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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
Redskins pick up QB Robert Griffin III's fifth-year option
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(12:03 pm ET) Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan announced Monday that the team will pick up quarterback Robert Griffin III's fifth-year option for the 2016 season, a move worth $16.155 million, per The Washington Post

The Redskins have already announced that Griffin will be the starter this season, and locking him up would not affect the team's plans, if they have any, to draft a quarterback. NFL Media insider Albert Breer said the team views the option as a franchise tag of sorts. 

The risk comes in that if Griffin is hurt during this season, the Redskins would be on the hook to pay the full $16 million. If Griffin does not perform well in 2015, the Redskins could release the quarterback without taking a salary-cap hit. 

Griffin threw for 1,694 yards and four touchdowns with six interceptions last season.


Steelers WR Antonio Brown arrives at team facility
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(10:52 am ET) Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was noticably absent during the first few days of the team's offseason workout program, was back in camp on Monday, the team reported. 

Speculation bloomed that Brown was dissatisfied with his contract, which is scheduled to pay him $6 million this season, but Brown wrote on Twitter that he was spending time with his newborn child and would be back soon. 

The receiver racked up 1,815 yards and 138 catches for the Steelers last season.


Joe Flacco: Ravens don't need to draft wide receiver
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:35 am ET) When your Super Bowl quarterback doesn't believe his team needs to draft a wide receiver, then perhaps it doesn't.

Joe Flacco feels the Ravens are well-stocked in that area despite having lost Torrey Smith to free agency. They still boast Steve Smith, Marlon Brown, Kamar Aiken, Michael Campanero and Jeremy Butler, but are expected to seriously considering adding a wideout as early as the first round.

"Obviously, without Torrey now, the one thing we probably don't have as much of is that speed, is that one guy who can stretch the field," Flacco told ESPN. "But I'm not going to say we need it. I think we got really good guys and I think we're good with who we have."


Report: Cowboys out of running for Adrian Peterson; Cardinals still alive
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:28 am ET) The Cowboys, once considered the frontrunners to trade for Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, are now out of the running, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, who added that only the Cardinals are serious contenders.

The claim is that a deal for Peterson must be made by Friday or Peterson will stay with Minnesota. That will be contingent on Arizona's ability or inability to identify its future featured back. Peterson could bring the Vikings a second-round pick.


Colts sign ILB Jerrell Freeman to qualifying offer
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:16 am ET) Linebacker Jerrell Freeman has signed his one-year qualifying offer for a reported $2.35 million and will remain with the Colts for a fourth season, the team website has reported. He had been a restricted free agent.

The three-year starter led Indianapolis in tackles in 2012 and 2013 before losing four games to a hamstring injury last year. He still finished with 95 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.


Cardinals' Larry Foote '50-50' on playing in 2015
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/26/2015) Though Larry Foote is on the Cardinals' coaching staff at the moment, he hasn't ruled out a potential return to the team

Speaking to the team's website, Foote said he's "50-50" about playing in 2015. He talked about the factors that could play into whether or not he returns to playing. 

“Draft, what happens with (suspended linebacker) Darryl Washington, stuff like that, how my knee feels (after offseason surgery),” Foote said. “I’ll sit down with (Bruce Arians) and the next couple of months are really going to be the deciding factor.”

If Foote doesn't play, he'll be the linebackers coach for Arizona's upcoming season. He's been adjusting to the role of being a coach this offseason. 

“I am starting to like coaching,” Foote said. “It’s a little tough in the office, eating M&Ms, snacking all day, drinking coffee. I started my diet a couple days ago.”


Panthers pick up option on Luke Kuechly contract
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/25/2015) What was promised by general manager Dave Gettleman is now official - the Panthers have picked up the fifth-year option on the rookie contract of standout linebacker Luke Kuechly, per the team website.

The two-time Pro Bowler has led the NFL in tackles in two of his three seasons and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. He has racked up 473 tackles since 2012, the most in the NFL.


Ravens TE Dennis Pitta hopeful for 2015 return
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/25/2015) Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta hopes to take the field in time for the 2015 season, but admits it's too early to determine if that goal can become a reality.

Pitta has undergone surgeries to repair a fractured and dislocated hip in each of the last two years.

"We still have some time to be able to assess where I'm at," Pitta told the Baltimore Sun. "I sure hope that I'll be on the field next year. That's my hope; that's my goal. We'll just see if I can get there."

Pitta has played in just seven games in the last two seasons combined.


Mark Sanchez: Eagles said Tim Tebow was just a camp arm
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4/25/2015) Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez said he wasn't concerned that the team signed Tim Tebow, because the Eagles told him Tebow was just there to throw in camp.

"We needed another guy to throw while Sam's (Bradford) still recovering. So that's the reason (for the signing), at least as explained to me," Sanchez said, per CSN Philadelphia

The Eagles signed Tebow on Monday. He hasn't played in the NFL since getting cut by the Patriots at the end of training camp prior to the 2013 season. He spent last year as a television analyst for the SEC Network. 

Tebow and Sanchez were teammates on the Jets in 2012. Tebow's presence as a back-up created a quarterback controversy among fans and media that last ed throughout the season. 


Vikings CB Terence Newman has familiarity with Mike Zimmer
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2015) Vikings cornerback Terence Newman won't have a steep learning curve now that he's with his new team. 

Newman played under Vikings coach Mike Zimmer when he was the defensive coordinator with the Cowboys. Drafted in 2003, Newman learned Zimmer's defense from his rookie season through 2006, before Zimmer left to take the same position with the Falcons. 

“I just know exactly what to expect from him as a coach, as well as everybody else in this locker room,” Newman told the Vikings' website. “You play your best football under him.”

In his career, Newman has recorded 741 tackles and 37 interceptions. Entering his 13th NFL year, Newman has already impressed his teammates with voluntary workouts underway. 

“I met with him and he seemed like a great guy,” cornerback Xavier Rhodes said. “Like he’s going to come in and teach us what we need to know about the technique of the game and about the defense because he’s been in it before, so he’s going to help us out a lot. He’s a big asset to this team and the defense.”


 
 
 
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