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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
Falcons place Peter Konz on IR, sign Jonathan Scott
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:45 pm ET) The Falcons announced Monday they placed center Peter Konz on injured reserve due to a knee injury suffered Week 7 against the Ravens. To take his spot on the roster, the Falcons signed offensive lineman Jonathan Scott.

Lions' Caldwell not ready to tip Calvin Johnson's status for Week 8
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2:38 pm ET) Lions coach Jim Caldwell said Monday that it won't be "varying degrees" when it comes to star wideout Calvin Johnson's status for Week 8 against Atlanta in London, ESPN reports.

"It's not going to be a thing of degrees," Caldwell said. "When they say he's cleared, he's ready to go and he’s feeling great, when they doctors say, OK, that's when it's going to happen. It's not going to be a whole lot of in between."

Johnson has missed the previous two games due to an ankle injury, which has also knocked him out of the last six practices for the Lions. When asked if he could be playing Sunday, Johnson told ESPN "maybe" following a Week 7 victory over New Orleans. Caldwell also told the media Monday that Johnson will travel with the team to London.


Dashon Goldson, Johnthan Banks back at Bucs practice
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:33 pm ET) Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson (ankle) and cornerback Johnthan Banks (neck) were back at practice Monday, according to The Tampa Tribune. Banks sat out Week 6 vs. Baltimore, while Goldson has missed the last two games.

The Bucs were on a bye Week 7. They are back in action Week 8 vs. Minnesota.


It's only getting worse for Steven Jackson
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(2:30 pm ET) When Falcons running back Steven Jackson averaged 47.6 rushing yards in his first five games, it was bad. His Fantasy owners were by and large displeased.

So now that he's averaged 23.5 rushing yards in his last three games, where does that leave him? After the disappointment that was his 2013 season, how could he possibly redeem himself in Fantasy?

How indeed. It's one of those questions that doesn't need to be answered because you already know the answer. The Falcons' offensive line is in tatters. Their defense was never good to begin with. They're falling behind and struggling to keep up. The need for a volume running back -- the kind that eats up clock with a consistent 3 to 4 yards -- has dwindled to almost nothing.

It's not like Jackson has become less effective. The Falcons just aren't giving him the ball as much. He's gotten fewer than 10 carries in each of last two games after averaging 12.6 over his first five. And with Jacquizz Rodgers, Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith all better at catching the ball out of the backfield, that may not change.

You shouldn't plan on starting Jackson anytime soon, and you wouldn't be wrong to rid yourself of him altogether.


The heartbreak begins for Antone Smith
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(2:11 pm ET) After he delivered a touchdown of 35 yards or more in four straight games and five of six to begin the season, you really couldn't blame anyone for starting Falcons running back Antone Smith in Week 7, as happened in 26 percent of CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues. But those who started him had to know based on the limited number of opportunities he gets that whenever he had a week when he didn't break a long one, he'd leave them high and dry.

That's exactly what happened at Baltimore. He got his usual allotment of touches -- three carries and two catches -- and netted a total of 9 yards with them.

We may not have seen the last long touchdown from Smith this year, but he couldn't sustain the pace he was on. You're playing with fire every time you use him in Fantasy because for all the Falcons' big talk, they're not increasing his role. He played only 15 percent of their snaps in Week 7, less than any of their other three running backs. He has played the fewest snaps of the four in four of the team's seven games this season, and rookie Devonta Freeman was the only one with fewer in the other three.

Smith is and always has been a touchdown-or-bust player, and I predict a lot more bust in his future.


Buccaneers QB Josh McCown returns to practice Monday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2:07 pm ET) Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown returned to the practice field for the first time since suffering a right thumb injury. He on the field taking snaps and throwing the ball during the media availability portion of the session on Monday, according to the Tampa Tribune. McCown, who was wearing a wrap around his thumb, has not played since Week 3 because of the injury. 

The Buccaneers will face Minnesota in Week 8.


Lions announce several roster moves Monday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2:00 pm ET) The Lions have announced several roster moves on Monday, ESPN reports. The team signed tight end Kellen Davis, and in order to free up a roster spot, Detroit has waived safety Jerome Couplin. Wide receiver Ifeanyi Momah was also signed to the practice squad.

Report: Lions sign TE Kellen Davis
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:56 pm ET) The Lions have signed tight end Kellen Davis, a league source told Pro Football Talk on Monday. The move will give the team more depth at tight end after Joseph Fauria (ankle) and rookie Eric Ebron (hamstring) all sat out Week 7. The only healthy tight end on the roster, Brandon Pettigrew, injured his ankle on Sunday against New Orleans.

Davis caught three passes in 15 appearances last season for the Seahawks. He has yet to play a game this season.


Bears K Robbie Gould downplays Brandon Marshall 's rant
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:49 pm ET) Bears kicker Robbie Gould has downplayed his teammate Brandon Marshall 's dramatic postgame rant in a radio appearance on WSCR 670-AM on Monday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

"I wouldn't give this any more attention than it obviously needs," Gould said. "Everyone's trying to make this a story out of something that really wasn't that big of a deal. … Obviously everyone's frustrated. Everyone wants to win. Our fans want to win. Coaches want to win. The players want to win. And everyone's obviously frustrated."

After losing to his former team on Sunday, the star wideout was heard screaming at his teammates -- including Gould -- through the locker room doors before venting to the media. The Bears have lost their first three games at home this season, matching their home loss total from each of the previous five seasons.

They'll look to get back on track Week 8 at New England.


Demaryius Thomas clearly the top wide receiver
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:38 pm ET) Coming into the season, Demaryius Thomas wasn't the clear No. 1 wide receiver in Fantasy. Calvin Johnson was. And while Thomas was in the discussion for the No. 2 spot, so were A.J. Green and Julio Jones.

But with Johnson and Green battling injuries and Jones an indirect victim of the Falcons' offensive line woes, Thomas has emerged as the top dog at the position. Frankly, he'd probably be there even if those other three played exactly as they were supposed to. He's the most talented wide receiver the (soon to be) most prolific passer in league history has ever had to work with, and the two are beginning to click like never before. Over his last three games, Thomas has averaged 8.7 catches for 173.7 yards with five touchdowns.

Certainly, he won't maintain that pace for the rest of the season. If he did, he'd finish with about 2,400 yards. But if Peyton Manning continues to give him preferential treatment instead of reverting to the equal opportunity passer he was in his first two years with the Broncos, the two could challenge the record books.

Nothing against Jordy Nelson, who has actually been the best wide receiver in standard CBSSports.com leagues to date, but I think Thomas blows him and every other wide receiver out of the water going forward.


 
 
 
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