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Playing the Waiver Wire for Week 3

Senior Fantasy Writer
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This could be a tough week for Fantasy owners following several injuries to prominent running backs. It will lead to a lot of moves on the waiver wire.

We could be without Ray Rice (hip), Steven Jackson (thigh), Maurice Jones-Drew (ankle) and Eddie Lacy (concussion) after they all got injured in Week 2. Bernard Pierce should be the No. 1 priority to add if he's available, but his ownership is relatively high at 72 percent on CBSSports.com.

The rest of the replacement options aren't as enticing as Pierce, but James Starks (5 percent ownership) should catapult to the top of the list after his performance against the Redskins. Once Lacy went down, Starks took off with 20 carries for 132 yards and a touchdown and four catches for 36 yards.

Keep in mind that Starks did that at home against a terrible defense for the Redskins, and in Week 3 he plays at Cincinnati. Starks is the most viewed player on CBSSports.com as of Tuesday morning on Roster Trends.

The other top free agents being viewed include Eddie Royal (17 percent), Charles Clay (3 percent), Andre Ellington (1 percent) and Jason Snelling (1 percent). Royal should be the No. 1 receiver added this week because even though his stats will definitely decline, his five touchdowns through two games are hard to ignore.

Clay has done a nice job for the Dolphins filling in for the injured Dustin Keller (knee) and is a good tight end to add in deeper leagues. Ellington looks like the No. 2 running back for the Cardinals behind Rashard Mendenhall and scored in Week 2 against the Lions. And Snelling might be the running back to target for the Falcons ahead of Jacquizz Rodgers (48 percent) if Jackson is out.

We'll also touch on the backup situation behind Jones-Drew and several other players to add or ignore at quarterback, running back, receiver and tight end.

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: Philip Rivers, Chargers (63 percent)
Maybe add: Alex Smith, Chiefs (53 percent), Terrelle Pryor, Raiders (42 percent), EJ Manuel, Bills (35 percent), Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (32 percent)
Desperation add: Chad Henne, Jaguars (3 percent), Jason Campbell, Browns (0 percent)

The Drop List for Week 3
Below are 12 players who are owned in at least 30 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com that owners can consider dropping.
Player Own %
1. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers 70
2. Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos 69
3. Fred Davis, TE, Redskins 62
4. Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Lions 57
5. Isaac Redman, RB, Steelers 51
6. Josh Freeman, QB, Buccaneers 50
7. Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Colts 49
8. Ryan Broyles, WR, Lions 41
9. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Vikings 40
10. Shonn Greene, RB, Titans 36
11. Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks 36
12. Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Steelers 30

When Rivers had four touchdowns in Week 1 against Houston we considered it a fluke. He passed for just 195 yards, and his best weapon was Royal, who scored two touchdowns. Well, Rivers backed up that performance with a standout game at the Eagles with 419 passing yards and three touchdowns, and he now has 65 Fantasy points through two games -- 31 points more than Cam Newton. Granted, Philadelphia's defense is terrible, but Rivers has a relatively easy schedule ahead with matchups at Tennessee, vs. Dallas, at Oakland, vs. Indianapolis and at Jacksonville before a bye in Week 8. He looks comfortable in Mike McCoy's offense, and it might be time to buy in. ... Smith is a notch below Rivers, but not by much. Through two games, Smith has 45 Fantasy points, and his performance against Dallas was solid with 223 passing yards and two touchdowns and eight carries for 57 yards. The benefit for Smith is Andy Reid, who can't help himself when it comes to calling pass plays. He has a great matchup in Week 3 at the Eagles in Reid's return to Philadelphia, and don't be surprised if Smith has his third game in a row with at least 20 Fantasy points. ... Pryor didn't have a big game in Week 2 against Jacksonville, but he wasn't needed in an easy victory. Look for Pryor to post a quality stat line in Week 3 at Denver on Monday night. ... Manuel won his first NFL game in Week 2 against the Panthers with a touchdown to Steve Johnson on the game's last play. He's not someone to add right now, but keep an eye on his performance over the next four games against the Jets, Ravens, Browns and Bengals. We'll find out if he's a potential Fantasy starter down the road if he plays well through that stretch. ... Tannehill is like Manuel where you want to see him continue to improve as the season goes on. He only has 30 Fantasy points to start the season, but the Dolphins are looking like a team with standout weapons just scratching the surface. Tannehill could end up as a quality bye-week replacement over the next several weeks.

