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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
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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