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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: Broncos' Peyton Manning ready to take a pay cut for 2015
(3:32 pm ET) Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is ready to take a pay cut, according to ESPN NFL reporter Chris Mortensen. His salary for 2015 will drop from $19 million to $15 million. 

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter also reports the two sides are near an agreement.


RB Roy Helu to test open market
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:24 pm ET) The Redskins are interesting in bringing back running back Roy Helu, but he "absolutely" will test the free-agent market, reports ESPN 980, adding Helu is 50-50 at best to return to Washington.

Helu has averaged 4.4 yards per carry in four seasons with the Redskins while catching 129 passes and scoring 10 total touchdowns. He typically served as Washington's passing-down back.

>> Want more NFL offseason? >> Mock drafts | Free agency tracker


Reports: Texans release OL Chris Myers
(2:52 pm ET) The Texans released offensive lineman Chris Myers Wednesday, according to multiple reports. The team will save $6 million due to his release, according to spotrac.com. 

The two-time Pro Bowler, who spent seven seasons with the Texans, was voted first-team All-Pro in 2011 by Pro Football Focus.


Report: Wide receiver Jacoby Jones to visit Chargers Thursday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:47 pm ET) Free agent wide receiver Jacoby Jones is scheduled to visit with the Chargers Thursday, according to U-T San Diego.

Jones, who was cut by the Ravens last week, has also visited with the Bengals and Titans. Jones had nine receptions for 131 yards and six first downs in 2014, but averaged 30 yards per kick return.


Giants working to restructure Jon Beason's contract
(2:40 pm ET) The Giants are working with Jon Beason to restructure his contract, per NJ.com.

Beason, who was acquired in a 2013 trade with the Panthers, is scheduled to be paid $5.9 million and count $7.4 million against the salary cap in 2015. The middle linebacker played in only four games last season due to toe and foot ailments.

"We've been back and forth trying to come to terms and they're doing the best they can to try and be fair under the situation," Beason said during a radio interview Wednesday. "As a so-called agent, I'm trying to do the best I can to make sure that I get the opportunity to earn some of that money back."


Report: C.J. Spiller turned out $4.5 million from Bills to return
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:38 pm ET) Running back C.J. Spiller reportedly turned down $4.5 million per year from the Bills to return to the team in 2015, according to NBC4 in Washington D.C.

Spiller, who said Tuesday he would not return to the team after receiving the news of the trade to add LeSean McCoy, is looking for a different role as he hits free agency.

The 27-year-old is reportedly being pursued by the Jets, Dolphins, Cardinals and 49ers who played in nine games in 2014, rushing for 300 yards on 78 carries.


Bills expected to put on 'full-court press' for LB David Harris
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:13 pm ET) The Bills and new coach Rex Ryan are expected to put on a "full-court press" for inside linebacker David Harris, who thrived under Ryan with the Jets, reports the New York Daily News. Harris made at least 120 tackles each of the past three seasons.

"It's a no-brainer," the report said of Buffalo's interest.

Harris, 31, is an impending free agent who's played his entire eight-year career with the Jets.

>> Want more NFL offseason? >> Mock drafts | Free agency tracker


S Tyvon Branch meeting with Colts
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:39 pm ET) Released by the Raiders on Tuesday, safety Tyvon Branch is meeting with the Colts on Wednesday, reports ESPN.com.

Indy needs safety help: The team released LaRon Landry three weeks ago, and Mike Adams and Sergio Brown are headed to free agency. Branch can play both safety positions, the report said, but has been limited to five games the past two seasons due to injury.

>> Want more NFL offseason? >> Mock drafts | Free agency tracker


Giants WR Victor Cruz 'very confident' he can return to form
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:18 pm ET) Giants receiver Victor Cruz, who tore his patella tendon last October, told the New York Post his knee is "feeling better every day." He has begun running on a machine that allows him to use partial body weight, the paper said.

"I just want to get back out there and get back to 100 percent," Cruz said. "I’m very confident I can get back to where I was.”

Cruz said he understands GM Jerry Reese's recent comment that the team can't count on Cruz regaining his Pro Bowl form. He knows he has a lot to prove.

“I’m extremely anxious to run for real and make those cuts you need to make when you’re healthy,” Cruz said. “I’m a competitor and want to start that process now. I’ll be out there soon enough.”

>> Want more NFL offseason? >> Mock drafts | Free agency tracker


Bills acquire QB Matt Cassel for draft picks
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:36 pm ET) The Bills announced they've acquired quarterback Matt Cassel from the Vikings. Buffalo also will receive one undisclosed draft pick while giving away two undisclosed draft picks.

Cassel, 32, won the starting job in Minnesota last year but suffered a season-ending foot injury Week 3 that required surgery.

Cassel is signed for this season at $4.15 million. He'll compete with EJ Manuel and possibly otheres for the starting job in Buffalo.

The trade won't be finalized until the new league year begins next Tuesday.

>> Want more NFL offseason? >> Mock drafts | Free agency tracker


 
 
 
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