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Waiver Wire: Hop on the running back carousel

Senior Fantasy Writer
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It's fitting that Knowshon Moreno was the No. 1 running back for the Broncos in Week 12. It kind of sums up this season based on all the running back issues we've faced with injuries and inconsistent play.

The thought when Willis McGahee (knee) went down was Ronnie Hillman would be the starter while sharing playing time with Lance Ball and Moreno, even though Moreno was inactive from Week 2 until last week. Instead, Moreno had 24 touches, Hillman had three and Ball none.

Moreno is now a must-add running back in all leagues and has the chance to finish the season strong. Fantasy owners will also look to add Michael Bush with Matt Forte (ankle) hurt again since Bush scored twice against the Vikings, and Beanie Wells returned from an eight-week absence with two touchdowns against the Rams. We also could have a standout running back in Bryce Brown, if LeSean McCoy (concussion) remains out.

Colin Kaepernick has the chance to be a starting Fantasy option for the rest of the season -- if he can remain the starter for the 49ers ahead of Alex Smith. And we had some quality receiver performances from Pierre Garcon, Ryan Broyles and Mohamed Sanu this past week, making them all attractive options off the waiver wire.

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: Colin Kaepernick, 49ers (52 percent)
Maybe add: Russell Wilson, Seahawks (45 percent), Brandon Weeden, Browns (25 percent), Chad Henne, Jaguars (19 percent)
Desperation add: Jake Locker, Titans (23 percent), Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (21 percent)
The breakdown: The only quarterback who is a must add this week is Kaepernick, and hopefully 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh doesn't make the wrong decision and go back to Smith as his starter. In two games, Kaepernick has passed for 474 yards with three touchdowns and one interception and has 10 carries for 37 yards and a touchdown. He should have another solid outing against the Rams in Week 13. ... Wilson had his best game on the road in Week 12 at Miami with 23 Fantasy points, but producing at Chicago in Week 13 will be tough. He should do well in Week 14 at home against Arizona if you want to look ahead. ... Weeden and Henne are nice sleepers in Week 13, but keep an eye on Weeden's status since he sustained a concussion in Week 12 against the Steelers. If he plays at the Raiders in Week 13 then he should do well since every quarterback who has faced Oakland in the past four games has at least two touchdowns. ... Henne has 58 Fantasy points in his past two games against Houston and Tennessee and would be the No. 2 quarterback to add this week behind Kaepernick. He has 615 passing yards, six touchdowns and one interception over that span and faces the Bills in Week 13. Buffalo has allowed six quarterbacks to throw at least two touchdowns this season. ... In two-quarterback leagues you can consider Tannehill a starter since he faces the Patriots in Week 13. New England has allowed six quarterbacks to throw at least two touchdowns this season.

Running backs

Must add: Michael Bush, Bears (63 percent), Bryce Brown, Eagles (61 percent), Beanie Wells, Cardinals (60 percent), Knowshon Moreno, Broncos (21 percent)
Maybe add: Daniel Thomas, Dolphins (60 percent), Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons (57 percent), Rashad Jennings, Jaguars (50 percent), David Wilson, Giants (21 percent), Shane Vereen, Patriots (19 percent), Bilal Powell, Jets (10 percent)
Desperation add: Brandon Jacobs, 49ers (6 percent), Justin Forsett, Texans (3 percent), LaMichael James, 49ers (2 percent)
The breakdown: Brown would be considered the No. 1 running back add if McCoy remains out in Week 13 at Dallas. Brown was excellent on Monday night against Carolina with 26 Fantasy points. He's worth the gamble in case McCoy's concussion lingers. ... If you need a running back for this week then add Bush. Forte injured his ankle in Week 12 against the Vikings and Bush got 21 carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns. He's not going to impress you with his rushing average, but he could score against the Seahawks in Week 13 if Forte is out. Seattle just allowed two rushing touchdowns against Reggie Bush and Thomas. ... Moreno has the most value long-term. He should remain the workhorse for the Broncos, and Denver has a favorable schedule after the Week 13 matchup with Tampa Bay. The Broncos play at Oakland in Week 14, at Baltimore in Week 15 and against Cleveland in Week 16, and Moreno would be worth starting against the Raiders and Browns. ... Wells came back from the toe injury that kept him out for eight weeks with 17 carries for 48 yards and two touchdowns against the Rams. He has the chance to score again in Week 13 at the Jets and should be considered a No. 2 running back. ... Jennings would also have increased value if Jalen Parmele (leg) is out. We've seen what Jennings looked like as the starter for the Jaguars, which wasn't pretty, but he would have a favorable matchup at the Bills and could be a flex option. ... Vereen has 30 Fantasy points in the past two weeks and continues to be productive for the Patriots, especially in blowout wins. Don't be surprised if Vereen scores again this week at Miami, and he can be considered a flex option. ... Rodgers scored his first rushing touchdown of the season in Week 12 at Tampa Bay and has now played more snaps than Michael Turner for the past two games. He is a sneaky sleeper in Week 13 against New Orleans. ... Thomas and Bush showed the Dolphins running game still has life with both scoring against Seattle. In deeper leagues, you might consider adding Thomas again in case this is a game to build on. ... The Giants lost Andre Brown (leg) for the rest of the regular season, making Wilson the No. 2 running back behind the often-injured Ahmad Bradshaw. He's worth a speculative add. ... Keep an eye on James in case Kendall Hunter (ankle) is out for an extended period of time.

