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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
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham to avoid surgery on shoulder
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:34 pm ET) Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he will avoid surgery on his shoulder after testing it at the Pro Bowl. 

"I’ve been doing rehab and I’m going to start back on my rehab Monday and really there’s going to be no surgery," Graham told SiriusXM radio. "I’m just going to do rehab, strengthen the area. That’s what’s best — not having to take six months off and try to heal up with a surgery, but now have those six months to work on all things I need to to try and hopefully get to a place like (the Super Bowl) next year."

Graham, who had 85 catches for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014, fought off the injury for most of the season. He was still unsure about having surgery before the Pro Bowl last week.

"It was something that really needed some rest and unfortunately it wasn’t able to get that during the season," he said. "It happened early and then you have about 10 straight weeks of trying to make it to the game. Now after having about three or four weeks and last week kind of testing it at the Pro Bowl, it feels great."


Vikings' Greg Jennings: We all want Adrian Peterson back
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4:26 pm ET) Vikings veteran wideout Greg Jennings said during a SiriusXM NFL Radio interview on Friday that embattled running back Adrian Peterson is wanted back by everyone in the organization, per ESPN.

"I don't know if he'll be back. I can't answer that question," Jennings said. "But what I do know is that if he does come back, he'd be accepted with open arms. As an organization from the Wilfs on down, we all want him back. So, I mean, it's a touchy subject and he's been the franchise player -- face of that team -- for eight years. So it will be a loss, a huge loss, if we can't get him back, and that's the nature of this business."

In November, Peterson was suspended by the league without pay for the rest of the season, making him ineligible for reinstatement until at least April 15. The move came after Peterson pleaded no contest to recklessly injuring his 4-year-old son last May. He is under contract with the Vikings for next season, and is set to earn $12.75 million.

It's unclear at this point if Jennings has talked to Zygi and Mark Wilf about the Peterson situation. What is clear is that the team is not allowed to communicate with Peterson during his suspension.


Eagles' Maclin believes contract will take care of itself
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3:08 pm ET) Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin believes he will be back in Philadelphia in next season. His representatives and the Eagles are in the process of negotiating a new contract for the 27-year-old, who will become a free agent in March unless he is re-signed.

"I'm excited about what the future holds," Maclin said on Friday. "Once again, both sides have made it known what we want to do. I think it will take care of itself."

He could be franchise tagged if a deal is not signed. The tag number for wide receivers is yet to be determined.

Maclin had 85 catches in 2014 for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns in Philadelphia.


Bears sign LB DeDe Lattimore to two-year contract extension
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:03 pm ET) The Bears have signed linebacker DeDe Lattimore to a two-year contract extension. He appeared in 10 games as a rookie in 2014, recording five special teams tackles.

Jaguars' Khan 'very optimistic' about WR Blackmon being reinstated
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:46 pm ET) Jaguars owner Shahid Khan said Friday he is "very optimistic" about wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who missed the 2014 season after being suspended indefinitely for a third violation of the league's substance abuse policy, being reinstated to the NFL.

"I think he's paid his dues and I think he's got his life together," Khan said, per The Florida Times-Union.


NFLPA president Eric Winston: New conduct policy 'violates CBA'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:43 pm ET) After the union field a grievance last week against the NFL over changes to the NFL personal conduct policy, Players Association president Eric Winston said Thursday the new policy "violates the CBA in several ways and we're going to be grieving this as far as we can."

NFL owners unanimously approved the changes in December.

"We have an agreement with the league and they have an agreement with us," Winston said, per the Associated Press. "We're going to hold them to that agreement. Many aspects of this policy fall outside of the CBA and we're going to continue fighting it going forward."

Following former Ravens running back Ray Rice's domestic violence case and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's child abuse case, a more extensive list of prohibited conduct was included in the policy, as well as criteria for paid leave for anyone charged with a violent crime. A suspension of six games without pay for violations involving assault, sexual assault, battery, domestic violence, child abuse and other forms of family violence will be in effect.

