Waiver Wire: Healthy options are dwindling
Is Maurice Morris a hot commodity again in Week 13? Are you scrambling for a healthy quarterback? Our Jamey Eisenberg runs through your top free agent options in his Playing the Waiver Wire.
Michael Vick has missed the past two games with injured ribs, and he will likely be out again in Week 13 since the Eagles play on Thursday night at Seattle. That will allow Vince Young to start against the Seahawks.
We had Young as a sleeper in Week 12 against New England, and he responded with 24 Fantasy points. He passed for 400 yards, one touchdown and one interception and also added six carries for 40 yards. His production should have been even better if DeSean Jackson held on to what appeared to be two touchdowns.
Young, who is owned in 31 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com, is worth using as a starter against Seattle. The Seahawks just allowed 314 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions (20 Fantasy points) to Rex Grossman at home, and Young is capable of a similar performance.
In his first start in place of Vick in Week 11 at the Giants, Young had 16 Fantasy points. Once again, Jackson hurt his production when a taunting penalty cost Young two points. This time, we're hoping Jackson can behave and play at a high level, and Young is getting plenty of help from Riley Cooper , Jason Avant and Brent Celek , especially with Jeremy Maclin (hamstring) out.
Andy Reid has done wonders with his backup quarterbacks over the years. A.J. Feeley, Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick were all No. 2 quarterbacks who filled in as quality Fantasy options. Now it's Young's turn, and he should be useful in all leagues if he continues to start for an injured Vick.
In case you haven't noticed ... Roy Helu finally had the breakout game we were waiting for in Week 12 at Seattle with 21 Fantasy points, and we hope Mike Shanahan will commit to him as the starter for the rest of the season. Helu, who is owned in 74 percent of leagues, had 23 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown and seven catches for 54 yards. He doesn't have the best matchup in Week 13 against the Jets, who haven't allowed a running back to score since Week 7, but he is worth adding in all leagues because he could be a potential flex option or injury replacement to close the year.
Each Tuesday we will highlight players who might be available in your league and whether you should consider picking them up off waivers based on their recent performances. The players chosen are based on the percentage of ownership in CBSSports.com leagues.
Owned: 30 percent of leagues
Week 12: Completed 19 of 32 passes for 288 yards, one touchdown and one fumble at Dallas.
Analysis: Fantasy owners are desperate for quarterbacks in deeper leagues, and Moore can be a useful option. He should have had 17 Fantasy points against the Cowboys if he didn't have the fumbled snap, and he has a favorable matchup this week against the Raiders. Oakland has allowed multiple touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in each of the past four games, and Moore has thrown for three touchdowns in two of his past four outings. Moore has done a great job of looking for Brandon Marshall , who has averaged more than eight targets a game in the seven games Moore has started.
Owned: 14 percent of leagues
Week 12: Completed 26 of 35 passes for 314 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions at Seattle.
Analysis: We don't like Grossman in Week 13 with his matchup against the Jets. But the time to use Grossman is Week 14 against New England, and if you're playing the quarterback matchups on a weekly basis then count on him as your starter. He does have 48 Fantasy points in his past two games against Dallas and Seattle, and he finally got Santana Moss back against the Seahawks. You'll have to be risky to trust Grossman since he has five interceptions in his past three games, but he also has four games with multiple touchdowns in eight starts on the year.
Owned: 48 percent of leagues
Week 12: Completed 16 of 34 passes for 151 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and had six carries for 38 yards at Cincinnati.
Analysis: McCoy's performance in Week 12 was his best game since Week 6 at Oakland. He started the season with four games with at least 18 Fantasy points in his first five outings, but he went the next five games with at least 15 points or less before facing the Bengals. We hope McCoy can continue to play at a high level to close the season, but he's not worth using in most Fantasy leagues. He faces Baltimore and Pittsburgh in consecutive games, and McCoy should only be considered a low-end Fantasy option.
Owned: 23 percent of leagues
Week 12: Did not play
Analysis: Orton could be considered an add if Todd Haley changes his mind and starts Orton in Week 13 at Chicago instead of Tyler Palko . But Haley said Monday that Palko would remain the starter, and it's unknown when Haley will give Orton the starting nod. Orton has plenty of potential for Fantasy owners to close the season, but we need to see him on the field first before recommending him in the majority of leagues.
