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Playing the Waiver Wire for Week 16

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Whether this is your championship week or you play into Week 17, your roster is likely set for most of your starting spots. Sure, you might make a tweak or two, but hopefully the waiver wire isn't going to save your season at this point.

That being said, there are some options for those of you in desperate situations. At quarterback, you could be starting Ryan Tannehill this week. You might need another big performance from Jordan Todman. Andre Caldwell could be the Wes Welker replacement you're starting. And Delanie Walker is back as a must-start tight end.

The Drop List for Week 16
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. Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers 100
2. Victor Cruz, WR, Giants 100
3. Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons 96
4. Darren Sproles, RB, Saints 94
5. Golden Tate, WR, Seahawks 94
6. Martellus Bennett, TE, Bears 94
7. Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots 92
8. Cecil Shorts, WR, Jaguars 91
9. Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants 87
10. Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins 77
11. Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals 76
12. Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, Browns 61

There are other free agent finds who could help you at a crucial moment, and of course many Fantasy owners have been streaming DST and kicker options all season, so why stop now. We also encourage you to check out your opponent's roster, and don't be opposed to adding a free agent to your team to counter a potential move they might make. Remember, your goal is to win -- at all costs.

There were plenty of free agent players who made an impact in Week 15 -- Jay Cutler, Tannehill, Todman, Matt Asiata, Caldwell and Walker, among others. We could be in a similar situation this week, and think about the gratification you'll have if you win a Fantasy title knowing you made a crucial move to start one of these lesser-known players when it mattered most. This is the fun of managing a Fantasy team, and hopefully it works out for all of you in the end.

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. 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 (75 percent), Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (57 percent), Kirk Cousins, Redskins (17 percent)
Maybe add: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Titans (30 percent), EJ Manuel, Bills (22 percent), Matt Cassel, Vikings (4 percent)

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The order for quarterbacks to add this week is Cutler, Cousins and Tannehill, but if Rodgers (98 percent) was dropped in any leagues pick him up first in case he's cleared to play after being out the past five games with a broken left collarbone. ... The "maybe add" guys are only for two-quarterback leagues, with that order being Fitzpatrick, Cassel and Manuel. ... Cutler returned from a four-game absence with an ankle injury and had 25 Fantasy points at Cleveland. He had two early interceptions, but he rebounded well and should stay hot at the Eagles this week. Philadelphia has allowed three of the past four opposing quarterbacks to score at least 24 Fantasy points and should struggle to stop Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. ... Cousins' first start for Robert Griffin III had mixed results on the field, but not in the stat sheet. The Redskins lost and Cousins had three turnovers, but he also had 381 passing yards and three touchdowns for 27 Fantasy points. He faces the Cowboys this week, and Dallas has allowed 79 Fantasy points to Josh McCown and Matt Flynn in consecutive games. ... Tannehill is on fire now with at least 25 Fantasy points in his past three games and at least 19 points in five of his past six. He faces a Bills defense that has allowed multiple touchdowns in consecutive games, and Tannehill had 19 Fantasy points and three touchdowns against Buffalo in Week 7. But the Bills are tough at home, so be cautious about considering him a must-start option this week. ... Fitzpatrick had 27 Fantasy points against Jacksonville when he came on for an injured Jake Locker (foot) in Week 10, and Fitzpatrick just had 402 passing yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions against Arizona in Week 15. The Jaguars also have allowed at least 24 Fantasy points to their past five opponents not named the Texans. ... Cassel has at least 22 Fantasy points in his past two games, and he's helping Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson play at a high level. The Bengals are beat up in their secondary, and Cassel could be a risky gamble that pays off if you need a starter this week. ... Manuel is also a risky starting option, but he just had 24 Fantasy points at Jacksonville and scored at least 20 points in his past two home games. The Dolphins also are dealing with injuries in their secondary.

