Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Spreading the Wealth

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


With Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard lost for the season, the Chiefs held their nose and handed the reins over to an obviously overwhelmed Tyler Thigpen in Week 8. What happened thereafter was a complete shock: the Chiefs had competent quarterback play for the first time since the beginning of the failed Croyle experiment.

Taking a page out of the Warren Moon era Houston Oilers' run-and-shoot offense of the late '80s, the Chiefs have moved to a spread offense featuring Thigpen out of the shotgun. The raw Coastal Carolina product had a poor feel for defensive pressure under center, so the Chiefs figured the shotgun would give their mobile quarterback a better view of the pass rush and an extra second to locate his targets. Throw in the addition of former second-round wide receiver Mark Bradley to go with future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez and stud receiver Dwayne Bowe, and the spread continues to be the recipe for a fantasy feast in Kansas City.

In another lost season, the Chiefs have found a way to stay competitive on a weekly basis. It may not be a long-term strategy for the franchise, but the spread offense is here to stay for the rest of 2008. Hop on board with Thigpen and Bradley and enjoy the ride while it lasts.

On to the waiver wire. Here is how I rank the likely targets at each position. Full writeups of each player are below.

QUARTERBACKS
1. Tyler Thigpen
2. Brady Quinn
3. Matt Hasselbeck
4. Shaun Hill
5. Joe Flacco

RUNNINGBACKS
1. Selvin Young
2. Benjarvus Green-Ellis
3. Sammy Morris
4. Dominic Rhodes
5. Peyton Hillis
6. Shaun Alexander
7. Cadillac Williams

WIDE RECEIVERS
1. Mark Bradley
2. Bobby Engram
3. Josh Morgan
4. Deion Branch
5. Jerry Porter
6. Justin Gage/Brandon Jones

TIGHT ENDS
1. Dustin Keller
2. Kevin Boss
3. Billy Miller

DEFENSES
1. Dolphins
2. 49ers

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QUARTERBACKS

Tyler Thigpen, Chiefs - It took a couple of weeks to realize it, but Thigpen is legit in the spread offense. The Chiefs are throwing heavily out of the shotgun, and Thipen is hitting Tony Gonzalez, Dwayne Bowe, and Mark Bradley with regularity. Expect that trend to continue in Week 11 with the high-flying Saints and their banged up secondary coming to town. Thigpen has the added benefit of a cozy playoff schedule, so he's a realistic QB1 the rest of the way for needy owners.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues

Brady Quinn, Browns - Quinn's debut showed a poised quarterback with good pocket presence, surprising mobility, and a more catchable short pass than Derek Anderson ever had. He won't enjoy the Broncos defense every week, but the early returns are positive on the Brady Quinn era. Expect him to be a fine QB2 with upside going forward.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks - Skepticism is advised. Hasselbeck is in line to return this week against Arizona, but the Seattle offense hasn't been relevant in fantasy circles all season. With Deion Branch's impending return, Hass will enjoy better weapons than he had to start the season though it will take a couple of weeks to knock the rust off of the offense. Use Hasselbeck as a stash and hope that he revives the passing attack enough to be realistic option against the Rams and Jets by fantasy playoff time.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

Shaun Hill, 49ers - Hill's first start of the season brought mixed reviews. He showed nice touch and a much better feel for defensive pressure, but his decision making left a lot to be desired. Hill should be no more than a QB2 the rest of the way.

Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper leagues

Joe Flacco, Ravens - Flacco gets a stiff test against the Giants this week, but the rookie is continuing to grow every week. He's been a viable NFL starter for the past month, but it's just recently that he started getting the ball in the end zone. After managing just three passing touchdowns all season going into Week 9, Flacco has racked up four in the past two weeks.

Recommendation: Monitor in 12-team leagues


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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for Rotoworld.com. The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to NBCSports.com. He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
Email :Chris Wesseling



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