Running backs

Must add: Bernard Pierce, Ravens (72 percent), Bilal Powell, Jets (60 percent), James Starks, Packers (5 percent)
Maybe add: Danny Woodhead, Chargers (60 percent), Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons (48 percent), Isaiah Pead, Rams (38 percent), Da'Rel Scott, Giants (36 percent), Brandon Jacobs, Giants (24 percent), Donald Brown, Colts (21 percent), Robert Turbin, Seahawks (14 percent), Jordan Todman, Jaguars (2 percent), Andre Ellington, Cardinals (1 percent), Jason Snelling, Falcons (1 percent)
Desperation add: LeGarrette Blount, Patriots (23 percent), Johnathan Franklin, Packers (14 percent), Marcel Reece, Raiders (12 percent), Denard Robinson, Jaguars (7 percent), Jackie Battle, Titans (4 percent), Justin Forsett, Jaguars (4 percent), Leon Washington, Patriots (2 percent)

Pierce should be owned in 100 percent of leagues by the end of the week. If Rice is out for Week 3, even in a tough matchup against Houston, Pierce is worth starting in all formats. And if Rice is out for a significant amount of time then Pierce could be a star. ... Starks should be priority No. 2 even in a tough matchup against the Bengals in Week 3. We hope Lacy isn't out long, but the Packers have been committed to Starks for four years despite injuries and inconsistent play. He could carve out a role and is worth stashing even though Lacy is the best Fantasy option of this backfield. ... Powell is the best running back for the Jets right now, and he is worth consideration as a flex option the next two weeks against the Bills and Titans. ... If Jackson is out for the Falcons then Rodgers and Snelling would split time at Miami in Week 3. In standard leagues we'd lean toward Snelling because of his potential to work at the goal line, and he scored against the Rams in Week 2. He also finished with more rushing yards (19 on two carries) and receiving yards (41 on four catches) than Rodgers, who had 11 carries for 17 yards and four catches for 28 yards. Still, playing time should favor Rodgers, so don't overlook him as well. ... I wouldn't trust any Jaguars running backs in Week 3 at Seattle if Jones-Drew is out. But, in a desperate situation, Todman should get the most touches over Robinson or Forsett. ... Woodhead should be owned in the majority of PPR leagues. He had eight catches in Week 2 on nine targets, and he's going to be a reliable weapon for Rivers all season. ... Jacobs (six points) in one game and Scott (16) through two games both have more Fantasy points than David Wilson (minus-2). We still expect Wilson to get going, but taking a flier on either Jacobs (standard leagues) or Scott (PPR) isn't a bad idea at this point. ... Ellington is going to be the third-down back for the Cardinals and play behind Mendenhall. You can forget Ryan Williams, Stepfan Taylor and Alfonso Smith for now, and Ellington is worth stashing if possible. ... Brown replaces the injured Vick Ballard (knee) as the No. 2 running back for the Colts behind Ahmad Bradshaw. He'll only be worth starting if Bradshaw goes down, but he's someone to monitor given Bradshaw's injury history. ... Turbin is the handcuff for Marshawn Lynch, not Christine Michael. Consider Turbin a sleeper this week in what should be a blowout victory for the Seahawks at home against the Jaguars since he could get some late-game action.

Wide receiver

Must add: Marlon Brown, Ravens (41 percent), Eddie Royal, Chargers (17 percent)
Maybe add: Jerome Simpson, Vikings (33 percent), Kendall Wright, Titans (27 percent), Aaron Dobson, Patriots (26 percent), Rod Streater, Raiders (26 percent), Nate Burleson, Lions (15 percent), Robert Woods, Bills (13 percent), Austin Pettis, Rams (0 percent)
Desperation add: Santana Moss, Redskins (23 percent), Harry Douglas, Falcons (12 percent), Riley Cooper, Eagles (10 percent), Stephen Hill, Jets (6 percent), Ted Ginn, Panthers (1 percent), Derek Moye, Steelers (0 percent)

Streamers for Week 3
Here are some DST and kickers to consider if you play the matchups with these positions each week.
Opponent Own %
Vikings DST vs. CLE 22
Jets DST vs. BUF 11
Bills DST at NYJ 11
Alex Henery, K, Eagles vs. KC 38
Steven Hauschka, K, Seahawks vs. JAC 33
Nick Novak, K, Chargers at TEN 7

