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Waiver Wire: Plenty of one-week options

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The final week of the season is here. And, unfortunately, some Fantasy owners are as confused as ever. That's because the hard part about playing in Week 17 is knowing if your stars are going to play or not.

The NFL teams that have clinched their playoff spots might decide to rest some starters, and Atlanta (No. 1 seed in the NFC), Indianapolis (No. 5 seed in the AFC) and Cincinnati (No. 6 seed in the AFC) can't change their fate by winning or losing Sunday. Our expectation is the Falcons give their regulars minimal action, the Colts go all out for the majority of the game and the Bengals play about a half.

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That, along with injuries -- Matt Forte, Trent Richardson, Cecil Shorts, Mike Wallace, Vernon Davis and Heath Miller are among several stars who could sit in Week 17 -- leaves Fantasy owners still alive scrambling for options. As always, we're here to help.

You might also be looking for a free agent DST option in Week 17, and the two we like best that could be available are the Chargers (64 percent) vs. the Raiders and the Bills (36 percent) vs. the Jets.

Editor's note: We're going with a modified version of Playing the Waiver Wire this week so add these players where needed for the final week of the season. The ownership percentage listed is how many leagues that player was owned in the previous week for CBSSports.com.

Quarterbacks

Add: Jay Cutler, Bears (69 percent), Russell Wilson, Seahawks (62 percent), Michael Vick, Eagles (54 percent), Chad Henne, Jaguars (23 percent), Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (20 percent)
The breakdown: Here's how we would rank the quarterbacks for Week 17: Wilson, Vick, Cutler, Henne, Tannehill. ... We doubt Wilson is available in most standard formats at this point, but in 10-team leagues or smaller some owners might not have fully bought in before his performance in Week 16. He dropped 30 Fantasy points against San Francisco, and he should finish the season strong against the Rams. He has at least 20 Fantasy points in four of his past five home games. ... Vick will start for the injured Nick Foles (hand), and this is his final audition for a starting job in 2013. He had 19 Fantasy points against the Giants in Week 4, and the Giants have allowed 58 Fantasy points the past two games against Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco with five touchdowns and no interceptions. ... Cutler might have to carry the Bears with Forte (ankle) banged up, and the Lions have allowed nine quarterbacks to score at least 18 Fantasy points. Consider Cutler a high-end No. 2 option in two-quarterback formats. ... Henne and Tannehill should also be considered as starters in two-quarterback leagues. Henne plays the Titans, who have allowed at least 20 Fantasy points to three of the past five quarterbacks they have faced, including Henne in Week 12. We would like Henne a lot more if Shorts (concussion) were able to play. ... Tannehill has 46 Fantasy points the past two weeks against the Jaguars and Bills, and he has five touchdowns in his past three games. He also hasn't thrown an interception since Week 12, and he's playing well. He might get some garbage production at New England this week.

