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Waiver Wire: Who are the must-add options?

Senior Fantasy Writer
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When we got to Week 12, we were supposed to be making plans for the Fantasy playoffs. We were past the bye weeks and the hope was healthy reinforcements were on the way.

Boy, were we wrong.

Week 11 brought some devastating injuries, including Willis McGahee (knee) and Rob Gronkowski (forearm) possibly being lost for the rest of the Fantasy season. LeSean McCoy (concussion) is likely out for Week 12 and Julio Jones (ankle) may have suffered a setback.

On the other hand, there was some good news with the emergence of Justin Blackmon and Chad Henne, the continued production from Danario Alexander and Brandon Myers and the expected return of Beanie Wells in Week 12. It all sets up to be a busy week on the waiver wire.

Look for Bryce Brown and Ronnie Hillman to be the most added players this week with Blackmon, Alexander and Myers to see huge spikes in ownership. We'll also see if owners buy into Wells and we might have a quarterback controversy in San Francisco following a breakout performance from Colin Kaepernick.

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: Russell Wilson, Seahawks (42 percent), Jake Locker, Titans (21 percent), Colin Kaepernick, 49ers (5 percent)
Maybe add:, Sam Bradford, Rams (49 percent), Brandon Weeden, Browns (26 percent), Chad Henne, Jaguars (1 percent)
Desperation add: Nick Foles, Eagles (30 percent), Jason Campbell, Bears (3 percent), Brady Quinn, Chiefs (2 percent), Charlie Batch, Steelers (0 percent)
The breakdown: 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh hinted Kaepernick might remain his starting quarterback after he led a rout of the Bears with 22 Fantasy points. If that happens, even for Week 12 alone, Kaepernick is worth adding in all leagues with a matchup at the Saints. And if he remains the starter for the rest of the season ahead of the injured Alex Smith (concussion) then Kaepernick could continue to be Fantasy relevant in all leagues. … Wilson has been great at home (at least 20 Fantasy points in his past three games in Seattle) compared to on the road (only one game with more than 11 Fantasy points in five outings). But his matchup with the Dolphins in Week 12 is enticing and he's a sleeper in all leagues. … Locker faces a Jaguars defense that just allowed 527 passing yards and five touchdowns to Matt Schaub and Locker is another sleeper in Week 12. … Henne has the chance to help owners after 38 Fantasy points against the Texans and he also has a favorable matchup against the Titans, who are among the league leaders with 20 passing touchdowns allowed.

Running backs

Must add: Mark Ingram, Saints (52 percent), Beanie Wells, Cardinals (44 percent), James Starks, Packers (42 percent), Ronnie Hillman, Broncos (28 percent), Bryce Brown, Eagles (5 percent), Jalen Parmele, Jaguars (0 percent)
Maybe add: Cedric Benson, Packers (37 percent), Shane Vereen, Patriots (17 percent), Bilal Powell, Jets (5 percent), Lance Ball, Broncos (1 percent), Lance Dunbar, Cowboys (1 percent)
Desperation add: Lamar Miller, Dolphins (4 percent), Philip Tanner, Cowboys (4 percent), Cedric Peerman, Bengals (3 percent), Knowshon Moreno, Broncos (3 percent), Justin Forsett, Texans (2 percent)
The breakdown: If you're ranking the running backs for this week only, put them in this order: Brown, Hillman, Parmele, Wells and Ingram. If you're looking for the rest of the season, then put them in this order: Hillman, Parmele, Wells, Ingram and Starks. … The reason we like Brown this week is he should get all the carries in a favorable matchup against the Panthers if McCoy is out as expected. … Hillman is a close second with a tremendous matchup against the Chiefs, but he will share carries with Ball and maybe even Moreno. Put Ball and Moreno on your radar in deeper formats, but Hillman should benefit the most with McGahee out. … Wells makes his return after being out since Week 4 with a toe injury. He will likely share playing time with LaRod Stephens-Howling, but Wells should play a prominent role right away. … Parmele appears to be the Jaguars' featured rusher until Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) returns, but who knows when that will happen. Parmele moved ahead of Rashad Jennings on the depth chart and finished with eight Fantasy points against the Texans. … Ingram has taken advantage of Darren Sproles (hand) being out and he should continue to get carries even when Sproles returns this week. Chris Ivory might be the odd man out -- which is disappointing -- but the Saints don't need to carry four running backs. … Starks is the starter for the Packers moving forward until Benson (toe) returns, which looks like Week 15. Starks is not exciting, but he can give you about seven Fantasy points on a weekly basis, making him a flex option in standard formats. … Powell did a great job with two touchdowns against the Rams, but he remains behind Shonn Greene on the depth chart. We wouldn't invest heavily in Powell unless Greene got hurt. … If you want to speculate on a running back then add Miller. The Dolphins are struggling with Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas and might give Miller a chance at increased playing time in the near future. … Keep an eye on Dunbar and Tanner, who might be the only healthy running backs in Dallas. DeMarco Murray (foot) and Felix Jones (knee) are injured, although Jones hopes to play on Thanksgiving. If he suffers a setback in practice then Dunbar or Tanner could get an increased role.

