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Playing the Waiver Wire for Week 14

Senior Fantasy Writer
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This is a unique week for the waiver wire. The playoffs have started in the majority of leagues, so most rosters are solidified. And there are no significant injuries to guaranteed starters since it appears like Le'Veon Bell (concussion) is going to play in Week 14 against Miami.

Sure, there are players worth adding, and the top free agents being scouted in CBSSports.com leagues are Patriots receiver Julian Edelman (72 percent), Dolphins receiver Brian Hartline (62 percent), Browns running back Willis McGahee (20 percent), Giants tight end Brandon Myers (16 percent) and Chargers tight end Ladarius Green (11 percent). Of that group, the only must-add players are Edelman and Green, and we'll address the other free agent options below.

But for this week, we'll also remind you -- if you haven't done so already -- to drop the extra players on your roster who don't mean anything and handcuff your running backs. Or steal someone else's handcuff because it could be a lottery ticket. And based on the ownership percentage, a lot of the top handcuffs are still available.

The Drop List for Week 14
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. Danny Amendola, WR, Patriots 100
2. Percy Harvin, WR, Seahawks 100
3. Jordan Cameron, TE, Browns 100
4. Andrew Luck, QB, Colts 99
5. Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants 90
6. Rueben Randle, WR, Giants 90
7. Trent Richardson, RB, Colts 87
8. Terrance Williams, WR, Cowboys 87
9. Eli Manning, QB, Giants 83
10. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers 82
12. Marvin Jones, WR, Bengals 69
12. Timothy Wright, TE, Buccaneers 56

Here are the Top 12 running backs in a standard league through Week 13: Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte, Knowshon Moreno, LeSean McCoy, Marshawn Lynch, Reggie Bush, Chris Johnson, Alfred Morris, Frank Gore, Fred Jackson and Eddie Lacy.

If you take out the handcuffs who are owned in the majority of leagues -- Montee Ball, Joique Bell and C.J. Spiller -- that leaves a significant group of potentially valuable free agents. Here is the handcuff list to make it easier: James Starks, Packers (49 percent), Roy Helu, Redskins (44 percent), Kendall Hunter, 49ers (32 percent), Bryce Brown, Eagles (32 percent), Michael Bush, Bears (23 percent), Shonn Greene, Titans (22 percent), Toby Gerhart, Vikings (19 percent), Knile Davis, Chiefs (17 percent) and Robert Turbin, Seahawks (10 percent).

Aside from adding someone like Edelman where still available, taking a flier on Green at tight end or streaming DST or kicker options, this could be the most important move you make. If one of those stud running backs gets hurt between now and the end of the season, you might have a key replacement already sitting there on your bench.

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: Jay Cutler, Bears (61 percent)
Maybe add: Joe Flacco, Ravens (58 percent), Josh McCown, Bears (58 percent), Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (43 percent), EJ Manuel, Bills (20 percent)
Desperation add: Scott Tolzien, Packers (10 percent), Matt Cassel, Vikings (2 percent), Caleb Hanie, Browns (0 percent)

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The order for quarterbacks to add this week is Cutler, McCown, Manuel, Flacco and Tannehill. ... Whoever starts for the Bears in Week 14 against Dallas would be a must-start Fantasy quarterback. All signs point toward Cutler playing Monday night, but we won't know until Thursday to see how he does in practice with his injured ankle. Cutler clearly is the long-term answer this season, but don't overlook McCown if he remains the starter. The Bears close the season with great matchups against Dallas, at Cleveland, at Philadelphia and against Green Bay. ... Manuel has consecutive games with at least 20 Fantasy points, and he faces a Buccaneers defense that has allowed at least 19 Fantasy points to each opposing quarterback in their past eight games. He's a nice sleeper in two-quarterback leagues. ... Flacco has a great matchup at home against the Vikings, who have allowed all but two quarterbacks this season to score at least 20 Fantasy points, including McCown last week. Since Flacco hasn't scored 20 Fantasy points since Week 9 and has hit that mark only three times this year, he's just a boom-or-bust starter in two-quarterback leagues. ... Tannehill is on fire the past two weeks with 641 passing yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions against the Panthers and Jets, and he's finally clicking with Mike Wallace. The problem is he faces the Steelers this week in Pittsburgh, and they have allowed just three quarterbacks to score more than 20 Fantasy points all year. He should only be considered in deep two-quarterback formats.

