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Playing the Waiver Wire for Week 7

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Cowboys rookie running back Joseph Randle has the chance to be the most popular player off the waiver wire this season. He could be a must-start Fantasy option for the next four weeks.

DeMarco Murray sprained his MCL in his left knee Sunday night against the Redskins, and hopefully he won't be out long. But if he does miss an extended period of time you then Randle could be the starter in Dallas with some great matchups ahead.

The Drop List for Week 7
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. Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs 100
2. David Wilson, RB, Giants 91
3. Willis McGahee, RB, Browns 90
4. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Cardinals 88
5. Jared Cook, TE, Rams 87
6. Miles Austin, WR, Cowboys 84
7. Tavon Austin, WR, Rams 84
8. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans 83
9. Coby Fleener, TE, Colts 82
10. Alex Smith, QB, Chiefs 79
11. Matt Schaub, QB, Texans 73
12. Daryl Richardson, RB, Rams 70

The Cowboys face some of the worst run defenses over the next four games before their bye in Week 11 with matchups against Philadelphia, Detroit, Minnesota and New Orleans. If Randle starts those games then Fantasy owners could potentially be starting him across the board, and you can pencil him as the No. 1 option for Week 7 with Murray almost certainly out.

Lance Dunbar could play a role if healthy, but he missed Sunday's game with a hamstring injury. Phillip Tanner would share time with Randle in Week 7 at the Eagles, but it's clear Randle is the running back you want. Against the Redskins, Randle filled in for Murray with 11 carries for 17 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 15 yards. Tanner had just one carry for 2 yards.

Randle is owned in just 4 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com and is a must-add in all formats. In deeper leagues you can speculate on Dunbar (5 percent ownership) or Tanner (1 percent) in case Randle struggles, but Randle is the one to covet until Murray returns.

Some of the other top free agents currently being viewed on CBSSports.com include Cardinals running back Andre Ellington (67 percent), Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin (55 percent), Giants running back Brandon Jacobs (30 percent), Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (28 percent), Panthers receiver Brandon LaFell (18 percent) and Browns running back Chris Ogbonnaya (15 percent).

I would prioritize the free agents this way: Randle, Harvin, Ellington, Jacobs, Foles, Ogbonnaya and LaFell. I would spend at least 50 percent of my remaining FAAB money on Randle if he has the chance to start those next four games. Harvin and Ellington are worth at least 30 percent, Jacobs 25 percent and Foles, Ogbonnaya and LaFell are worth 10 percent or less.

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

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Must add: Nick Foles, Eagles (28 percent)
Maybe add: Brandon Weeden, Browns (17 percent), Josh Freeman, Vikings (16 percent), Mike Glennon, Buccaneers (7 percent)
Desperation add: Thad Lewis, Bills (2 percent), T.J. Yates, Texans (2 percent), Case Keenum, Texans (0 percent)


Foles stepped in for the injured Michael Vick (hamstring) in Week 6 at Tampa Bay and was brilliant with 296 passing yards and three touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. Including his Week 5 game at the Giants when he replaced Vick, Foles now has six total touchdowns and just under 500 passing yards in the past two outings. He has a favorable matchup in Week 7 against Dallas, and Foles would be worth starting in most leagues if he remains the starter for the Eagles. Consider him a great bye-week replacement for Drew Brees or Terrelle Pryor. ... The Browns lost for the first time in three games with Weeden starting, but he posted 20 Fantasy points and isn't expected to lose his job. He is worth using in two-quarterback leagues with his matchup at Green Bay in Week 7. ... Glennon took advantage of a good matchup in Week 6 against the Eagles with 22 Fantasy points, and he did that without Mike Williams (hamstring). Like Weeden, you can use Glennon in two-quarterback leagues if needed this week with another favorable matchup at Atlanta. ... The Vikings haven't said if Freeman or Matt Cassel will start this week at the Giants, but it's worth speculating Freeman will get the job eventually. And if he does start in Week 7 then he could be an option in two-quarterback leagues already. Cassel struggled in Week 6 against Carolina at home, and the Vikings need a spark on offense. Maybe Freeman can give them that, especially in a good matchup against New York. ... Lewis would be a maybe add if healthy, but he hurt his foot in Week 6 against the Bengals and was in a walking boot after the game. He had 25 Fantasy points against Cincinnati and played well, but I don't love his matchup at Miami, especially if he's not 100 percent. ... Yates is expected to start in Week 7 at Kansas City with Matt Schaub (leg) hurt, but Fantasy owners should ignore him in most formats. If you want to speculate on a long-term quarterback option for the Texans then look at Keenum. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason LaCanfora said on our Fantasy Football Today show Sunday morning that Keenum could get an extended look soon if Schaub continues to struggle.

