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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
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.”


WR Greg Jennings still available on free-agent market
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2015) Greg Jennings is back home in Minnesota but still without a new NFL team. 

The free-agent receiver recently visited the Saints but left without signing a contract, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Jennings has also visited the Dolphins, Panthers and Jaguars. 

Jennings caught 59 passes for 742 yards and six touchdowns in 2014. Assuming he does find a team for 2015, Jennings will enter his 10th NFL season. 


Ravens' Supernaw, Trawick, Melvin, Jensen sign EFA tenders
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2015) The Ravens announced on Friday that tight end Phillip Supernaw, safety Brynden Trawick, cornerback Rashaan Melvin and offensive lineman Ryan Jensen signed their exclusive-rights free agent tenders.

Supernaw was mostly a reserve in 2014 and had two catches for 27 yards. Trawick is a backup safety that plays on special teams coverage units. Melvin was signed off of the Dolphins' practice squad after injuries decimated the cornerbacks. Jensen was a 2013 draft pick that ended up spending the majority of 2014 on the practice squad.

 


49ers RB Carlos Hyde down to 220 pounds
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2015) 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said running back Carlos Hyde has trimmed down to around 220 pounds so far this offseason, according to the Sacramento Bee

Hyde was listed at 235 pounds during the 2014 season, which would mean Hyde has lost somewhere int he area of 15 pounds. Baalke said that Hyde hasn't been in the 220 range since his early days in college at Ohio State and that he's looking "extremely good."

Hyde will compete with Reggie Bush for starting tailback duties this preseason, though both should contribute quite a bit in the 49ers' backfield. Bush, 30, was signed by the 49ers after the Lions released him this offseason. 


 
 
 
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