Running backs

Must add: James Starks, Packers (49 percent), Roy Helu, Redskins (44 percent), Kendall Hunter, 49ers (32 percent), Bryce Brown, Eagles (32 percent), Michael Bush, Bears (23 percent), Shonn Greene, Titans (22 percent), Toby Gerhart, Vikings (19 percent), Knile Davis, Chiefs (17 percent) and Robert Turbin, Seahawks (10 percent)
Maybe add: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals (73 percent), Mike Tolbert, Panthers (61 percent), Dennis Johnson, Texans (36 percent), LeGarrette Blount, Patriots (17 percent)
Desperation add: Brandon Bolden, Patriots (41 percent), Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (38 percent), Willis McGahee, Browns (20 percent), Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers (2 percent), Felix Jones, Steelers (2 percent), Mike Gillislee, Dolphins (2 percent), Antone Smith, Falcons (1 percent)

The order for the handcuffs as lottery tickets is as follows: Brown, Davis, Gerhart, Hunter, Turbin, Greene, Bush, Starks and Helu. ... The order for the other running backs to add this week is Blount, Tolbert, Green-Ellis and Johnson. ... The systems in Philadelphia, Kansas City and San Francisco would allow Brown, Davis and Hunter, respectively, to shine should the starters in front of them get hurt. ... Turbin is also in a great run-based offense in Seattle, but I still think the Seahawks would split touches with him and Christine Michael if Lynch went down. ... Gerhart has proven to be a serviceable backup, and he would be at least a flex option if something happened to Peterson. ... Greene and Bush would still remain touchdown dependent, even as starters, but they also could be flex worthy. ... Starks, like Lacy, needs a healthy Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) to really be effective, and Helu would likely be better in PPR leagues than standard formats even if he took over for Morris. ... Blount is worth adding this week because he did better than Bolden with Stevan Ridley benched for his fumbles. Blount had 12 carries for 44 yards and a touchdown at Houston, and Bolden was held to just three carries for 2 yards and one catch for 18 yards. We still like Shane Vereen as the best New England running back, but if Ridley is inactive again this week against Cleveland, then Blount could be a flex candidate in standard leagues. ... Tolbert was more effective than Stewart with DeAngelo Williams (quad) out against Tampa Bay with nine carries for 48 yards and three catches for 41 yards compared to 14 carries for 39 yards and two catches for 3 yards for Stewart. The Panthers will be facing a beaten up Saints defense in Week 14, and don't be surprised if Tolbert scores. ... You know what Green-Ellis is at this point, and that's a running back who needs a lead to be impactful so he can kill the clock. If the Bengals are ahead on the Colts this week late in the game, look for Green-Ellis to get plenty of work with the chance to score. ... Even though Ben Tate is solidified as the starter for the Texans with Arian Foster (back) out, I don't mind keeping Johnson on my bench since Tate is still dealing with broken ribs. And on a short week facing the Jaguars on Thursday, you might be able to flex Johnson in a deeper league. ... I have no interest in McGahee even though he scored against the Jaguars in Week 13 and has a favorable matchup this week against the Patriots. He's only scored twice this year and is still averaging just 2.8 yards per carry.

Wide receiver

Streamers for Week 14
Here are some DST and kickers to consider if you play the matchups with these positions each week.
Opponent Own %
Packers DST vs. ATL 64
Steelers DST vs. MIA 62
Raiders DST at NYJ 27
Justin Tucker, K, BAL vs. MIN 68
Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK at NYJ 39
Alex Henery, K, PHI vs. DET 32

Must add: Julian Edelman, Patriots (72 percent), Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers (68 percent)
Maybe add: Brian Hartline, Dolphins (62 percent), Randall Cobb, Packers (48 percent), Brandon LaFell, Panthers (48 percent), Nate Washington, Titans (40 percent), Doug Baldwin, Seahawks (31 percent), Ace Sanders, Jaguars (4 percent), Andre Holmes, Raiders (0 percent)
Desperation add: Jerricho Cotchery, Steelers (63 percent), Greg Jennings, Vikings (42 percent), Ted Ginn, Panthers (20 percent), Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings (20 percent), Brian Quick, Rams (1 percent), Junior Hemingway, Chiefs (0 percent), Kevin Ogletree, Lions (0 percent)

