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Waiver Wire: Starting to run on empty?

Senior Fantasy Writer
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It was only a matter of time.

That was the sentiment I heard most on Twitter when sharing the news of Darren McFadden going down with a high ankle sprain during Sunday's loss against Tampa Bay in Week 9. McFadden, who has never played more than 13 games a year in his career, has a lengthy injury history, and Fantasy owners always expect the worst with him.

He is expected to be out in Week 10 at Baltimore and Fantasy owners are looking for replacement options. The problem is that the No. 2 running back in Oakland, Mike Goodson, also suffered a high ankle sprain against the Buccaneers.

With Goodson also now likely out against the Ravens, the Raiders will split touches between Taiwan Jones and Marcel Reece, and we view Reece as the running back to target. He should be the most added player this week.

The Raiders will be popular on the waiver wire with Carson Palmer being added in all formats and Brandon Myers seeing a significant spike in ownership after scoring two touchdowns. With the uncertainty at running back, Oakland will continue to trend toward a passing team.

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 (79 percent)
Maybe add: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills (73 percent), Alex Smith, 49ers (65 percent), Russell Wilson, Seahawks (34 percent), Jake Locker, Titans (22 percent), Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (19 percent)
Desperation add: Matt Hasselbeck, Titans (13 percent), Nick Foles, Eagles (11 percent)
The breakdown: Palmer's ownership should be higher and I'd rather have him on my roster than the following quarterbacks who have a higher percentage: Philip Rivers (94 percent), Andy Dalton (91), Joe Flacco (89) and Jay Cutler (84). Palmer has at least 18 Fantasy points in six of eight games, including three in a row. He has a favorable schedule going forward and can be a good matchup-based quarterback if needed. ... Fitzpatrick has a great matchup against the Patriots, who he torched for 31 Fantasy points in Week 4, but he's been miserable on the road with a combined 17 Fantasy points in his past three games at San Francisco, Arizona and Houston. Start Fitzpatrick if need be, but he's risky. ... Smith isn't a dynamic Fantasy quarterback, but he is capable of good outings at times. He has four games this season with at least 21 Fantasy points and if you're missing Aaron Rodgers or Robert Griffin III, he might be helpful in deeper formats. ... Wilson doesn't have the best matchup against the Jets, but it's hard to ignore his recent production, especially at home. In his past three home games against Green Bay, New England and Minnesota he is averaging 24 Fantasy points. ... Locker could return this week against the Dolphins after being out the past five games with a left shoulder injury. This would be a good matchup since Miami has allowed opposing quarterbacks at least 23 Fantasy points in three of the past six games. We would have more faith in Locker than Hasselbeck. ... Tannehill also would have a favorable matchup since the Titans have allowed at least 20 Fantasy points in seven of nine games this year.

