Waiver Wire: Recycle your tight ends

For good reason, many homes, businesses and industries around the world are reducing, reusing and recycling materials to lower costs and not create unnecessary waste.

Fantasy owners should consider doing something similar with tight ends. Of the eight tight ends who posted at least nine Fantasy points in standard formats, five were considered risky starters last week after they racked up some poor numbers in their previous games. Names like Owen Daniels, Greg Olsen, Brandon Pettigrew and Visanthe Shiancoe resurfaced in Week 14, but none started in any more than 37 percent of CBSSports.com leagues.

It goes without saying that the tight end position has been polarizing in 2011. It was believed that the talent in the class was so deep that every Fantasy owner in every league would be able to get at least one good one. But it turned out that unless your tight end's last name started with a "G" or was named Witten, you were -- or are -- in trouble. The position remains volatile but there is some hope on waivers if you need an option.

Tight end

Add 'Em

Joel Dreessen, Texans
Owned: 6 percent of leagues
Week 14: Had three catches for 22 yards and a touchdown at Cincinnati.
Analysis: What can we say? The guy has scored in three straight games and has been the equivalent of a goal-line vulture for all of the Texans' prominent Fantasy players. He ends the season with the Panthers at home and the Colts in Indy, and it's obvious he has a role in the Houston offense. His target and reception totals pale in comparison with your typical Fantasy tight ends, but the six touchdowns he's scored make up for them. If you've been struggling at tight end with guys getting zero-to-three points per game, there's no risk in making a move and going with Dreessen.

Anthony Fasano, Dolphins
Owned: 19 percent of leagues
Week 14: Had eight targets result in three catches for 59 yards vs. Philadelphia.
Analysis: Fasano offers something tough to come by in Fantasy: Consistency. He's delivered at least five Fantasy points in six of his past eight games with four scores. His play perked up with Matt Moore, who’s not a lock to play against the Bills in Week 15. That would leave J.P. Losman to start and he'd be wise to lean on Fasano at Buffalo, which is fresh off of yielding two scores and 85 yards to Antonio Gates in Week 14 and two touchdowns to Dustin Keller in Week 12.

Scout 'Em

Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars
Owned: 17 percent of leagues
Week 14: Had seven targets result in two catches for 77 yards vs. Tampa Bay.
Analysis: If you're desperate, Lewis will challenge a Falcons defense in Week 15 that has allowed three touchdowns to tight ends in two games. Considering he's among the poster boys for players-who-just-got-rich-and-stink, and considering he hasn't scored all season, he's tough to trust. He's at Tennessee in Week 16 for an AFC South showdown.

Kevin Boss, Raiders
Owned: 8 percent of leagues
Week 14: Had seven targets result in five catches for 43 yards and a touchdown at Green Bay.
Analysis: We're not ready to fully commit to Boss until we see that the Raiders' receivers are still hurting. If Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford remain out and if other Raiders receivers can't play at 100 percent because of their injuries, Boss would become a likely option for Carson Palmer and thus be worth adding. It helps that his Week 15 opponent is Detroit. The Lions have struggled in consecutive weeks with tight ends.

Avoid 'Em

Dennis Pitta, Ravens
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 14: Had four targets result in three catches for 29 yards and a touchdown vs. Indianapolis.
Analysis: Pitta isn't the only tight end in Baltimore and typically doesn't produce enough stats to warrant Fantasy use (three games this season with four-plus catches). Though he has scored in two of his last three, he'll take on a Chargers defense that has allowed just two touchdowns to tight ends in its last 10 games.

Running back

Add 'Em

Felix Jones, Cowboys
Owned: 75 percent of leagues
Week 14: Replaced DeMarco Murray and had 106 yards on 16 carries and 31 yards on six catches with a fumble vs. the Giants.
Analysis: Murray's season is over, re-opening the door for Jones to take off as the Cowboys' lead rusher. The timing couldn't be more perfect as the Cowboys play at the Buccaneers and vs. the Eagles before finishing the season at the Giants. He's more than just a tremendous waiver claim in Week 15 -- he's a must-start in Week 15 as the Bucs have allowed more Fantasy points to running backs than any other team! One word of warning: Jones has proven to be injury prone, so ensuring him with his backup (the newly signed Sammy Morris) is a very wise idea.

