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Waiver Wire: Green with envy for Week 6

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Fantasy owners lost two running backs in Week 5 and we're once again scrambling for starting options during the bye weeks. Unfortunately, the injuries occurred to teams without great replacements.

Cedric Benson left Sunday's game at the Colts with an apparent Lisfranc foot injury, and he could miss up to eight weeks with the chance of being out for the season if he needs surgery. The Packers will likely go back to a committee approach like we saw last season, but Alex Green should get the first chance to start. He will likely be joined by James Starks, and the Packers will also give carries to John Kuhn, especially in short-yardage situations and at the goal line.

Green should be the most added player this week since he has the highest upside in this backfield. He had nine carries for 55 yards and one catch for 8 yards against the Colts and he could be a starting option soon in deeper Fantasy leagues. The Packers have a tough matchup at the Texans in Week 6, but then the Packers face St. Louis, Jacksonville and Arizona before their bye in Week 10. Green could be a flex option if he proves to be the main man in Green Bay's backfield.

Ryan Williams is out for the season with shoulder surgery after he was injured last Thursday at the Rams. Beanie Wells (toe) is out until at least Week 12, so the Cardinals are looking at a committee backfield for now with La'Rod Stephens-Howling, William Powell and Alfonso Smith. Even with a fantastic matchup against the Bills in Week 6 this remains a backfield to avoid in most leagues. Stephens-Howling appears to be the one to target moving forward.

Stevan Ridley's fourth quarter fumble against the Broncos could give more touches to Brandon Bolden or even Danny Woodhead and Shane Vereen. Early reports are Ridley's status as the starter is fine, but you never know with Bill Belichick. The Patriots have a tough matchup at Seattle and this could be another game like we saw in Week 3 at Baltimore where Woodhead has increased touches in a no-huddle type offense.

Aside from the running back woes, we'll help find a bye-week quarterback for Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Jay Cutler. We'll also look at the Rams receiver to target with Danny Amendola (shoulder) out and address breakout performances from Robert Meachem, Josh Gordon and Devery Henderson.

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

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Must add: Carson Palmer, Raiders (71 percent), Christian Ponder, Vikings (49 percent)
Maybe add: Alex Smith, 49ers (71 percent), Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (20 percent), Brandon Weeden, Browns (12 percent)
Desperation add: Tim Tebow, Jets (14 percent), Matt Flynn, Seahawks (6 percent), Brady Quinn, Chiefs (1 percent)
The breakdown: We told you last week to stick with Ponder despite his struggles in Week 4 against the Lions and he rewarded you with 21 Fantasy points in Week 5 against the Titans. He has another great matchup in Week 6 at the Redskins, who have allowed multiple passing touchdowns to every quarterback but Josh Freeman in Week 4. Add Ponder if you're stuck at quarterback this week. ... We also like Palmer, but he's better as a long-term add. He has some great matchups coming up against Jacksonville in Week 7, Kansas City in Week 8 and Tampa Bay in Week 9. But he could struggle at the Falcons in Week 6. ... Smith threw two touchdowns against the Giants in the playoffs last year, and the Giants have allowed three quarterbacks to pass for multiple touchdowns against them. If his finger is OK then he could be a spot starter. ... Weeden passed for 322 yards and two touchdowns the last time he faced the Bengals in Week 2, and he has the chance for another quality performance in the rematch in Week 6. ... The Chiefs will start Quinn in Week 6 with Matt Cassel (head) out and this is a favorable matchup at the Bucs. ... In deeper formats we'd also look at Tebow and Flynn since they might become starters at some point this season.

