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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
Marcus Lattimore eager to start pro career
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2014) 49ers running back Marcus Lattimore is ready to start his proffesional career. After blowing out his knee in a gruesome injury in October of 2012 at South Carolina, Lattimore told The State on Sunday that his knee rehab is complete and that he's "ready to play."

Lattimore, who will attend the first day of the team's offseason workouts, will enter a crowded backfield with Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James already backing up current starter Frank Gore. However, James has expressed his desire for a bigger role and could be dealt, opening the door for the No. 3 spot in the backfield.

"If that happens, it does put me in that No. 3 spot," Lattimore said. "But I've just got to go in there and work hard. I can pass-protect and run the ball. I've got to show that."


Raiders bring back Kaelin Burnett
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Raiders have inked exclusive-rights free agent Kaelin Burnett to a one-year deal. He's expected to compete for a roster spot in training camp. 

Dekoda Watson moving to strong-side LB
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) In the wake of the release of veteran linebacker Russell Allen, the Jaguars are expected to make Dekoda Watson their new starting strong-side linebacker, ESPN reports. He'll also play as a pass rusher and potentially line up as a defensive end on third downs. 

Watson had 42 total tackles, two sacks, an interception, a pass defensed, a forced fumble and a blocked punt with the Bucs last year. 


Brandon Gibson begins light jogging
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Brandon Gibson has begun light jogging as he works his way back from a torn patellar tendon, the Miami Herald reports. The Dolphins are expected to keep him on the roster, if only because of the cap hit he'll cost, per the report. He said recently he expects to be ready for Week 1. 

'Humbled' Richardson explains 2013, promises a better 2014
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Colts running back Trent Richardson spoke openly about his disappointing 2013 season, saying that it took him too long to learn a new playbook and get over leaving Cleveland after Week 2. Richardson also told the official team website that he's planning to do everything within his power to be as prepared as possible for 2014. 

"Y'all will see a big significant difference in the way I play, the speed. I won't have to think about a lot of stuff," Richardson said earlier this offseason. "It's going to be big -- timing with the offensive line, timing with Andrew (Luck), just knowing a lot more with the program, the whole system.

"They haven't seen everything they're going to get out of me yet. A lot of it is going to come next year. A lot of it is going to come in the offseason. I'm going to put in a lot of work, as I've been doing this whole season. This season humbled me. ... This season was a lesson to me."

Colts coach Chuck Pagano has had Richardson's back, says the running back, and the coach stressed back in March that his running back's involvement in the offseason program will be key. 

"It's going to be very, very important for (Richardson) to be here for the offseason program and to dive into this thing full steam ahead, which he will," Pagano said. "He wants to be great. He's got all the talent. He's got all the ability. We would have never done what we did if we didn't believe that deep down in our core. So we look for him to have a great offseason and to have a great 2014 campaign."


Saints bring back Robert Meachem
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Saints announced Friday that the club has re-signed veteran free agent wide receiver Robert Meachem to a one-year contract.

Meachem is a seven-year NFL veteran who was originally the club's first round draft pick (27th overall) in 2007. He re-signed with the Saints prior to the start of the 2013 regular season and appeared in 15 games with five starts. He finished with 16 receptions for 324 yards with two touchdowns.

Meachem said signing with the Saints now should help with his preparations as he will be able to take part in the team's offseason conditioning program, OTAs and mini-camp. Plus, "this is home," he said.


Can Chris Johnson turn into Tomlinson?
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Jets are hoping running back Chris Johnson can do for them what LaDainian Tomlinson did in 2010, reports ESPN.

That season, Tomlinson came from San Diego to New York after he was released. He responded with a team-high 914 yards with six touchdowns on 219 carries and caught 52 passes. He was supposed to be Shonn Greene's backup, but Tomlinson was so impressive that he won the starting job and became an integral part of a team that came within one game of the Super Bowl.

Maybe Johnson, who was let go by the Titans, can do the same thing.

"I can turn the bad things people are saying into a good thing for me, to give me motivation, to keep me hungry and to keep a chip on my shoulder and prove the naysayers wrong," he said Thursday.

Johnson had a disappointing year in 2013 when he averaged just 3.9 yards per carry, but he played 13 games on a torn meniscus and was running behind a suspect offensive line for a team that didn't have its starting quarterback for half the season. The situation in New York should be improved, and hopefully being teamed with Chris Ivory will allow him to play like Tomlinson did in 2010.


Aikman worried about Tony Romo
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Former Cowboys quarterback and Hall of Famer Troy Aikman is worried about current Dallas quarterback Tony Romo coming off back surgery, reports the team's official website.

Romo, 34, is coming off back surgery in December, which was the second procedure on his back in a year.

"I came back in a relatively short period of time because of when I had my surgery, so he's at least afforded more time to get ready," Aikman said. "But having said that, two back surgeries in less than a year at his age, I would be a bit concerned.

"I'm hopeful that he's able to come back -- everybody is. This team won't be the same if he's not able to. I anticipate that he will come back. But to say that, 'Hey, he's ahead of schedule and everything's going fine,' I'm not sure how you can really measure that here in April."


Bengals, A.J. Green not talking extension - yet
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Bengals are expected to exercise the fifth-year option on receiver A.J. Green's contract by May 3, reports Pro Football Talk. But the sides have yet to discuss a long-term contract extension, according to the report.

The Bengals hold the rights to Green through the 2015 season. And in 2016, if a long-term deal hasn't been signed yet, the Bengals can use the franchise tag on Green for that season.

The report says Green can force the issue by trying to boycott offseason workouts or hold out from training camp. But Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is confident Green will be there.


Chris Snee will give it a shot this spring
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Giants guard Chris Snee will attempt to go through the Giants offseason program once he's healthy, the New York Daily News reports. Snee had hip surgery last season and an elbow surgery earlier this year. There is no timeline for him to be at 100 percent but he is expected to be on the field for the "bulk" of offseason activities. 

 
 
 
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