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Playing the Waiver Wire for Week 5

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Week 4 was just another wacky week for Fantasy owners. Some of the best options of this past scoring period were sitting on a lot of waiver wires.

Brian Hoyer and Matt Cassel were Top 12 quarterbacks in standard leagues. Roy Helu and LeGarrette Blount were Top 20 running backs. Nate Washington, Alshon Jeffery and Jerricho Cotchery were Top 12 receivers. And Sean McGrath, Garrett Graham and Mychal Rivera were Top 10 tight ends.

Now, this doesn't mean all these players will succeed going forward. Far from it. But it does show you that playing the waiver wire is important to your success.

For the past two weeks, we've been telling you to add Danny Woodhead, who is among the top free agents being viewed on CBSSports.com Roster Trends. He was at 60 percent ownership after Week 2, and he only improved by 12 percent for Week 4.

The Drop List for Week 5
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. Miles Austin, WR, Cowboys 94
2. Chris Givens, WR, Rams 83
3. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings 74
4. Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens 71
5. Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals 68
6. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Steelers 67
7. James Starks, RB, Packers 64
8. Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals 63
9. Donnie Avery, WR, Chiefs 58
10. Chris Ivory, RB, Jets 54
11. Mark Ingram, RB, Saints 50
12. Isaiah Pead, RB, Rams 38

The owners who added Woodhead, especially in PPR leagues, were rewarded with a huge game in Week 4 against Dallas with five carries for 32 yards and five catches for 54 yards and two touchdowns. He now has 20 catches in his past three games and is outplaying Ryan Mathews. Please add him in all leagues.

The other free agents being viewed on roster trends include Redskins running back Roy Helu (34 percent ownership on CBSSports.com), Titans receiver Nate Washington (21 percent), Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount (16 percent), Browns running back Chris Ogbonnaya (12 percent) and Raiders running back Rashad Jennings (7 percent).

Jennings and Helu would be injury replacements for their respective teams since Darren McFadden (hamstring) in Oakland and Alfred Morris (ribs) in Washington got hurt in their head-to-head matchup. Jennings would be the priority this week since Helu and the Redskins are on a bye.

Ogbonnaya has been the better running back in Cleveland since Trent Richardson was traded two weeks ago, and he might be worth owning over Willis McGahee. The Browns are a pass-happy team, and Ogbonnaya is the running back on the field in passing situations.

Blount now has two games in a row with at least six Fantasy points in a standard league, and he's outplayed Stevan Ridley. You should add Blount in deeper leagues, but eventually Ridley will come around – or at least we hope.

Washington has been great for the past two weeks with 35 Fantasy points over that span, but the quarterback change from the injured Jake Locker (hip) to Ryan Fitzpatrick makes me nervous. I'd add Washington, but I'd be hesitant to start him in Week 5 against Kansas City.

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: Brian Hoyer, Browns (12 percent)
Maybe add: Alex Smith, Chiefs (70 percent), Terrelle Pryor, Raiders (40 percent)
Desperation add: Matt Cassel, Vikings (4 percent), Ryan Fitzpatrick, Titans (1 percent)

This isn't a great week for quarterbacks off the waiver wire, but Hoyer should be the No. 1 passer added if you need a bye-week replacement for Robert Griffin III or Ben Roethlisberger. Hoyer has at least 22 Fantasy points in a standard league in two starts, and the Browns did the right thing by keeping him as the starter for Week 5. The Bills have also allowed every quarterback they've faced this season to throw two touchdown passes. ... If Pryor (concussion) gets clearance to play this week then make him your second priority. It's too bad Pryor had to miss that juicy matchup against the Redskins in Week 4. ... Smith is worth buying into long-term for the season. Forget about how he's getting it done with check-down passes, he has at least 20 Fantasy points in three of four games. And coach Andy Reid has him attempting at least 34 passes in every game this year. He just has a tough matchup in Week 5 at the Titans, but he could be useful in Week 6 against Oakland. ... Cassel did a great job against the Steelers with 21 Fantasy points, and unlike Christian Ponder, he allowed Greg Jennings and Jerome Simpson to be playmakers. Don't bother with Cassel this week with the Vikings on a bye, but if he remains the starter in Week 6 against Carolina he could be an option in two-quarterback leagues. ... Keep an eye on Fitzpatrick, but ignore him in Week 5 with a matchup against the Chiefs.