Running backs

Must add: Brandon Bolden, Patriots (59 percent), LeGarrette Blount, Buccaneers (40 percent), Danny Woodhead, Patriots (33 percent), Alex Green, Packers (5 percent), La'Rod Stephens-Howling, Cardinals (2 percent)
Maybe add: Kendall Hunter, 49ers (49 percent), Beanie Wells, Cardinals (40 percent), David Wilson, Giants (35 percent), Ronnie Hillman, Broncos (28 percent), Joique Bell, Lions (20 percent), James Starks, Packers (16 percent), Shaun Draughn, Chiefs (15 percent), William Powell, Cardinals (1 percent)
Desperation add: Jahvid Best, Lions (20 percent), Shane Vereen, Patriots (13 percent), John Kuhn, Packers (1 percent), Alfonso Smith, Cardinals (0 percent)
The breakdown: The priority list at running back for this week should be Green, Stephens-Howling, Blount, Woodhead and Bolden. ... Blount looks like the goal-line back in Tampa Bay after he scored in Week 4 and he has a solid matchup in Week 6 against Kansas City. He is worth a gamble playing in tandem with Doug Martin because he has another chance to score. For this week only he might be your best bet as a starting option. ... For the Packers, Green should start with Benson out, but this is a tough matchup against the Texans this week. His value is more long-term unless the Packers add someone as a free agent. ... For the Cardinals, we expect Stephens-Howling to start, but Powell will also get touches with Smith as the No. 1 reserve. Arizona will likely look to sign a running back, but if you like the way your roster looks now then add Wells and sit on him in case he becomes useful for the Fantasy playoffs once he returns in Week 12. ... In New England, we still expect Ridley to dominate touches, but this could be a week where Woodhead is heavily involved at Seattle. Take a flier on him if you're stuck, with Bolden again spelling Ridley and possibly playing in the fourth quarter if the Patriots are ahead. Vereen also could get more touches after he scored in Week 5. ... In PPR leagues it's time to add Bell. If the Lions continue to trail in games he'll be in there in the fourth quarter and I'm not counting on Best to return any time soon, even though he's eligible to come off the PUP list after Week 6. ... With Andre Brown (head) hurt, this could be an opportunity for Wilson to work his way back into the mix behind Ahmad Bradshaw. He had a nice touchdown run against the Browns in Week 5.

Wide receivers

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Must add: Mike Williams, Buccaneers (69 percent), Domenik Hixon, Giants (63 percent), Randall Cobb, Packers (63 percent), Donnie Avery, Colts (51 percent), Kendall Wright, Titans (48 percent), Chris Givens, Rams (0 percent)
Maybe add: Robert Meachem, Chargers (55 percent), Davone Bess, Dolphins (53 percent), Mario Manningham, 49ers (41 percent), Jeremy Kerley, Jets (30 percent), T.Y. Hilton, Colts (18 percent), Brandon Gibson, Rams (11 percent), Devery Henderson, Saints (9 percent), Rueben Randle, Giants (6 percent), Vincent Brown, Chargers (6 percent), Josh Gordon, Browns (4 percent)
Desperation add: Golden Tate, Seahawks (13 percent), Steve Smith, Rams (3 percent), Jordan Norwood, Browns (0 percent)
The breakdown: The Rams need to replace Amendola and we would add their secondary receivers in this order: Givens, Gibson and Smith. Givens has the chance to move into Amendola's slot role and if his targets increase he should produce since Sam Bradford needs someone to catch passes. ... The Giants could be without Hakeem Nicks (foot) again, which should allow more production for Hixon and Randle. We'd still rather have Hixon -- who had five Fantasy points in Week 5 against Cleveland -- even though Randle had eight points. Randle also had one more target at nine compared to eight for Hixon, but Hixon's role is still more valuable as the Nicks replacement. ... The Packers could also be without Greg Jennings (groin) again, meaing Cobb could see more targets. He had four against the Colts and finished with four catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. ... Weeden got solid production from Gordon and Norwood in Week 5. Gordon had two catches for 82 yards and two touchdowns on eight targets. Norwood had nine catches for 81 yards on nine targets. Weeden isn't used to a receiver catching all his passes after dealing with Greg Little all season. ... Meachem had a nice revenge game against his former team at New Orleans with three catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns, but he had just four targets. Don't get overexcited with that performance, but hopefully it will spark Meachem to play better going forward. ... Like Meachem, we hope Manningham plays well against the Giants this week. He scored his first touchdown of the season in Week 5 against the Bills. ... Keep an eye on Avery if you haven't done so already. He has at least eight targets each game and with the way Andrew Luck is playing, you want as many of his weapons as possible -- like Hilton. ... Henderson would be worth adding going forward if Lance Moore (hamstring) is out for an extended period of time. ... Start looking at Brown now since he should return after Week 8 for the Chargers following his broken ankle in the preseason.

