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Waiver Wire: Options other than Jones

Senior Fantasy Writer
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DeMarco Murray had his best rushing game since Week 1 on Sunday at Baltimore, but his day was ruined with a sprained ligament in his foot. And now he's out for at least a week -- if not longer.

Enter Felix Jones, who will be the most added player this week and has an amazing matchup at Carolina. He will be in line for quality production and is worth spending at least 30 percent of your bid points on because he could be the difference in a win this week. And if Murray is out for an extended period of time, then Jones' value would continue to rise.

We also had Trent Richardson (ribs) get hurt in Week 6 against Cincinnati, but he expects to play in Week 7 at Indianapolis. Still, if he's out you'll want to add his backup in Montario Hardesty, who had a nice performance against the Bengals and has a favorable matchup this week.

There are some big quarterbacks on a bye this week (Matt Ryan, Peyton Manning, Michael Vick and Philip Rivers), so we'll give you some replacement options in case you aren't prepared. And we'll also address some big receiver performances from Mike Williams, Josh Gordon and Sidney Rice.

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: Carson Palmer, Raiders (68 percent), Christian Ponder, Vikings (63 percent), Josh Freeman, Buccaneers (50 percent), Brandon Weeden, Browns (21 percent)
Maybe add: Sam Bradford, Rams (40 percent), Matt Hasselbeck, Titans (8 percent)
Desperation add: Russell Wilson, Seahawks (28 percent), Mark Sanchez, Jets (16 percent), Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars (9 percent), John Skelton, Cardinals (4 percent)
The breakdown: Palmer is not someone that has long-term value, but if you need a quarterback for a one-week replacement then add him where available with his matchup at home against the Jaguars. ... Freeman is coming off his best game of the season with 29 Fantasy points against the Chiefs and he gets another home matchup with the struggling Saints. ... Ponder doesn't have the best matchup against the Cardinals at home, but he does have at least 19 Fantasy points in four of his past five games. ... Weeden is somewhat risky to trust, but he has 19 Fantasy points in consecutive games and faces a struggling Colts defense in Week 7. ... Bradford and Hasselbeck are like Weeden in that they're risky starting options, but they also have good matchups in Week 7. Bradford plays host to the Packers and Hasselbeck is at Buffalo. ... I'm not ready to recommend Wilson, who had 28 Fantasy points against the Patriots, because he is at San Francisco in Week 7. ... The same goes for Sanchez, Gabbert and Skelton, who could start for the injured Kevin Kolb (ribs), even though they have good matchups this week. Sanchez is at New England, Gabbert is at Oakland and Skelton gets the Vikings at home, but they are too inconsistent to start in most formats.

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Running backs

Must add: Alex Green, Packers (84 percent), LeGarrette Blount, Buccaneers (54 percent), Felix Jones, Cowboys (29 percent), Montario Hardesty, Browns (3 percent)
Maybe add: Isaac Redman, Steelers (60 percent), William Powell, Cardinals (52 percent), David Wilson, Giants (45 percent), Daryl Richardson, Rams (38 percent), Mike Goodson, Raiders (21 percent), Cedric Peerman, Bengals (1 percent), Phillip Tanner, Cowboys (0 percent)
Desperation add: LaRod Stephens-Howling, Cardinals (34 percent), Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers (11 percent), Baron Batch, Steelers (0 percent)
The breakdown: You couldn't pick a worst time for Murray or Richardson to get hurt. They have dream matchups in Week 7. Dallas is at Carolina, which has allowed four touchdowns to opposing running backs and six to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Jones will start for Murray and is a must-start Fantasy option. The Browns are at the Colts, who have allowed eight touchdowns to opposing running backs and four to reach double digits in Fantasy points. That could allow Hardesty to be a star this week if Richardson is out. Add Jones and Hardesty in all leagues this week. ... In deeper leagues you'll want to add Tanner as well since Jones has never been able to stay healthy himself. ... Green had 22 carries in his first start against the Texans and the Packers are going to lean on him. He faces the Rams this week and has potential to be a flex option going forward. ... Blount, as we told you last week, had the chance to score against the Chiefs, and he did. He has another favorable matchup against the Saints this week. ... Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) should play in Week 7 at Cincinnati, but if he's out then Redman, Dwyer or Batch will see an increased role. Redman has the most upside, but it's a situation to avoid if possible. ... Every Steven Jackson owner should have Richardson on their roster as he's continuing to get more work. He was better than Jackson at Miami in Week 6 with 11 carries for 76 yards compared to 12 carries for 52 yards for Jackson. ... Goodson is a Darren McFadden injury away from becoming a star. He had eight Fantasy points against the Falcons and we know McFadden has a lengthy injury history. ... BenJarvus Green-Ellis continues to show he has little big-play ability and Peerman looks like the replacement for Bernard Scott (knee). He had eight catches for 76 yards against the Browns in Week 6 and is worth picking up in PPR leagues. ... Powell is clearly the running back to own for the Cardinals. He had 13 carries for 70 yards against the Bills while Stephens-Howling had 11 carries for 22 yards. Neither is going to start in most Fantasy leagues on a weekly basis.

