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Waiver Wire: Time to swap Vick for Nick?

Senior Fantasy Writer
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For the first time since Week 5 when Cedric Benson and Ryan Williams got hurt, we went a week without a starting running back being lost for a significant amount of time. That's the good news.

The bad news is we might be looking at a quarterback change in Philadelphia with Michael Vick getting benched. While coach Andy Reid has yet to make an announcement on his quarterback heading into Week 9 at New Orleans, we would prefer Vick keep his job over Nick Foles, especially with the matchup against the Saints.

But Vick could be a scapegoat for the Eagles' woes this season, and Fantasy owners need to be prepared. We'll give you some options to replace Vick and also deal with Tom Brady being on a bye.

At running back, it's time to make sure you have the handcuff to your stud No. 1 option if there's a direct No. 2 in place. Every Maurice Jones-Drew and DeMarco Murray owner has learned a lesson that even though the backup is not as skilled as the starter, it's still comforting to know you have a replacement option in case of injury.

And at receiver, Titus Young will likely be the most added player this week -- and rightfully so. He had a career performance for the Lions against the Seahawks and helped turn Matthew Stafford's season around.

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: Josh Freeman, Buccaneers (74 percent)
Maybe add: Brandon Weeden, Browns (44 percent), Russell Wilson, Seahawks (29 percent), Jake Locker, Titans (22 percent), Nick Foles, Eagles (6 percent)
Desperation add: Matt Moore, Dolphins (1 percent)
The breakdown: Hopefully this is the last time we have to mention Freeman here, because he's been the second-best quarterback the past three games behind Aaron Rodgers (98 Fantasy points) at 92 points. You might not have the need to start Freeman every week, but you definitely want him on your roster. And every Vick owner should make a move to get Freeman now. ... Foles could step into the starting role for the Eagles and play like a star. After all, Vick has four games with at least 19 Fantasy points this season and former Philadelphia backups like Kevin Kolb, A.J. Feeley and Vince Young have had success before. In deeper leagues, every Vick owner should add Foles, but in standard formats you might want to wait to hear what Reid says heading into practice Wednesday. ... Despite Weeden's poor performance against the Chargers in the rain in Week 8, we would still consider him a replacement option for Brady this week against the Ravens, who have allowed multiple passing touchdowns against Tony Romo and Matt Schaub in their past two games. ... Wilson could also be useful as a bye-week replacement against the Vikings, who have struggled recently against Robert Griffin III and Freeman in two of the past three games. ... As we've been saying the past couple of weeks, if you want to speculate on a quarterback down the road then gamble on Locker, who still has plenty of upside once his left shoulder is healthy. He is expected to resume his starting job soon. ... Moore would only be useful in two-quarterback leagues if Ryan Tannehill (quad) is out for an extended period of time.

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Running backs

Must add: Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers (71 percent), Daniel Thomas, Dolphins (32 percent)
Maybe add: DeAngelo Williams, Panthers (72 percent), Kendall Hunter, 49ers (54 percent), Peyton Hillis, Chiefs (45 percent), Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons (43 percent), Toby Gerhart, Vikings (34 percent), Joique Bell, Lions (30 percent), Mike Goodson, Raiders (27 percent), Robert Turbin, Seahawks (22 percent), Ronnie Hillman, Broncos (19 percent), Shane Vereen, Patriots (17 percent), Ronnie Brown, Chargers (15 percent), Jamie Harper, Titans (15 percent), Bernard Pierce, Ravens (8 percent), Bryce Brown, Eagles (3 percent)
Desperation add: Beanie Wells, Cardinals (24 percent), Kevin Smith, Lions (22 percent)
The breakdown: There's talk that Dwyer could remain the starter in Pittsburgh even when Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) is healthy, which would be a surprise. But Dwyer does have 34 carries for 232 yards the past two games and could start at the Giants in Week 9. ... Thomas has scored in three of his past four games and even though he's missed time with two different concussions, he still has double digits in carries in three games this season. He could be a flex option in deeper leagues because he continues to take touchdowns away from Reggie Bush while also averaging 43 total yards a game. ... If Williams is traded from the Panthers (Arizona and Green Bay would make sense) then he could have value. If you want to speculate and he's available then add him now. ... In PPR leagues, Brown is a must add. He has 15 catches in his past three games with at least six Fantasy points in two of those outings. ... Vereen has two touchdowns in his past four games and 15 carries for 71 yards in his past two outings. He has taken over for the injured Brandon Bolden (knee) and could excel if Stevan Ridley goes down. ... Rodgers might start getting more involved for the Falcons if Michael Turner continues to struggle. Rodgers had eight carries for 60 yards and five catches for 20 yards at the Eagles in Week 8 while Turner had 24 carries for 58 yards. ... If you like your roster then gamble on adding Wells, who could return from his toe injury in Week 12. ... Smith also might have value if Mikel Leshoure continues to struggle. It's a situation to monitor, especially with Bell continuing to steal work as well. ... Hillman did well against the Saints with 14 carries for 86 yards, but he's just the handcuff to Willis McGahee. ... As for the rest of the running backs listed, these are your handcuff options in San Francisco, Kansas City, Minnesota, Oakland, Seattle, Tennessee, Baltimore and Philadelphia. If your starting quarterback has passed his bye then drop your No. 2 quarterback and handcuff your stud running back. It makes more sense going forward.

