The bye weeks are over, but it appears as though we're not finished replacing players, especially at running back. Some key injuries, and Stevan Ridley's fumble problems, have made guys available who could be valuable down the stretch.
We might be without some prominent running backs in Week 13 after Knowshon Moreno (ankle), Zac Stacy (concussion), Ryan Mathews (hamstring) and Chris Ivory (ankle) were all injured Sunday. And with Ridley fumbling for the fourth time this season and third game in a row, he could be missing in action this week as well.
What this means is Fantasy owners should prioritize running back this week with guys like Montee Ball, Benny Cunningham, Bilal Powell and Brandon Bolden jumping to the top of the list. Cunningham and Bolden are two of the top free agents being viewed in CBSSports.com leagues, along with Julian Edelman, Nate Burleson and Michael Crabtree.
Those three receivers are considered must-add players as well, but this is a week to go after the available running back replacements with your remaining bid money. Someone like Powell, with his great matchup against the Dolphins this week, could help you secure a playoff spot if he starts in place of Ivory and plays well.
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.
Must add: Alex Smith, Chiefs (68 percent), Carson Palmer, Cardinals (66 percent), Josh McCown, Bears (37 percent)
Maybe add: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Titans (20 percent), EJ Manuel, Bills (17 percent), Matt Flynn, Packers (3 percent)
Desperation add: Matt McGloin, Raiders (6 percent), Brandon Weeden, Browns (4 percent)
|1.||Roddy White, WR, Falcons||100|
|2.||Terrance Williams, WR, Cowboys||99|
|3.||Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants||98|
|4.||Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons||96|
|5.||Trent Richardson, RB, Colts||91|
|6.||Denarius Moore, WR, Raiders||89|
|7.||Aaron Dobson, WR, Patriots||84|
|8.||Case Keenum, QB, Texans||79|
|9.||Jerricho Cotchery, WR, Steelers||76|
|10.||Garrett Graham, TE, Texans||75|
|11.||DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans||67|
|12.||Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Falcons||64|
The order for quarterbacks to add this week is McCown, Palmer, Smith, Flynn, Fitzpatrick and Manuel. ... Jay Cutler (ankle) will remain out again this week against the Vikings, which is a great matchup for McCown. Only Ben Roethlisberger in Week 4 and Eli Manning in Week 7 failed to score at least 20 Fantasy points against Minnesota this season. ... Palmer has come alive of late with at least 24 Fantasy points in his past two games, and he has multiple touchdowns in four straight. He has two solid matchups upcoming at the Eagles this week and vs. the Rams in Week 14. ... Smith just had 26 Fantasy points against the Broncos in Week 11 and now has at least 25 Fantasy points in three of his past four games, including two in a row. Denver's secondary is falling apart, and Smith is a must-start option in two-quarterback leagues and a sleeper in standard formats. ... Flynn will likely start on Thanksgiving Day at the Lions, and we all remember his big game against Detroit in 2011 (480 passing yards, six touchdowns and one interception), which helped him earn a huge raise. That performance will never happen again, but this is a great matchup since the Lions have allowed at least 20 Fantasy points to the past six opposing quarterbacks they have faced. Flynn is worth using in two-quarterback leagues. ... Fitzpatrick has at least 26 Fantasy points in two of his past three games, and he hasn't thrown an interception over that span. He only had 16 Fantasy points against the Colts in Week 11, but he could be used as a starter in two-quarterback leagues this week. Indianapolis has allowed 11 passing touchdowns and just one interception in its past five games. ... Manuel is also someone to consider in two-quarterback leagues with his matchup against the Falcons, and he has a great three-game schedule coming up with Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville. The Falcons have allowed multiple touchdowns to all 11 opposing quarterbacks they have faced, and Manuel is coming off a solid game against the Jets with 21 Fantasy points in Week 11.
