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Playing the Waiver Wire for Week 9

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Bengals receiver Marvin Jones is going to be the most added player this week. Any time someone scores four touchdowns and six in three weeks, they deserve all of the Fantasy attention they have coming to them.

But I'm not sure Jones is the best free agent available. Not with the six teams on a bye (Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, the Giants and San Francisco) and with what's looming ahead.

We're missing three quality quarterbacks this week (four if you count Eli Manning) in Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford and Colin Kaepernick, Michael Vick (hamstring) is injured and Tom Brady and Matt Ryan are struggling. You can add Terrelle Pryor (62 percent ownership on CBSSports.com) and Jake Locker (42 percent) this week, and they can be considered starters in the majority of leagues.

The Drop List for Week 9
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. Michael Vick, QB, Eagles 96
2. Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, Patriots 91
3. Greg Jennings, WR, Vikings 88
4. Eli Manning, QB, Giants 88
5. Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots 87
6. Peyton Hillis, RB, Giants 81
7. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Cardinals 73
8. Jermichael Finley, TE, Packers 65
9. Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants 62
10. Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals 54
11. Joseph Fauria, TE, Lions 53
12. Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos 35

We're also a week away from Andre Brown (42 percent) returning from a broken leg and two weeks away from Shane Vereen (65 percent) coming back. Those two running backs can be potential starters for playoff-caliber Fantasy teams.

Don't get me wrong, I want Jones on my Fantasy teams, and he's become a viable weapon for Andy Dalton, who is playing great the past three weeks. But if my quarterback situation is messy or I need a running back for the stretch run, I would push Jones down on my list of waiver priorities depending on who is available.

Some of the other top free agents currently being viewed in CBSSports.com leagues aside from Jones include Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders (54 percent), Packers running back James Starks (30 percent), Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson (27 percent) and Saints receiver Kenny Stills (12 percent).

My priority list of free agents this week, in order based on position, would be Pryor and Locker at quarterback, Vereen, Brown, Mike Tolbert (42 percent) and Starks at running back and Jones, Kendall Wright (49 percent), Darrius Heyward-Bey, Colts (60 percent), Sanders and Dobson at receiver. Timothy Wright (15 percent) would be the best option at tight end, and I also like the Titans DST (51 percent) for this week and the rest of the season.

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: Terrelle Pryor, Raiders (62 percent), Jake Locker, Titans (42 percent)
Maybe add: Nick Foles, Eagles (30 percent), Mike Glennon, Buccaneers (17 percent), Josh McCown, Bears (8 percent), Case Keenum, Texans (6 percent), Jason Campbell, Browns (5 percent)
Desperation add: Christian Ponder, Vikings (10 percent), Kellen Clemens, Rams (4 percent), Matt Barkley, Eagles (1 percent)

Pryor would be the first quarterback I'd go after this week if available. He's obviously struggled of late, but consecutive games against Kansas City and Pittsburgh would rattle even veteran passers. We expect him to bounce back this week against the Eagles, and he also has a favorable matchup in Week 10 at the Giants. ... Locker has one game this season with fewer than 18 Fantasy points, which was Week 1 at the Steelers, and he's been above 20 Fantasy points in each of his past three starts. He has a great remaining schedule -- including Week 9 at St. Louis -- and we can see him being at least a Top 15 Fantasy quarterback for the rest of the year. ... I don't want to start any of the guys in the "maybe add" group, but a few Fantasy owners could be stuck this week. Of those quarterbacks, I'd gamble on McCown or Keenum this week because they are surrounded by quality talent. ... Glennon is more of a long-term look in deeper leagues because, despite his limitations, he does have at least 17 Fantasy points in his past three starts. ... Let's see if Campbell could turn into Brian Hoyer instead of Brandon Weeden. He got off to a great start with his two-touchdown outing in Week 8 at Kansas City in place of Weeden. ... Foles is expected to start for the Eagles this week ahead of Barkley if he passes his concussion test. Hopefully the Foles from Week 6 at Tampa Bay will return instead of the guy who showed up in Week 7 against Dallas.

