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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
Panthers claim OT Jonathan Martin off waivers
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(4:27 pm ET) The Panthers announced Friday they have signed tackle Jonathan Martin off waivers, one day after the lineman was released by the 49ers. 

Martin played in 15 games with San Francisco last season, starting nine of them. Prior to that, he was a member Dolphins before being traded for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2014. The 25-year-old has started 32 of the 38 games he's played in. 

"Jonathan brings quality experience to our offensive line, having started 32 games in his career at both tackle spots," Panthers GM Dave Gettleman said. 


Panthers sign WR Jarrett Boykin to one-year deal
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(2:22 pm ET) The Panthers signed free agent wide receiver Jarrett Boykin to a one-year deal Friday, per David Newton of ESPN.com. 

The 25-year-old receiver had a big campaign with the Packers in 2013, catching 49 passes for 681 yards, but fell out of favor last season, grabbing just three balls for 23 yards in 13 games. Boykin has 57 career receptions in three seasons, all with the Packers. 


Bears sign CB Alan Ball to one-year deal
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:44 pm ET) The Bears have signed cornerback Alan Ball to a one-year contract on Friday, per the team's official website.

Ball, 29, spent the last two seasons with the Jaguars, but was limited to only seven games in 2014 due to a biceps injury. He racked up 59 total tackles, 17 passes deflected and three interceptions over that span. He has played eight NFL seasons with the Cowboys, Texans and Jags.


Titans sign CB Brandon Harris to one-year deal
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:09 pm ET) The Titans have signed cornerback Brandon Harris to a one-year contract on Friday, per the team's official website. Harris played 11 games in 2014, his first season with the Titans. He finished with 11 combined tackles and three pass deflections last season.

Redskins' Thompson, Redd to compete for third-down back role
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:24 am ET) Redskins coach Jay Gruden said this week at the NFL owners' meetings running back Chris Thompson will get the first chance to secure third-down responsibilities, according to The Washington Post. Silas Redd will also get consideration for the role of third-down back.

“Chris [Thompson] came in last year at the end and did some things, and we’re hoping that he can come back and stay healthy in the offseason and give us a little jolt back there,” Gruden said. “And Silas Redd will get every chance to do some things also.”

Although, the Redskins could look to bring in some competition before training camp begins.

“I also think that at the running back position in the draft, there’s a ton of them,” Gruden said. “It’s a very deep running back draft in my opinion, and we’re excited to add another piece at some point, hopefully. We have seven picks. Hopefully one of them will be a running back, or a free agent to compete. There are some good free agents that haven’t been signed yet. But, giving Chris an opportunity, Silas, Alfred (Morris), that’s where it starts. And we’ll add some more later on for competition.”


Falcons could bring in Matt Schaub to vie for backup QB role
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:10 am ET) Falcons coach Dan Quinn is not ruling out bringing back former Atlanta quarterback Matt Schaub to compete for the backup role behind starter Matt Ryan, per ESPN.

"Schaub is certainly somebody that we could [add]," Quinn said. "As we get through it, we'll let you know if we go down that road."

The 34-year-old Schaub was released by the Raiders in mid-March. T.J. Yates and Sean Renfree are the other quarterbacks on the Falcons' roster.


Panthers' Rivera expecting Stephen Hill to contribute in 2015
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:45 am ET) Panthers coach Ron Rivera believes wide receiver Stephen Hill is ready to make an impact in 2015 after spending the 2014 season on the practice squad, per ESPN.

“Very much so," Rivera said Wednesday during the NFL owners meeting in Phoenix. “He’s a guy we feel has an opportunity. We’re very excited about [seeing] Stephen during OTAs and minicamp.

“With his size (6-4, 215) and speed and his ability to get vertical, if he can assimilate to what we do -- and I think he will; he seems to be a very smart man -- he might be a guy that has an opportunity to contribute for us."

Rivera felt Hill's year on the practice squad was beneficial after the 2012 second-round pick failed to live up to expectations during his tenure with the Jets. 

“I thought it was a good opportunity to take a step back and take a break," Rivera said. “The thing I liked about Stephen was how he contributed to our football team’s success. He came in. He had been a second-round pick. He had no assumptions, no entitlement.

“He ran all the scout teams for us. He ran them hard. Gave us great looks, which is what makes us excited 'cause you watch a guy perform who could very easily dog it, and he didn’t. And you saw him grow. You saw him make catches. You saw him get comfortable in his own skin again."


Terence Newman reunites with Mike Zimmer in Minnesota
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:16 am ET) The Vikings announced Friday they signed cornerback Terence Newman, who played for coach Mike Zimmer in Dallas and Cincinnati.

“That’s the biggest thing. He can still play. He came in the league later. I think he was 25 when he came in,” Zimmer said, per the team's official website. “He struggled a little bit in Dallas and then played great in Cincinnati. Last year, he didn’t play quite as good, so seemingly with me, we get things fixed a little bit. I really respect him, and I think he really respects me.”

Although terms of the deal were not officially released, NFL.com reported earlier this week the veteran cornerback's deal is a one-year, $2.5 million contract.


Gruden: Redskins 'keeping a close eye' on Santana Moss
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:55 am ET) With wide receiver Santana Moss still looking to continue his NFL career, Washington coach Jay Gruden said there is a chance the Redskins might re-sign the veteran receiver, who had just 10 catches in 2014.

"We're keeping a close eye on Santana," Gruden said at the NFL owners' meetings in Phoenix, per ESPN. "You know, that's something that we know where Santana is and he knows where we are, and something may work out down the road.

"I could always play with Santana. Santana's a great person. He's great in the locker room for us. He knows all the positions. I know he's going to be in great shape, and I would not hesitate one bit to call him."


Jaguars' Thomas won't try to measure up to Broncos' numbers
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:11 am ET) New Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas told SI.com he has already begun working with quarterback Blake Bortles.

"It’s exciting, that first time you get to work out with your new quarterback," he said. "We’ve got a couple thousand more reps to go, but I’m really looking forward to that chemistry and growing with that entire offense."

The expectations will be elevated for Thomas, who is coming off two great seasons with the Broncos. However, Thomas isn't out to prove he can have the same production without Peyton Manning throwing him passes.

"I think I’ve got to be a little bit cautious on trying to prove so much," he said. "I think I’ve just got to go out there and work my hardest, and do everything I can to win every route, and see what happens. I don’t want to set a goal of 'I gotta have these numbers.' I’m just going to work my hardest every day, do everything I can to become a better player, and do everything I can to help out my team and this offense."

Thomas is also confident he will be able to coexist on offense with veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis, who has been with the team since 2006.

"I don’t think we’ll have any problem playing together," he said. "I was actually talking to him this weekend. I ran into him; we both live in L.A. He’s a really good guy. I’ve met him a couple times before. We both have the same marketing company, so we know the same people, and people that I respect speak very highly of him. I think we complement each other very well. There are going to be things that he can teach me, and I can learn from him."


 
 
 
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