RBs Benson, Morris will be hot names on fantasy waiver wire

Here's a quick look at 10 players to target off the waiver wire as we head into fantasy football's championship week:

Cedric Benson, RB, Cincinnati (50 percent): Yes, waivers are very thin in most leagues right now. But if you're desperate for a flex starter, Benson has some sudden value. He had 73 yards on 21 carries and totaled 161 scrimmage yards in a win over the Redskins. Benson isn't reliable and shouldn't be used unless you're in dire need, but he does have a nice matchup against the Browns and their weak run defense ahead.

2008 statistics:
Att: 151

Yards: 465

TDs: 1

Deion Branch, WR, Seattle (55 percent): Branch is back on the fantasy radar. One week after scoring two touchdowns against his former team, the Patriots, Branch had five catches for 76 yards in a win over the Rams. The former Super Bowl MVP should now be considered a viable No. 3 fantasy wideout in fantasy's championship week. He'll face a Jets defense that entered Week 15 ranked an awful 31st in receiving yards allowed.

John Carlson, TE, Seattle (31 percent): I've written about Carlson for weeks, but he's still somehow a free agent in over 30 percent of NFL.com leagues. The rookie out of Notre Dame had five catches for 76 yards against the Rams and has a combined 19 catches for 250 yards and one touchdown in his last three games. Those are the numbers of an elite fantasy tight end. If he's a free agent, pick him up as soon as possible.

DeShaun Foster, RB, San Francisco (78 percent): Foster caught five passes and totaled 101 scrimmage yards in a loss to the Dolphins, so he turned out to be a decent replacement for fantasy leaguers who lost Frank Gore. Should Gore be unavailable in Week 16, Foster would be a viable flex starter against St. Louis. The Rams entered the week ranked 29th against the run, allowing an average of close to 155 yards per game.

Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo (77 percent): Jackson won't post explosive fantasy numbers on a week-to-week basis, but he's still seeing enough playing time to warrant fantasy consideration in deeper leagues. He caught six passes and totaled 55 scrimmage yards with one touchdown in a loss to the Jets. Next on the slate is a game against a porous Broncos defense. Like I said, the waiver wire is extremely thin right now!

Tarvaris Jackson, QB, Minnesota (96 percent): Chances are pretty good that Jackson won't be starting in most leagues during fantasy's championship week, but he does have sudden value in formats that require two starting quarterbacks. He started in place of an injured Gus Frerotte and threw four touchdown passes in a blowout win over the Cardinals. Next on the schedule for Jackson is a game against a vulnerable Falcons pass defense.

Sammy Morris, RB, New England (28 percent): Morris is back to 100 percent and putting up monster numbers. He rushed for 117 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries in a win over the Raiders, and has now found the end zone in three consecutive weeks. Morris is an underrated talent who can help fantasy leaguers in their quest for a title. He'll next face a Cardinals defense in Week 16 that's been vulnerable to the run in recent weeks.

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Dennis Northcutt, WR, Jacksonville (99 percent): With Matt Jones (suspension) done for the season and Jerry Porter out due to a nagging hamstring injury, Northcutt stepped in and became the best option in the Jaguars' pass attack. The veteran wideout had five catches for 127 yards and scored one touchdown against a tough Packers pass defense. Northcutt next faces the Colts on Thursday Night Football (NFL Network, 8 pm EST).

Chester Taylor, RB, Minnesota (32 percent): Adrian Peterson is the centerpiece of the Vikings offense, but Taylor sees enough work to warrant a flex spot in fantasy leagues. The veteran tailback recorded four catches, 103 scrimmage yards and one touchdown in Arizona. What's more, Taylor has now scored in four straight games and five of his last six games. He's got a nice matchup in Week 16 against the Falcons at the Metrodome.

Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans (19 percent): Like Carlson, I've been talking about Thomas for several weeks. After his monster performance on Thursday night, coupled with the questionable status of Reggie Bush, Thomas should be active in 90 percent of leagues (no less available in almost 20 percent). He'll be a fantasy hero for countless owners next week -- Thomas faces the winless Lions and their league-worst run defense.

(Note -- Percentage of availability in NFL.com leagues listed in parenthesis.)

Have a burning question for Michael Fabiano on anything fantasy football related? Send it to AskFabiano@nfl.com, and the best questions will be answered throughout the season right here on NFL.com!

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