Running Backs

Add: Joique Bell, Lions (65 percent), Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers (63 percent), Ben Tate, Texans (57 percent), Mark Ingram, Saints (52 percent), Montell Owens, Jaguars (32 percent), Jackie Battle, Chargers (22 percent), Montario Hardesty, Browns (11 percent), Bernard Pierce, Ravens (11 percent), Ryan Grant, Packers (7 percent), Lamar Miller, Dolphins (4 percent), Cedric Peerman, Bengals (3 percent), DuJuan Harris, Packers (3 percent), Jason Snelling, Falcons (1 percent), Kahlil Bell, Bears (0 percent)
The breakdown: Here's how we would rank the running backs for Week 17: Ingram, Mendenhall, Owens, Joique Bell, Pierce, Kahlil Bell, Tate, Grant, Battle, Peerman, Hardesty, Snelling, Miller, Harris ... The Saints continue to rely on Ingram, and he continues to produce. He has three touchdowns in his past four games with at least six Fantasy points in each of those outings. He faces the Panthers in Week 17, and he scored against Carolina in Week 2. ... Mendenhall should be the primary back for the Steelers in the season finale against the Browns after he had 11 carries for 50 yards in Week 16 against the Bengals. In the past three games the Browns have allowed five rushing touchdowns and three running backs to gain at least 90 total yards. ... Owens had over 100 total yards in Week 16 against New England and now has double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three games. The Titans just allowed three rushing touchdowns to the Packers with Grant gaining 114 total yards. ... Joique Bell has emerged as the second-best receiver for the Lions behind Calvin Johnson. He has 19 catches in his past four games, and he has at least eight Fantasy points in four of his past five outings. ... If the Ravens decide to give Ray Rice some rest in Week 17 at Cincinnati then Pierce could shine. He had 14 carries for 123 yards in a blowout effort against the Giants in Week 16 and is capable of another solid outing against the Bengals. ... Kahlil Bell and Hardesty are injury replacements for the Bears and Browns, respectively. We could see Bell having a solid game in Week 17 against the Lions, who have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing running backs since Week 12. We would likely avoid Hardesty if possible against the Steelers. ... Tate could be a star in Week 17 at Indianapolis if the Texans decide to rest Arian Foster, who dealt with a minor heart condition in Week 16 against the Vikings. All signs point toward Foster playing against the Colts, but Tate is worth keeping an eye on. ... Grant played well against the Titans with Alex Green (concussion) out, and Harris scored. That was a blowout performance, but we can't see the Vikings laying down like the Titans. Also, Minnesota was stout against Foster before he left the game, and the Vikings haven't allowed a rushing touchdown for the past three games. Grant is a flex option at best. ... Battle has a great chance to score against the Raiders in Week 17 since Oakland has allowed 14 rushing touchdowns to running backs this year. Battle led the Chargers in carries in Week 16 at the Jets with 19. By comparison, Ronnie Brown had five carries and Curtis Brinkley had one. ... Peerman could get increased carries if the Bengals pull BenJarvus Green-Ellis early in Week 17 against Baltimore, but he's a risky option. The same goes for Snelling against Tampa Bay, although we would expect Jacquizz Rodgers to see the most action once Michael Turner rests. If Rodgers (73 percent ownership) is still out there then add him over Snelling.

Wide Receivers

Add: Santana Moss, Redskins (63 percent), Brandon LaFell, Panthers (43 percent), Greg Little, Browns (22 percent), Randy Moss, 49ers (21 percent), Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers (14 percent), Jason Avant, Eagles (9 percent), Riley Cooper, Eagles (5 percent), Doug Baldwin, Seahawks (4 percent), Jordan Shipley, Jaguars (0 percent)
The breakdown: There aren't great options at receiver in Week 17, but here's how we would rank them: Randy Moss, Avant, Santana Moss, Baldwin, Little, LaFell, Sanders, Shipley, Cooper. ... Randy Moss has a chance to be a hero for the 49ers with Mario Manningham (knee) out and Davis (concussion) banged up. Moss had six targets in Week 16 at Seattle and scored against the Cardinals, his Week 17 opponent, in Week 8. ... Avant, Cooper or Jeremy Maclin will have a field day if matched up against Giants cornerback Corey Webster. We like Maclin the best, but Avant has at least seven catches in two of his past three games. And Cooper has a touchdown in two of his past four games. All the Eagles will benefit with Vick back under center. ... Santana Moss had four catches for 42 yards and a touchdown at Dallas in Week 12, and he faces the Cowboys again in Week 17. He has at least seven Fantasy points in each of his past five meetings with Dallas, including three touchdowns over that span. ... Baldwin just scored two touchdowns against the 49ers in Week 16 on a season-high six targets. He's worth the gamble that he gets hot heading into the playoffs. ... Little has at least seven Fantasy points in each of his past three games, and he scored a touchdown in Week 16 at Denver. But he's facing the Steelers in Week 17, and he had one catch for 6 yards against Pittsburgh in Week 12. He also has Colt McCoy at quarterback with Brandon Weeden (shoulder) hurt. ... LaFell had seven targets in Week 16 against Oakland, which is a good sign that he might be over his toe injury even if he finished with just five catches for 38 yards. Still, he's facing the Saints in Week 17, and he had six catches for 90 yards against New Orleans in Week 2, which was one of nine secondary receivers to reach at least nine Fantasy points against the Saints this year. ... Sanders could see an increased role if Wallace (hip) is out. If Joe Haden matches up with Antonio Brown then Sanders could see an uptick in targets. ... Shipley played well against the Patriots in Week 16 with five catches for 82 yards on 10 targets. With Shorts out he could be heavily involved again in Week 17 at the Titans.