Wide receivers

Must add: Randall Cobb, Packers (76 percent), Mike Williams, Buccaneers (73 percent), Sidney Rice, Seahawks (69 percent), Kendall Wright, Titans (54 percent), Donnie Avery, Colts (48 percent), Josh Gordon, Browns (25 percent)
Maybe add: Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders (60 percent), Mario Manningham, 49ers (45 percent), Nate Burleson, Lions (40 percent), Brandon Gibson, Rams (25 percent), Stephen Hill, Jets (23 percent), Doug Baldwin, Seahawks (7 percent), Chris Givens, Rams (5 percent)
Desperation add: Braylon Edwards, Seahawks (3 percent), Michael Jenkins, Vikings (1 percent), Derek Hagan, Raiders (0 percent)
The breakdown: The priority list at receiver this week is Cobb, Williams and Gordon. All have played well and have the shot to be starting options as the bye weeks continue. Cobb might have benefited the most with Cedric Benson's foot injury. Since Benson went down in Week 5, Cobb has 11 catches for 184 yards and a touchdown in the past two games. ... Williams has at least 11 Fantasy points in three of his past four games with 25 targets over that span. ... Gordon has emerged as the best Browns receiver and has 35 Fantasy points the past two games on just five catches. Imagine what he could do with more receptions. ... Wright is a must own in PPR leagues. He has at least six catches in three of his past four games. ... Rice should continue to emerge as the best Seattle receiver. He had his best game of the season with 14 Fantasy points against the Patriots in Week 6. ... Avery keeps missing out on a big game. He had six Fantasy points at the Jets in Week 6, but he has at least eight targets in every game this season. He could have a big week against the Browns in Week 7. ... If you're going to gamble on a Rams receiver consider Gibson first and then Givens. Gibson had seven catches for 91 yards on nine targets in Week 6 at Miami, and Givens had three catches for 85 yards on seven targets. ... Look for Heyward-Bey to be more involved now that he's healthy from his Week 3 head injury. He's worth keeping an eye on going forward. ... Hill could emerge as the best Jets receiver now that he's healthy. He scored against the Colts in Week 6 and has a great matchup against the Patriots.

Tight ends

Must add: Jermaine Gresham, Bengals (76 percent), Jared Cook, Titans (67 percent)
Maybe add: Joel Dreessen, Broncos (23 percent), Brandon Myers, Raiders (18 percent)
Desperation add: Anthony Fasano, Dolphins (10 percent), Tony Scheffler, Lions (1 percent), Benjamin Watson, Browns (1 percent), Tom Crabtree, Packers (0 percent)
The breakdown: Gresham is starting to come around with his performance of late. He has 12 Fantasy points in two of his past four games with at least five catches and 60 receiving yards in three of those four outings. He also has three games with at least 12.0 yards per catch, which is nearly 2 yards better than his career average (10.3). ... Cook has at least nine Fantasy points in two of his past four games with five Fantasy points in three of those outings. ... Myers remains a quality tight end in PPR leagues with three games with at least five catches and 60 yards. The problem is he's still looking for his first NFL touchdown. ... Dreessen continues to prove he's better than Jacob Tamme for Fantasy owners. If you own Tamme, drop him for Dreessen going forward.

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: Titans plan to start QB Zach Mettenberger vs. Texans
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:00 pm ET) The Titans are planning to start rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger against the Texans Sunday, The Tennessean reports.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Monday that the plan was to have Jake Locker (thumb) regain the starting job when healthy, and the former first-round pick was limited in practice Wednesday. If Mettenberger has already been notified that he'll start, as the report suggests, it could mean Whisenhunt has changed his mind on Locker, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Locker has completed 58 percent of his passes while averaging 6.8 yards per attempt and throwing four touchdowns and four interceptions in four starts. Backup Charlie Whitehurst has also played four games while starting three times, completing 60.2 percent of his passes while averaging 7.8 yards per attempt and throwing five touchdowns and two interceptions.


