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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
Rams QB coach is a big fan of Sam Bradford
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:53 am ET) Rams quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke is perfectly happy with starting quarterback Sam Bradford, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"Love him. Love him," Weinke said when asked about Bradford. Weinke, who has evaluated quarterbacks for a couple of seasons now, said Bradford had one of the best pro days he's ever seen. "A few years ago when Andrew Luck came out they said who would you compare him to? And I said the closest I would see is Sam Bradford."

As part of Weinke's interview process with the team, he met with Bradford for roughly three-and-a-half hours. It wasn't really a formal meeting, though, it was more so the two could get to know eachother. 

Bradford has reportedly been granted permission to seek a trade, but it doesn't appear Rams' ownership wants to part with the 27-year-old quarterback. 


RB Steven Jackson, cut by Falcons, isn't planning to retire
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Though he's without a team at the moment, running back Steven Jackson has no plans to retire. 

The Falcons officially released Jackson Thursday night, with immediate questions emerging about his future. On his own website, though, Jackson posted a statement saying he isn't hanging up the cleats just yet.  

"A lot has been written lately about my future," Jackson wrote. "There are questions about my age, and what I have left in the tank. Of that, I will simply say this. For the first nine years of my career, I was used like a battering ram, punishing opposing defense over four quarters of a game. Maybe you stopped me the first five times I got the ball, but by the 15th or 20th time I got it, late in a game -- let's just say you were really feeling me at that point.

"Make no mistake: I can still punish a defense. I still have a warrior's heart. There are 1,000-yard seasons left in these legs. I know what I am still capable of, and I have every intention of proving it."

Jackson also admitted his two seasons with the Falcons were a disappointment as the organization did not reach the postseason in either season. He combined for only 1,250 yards in 2013 and 2014 after posting eight consecutive seasons with over 1,000 yards when he was with the Rams. 


Raiders expected to release safety Tyvon Branch
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Raiders will be parting ways with safety Tyvon Branch, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora

Branch only played in three games during the 2014 season due to a foot injury that placed him on injured reserve. That followed his 2013 season in which Branch was only able to participate in two games. 

However, Branch could be a commodity in what is otherwise considered a weak safety market. 

Branch signed a four-year, $26..6 million contract with the Raiders in 2012, with $17.6 million guaranteed.


Browns working to re-sign CB Buster Skrine
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Browns are hopeful they can re-sign cornerback Buster Skrine but are probably going to have to try to do so after he hits the free agent market, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Skrine had a single-season best four interceptions in 2014 and will be someone that could command a hefty price tag on the open market. The Plain Dealer reports that Skrine is expecting anywhere from $5.5 million to $7 million per season. 

The Browns should be in a good position to match an offer for Skrine. Depending on what the 2015 cap number per team is, the Browns are likely to have well over $30 million to spend in free agency. 


Colts, Matt Hasselbeck agree to one-year contract
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) It looks like Matt Hasselbeck's NFL career will extend at least one more year. 

The Colts reached a one-year deal with backup quarterback Hasselbeck, the team announced on Thursday. 

Hasselbeck, 39, will enter his 17th year in the NFL. After starting out as Brett Favre's backup in Green Bay for his first two seasons in 1999 and 2000, he joined the Seahawks via a trade and quickly established himself as a starting-caliber quarterback. 

In 16 NFL seasons, Hasselbeck has totaled 34,948 yards, 203 touchdowns and 148 interceptions. He'll be the top candidate to back up Andrew Luck next season. 


Report: Vikings, Adrian Peterson can communicate with each other
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Now that Adrian Peterson has been moved back to the Commissioner's Exempt list, the Vikings can reach out and communicate with him, according to a report from Pro Football Talk

Peterson had been suspended by the NFL until April 15 and upheld by an arbitrator. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge David Doty overturned the arbitrator's decision, sending the case back down to go through the CBA. The NFL has removed the suspension, for now, while moving Peterson back to the Commissioner's Exempt list. 

The NFL announced in a statement that it is appealing Doty's ruling

Since the Vikings want Peterson to remain with them, they can now reach out and hold talks directly. While suspended by the NFL, the Vikings were unable to communicate with him. This is an interesting development because the Vikings have publicly stated they want him to stay in Minnesota. 

However, at least one report as indicated Peterson wants to leave and continue his NFL career elsewhere


Falcons release running back Steven Jackson
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Falcons released running back Steven Jackson on Thursday, the team announced.

Jackson was owed $3.75 million in 2015, but with running back Devonta Freeman on the roster, it appears Jackson is expendable. In 2014, Jackson rushed for 707 yards and six touchdowns on 190 carries.

By cutting Jackson, the Falcons saved $3.7 million against the salary cap, reports the NFL Network.


Redskins sign Ricky Jean Francois to three-year contract
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Redskins signed defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois to a three-year deal Thursday, reports the NFL Network.

The deal is believed to be worth $9 million with $4 million guaranteed. With incentives, the deal can reach $11.25 million.

Jean Francois was cut by the Colts on Monday. In 2014, Jean Francois totaled 28 tackles and three sacks.


Report: Browns believe they still have a shot at Josh McCown
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Browns remain confident that they can snag quarterback Josh McCown from the free agent ranks, according to a report from ESPN.com

McCown visited the Browns this week and has also received interest from the the Jets, Bills and Bears. The Browns are in the market for a starting-caliber quarterback with Brian Hoyer possibly leaving in free agency and with Johnny Manziel's status up in the air with the off-field issues hes working through. 

McCown threw 13 touchdowns to just one interception with the Bears in 2013, doing this while filling in for an injured Jay Cutler. His performance earned him a contract with the Buccaneers, though injuries and poor play resulted in a season that saw him throw 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. 

McCown was released by the Buccaneers earlier this offseason. 


Report: Cardinals sign cornerback Damond Smith
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Cardinals signed cornerback Damond Smith on Thursday, reports The Baltimore Sun.

Smith did not play during the 2014 season after being cut by the Chiefs. He has never played in an NFL game.


 
 
 
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