Ryan Grant, Packers
Owned: 65 percent of leagues
Week 14: Torched the Raiders for 85 yards on 10 carries with two touchdowns.
Analysis: Though his snaps will hinge on who else is healthy at running back for the Packers, Grant proved last week that he has some sizzle left in his legs. His matchup against the Chiefs in Week 15 could net him some quality numbers and could be a good get for an owner thin at running back. Just keep in mind the Packers aren't exactly a running team, and a return by James Starks or even Brandon Saine could compromise his chances of having a big game.

Kahlil Bell, Bears
Owned: 6 percent of leagues
Week 14: Totaled 40 yards on nine carries and 24 yards on five catches at Denver.
Analysis: Not every league has Jones and Grant on waivers, and for the owners in those leagues, Bell should be considered a decent option. Marion Barber tallied a good game for the Bears but made a mental mistake by running out of bounds when the team was trying to kill the clock in the fourth quarter and then fumbled the ball away in overtime. The coaches in Chicago probably won't have much patience for Barber going forward and it could mean some decent opportunities for Bell. He's got some good skills and reminds us of a fellow UCLA alum who's done some things in the NFL despite being small in stature.

Keiland Williams, Lions
Owned: 6 percent of leagues
Week 14: Totaled 43 yards on 12 carries and 17 yards on two catches vs. Minnesota.
Analysis: Kevin Smith's ankle and Maurice Morris' chest are ailing, paving the way for Williams to be a potential factor. His numbers this season are not great but his matchup against the Raiders in Week 15 could change that. Oakland's run defense is the pits -- allowing nearly 500 total yards and three touchdowns to running backs over the last three games -- and Williams might be the only healthy back for Detroit. Again, he's a guy you're probably not going to be able to wait on adding off waivers so go ahead and shoot for him now. If the Lions have Smith and/or Morris back, chances are you can kick him back into the free-agent pool without losing much sleep.

Scout 'Em

Chris Ivory, Saints
Owned: 3 percent of leagues
Week 14: Had 13 carries for 53 yards and no catches on one target at Tennessee.
Analysis: Ivory's snaps are directly tied to Mark Ingram's, and he doesn't have the upside or the matchup (at Minnesota in Week 15) to warrant grabbing off waivers right away. If you want a guy who might rumble for 50 to 60 rush yards per week, go ahead and get him, but don't expect much more than that. He is still sharing reps with two other backs, after all.

Sammy Morris, Cowboys
Owned: Not owned in any leagues
Week 14: Did not play.
Analysis: The Cowboys padded their running back depth chart with Morris, a veteran back who is good in pass protection and as a receiver and decent in short-yardage situations. More importantly, if Felix Jones happens to go down with an injury between now and the end of the season, he'll become an every-down back for the 'Boys. He's worth adding if you're locking Jones in lineups for the foreseeable future.

Avoid 'Em

Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons
Owned: 10 percent of leagues
Week 14: Caught a 31-yard touchdown with a 4-yard rush and an 8-yard catch at Carolina.
Analysis: Rodgers' playing time will remain limited until Michael Turner either gets benched or gets hurt. Neither of those things seem imminent -- Turner's playing through his groin injury and the team has no problem giving him a lot of work even if it means minimal production. That means Rodgers won't be a commodity in Fantasy anytime soon.

Wide receiver

Add 'Em

Jabar Gaffney, Redskins
Owned: 58 percent of leagues
Week 14: Caught six passes for 92 yards and a touchdown vs. New England.
Analysis: Gaffney is one target, seven catches and 39 yards shy of catching the suspended Fred Davis for the Redskins' lead in all three categories on the year. He's got him beat in touchdowns with four. His schedule the rest of the way offers favorable matchups at the Giants, vs. the Vikings and at the Eagles. So long as Rex Grossman doesn't melt down during a game (always a possibility), Gaffney should stay busy.

Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
Owned: 15 percent of leagues
Week 14: Caught seven passes for 78 yards and a touchdown -- six catches for 66 yards and the score coming in the fourth quarter and overtime -- vs. Chicago.
Analysis: Thomas has been Tebow's guy in the fourth quarter lately, and he could certainly be that guy again vs. the Patriots in Week 15. New England's secondary remains woefully poor and Thomas should be able to outmuscle the Patriots for some receptions. Those receptions might not come until the fourth quarter when Tim Tebow decides to drop back and throw, but they've been coming and it's going to be difficult for the Pats to match up with Thomas. The time is now to get this guy and take a shot on him in leagues that start three receivers.