It's hard to trust Royal even with the five touchdowns through two games. In Week 1 against the Texans he had just three catches for 24 yards. He did better in Week 2 with seven catches for 90 yards, but there is reason for optimism. The Chargers don't have Danario Alexander (knee) and lost Malcom Floyd (neck) for at least a week after getting hurt against the Eagles. That should keep Royal involved. Rivers trusts him, and if he stays healthy who says he can't become this year's darling receiver like Laurent Robinson in 2011 or Alexander last season? No one is saying start Royal if you add him, but he's worth stashing on your bench. I wouldn't overspend for him with your bid points (11 would be the max out of 100), but if you need receiver help then pick him up this week. ... I liked Brown in Week 2 for his matchup against the Browns, and he came through with four catches for 45 yards and a touchdown. He has now scored in consecutive games and should remain relevant with Jacoby Jones (knee) out for several weeks. ... Simpson could have a solid game like Brown did last week since he's the No. 2 receiver facing the Browns in Week 3. If Joe Haden lines up against Greg Jennings then Simpson could post quality stats against Buster Skrine. ... Dobson scored a wide-open touchdown against the Jets in Week 2, but he was plagued by drops. The offense for the Patriots is about to change with Rob Gronkowski (back) coming back, so keep an eye on Dobson's role. ... Wright is worth a flier in all PPR leagues, and he had seven catches for 54 yards and a touchdown in Week 2 at Houston on 11 targets. ... The same goes for Burleson, who should be considered a sleeper this week at Washington. The Redskins have already allowed four receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points in two games. ... Woods is only going to get better as Manuel improves. The same goes for Streater with Pryor. Keep these guys on your radar moving forward. ... Pettis could be a PPR sleeper the rest of this season. He has 17 targets through two games, and the Rams are going to be one of the more pass-happy teams all year. He scored in Week 2 at Atlanta with eight catches for 78 yards.

Tight end

Must add: Coby Fleener, Colts (35 percent)
Maybe add: Jermaine Gresham, Bengals (34 percent), Heath Miller, Steelers (24 percent), Charles Clay, Dolphins (3 percent), Garrett Graham, Texans (2 percent), Jordan Reed, Redskins (2 percent)
Desperation add: Delanie Walker, Titans (5 percent), Zach Ertz, Eagles (5 percent), Clay Harbor, Jaguars (0 percent)

This isn't a great week for tight ends to add, but Fleener has potential if Dwayne Allen (hip) remains out. Fleener had four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown on eight targets against Miami in Week 2. He's not worth starting in Week 3 at San Francisco, but monitor Allen's status moving forward. ... Through two games, Clay has 13 targets for 10 catches, 163 yards and a rushing touchdown. If you're stuck at tight end then add him and hope that kind of production continues. ... The same goes for Graham with the Texans since he has a touchdown in each game so far this year on 10 targets. ... Reed appears to have passed Fred Davis as the receiving tight end for the Redskins. Through two games, Reed has eight catches for 56 yards and a touchdown on nine targets while Davis has three catches for 25 yards on six targets. ... Miller (knee) might be coming back soon, and the Steelers need him. If you want to speculate on a tight end and don't need one in Week 3 then grab Miller now. Remember, he scored eight touchdowns last year with 71 catches for 816 yards and was a Top 10 Fantasy tight end in all leagues.

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 .

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Player News
Browns officially activate WR Josh Gordon
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:11 pm ET) The Browns have officially activated wide receiver Josh Gordon and added him to the 53-man active roster, per the team's official website. In a corresponding move, the team waived linebacker Keith Pough.

Gordon served a 10-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He was arguably one of the top wideouts of the 2013 season, racking up 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. He'll make his season debut on Sunday against Atlanta.


Colts promote RB Zurlon Tipton from practice squad
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:24 pm ET) The Colts have signed rookie running back Zurlon Tipton from the practice squad and added him to the 53-man active roster in time for Sunday's game against the Jaguars, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network on Saturday. In a corresponding move, the team has waived wide receiver Griff Whalen.

The move was made to give Indianapolis some depth at running back after losing Ahmad Bradshaw for the remainder of the season with a fractured fibula and missing out on signing Ben Tate off waivers. Tate was waived by Cleveland and picked up by Minnesota.

Tipton now joins Trent Richardson and Dan Herron as the only remaining backs on the Colts' active roster.


Broncos add DeMarcus Ware to injury report, probable for Sunday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:40 am ET) The Broncos have added defensive end DeMarcus Ware to the injury report because of an illness. He has been listed as probable for Week 12 against Miami, according to the Miami Herald.

Ware is in the midst of a bounce-back season in his first year with the Broncos, registering nine sacks and two forced fumbles, along with 28 total tackles through 10 games. In 2013, he had just six sacks in 13 games with the Cowboys.


Titans WR Kendall Wright seeking more opportunities on offense
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:20 am ET) Titans receiver Kendall Wright admitted he's frustrated and is seeking more opportunities on offense, but told the Tennessean "there is nothing I can do about it, really."

"All I can do is go to work and do what the coaches ask me," Wright said. "It's not like I am going to go Dez Bryant and throw a couple of tantrums and ask for the ball. If I don't get it, I don't get it. Yeah, that is part of the frustration, but I'll get over it.

"… Any receiver would like more opportunities. But it is not my job to say anything to the coaches. If I could get more opportunities, I definitely would take them. I just want to do whatever I can to help. I don't know what I am doing right now, I don't know if it is much to be honest with you."