The order for wide receivers to add this week is Edelman, Emmanuel Sanders, Baldwin, Hartline, Cobb, Ace Sanders, Holmes, Washington and LaFell. ... I said it last week in this spot, and I'll say it again about Edelman: He's the most experienced receiver for Tom Brady, which can't be overlooked, especially now with Aaron Dobson (foot) and Kenbrell Thompkins (hip) both banged up. Edelman's past two games are likely a sign of things to come with 18 catches for 211 yards and two touchdowns on 23 targets. ... Emmanuel Sanders could struggle this week against the Dolphins, who have allowed just one receiver to score all season, but he's playing well of late with 12 catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns on 18 targets the past two games. He's a solid No. 3 Fantasy receiver to close the season. ... Baldwin will benefit with Percy Harvin (hip) suffering a setback. He now has at least 12 Fantasy points in three of his past four games. ... Hartline was awesome against the Jets with his best game of the season, catching nine passes for 127 yards and a touchdown on 15 targets. He's a solid option in PPR leagues with at least five catches in seven games this year, including four in a row. The reason he's not a must-add receiver is he's scored only three times, and just once in his past nine games. He also faces the Steelers this week. ... If Rodgers is able to return this season then I would add Cobb as a playoff contender. We should find out about Rodgers' status this week, so consider adding Cobb prior to Sunday if you can wait. ... Ace Sanders has become a nice option in PPR leagues with eight catches for at least 61 yards in two of his past three games. He's emerged as the No. 2 receiver for the Jaguars behind Cecil Shorts since Justin Blackmon was suspended. ... Holmes looked great on Thanksgiving Day with seven catches for 136 yards on 11 targets, and he'll continue to benefit with Denarius Moore (shoulder) out. He's worth a flier in deeper leagues. ... The Titans might need Washington to step up if Delanie Walker (concussion) is out this week at Denver. He played well at Indianapolis in Week 13 when Walker got hurt, catching five passes for 81 yards on six targets, and this was his best game since Week 4. With the Titans likely chasing points against the Broncos, look for Washington to be useful again. ... LaFell has proven to be a matchup-based Fantasy option, and we liked him last week in a good matchup against Tampa Bay, where he finished with three catches for 36 yards and a touchdown. The matchup at New Orleans this week isn't as enticing, but keep LaFell on your radar for a potential flier in Week 15 against the Jets.

Tight end

Must add: Heath Miller, Steelers (67 percent), Jared Cook, Rams (55 percent), Ladarius Green, Chargers (11 percent)
Maybe add: Brent Celek, Eagles (21 percent), Dennis Pitta, Ravens (11 percent), Brandon Myers, Giants (16 percent), Zach Miller, Seahawks (15 percent), Jacob Tamme, Broncos (6 percent), Zach Ertz, Eagles (4 percent), Anthony Fasano, Chiefs (4 percent)
Desperation add: Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars (3 percent), Clay Harbor, Jaguars (0 percent), Jim Dray, Cardinals (0 percent), Logan Paulsen, Redskins (0 percent)

The order for tight ends to add this week is Heath Miller, Cook, Green, Tamme, Pitta, Myers, Zach Miller, Ertz, Celek and Fasano. ... Miller was great in Week 13 at Baltimore with eight catches for 86 yards on nine targets, and he now has eight catches in two of his past three games. He has a dream matchup this week against the Dolphins, who have allowed eight touchdowns to opposing tight ends, so add him and start him in your playoffs. ... Cook also has a great matchup this week against the Cardinals, and his best game of the season was against Arizona in Week 1 when he had seven catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns. The Cardinals just allowed Ertz and Celek to score three touchdowns last week, and a tight end has scored against Arizona in three games in a row. ... Green has come on of late and is playing better than Antonio Gates. He has nine catches for 206 yards and two touchdowns in his past three games, and he has a favorable matchup this week against the Giants, who have allowed a tight end to score touchdowns in back-to-back games. ... Tamme could start again in place of Julius Thomas (knee), and this would be a great matchup against the Titans this week. Tennessee has allowed seven tight ends to score at least seven Fantasy points this season, meaning Tamme would be a good injury replacement for Thomas, Jordan Reed (concussion) or Walker. ... Pitta (hip) could be activated this week, and I would consider him a sleeper against the Vikings if he plays since Minnesota has struggled with tight ends all season. ... Myers has scored in back-to-back games, and he could be coming around after a down year. The Chargers have also allowed a tight end to score in three of the past four games. ... Zach Miller scored in Week 12 against the Saints with five catches for 86 yards and now has at least six Fantasy points in consecutive games. He's an injury-replacement flier in Week 14 at San Francisco. ... Ertz and Celek took advantage of a great matchup in Week 13 against the Cardinals, but I'd be hesitant to trust either one against the Lions this week. Detroit has only allowed one tight end to score all season. ... Fasano has scored in three games in a row, but he suffered a concussion in Week 13 against Denver. If he's cleared to play in Week 14 then he's a great injury replacement option against the Redskins.

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
Travis Kelce's growing role a good thing
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(4:16 pm ET) Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce will be a hot name on the waiver wire ahead of Week 4, after breaking through for his first NFL touchdown. Kelce already ranks 10th among tight ends in Fantasy scoring, despite being featured on just 45.1 percent of the team's snaps through three games, a good sign moving forward.

Kelce played just 50 snaps in the team's first two games, but was on the field 47 times on offense in Week 3, 65 percent of the team's plays. He turned that into just three catches for 36 yards, but made up for it with a touchdown, and should get more looks moving forward.

