Cassel, Palmer offer valuable Week 9 waiver-wire help


Need to improve your fantasy team? Each week, will offer up 10 players to target off the waiver wire to help you in that quest for a league championship. The number listed in parentheses is the percentage of leagues in which the player is still a free agent.

Matt Cassel, QB, Chiefs (45.1 percent):

Cassel has been anything but consistent from a fantasy perspective this season, but he's well worth a look as a spot starter when the matchup is favorable. That's exactly the case in Week 9, as Cassel goes up against a Dolphins defense that has allowed more fantasy points to quarterbacks than any other team in the league. So if you need to add a field general, consider the Southern California product in this AFC contest.

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Carson Palmer, QB, Raiders (88.4 percent):

If you saw Palmer's debut performance with the Raiders, well, it left a lot to be desired. He did have a bye week to gain a better grasp of the offense, however, and a matchup against the Broncos is more than a favorable one. In fact, Denver's defense has surrendered the second-most fantasy points to signal-callers. Even if you don't need a No. 1 option, Palmer is worth a roster spot as a reserve in most formats.

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Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, Browns (99.9 percent):

Browns running backs are dropping like flies in recent weeks, as Peyton Hillis (hamstring) has missed consecutive weeks and Montario Hardesty injured his calf against the 49ers. That leaves Ogbonnaya to see a more prominent role if one or both backs ahead of him on the depth chart are sidelined. Sure, he's not the most exciting back in the world, but Ogbonnaya could be a one-week fill-in during the bye week.

Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Chiefs (99.5 percent)

Baldwin, a talented rookie out of Pittsburgh, had his coming-out fantasy party on Monday night with five catches, 96 yards and one touchdown in a win over the Chargers. An athletic player who has been compared to Vincent Jackson, is a very nice option moving forward. Baldwin also has a great matchup next on the schedule, facing a Dolphins defense that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to wide receivers.

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Roy Helu, RB, Redskins (56.6 percent):

Ryan Torain has looked awful since his monster performance against the Rams back in Week 4, so coach Mike Shanahan could decide to make a switch in his backfield (wouldn't be the first time, right?). Enter Helu, who is a perfect fit for the team's zone-blocking scheme and has shown some flashes of potential as a rookie. Nothing is for certain when it comes to Shanahan, but Helu is well worth a roster stash at this point.

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Javon Ringer, RB, Titans (99.3 percent):

What in the world has happened to Chris Johnson? The former fantasy superstar has been nothing short of pathetic this season, leading to what now looks like a full-blown backfield committee. In fact, Ringer saw the same number of carries (14) as CJ2K in Week 8 while finishing with two more touches overall. If Johnson's statistical woes continue, don't be at all surprised to see Ringer's role increase in the weeks to come.

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Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers (70.9 percent):

Brown was on our waiver wire list last week after his 102-yard performance in Arizona, but he's still a free agent in a ton of leagues. That's likely to change this week, though, as he hauled in a solid nine passes for 67 yards with one touchdown in a win over the Patriots. Even when Hines Ward returns to action, Brown should remain well in the offensive mix in what is becoming more of a pass-first unit.

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Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers (57.2 percent):

Much like Brown, Crabtree was a recommended waiver wire pickup last week on -- he went on to post five catches for 54 yards with one touchdown in a win over the Browns. The Texas Tech product has now hauled in a combined 21 passes over his last four games and is clearly back on the radar -- both for Alex Smith and fantasy owners. He needs to be added in all leagues with 12-plus teams moving forward.

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Brent Celek, TE, Eagles (92.9 percent):

Celek had seen his value fall since Michael Vick took over the offense, but the two have been hooking up more often in recent weeks. Celek caught seven passes for 94 yards and scored a touchdown against the Cowboys, and he's now found the end zone in two straight games. His next opponent, the Bears, have allowed more fantasy points to tight ends than any team, so Celek has sudden value as a bye-week replacement.

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Bengals defense (59.5 percent):

Maybe you haven't been paying attention or just don't believe it, but the Bengals (yes, the Bengals) have one of the best defenses in the league. That's turned into a ton of fantasy points, including an impressive 24 against the lowly Seahawks in Week 8. In fact, this unit has scored no fewer than 14 fantasy points in three straight games. So if your squad lacks a true No. 1 fantasy defense, go out and grab the Bengals now.

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