Running backs

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Must add: Danny Woodhead, Chargers (72 percent), Roy Helu, Redskins (34 percent), Rashad Jennings, Raiders (7 percent)
Maybe add: Ronnie Hillman, Broncos (55 percent), Kendall Hunter, 49ers (35 percent), Johnathan Franklin, Packers (33 percent), Andre Ellington, Cardinals (27 percent), LeGarrette Blount, Patriots (16 percent), Chris Ogbonnaya, Browns (12 percent), Mike Goodson, Jets (3 percent)
Desperation add: Donald Brown, Colts (5 percent), Chris Polk, Eagles (1 percent), Anthony Dixon, 49ers (0 percent)

Woodhead should be the priority in all leagues if he's still available, but Jennings will likely be the most-added player this week. McFadden, shockingly, is hurt and could miss Week 5 against San Diego. Marcel Reece (knee) also got hurt against the Redskins, meaning Jennings could get a lot of work against the Chargers. He had 15 carries for 45 yards against Washington and eight catches for 71 yards. Those catches won't be there if Pryor starts, but Jennings has flex appeal in deeper leagues this week. ... The Redskins are off in Week 5, but every Morris owner needs to add Helu. Morris should return in Week 6 at Dallas, but if he's out then Helu would be a potential starter in all leagues. Helu had 13 carries for 41 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 43 yards against the Raiders. ... Hillman, Hunter and Ellington are all handcuff options. Hillman is worth stashing given Knowshon Moreno's injury history, Hunter has scored in consecutive weeks and would be a star if Frank Gore went down and Ellington is starting to outplay Rashard Mendenhall. All are worth speculating on in deeper leagues. ... Eddie Lacy (concussion) is expected back in Week 5 against Detroit, but James Starks (knee) might not return. That could give Franklin an extended look, and his value would skyrocket if Lacy has a setback. ... Goodson's four-game suspension is over, and he will likely share playing time with Bilal Powell with Chris Ivory (hamstring) hurt. Goodson is worth adding now in deep PPR leagues.

Wide receiver

Streamers for Week 5
Here are some DST and kickers to consider if you play the matchups with these positions each week.
Opponent Own %
Rams DST vs. JAC 41
Falcons DST vs. NYJ 38
Browns DST vs. BUF 27
Panthers DST at ARI 20
Robbie Gould, K, Bears vs. NO 57
Caleb Sturgis, K, Miami vs. BAL 50
Ryan Succop, K, Chiefs at TEN 15

Must add: Justin Blackmon, Jaguars (74 percent), Alshon Jeffery, Bears (57 percent), Marlon Brown, Ravens (53 percent), Nate Washington, Titans (21 percent)
Maybe add: Jerome Simpson, Vikings (23 percent), Robert Woods, Bills (15 percent), Austin Pettis, Rams (14 percent), Terrance Williams, Cowboys (6 percent), Keenan Allen, Chargers (3 percent)
Desperation add: Harry Douglas, Falcons (6 percent), Jerricho Cotchery, Steelers (2 percent), Justin Hunter, Titans (2 percent), Earl Bennett, Bears (1 percent), Jeff Maehl, Eagles (0 percent), Kris Durham, Lions (0 percent)

Blackmon's four-game suspension is over, and this is a good week for him to return at St. Louis. The Rams have allowed seven receivers to reach at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league this year. ... Brown is banged up with a hamstring injury, so make sure he's OK heading into Miami in Week 5. He has three touchdowns in four games and has been a valuable weapon for Joe Flacco. ... Jeffery had a breakout game in Week 4 at Detroit in a comeback effort with 20 Fantasy points, and the Bears are featuring him this season with at least eight targets in three of four games. He now has 12 catches for 158 yards and a touchdown in his past two games. ... Pettis has been the most reliable receiver for the Rams, and he is worth adding in deep PPR leagues, especially with a matchup against the Jaguars this week. ... Simpson now has over 120 receiving yards in two of four games, and the quarterback change to Cassel should help Simpson since Cassel will take shots down the field. ... Woods had his best game of the season in Week 4 against Baltimore with four catches for 80 yards and a touchdown on eight targets. He has 18 targets the past two games, and EJ Manuel is trying to get him involved. He just missed a second touchdown against the Ravens when he couldn't maintain control of the ball going out of bounds. ... Williams will remain a starter for the Cowboys as long as Miles Austin (hamstring) is out. He had seven catches for 71 yards against the Chargers, but he lost a late fumble. If he's not punished for that and starts again in Week 5 against Denver he could be a sleeper against the Broncos. ... Allen had five catches for 80 yards in Week 4 against Dallas on six targets. If he can get more targets he could be a useful Fantasy option in deeper leagues based on how well Philip Rivers has played so far this season.

Tight end

Must add: Coby Fleener, Colts (71 percent), Heath Miller, Steelers (71 percent)
Maybe add: Brent Celek, Eagles (34 percent), Brandon Pettigrew, Lions (32 percent), Garrett Graham, Texans (5 percent)
Desperation add: Delanie Walker, Titans (6 percent), Mychal Rivera, Raiders (1 percent), Jeff Cumberland, Jets (1 percent), Sean McGrath, Chiefs (0 percent), Matthew Mulligan, Patriots (0 percent)

If Dolphins tight end Charles Clay (76 percent) is still out there then add him in all leagues along with Fleener and Miller. ... Fleener has double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three games, and he should be owned in all formats. He should be a Top 10 Fantasy option for the rest of this season. ... Miller actually had a down game based on the expectations against the Vikings, but he still managed six catches for 70 yards on eight targets. He appears 100 percent back from last year's knee injury, and he's worth starting in all leagues when the Steelers come off their bye in Week 6. ... Celek has been relatively quiet since Week 1, but he did manage three catches for 57 yards on six targets in Week 4 at Denver. He has a good matchup against the Giants in Week 5 since four tight ends have scored against them this year. ... Pettigrew had his best game of the season in Week 4 against the Bears with seven catches for 54 yards on seven targets. It coincides with the first game Nate Burleson (arm) was out, so keep an eye on Pettigrew going forward. ... Graham has now scored in three of four games this season and has as many touchdowns as Owen Daniels. In deeper leagues, Graham could be worth starting. He has 16 targets through three games, so he's more than just a red-zone threat.