Wide receivers

Must add: Cecil Shorts, Jaguars (72 percent), Golden Tate, Seahawks (47 percent), Danario Alexander, Chargers (37 percent), Justin Blackmon, Jaguars (36 percent), T.Y. Hilton, Colts (26 percent), Julian Edelman, Patriots (1 percent)
Maybe add: Pierre Garcon, Redskins (70 percent), Jeremy Kerley, Jets (51 percent), Davone Bess, Dolphins (36 percent), Brandon LaFell, Panthers (36 percent), Brandon Gibson, Rams (26 percent), Mohamed Sanu, Bengals (4 percent)
Desperation add: Plaxico Burress, free agent (1 percent), Harry Douglas, Falcons (1 percent), Aldrick Robinson, Redskins (1 perent), Riley Cooper, Eagles (0 percent), Juron Criner, Raiders (0 percent), Chaz Schilens, Jets (0 percent)
The breakdown: There are a lot of receivers to covet this week, but Shorts should be added in all formats. He now has double digits in Fantasy points in four of his past five games and is worth starting in Week 12 against the Titans. Blackmon might not be a starter in all leagues, but he is worth adding with the hope that Henne can continue to get him the ball. The two hooked up on seven catches for 236 yards and a touchdown against the Texans. … Alexander could finish the season as the best receiving option for the Chargers, including Antonio Gates. In only three full games in San Diego he has 15 catches for 291 yards and three touchdowns. He also has a great matchup against Baltimore at home in Week 12. … For the second time in three weeks, Hilton took advantage of an injury to Donnie Avery (concussion) with double digits in Fantasy points. If Avery is out in Week 12 against Buffalo then consider Hilton a sleeper. … The same goes for Tate who, like Wilson, is better at home than on the road, but he's also worth owning in all leagues since he has six touchdowns on the season, including one at Carolina in Week 5. The Dolphins also have struggled with secondary receivers this year. … Edelman could benefit with Gronkowski's injury and he also might have passed Brandon Lloyd on the depth chart. Edelman had seven targets and finished with five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown and one run for 47 yards against the Colts. The Patriots might continue to use him and Wes Welker together, which they have tended to avoid in the past. … I hope Garcon can get back to 100 percent, but I'm skeptical. Still, he's worth adding if you have the roster space since he returned in Week 11 after being out since Week 5 with a toe injury. … The last time Kerley faced the Patriots in Week 7 he had seven catches for 120 yards on 11 targets. … Sanu now has two touchdowns in his past two games. He's someone to monitor with the hope this continues. … LaFell had 15 Fantasy points against the Buccaneers in Week 11 and has favorable matchups ahead against Philadelphia and Kansas City. Hopefully he can close the season strong after cooling off following a hot start. … It looks like Burress is going to sign with the Steelers with Antonio Brown (ankle) and Jerricho Cotchery (ribs) injured. Given their quarterback situation, Burress is only worth adding in the deepest of leagues.