Wide receivers

Must add: Danny Amendola, Rams (77 percent), Santana Moss, Redskins (63 percent), Titus Young, Lions (51 percent), Cecil Shorts, Jaguars (15 percent)
Maybe add: Sidney Rice, Seahawks (70 percent), Kendall Wright, Titans (61 percent), Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders (58 percent), Brandon LaFell, Panthers (41 percent), Chris Givens, Rams (21 percent), Ryan Broyles, Lions (16 percent)
Desperation add: Golden Tate, Seahawks (15 percent), Dexter McCluster, Chiefs (6 percent), Donald Driver, Packers (3 percent), Drew Davis, Falcons (0 percent)
The breakdown: We had Young as breakout candidate prior to the season but until Nate Burleson (leg) went down he was a bust. In Week 8 against the Seahawks, Young exploded for nine catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets. He should continue to be heavily involved and be owned in all leagues. Broyles is also worth owning in deeper leagues, as he has two touchdowns in his past two games. ... Amendola is expected to return in Week 10 following the Rams' bye week. If he's still out there in your league then plan on adding him now to make sure you get him. If he remains out with his shoulder injury then look for Givens to continue to shine, but Givens is worth stashing anyway as the second-best receiving threat for the Rams. ... Moss continues to be the go-to receiver for Griffin with Pierre Garcon (foot) out, and he has four touchdowns in his past three games. ... Shorts has become the best receiver for the Jaguars. He has 12 catches for 195 yards and a touchdown in his past two games on 22 targets. ... Rice, Wright, Heyward-Bey and LaFell should be owned in most leagues because they are excellent No. 3 receivers and bye-week replacements. LaFell could have a solid performance in Week 9 against the Redskins. And Wright has been the most consistent Titans receiver this year. ... If you're looking for a one-week Hail Mary then take a chance on Tate. The No. 2 receiver against the Vikings has a touchdown in each of the past two games.

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Tight ends

Must add: Jermaine Gresham, Bengals (74 percent), Dustin Keller, Jets (59 percent)
Maybe add: Logan Paulsen, Redskins (10 percent), Dwayne Allen, Colts (5 percent)
Desperation add: Kellen Davis, Bears (3 percent), Zach Miller, Seahawks (2 percent), Tony Moeaki, Chiefs (2 percent)
The breakdown: Gresham has been hit or miss this season, but he has a favorable matchup this week against the Broncos. Denver has allowed six touchdowns to opposing tight ends and four to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Gresham is a great bye-week replacement for Vernon Davis, Rob Gronkowski or Aaron Hernandez. ... Keller is off this week, but in two games since coming back from a hamstring injury he has 14 catches for 170 yards and a touchdown on 18 targets. If you can carry two tight ends he appears to be worth it. ... The Redskins are leaning on Paulsen with Fred Davis (Achilles) out, and he has eight catches for 119 yards on 12 targets the past two games. ... Allen continues to be the No. 1 tight end for the Colts despite Coby Fleener on the roster. Allen had his best receiving game in Week 8 at Tennessee with four catches for 56 yards and could be helpful in deeper formats. ... If you're stuck, Kellen Davis could be worth a flier. He scored in Week 8 against Carolina and faces the Titans this week. Tennessee has allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year.

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
WR Andre Johnson: I didn't join Colts for revenge against Texans
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) Perennial Pro Bowl wideout Andre Johnson insists that he did not sign as a free agent with the Colts with two matchups against his old Texans team in mind. He claims the move was because Indianapolis, led by quarterback Andrew Luck, gives him the best chance to win.

Johnson was surprisingly released by Houston, but revenge was not part of his game plan.

"(Leaving the Texans) hasn't even really set in," he told the Houston Chronicle. "I was just talking about that with someone (Thursday). Everybody thinks that I went to the Colts to try and get back at the Texans and stuff like that. That had nothing to do with it. I just went to the ... place where I felt was the best fit for me and where I can have a chance to win a championship.