Running backs

Must add: Shane Vereen, Patriots (65 percent), Andre Brown, Giants (42 percent), Mike Tolbert, Panthers (42 percent)
Maybe add: Kendall Hunter, 49ers (57 percent), Daniel Thomas, Dolphins (46 percent), Montee Ball, Broncos (36 percent), Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (33 percent), Daryl Richardson, Rams (32 percent), James Starks, Packers (30 percent), Brandon Bolden, Patriots (29 percent), Knile Davis, Chiefs (18 percent)
Desperation add: C.J. Anderson, Broncos (3 percent), Brian Leonard, Buccaneers (2 percent), Fozzy Whittaker, Browns (1 percent), Dennis Johnson, Texans (0 percent), Deji Karim, Texans (0 percent), Ray Graham, Texans (0 percent)

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If you're Fantasy team is in great shape and ready for a playoff run then adding Vereen or Brown is a must. Brown, who is expected to return in Week 10 from his broken leg, is better in standard leagues, and remember he scored eight touchdowns last year in just 10 games. The Giants would likely lean on him ahead of Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hillis. ... Vereen has more upside in PPR leagues, and he had 15 Fantasy points in Week 1 at Buffalo before breaking his wrist. He's already back at practice, and he should be ready to go in Week 11. ... If you need someone for this week then Tolbert is your best option. He's scored in three consecutive games with four touchdowns over that span, and he should remain relevant playing in tandem with DeAngelo Williams until Stewart (ankle) returns. That could happen this week, but we'd gamble on Tolbert since he has a good matchup against the Falcons. ... Starks, Ball and Hunter are worth adding if you have the roster space because any injury to the starters in front of them would make those backups stars. We saw each get at least eight Fantasy points in Week 8, and they all play in great offensive systems. ... The reason Davis is listed here is because Jamaal Charles had a minor knee injury in Week 8, but he should be fine. Still, don't learn your lesson when it's too late. If you own Charles, you should also own Davis. ... Richardson is also of interest because Zac Stacy was limping around with an injured ankle late in Monday's game. We hope Stacy will be fine, but on the short week it's worth monitoring. ... Thomas was outplayed by Lamar Miller for the Dolphins in Week 8, but Thomas scored against the Patriots and could be a flex option in deeper leagues in Week 9 against the Bengals. ... The same goes for Bolden, who will continue to be relevant until Vereen is back. He has a touchdown in consecutive games, and both times he scored before Stevan Ridley, which says something about his involvement. ... Keep an eye on the Houston running backs with Arian Foster (hamstring) and Ben Tate (ribs) banged up. The Texans could use any or the entire trio they just signed in Johnson, Karim or Graham in Week 9 against the Colts.

Wide receiver

Streamers for Week 9
Here are some DST and kickers to consider if you play the matchups with these positions each week.
Opponent Own %
Titans DST at STL 51
Colts DST at HOU 44
Raiders DST vs. PHI 33
Ryan Succop, K, KC at BUF 51
Adam Vinatieri, K, IND at HOU 48
Graham Gano, K, CAR vs. ATL 22

Must add: Darrius Heyward-Bey, Colts (60 percent), Kendall Wright (49 percent), Marvin Jones, Bengals (38 percent)
Maybe add: Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers (54 percent), Aaron Dobson, Patriots (27 percent), Michael Crabtree, 49ers (27 percent), Lance Moore, Saints (23 percent), Kenny Stills, Saints (12 percent), Mario Manningham, 49ers (7 percent), Mike Brown, Jaguars (2 percent)
Desperation add: Ted Ginn, Panthers (15 percent), Dexter McCluster, Chiefs (3 percent), Drew Davis, Falcons (1 percent), David Nelson, Jets (0 percent), Myles White, Packers (0 percent)

