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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
Bears sign tight end Zach Miller to one-year contract extension
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:43 pm ET) The Bears signed tight end Zach Miller to a one-year contract extension Friday, the team announced. 

Miller, who missed the entire 2014 season with a foot injury, has not played in a game since 2011 and totaled 45 catches for 470 yards and four touchdowns.


Bills' Kiko Alonso 'definitely' will be 100 percent by training camp
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:12 pm ET) Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso is expecting to be ready by the start of training camp after missing the entire 2014 season with a torn ACL, the team's website reports.

"I anticipate being 100 percent before camp," Alonso said. "By camp, I definitely feel I'll be at 100 percent. I feel very good with where I'm at. By camp I’ll be full go."

Alonso is full-on into his rehab to get back on the field.

"Basically I'm just rehabbing four-five days a week, just recovering," Alonso said.. "That's it. That's all I do, work out and recover and wait for the next workout."


Ravens part ways with veteran DE Chris Canty to free cap space
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:55 am ET) The Ravens have terminated the contract of defensive end Chris Canty on Friday, per the team's official website. Baltimore will create $2.66 million in cap space by cutting the 10-year veteran.

"We certainly would not close the door to Chris coming back to us," general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome said in a statement Friday.

Canty, 32, played 26 games (24 starts) in two seasons with the Ravens. The veteran registered 63 tackles (33 solo), 2 1/2 sacks, three forced fumbles and six deflected passes while playing in Baltimore.


Report: Michael Sam invited to NFL's inaugural veteran combine
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:20 am ET) Although he's a year removed from the draft, free agent defensive end Michael Sam was granted permission and received an invite to the NFL's inaugural veteran combine in Arizona on March 22, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Sam was selected in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Rams after being named the SEC co-Defensive Player of the Year. He didn't survive final preseason cuts and spent seven weeks on the Cowboys' practice squad before being released. He'll workout with roughly 100 veteran free agents in front of representatives from all 32 teams.


Dolphins release WR Brian Hartline after six seasons
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:20 am ET) The Dolphins have officially released longtime wide receiver Brian Hartline on Friday, per the team's official website. Miami will save $5.95 million in cap space with the move.

Hartline, drafted by Miami in the fourth round of the 2009 draft, signed a five-year, $30.775 million contract in 2013. After registering 1,083 yards in 2012 and 1,016 yards in 2013, Hartline took a step back in 2014 with a disappointing campaign where he caught only 39 passes for 474 yards and two scores. The 28-year-old has 4,243 yards and 12 touchdowns through six seasons in the league.


Report: Falcons release longtime WR Harry Douglas
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:15 am ET) The Falcons have cut ties with Harry Douglas. The team released the 30-year-old wide out on Friday, according to Pro Football Talk.

Douglas has been with the Falcons since 2008, and had a year remaining in his deal. He racked up 258 receptions, 3,130 yards and eight touchdowns. Last season, he turned 75 targets into 51 catches for 556 yards and two scores. This comes a day after the team released veteran running back Steven Jackson, as new coach Dan Quinn prepares for roster shakeup this offseason.


Rams QB coach is a big fan of Sam Bradford
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:53 am ET) Rams quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke is perfectly happy with starting quarterback Sam Bradford, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"Love him. Love him," Weinke said when asked about Bradford. Weinke, who has evaluated quarterbacks for a couple of seasons now, said Bradford had one of the best pro days he's ever seen. "A few years ago when Andrew Luck came out they said who would you compare him to? And I said the closest I would see is Sam Bradford."

As part of Weinke's interview process with the team, he met with Bradford for roughly three-and-a-half hours. It wasn't really a formal meeting, though, it was more so the two could get to know eachother. 

Bradford has reportedly been granted permission to seek a trade, but it doesn't appear Rams' ownership wants to part with the 27-year-old quarterback. 


RB Steven Jackson, cut by Falcons, isn't planning to retire
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Though he's without a team at the moment, running back Steven Jackson has no plans to retire. 

The Falcons officially released Jackson Thursday night, with immediate questions emerging about his future. On his own website, though, Jackson posted a statement saying he isn't hanging up the cleats just yet.  

"A lot has been written lately about my future," Jackson wrote. "There are questions about my age, and what I have left in the tank. Of that, I will simply say this. For the first nine years of my career, I was used like a battering ram, punishing opposing defense over four quarters of a game. Maybe you stopped me the first five times I got the ball, but by the 15th or 20th time I got it, late in a game -- let's just say you were really feeling me at that point.

"Make no mistake: I can still punish a defense. I still have a warrior's heart. There are 1,000-yard seasons left in these legs. I know what I am still capable of, and I have every intention of proving it."

Jackson also admitted his two seasons with the Falcons were a disappointment as the organization did not reach the postseason in either season. He combined for only 1,250 yards in 2013 and 2014 after posting eight consecutive seasons with over 1,000 yards when he was with the Rams. 


Raiders expected to release safety Tyvon Branch
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Raiders will be parting ways with safety Tyvon Branch, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora

Branch only played in three games during the 2014 season due to a foot injury that placed him on injured reserve. That followed his 2013 season in which Branch was only able to participate in two games. 

However, Branch could be a commodity in what is otherwise considered a weak safety market. 

Branch signed a four-year, $26..6 million contract with the Raiders in 2012, with $17.6 million guaranteed.


Browns working to re-sign CB Buster Skrine
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Browns are hopeful they can re-sign cornerback Buster Skrine but are probably going to have to try to do so after he hits the free agent market, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Skrine had a single-season best four interceptions in 2014 and will be someone that could command a hefty price tag on the open market. The Plain Dealer reports that Skrine is expecting anywhere from $5.5 million to $7 million per season. 

The Browns should be in a good position to match an offer for Skrine. Depending on what the 2015 cap number per team is, the Browns are likely to have well over $30 million to spend in free agency. 


 
 
 
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