Running backs

Must add: Zac Stacy, Rams (69 percent), Andre Ellington, Cardinals (67 percent), Brandon Jacobs, Giants (30 percent), Joseph Randle, Cowboys (4 percent)
Maybe add: Shane Vereen, Patriots (56 percent), Chris Ivory, Jets (36 percent), Andre Brown, Giants (29 percent), Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (29 percent), Chris Ogbonnaya, Browns (15 percent), Mike Tolbert, Panthers (9 percent), Michael Cox, Giants (1 percent)
Desperation add: Lance Dunbar, Cowboys (5 percent), Khiry Robinson, Saints (2 percent), Phillip Tanner, Cowboys (1 percent), Travaris Cadet, Saints (0 percent)

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The top running back to add for this week is Randle, but after that I would look at Jacobs if you need a one-week fill-in option. He has the best matchup of the free agent running backs against the Vikings on Monday night, and Jacobs just had 22 Fantasy points at Chicago in Week 6. Jacobs looks like he'll remain the starter for the near future with David Wilson (neck) out, and he'll share time with Cox, who's worth a flier in deeper leagues. Brown (leg) is eligible to return in Week 10, and when he does he could see plenty of action depending on what the backfield looks like then. He's worth speculating on now if you have an open roster spot. ... Stacy did a nice job in Week 6 at Houston with eight Fantasy points and now has 15 Fantasy points in two games. The Rams are still searching for their first rushing touchdown of the season from a running back, but Stacy should be considered a flex option moving forward based on his role in St. Louis as the starter. He had 20 touches against the Texans, and hopefully that workload will remain the same in Week 7 at Carolina. ... Ellington is the running back to own in Arizona, as Rashard Mendenhall continues to struggle. Ellington now has at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league in three of his past five games, and he should only continue to improve from this point forward. He has a tough matchup in Week 7 against Seattle on Thursday night, so consider him a flex option at best, but he could be great in Week 8 against Atlanta. ... Like we said about Brown, if you have an open roster spot, now is the time to grab Vereen (wrist) to make sure he's on your roster. He won't return until Week 11, but he could make a difference in the Fantasy playoffs. ... Stewart (ankle) is closer to a return, but he might be two weeks away. At this point we'd rather gamble on Vereen or Brown even though Stewart should hopefully be back before those two. ... Bilal Powell (shoulder) and Mike Goodson (torn ACL, MCL) were both injured in Week 6 against the Steelers, which could open the door for Ivory to start against the Patriots in Week 7. We expect Powell to play, but keep an eye on what develops. If Ivory does start it would be a good matchup against New England. ... Ogbonnaya might be the better Fantasy option than Willis McGahee for the Browns, especially in PPR leagues. He has double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three outings with 12 catches and two touchdowns against Cincinnati and Detroit, and he failed to make it three in a row in Week 5 against Buffalo because he left the game with a concussion. The Browns are a pass-first team, and Ogbonnaya could be more involved than McGahee moving forward, especially in Week 7 at Green Bay. ... Tolbert is a risky Fantasy option because if he doesn't score a touchdown you're looking at three Fantasy points or less, which he's done three times this season. But in a desperate situation in Week 7 you could consider him against the Rams, who have allowed six touchdowns to opposing running backs this season. Tolbert also is the only running back to score a touchdown for the Panthers this year with three compared to none for DeAngelo Williams.