Donald Driver, Packers
Owned: 18 percent of leagues
Week 14: Caught four passes for 75 yards vs. Oakland.
Analysis: With Greg Jennings sidelined potentially for the rest of the regular season, Driver should see a huge bump in playing time. Yes, he's old and not quite as speedy as he once was, but as it pertains to running routes and being a reliable receiver for Aaron Rodgers to trust, Driver's more than fine. He had six targets Sunday, the most he's had since Week 1. Expect that number to grow.

Titus Young, Lions
Owned: 11 percent of leagues
Week 14: Caught four passes for 87 yards and a touchdown vs. Minnesota.
Analysis: Young has had at least seven Fantasy points in five of his last six games. That's pretty awesome considering his targets aren't high (he's maxed out at seven targets twice during this streak). But with defenses choosing to cover Calvin Johnson -- who himself has had 10 or fewer Fantasy points in his last five games -- Young is getting open and making defenses pay. He's a risk to start but not to own and carry on your bench. The time's right to do exactly that.

Scout 'Em

Louis Murphy, Raiders
Owned: 1 percent of leagues
Week 14: Caught four passes on nine targets for 70 yards and added a 10-yard rush at Green Bay.
Analysis: Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford continue to miss games with foot injuries. Darrius Heyward-Bey and Chaz Schilens are nursing new injuries of their own. Murphy is the only receiver left in Oakland with any kind of big-play potential and he'll take on a terrible Lions pass defense this week. We'd wait to see how the dust settles in Oakland with its receivers but if injuries keep their burners off the field, Murphy could have a sensational game and would be worth adding.

Jacoby Jones, Texans
Owned: 17 percent of leagues
Week 14: Caught three passes for 39 yards at Cincinnati.
Analysis: We figured Jones would become a factor when Andre Johnson went down with his second hamstring injury of the season. Statistically he was not a factor but he was in the Texans' game-winning drive, drawing a pass interference penalty when thrown at in the end zone. Just keep an eye on Jones for now and see if he sees more targets moving forward. Playing time will be there for him now that the Texans have clinched a playoff berth and don't have to rush Johnson back. But opportunities to be part of a pass-heavy offense won't always be there like they were in Week 14.

Randall Cobb, Packers
Owned: 6 percent of leagues
Week 14: Caught two passes for 45 yards vs. Oakland.
Analysis: Cobb figures to be a boom-or-bust type of Fantasy receiver. Greg Jennings' deep speed won't be there to stretch opposing defenses for the rest of the regular season, and that's something Cobb might be able to replace. He worked out of the slot for a good amount of time Sunday after Jennings got hurt and should be an occasional target for Aaron Rodgers to try and connect with. The only question is whether or not he can translate his speed and situation with the Packers into Fantasy points. It's probably safer to wait and see if he can before adding him to your roster, especially in a week where there are so many other interesting waiver receivers to be had.

Avoid 'Em

Kevin Walter, Texans
Owned: 11 percent of leagues
Week 14: Caught six passes for 76 yards and a score at Cincinnati.
Analysis: Walter has actually had a couple of quality games this year -- back in Week 5 he scalded the Raiders for 81 yards and a score. But that game and his Week 14 production are the only two double-digit Fantasy performances he's had all season. We're talking about a guy who's had five double-digit games in his previous two seasons before 2011. There's a lot of risk in starting him -- he can deliver a big game but rarely does, and like teammate Jacoby Jones, is part of an offense that will try to overpower its remaining regular-season opponents with the run and defense, not the pass.

Matt Willis, Broncos
Owned: Not owned in any leagues
Week 14: Posted season-highs with four catches for 75 yards vs. Chicago.
Analysis: Willis could become a problem for defenses because of his small size and speed combination, but he hasn't been a regular and consistent part of the Denver offense. Before Sunday he never had more than two catches in a game and never had more than 42 yards in a game. Until we catch wind of him taking on more work for the Broncos it's probably for the best that you leave him off rosters.