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Wide receivers

Must add: Pierre Garcon, Redskins (65 percent), Ryan Broyles, Lions (21 percent), Mohamed Sanu, Bengals (7 percent)
Maybe add: T.Y. Hilton, Colts (64 percent), Josh Gordon, Browns (61 percent), Santana Moss, Redskins (57 percent), Brandon LaFell, Panthers (39 percent), Davone Bess, Dolphins (35 percent), Julian Edelman, Patriots (15 percent), Cole Beasley, Cowboys (0 percent)
Desperation add: Chris Givens, Rams (12 percent), Plaxico Burress, Steelers (8 percent), Rueben Randle, Giants (4 percent), Jarius Wright, Vikings (1 percent), Dwayne Harris, Cowboys (0 percent), Tiquan Underwood, Buccaneers (0 percent)
The breakdown: It was good to see Garcon look healthy in Week 12 at Dallas with five catches for 93 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. His injured toe is apparently a tolerable injury for now, so he could be considered a must-start Fantasy option in Week 13 at the Giants. ... Broyles showed the Lions don't need Titus Young, who was suspended for Week 12 against Houston, since he had six catches for 126 yards on 12 targets. He has another favorable matchup against the Colts in Week 13. ... Sanu has four touchdowns in his past three games after scoring twice against Oakland in Week 12. He can be considered a solid No. 3 Fantasy receiver or flex option in Week 13 at San Diego. ... Gordon should be considered a sleeper for Week 13 at Oakland. The Raiders can't stop anybody, and Gordon should have a nice game if Weeden is 100 percent. ... Bess is getting hot at the right time with 13 catches for 179 yards and one touchdown on 20 targets the past two weeks. He faces the Patriots in Week 13 and has a tremendous history against New England with at least nine Fantasy points in five consecutive meetings with four touchdowns over that span. ... Edelman would be a must-add if he's OK with the concussion he suffered in Week 12. He has 25 Fantasy points the past two games against Indianapolis and the Jets and has another favorable matchup at Miami in Week 13. Just keep an eye on his status, as he might be someone to add later in the week. ... All Moss does is score touchdowns. He has five touchdowns in his past five games, including two at the Giants in Week 7. He is a great No. 3 receiver in the rematch with the Giants this week. ... Hilton would be great if Donnie Avery was not ahead of him on the depth chart. Hilton has three touchdowns in his past two games but had just three targets against the Bills in Week 12 compared to eight for Avery. Hilton is only worth adding in deeper formats when Avery is healthy. ... Beasley could see a boost in production with Miles Austin (hip) hurt. He had seven catches for 68 yards on 13 targets against the Redskins in Week 12. Harris also would see an increase in production as well, so keep an eye on Austin's status. ... LaFell has 28 Fantasy points the past two weeks and has the potential to be a quality No. 3 Fantasy receiver moving forward. He has 14 targets over that span.

