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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.

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Player News
Titans add Lache Seastrunk
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:48 am ET) The Titans signed rookie running back Lache Seastrunk to their practice squad. The sixth-round pick out of Baylor was cut by the Redskins, then the Panthers.

Eagles QB Nick Foles: Bruises no big deal
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:45 am ET) Eagles quarterback Nick Foles has denied that a bruised left (non-throwing) shoulder has affected his mechanics or weakened his performance recently.

"Just a couple bruises, it's as simple as that," he told Delaware Online. "You get hit a couple times, there's definitely some soreness in the body. ... That's football. You're going to get hit. You're going to have bruises. You're going to have soreness. But I feel good."

Foles performed well the first three games before a clunker Sunday in San Francisco in which he completed just 21 of 43 for 195 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.


No elixir for Tom Brady's woes
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:38 am ET) Patriots quarterback Tom Brady realizes there's no quick fix to the team's offensive problems. New England's offensive line is in disarray, the team lacks explosive receivers, and Brady is making a surprising number of poor decisions.

"There’s no magic play, there’s no magic scheme," he told WEEI. "It’s us as players playing a lot better than we’re playing. This hasn’t been an isolated incident. I don’t think offensively we’ve played well all year. I don’t think we’ve played well for a long time. We’ve got to figure out the reasons why we’re not playing as well as we’re capable and try to improve them."

Brady is averaging under 200 passing yards per game and has accounted for more turnovers (5) than touchdowns (4).


LB Jon Beason a no-go for Giants on Wednesday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:37 am ET) A nagging foot/toe injury has Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason on the pre-practice injury report for Wednesday, the New York Daily News has reported.

Beason has been inactive for the last two games. He was scratched after being deemed doubtful for the Week 4 game at Washington.


Ready to trust in Rueben Randle?
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:28 am ET) Coming off what was far and away his best game of the season, Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle may seem like a sneaky play Week 5 against Atlanta. The Falcons are terrible on defense, having just allowed 558 yards to the Vikings, of all teams, and rank 30th against the pass, allowing 276.3 yards per game.

But the matchup might almost be too good for a player in Randle's situation. He's not the Giants' top weapon -- not even close. I'd bet on running back Rashad Jennings, wide receiver Victor Cruz and tight end Larry Donnell having big games before I bet on Randle. And after the way rookie running back Andre Williams performed in relief of Jennings last week, the Giants might involve him more, too.

Favorable matchup or not, not all of those players can have big games, and because the Falcons aren't strong enough anywhere on defense to neutralize one of those threats, Randle may take a back seat.

I'm not saying he can't have a big game. I'm just saying I'd have to be convinced he has a better spot in the pecking order to put any money on it. I probably wouldn't resort to him except in leagues that require the use of three wide receivers.


Panthers hope RB Jonathan Stewart gets green light Sunday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:22 am ET) The loss of DeAngelo Williams for at least Week 5 to injury has Ron Rivera hoping that fellow running back Jonathan Stewart will return from a knee injury to play Sunday against visiting Chicago.

Stewart sat out Week 4. If he returns against the Bears, he will do so with just 88 yards on 28 carries for the season.


Patriots' offensive line in flux
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:09 am ET) The Patriots started two rookies on the offensive line Monday for the first time since 2005. Cameron Fleming started at right guard and Bryan Stork started at center; both were fourth-round picks.

Dan Connolly started the first three games at center before starting at left guard against the Chiefs. The shuffling continued throughout the blowout loss as New England sought to find a combination that could protect Tom Brady. Left tackle Nate Solder was beaten badly on Tamba Hali's strip-sack in the third quarter, then got benched for Marcus Cannon.


Demetrius McCray poised to get second start
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:54 am ET) Jaguars cornerback Demetrius McCray will start against the Steelers if starter Dwayne Gratz sits as expected, reports the Florida Times-Union. Gratz suffered a concussion in the Week 4 loss to the Chargers.

A seventh-round pick in 2013, McCray started one game last season. He has played in every game since entering the league, recording 17 tackles and two passes defended.


DeAngelo Williams wearing hard cast on his ankle
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:37 am ET) Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams is wearing a hard cast on his ankle, reports the Charlotte Observer. Williams said he suffered a high ankle sprain in the Week 4 loss to the Ravens. He's expected to miss a few weeks.

Texans cut Ronnie Brown, sign Jumal Rolle
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:30 am ET) The Texans released running back Ronnie Brown and signed cornerback Jumal Rolle off the Packers' practice squad, reports the Houston Chronicle.

 
 
 
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