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Running backs

Must add: Vick Ballard, Colts (69 percent), Daryl Richardson, Rams (68 percent), Isaac Redman, Steelers (66 percent), Daniel Thomas, Dolphins (59 percent), Joique Bell, Lions (47 percent), Ronnie Brown, Chargers (26 percent), Marcel Reece, Raiders (1 percent)
Maybe add: Mark Ingram, Saints (40 percent), Mike Goodson, Raiders (24 percent), James Starks, Packers (21 percent), Shane Vereen, Patriots (16 percent), Chris Ivory, Saints (2 percent), Taiwan Jones, Raiders (2 percent)
Desperation add: Beanie Wells, Cardinals (28 percent), Shaun Draughn, Chiefs (10 percent), Evan Royster, Redskins (9 percent), Bernard Pierce, Ravens (8 percent), Justin Forsett, Texans (4 percent)
The breakdown: The good news is there are running backs available if you lost McFadden or have Trent Richardson or Alfred Morris on a bye. Ballard could remain the starter for the Colts in a great matchup against the Jaguars on Thursday with Donald Brown (knee) still not 100 percent. Redman could also remain the starter for the Steelers with Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) and Jonathan Dwyer (quad) still banged up in a tremendous matchup against the Chiefs on Monday night. I would put in claims for Ballard and Redman, in that order, before any Oakland running back. ... I would approach the Raiders by putting in a claim for Reece in all leagues. He just seems to be the safest bet after he had eight catches for 95 yards and a touchdown against the Bucs. He didn't have a carry, but Jones only had one carry for 2 yards and one catch for 4 yards once McFadden and Goodson went down, including a fumble that he recovered. Jones would be the next target if you needed help for Week 10 because he should get increased playing time. But he's only worth adding in deeper leagues. ... Ivory is only a short-term solution with Darren Sproles (hand) possibly back within two weeks, but he ran well against the Eagles with 10 carries for 48 yards and a touchdown. I'd take him over Ingram right now since he had seven carries for 44 yards and two catches for 23 yards. Ivory already has as many games (one) with double digits in Fantasy points as Ingram this year. ... Daryl Richardson, Thomas, Bell and Brown are worth owning in most leagues because even in secondary roles they are still getting production. For this week, I'd rank them Brown, Thomas, Bell and Richardson. Brown is a must-own in PPR formats. ... 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. ... Wells is worth a flier with the hope he returns at 100 percent in Week 12. ... Every Ray Rice owner should invest in Pierce as a handcuff. The same goes for Arian Foster owners with Justin Forsett in case Ben Tate (hamstring) remains out.

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Wide receivers

Must add: Nate Washington, Titans (78 percent), Sidney Rice, Seahawks (73 percent), Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders (60 percent), Cecil Shorts, Jaguars (56 percent), Ryan Broyles, Lions (23 percent)
Maybe add: Justin Blackmon, Jaguars (42 percent), Donnie Avery, Colts (36 percent), Golden Tate, Seahawks (18 percent), T.Y. Hilton, Colts (8 percent), Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers (6 percent)
Desperation add: Kevin Ogletree, Cowboys (21 percent), Alshon Jeffery, Bears (19 percent), Danario Alexander, Chargers (0 percent), Jerricho Cotchery, Steelers (0 percent)
The breakdown: Washington is a great one-week starter against the Dolphins because secondary receivers have hurt Miami and Kendall Wright (elbow) is banged up. No. 2 receivers have scored five touchdowns against the Dolphins in the past six games. ... No. 2 receivers have also hurt the Vikings, which should help Titus Young and Broyles this week. Minnesota has allowed four touchdowns to No. 2 receivers in the past three games. ... Rice and Tate have a tough matchup against the Jets, but it's hard to ignore their production. Rice has three touchdowns in his past four games and Tate has five touchdowns in his past seven games. Rice should be owned in all leagues and Tate has plenty of value in deeper formats. ... Shorts had a disappointing game in Week 9 against Detroit, but he faces the Colts in Week 10. Indianapolis has allowed a receiver to score or reach 100 yards in every game this season, including Shorts in Week 3. He still has more value than Blackmon, who scored his first NFL touchdown against the Lions. Take a flier on Blackmon and hope this is the start of something in his disappointing rookie year. ... Heyward-Bey should be on every roster. He has averaged eight Fantasy points a game the past three weeks and should continue to be a significant contributor going forward. ... Hilton will have tremendous value if Avery (hip) is out, but both are worth adding if you need a receiver. Andrew Luck is only going to keep improving and you want to have his targets on your Fantasy team. ... Sanders and Cotchery will benefit if Antonio Brown (ankle) is out. Target Sanders first, but Cotchery is worth a look in deeper formats. ... Keep an eye on Alexander, who made a good impression on Norv Turner in Week 9 and could inject some life into San Diego's passing game. ... Jeffery is someone to monitor for when he returns from his broken hand, which should be soon.