Add 'Em

Rex Grossman, Redskins
Owned: 27 percent of leagues
Week 14: Threw for 252 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and one fumble vs. New England.
Analysis: Grossman finds himself with another favorable matchup in Week 15 at the Giants. Big Blue has allowed three straight passers to connect for four touchdowns against them with 1,062 yards. True, those passers were Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo, but Grossman himself has not only proven that he's capable of being effective through the air but that he can do it against the Giants. In Week 1 he threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns against New York. Pass protection remains an issue, as does his hot-and-cold play, but Grossman is worth going to the well with again if you considered him last week.

John Skelton, Cardinals
Owned: 5 percent of leagues
Week 14: Replaced Kevin Kolb and threw for 282 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions, a fumble and 25 rush yards vs. San Francisco.
Analysis: Skelton took the bull by the horns and helped the Cardinals topple the division champs last week. It's feast-or-famine with him as he has tossed at least two interceptions in each of his last four games where he got meaningful minutes, but with three touchdowns in two of them. He knows to throw to Larry Fitzgerald (which we can't say of Kolb) and the rest of the Cardinals' receivers have been playing a bit better. He's fine as a No. 2 quarterback in two-quarterback leagues this week against the Browns, who might not be quite as good of a pass defense as the stats suggest, but he could be a sleeper for Week 16 at Cincinnati if the Bengals keep up their awful pass defense.

T.J. Yates, Texans
Owned: 8 percent of leagues
Week 14: Threw for 300 yards with two touchdowns (including the clutch game-winner), an interception, a fumble lost and 36 rush yards at Cincinnati.
Analysis: Yates has proven to be a very good West Coast offense quarterback. His accuracy is beginning to round into form and there's no questioning his abilities to win games after leading the Texans to a come-from-behind victory at Cincinnati following a huge home win vs. Atlanta. The catch is this: When the Texans can run the ball, he won't be asked to make many plays, and such could be the case in Week 15 vs. the Panthers and Week 16 at Indianapolis. Carolina's run defense has held down its last couple of opponents but it's still expected that Houston will run right at them on Sunday. Sure, Cam Newton could keep the Panthers in the game and force Yates to throw like Matt Ryan had to in Week 14, but he's not a lock to do so. It's not a bad idea to hold Yates on your roster as a backup or as a No. 2 in a two-quarterback league but he's a long shot to get near 300 yards again this season.

Scout 'Em

Jake Locker, Titans
Owned: 5 percent of leagues
Week 14: Replaced Matt Hasselbeck and threw for 282 yards with a touchdown (completing less than 50 percent of his passes) and 36 rush yards with a rushing score vs. New Orleans.
Analysis: Locker did all he could to try and register a win against the Saints, landing 9.7 passing yards per attempt. That's attractive, as is his ability to run with the ball, but he's no sure-thing to start on Sunday against the Colts. Hasselbeck might get the call as the calf strain he suffered last week is considered mild. Additionally, the Titans might prefer to just run amok on the hapless Colts, giving either quarterback minimal opportunities to chuck it. Let's wait on Locker until we know more about Hasselbeck. Week 16 might be the time to give Locker a look (vs. Jacksonville).

Avoid 'Em

Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars
Owned: 9 percent of leagues
Week 14: Posted his second-straight two-touchdown game with 217 yards and two interceptions with a fumble lost vs. Tampa Bay.
Analysis: Gabbert's on fire with four scores in his last two games, though three of them have gone to Maurice Jones-Drew. While it's great to see the Jaguars use MJD as a receiver more, it's tough to count on him to catch touchdown passes to help pace Gabbert. The rest of his receiving corps is awful and a game at Atlanta on a short week is no time to trust him under any circumstances.

Joe Webb, Vikings
Owned: Not owned in any leagues
Week 14: Replaced Christian Ponder and ran for 109 yards on seven carries with a touchdown, adding 84 passing yards with a touchdown toss at Detroit.
Analysis: Webb's a superior athlete but still raw as a quarterback. Playing against a challenged Lions defense helped his numbers plenty. Ponder could return in Week 15 to face the Saints, which would either shrink or eliminate Webb's playing time. Remember, Ponder is the franchise quarterback, so the team has no real reason to give Webb a start or two unless Ponder's hip keeps him from playing -- or playing well. Until Ponder's ruled out, Webb doesn't belong on Fantasy rosters.

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Senior Fantasy Writer

Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with NFL.com at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning... Full Bio

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