Wide receiver

Streamers for Week 7
Here are some DST and kickers to consider if you play the matchups with these positions each week.
Opponent Own %
Packers DST vs. CLE 46
Steelers DST vs. BAL 45
Dolphins DST vs. BUF 25
Mason Crosby, K, GB vs. CLE 59
Ryan Succop, K, KC vs. HOU 44
Caleb Sturgis, K, MIA vs. BUF 27

Must add: Percy Harvin, Seahawks (55 percent), Harry Douglas, Falcons (47 percent), Rueben Randle, Giants (46 percent), Kris Durham, Lions (5 percent), Jarrett Boykin, Packers (0 percent)
Maybe add: Michael Floyd, Cardinals (67 percent), Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers (50 percent), Marlon Brown, Ravens (40 percent), Kendall Wright, Titans (38 percent), Michael Crabtree, 49ers (21 percent), Brandon LaFell, Panthers (18 percent), Mario Manningham, 49ers (2 percent)
Desperation add: Jacoby Jones, Ravens (15 percent), Kenny Stills, Saints (9 percent), Greg Little, Browns (8 percent), Riley Cooper, Eagles (4 percent), Drew Davis, Falcons (1 percent), Marvin Jones, Bengals (0 percent), Marquise Goodwin, Bills (0 percent), Tandon Doss, Ravens (0 percent), Kevin Cone, Falcons (0 percent)

In consecutive weeks we lost two of the top Fantasy receivers coming into the season with Julio Jones (foot) in Week 5 and now Randall Cobb (leg) in Week 6. Jones is out for the season, and Cobb is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, which crushes his value. Hopefully he will be back for the Fantasy playoffs at 100 percent, but the Packers also could be without James Jones (knee) in Week 7 vs. Cleveland. These injuries have opened the door for Fantasy owners to consider Douglas and Boykin as potential starters. ... The Falcons could be without Roddy White (hamstring, ankle) in Week 7, which would elevate Douglas to No. 1 on the depth chart. He has yet to score this season, but he does have two games with at least six Fantasy points. He also has seen at least six targets in three of five games, but his best production lies in front of him for the rest of the season. Also, put Davis and Cone on your radar in case they do anything in Week 7 vs. Tampa Bay. ... I'd speculate on Boykin in all leagues because anyone catching passes from Aaron Rodgers has upside. He had six targets against the Ravens with Jones and Cobb injured, but he produced just one catch for 43 yards. His targets could go up with an increased role, and so will his production, especially if Jones remains out. ... I like what Durham has done of late, and he's benefited the most with Nate Burleson (arm) out. He has 11 catches for 113 yards and a touchdown the past two games at Green Bay and Cleveland on 21 targets. He's also stepped up with Calvin Johnson (knee) at less than 100 percent, and it's clear Matthew Stafford likes throwing to his fellow Bulldog. ... Randle might have trouble with his route running, which has led to a couple of Eli Manning interceptions, but he's now produced three touchdowns and 34 Fantasy points in his past two games. He has two favorable matchups ahead with Minnesota in Week 7 and Philadelphia in Week 8, and there's also speculation the Giants could trade Hakeem Nicks. That would obviously allow Randle's value to skyrocket. ... We're going to say this every week until they return, but it's time now to speculate on Harvin (hip), Crabtree (Achilles) and Manningham (knee) if you have an open roster spot. That's how I would rank them even though Manningham will return first. He could start practicing this week. The earliest Harvin could return is Week 8. ... Torrey Smith was held in check by the Packers with one catch for 12 yards, but Brown, Jacoby Jones and Doss all had at least seven Fantasy points. The only one to trust is Brown, who has at least seven Fantasy points in four of five games this season. ... Floyd and Sanders showed up in Week 6 with their first touchdowns of the season. Floyd had 10 Fantasy points against the 49ers, and Sanders had 13 Fantasy points against the Jets. If they can build on these performances then they'd be worth adding in all leagues, but both have been disappointments thus far despite entering the season with a lot of promise. ... Cam Newton's two best games this season were Week 3 against the Giants and Week 6 at Minnesota. In those two games, LaFell has three touchdowns and 160 receiving yards. He is risky because if he doesn't score he has minimal production with four Fantasy points or less in three of five games, so keep that in mind when adding him. ... Wright is undervalued in PPR leagues. He has at least five catches in each of the past five games, and he has 41 targets over that span.