Tight ends

Must add: Dustin Keller, Jets (52 percent), Brandon Myers, Raiders (46 percent), Joel Dreessen, Broncos (40 percent), Dwayne Allen, Colts (19 percent)
Maybe add: Scott Chandler, Bills (53 percent), Logan Paulsen, Redskins (10 percent)
Desperation add: Rob Housler, Cardinals (2 percent), Tom Crabtree, Packers (2 percent), Charles Clay, Dolphins (0 percent)
The breakdown: Keller should be added in all leagues and has the chance to finish the season strong. In two games since coming back from a hamstring injury he has 14 catches for 170 yards and a touchdown on 18 targets. ... Myers finally scored his first NFL touchdown in Week 9, but he's been playing well all season. He has at least five catches in five games, at least 55 receiving yards in five games and now he's broken through with a score. In deeper leagues he could start for you in Week 10 at Baltimore. ... Dreessen took advantage of a great matchup against the Bengals but also has four touchdowns in his past six games. He's not going to disappear as a red-zone threat for Peyton Manning. ... Allen had a solid game against the Dolphins with Coby Fleener (shoulder) out with six catches for 75 yards on seven targets, and he will start again in Week 10 at Jacksonville. ... Chandler scored twice against the Patriots in Week 4, but that was the last time he scored. Since then he has combined for eight Fantasy points in four games, so use caution if you decide to start him. ... Paulsen is off this week, but he has 13 catches for 178 yards on 20 targets the past three games. He has done well with Fred Davis (Achilles) out. ... Crabtree has three touchdowns on the season, which is two more than Jermichael Finley.

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
Reports: Colts WR T.Y. Hilton a 'long shot' to play Week 16
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:25 am ET) Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, who missed a week of practice due to a nagging hamstring injury, appears to be a "long shot" to play Week 16 against the Cowboys, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Hilton will test his injured hamstring during warmups, but will only play if he's at 100 percent and "can be himself," coach Chuck Pagano told Ed Werder of ESPN.

Hilton is tied for ninth in receptions (82) and fourth in receiving yards (1,345) this season. If he's unable to play, rookie Donte Moncrief will see a slight increase in playing time.

The Colts remain a 3 1/2-point underdog at Dallas.


Report: Cowboys' DeMarco Murray to play with protective pad Sunday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:17 am ET) Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray is expected to play Sunday against the Colts, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports.

The plan is for Murray to play with a pad on his surgically-repaired hand, which he debuted during the team's final walkthru on Saturday. The Cowboys remain concerned with how his injury holds up on Sunday, and if they clinch a playoff spot in Week 16, Murray could be a candidate to sit out Week 17 in order to rest his injured hand.

Murray leads the league with 1,687 yards on 351 carries through 14 games, which is the most in franchise history. He also has 54 receptions for 395 yards.

The Cowboys remain a 3 1/2-point home favorite over Indianapolis.


49ers K Phil Dawson scores five points vs. Chargers Week 16
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:14 am ET) 49ers kicker Phil Dawson made five extra points but missed his only field-goal attempt in his team's 38-35 overtime loss to the Chargers in Week 16.

Dawson didn't have much of a shot at converting his lone field-goal try, as his team tasked him with attempting to avoid overtime by nailing a 60-yard field goal at the end of regulation. He didn't come close, and the 49ers went on to lose in overtime.

Dawson has made 23 of his 29 attempts this season and is now 5 for 8 from 50 yards or more. He'll square off with the Cardinals in Week 17.


49ers WR Michael Crabtree plays sparingly vs. Chargers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:11 am ET) 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree managed just one catch for five yards in his team's 38-35 overtime loss to the Chargers in Week 16.

Crabtree, who was questionable to play Saturday due to a knee injury, remained on the sidelines for large portions of the game, even donning a baseball cap at one point. It appeared he was set to play only in an emergency situation. However, the receiving corps was struck by multiple injuries, leaving the team to turn to Crabtree late, and he recorded his only catch in overtime.

Crabtree will try and heal up in time to serve a larger role in his team's season finale against the Cardinals in Week 17.


49ers WR Anquan Boldin catches seven passes vs. Chargers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:08 am ET) 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin recorded a team-high seven receptions on nine targets for 61 yards in his team's 38-35 overtime loss to the Chargers in Week 16.