Tight ends

Must add: Scott Chandler, Bills (67 percent), Jared Cook, Titans (59 percent), Dwayne Allen, Colts (2 percent)
Maybe add: Joel Dreessen, Broncos (8 percent), D.J. Williams, Packers (0 percent)
Desperation add: Lance Kendricks, Rams (5 percent), Zach Miller, Seahawks (2 percent), Jeff Cumberland, Jets (0 percent)
The breakdown: Chandler had a disappointing game at the 49ers in Week 5, but the entire Bills roster was miserable. He should rebound in Week 6 at the Cardinals, who have allowed two touchdowns to opposing tight ends. ... Cook has a touchdown in two of his past three games and has at least six Fantasy points in three outings. If you're without Jimmy Graham or Greg Olsen this week you could take a flier on him even with a tough matchup against the Steelers, who have allowed three touchdowns to tight ends on the season. ... Despite having 13 fewer targets than teammate Coby Fleener, Allen has been more productive. He has 10 catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns on 12 targets compared to 13 catches for 139 yards and no touchdowns for Fleener. Allen is looking like a great red-zone weapon for Luck. ... Williams is worth a speculative add in deeper leagues if Jermichael Finley (shoulder) is out in Week 6 at the Texans. He had two catches for 20 yards on four targets after Finley was hurt in Week 5 at the Colts. ... Dreessen has 11 catches for 96 yards and three touchdowns on 16 targets while Jacob Tamme has 21 catches for 175 yards and one touchdown. Peyton Manning likes using Dreessen in the red zone.

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
Marcus Lattimore eager to start pro career
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2014) 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore is ready to start his proffesional career. After blowing out his knee in a gruesome injury in October of 2012 at South Carolina, Lattimore told The State on Sunday that his knee rehab is complete and that he's "ready to play."

Lattimore, who will attend the first day of the team's offseason workouts, will enter a crowded backfield with Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James already backing up current starter Frank Gore. However, James has expressed his desire for a bigger role and could be dealt, opening the door for the No. 3 spot in the backfield.

"If that happens, it does put me in that No. 3 spot," Lattimore said. "But I've just got to go in there and work hard. I can pass-protect and run the ball. I've got to show that."


Raiders bring back Kaelin Burnett
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Raiders have inked exclusive-rights free agent Kaelin Burnett to a one-year deal. He's expected to compete for a roster spot in training camp. 

Dekoda Watson moving to strong-side LB
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) In the wake of the release of veteran linebacker Russell Allen, the Jaguars are expected to make Dekoda Watson their new starting strong-side linebacker, ESPN reports. He'll also play as a pass rusher and potentially line up as a defensive end on third downs. 

Watson had 42 total tackles, two sacks, an interception, a pass defensed, a forced fumble and a blocked punt with the Bucs last year. 


Brandon Gibson begins light jogging
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Brandon Gibson has begun light jogging as he works his way back from a torn patellar tendon, the Miami Herald reports. The Dolphins are expected to keep him on the roster, if only because of the cap hit he'll cost, per the report. He said recently he expects to be ready for Week 1. 

'Humbled' Richardson explains 2013, promises a better 2014
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Colts running back Trent Richardson spoke openly about his disappointing 2013 season, saying that it took him too long to learn a new playbook and get over leaving Cleveland after Week 2. Richardson also told the official team website that he's planning to do everything within his power to be as prepared as possible for 2014. 

"Y'all will see a big significant difference in the way I play, the speed. I won't have to think about a lot of stuff," Richardson said earlier this offseason. "It's going to be big -- timing with the offensive line, timing with Andrew (Luck), just knowing a lot more with the program, the whole system.