Running backs

Must add: DeAngelo Williams, Panthers (80 percent), Jordan Todman, Jaguars (19 percent)
Maybe add: Trent Richardson, Colts (81 percent), Mike Tolbert, Panthers (60 percent), Daniel Thomas, Dolphins (47 percent), Dennis Johnson, Texans (24 percent), Matt Asiata, Vikings (2 percent), Edwin Baker, Browns (0 percent)

The order for the running backs to add this week is Todman, Williams, Johnson, Thomas, Tolbert, Richardson, Asiata and Baker. ... If Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring) is out again in Week 16 then Todman would be a must-start Fantasy option against the Titans. Tennessee has allowed a running back to score double digits in Fantasy points in 11 games in a row, and Todman just had 25 carries for 109 yards and four catches for 44 yards against Buffalo. ... Williams was awesome against the Jets with 15 carries for 81 yards and three catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. Jonathan Stewart (knee) is out, and Williams has a great matchup against the Saints at home. New Orleans' run defense has been miserable on the road all season, and don't be surprised if Tolbert scores a touchdown for the second game in a row. ... Johnson is a speculative add with Ben Tate potentially reinjuring his ribs. If Tate were to miss Week 16 against Denver then Johnson could be a flex option in deeper leagues. ... Thomas has a great matchup at Buffalo, and the Bills have allowed a running back to reach double digits in Fantasy points in five consecutive games. It's risky to trust either Dolphins running back with Thomas or Lamar Miller, but Thomas had 12 carries for 60 yards against Buffalo in Week 7 and has scored in consecutive games. ... Richardson could start if Donald Brown (stinger) is out at Kansas City. It's tough to trust the Colts away from home, but Richardson just scored against Houston at home and has started making plays as a receiver with nine catches the past two weeks. ... Adrian Peterson (foot) is tentatively expected to return at Cincinnati this week, which would make Asiata useless in all leagues. But he did score three touchdowns in Week 15 against the Eagles and could be a flex option if he starts. The downside is Asiata had 30 carries for 51 yards and would be terrible if he didn't find the end zone. ... Baker turned out to be the lead back for the Browns in a great matchup against the Bears in Week 15, and he finished with 13 Fantasy points. The matchup in Week 16 at the Jets is tougher, but if Willis McGahee (concussion) remains out then Baker could be a flex option in deeper leagues.

Wide receiver

Streamers for Week 16
Here are some DST and kickers to consider if you play the matchups with these positions each week.
Opponent Own %
Dolphins DST at BUF 53
Lions DST vs. NYG 40
Chargers DST vs. OAK 18
Phil Dawson, K, SF vs. ATL 78
Nick Novak, K, SD vs. OAK 57
Shaun Suisham, K, PIT at GB 30

Must add: Michael Crabtree, 49ers (82 percent), Doug Baldwin, Seahawks (46 percent), Greg Jennings, Vikings (46 percent), Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings (37 percent), Andre Caldwell, Broncos (0 percent)
Maybe add: Marvin Jones, Bengals (63 percent), Nate Washington, Titans (38 percent), Andre Holmes, Raiders (14 percent), Robert Woods, Bills (11 percent), Ace Sanders, Jaguars (8 percent), Santana Moss, Redskins (7 percent)

The order for wide receivers to add this week is Crabtree, Caldwell, Baldwin, Jennings and Patterson. ... Jones, Moss, Woods, Sanders, Washington and Holmes are only worth adding in deeper leagues as desperation plays. ... Crabtree was great against Tampa Bay with five catches for 45 yards and a touchdown, and he has 18 targets in his three games since coming back from the offseason Achilles injury. He has a fantastic matchup against Atlanta, and the Falcons have been abused by No. 1 receivers all season, including Pierre Garcon last week. ... Caldwell stepped in for the injured Welker (concussion) in Week 15 against San Diego, and he had six catches for 59 yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets. It's unlikely he'll be that productive again, but if Welker is out we'd gamble on his upside catching passes from Peyton Manning. ... Baldwin has been impressive since Week 9 with double digits in Fantasy points in four of his past six games. He's scored in each of his past three home games, and we like him as at least a No. 3 Fantasy receiver against the Cardinals. .. Jennings and Patterson have done well with Cassel under center, and we'd gamble on them as No. 3 receivers this week. Jennings has 32 targets in the past three games with at least 13 Fantasy points in two of them. Patterson has scored in three games in a row with two receiving scores and a rushing touchdown. We would like Jennings and Patterson more if Peterson remains out. ... Of the maybe add group, Jones has the most upside since he's scored in two consecutive games and is facing a suspect Vikings defense.

