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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
Cardinals' Larry Foote '50-50' on playing in 2015
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/26/2015) Though Larry Foote is on the Cardinals' coaching staff at the moment, he hasn't ruled out a potential return to the team

Speaking to the team's website, Foote said he's "50-50" about playing in 2015. He talked about the factors that could play into whether or not he returns to playing. 

“Draft, what happens with (suspended linebacker) Darryl Washington, stuff like that, how my knee feels (after offseason surgery),” Foote said. “I’ll sit down with (Bruce Arians) and the next couple of months are really going to be the deciding factor.”

If Foote doesn't play, he'll be the linebackers coach for Arizona's upcoming season. He's been adjusting to the role of being a coach this offseason. 

“I am starting to like coaching,” Foote said. “It’s a little tough in the office, eating M&Ms, snacking all day, drinking coffee. I started my diet a couple days ago.”


Panthers pick up option on Luke Kuechly contract
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/25/2015) What was promised by general manager Dave Gettleman is now official - the Panthers have picked up the fifth-year option on the rookie contract of standout linebacker Luke Kuechly, per the team website.

The two-time Pro Bowler has led the NFL in tackles in two of his three seasons and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. He has racked up 473 tackles since 2012, the most in the NFL.


Ravens TE Dennis Pitta hopeful for 2015 return
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/25/2015) Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta hopes to take the field in time for the 2015 season, but admits it's too early to determine if that goal can become a reality.

Pitta has undergone surgeries to repair a fractured and dislocated hip in each of the last two years.

"We still have some time to be able to assess where I'm at," Pitta told the Baltimore Sun. "I sure hope that I'll be on the field next year. That's my hope; that's my goal. We'll just see if I can get there."

Pitta has played in just seven games in the last two seasons combined.


Mark Sanchez: Eagles said Tim Tebow was just a camp arm
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4/25/2015) Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez said he wasn't concerned that the team signed Tim Tebow, because the Eagles told him Tebow was just there to throw in camp.

"We needed another guy to throw while Sam's (Bradford) still recovering. So that's the reason (for the signing), at least as explained to me," Sanchez said, per CSN Philadelphia

The Eagles signed Tebow on Monday. He hasn't played in the NFL since getting cut by the Patriots at the end of training camp prior to the 2013 season. He spent last year as a television analyst for the SEC Network. 

Tebow and Sanchez were teammates on the Jets in 2012. Tebow's presence as a back-up created a quarterback controversy among fans and media that last ed throughout the season. 


Vikings CB Terence Newman has familiarity with Mike Zimmer
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2015) Vikings cornerback Terence Newman won't have a steep learning curve now that he's with his new team. 

Newman played under Vikings coach Mike Zimmer when he was the defensive coordinator with the Cowboys. Drafted in 2003, Newman learned Zimmer's defense from his rookie season through 2006, before Zimmer left to take the same position with the Falcons. 

“I just know exactly what to expect from him as a coach, as well as everybody else in this locker room,” Newman told the Vikings' website. “You play your best football under him.”

In his career, Newman has recorded 741 tackles and 37 interceptions. Entering his 13th NFL year, Newman has already impressed his teammates with voluntary workouts underway. 

“I met with him and he seemed like a great guy,” cornerback Xavier Rhodes said. “Like he’s going to come in and teach us what we need to know about the technique of the game and about the defense because he’s been in it before, so he’s going to help us out a lot. He’s a big asset to this team and the defense.”


Chiefs pick up option on NT Dontari Poe
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2015) The Chiefs have exercised their fifth-year option on two-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Dontari Poe, per NFL.com. He is set in Kansas City through 2016, when he will earn $6.146 million.

The 350-pound Poe has earned the money. He racked up six sacks and contributed to 46 tackles in 2014.


Lions GM Mayhew OK with James Ihedigbo skipping workouts
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2015) Safety James Ihedigbo was the lone absence from voluntary workouts this week for the Lions. But general manager Martin Mayhew understands. After all, Ihedigbo's agent has stated that he would not work without a new contract.

"I look forward to talking with James," Mayhew told ESPN. "I understand what he's going through. I've been through that myself as a player, when I felt that a time in my career that I was underpaid and I had to deal with that.

"So I have empathy for him. I understand what he's going through and I look forward to sitting down and talking with him. I have great respect for him as a player, as a man. I've gotten to know him a little bit away from football and I understand how he feels."

Mayhew declined to discuss whether the Liins will rework Ihedigbo's contract.

The 31-year-old Ihedigbo contributed 71 tackles and two sacks with a career-high four interceptions in 2014 despite missing three games at the start of the year with a nerve injury. He earned Pro Bowl alternate status.


Eagles withdraw qualifying offer to RB Chris Polk
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2015) Running back Chris Polk is now a free agent. 

According to the NFL transaction wire, the Eagles rescinded their $1.6 million tender they offered this past March. The Eagles placed the tender on Polk, previously a restricted free agent, before signing both DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews in free agency. 

With Darren Sproles on the roster, it didn't make much sense for Polk to stay with the Eagles. 

In 2014, Polk ran for 172 yards and four touchdowns. 


RB Bobby Rainey signs qualifying offer with Buccaneers
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2015) The Buccaneers have announced that running back Bobby Rainey has signed a one-year qualifying offer the team extended to him before the free agency period. He was a restricted free agent and was given an opportunity to negotiate with other teams.

Rainey will compete for playing time with Tampa Bay. He rushed for 406 yards in 2014, but faded at the end of the season with just two carries in the last six games combined.


Jaguars planning to play 2015 season without Justin Blackmon
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2015) As far as the Jaguars are concerned, Justin Blackmon will not be lining up at receiver for them this season. 

At least that's the approach Jacksonville is taking. Blackmon has been indefinitely suspended since Nov. 1 2013 for three violations of the substance-abuse policy under the old CBA.

"Our process hasn't changed," Caldwell said, via ESPN.com. "[We] plan to go without him, but if he emerges, he emerges, and he's going to go in with those top guys and compete with those other guys. Hopefully we're able to get some news, but if not we weren't planning on [having Blackmon]. We're just going to go [without him]."

Before he can re-join the Jaguars, he'll need to file an application for reinstatement, with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell making a decision within a 60-day window. The application letter would include details of the treatment he's received. 

Since being selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft, Blackmon has only played in 20 games. He has 1,280 yards and six touchdowns in his career. 


 
 
 
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