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
Jets backfield takes shape following Johnson signing
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5:53 pm ET) With the Jets signing Chris Johnson on Wednesday, the rest of their backfield should start to take shape, reports the New York Daily News.

The report says Johnson and Chris Ivory will work as a tandem, and Bilal Powell will be the No. 3 running back. Mike Goodson is expected to be released before the start of the season.


Chris Johnson excited for 'fresh start'
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5:48 pm ET) New Jets running back Chris Johnson's two-year deal is worth $8 million with another $1 million in incentives, reports Pro Football Talk. Johnson was scheduled to make $8 million for the Titans in 2014 alone before he was released.

Meanwhile, Johnson told the Tennessean that he's looking forward to this opportunity with the Jets.

"I have a fresh start. Now I am going to go out there with a chip on my shoulder," Johnson said. "I know a lot of people are doubting me. I want to prove everybody wrong who has doubts in me."


Bengals sign punter T.J. Conley
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4:21 pm ET) The Bengals signed free agent punter T.J. Conley on Wednesday. 

Conley punted in 16 games for the Jets in 2011. He averaged 42.7 yards on 92 punts, and his 38.8-yard net average was the highest in Jets history. He had 32 inside-20 kicks with just six touchbacks, and his plus-26 differential on inside-20s to touchbacks ranked tied for third in the NFL.

Conley did not play in the 2012 or 2013 regular seasons. He was with the Jets in the 2012 preseason and with Cleveland in the 2013 preseason.

Conley will challenge incumbent Kevin Huber for the starting job, but most likely he won't make the final roster.


Chris Johnson signs two-year deal with the Jets
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(3:19 pm ET) The Jets have signed running back Chris Johnson to a two-year deal, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

Johnson told reporters on Tuesday he was taking free agency one day at a time and added that he had other visits planned, but the Jets must have made him an improved offer to lock up the one-time 2,000-yard running back. 

Johnson has totaled at least 1,400 yards in each of his last four seasons with the Titans since running for 2,006 yards in 2009. He also scored 10 touchdowns in 2013 (four receiving). 


Clay Matthews says it's thumbs up for training camp
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:37 pm ET) Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said he's diligently rehabbing his injured thumb, comparing it to a torn ACL rather than a typical bone break. As part of the injury he also had surgery on his forearm, which got damaged when he re-injured the thumb late last season. But he told USA Today that he'll be ready for the start of training camp, though he'll miss offseason workouts. 

Mike James resumes running and cutting
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(1:28 pm ET) Buccaneers running back Mike James is working his way back into football shape after breaking his left ankle last season. He told the Tampa Bay Times that he's been running and cutting and is aiming to get back to full strength and speed. Asked if he would be ready for the team's April minicamp, James said he and the team are "taking everything day by day." 

Josh Freeman signs with Giants
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12:33 pm ET) The Giants have signed quarterback Josh Freeman, reports FOX Sports.

Freeman spent last season with the Buccaneers and Vikings. His only appearance for Minnesota was against the Giants, and he completed 20 of 53 passes for 190 yards and an interception.

Freeman will try and make the final roster for the Giants as a backup to Eli Manning, who is coming off ankle surgery this offseason. The Giants also have Curtis Painter and Ryan Nassib on the roster.


Rob Gronkowski will 'take his time' coming back
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12:26 pm ET) Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will "take his time and then take more time" coming back from a torn ACL suffered last season, a source told Bleacher Report

Gronkowski's heart was questioned last year when he took his time coming back from forearm and back procedures. This year he might not care how long he takes as he wants to practice patience in his rehab. 

The knee injury happened in December of last year. Usually it takes nine months to come back from an ACL injury without incident. That would mean he'd be ready to hit the field by late August. 


Haloti Ngata turned down extension with Ravens
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(11:10 am ET) Looking to free up cap space earlier this offseason, the Ravens offered a "lucrative, long-term" deal with defensive lineman Haloti Ngata so that he wouldn't cost $16 million in cap space. Ngata, 30 years old with two years left on his current deal, wasn't willing to take the extension, NFL Network reports. 

Report: Ravens planning to add two running backs
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10:47 am ET) The Ravens are aware of what's been going on with Ray Rice this offseason but were planning to add a pair of running backs this offseason anyway. NFL Network reports that they now believe that one of those two might have to start depending on what happens with Rice. 

The veteran running back had a horrible 2013 season (under 1,000 total yards) and then was indicted on a third-degree aggravated assault charge when he struck his then-fiancee and current wife Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino. 


 
 
 
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