Tight end

Must add: Kyle Rudolph, Vikings (48 percent), Scott Chandler, Bills (21 percent), Timothy Wright, Buccaneers (0 percent)
Maybe add: Jordan Reed, Redskins (21 percent), Dallas Clark, Ravens (21 percent), Lance Kendricks, Rams (4 percent), Joseph Fauria, Lions (2 percent), Levine Toilolo, Falcons (1 percent)
Desperation add: Benjamin Watson, Saints (0 percent), Cory Harkey, Rams (0 percent), Michael Hoomanawanui, Patriots (0 percent)


We hope Jimmy Graham (foot) will be fine following the Saints' bye in Week 7, but if we find out prior to Tuesday night that he's out for an extended period of time then make Watson a higher priority. He's nowhere near as talented as Graham, but the starting tight end for Brees is a valuable commodity. ... The first two tight ends listed in Rudolph and Chandler are coming off good games with great matchups this week and worth using as bye-week replacements for Graham. Rudolph had a career high in catches (nine) and yards (97) against Carolina with his second touchdown of the season. He faces the Giants in Week 7, and they have already allowed four tight ends to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Chandler caught his second touchdown in the past four games against the Bengals in Week 6 and faces a Dolphins defense in Week 7 that allows the second-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends. ... The Bucs may have solved their tight end problem with Wright, who has played well the past two games. He had seven catches for 91 yards against the Eagles in Week 6 and now has 12 catches for 132 yards the past two games. He has a favorable matchup in Week 7 at Atlanta since the Falcons have allowed a tight end to score in four of five games this season. ... Reed may never develop into a must-start Fantasy option in standard leagues, but he has played well when healthy. He had four catches for 58 yards at Dallas in Week 6 and has six targets in three of four games. He doesn't have the best matchup in Week 7 against Chicago, but keep an eye on him in deeper leagues. ... In touchdown-only leagues, adding Fauria is a must, but owners in other formats can probably do better. Until Fauria starts to produce as more than just a red-zone threat he's not going to be a consistent Fantasy option. He scored three touchdowns at Cleveland in Week 6 and had three catches for 34 yards. He has yet to top three catches or three targets in a game this season. He does have three games with touchdowns this year, but in the three games he didn't score he had no catches. We like his upside and he's a big target at 6-foot-7. But red-zone threats are hard to predict, and you don't want to start him on the game where he doesn't score. His Week 7 matchup against the Bengals isn't terrible because Cincinnati has allowed three tight ends to score this season. ... Clark resurfaced again in Week 6 against Green Bay with his best game of the season. He had four catches for 81 yards and a touchdown on six targets, which came one week after no targets in Week 5 at Miami. He's too inconsistent to trust in most leagues and should not be started in Week 7 at Pittsburgh. ... Kendricks scored for the third week in a row for the Rams, and for the second time over that span he had just one catch. He's like Fauria since he's mostly just a red-zone threat and isn't worth using in most formats outside of touchdown-only leagues. ... Toilolo is worth keeping an eye on if the Falcons use more two tight-end sets. He has a touchdown in two of his past three games.

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
Ben Roethlisberger deserves to start
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) It goes without saying that Ben Roethlisberger's six-touchdown, 522-yard performance Week 8 against Indianapolis was a once-in-a-blue-moon thing, and I stand by my earlier assessment that he's too inconsistent to start in standard 12-team leagues. But that's more for those weeks when every quarterback is available. With six teams on bye, that's certainly not the case in Week 9.

For those owners accustomed to starting Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan or Jay Cutler, Roethlisberger may be the best choice. His matchup against Baltimore isn't great. The Ravens rank a suspect 22nd against the pass, giving up 256.0 yards per game, but having allowed just seven touchdowns through the air, they've surrendered the second-fewest Fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Regardless of the matchup, though, Roethlisberger has a better chance than most of the quarterbacks who might be available of putting up the numbers you're accustomed to.

I'd prefer Carson Palmer, Nick Foles and Cam Newton to him, to name just a few fringy types, but Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Ricahrd both have Roethlisberger in their top 10 for this week.


Brandon LaFell not the only Patriots WR to consider
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) It's time to give Patriots wide receiver Brandon LaFell a shot in Fantasy -- as in not just owning him, but starting him. If his 11 catches for 124 yards and a touchdown Week 8 against the Bears weren't enough to convince you, his matchup Week 9 against Denver should be.

It's not that the Broncos are so bad against the pass. They rank in the middle of the pack, allowing 242.9 yards per game. It's just that the Patriots' only hope against them is to beat Peyton Manning at his own game. Their passing attack -- at least the version they've shown in the last four weeks -- is good enough to beat anybody when they're motivated to use it.