Tight ends

Must add: Dustin Keller, Jets (60 percent), Jacob Tamme, Broncos (36 percent), Dallas Clark, Buccaneers (27 percent)
Maybe add: Dennis Pitta, Ravens (38 percent), Dwayne Allen, Colts (31 percent), Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars (25 percent)
Desperation add: Benjamin Watson, Browns (2 percent), Rob Housler, Cardinals (2 percent), Charles Clay, Dolphins (0 percent)
The breakdown: We got what we hoped for from Keller against the Patriots in Week 12 with five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown, which is his second touchdown against New England this year, but now he has to be more consistent against other opponents. He faces the Cardinals in Week 13, and Arizona just allowed Lance Kendricks to score. Let's hope Keller can build off last week's game and play well. ... Tamme is another tight end to buy into with a good matchup against the Bucs in Week 13. In Week 12 he had his best game of the season since Week 1 at Kansas City with four catches for 48 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. Tampa Bay has allowed at least six points to opposing tight ends in four of the past six games. ... Clark has at least six Fantasy points in his past three games with two touchdowns over that span and faces a Broncos defense that is tied with the Titans for most touchdowns allowed to tight ends with eight. ... Pitta is heating up again with two touchdowns in his past three games and is worth adding for the stretch run. He has games against Washington in Week 14 and Denver in Week 15, which are favorable matchups. But he might not help you out much in Week 13 against the Steelers. He had one catch for 5 yards against Pittsburgh in Week 11, and the Steelers haven't allowed double digits in Fantasy points to an opposing tight end since Week 1. ... Allen has a great matchup this week at the Lions, who have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in each of the past three games. But there's a chance Coby Fleener (shoulder) returns, so keep an eye on what develops. ... Lewis has taken off since Henne has taken over and has seven catches for 96 yards and two touchdowns on 10 targets the past two games. He faces the Bills in Week 13, and Buffalo has allowed three touchdowns to tight ends since Week 9. ... Clay is a sneaky sleeper in Week 13 against New England but only in deeper leagues. The Patriots allow the most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and Clay just had six catches for 84 yards and a touchdown on six targets against the Seahawks. He is a much better option than Anthony Fasano. ... Housler is someone to add in dynasty leagues, but until the Cardinals improve their quarterback situation we'd stay away in seasonal formats. He did have his best game of the season in Week 12 with eight catches for 82 yards on 11 targets, so hopefully that's something to build on.

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
Colts' Luck on new contract: 'There's nothing there right now'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:01 am ET) An ESPN report surfaced last week stating the Colts were working on making quarterback Andrew Luck the highest-paid player in the NFL. When asked about the subject at the Pro Bowl, Luck seemed surprise when he heard the news.

"There's nothing there right now," Luck said, per The Indianapolis Star. "I didn't think about it all during the season and it's only been a few days since it ended. I haven't thought about it. I will have conversations with my agent just because you have to prepare, but I'm not sure where that report came from."

Luck has two years remaining on the $22 million deal he signed as a rookie in 2012. It includes a team option for 2016, which must be exercised later this year.

Luck just completed his third season in the NFL. He has been to the Pro Bowl every year he's been in the NFL. He's gone 11-5 in every season as an NFL starter. He threw for a career-best 40 touchdowns in 2014 and led Indianapolis to the AFC title game this season.


Seahawks' Sherman disappointed he won't receive gifts from Pro Bowl
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:48 am ET) In case you missed Sunday's Pro Bowl, Team Irvin knocked off Team Carter, 32-28, thanks to a second-half rally, which included touchdown catches by Emmanuel Sanders and Jimmy Graham.

While many Pro Bowl players that made the original roster were absent from the game due to injuries, Pro Bowl players from the Patriots and Seahawks also did not play due to preparations for next Sunday's Super Bowl.

One player who seemed upset about missing the Pro Bowl was Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. However, it was for a reason you probably wouldn't suspect.

“Only thing I’m disappointed in is they won’t give us our gifts from the Pro Bowl, which is kind of dumb,” Sherman said, per The Boston Globe. “The NFL is the only league that punishes the players who actually make the All-Star game by not giving them their gifts. It’s supposed to be watches and some other stuff, but we don’t get them so I couldn’t tell you.”


Patriots' Tom Brady on Deflategate: 'My feelings got hurt'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:33 am ET) If you have been out of the loop for the last week, then you might be unaware the Patriots have been under a lot of scrutiny since the AFC title game due to improperly inflated footballs used against the Colts. The media hoopla has transformed the controversy into what we know as Deflategate.

If you haven't been out of the loop, then you are well aware of the nonstop coverage it has received the last week and despite the Patriots pleas for it to go away, it just won't.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has had to deal with the backlash from Deflategate, and he found himself talking about the subject again Monday morning during an interview with WEEI.

“It’s all speculation,” Brady said. “I’ve tried to wrap my head around it, too. I’ve done that and I’m trying to move past that, because I continue to try to rehash things. I personalized a lot of things and thought this was all about me, and my feelings got hurt. Then I moved past it, because it’s not serving me. What’s serving me is try to prepare for the game ahead. I’ll deal with whatever happens later. I’ll have my opportunity to try to figure out what happened and figure out a theory like everyone else is trying to do. But this isn’t the time for that. Honestly, I’m not interested in trying to find out right now, because we have the biggest game of our season ahead.”