Jones should be the top receiver added for his play right now and his long-term potential. Dalton and the Bengals need a second weapon opposite A.J. Green like they had last year with Andrew Hawkins and Mohamed Sanu at different points in the season, and Jones has stepped up in a big way of late. He has six touchdowns in the past three games with at least 57 receiving yards in each game. He doesn't have a high volume of targets with 19 over that span, but he's producing and should do well in Week 9 at Miami. ... Heyward-Bey steps into a featured role with Reggie Wayne (ACL) out, and even though T.Y. Hilton should benefit the most, we'd gamble on Heyward-Bey to see what develops. ... Wright, as we've been saying for the past few weeks, is a must-own in PPR leagues with at least five catches in every game since Week 2. He has a great matchup in Week 9 at the Rams, and you can also speculate on Nate Washington (45 percent) as well for this week, although he's struggled of late. ... Like Brown and Vereen at running back, we'd speculate on Crabtree and Manningham at receiver. Manningham (ACL) should return in Week 10, and Crabtree (Achilles) could come back in Week 11 or 12. Crabtree has more upside, but don't discount Manningham in deeper leagues. ... The Saints are spreading the ball around, and Stills and Moore benefited in Week 8 against Buffalo. Stills had three catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns, and Moore had three catches for 34 yards and a touchdown. Stills has the better upside with his big-play potential, but Moore will be more consistent. Take a flier on Stills if you have an open roster spot. ... Sanders has a touchdown in two of the past three games, and he just had his best performance of the season in Week 8 at Oakland with seven catches for 88 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. Hopefully he can be more consistent going forward and build on that game. ... Dobson just had his best game of the season with four catches for 60 yards and a touchdown on five targets against Miami, but the Patriots are fully healthy in their receiving corps, leaving few opportunities for Dobson going forward. We'd only add him in deeper leagues. ... The same goes for Mike Brown in deeper leagues since he has 22 Fantasy points in his past two games against San Diego and San Francisco. The problem is he will likely disappear once Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts start playing at a high level again.

Tight end

Must add: Timothy Wright, Buccaneers (15 percent)
Maybe add: Tyler Eifert, Bengals (57 percent), Jermaine Gresham, Bengals (28 percent), Andrew Quarless, Packers (16 percent)
Desperation add: Anthony Fasano, Chiefs (9 percent), Joel Dreessen, Broncos (1 percent)


None of these tight ends have must-start potential, but Wright is clearly the best of the bunch. With Mike Williams (hamstring) now out for the season, Wright will become the No. 2 target for Glennon behind Vincent Jackson. He scored his first NFL touchdown in Week 8 against Carolina and now has at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league in two of his past three games. ... I like Eifert and Gresham for their matchup in Week 9 at Miami. The Dolphins have struggled with tight ends all season, and Eifert and Gresham have scored in consecutive weeks. I like Eifert more than Gresham at Miami. ... Quarless didn't play well in Week 8 against Minnesota with just two catches for 13 yards on two targets, but I'd keep an eye on him moving forward with Jermichael Finley (neck) out. ... The Broncos are off in Week 9, but Julius Thomas hurt his ankle in Week 8 against the Redskins. If he's out for any amount of time moving forward then Dreessen would have increased value.

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
Report: 49ers to release wide receiver Steve Johnson
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(11:34 am ET) The 49ers are expected to release wide receiver Steve Johnson, according to Dianna Marie Russini of NBC Washington D.C.

The move will reportedly save the team $5.5 million in cap space. Johnson had 35 catches for 435 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games last season.


Patriots running back Stevan Ridley: 'I have something to prove'
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Patriots running back Stevan Ridley is expected to become a free agent in the coming weeks and he is ready for the experience.

"I'm excited about it," Ridley told Sirius XM Radio Friday. "As a player coming into the league, you get there and your first contract you kind of have to establish yourself and see what you can do. Everybody is a good player if you get to make it to the NFL, but there is something to be said if you get to that second contract."

Ridley has rushed for 2,817 yards and 22 touchdowns in his first four seasons in the league with the Patriots.

"Where I'll be playing, and who I'll be playing for, is still unknown, but I know I've come in and done my job up to this point and now I have to put it in my agent's hands to get me on another team, or stay where I'm at, and make sure I’m in pads playing ball somewhere next year. I know if you think about it too much it will worry you sick."

Ridley has played in 20 of a possible 32 games the last two seasons, starting in just 11 of them.

"I take it personal to any team or anybody that says I can't be a very productive player on whatever team I land on," he said. "I've been playing ball my whole life, I'm going to come in and be a leader, and I'm going to be a guy that comes in and busts his butt in the weight room and busts his butt on the field. I'm a good teammate, I have fun with my guys, but when the lights come on Sundays, it's all business and I plan on going out there and making plays."


