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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
Giants' Odell Beckham says he played with hamstring tears
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:24 am ET) Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham said he played all season with two tears in his hamstrings, according to the New York Daily News.

Beckham took part in the Pro Bowl on Sunday, but admitted he's still not fully healed. Beckham said the injuries prevented him from getting to that "last gear that I wanted to have." He added that the injuries really bothered him against the Eagles and Colts. Beckham said he was "stumbling" and falling over during those games. He added that he's not sure whether he'll ever be 100 percent again.

The rookie had a tremendous season, hauling in 91 balls for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. 


Patriots' Tom Brady meeting with NFL after Super Bowl 49
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Patriots quarterback Tom Brady doesn't expect to meet with the NFL until after Super Bowl 49, according to NFL.com.

The Patriots have been in the headlines all week due to DeflateGate, and it appears the situation won't be resolved until after the season. "I believe they're going to do [a meeting] after the season," Brady said. "So we'll deal with it after this game. I think everybody is locked in, ready to go for the Super Bowl." Both Brady and coach Bill Belichick have held separate press conferences during the week to deny the team's involvement in deflating their footballs. 

The Patriots are subject to punishment from the NFL if the leauge finds any wrongdoing during the investigation. 


Earl Thomas on bad shoulder: 'I'll still play fearless'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, who dislocated his shoulder in the NFC Championship Game, could remain limited in practice this week ahead of the Super Bowl, reports the Seattle Times. But he said he won't be thinking about the injury against the Patriots.

"When I come alive nothing is limited,’’ he said. “I’ll still play fearless, throw my body around, and let whatever happens, happens.’’

Thomas did allow that he might have to rely more on his teammates.

“My mindset is I have an opportunity to really trust my teammates,’’ he said. “This is the first game I’m going to have to trust them because of my injury. So I really, really, really trust my teammates, and that’s what I’m banking on, my teammates doing what they need to do and I need to come through myself.’’

It's unclear if Thomas will need offseason surgery.

The Seahawks are 1-point underdogs after opening as 2.5-point favorites.


Colts QB Matt Hasselbeck pondering retirement
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck told ESPN.com he's not sure if he'll retire or return for a 17th season. Hasselbeck, 39, appeared in four games this season and played well, posting a 102.6 passer rating.

He's set to hit unrestricted free agency.


Colts expected to part ways with center A.Q. Shipley
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Colts center A.Q. Shipley is headed for unrestricted free agency, and the team is expected to let him go, reports ESPN.com. 

"Shipley went from starting in Week 1 to losing his starting job, to being inactive, to being the third-string center," the report said. "All without any explanation from coach Chuck Pagano or anybody in the front office."

Shipley, 28, has played in 45 career games, starting 19.


Report: Dolphins aim to re-sign TE Charles Clay
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) The Dolphins have privately indicated they want to re-sign impending free agent tight end Charles Clay and will make him an offer in coming weeks, reports the Miami Herald. Clay caught 58 passes for 605 yards and three touchdowns in 14 games this season.

Miami also is high on Clay's backup, Dion Sims, who's signed through 2016, the paper said.


Browns extremely thin -- and short -- at wide receiver
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) With wideout Josh Gordon facing a one-year suspension, the Browns are dangerously thin at receiver entering 2015. ESPN.com notes the Browns have two returning slot receivers in Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel and "an undersized situational receiver" in 5-10 Travis Benjamin.

Miles Austin is scheduled for unrestricted free agency after catching 47 passes for 568 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games. Tight end Jordan Cameron also is set to be an unrestricted free agent.

Hawkins, a 5-7, 180-pounder, led the team with 63 grabs for 824 yards, with two touchdowns. Cleveland failed to add a wideout in last year's draft but almost certainly must address the position in the 2015 draft.


Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas to practice this week
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told SiriusXM NFL Radio that cornerback Richard Sherman (elbow) and safety Earl Thomas (shoulder) will practice this week and should be "good to go" for the Super Bowl. Both got hurt in the NFC Championship Game.

Seattle is a 1-point underdog to the Patriots after opening as a 2.5-point favorite.


New optimism regarding Justin Blackmon's potential return
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) A lot of people inside the NFL are optimistic Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon is "overcoming his issues" and will be back in the league in 2015, reports Fox Sports. Blackmon got suspended in November 2013 following his third violation of the league's substance-abuse policy.

He checked into a treatment facility last September. General manager Dave Caldwell said recently he hopes Blackmon wins reinstatement, but is not counting on it.


Reports: Josh Gordon tests positive again, facing 1-year ban
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1/25/2015) Browns wideout Josh Gordon tested positive for alcohol and "now will be subject to a one-year banishment," sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Gordon was suspended for the first 10 games this season for a repeat violation of the league's drug policy.

Pro Football Talk reports that because of Gordon's past DUI, alcohol was one of the substances for which he was being tested. The website said a one-year suspension is likely a "done deal."

The Browns also suspended Gordon for missing a Saturday walkthrough before the regular-season finale, and CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported then the Browns might be ready to part ways with the ultra-talented 23-year-old.

The Browns released the following statement regarding the news: 

"Clearly we are very disappointed to hear the latest report regarding Josh. At this point, due to the confidential nature of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, we have not been made aware by the league of a failed test. We are in the process of gathering more information and will provide further comment at the appropriate time."


 
 
 
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