LaFell appears to have leapfrogged Julian Edelman in the pecking order, but frankly, Edelman might not be such a bad play either. Tom Brady is going to need every weapon at his disposal to outscore Manning and company. Edelman is more of a desperation play than LaFell, I think, advisable only if you're short on startable wide receivers, but Dave Richard likes him enough with this matchup to rank him 24th at the position.


Shane Vereen a better choice than Jonas Gray
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) By giving the previously unknown Jonas Gray 17 carries for 86 yards Week 8 against Chicago, the Patriots revealed that they'll stick with a two-man backfield even with preferred rusher Stevan Ridley out for the year with a torn ACL and MCL.

But Week 9 against Denver might be a better matchup for preferred receiver Shane Vereen, who also thrived in Week 7 against the Jets. The Broncos, like the Jets, have done a good job stopping the run this season. They rank No. 1, in fact, allowing 72.4 yards per game.

Plus, the Patriots will most likely have to throw more than usual just to keep up with the league's highest-scoring team. These days, a team's only real choice against Peyton Manning is to beat him at his own game.

So most likely, Gray will spend much of Week 9 on the sidelines while Vereen spends much of it in the backfield. Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard both rank Vereen among their top 20 running backs for this week.


Vincent Jackson not such a great play
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) On a day when the Buccaneers couldn't get anything going offensively Week 8 against Minnesota, wide receiver Vincent Jackson was barely involved, catching one pass for 13 yards. He was targeted five times, but for a player who misses a lot of the balls thrown his way, both because of his role in the passing game and his issues with drops, that's a pretty low number. He averaged 10.0 targets in his first six games.

Even worse for Jackson, quarterback Mike Glennon has developed a nice rapport with both Mike Evans and Louis Murphy, and the Buccaneers passing attack isn't prolific enough to sustain three wide receivers. Is it more likely to sustain him than those other two? Yeah, probably. But it'll likely cut into his production regardless.

And it could cut into his production in a big way Week 9 at Cleveland. The Browns don't rank especially high against the pass, but they don't give up many touchdowns through the air, allowing the fourth-lowest quarterback rating of any team this season. Cornerback Joe Haden, who has played better in recent weeks after a slow start, is a big reason for that, and he'll likely go up against Jackson on Sunday.

Neither Jamey Eisenberg nor Dave Richard rank Jackson among their top 30 wide receivers -- and that's in a week with six teams on bye.


Time to the roll the dice on Denard Robinson?
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) Sitting Denard Robinson the week after his breakout 127-yard effort against the Browns was understandable. It was an outlier performance achieved with an especially favorable matchup, and there was some big talk about Toby Gerhart still playing a big role. But now, after back-to-back 100-yard games, taking a conservative approach with Robinson just seems kind of silly.

Especially since his matchup Week 9 at Cincinnati is, at least on paper, a favorable one. The Bengals rank 29th against the run, allowing 140.7 yards per game, and have given up the eighth-most Fantasy points per game to running backs. And as tough as the Jaguars defense has played in recent weeks, you don't have to worry so much about the Bengals running away with the game, compelling the Jaguars to throw every down.

Calling Robinson a must-start is taking it a bit far. Some people have enviable depth at the position. But in Week 9, Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard both rank Robinson among their top 24 running backs, with Dave slotting him as high as 15th.


Is starting Andy Dalton a good idea?
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard both rank the Bengals' Andy Dalton among their top 12 quarterbacks for Week 9, presumably because he's facing the Jaguars. But how did that work out for Ryan Tannehill in Week 8, Brian Hoyer in Week 7 or, yep, even Ben Roethlisberger in Week 5?

I don't know about you, but I'm getting tired of the whole "start Player X against the Jaguars because they're bad" argument. Because they're not. At least not anymore -- not on defense, anyway. The Jaguars have allowed an average of 16.5 points in their last four games, and if not for the Dolphins' two defensive touchdowns in Week 8, it'd be 13.0

True, star wide receiver A.J. Green is looking likely to return from a three-game absence for a toe injury, which would certainly improve Dalton's chances. But again, quality quarterbacks -- namely, Tannehill and Roethlisberger -- have had their full arsenals when they faced the Jaguars, and they still underwhelmed against them. I'm not sure this is Dalton's week.

