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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
Patriots safety Devin McCourty doesn't want to return to cornerback
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(11:44 am ET) Patriots' Devin McCourty is making a name for himself as an elite safety. He wants to stay elite and stay a safety, per csnne.com.

The Patriots need help at the cornerback position and rumors have been swirling about McCourty potentially leaving his current role and helping out at corner.

 "[I'm] not really excited about that chatter. Hopefully that's not what happens," McCourty said. "We got a lot of guys working hard at the cornerback position and hopefully they'll get it done. I feel like I found a home at safety and that's where I would definitely like to stay."

McCourty recorded 68 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble in 16 games last season.


Jets CB Dee Milliner (Achilles) running at team OTA's
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(11:33 am ET) Jets cornerback Dee Milliner, who suffered a torn achilles tendon last season, was at organized team activities on Wednesday, per ESPN.

Milliner ran while practice went on as he has not been cleared for team drills yet.


Bills RB LeSean McCoy (neck) returns to OTA's
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(11:01 am ET) Bills running back LeSean McCoy returned to organized team activities on Wednesday after missing all of last week's OTA's because of a neck injury, per ESPN.com.

McCoy rushed for 1,319 yards and five touchdowns for the Eagles last season.


Packers RB Eddie Lacy on dropping weight: 'I'm cool'
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(10:02 am ET) Packers running back Eddie Lacy is an intimidating figure. The team lists him generously at 230 pounds, which makes people wonder how long can a running back that big keep up in the NFL. Lacy's not worried about that, nor does he mind his weight, per the Journal Sentinel.

"I'm cool," Lacy said after asked about the possibility of dropping some weight.

Lacy, unlike some of his teammates, took the offseason to simply rest the wear and tear off his body from last year's punishment.

"It took my body a long time," Lacy said. "For all the hits and stuff to go away. Resting definitely helps and after that I got after it a little bit."

Lacy rushed for 1,139 yards and nine touchdowns last season.


Chiefs' Alex Smith pin points areas of improvement during offseason
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(9:54 am ET) Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is a 10-year veteran and a former top overall pick, but that won't stop him from identifying areas in his game that need improvement and working on them during the offseason, per ESPN.com.

This offseason, Smith has targeted his footwork as one of the main facets of his game he needs to add some fine tuning to.

"For me, footwork is something that never goes away," Smith said. "You're constantly trying to get better with your feet. For me, it's working on being more consistent from being under center and in the [shotgun formation], when I do go back and forth. It's something that looking back on the tape from last year, I was a little bit all over the place and footwork is so important as a quarterback. It's kind of the foundation of throwing. Trying to get to a point where I'm more consistent with that. With that, you're more balanced and I think over the long haul you're going to complete more footballs, you're going to throw better balls."

Decision-making, especially on long plays downfield are another concern Smith is addressing. Last season, he threw just six interceptions but the Chiefs were last in the league in long passes.

"Both lend themselves to throwing the football down the field and being efficient," Smith said. "Any time you've got inefficiencies or wasted movement, things like that, it's only detracting from what you can put on the football. For me, I think both of those things are what I came away with as far as being efficient. Both of those go with being a better quarterback and throwing the ball downfield as well."

Smith threw for 3,265 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.


Raiders coach Jack Del Rio praises Ray-Ray Armstrong's maturity
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(9:45 am ET) Raiders linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong hasn't made much of an impact during his first two seasons in the league. A lot of that stemmed from immature penalties, something coach Jack Del Rio said is starting to change, per ESPN.com.

“He’s really bought in to the idea of maturing and being more disciplined in his play. I think that if you bring some of the playmaking and some of the natural athletic ability that we like, some of the aggressiveness that we like. We’re just wanting to make sure that the maturity is there ... the accountability is there. I think he’s made great strides over this offseason in developing himself along those lines. That’s going to be important for us and important for him.”

Armstrong recorded 18 tackles and a forced fumble in 11 games last season.


Eagles CB Brandon Boykin wants extended role beyond slot coverage
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(9:37 am ET) Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin doesn't just want to be on the field when his team is in a nickle package, he want's to expand his role beyond slot coverage, per philly.com.

Boykin, who's played in every game since he entered the league in 2012, said he spoke with coach Chip Kelly during the offseason and was told that the coaching staff wants him to fight for a starting job on outside coverage.

"He's the coach, he's a man of his word. I'm going to hold him accountable to that, just like he does us," Boykin said. "I'm going to go out there and ball and do what I'm supposed to do. Once camp hits, we'll see who outperforms whoever, and I guess you guys can worry about the rest."

Boykin recorded 43 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in 16 games last season.


Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham on new team: 'It's been a great transition'
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(9:24 am ET) Jimmy Graham is a proven NFL player. He's a three-time Pro Bowl tight end who is entering his sixth season in the league, but he's dealing with the difficulties of transitioning from one franchise to another, per The Seattle Times.

Graham was traded by the Saints to the Seahawks in early March. 

“Everything’s been amazing so far — it really has," Graham said. "From the guys to the coaches to the training staff, everyone’s been truly amazing, and it’s been a great transition so far.”

Though the transition to the environment and personnel has been smooth, Graham will have to adjust to a slightly different role on this Seahawks team. Graham, who was targeted at least 120 times in the passing game over the last four years, will need to accommodate himself in a slightly reduced role within the Seahawks balanced offense.

"I know I’m probably not going to get targeted 130 times. But that’s not my concern; I just want to win games," Graham said. "And I know there will be times — big moments in a game where I’m going to have to go out there and make a play. That’s what I’m focusing on — making sure that when the ball comes my way, I’m ready to take hold of every opportunity, and to not let any of these opportunities pass me by.”

Graham caught 85 passes for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns last season for the Saints.


Cardinals' Arians: Suspended Daryl Washington a 'waste of breath'
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6/2/2015) Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington is suspended for at least a year after violating the league's substance abuse policy. 

Coach Bruce Arians is taking an "out of sight, out of mind" approach to the situation. 

"Until he becomes a Cardinal again,"  Arians recently told The Arizona Republic, "It's a waste of breath."


Pressure off for Packers' Randall Cobb, after new contract
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6/2/2015) Offseason workouts are much more relaxed for Packers' WR Randall Cobb this season. 

Cobb was worried about his contract status last season, but after signing a four-year, $40 million extension, that concern is gone as OTAs begin. 

"That pressure is released," Cobb said, per the Journal Sentinel. "I don’t have to worry about those things. I can focus on continuing to work on my craft and do different things and just get better."


 
 
 
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