Tight Ends

Add: Jacob Tamme, Broncos (47 percent), Dwayne Allen, Colts (21 percent), Delanie Walker, 49ers (0 percent)
The breakdown: Here's how we would rank the tight ends for Week 17: Allen, Walker, Tamme. ... Since Week 11 the Texans have allowed at least seven Fantasy points to five tight ends, including Allen in Week 15 when he had three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown. There's a good chance he could score again. ... Walker will likely replace Davis, and he has been productive even with Davis active. He has a touchdown in each of his past two games, and he has at least seven Fantasy points in three of his past five outings. ... Tamme gets the Chiefs in Week 17, and he scored against Kansas City in Week 12.

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
Michael Oher wants to bounce back with Panthers
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(4:29 pm ET) Panthers left tackle Michael Oher thinks he's in the perfect place for his career to bounce back, per the Charlotte Observer.

Oher, who is coming off his worst season as a pro, signed a two-year, $7 million deal with the Panthers this offseason. Now on his third team in three years, Oher doesn't want to let any of his new teammates down.

“It seemed like they wanted me,” Oher said. “I got the (same) feeling going into my rookie year of not wanting to let guys down and guys with a winning culture. For me, it’s about getting back to the basics and fundamentals of doing everything right. Looking myself in the mirror knowing what I have to do and getting better from within.”

Oher started his career with four solid seasons as a Raven before nagging injuries began to hamper him in 2013. He signed a four-year deal with the Titans last offseason but injuries continued to plaque him while there. The Panthers gave Oher another chance to prove himself this offseason, and currently list him as their starting left tackle.
“I’m doing everything in my power to make that happen,” Oher said. “I know that I have the abilities and I’m going to put in the correct amount of work to get the job done. It’s just being around more guys who are willing to do the same.

“It’s definitely about culture in the NFL. That wins you football games alone.”


Report: Broncos will sign offensive tackle Ryan Harris
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4:22 pm ET) The Broncos have agreed to terms on a contract with offensive tackle Ryan Harris, according to a report from ESPN. 

This move is a necessity now that left tackle Ryan Clady is likely lost for the season due to a torn ACL that he sustained in practice on Wednesday.

This move brings Harris back to the organization he started his NFL career with as he played with the Broncos, which drafted him in the third round, from 2007-2010. 

Harris was with the Chiefs a year ago and started 15 of the 16 games he appeared in. 


Standout snags Thursday give hope to Panthers WR Stephen Hill
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:15 pm ET) Panthers wide receiver Stephen Hill flashed some of the potential Thursday that he never reached with the Jets. He caught three deep balls, beating starting cornerback Josh Norman on one of them.

But such achievements are quickly forgotten in May. If Hill doesn't produce when training camp and the preseason games roll around, he will be in the same predicament he has been in since August.

That's when he was waived by the Jets and landed on the Carolina practice squad. And that is not where a player with his talent belongs. But Hill, a second-round selection in 2012, only caught 45 passes for the Jets in his first two seasons combined, so he must prove his worthiness all over again.

Quarterback Cam Newton ran downfield to congratulate Hill on his catch against Norman, which pleased the wideout. He was encouraged by his performance.

"Today was pretty good," he told the Charlotte Observer. "I made a couple big plays, but still need to work on some things when it came to individuals."


Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin: 'Right now, it's about getting healthy'
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(4:09 pm ET) Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is taking his time while rehabbing his injured hamstring. 

Benjamin, who was turning heads at OTA's this time last year, is concerned with getting back to the field 100 percent healthy.

"I'm getting a lot of mental reps right now," Benjamin said. "Right now, it's about getting healthy and getting back on the field.

"It's up to the trainers. Right now they're just taking their time with it."

The Panthers want to be careful with their second-year player.

"Kelvin tweaked it a couple of weeks ago. Coming out of a break, he slipped a little bit on the wet turf and strained it," coach Ron Rivera said. "We're being a little bit cautious, but the unintended consequence that's been a plus has been getting [Devin Funchess]snaps."

Benjamin set a rookie record with 1,008 yards receiving last season.


