away." 

Johnson held out of the Texans' offseason program after expressing disappointment with the direction of the team, though he never formally asked for a trade. Johnson will be 33 when the season starts and has played in four postseason games in 11 seasons. 


'Possibilities are endless' with Dwayne Allen's return
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9:43 am ET) Colts tight end Dwayne Allen played just 32 snaps last season before suffering a season-ending hip injury. His loss took a lot of unique formations out of Indianapolis' playbook as they intended to use a lot of two-tight end sets and feature Allen, the official team website reports.

However, with Allen healed and ready to start training camp, the site says the "possibilities are endless" in how the Colts use Allen and teammate Coby Fleener this season. 

"It makes us a better football team," tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts said of a healthy Allen. "Getting him back is like getting a brand new player."

The Colts expect to be more creative on offense with Allen back in the fold.


LaRon Landry dealing with 'soft-tissue' injury
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) Colts safety LaRon Landry missed voluntary workouts and mandatory minicamp with what the team called a "soft-tissue" injury, reports ESPN.com. He's coming off a disappointing first season in Indianapolis in which he made 87 tackles and no interceptions.

The website said the Colts need a big year from Landry after the departure of fellow safety Antoine Bethea.

"The thing with LaRon is and I know [coach] Chuck (Pagano) alluded to it, he's a guy that his throttle is always full-bore," general manager Ryan Grigson told the website. "He's out there in parts unknown working out. We trust him in the fact that we know he's going to go harder than anyone."


Marquise Goodwin ticketed for change-of-pace role
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) The Bills view speedy receiver Marquise Goodwin as a change-of-pace option behind Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods and Mike Williams, according to WGR550.com. A former track star, Goodwin averaged 23.6 yards on his 17 receptions last year, scoring three touchdowns.

Mike Williams expected to be No. 3 receiver
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods are projected as the Bills' top two receivers, with Mike Williams expected to see the field in three-receiver sets, reports WGR550.com. Still, coaches view Williams "as a potential instant contributor and someone who could help EJ Manuel in both the red zone and as a player with high-pointing ability on all areas of the field," the report said.

Kendall Wright working out with Robert Griffin III
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) Titans receiver Kendall Wright returned to Baylor to work out with his former college quarterback, the Redskins' Robert Griffin III, reports the Tennessean. Wright posted a picture of himself with Griffin and another former Baylor wideout, the Cowboys' Terrance Williams.

"Good grind session with my bros … where it all started at BU," wrote Wright, who caught 94 passes for 1,079 yards and two touchdowns last season.

Aaron Rodgers talks up tight end Richard Rodgers
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) The Packers are unsettled at tight end, which means rookie Richard Rodgers could emerge as an option. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers certainly liked throwing to the 6-4, 257-pounder in the spring, and Richard Rodgers could be the starter "sooner rather than later," reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

"When we made the pick, some of the so-called experts on the draft channel said he was a late sixth-round pick ... which is pretty laughable when you watch the talent he's got and the ability," Aaron Rodgers said. "You have to be excited about his body type and the hands.

"He's made some incredible catches, makes it look easy. I think he's going to push for some playing time if he can transfer what he's done in the spring now to the fall and have the potential to be an impact player."

Richard Rodgers ran a 4.87 forty coming out of California, two-tenths of a second slower than Jermichael Finley ran back in 2008, and often lined up in the slot in college, the paper said.


Jermichael Finley still hoping to return to Packers
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) Free agent tight end Jermichael Finley told ESPN.com he's working as hard as he can to return to the Packers. While Finley said this is the best he's felt "during this entire crazy process," he has yet to be cleared by team doctors.

Finley underwent neck fusion surgery last fall.


Ryan Kerrigan planning to stay with Redskins long-term
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan is under contract through 2015 after the team picked up his option. The 2011 first-round pick envisions staying in Washington beyond that.

"I’ve worked hard these past few years to be the best I can for the team and for the organization," he told the Muncie Star Press of Indiana. "I’m going to be a part of it for at least an additional year and hopefully after that, even longer."

Kerrigan has 24.5 sacks over his first three years.


 
 
 
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