Now, with so many high-profile quarterbacks (such as Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler) on bye this week, you may want it to be Dalton's week, but I'd give Carson Palmer, Nick Foles, Cam Newton or Tannehill a shot before I turned to him.


Greg Olsen deserves your trust
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) Panthers coach Ron Rivera mentioned Monday that the reason tight end Greg Olsen had only one catch for 16 yards in Week 8 is because the Seahawks rotated their coverage toward him, particularly in the red zone. You can understand why they'd do that after Olsen averaged 70.4 yards with four touchdowns in his first four games.

Unfortunately, since the Seahawks limited the Panthers to just nine points in that game, they've invited other teams to emulate them, and while the Saints, Olsen's Week 9 opponent, certainly aren't the Seahawks defensively, they've done good job of containing tight ends this season, giving up the second-fewest Fantasy points per game to them. And that's even though they rank 31st against the pass.

But just because you can make a reasonable case to sit one this year's most productive and reliable tight ends doesn't mean you should follow through with it. Week 8 was just the second time in eight games that Olsen's production didn't justify a starting spot -- a terrific ratio for any player, regardless of position -- and the Saints haven't really faced a team with a top-flight tight end until now.

If quarterback Cam Newton has big numbers in this game -- and the data suggest he should -- Olsen will, too. Keep him active.


Who knows with the Saints wide receivers?
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) On the road against the Panthers in Week 9, chances are one of the Saints top two wide receivers, be it Marques Colston or Brandin Cooks, will have a big game. The Panthers are tied for the fourth-most passing touchdowns allowed and have given up the fifth-most Fantasy points per game to wide receivers.

So which one? Particularly with Kenny Stills getting involved the last couple weeks, it's become a real crapshoot. Cooks tends to be more of a volume receiver in his good games, but Colston showed with six catches for 111 yards in Week 7 that he can still make an impact as well.

Of course, star tight end Jimmy Graham was basically just a decoy in that game. When his shoulder had recovered enough for him to catch a few passes himself in Week 8, Colston's numbers shrank again. Cooks, meanwhile, had six catches for 94 yards and a touchdown and has generally had an easier time coexisting with Graham.

I'd feel OK about starting Cooks in this one, particularly in points-per-reception leagues. Yeah, he's basically a 50-50 proposition, but that's more than I can say for Colston, particularly with Graham back in the mix. Colston still matters in Fantasy, but mostly in leagues with 14 teams or more.


Kelvin Benjamin could come up big
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) With the Panthers expected to pass a lot in Week 9 against a Saints team that ranks second in total offense and fifth in scoring offense, wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin figures to be one of the prime beneficiaries. After all, he's emerged as quarterback Cam Newton's preferred downfield target as a rookie and, at 6-feet-5, is a big target in the red zone as well.

After a strong start to the season, his yardage has been hit or miss lately, but generally speaking, when Newton is on, so is Benjamin. And all signs point to a big game for Newton. Not only is that the only way he keeps the Panthers in the game, but the Saints rank 31st against the pass, giving up 289.3 yards per game. They've also allowed the second-most Fantasy points per game to wide receivers.

Considering he's scored a touchdown in five of eight games this season, you're probably starting Benjamin regardless of any matchup data. But you can do so with confidence this week. Both Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard rank him among their top 10 wide receivers.


Good chance Cam Newton bounces back
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/29/2014) Granted, Cam Newton hasn't been the most predictable quarterback from week to week, and because his production is largely a function of how often and how effectively he runs the ball, that doesn't figure to change. But after a disappointing showing against the Seahawks in Week 8, he should be in for an easier time Week 9 against the Saints.

After all, the Saints' explosive offense combined with their suspect defense predisposes them to shootouts. Of course, the last time I predicted a shootout for the Panthers Week 7 at Green Bay, it didn't go so well for Newton either, but that matchup wasn't as favorable as this one. The Saints rank 31st against the pass, allowing 289.3 yards per game, and have given up the eighth-most Fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.

In a week when high-profile quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler are all on bye, I would think someone in a 12-team league would want to start Newton, even if that someone isn't you.


 
 
 
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