Must add: Montee Ball, Broncos (71 percent), Rashard Mendenhall, Cardinals (66 percent), Bilal Powell, Jets (43 percent), Brandon Bolden, Patriots (15 percent), Benny Cunningham, Rams (1 percent)
Maybe add: James Starks, Packers (53 percent), Brandon Jacobs, Giants (29 percent), Dennis Johnson, Texans (20 percent), Michael Bush, Bears (16 percent), Toby Gerhart, Vikings (16 percent), Kendall Hunter, 49ers (13 percent)
Desperation add: Ronnie Hillman, Broncos (13 percent), Marcel Reece, Raiders (6 percent), Ronnie Brown, Chargers (1 percent), C.J. Anderson, Broncos (1 percent), Mike Gillislee, Dolphins (1 percent)
The order for running backs to add this week is Powell, Ball, Bolden, Mendenhall, Cunningham, Gerhart, Johnson, Starks, Hunter, Jacobs and Bush. ... Powell might be the No. 1 free agent added this week. If Ivory is out, then Powell will face a Dolphins defense that has allowed 10 touchdowns to running backs and nine to score double digits in Fantasy points. Powell did have three games with double digits in Fantasy points in his first four outings this season, and Ivory is always going to be an injury risk. ... There are differing reports on Moreno's status this week at Kansas City, but if he's out then Ball should benefit over Anderson or Hillman, even though Ball fumbled in Week 12 at New England. He did score twice against the Chiefs in Week 11, and Kansas City has now allowed five touchdowns to running backs in the past two games. With Moreno's injury history, Ball should be owned in all leagues. ... Bolden took over for Ridley and LeGarrette Blount after both fumbled Sunday night against the Broncos. He ended up with 13 carries for 58 yards and a touchdown, and he could be Bill Belichick's guy the rest of the way. You never know what Belichick might do with Ridley, and Bolden was a healthy scratch in Week 11 at Carolina, which was the first game Shane Vereen returned. Bolden is worth the gamble in case Ridley gets punished for a lengthy period of time, and we love the matchup in Week 13 at Houston. ... Mendenhall has scored in consecutive games and is scoring more Fantasy points than Andre Ellington, which is what matters most at this point in the season. It might not look pretty how he's producing, but he's facing an Eagles defense that has allowed a running back to score at least eight Fantasy points in six games in a row. Mendenhall should be able to hit that mark if his scoring streak continues, and we'd consider him a flex option this week. ... Cunningham has done a nice job the past two games with 24 Fantasy points against the Colts and Bears. If Stacy is out this week against the 49ers then Cunningham would be worth using as a flex option, and long-term he's the handcuff for Stacy over Daryl Richardson, so make that switch in all formats. ... Every Adrian Peterson owner should already have Gerhart, especially with Peterson battling a groin problem, but Gerhart has run well the past two games with 15 carries for 158 yards against Seattle and Green Bay. Should something happen to Peterson, it appears like Gerhart would be a viable replacement, at least as a flex option. ... The Texans remain committed to Ben Tate, but Johnson ran well in Week 12 against Jacksonville with 13 carries for 74 yards and two catches for 13 yards. If Tate continues to struggle we could see Johnson get more work, which would be helpful in deeper leagues. ... Eddie Lacy is expected to be fine for Week 13 at Detroit, but there are differing reports on if he suffered a rib injury Sunday against the Vikings. Since it's a short week with the game on Thanksgiving Day, every Lacy owner should add Starks just in case, despite the tough matchup against the Lions. ... Every Frank Gore owner should already own Hunter, but he's worth using as a flex this week against the Rams. He scored at St. Louis in Week 4 with 11 carries for 49 yards, and seven backup running backs (Jason Snelling, Hunter, Anthony Dixon, Tate, Mike Tolbert, Shonn Greene and Bush) have scored rushing touchdowns against the Rams this season. ... Jacobs has at least six Fantasy points in his past two games and is worth using as a flex option in Week 13 against the Redskins. Even though Andre Brown is the starter, Jacobs is still making plays in a secondary role. ... Bush's value would only improve if Matt Forte's knee injury was serious. He scored against the Rams, but he's clearly touchdown-dependent for his Fantasy value. If Forte doesn't practice by Friday then immediately add Bush in all leagues against the Vikings this week, but we fully expect Forte to play in Week 13.
|Patriots DST||at HOU||69|
|Dolphins DST||at NYJ||37|
|Browns DST||vs. JAC||54|
|Justin Tucker, K, BAL||vs. PIT||64|
|Blair Walsh, K, MIN||vs. CHI||43|
|Dan Carpenter, K, BUF||vs. ATL||23|
Must add: Tavon Austin, Rams (73 percent), Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers (68 percent), Michael Crabtree, 49ers (61 percent), Julian Edelman, Patriots (42 percent), Nate Burleson, Lions (35 percent), Rod Streater, Raiders (24 percent)
Maybe add: Miles Austin, Cowboys (52 percent), Randall Cobb, Packers (50 percent), Brandon LaFell, Panthers (46 percent), Kenbrell Thompkins, Patriots (36 percent), Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings (14 percent), Justin Hunter, Titans (1 percent)
Desperation add: Dexter McCluster, Chiefs (18 percent), Donnie Avery, Chiefs (15 percent), Jacoby Jones, Ravens (12 percent), Ace Sanders, Jaguars (4 percent), Tiquan Underwood, Buccaneers (1 percent), Seyi Ajirotutu, Chargers (0 percent)