Kelce has a tough matchup on the way in Week 4, as the Chiefs get set to take on the Patriots this Sunday. New England has allowed just 4.0 Fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, the third-lowest total in the league. Kelce might not pay immediate dividends as a waiver-wire pickup this week, but his growing role should lead to good things before long. 


Redskins tweak practice squad
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:08 pm ET) The Redskins signed offensive lineman Tevita Stevens to the practice squad and released offensive lineman Braxston Cave from the squad.

49ers make roster moves
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:04 pm ET) The 49ers signed quarterback Josh Johnson and waived tight end Asante Cleveland.

Aaron Rodgers: Relax, we'll be fine
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:01 pm ET) Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the Packers' offensive players are facing criticism after Sunday's 19-7 loss to the Lions. Rodgers threw for just 162 yards, and Green Bay averaged 3.5 yards per carry.

Rodgers said the offense isn't playing fast enough or converting enough third downs. "We haven't made it easy on ourselves, but we're a resilient bunch," he said, via NFL.com. "We'll bounce back."

Added Rodgers: "Relax. We're going to be fine."

Green Bay visits the Bears on Sunday.


Coordinator explains Frank Gore's limited work Week 3
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:54 pm ET) 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Tuesday the reason for running back Frank Gore's limited touches Week 3 at Arizona was because the team planned to use its depth at wide receiver early to help set up the ground game in the second half, per the team's official website.

"I think Frank knew going into the game, we kind of outlined our game plan that we were going to start the game out a certain way and see how it went," Roman said Tuesday on KNBR. "In a perfect world, you're letting Frank and the offensive line take over the game at the end of the game, but we weren't in that situation, so we were never really able to transition into that."

Despite Gore's limited work Sunday, Roman said the team is committed to Gore and the running game.

"Frank is the ultimate pro, and he's the ultimate team guy," Roman said. "He wants to win, and he wants to play in the big games in January and February. So I think he totally understood what we were doing."


Brian Orakpo to wear hard cast
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:48 pm ET) Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo will play Thursday against the Giants wearing a hard cast on his injured left hand, reports the Washington Post. Orakpo dislocated his middle finger in the loss to the Eagles.

He told the paper he's not sure how the cast will affect his play. He has 10 tackles and half a sack through three games.


Shawn Lauvao experiences more swelling in knee
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:44 pm ET) Redskins left guard Shawn Lauvao experienced more swelling in his right knee and was unable to participate in practice Tuesday, according to The Washington Post. Lauvao had an MRI Monday, which showed no structural damage.

The Redskins are preparing to play the Giants Thursday.


As Rob Gronkowski's role returns, so does his Fantasy value
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(3:30 pm ET) If you drafted Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, chances are you did so knowing he might not be 100 percent healthy at the start of the season. The fact that he ranks seventh among tight ends in Fantasy scoring has to feel like a bonus for those Fantasy owners who took a chance on him this year.

Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels told reporters Tuesday he thinks Gronkowski will be able to do a little more in each week, and that can only be a good sign. He hasn't quite been the stud we expected, but that is mostly because the team has been keeping him off the field. Gronkowski played a season-high 59 percent of the team's offensive snaps in Week 3, up from 44 and 42 percent in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively.

Still, he saw less of the field in Week 3 than Michael Hoomanawanui, so there is plenty of room for him to grow in the offense. As crazy as it might sound, Gronkowski might just be one of the best buy-low candidates in the league. He was the second tight end selected on average in drafts this season and can still live up to that billing as he gets closer to full health.

If there is one takeaway here, it's this: don't sell low on Gronk. You'll likely regret it.


Jay Gruden: Kirk Cousins could become permanent starter
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:29 pm ET) Redskins coach Jay Gruden said quarterback Kirk Cousins has a chance to start even after Robert Griffin III returns from his ankle injury, reports the New York Daily News. "Crazy things have happened in the NFL," Gruden said. 

"I'm not going to discount anything."

In two games, Cousins has thrown for 677 yards and five touchdowns with one interception. He'll face the Giants at home Thursday.


FFT blog: You can start Kirk Cousins this week
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(3:23 pm ET) While researching players for the Week 4 edition of the Fantasy Cheat Sheet (coming soon here!), I started off with a look at Kirk Cousins. And I just couldn't resist adding more than 2 cents on the Washington signal-caller. 

As I explain in my recent blog post, I like Cousins this week. In fact, I like him enough to start him. Here's a snippet:

"We can now see why the Redskins liked the fit of Cousins in this offense as his accuracy is better than Griffin's. It doesn't clinch him as a rock-solid Fantasy starter week after week. This week we'll take a chance on him, even against the Giants (who have been good against the pass) on a short week."

At the moment I have him at No. 11 and Jamey Eisenberg has him at No. 12 in our rankings. A start for both of us!

Read more of our blogs here and get the latest player news and analysis here.


 
 
 
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