Jets announce release of quarterback Matt Simms
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(4:01 pm ET) The Jets released quarterback Matt Simms, the team announced on Thursday.

Simms, who was buried in the depth chart with the Jets, has played in four career games, completing 19 of 39 passes for 195 yards a touchdown and an interception.


Game slowing down already for Steelers rookie LB Bud Dupree
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:00 pm ET) Steelers rookie linebacker and first-round pick Bud Dupree needed all of three practices to sense a difference in his development as an NFL player.

The game is already slowing down.

"The first day was kind of fast for me and the rest of the rookies, but I feel like we are adjusting well and learning the plays on the go," he told the team website. "I think I am adjusting fast to the playbook. I know a lot of it right now, but I want to keep on learning."

Much has changed since rookie minicamp. The game definitely speeds up when the veterans arrive.

"All the vets already know where they are going, know their assignments already," Dupree said. "They have been through a lot of game experience so they know what to expect. Me and the rest of the rookies are just going on what we see right now."

Dupree is especially tuned in to what his fellow linebackers are doing. He is taking their advice in adjusting to a new defense.

"All the fundamental things you need to learn playing football and learning the plays more precise so you don't have to think about it while you're on the field. Just small things like that."


WR Lance Moore hopes to revive his career with the Lions
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(3:52 pm ET) Wide receiver Lance Moore is used to defying the odds.

He went undrafted in 2005, he was signed and cut by the Browns, the Saints signed him but thought so little of him they sent him over to NFL Europe. Moore overcame all of that to enjoy nine seasons with the Saints, which included a pivotal role in the team's Super Bowl championship in 2009.

Moore is now trying to revive his career after finding himself on his third team in as many seasons, per ESPN.com.

Moore signed with the Steelers after the Saints released him, but after not being able to establish a role within the Steelers' offense he was released. The Lions signed Moore to a one-year contract in early May. 

“At this point in the game, I just want to play,” Moore said. “I’m not really exactly looking for the biggest pay day. I’m looking for an opportunity to go in and play and help the team win. Detroit made sense for me for numerous reasons."

Moore has 360 career catches for 4,479 yards and 40 touchdowns in his 10-year career.


Packers' Mike McCarthy wants Matthews to play multiple positions
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(3:29 pm ET) Packers coach Mike McCarthy emphasized during organized team activities that outside linebacker Clay Matthews will play multiple positions this season, per the Journal Sentinel.

"Clay Matthews is a great pass rusher. He's going to continue to play as many different positions as we can get out of him," McCarthy said. "We need to utilize him as much as we can. Talked to Clay a couple times early in off-season program and meetings he's been through. He's moving around."

Matthews spent a lot of time playing on the inside of the defense last season and in his exit interviews he said the coaching staff discussed keeping him at multiple spots.

Matthews recorded 61 tackles, 11 sacks and two forced fumbles for the Packers last season.


Broncos go with rookie Ty Sambrailo at LT on Thursday
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3:27 pm ET) With Ryan Clady sustaining a torn ACL on Wednesday, the Broncos put in rookie Ty Sambrailo at left tackle during Thursday's practice, according to the team's website

Sambrailo was selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL draft out of Colorado State. If he's the guy the Broncos have to go to with, he will need to not play like a rookie immediately. 

"He's not a rookie anymore," Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said after practice. "As of today he's about a four-year veteran."

Michael Schofield, a 2014 third-round pick, still remains an option for the Broncos at left tackle. For now, it appears Chris Clark will stay at right tackle. 


Giants WR Odell Beckham: Double teams 'not going to work'
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(3:10 pm ET) In a PSA to NFL defenses, Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham warned opponents that using double coverage on him this season won't work, per NFL.com.

"I definitely expect to receive a lot more attention," Beckham said. "But it's just not going to work."

The 2014 Offensive Rookie of the Year caught 91 passes for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, despite playing in just 12 games.

Beckham said that the receiving corp next season will be much improved and it will be harder for teams to gameplan against just him.

"You know you have [Victor Cruz] and [Reuben Randle], it's going to be hard to double or have a safety over the top with the stuff that we have going on," Beckham said. "I don't think it's going to be beneficial for them."


 
 
 
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