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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
Panthers sign WR Jarrett Boykin to one-year deal
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(2:22 pm ET) The Panthers signed free agent wide receiver Jarrett Boykin to a one-year deal Friday, per David Newton of ESPN.com. 

The 25-year-old receiver had a big campaign with the Packers in 2013, catching 49 passes for 681 yards, but fell out of favor last season, grabbing just three balls for 23 yards in 13 games. Boykin has 57 career receptions in three seasons, all with the Packers. 


Bears sign CB Alan Ball to one-year deal
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:44 pm ET) The Bears have signed cornerback Alan Ball to a one-year contract on Friday, per the team's official website.

Ball, 29, spent the last two seasons with the Jaguars, but was limited to only seven games in 2014 due to a biceps injury. He racked up 59 total tackles, 17 passes deflected and three interceptions over that span. He has played eight NFL seasons with the Cowboys, Texans and Jags.


Titans sign CB Brandon Harris to one-year deal
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:09 pm ET) The Titans have signed cornerback Brandon Harris to a one-year contract on Friday, per the team's official website. Harris played 11 games in 2014, his first season with the Titans. He finished with 11 combined tackles and three pass deflections last season.

Redskins' Thompson, Redd to compete for third-down back role
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:24 am ET) Redskins coach Jay Gruden said this week at the NFL owners' meetings running back Chris Thompson will get the first chance to secure third-down responsibilities, according to The Washington Post. Silas Redd will also get consideration for the role of third-down back.

“Chris [Thompson] came in last year at the end and did some things, and we’re hoping that he can come back and stay healthy in the offseason and give us a little jolt back there,” Gruden said. “And Silas Redd will get every chance to do some things also.”

Although, the Redskins could look to bring in some competition before training camp begins.

“I also think that at the running back position in the draft, there’s a ton of them,” Gruden said. “It’s a very deep running back draft in my opinion, and we’re excited to add another piece at some point, hopefully. We have seven picks. Hopefully one of them will be a running back, or a free agent to compete. There are some good free agents that haven’t been signed yet. But, giving Chris an opportunity, Silas, Alfred (Morris), that’s where it starts. And we’ll add some more later on for competition.”


Falcons could bring in Matt Schaub to vie for backup QB role
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:10 am ET) Falcons coach Dan Quinn is not ruling out bringing back former Atlanta quarterback Matt Schaub to compete for the backup role behind starter Matt Ryan, per ESPN.

"Schaub is certainly somebody that we could [add]," Quinn said. "As we get through it, we'll let you know if we go down that road."

The 34-year-old Schaub was released by the Raiders in mid-March. T.J. Yates and Sean Renfree are the other quarterbacks on the Falcons' roster.


Panthers' Rivera expecting Stephen Hill to contribute in 2015
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:45 am ET) Panthers coach Ron Rivera believes wide receiver Stephen Hill is ready to make an impact in 2015 after spending the 2014 season on the practice squad, per ESPN.

“Very much so," Rivera said Wednesday during the NFL owners meeting in Phoenix. “He’s a guy we feel has an opportunity. We’re very excited about [seeing] Stephen during OTAs and minicamp.

“With his size (6-4, 215) and speed and his ability to get vertical, if he can assimilate to what we do -- and I think he will; he seems to be a very smart man -- he might be a guy that has an opportunity to contribute for us."

Rivera felt Hill's year on the practice squad was beneficial after the 2012 second-round pick failed to live up to expectations during his tenure with the Jets. 

“I thought it was a good opportunity to take a step back and take a break," Rivera said. “The thing I liked about Stephen was how he contributed to our football team’s success. He came in. He had been a second-round pick. He had no assumptions, no entitlement.

“He ran all the scout teams for us. He ran them hard. Gave us great looks, which is what makes us excited 'cause you watch a guy perform who could very easily dog it, and he didn’t. And you saw him grow. You saw him make catches. You saw him get comfortable in his own skin again."


Terence Newman reunites with Mike Zimmer in Minnesota
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:16 am ET) The Vikings announced Friday they signed cornerback Terence Newman, who played for coach Mike Zimmer in Dallas and Cincinnati.

“That’s the biggest thing. He can still play. He came in the league later. I think he was 25 when he came in,” Zimmer said, per the team's official website. “He struggled a little bit in Dallas and then played great in Cincinnati. Last year, he didn’t play quite as good, so seemingly with me, we get things fixed a little bit. I really respect him, and I think he really respects me.”

Although terms of the deal were not officially released, NFL.com reported earlier this week the veteran cornerback's deal is a one-year, $2.5 million contract.


Gruden: Redskins 'keeping a close eye' on Santana Moss
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:55 am ET) With wide receiver Santana Moss still looking to continue his NFL career, Washington coach Jay Gruden said there is a chance the Redskins might re-sign the veteran receiver, who had just 10 catches in 2014.

"We're keeping a close eye on Santana," Gruden said at the NFL owners' meetings in Phoenix, per ESPN. "You know, that's something that we know where Santana is and he knows where we are, and something may work out down the road.

"I could always play with Santana. Santana's a great person. He's great in the locker room for us. He knows all the positions. I know he's going to be in great shape, and I would not hesitate one bit to call him."


Jaguars' Thomas won't try to measure up to Broncos' numbers
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:11 am ET) New Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas told SI.com he has already begun working with quarterback Blake Bortles.

"It’s exciting, that first time you get to work out with your new quarterback," he said. "We’ve got a couple thousand more reps to go, but I’m really looking forward to that chemistry and growing with that entire offense."

The expectations will be elevated for Thomas, who is coming off two great seasons with the Broncos. However, Thomas isn't out to prove he can have the same production without Peyton Manning throwing him passes.

"I think I’ve got to be a little bit cautious on trying to prove so much," he said. "I think I’ve just got to go out there and work my hardest, and do everything I can to win every route, and see what happens. I don’t want to set a goal of 'I gotta have these numbers.' I’m just going to work my hardest every day, do everything I can to become a better player, and do everything I can to help out my team and this offense."

Thomas is also confident he will be able to coexist on offense with veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis, who has been with the team since 2006.

"I don’t think we’ll have any problem playing together," he said. "I was actually talking to him this weekend. I ran into him; we both live in L.A. He’s a really good guy. I’ve met him a couple times before. We both have the same marketing company, so we know the same people, and people that I respect speak very highly of him. I think we complement each other very well. There are going to be things that he can teach me, and I can learn from him."


Former Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin: I still believe in Chip Kelly
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(8:59 am ET) Former Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin apparently has no ill-will toward Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly. Although the Eagles could not match the Chiefs' five-year, $55 million contract offer, which Maclin signed in mid-March, Maclin is still a fan of Kelly, who has overhauled the Eagles' roster this offseason.

"I still believe in Chip," Maclin said, per The Philadelphia Inquirer. "I think Chip's going to do great things here. I have the utmost respect for him. Unfortunately, we couldn't get something worked out. But at the end of the day I'm very excited about playing for Kansas City and playing for Big Red."

As well as Maclin not being brought back, the Eagles traded LeSean McCoy and quarterback Nick Foles. They also released defensive end Trent Cole and offensive lineman Todd Herremans.

Maclin missed the 2013 season -- Kelly's first in the NFL -- due to a torn ACL. However, he returned in 2014 to post career highs in targets (143), catches (85) and receiving yards (1,318), while tying a career high with 10 touchdowns.


 
 
 
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