Boldin managed more than half of the team's receiving production Saturday, as the other San Francisco players combined for only 53 yards on eight receptions, though rookie Bruce Ellington did managed to catch a touchdown.

Boldin had his best performance since a nine-catch, 137-yard breakout in Week 12. He's racked up 81 receptions for 981 yards with four touchdowns going into a Week 17 matchup with the Cardinals, a team for which he played from 2003 to 2009. He'll be looking to secure his seventh career 1,000-yard performance in the season finale.


49ers WR Bruce Ellington scores twice in Week 16 loss
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:03 am ET) 49ers wide receiver Bruce Ellington tallied three rushing attempts for 12 yards and a touchdown and added an eight-yard touchdown reception in his team's 38-35 overtime loss to the Chargers in Week 16.

Ellington scored both of his touchdowns in the second quarter, first hauling in the eight-yard touchdown on a play-action pass for which he was wide open. He then added the rushing touchdown on a jet play on third-and-goal where he took the ball on the move immediately after the snap and found a crease on the right side for the score.

It wasn't all positive for the rookie, as he was ruled out in the second half with a hamstring injury. If he can heal sufficiently during the upcoming week, he'll be in line to face the Cardinals in Week 17.


49ers RB Frank Gore rumbles for 158 yards vs. Chargers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:58 am ET) 49ers running back Frank Gore racked up 26 carries for 158 rushing yards with one touchdown in his team's 38-35 overtime loss to the Chargers in Week 16.

Both numbers represent season highs for Gore, who hasn't had a better rushing day since the 2009 season. He set the tone early, shaking off would-be tacklers en route to a 52-yard score less than two minutes into the game. Gore continually proved difficult to tackle, as he would have managed his third 100-yard game of the season even without the long touchdown.

Gore is now up to 962 rushing yards and four rushing scores on 230 carries. He has a reasonable shot at cracking the 1,000-yard mark in his team's Week 17 matchup with the Cardinals.


49ers QB Colin Kaepernick tallies 151 rushing yards vs. Chargers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:54 am ET) 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed 15 of his 24 pass attempts for jsut 114 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions but added 151 rushing yards on seven carries in his team's 38-35 overtime loss to the Chargers in Week 16.

Kaepernick had little trouble picking up chunks of yards against a defense that seemed adverse to tackling -- the 49ers set a new team record with 355 rushing yards in the game -- but his highlight came on a 90-yard scamper where he went untouched after crossing the line of scrimmage, with the Chargers committing a penalty on the play for good measure.

The rushing touchdown was the first of the season for Kaepernick, and his 151 rushing yards marked a new regular-season high. However, he's also failed to top 175 passing yards in any of his last four games. The 49ers will look to close out the season in strong fashion when they face the Cardinals in Week 17.


Chargers K Nick Novak nails game-winner in Week 16
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:49 am ET) Chargers kicker Nick Novak made his only field-goal attempt Saturday, hitting the game-winning kick from 40 yards out in his team's 38-35 overtime win over the 49ers in Week 16.

Novak had all week to think about missing two of his three attempts against the Broncos in Week 15 but drilled the key attempt early in the overtime period to send the Chargers home with a win. He also added five extra points, giving him his best point total in three December contests. Novak has a matchup with the Chiefs on the calendar for Week 17.


Chargers WR Malcom Floyd scores key TD in Week 16 win
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:46 am ET) Chargers wide receiver Malcom Floyd caught just four of his season-high 10 targets for 50 yards Saturday but also scored a crucial touchdown in his team's 38-35 overtime win over the 49ers in Week 16.

Floyd hadn't been on the same page as quarterback Philip Rivers for much of the night but came through when it mattered, hauling in the game-tying touchdown on an 11-yard post play with just 29 seconds left in regulation. He's up to 49 receptions, 827 yards and six touchdowns going into a Week 17 matchup with the Chiefs.


 
 
 
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