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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
Chris Harris targeting midway point of preseason
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Broncos cornerback Chris Harris, who's coming back from ACL surgery, told ESPN he expects to be cleared for full participation by the midway point of the preseason. Harris said the exact timetable hinges on his upcoming visit to his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews.

"I’m doing everything, there’s really nothing I can’t do right now," Harris told the network. "I still have to go see Dr. Andrews at the end of the month and get checked up and he’ll pretty much let us know the plan from there."

Harris had 65 tackles and three interceptions last year before getting hurt in the playoffs.


Dimitri Patterson a starter by default
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Unable to land a high-end free agent cornerback, the Jets "were forced to settle for journeyman Dimitri Patterson as a consolation," notes The Star-Ledger. Patterson, who projects to start opposite Dee Milliner, is on his sixth team in 10 seasons and has played all 16 games just once in his career.

If Patterson falters, third-round pick Dexter McDougle could get a shot.


Fred Jackson in danger of losing carries
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Bills running back Fred Jackson might not approach the 207 carries he received last year. According to WGR550.com, Jackson will once again split time with C.J. Spiller but also potentially lose snaps to the team's additions at running back, Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon.

The website said Jackson, 33, who's entering the last year of his deal, will be trying to prove how much he has left.


Teammate: Bitterness won't linger from Jimmy Graham standoff
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Saints tight end Benjamin Watson told ESPN that the the team's arbitration fight with Jimmy Graham over whether he's a receiver or a tight end won't have a longterm detrimental effect. Watson is hopeful the sides will reach a multiyear contract agreement by Tuesday's deadline.

"I’m very confident that it’ll be resolved the right way and guys can move forward," Watson said. "Obviously it’s always tough when you go through litigation with somebody, and it can probably get heated. And I’m sure there are emotions on both sides. But that is the business side of the game. 

"And it’s unfortunate that it came to that and that it was so public. But I really think -- I know, I don’t think -- I know that Jimmy loves New Orleans and I know that he loves our team and the organization and he loves playing here. And we love him, everybody wants him here, coaches included. So when it comes down to contract situations, that’s just a necessary evil ... not even evil, but just a necessary progression of getting a player here."


Dallas Thomas eyes starting job
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Dolphins coach Joe Philbin named Dallas Thomas one of the team's most improved players, and he has a good chance to start at left guard, according to the team's website. A third-round pick in last year's draft, Thomas played only four offensive snaps last season.

Thomas worked with the first team during spring drills and is much further along than he was in 2013. He stayed in South Florida throughout the offseason to get better prepared.

"You’ve got to know your material, you’ve got to know what you’re doing on the field because stuff happens so fast," Thomas said. "You’ve got to be able to just react to it and not even think about what’s happening on the field."


Spencer Nealy hit with four-game ban
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) The NFL suspended Vikings defensive end Spencer Nealy four games for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances. An undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M, the 24-year-old Nealy did not play in a game last season.

Nealy apologized and took responsibility in a statement, saying he took a supplement containing a banned stimulant.


Jarrett Boykin will be 'hard to dislodge'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Jarrett Boykin improved dramatically last season and "will be hard to dislodge" from the Packers' No. 3 receiver job, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Boykin will have to hold off second-round pick Davante Adams, fifth-rounder Jared Abbrederis and seventh-rounder Jeff Janis.

Boykin, 24, caught 49 passes for 681 yards and three touchdowns last season.


Trent Richardson might not get long leash
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Averaging 2.9 yards a carry, like he did last year, will get Trent Richardson benched quickly, reports ESPN.com. Richardson "will have to produce right away because it's unlikely the Colts will wait for him to get going" if running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard are healthy and productive, the website said.

Richardson likely will get the first shot at the starting job. He has a much better grasp of the playbook than he did in 2013 and the belief is he'll be able to run on instinct as opposed to overthinking, the report said.


Bruce Ellington trying to overcome stature
by Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer
(7/11/2014) At 5-foot-9, Bruce Ellington is the shortest receiver on the 49ers' roster. But the fourth-round pick out of South Carolina should not be discounted, his high school coach, Jerry Brown, told the Sacramento Bee.

Brown said Ellington is relentless at finding open space and catching everything thrown his way. "Football's played on a big field and it's hard to track someone like Bruce who's got so much agility," Brown said.

Ellington believes he has lots of room for growth because he only gave up basketball last year. Also a former track competitor, Ellington clocked a 4.45 forty at the combine.

"I'm just going to work hard, give it a hundred (percent) every time I step on the field and keep on chasing the dream," he said.


Colts dump LaVon Brazill, sign Aaron Burks
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) The Colts waived suspended wideout LaVon Brazill and signed receiver Aaron Burks, an undrafted free agent from Boise State. Brazill, 25, is suspended for at least a year for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Burks caught 18 passes for 309 yards and three touchdowns for the Broncos last season, averaging 17.2 yards per catch.


 
 
 
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