Wright caught four passes for a season-high 70 yards in a Week 11 loss to Pittsburgh on Monday night. A year after breaching the 1,000-yard plateau, Wright is on pace to finish the season with under 800 receiving yards. He has 43 grabs for 473 yards and four touchdowns through 10 games.


Seahawks won't rule out idea of using Richard Sherman at WR
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:33 am ET) Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told KIRO Radio 97.3 FM on Friday that he's open to the idea of using cornerback Richard Sherman at wide receiver in emergency scenarios, MyNorthwest.com reports.

"He's been very clear in that intent for a long time around here," Carroll said. "It's always been a conversation that we've had, and if I need him I'm going to him and he knows that."

Sherman was Stanford's leading receiver as a freshman and a sophomore before transitioning into a corner. He came down with 73 receptions for 1,232 yards seven touchdowns in those two seasons at Stanford.

The Seahawks traded away Percy Harvin, one of their only playmakers at wide receiver. The team is currently ranked 30th in the league with 191.8 yards per contest, having failed to surpass the 200-yard mark in each of the previous four games.


Redskins coach Jay Gruden: 'Clock is ticking' for Robert Griffin III
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:39 am ET) Redskins coach Jay Gruden told Albert Breer of the NFL Network that the "clock is ticking" for quarterback Robert Griffin III and that he has "auditioned long enough." Gruden also added that the team needs to "find a way to utilize him where we can get productive drives and stay away from negative plays and have some consistency."

"He's auditioned long enough," Gruden said. "Clock's ticking. He's gotta play. We'll see. ... We want Robert to excel, we really do. But the last two games, it hasn't been very good, anywhere. We gotta play better around him. And the biggest thing for us as play-callers, and for him, we just have to come together and jell with plays he's comfortable with. That takes time. But we don't have a lot of time."

Griffin is 32 starts into his Redskins career but has been plagued by injuries. This season alone, he has had 33 possessions, 14 of which resulted in punts and six which have resulted in turnovers. Only five of those drives have resulted in touchdowns.

"His biggest thing, he's been coddled for so long. It's not a negative, he's just been so good, he just hasn't had a lot of negative publicity," Gruden said. "Everybody's loved him. Some adversity is striking hard at him now, and how he reacts to that off the field, his mental state of mind, how it affects his confidence, hopefully it's not in a negative way. I read Drew Brees said after a couple interceptions, 'I'm never gonna lose confidence, I'm gonna come out firing all the time.'"

Over his last two starts, Griffin has completed 41 of 60 pass attempts (68.3 percent), compiling 458 yards along with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

"It's a production-based business. We haven't won many games lately with him," Gruden said. "We gotta figure out a way to get in the end zone. We just have to score. I don't care how we do it. If it's running the zone-read, I don't care. Quarterback sneaks, I don't give a damn. We gotta find a way to utilize him where we can get productive drives and stay away from negative plays and have some consistency."


Jaguars' RB Toby Gerhart just hoping to contribute
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart is just hoping to contribute, according to the Florida Times-Union.

Gerhart came into the season as a team's feature back, but lost his job due to injury. "When I got the original injury, I tried to push through it, and it got worse and worse," Gerhart said. Despite the current situation, Gerhart doesn't blame the Jaguars for sticking with Denard Robinson. "You’ve got to play the hot hand, and he’s the hot hand." Gerhart added that he would do his best to contribute over the next six games. 


Buccaneers CB Alterraun Verner optimistic for Week 12
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) Buccaneers cornerback Alterraun Verner (hamstring) is listed as questionable for Sunday's Week 12 matchup with the Bears, but he's optimistic he'll be cleared to play, Buccaneers.com reports.

"I feel good," he said after getting a limited practice in Friday. "Had a good week and was able to do a lot of things and hopefully they give me the green light to go this week. I was able to open up a lot more this week and I’m looking forward to hopefully being out there this week."

Verner has missed each of the team's last two games, but the Buccaneers defense surrendered 220 passing yards or less to each of the two starting quarterbacks they faced during that stretch.


Raiders' Tony Sparano optimistic Jackson, Carrie will play Week 13
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) Raiders coach Tony Sparano is optimistic that guard Gabe Jackson (knee) and cornerback T.J. Carrie (ankle) will be able to play in Week 13 against the Rams, CSNBayArea.com reports.

"There’s optimism," Sparano told the media. "Again, I say that today, and just went over a few of those things a little while ago. But yes, there’s optimism there."

Jackson has missed three straight games with his injury, while Carrie has played just once in the last three games.


49ers LB Patrick Willis udergoes successful toe surgery
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11/21/2014) 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said Friday on Instagram that the surgery on his injured left big toe "went well," 49ers.com reports.

Willis previously indicated that he's been bothered by the injury for several seasons. Now on injured reserve, the linebacker hopes to be ready for the start of the 2015 season.


 
 
 
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