"It wasn't about circling (game) dates or nothing against the Texans. I had 12 great years here. Been around some great people, built some great relationships, a lot of great friends. Houston's always going to be my home."

Johnson remained productive in 2014, but his yards-per-catch average declined to 11.0, its lowest since 2005.


Report: Jaguars restructure contract of Marcedes Lewis
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) The Jaguars restructured the contract of tight end Marcedes Lewis, according to a report by Jacksonville.com.

Lewis did not receive an extension. This year will be the last year of his contract. The restructuring should reduce his cap number, which is currently $8.2 million. 


Jaguars sign Stefen Wisniewski
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) The Jaguars announced the signing of free agent center Stefen Wisniewski on Saturday. 

Wisniewski reportedly signed a one-year contract for $2.5 million, per Jacksonville.com.

"We had the opportunity to spend time with Stefen earlier this month and remained in contact with him with the hopes of getting a deal done," GM David Caldwell said. "We are excited to get him on board before we officially start our offseason conditioning program next week. He gives us great position flexibility along our offensive line as he has started at both center and guard during his career. He has a familiarity with our offensive system and brings a lot of experience to our offensive line room."


49ers looking to extend Michael Wilhoite
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2015) After the unexpected retirements of two linebackers, the 49ers are looking to lock up Michael Wilhoite to a contract extension. 

Wilhoite is an exclusive rights free agent, but GM Trent Baalke told the media he hopes to negotiate a long-term deal. 

"We’re working on something with him as we speak … He’s kind of in a unique situation. He was kind of caught in a numbers deal," Baalke said, per SFGate.com.


DeMeco Ryans likes improved Eagles' defense
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2015) Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans likes the changes that the team has made to its defense in the offseason.

"We got better on the outside, which we struggled at last year,” Ryans said, per ESPN. “We had a lot of struggles there on the outside at the corner position, so I feel we've upgraded there with (Byron) Maxwell , a guy that you've seen make a lot of plays for the Seahawks. A guy like Kiko (Alonso), who his rookie year was a really outstanding player, up for defensive rookie of the year, a playmaker all over the field, and another guy in (Walter) Thurmond , who is expected to definitely push guys to be the starting corner on the other side. So I feel like we upgraded at a lot of positions, and I feel like it's really going to improve our defense."


Kubiak: Time for Broncos' backup Brock Osweiler to step up
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2015) Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler hasn't had much playing time, as Peyton Manning's backup, but coach Gary Kubiak wants to see progress from him.

"I think it's time for Brock to take a big step as a player," Kubiak said, per NFL.com. "A lot of times in this league, the young quarterbacks don't get the opportunity to be behind a player of Peyton's status and learn before they get the opportunity in this league ... I think Brock needs to take advantage of this. But he's going to be very competitive. I'm very impressed with his skills. I'm very impressed with how hard he works in the classroom. I know he's got all of the ability."


Kubiak: Broncos will run no-huddle with Peyton Manning
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2015) Gary Kubiak said he plans to take advantage of future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning when designing the Broncos' offense for next season. 

We'll definitely be running the hurry-up offense," Kubiak said per NFL.com. "Peyton's been the best at the business at it for many years, so that's a strength that we'll stay with."

That doesn't mean everything will be the same for Manning. Kubiak said he planned on having Manning under center more than in recent seasons. 


Steelers claim LS Brandon Hartson off waivers
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2015) The Steelers announced on Friday that they claimed long snapper Brandon Hartson off of waivers. 

Hartson was waived by the Chiefs on Thursday. 


S Chris Banjo signs EFA tender with Packers
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2015) Packers safety Chris Banjo signed his exclusive-rights tender on Friday, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

The tender is good for one year and is worth $585,000 for the 2015 season. 


Trent Baalke praises 49ers LB Aldon Smith's offseason work ethic
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2015) 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has had plenty of off-field issues since entering the NFL.

After serving a nine-game suspension a year ago for violating the NFL's personal-conduct and substance-abuse policy, Smith returned and only tallied two sacks. 

The time off followed by sub-par performances has ignited Smith on the practice field thus far, according to general manager Trent Baalke. 

"He’s probably in as good a shape as he’s been in a long time," Baalke said, via the San Jose Mercury News. "He’s starting to develop into a leader out there, which is good to see and been a pleasure to watch."

Baalke knows that Smith has an uphill climb in repairing his image. But while Smith attempts to do so, Baalke wanted the San Francisco media to know that Smith is doing what he can to improve ont he playing field. 

“He’s got a great look in his eye,” Baalke said. “He’s doing well. I look forward to having you guys visit with him.”


 
 
 
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