"The league's revised conduct policy was the product of a tremendous amount of analysis and work and is based on input from a broad and diverse group of experts within and outside of football, including current players, former players, and the NFL Players Association," the league said in a statement last week.

"We and the public firmly believe that all NFL personnel should be held accountable to a stronger, more effective conduct policy. Clearly, the union does not share that belief."


Eric Decker 'pushing' for Demaryius Thomas to sign with Jets
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:38 pm ET) Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is set to become a free agent in March, unless he agrees to a contract extension or Denver uses the franchise tag on him. If he does become a free agent, former teammate Eric Decker hopes Thomas would consider joining him on the Jets roster.

Decker spent a few days in Arizona this week with Thomas filming a commercial.

“I’ve been pushing for the entire year now,” Decker said in a telephone interview with The New York Post. “It was just another opportunity to talk to him about it. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens. I think it would be tough for Denver to let him go. So whether they franchise-tag him here in the next month or give him a long-term deal, he’s just one of those premier players in this league.

"If he happens to make it to free agency, I would love to sign him because playing alongside him for four years and especially the last two years made it a lot of fun and made it a lot easier. He’s just one of the great players in this league.”

Thomas recorded a career-best 1,619 receiving yards in 2014. It was his third straight season of 1,000-plus receiving yards. He also had at least 10 touchdowns for a third straight season.


49ers CEO York: 'Defenses are not going to want to play against us'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:32 pm ET) 49ers CEO Jed York confirmed the promotion of quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst to offensive coordinator during an interview with NFL Network on Friday. York is particularly excited about Chryst, who has been the quarterbacks coach since 2011, continuing to work with quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

“With Kap, you got a guy in Geep Chryst who knows him better than anybody else,” York said, per CSNBayArea.com. “You have a great guy in (quarterbacks coach) Steve Logan who is coming to come in to work with him on fundamentals and allow us to put together a system that’s going to put Kap in the best position to make plays.

“How many quarterbacks in this league can run 90 yards for a touchdown? I can’t think of many. But you have to put Kap in a position where he can make those plays. And put Kap in a position where we can run the ball (and) we can throw the ball in ways that allow him to be successful and let him be the absolute stud that he can be on the field. And I think that’s what you’re going to see from us next year. Defenses are not going to want to play against us because you’re not going to know where we’re going to hit you.”


Bears' Bennett: Trestman will be 'excellent coordinator' for Ravens
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:34 pm ET) Marc Trestman lasted only two seasons as the Bears coach before losing his job. Bears tight end Martellus Bennett said on NFL Network on Friday that Trestman's demise in Chicago was plagued by his inability to control a locker room full of personalities.

"Trestman, I think, first off, the issue that he had, probably, was managing us all, all the different personalities," Bennett said. "There's a lot of big personalities (in the locker room). And I think, for a first-time head coach in the NFL, dealing with all the personalities that you have, I think that's hard when you got guys like me, you know, (Brandon) Marshall ... Lance Briggs on defense, (Charles) Tillman.

"There's so many guys with such outgoing personalities that managing those guys and bringing them all together is what a leader needs to do, you know? And that's one of the toughest things."

Although Trestman was fired in late December, he wasn't out of work for long, landing the job as the Ravens offensive coordinator after Gary Kubiak left to become the Broncos coach. Bennett believes Trestman will have success in his new role.

"Calling plays, he was excellent," Bennett said. "I think he's going to be an excellent coordinator for the Ravens.  Strategically, he was great. But on the field, guys just weren't executing.

"A lot of it comes back to the player preparation. If you're not preparing to a high level, then the coaches can only do so much; the game's not played on paper, it's played on grass. On paper, we look great. On grass, we looked bad."


Marijuana charges dropped against LeGarrette Blount in Pennsylvania
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:10 pm ET) Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount will not face charges for marijuana possession in Pennsylvania, Blount’s attorney said Friday.

Blount and Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell were pulled over and arrested for pot possession in August, a day before a preseason game. Blount satisfied his penalty by working community service in Boston. He will not have to appear in court in Pittsburgh next week. 


 
 
 
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