The order for wide receivers to add this week is Edelman, Burleson, Crabtree, Tavon Austin, Streater, Sanders, Cobb, LaFell, Miles Austin, Hunter, Patterson and Thompkins. ... Maybe it was one week or a matchup-based situation against the Broncos, but Edelman was great against Denver with nine catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets. There's been a rotation of go-to guys at receiver for the Patriots with Danny Amendola, Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson and now Edelman, but the biggest thing in Edelman's favor is experience with Tom Brady, which could be valuable down the stretch. Thompkins is only worth adding in deeper leagues. ... Burleson returned from his seven-game absence from a broken arm in Week 12 against Tampa Bay to catch seven passes for 77 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. He now has at least seven Fantasy points in three of the four games he's played, and he should be at least a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in all leagues for the rest of the season. ... Crabtree (Achilles) will make his debut this week against the Rams, and we hope he's back at 100 percent. The 49ers will likely ease him in the way Seattle did Percy Harvin in Week 11, so keep expectations in check for Week 13. But down the stretch, Crabtree could be a difference maker. ... It's time to buy into Tavon Austin since he's now scored in consecutive games, albeit in him making highlight-reel plays for it to happen. The best news for Week 12 was his snap count doubled from his previous game to 30 offensive plays, and he saw his most targets since Week 8 with five. We hope the Rams involve him more because the playmaking ability is off the charts. ... Streater should be considered the No. 1 receiver in Oakland with Denarius Moore expected to deal with a shoulder injury the rest of the season. Streater has 11 catches for 177 yards and a touchdown in two games with McGloin on 17 targets and has scored at least seven Fantasy points in three of his past four games. ... Sanders should have a tough time against the Ravens this week since he was held to one catch for 7 yards in their first meeting in Week 7. But he's still a capable No. 3 Fantasy receiver, especially in PPR leagues, and you'd rather own him then Jerricho Cotchery moving forward. ... Cobb said he might not be able to return this season from his broken leg suffered in Week 6 at Baltimore. But if you're a playoff team and have an open roster spot, I'd still gamble on Cobb coming back in Week 15, especially if the Packers remain in playoff contention. If Cobb was 100 percent on track to return he'd be a must-add option. ... I like LaFell as a sleeper this week. Non No. 1 receivers have scored six touchdowns against Tampa Bay in the past four games. ... Miles Austin struggled in his first game from a three-game absence with a hamstring injury. He'll improve as he shakes off the rust, but he's only worth owning in deep PPR leagues for now. He has yet to score a touchdown this season. ... Hunter and Patterson should be owned in all dynasty leagues, and they have the chance to be valuable Fantasy options in 2014. But their playing time is being ramped up of late, and owners in deeper standard leagues should buy in now. Hunter is the better receiver now based on his quarterback since Fitzpatrick will take chances down the field compared to Christian Ponder for Patterson. Hunter just scored his third touchdown of the season in Week 12 and finished with career highs in catches (six) and yards (109) with six targets. Patterson has 20 targets the past two games but just 11 catches for 82 yards to show for it. He'll be better than Hunter next season when the Vikings upgrade at quarterback.
Must add: Timothy Wright, Buccaneers (50 percent)
Maybe add: Jared Cook, Rams (51 percent), Rob Housler, Cardinals (40 percent), Brent Celek, Eagles (21 percent), Owen Daniels, Texans (16 percent), Jeff Cumberland, Jets (9 percent), Dennis Pitta, Ravens (8 percent), Anthony Fasano, Chiefs (3 percent), Ladarius Green, Chargers (1 percent)
Desperation add: Brandon Pettigrew, Lions (35 percent), Brandon Myers, Giants (15 percent), Joseph Fauria, Lions (15 percent), Benjamin Watson, Saints (2 percent), Jacob Tamme, Broncos (1 percent), Rhett Ellison, Vikings (0 percent)
The order for tight ends to add this week is Wright, Pitta, Daniels, Fasano, Celek, Cumberland, Housler and Green. ... Wright re-emerged in Week 12 at Detroit with eight catches for 75 yards on nine targets. He now has at least seven Fantasy points in a standard league in four of the five games where he has at least five targets. Let's hope that continues in Week 13 at Carolina, and he scored against the Panthers in Week 8 with five catches for 48 yards on eight targets. ... Pitta (hip) and Daniels (leg) could both be active by Week 14, and we like them in that order. Pitta has yet to play this season, but he was the No. 7 Fantasy tight end in 2012 and would return to an offense in dire need of his production. Daniels was actually the No. 8 tight end last season, and he had at least six Fantasy points in four of his five games this year before getting hurt. But since the Texans are a mess right now, we'd rather gamble on Pitta first. ... Fasano has scored in consecutive games, including Week 11 at Denver with four catches for 37 yards. The Broncos have now allowed three tight ends to score in their past five games, and Smith is looking for Fasano in the red zone. ... Celek and Cumberland have dream matchups this week against the Cardinals and Dolphins, respectively. Those two teams have allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends, and we consider both sleepers this week. Celek has more upside than Cumberland because Nick Foles is playing on a different level than Geno Smith right now. ... In arguably the best prediction on Fantasy Football Today for Week 12, CBS play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz -- who was calling the Chargers-Chiefs game -- said on our show that Green would do well in Kansas City. Sure enough, the second-year tight end from Louisiana-Lafayette had three catches for 80 yards and a touchdown, and he now has seven catches for 161 yards and a score on 10 targets the past two games. He's someone to own in dynasty leagues as the potential heir apparent to Antonio Gates, and it's clear the Chargers are trying to work him in now because he has play-making ability.