Tight end

Must add: Delanie Walker, Titans (72 percent), Dennis Pitta, Ravens (63 percent), Tyler Eifert, Bengals (32 percent), Zach Miller, Seahawks (22 percent)
Maybe add: Timothy Wright, Buccaneers (42 percent), Scott Chandler, Bills (31 percent), Zach Ertz, Eagles (10 percent), Andrew Quarless, Packers (4 percent), Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars (3 percent), Ryan Griffin, Texans (0 percent)

The order for tight ends to add this week is Walker, Pitta, Eifert, Miller, Lewis, Chandler, Quarless, Wright, Ertz and Griffin. ... Walker took advantage of a great matchup against the Cardinals in Week 15, and he has another great matchup against the Jaguars this week. He had four catches for 62 yards and a touchdown against Jacksonville in Week 10 and should be considered a must-start Fantasy option until he proves otherwise. ... I'm not bailing on Pitta despite his poor performance at Detroit on Monday night with two catches for 24 yards on four targets. I hope his snap count will increase, but I always like the Ravens more at home than on the road. And this is a much better matchup against the Patriots then the Lions. ... Eifert might not have to deal with Jermaine Gresham (hip) this week, and he scored in Week 15 against the Steelers. The Vikings have also been miserable against tight ends all season, including three scoring against them in the past two games. ... Miller gets the best matchup of the week against the Cardinals, and he scored against Arizona in Week 7 with five catches for 40 yards. A tight end has scored against the Cardinals in five of the past six games with seven touchdowns over that span. ... Lewis is hot right now with a touchdown in three games in a row. With Cecil Shorts (groin) likely out again this week, Lewis will remain the most viable threat in the passing game for the Jaguars. ... Chandler is a sleeper this week against the Dolphins, who have struggled with tight ends all season and have allowed a tight end to score in three of the past five games. ... Like Lewis, Quarless is hot with consecutive games of six catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. He's facing a Steelers defense this week that has allowed three touchdowns to Charles Clay and Eifert the past two games. ... Wright and Ertz have been hot of late, but I don't like their matchups this week. Wright, who has scored in consecutive games, faces a Rams defense that just shut down Jimmy Graham and has been tough against tight ends for the most part all season. ... Ertz faces a Bears defense that has allowed just four touchdowns to tight ends all year, and he still shares playing time with Brent Celek, which limits his upside. ... Griffin could be a sleeper in deeper leagues if Garrett Graham (hamstring) remains out again. Griffin started in Week 15 at the Colts with six catches for 62 yards on six targets, and Case Keenum has relied on the tight end quite a bit during his starts this season.

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
Jimmy Smith cited on misdemeanor charge
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/13/2014) Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith was cited by police Saturday night for failing to follow an officer's orders. The misdemeanor charge came after police responded to a report of a woman passed out in a restaurant bathroom in Towson.

The woman was vomiting into a bathroom sink when police arrived. Smith was with the woman and "refused to obey an officer's repeated orders to leave the bathroom," police said.

Smith became the fifth Raven to get in trouble with police this offseason.


Chris Harris targeting midway point of preseason
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Broncos cornerback Chris Harris, who's coming back from ACL surgery, told ESPN he expects to be cleared for full participation by the midway point of the preseason. Harris said the exact timetable hinges on his upcoming visit to his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews.

"I’m doing everything, there’s really nothing I can’t do right now," Harris told the network. "I still have to go see Dr. Andrews at the end of the month and get checked up and he’ll pretty much let us know the plan from there."

Harris had 65 tackles and three interceptions last year before getting hurt in the playoffs.