Owned: 8 percent of leagues
Week 12: Completed 18 of 36 passes for 254 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions and had five carries for 50 yards at Oakland.
Analysis: Hanie had a solid Fantasy game against the Raiders, mostly with his rushing stats overcoming the three interceptions. He will likely improve with his turnovers as he gets more experience, and he could be useful for Fantasy owners in Week 13 with his matchup against Kansas City. He also has a favorable matchup in Week 15 against Seattle, and Fantasy owners should continue to monitor his progress with Jay Cutler (thumb) out.
Owned: Not owned in the majority of leagues
Week 12: Completed 8 of 15 passes for 70 yards at Jacksonville.
Analysis: The Texans lost Matt Schaub (foot) and Matt Leinart (collarbone) in consecutive games, and now Yates becomes the starter in Houston. He is not going to start for the majority of Fantasy owners, but he does have some great weapons around him in Andre Johnson , Owen Daniels and Arian Foster . Now, the Texans will continue to rely on their running game with Foster and Ben Tate , but just keep an eye on Yates and how he does to close the season because he could be helpful in a desperate situation.
Owned: 53 percent of leagues
Week 12: Had seven carries for 39 yards and nine catches for 81 yards vs. Green Bay.
Analysis: Kevin Smith (ankle) could be out in Week 13 at New Orleans, which would allow Morris the chance to remain heavily involved on offense. We saw what he's capable of Thanksgiving Day with his performance against the Packers, and he has two games with double digits in Fantasy points in his past four outings. He also is the lone running back to rush for a touchdown against the Broncos, and the Saints have been mediocre at best in run defense this season.
Owned: 47 percent of leagues
Week 12: Had 17 carries for 44 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 19 yards at Atlanta.
Analysis: Adrian Peterson (ankle) could be out again in Week 13 against Denver, which would allow Gerhart the chance to remain the starter. He is not worth using in the majority of leagues since the Broncos have allowed just one running back to score a rushing touchdown this season, but he just got double digits in Fantasy points against a stout Falcons defense in Week 12. If he doesn't score he won't have much Fantasy value, but in a desperate situation with Peterson out it appears as if you can rely on Gerhart to help you in deeper leagues.
Owned: 42 percent of leagues
Week 12: Had 14 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 17 yards vs. Carolina.
Analysis: Brown might never have as good a situation as he had in Week 12 against the Panthers, and he finished with his best performance of the season with 15 Fantasy points. Joseph Addai could start to get the majority of carries soon as his injured hamstring gets better, and he even started against Carolina. But Brown now has at least six Fantasy points in five of his past six games with three touchdowns over that span, and the Colts might continue to rely on him in case he's the starter in 2012. He's worth adding as at least a potential injury replacement to close the year.
Owned: 44 percent of leagues
Week 12: Did not play at Cincinnati.
Analysis: Hardesty missed the game against the Bengals when his injured calf became a problem prior to kickoff, and he might not see much action going forward with Peyton Hillis now back. The Browns also have a tough schedule ahead with games against Baltimore and Pittsburgh in the next two weeks, and Hardesty might not even be healthy enough to return. Chris Ogbonnaya is also a risky Fantasy option going forward with Hillis now back.
Owned: 28 percent of leagues
Week 12: Had two carries for minus-8 yards at the Jets.
Analysis: C.J. Spiller is the only running back to own for the Bills now with Fred Jackson (leg) out for the season, but Choice could be needed if Spiller gets hurt. We'd love to see Johnny White get more of a look, but Chan Gailey will most likely rely on Choice since they have a relationship when both were at Georgia Tech. But he has a lot to prove after failed stints in Dallas and Washington already this season. He is only worth owning in deeper leagues.
Owned: 67 percent of leagues
Week 12: Had three catches for 94 yards and a touchdown at Detroit.
Analysis: Many Fantasy owners dropped Jones since he went consecutive games with zero Fantasy points prior to his performance on Thanksgiving Day. But he's capable of great games since he plays with the best quarterback in the NFL in Aaron Rodgers . He's a risky starting option in the majority of leagues, but he does have five touchdowns on the season and always has the chance to break a big play thanks to Rodgers.