Cardinals QB Carson Palmer over nerve problem
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(10:42 pm ET) Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer said Wednesday that he is no longer dealing with a nerve problem in his right shoulder, the Arizona Republic reports.

"Yeah, I'm there right now," Palmer said. "I'm actually able to lift with my upper body, which I wasn't able to lift for five weeks or whatever it was. I definitely had a lot of atrophy, so I'm starting to get some strength back and put a little extra weight up top, which is good. You get sick of going into the weight room and not being able to do things. There was a month of that and it's good to be able to get back in there and do something."

Palmer missed three games earlier in the season but has performed well in the two games since returning, completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 503 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.


Report: Broncos practice squad S John Boyett arrested
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:42 pm ET) Broncos practice squad safety John Boyett was arrested early Wednesday on a charge of third degree assault, the Denver Post reports.

"We are disappointed to learn of the matter involving John Boyett and are in the process of gathering more information," the Broncos told the Post.

Boyett was arrested on charges of disorderly public intoxication on Sept. 2 of last year and waived by the Colts the next day. He signed with the Broncos last November.


Report: Texans' Brian Cushing (knee) out at least one week
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:39 pm ET) Texans linebacker Brian Cushing will miss at least one week of action due to a knee injury, Pro Football Talk reports.

The knee has reportedly been bothering Cushing for the last two weeks, and he has had the troublesome knee drained a few times recently. The Texans have just two games left before the bye, so it's possible Cushing is held out through the team's Week 11 bye before returning in Week 12.


Report: Titans WR Nate Washington could be on trade block
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:03 pm ET) Titans wide receiver Nate Washington has drawn some trade interest recently and could be on the trade block, NFL.com reports.

Washington recently lost his starting job to Justin Hunter and is making $4.8 million in the final year of a six-year contract signed in March 2009. He has tallied 13 receptions for 169 yards in seven games.


Report: Judge forces Roger Goodell to testify at Ray Rice hearing
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:43 pm ET) NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is being forced to testify at the hearing for former Ravens running back Ray Rice by a judge's ruling, ESPN.com reports.

Rice's hearing is set for the first week of November. He is appealing the decision to suspend him indefinitely for the domestic violence incident that initially earned him a two-game suspension during the league's inital investigation.


Report: Torn bicep could end Raiders LB LaMarr Woodley's season
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:32 pm ET) Raiders linebacker LaMarr Woodley suffered a torn bicep in Sunday's game, NFL.com reports.

The injury is expected to cost Woodley the remainder of the season, according to the report. Head coach Tony Sparano said Wednesday that the injury "could be serious," and a tear is a worst-case scenario for the linebacker.


Report: Raiders TE David Ausberry dealing with foot injury
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:29 pm ET) Raiders tight end David Ausberry has a foot injury that could cost him significant time, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Ausberry played just one snap on offense in Week 7, but he was spotted heading to the locker room with a trainer during the game. He has caught two passes for 14 yards this season.


Sparano: Raiders' LaMarr Woodley's bicep injury 'could be serious'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:11 pm ET) Raiders linebacker LaMarr Woodley missed practice Wednesday with a bicep injury, and head coach Tony Sparano said it "could be serious," CSN Bay Area reports.

The injury is a new one for Woodley, who has yet to record a sack in five games. He played less than 50 percent of the defense's snaps for the first time this season in Week 7.


Raiders T Khalif Barnes practices Wednesday, may not start
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:03 pm ET) Raiders tackle Khalif Barnes (quad) returned to practice Wednesday, but he may not regain his starting role from Menelik Watson, CSNBayArea.com reports.

Watson has allowed just two pressures in two starts, but coach Tony Sparano was noncommittal earlier in the week when asked about the situation. "We’re going to have some decisions to make," Sparano said Monday. "Menelik did a great job in there again (on Sunday). Khalif has been a real staple for me at a bunch of positions, as you know. I really feel like he’s one of the leaders of that group and he hasn’t been out there, but Menelik has done a really good job. We’ll find ways to keep them all involved and to keep them all going. The good news is that Menelik is a young player right now that is getting better."

Watson ran with the first team during the portion of Wednesday's practice open to the media.


 
 
 
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