Dimitri Patterson a starter by default
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Unable to land a high-end free agent cornerback, the Jets "were forced to settle for journeyman Dimitri Patterson as a consolation," notes The Star-Ledger. Patterson, who projects to start opposite Dee Milliner, is on his sixth team in 10 seasons and has played all 16 games just once in his career.

If Patterson falters, third-round pick Dexter McDougle could get a shot.


Fred Jackson in danger of losing carries
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Bills running back Fred Jackson might not approach the 207 carries he received last year. According to WGR550.com, Jackson will once again split time with C.J. Spiller but also potentially lose snaps to the team's additions at running back, Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon.

The website said Jackson, 33, who's entering the last year of his deal, will be trying to prove how much he has left.


Teammate: Bitterness won't linger from Jimmy Graham standoff
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Saints tight end Benjamin Watson told ESPN that the the team's arbitration fight with Jimmy Graham over whether he's a receiver or a tight end won't have a longterm detrimental effect. Watson is hopeful the sides will reach a multiyear contract agreement by Tuesday's deadline.

"I’m very confident that it’ll be resolved the right way and guys can move forward," Watson said. "Obviously it’s always tough when you go through litigation with somebody, and it can probably get heated. And I’m sure there are emotions on both sides. But that is the business side of the game. 

"And it’s unfortunate that it came to that and that it was so public. But I really think -- I know, I don’t think -- I know that Jimmy loves New Orleans and I know that he loves our team and the organization and he loves playing here. And we love him, everybody wants him here, coaches included. So when it comes down to contract situations, that’s just a necessary evil ... not even evil, but just a necessary progression of getting a player here."


Dallas Thomas eyes starting job
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Dolphins coach Joe Philbin named Dallas Thomas one of the team's most improved players, and he has a good chance to start at left guard, according to the team's website. A third-round pick in last year's draft, Thomas played only four offensive snaps last season.

Thomas worked with the first team during spring drills and is much further along than he was in 2013. He stayed in South Florida throughout the offseason to get better prepared.

"You’ve got to know your material, you’ve got to know what you’re doing on the field because stuff happens so fast," Thomas said. "You’ve got to be able to just react to it and not even think about what’s happening on the field."


Spencer Nealy hit with four-game ban
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) The NFL suspended Vikings defensive end Spencer Nealy four games for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances. An undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M, the 24-year-old Nealy did not play in a game last season.

Nealy apologized and took responsibility in a statement, saying he took a supplement containing a banned stimulant.


Jarrett Boykin will be 'hard to dislodge'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Jarrett Boykin improved dramatically last season and "will be hard to dislodge" from the Packers' No. 3 receiver job, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Boykin will have to hold off second-round pick Davante Adams, fifth-rounder Jared Abbrederis and seventh-rounder Jeff Janis.

Boykin, 24, caught 49 passes for 681 yards and three touchdowns last season.


Trent Richardson might not get long leash
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Averaging 2.9 yards a carry, like he did last year, will get Trent Richardson benched quickly, reports ESPN.com. Richardson "will have to produce right away because it's unlikely the Colts will wait for him to get going" if running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard are healthy and productive, the website said.

Richardson likely will get the first shot at the starting job. He has a much better grasp of the playbook than he did in 2013 and the belief is he'll be able to run on instinct as opposed to overthinking, the report said.


Bruce Ellington trying to overcome stature
by Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer
(7/11/2014) At 5-foot-9, Bruce Ellington is the shortest receiver on the 49ers' roster. But the fourth-round pick out of South Carolina should not be discounted, his high school coach, Jerry Brown, told the Sacramento Bee.

Brown said Ellington is relentless at finding open space and catching everything thrown his way. "Football's played on a big field and it's hard to track someone like Bruce who's got so much agility," Brown said.

Ellington believes he has lots of room for growth because he only gave up basketball last year. Also a former track competitor, Ellington clocked a 4.45 forty at the combine.

"I'm just going to work hard, give it a hundred (percent) every time I step on the field and keep on chasing the dream," he said.


 
 
 
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