Owned: 24 percent of leagues
Week 12: Had four catches for 145 yards and a touchdown at Oakland.
Analysis: I guess we know who Hanie's favorite target will be since Knox had his best game in his first start. The Bears should have gotten Knox more playing time earlier in the season, but he could provide a solid finishing kick. He now has seven catches for 242 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games with 15 targets over that span. We liked Knox a lot coming into the season before the Bears made him a reserve, but he could be an excellent Fantasy option to close the year.
Owned: 7 percent of leagues
Week 12: Had three catches for 71 yards vs. New England.
Analysis: Cooper continues to play well with Maclin out. He now has eight catches for 146 yards and a touchdown in his past two games with 17 targets over that span. Maclin will likely be out again in Week 13 at Seattle, which will keep Cooper in the starting lineup. He should be considered a quality No. 3 Fantasy receiver in all formats as long as Maclin remains on the sideline.
Owned: 20 percent of leagues
Week 12: Had two catches for 45 yards and a touchdown vs. Minnesota.
Analysis: Douglas has been a good injury replacement for Julio Jones . He has at least five Fantasy points in five of the past six games, including double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three outings. But this was his first touchdown of the season against the Vikings, and Jones should be close to 100 percent heading into Week 13 at Houston. If Jones is out again then Douglas can retain value, but Douglas is not worth using when Jones is healthy.
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 12: Had one catch for 50 yards and a touchdown at Seattle.
Analysis: Shanahan has been talking up Armstrong for weeks, but he had four games with no catches prior to facing the Seahawks. He also had just one target against Seattle, which was his lone catch. With Moss back and Fred Davis and Jabar Gaffney playing well, Armstrong has minimal Fantasy value. Ignore him in most formats going forward.
Owned: 35 percent of leagues
Week 12: Had five catches for 60 yards vs. Washington.
Analysis: Baldwin could be asked to step up if Sidney Rice (concussion) is out in Week 13 against Philadelphia. Baldwin has played well lately with at least five Fantasy points in four of his past five games, but he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 5. The Eagles secondary is a mess right now, and Baldwin could have an opportunity to make plays on Thursday. Keep an eye on what happens with Rice, but Baldwin could be a solid No. 3 Fantasy receiver in the majority of leagues.
Owned: 31 percent of leagues
Week 12: Had five catches for 57 yards and a touchdown at Cincinnati.
Analysis: Little is worth adding in deeper leagues since he has at least five catches in his past three games and at least nine Fantasy points in two of his past three outings, including the touchdown against the Bengals. But Little continues to deal with drops, and he needs to have more consistent production for Fantasy owners to count on him. We hope Little can close the season playing on a high note, but we need to see more from him to recommend adding him in all leagues.
Owned: 58 percent of leagues
Week 12: Had five catches for 68 yards and a touchdown vs. Cleveland.
Analysis: We expected Gresham to play well against the Browns, and he had his second touchdown in his past three games. The other touchdown was against the Steelers, who he faces in Week 13. Gresham has some excellent matchups to close the season against St. Louis in Week 15 and Arizona in Week 16. He is a great starting option in deeper formats and could be used in all leagues if your No. 1 tight end (Owen Daniels for example) is struggling.
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 12: Had two catches for 19 yards and a touchdown vs. San Francisco.
Analysis: Pitta had his first touchdown of the season, and he continues to play well as the No. 2 tight end behind Ed Dickson . But he has yet to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year and loses production to Dickson. If he has another game with at least seven Fantasy points then maybe you can add him in deeper leagues, but as long as Dickson is healthy, the two tight ends will likely negate each other from having big games.
Owned: 45 percent of leagues
Week 12: Had six catches for 50 yards at the Jets.
Analysis: Chandler hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 8, but he's actually played well the past two games with 11 catches for 121 yards. He's doing a better job in the middle of the field instead of being just a red-zone threat. He has 12 targets in his past two games, which is his highest activity in any two games this season. And if this continues then his value could rise since Ryan Fitzpatrick is relying on him more then he has earlier in the year.
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