One topic Brady didn't have a problem addressing was the speculation coach Bill Belichick threw him under the bus during a press conference on Thursday. But Brady came to the defense of Belichick, who has won three Super Bowls as the Patriots coach.

“I’ve never once felt that we’re not on the same page,” Brady said. “He’s a great coach. He’s the only coach I’ve ever played for; he’s the only coach I’d ever want to play for. There’s a lot of people over the years that have criticized him, but I’d say there’s not one player who’s ever played for him who’s not had an unbelievable amount of respect for him and how he prepares and his diligence and his preparation."


Giants' Odell Beckham says he played with hamstring tears
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:24 am ET) Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham said he played all season with two tears in his hamstrings, according to the New York Daily News.

Beckham took part in the Pro Bowl on Sunday, but admitted he's still not fully healed. Beckham said the injuries prevented him from getting to that "last gear that I wanted to have." He added that the injuries really bothered him against the Eagles and Colts. Beckham said he was "stumbling" and falling over during those games. He added that he's not sure whether he'll ever be 100 percent again.

The rookie had a tremendous season, hauling in 91 balls for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. 


Patriots' Tom Brady meeting with NFL after Super Bowl 49
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Patriots quarterback Tom Brady doesn't expect to meet with the NFL until after Super Bowl XLIX, according to NFL.com.

The Patriots have been in the headlines all week due to Deflategate, and it appears the situation won't be resolved until after the season. "I believe they're going to do [a meeting] after the season," Brady said. "So we'll deal with it after this game. I think everybody is locked in, ready to go for the Super Bowl." Both Brady and coach Bill Belichick have held separate press conferences during the week to deny the team's involvement in deflating their footballs. 

The Patriots are subject to punishment from the NFL if the league finds any wrongdoing during the investigation. 


Earl Thomas on bad shoulder: 'I'll still play fearless'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, who dislocated his shoulder in the NFC Championship Game, could remain limited in practice this week ahead of the Super Bowl, reports the Seattle Times. But he said he won't be thinking about the injury against the Patriots.

"When I come alive nothing is limited,’’ he said. “I’ll still play fearless, throw my body around, and let whatever happens, happens.’’

Thomas did allow that he might have to rely more on his teammates.

“My mindset is I have an opportunity to really trust my teammates,’’ he said. “This is the first game I’m going to have to trust them because of my injury. So I really, really, really trust my teammates, and that’s what I’m banking on, my teammates doing what they need to do and I need to come through myself.’’

It's unclear if Thomas will need offseason surgery.

The Seahawks are 1-point underdogs after opening as 2.5-point favorites.


Colts QB Matt Hasselbeck pondering retirement
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck told ESPN.com he's not sure if he'll retire or return for a 17th season. Hasselbeck, 39, appeared in four games this season and played well, posting a 102.6 passer rating.

He's set to hit unrestricted free agency.


Colts expected to part ways with center A.Q. Shipley
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Colts center A.Q. Shipley is headed for unrestricted free agency, and the team is expected to let him go, reports ESPN.com. 

"Shipley went from starting in Week 1 to losing his starting job, to being inactive, to being the third-string center," the report said. "All without any explanation from coach Chuck Pagano or anybody in the front office."

Shipley, 28, has played in 45 career games, starting 19.


Report: Dolphins aim to re-sign TE Charles Clay
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) The Dolphins have privately indicated they want to re-sign impending free agent tight end Charles Clay and will make him an offer in coming weeks, reports the Miami Herald. Clay caught 58 passes for 605 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games this season.

Miami also is high on Clay's backup, Dion Sims, who's signed through 2016, the paper said.


Browns extremely thin -- and short -- at wide receiver
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) With wideout Josh Gordon facing a one-year suspension, the Browns are dangerously thin at receiver entering 2015. ESPN.com notes the Browns have two returning slot receivers in Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel and "an undersized situational receiver" in 5-10 Travis Benjamin.

Miles Austin is scheduled for unrestricted free agency after catching 47 passes for 568 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games. Tight end Jordan Cameron also is set to be an unrestricted free agent.

Hawkins, a 5-7, 180-pounder, led the team with 63 grabs for 824 yards, with two touchdowns. Cleveland failed to add a wideout in last year's draft but almost certainly must address the position in the 2015 draft.


 
 
 
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