"They haven't seen everything they're going to get out of me yet. A lot of it is going to come next year. A lot of it is going to come in the offseason. I'm going to put in a lot of work, as I've been doing this whole season. This season humbled me. ... This season was a lesson to me."

Colts coach Chuck Pagano has had Richardson's back, says the running back, and the coach stressed back in March that his running back's involvement in the offseason program will be key. 

"It's going to be very, very important for (Richardson) to be here for the offseason program and to dive into this thing full steam ahead, which he will," Pagano said. "He wants to be great. He's got all the talent. He's got all the ability. We would have never done what we did if we didn't believe that deep down in our core. So we look for him to have a great offseason and to have a great 2014 campaign."


Saints bring back Robert Meachem
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Saints announced Friday that the club has re-signed veteran free agent wide receiver Robert Meachem to a one-year contract.

Meachem is a seven-year NFL veteran who was originally the club's first round draft pick (27th overall) in 2007. He re-signed with the Saints prior to the start of the 2013 regular season and appeared in 15 games with five starts. He finished with 16 receptions for 324 yards with two touchdowns.

Meachem said signing with the Saints now should help with his preparations as he will be able to take part in the team's offseason conditioning program, OTAs and mini-camp. Plus, "this is home," he said.


Can Chris Johnson turn into Tomlinson?
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Jets are hoping running back Chris Johnson can do for them what LaDainian Tomlinson did in 2010, reports ESPN.

That season, Tomlinson came from San Diego to New York after he was released. He responded with a team-high 914 yards with six touchdowns on 219 carries and caught 52 passes. He was supposed to be Shonn Greene's backup, but Tomlinson was so impressive that he won the starting job and became an integral part of a team that came within one game of the Super Bowl.

Maybe Johnson, who was let go by the Titans, can do the same thing.

"I can turn the bad things people are saying into a good thing for me, to give me motivation, to keep me hungry and to keep a chip on my shoulder and prove the naysayers wrong," he said Thursday.

Johnson had a disappointing year in 2013 when he averaged just 3.9 yards per carry, but he played 13 games on a torn meniscus and was running behind a suspect offensive line for a team that didn't have its starting quarterback for half the season. The situation in New York should be improved, and hopefully being teamed with Chris Ivory will allow him to play like Tomlinson did in 2010.


Aikman worried about Tony Romo
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Former Cowboys quarterback and Hall of Famer Troy Aikman is worried about current Dallas quarterback Tony Romo coming off back surgery, reports the team's official website.

Romo, 34, is coming off back surgery in December, which was the second procedure on his back in a year.

"I came back in a relatively short period of time because of when I had my surgery, so he's at least afforded more time to get ready," Aikman said. "But having said that, two back surgeries in less than a year at his age, I would be a bit concerned.

"I'm hopeful that he's able to come back -- everybody is. This team won't be the same if he's not able to. I anticipate that he will come back. But to say that, 'Hey, he's ahead of schedule and everything's going fine,' I'm not sure how you can really measure that here in April."


Bengals, A.J. Green not talking extension - yet
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(4/18/2014) The Bengals are expected to exercise the fifth-year option on receiver A.J. Green's contract by May 3, reports Pro Football Talk. But the sides have yet to discuss a long-term contract extension, according to the report.

The Bengals hold the rights to Green through the 2015 season. And in 2016, if a long-term deal hasn't been signed yet, the Bengals can use the franchise tag on Green for that season.

The report says Green can force the issue by trying to boycott offseason workouts or hold out from training camp. But Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is confident Green will be there.


Chris Snee will give it a shot this spring
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(4/18/2014) Giants guard Chris Snee will attempt to go through the Giants offseason program once he's healthy, the New York Daily News reports. Snee had hip surgery last season and an elbow surgery earlier this year. There is no timeline for him to be at 100 percent but he is expected to be on the field for the "bulk" of offseason activities. 

 
 
 
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