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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
Report: Chargers hold workout for Austin Pettis
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) The Chargers held a workout for former Rams wideout Austin Pettis, according to ESPN.

Pettis was cut by St. Louis in October, and hasn't hooked on with a team just yet. The Chargers are dealing with a number of injuries at the receiver position, and are looking to sign Pettis as depth. Pettis caught 12 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown before he was cut. 


Report: Chargers punter Mike Scifres could end up on IR
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) Chargers punter Mike Scifres could wind up going on injured-reserve, according to FoxSports.

Scifres is progressing from a shoulder injury, but the team is pressed for roster spots. Scifres has already missed two games due to the injury, and was ruled out of for the team's regular season finale. The Chargers need to add a center to the active roster, and Scifres could be in danger of losing his spot so the team can add another lineman. 


Saints' Marques Colston reflects on down year
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) Saints wideout Marques Colston reflected on his less than stellar season on Friday, according to the New Orleans Advocate.

Colston, who rarely gives interviews, expressed his frustrations with the season. He's currently on pace to register his second-lowest yardage total in his nine seasons, and needs one touchdown in order to avoid setting a career-low in the category. Colston admitted the struggles got to him during the year. "It’s not a secret I didn’t play up to my own standards," he said. "I’ve got to live with that." He added, "I pride myself on trying to be part of the solution. Instead this year, I feel like I was part of the problem at times."

Colston did not want to address his future in New Orleans, instead opting to look forward to the team's final game this Sunday.


Marshawn Lynch among Seahawks' probables
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is listed as probable for Week 17 against the Rams.

Lynch was listed on the injury report with a back injury, but has been able to battle through the issue all season. He did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but was able to put in a full practice on Friday.

The team should also have Tony Moeaki and Russell Okung. Both players were listed as probable on the final injury report. 

Cooper Helfet, Chris Matthews, Tharold Simon and Max Unger are listed as questionable, and will be game-time decisions. 

Both Demarcus Dobbs and Jermaine Kearse have already been ruled out for the contest. 


Report: Saints' Jimmy Graham to have MRI on shoulder
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) Saints tight end Jimmy Graham will have an MRI on his shoulder next week, according to the New Orleans Advocate

Graham initially injured his shoulder back in Week 5, but has been able to play through the injury all season. While his touchdown total has remained solid, Graham's yardage is down this year. It's possible he's more injured than he's let on all season, and the injury is serious enough that the team will send him for the MRI. Once the team has a diagnosis, Graham will evaluate with team doctors.


Rams list Scott Wells, Janoris Jenkins as probable, E.J. Gaines doubtful
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) The Rams have listed center Scott Wells (back) and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (back) as probable for Sunday's game against the Seahawks after both were able to participate fully in practice Friday.

Cornerback E.J. Gaines, who is dealing with a concussion, is considered doubtful for the game. If he is unable to go, rookie Lamarcus Joyner or Marcus Roberson could see an uptick in playing time.

The Rams 12 1/2-point underdogs against the Seahawks Sunday.


Cardinals list four as questionable for Sunday against San Francisco
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) With quarterback Drew Stanton (knee) already declared out, the Cardinals listed four players as questionable for Sunday's game against the 49ers including Deone Bucannon (knee), John Carlson (calf), Johnathan Cooper (wrist) and Dan Williams (foot).

Linebacker Larry Foote is also listeed as doubtful for the game with a knee injury. Foote has not missed a game this season, totaling 84 tackles and two sacks.

The Cardinals have also listed the following players as probable: Lorenzo Alexander (knee), Jaron Brown (toe), Calais Campbell (hip), Larry Fitzgerald (knee), Rashad Johnson (ankle), Ted Larsen (shoulder), Tyrann Mathieu (thumb) and Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder).


49ers rule out three for Sunday against the Cardinals
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) The 49ers have deemed running back Carlos Hyde (ankle), wide receiver Steve Johnson (knee) and safety Eric Reid (concussion) as out for Sunday's game against the Cardinals.

It is the second straight game out for both Hyde and Johnson. Hyde finishes his rooke season with 83 carries for 333 yards and four touchdowns while Johnson had 35 catches for 435 yards and three touchdowns this year.

Wide receiever Bruce Ellington (hamstring), cornerbacks Tramaine Brock (hamstring) and Perrish Cox (shoulder) and linebacker Ahmad Brooks (thumb) are all listed as questionable.

Michael Crabtree (knee), Chris Culliver (knee), Brandon Lloyd (groin), Marcus Martin (illness) and Justin Smith (back) are all listed as probable.

The 49ers are currently 6 1/2-point favorites against Arizona Sunday.


Lions' Dominic Raiola loses appeal, remains suspended for Week 17
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) Lions center Dominic Raiola's one-game suspension was upheld by the league following his appeal. Raiola received the one-game suspension earlier in the week after stomping on the leg on Bears defensive lineman Ego Ferguson in Week 16.

The Lions are currently 7 1/2-point underdogs on the road against the Packers in Week 17.


Raiders list seven player on Week 17 injury report
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) The Raiders listed seven players on its final injury report for Week 17 against Denver. Wide receiver Vincent Brown (groin), cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), and wide receiver Denarius Moore (knee, ankle) were ruled out for for Sunday. Cornerback T.J. Carrie (ankle), linebacker Khalil Mack (hamstring) and tackle Menelik Watson (foot, ankle) were labeled questionable.

Meanwhile, defensive back Ras-I Dowling (hamstring) got the green light after being a limited participant all week. He was deemed probable for the final game of the season.


 
 
 
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