Tight ends

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Must add: Jermichael Finley, Packers (74 percent), Brandon Myers, Raiders (62 percent)
Maybe add: Dustin Keller, Jets (62 percent), Jared Cook, Titans (50 percent), Dwayne Allen, Colts (30 percent), Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars (15 percent), Dallas Clark, Buccaneers (11 percent), Logan Paulsen, Redskins (10 percent)
Desperation add: Tony Moeaki, Chiefs (3 percent), Benjamin Watson, Browns (1 percent), Garrett Graham, Texans (1 percent), Visanthe Shiancoe, Patriots (0 percent)
The breakdown: Aaron Rodgers said during the bye in Week 10 he worked on some things with Finley and it showed in Week 11 at the Lions. Finley scored for the first time since Week 1 and his 66 yards was the highest output of the season on three catches. We hope that's something to build on in Week 12 against the Giants. Finley scored against New York in the regular season last year. … Myers continues to post quality stats yet still isn't owned in every league. He now has three touchdowns in his past three games with 33 Fantasy points over that span. He has at least seven targets in five of his past six games and he has at least five catches in seven outings this year. With all the problems at tight end, he should be a starting option in all formats until he proves otherwise. … If Coby Fleener (shoulder) remains out then look for Allen to remain a starting Fantasy option. He has a favorable matchup against the Bills in Week 12 and Allen has at least six catches for 69 yards in two of his past three games. … After those three tight ends you should look at the matchups in Week 12 with these next five options: Keller vs. New England, Lewis vs. Tennessee, Cook at Jacksonville, Paulsen at Dallas and Clark vs. Atlanta. The Patriots allow the third-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends and Keller had seven catches for 93 yards and a touchdown against them in Week 7. … Lewis just scored two touchdowns against the Texans and the Titans allow the fourth-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Maybe Lewis can get things going with Henne. … The Jaguars just allowed two touchdowns to Graham, their first two touchdowns of the season to tight ends, but Cook is also the only tight end to score against the Dolphins in Week 10. … Paulsen continues to do well as the starter for the Redskins and scored his first touchdown in Week 11 at Philadelphia. The Cowboys just gave up two touchdowns against Benjamin Watson. … And Clark has done a solid job of late with 17 Fantasy points in his past two games. He had 11 targets in Week 11 at Carolina and finished with seven catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. The Falcons allow the fifth-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends. … Watson is only an emergency replacement option even though he scored twice. The Steelers should be able to limit him this week. … Shiancoe would only have increased value if Aaron Hernandez (ankle) doesn't return in Week 12 at the Jets. But Shiancoe is worth monitoring with Gronkowski now out.

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
Patriots' Devin McCourty: There's a 'chance that I might not be back'
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) With the Patriots deciding to use their franchise tag on kicker Stephen Gostkowski, safety Devin McCourty knows his time in New England could be coming to an end. 

In an interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson, McCourty said he didn't have much information on what the Patriots would do and was going off of various media reports that came down to the organization deciding whether to franchise him or Gostkowski. 

Now that Gostkowski is ineligible from hitting the free agent market, McCourty will test the waters beginning on March 10. 

"I guess it's more realistic now that [there's] a chance that I might not be back there," McCourty said. "Or there's still a chance that I will, but I guess [there's] more of a chance now with the franchise tag going to Steve that I could be playing in a different place. Still, keeping an open mind and trying to enjoy the process."

In 2014, McCourty recorded 68 tackles and two interceptions. 


Report: Texans' Andre Johnson given permission to seek trade
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Wide receiver Andre Johnson has been given permission by the Texans to seek a trade, according to a report from the Houston Chronicle

The Texans told Johnson that he'd have a reduced role this upcoming season opposite of DeAndre Hopkins. Therefore, Johnson wanted out of his deal. If a trade cannot be made with a suitor, Johnson will be released

Johnson was the third overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft and is the greatest player in the history of the Texans. He's recorded 1,012 catches, 13,597 yards and 64 touchdowns in his career.