Patriots' Aaron Dobson doing well in rehab of hamstring injury
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson is still recovering from a hamstring injury that ended his season in 2014. Trainer Brett Fischer said Friday he thinks Dobson is going to turn heads when he heads back to Foxboro for training camp, according to the Boston Herald.

"He was talking about, 'When I go up there (to Foxboro) and they see me again, I want to make sure they know I'm in the best shape of my life.' He is really determined," Fischer said. "That is the underlying theme every day: 'Hey, I've got to be ready when April comes, be ready as far as the best shape of my life.' It's frustrating with two years of freaky-type stuff."

Dobson finished a disappointing 2014 season with three catches for 38 yards.

"He is doing great," Fischer said. "I'm really excited for him. He has put the time and effort into it, comes in early, gets all his work in and he is hungry. There are a few specific things we found, minor little things we're working on, that make his program a little bit unique to everybody else's. Nothing major."


Report: Should be a 'very active market' for Broncos' Julius Thomas
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Broncos tight end Julius Thomas turned down a five-year, $40 million contract for a reason. That's because it's believed he will have a "very active market" when the new league year begins on March 10, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. 

Two teams that are expected to target Thomas in free agency are the Raiders and Jaguars, both of which need to upgrade considerably at their skill positions to help out their young quarterbacks. The expectation is for Broncos general manager John Elway to let Thomas test the waters in free agency to see what he's offered. 

The Falcons have also reportedly been interested, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter. 

Injuries slowed what was an otherwise fast start to his 2014 season. Thomas' season ended with 489 yards and 12 touchdowns. 


Report: Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be on the way out of Cleveland
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) With the signing of Josh McCown Friday, Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer could be looking elsewhere for employment. Coach Mike Pettine called Hoyer to inform him the team was signing McCown and Hoyer appears ready to move on, according to Albert Breer of the NFL Network.

Hoyer played in 14 games for the Browns in 2014, throwing for 3,326 yards with 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He lost his starting position to Johnny Manziel in Week 15, but was forced back into action after Manziel suffered a season-ending injury.


Quarterback Josh McCown agrees to terms with Browns
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Free agent quarterback Josh McCown has agreed to terms with the Browns on a contract, according to his agent Mike McCartney. The team later confirmed the report. The deal is reportedly set to have McCown on the Browns for three seasons and is worth $15 million, according to NFL.com.

McCown, who will turn 36 before the season begins, previously visited with the Bills before signing with the Browns. McCown threw for 2,206 yards with 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 2014 with the Buccaneers.


Jets WR Percy Harvin will not accept pay cut
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Jets receiver Percy Harvin will not agree to a reduction in his 2015 salary, reports CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. 

Harvin is slated to earn $10.5 million this season, something the Jets cannot afford. Teams around the league are interested signing Harvin to a short-term deal. With his expensive contract, though, the Jets will be hard-pressed to find a suitor interested in trading Harvin. 

The Seahawks traded Harvin to the Jets for a conditional pick during the 2014 season. 


Report: Colts' Wayne undergoes triceps surgery, mulling retirement
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne underwent surgery Friday to repair his injured triceps, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Wayne, 36, is beginning rehab for the injury and is reportedly considering retirement, according to Rapoport.

Wayne played in 15 regular season games for the Colts in 2014, totaling 779 yards on 64 catches with two touchdowns.


Dolphins WR Mike Wallace interested in return to Steelers
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Though the Dolphins are shopping Mike Wallace to prospective suitors, there is one team that is of interest to the speedy receiver. 

According to CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, Wallace has interest in potentially returning to the Steelers. Of course, the Steelers would have to decide if they'd be willing to take on a contract that's going to have a $12.1 million cap figure for 2015. 

Wallace has underperformed in relation to the five-year, $60 million contract he signed before the 2013 season. He's failed to reach 1,000 yards with the Dolphins in either season after recording that mark twice with the Steelers in his first four NFL seasons. 


Buccaneers' Vincent Jackson not accepting pay cut for 2015
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson is likely to remain with Tampa Bay this offseason, but he is not willing to accept a pay cut, according to CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.

Jackson, who was shopped by the team before the trade deadline, is set to make $10 million in base salary and has a $12.2 million cap hit. He totaled 70 catches for 1,002 yards and two touchdowns in 2014.


 
 
 
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