A trade could be difficult, however, based on Johnson's upcoming $16.1 million cap figure and $10.5 million base salary for the 2015 season. 


Colts RB Vick Ballard (Achilles) 'on schedule' with recovery
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) Running back Vick Ballard is poised to be back in the Colts' plans for the 2015 season. 

Ballard, who has missed almost all of the previous two seasons due to injuries, hasn't suffered any setbacks with his recovery, according to the Colts' official website. Ballard tore his ACL in 2013 and suffered an Achilles tear before the 2014 season. 

“Vick’s doing well. He’s going through rehab right now. He’s on schedule,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "He’s been working his tail. When the doctors say he’s 100 percent and ready to roll, then we’ll get him back on the field.”

Ballard led the Colts in rushing as a rookie in 2012 with 814 yards and two touchdowns. He only played in one game in 2013 before tearing his ACL in a practice the following week. His Achilles tear came during the 2014 preseason. 


Report: Jaguars looking for help at RB this offseason
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) It appears Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart will have new role in 2015. 

According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, the Jaguars are planning to move Gerhart around on offense at H-back in addition to running back. This also means the Jaguars will be in the market for additional help at running back. 

Gerhart was plagued by injuries in 2014, which paved the way for Denard Robinson to assert himself as a potential starting running back down the road. Robinson, however, is injury prone himself, which goes back to his days as a standout quarterback in college at Michigan.

Robinson's 2014 season ended on injured reserve with a mid-foot sprain.

Gerhart's season ended with just 326 yards and a patry 3.2 yards per carry average. Robinson emerged late in the year and ran for 582 yards and held a 4.3 yards per carry average.  


Report: Titans parting ways with safety Bernard Pollard
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) The Titans will release veteran safety Bernard Pollard, according to a report from The Tennessean

Pollard had previously requested for the Titans to release him. He's coming off a season that ended prematurely due to an Achilles tear in early October. He was slated to earn $3.5 million with the Titans this year if he stayed on. 

In the five games he appeared in during the 2014 season, Pollard recorded 27 tackles and one sack. 


Report: Browns looking to add another quarterback
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) The Browns are not done just yet in their search for quarterback talent, according to ESPN.com. Cleveland is reportedly looking to add at least one more quarterback through the draft or free agency.

The Browns made their signing of Josh McCown to a three-year deal official last week, but appear to want another to go along with him and Johnny Manziel.


Report: Redskins will pursue Ndamukong Suh as free agent
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) After the Lions chose not to use the franchise tag to retain DE Ndamukong Suh, it became more likely that he'll become an unrestricted free agent on March 10. 

When Suh hits the market, the Redskins will be interested in signing him, reported Dianna Marie Russini of DC's NBC 4, citing sources within the organization. 


Browns don't use franchise tag on Jordan Cameron
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) The Browns won't use their franchise tag on any player, meaning that TE Jordan Cameron will become a free agent on March 10. 

Cameron had 24 catches for 424 yards and two touchdowns last season, at a salary of $1.431 million.


No franchise tag for Broncos' Julius Thomas
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) The Broncos will not use their franchise tag on TE Julius Thomas. The team instead tagged WR Demaryius Thomas. 

Julius Thomas will be able to become a free agent on March 10. He had 43 catches for 489 yards and 12 touchdowns last year. Thomas made $645,000 salary last year. 


Report: Bills do not apply franchise tag to linebacker Jerry Hughes
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/2/2015) The Bills reportedly chose not to apply their franchise tag to linebacker Jerry Hughes Monday, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

Buffalo has been working on signing Hughes to a new, long term deal for the past month. The veteran linebacker racked up 10 sacks and totaled 54 tackles in all 16 games in 2014 for the Bills. 


 
 
 
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