Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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A Seahawk in Every Pot

Tuesday, December 16, 2008




Quarterbacks

Seneca Wallace, Seahawks - No quarterback in the league has a better statistical matchup the next two weeks than Wallace. He draws a Jets defense allowing the fourth most fantasy points to quarterbacks followed by a Cardinals defense giving up the second most points. There's always a chance that he'll be kept out of the end zone again, but desperate owners could do worse than playing Wallace in favorable matchups.

Dan Orlovsky, Lions - Let's give Orlovsky some credit: he's not altogether awful. Unlike the other Detroit quarterbacks, Orlovsky has been over 200 yards with a touchdown in each of his last four starts, and he enjoys the luxury of throwing it up to Megatron and letting him work his magic. This is nobody's idea of a dream fantasy playoff quarterback, but you could so worse than Orlovsky indoors against the Saints in Week 16.

Tarvaris Jackson, Vikings - After dropping four touchdowns on the Cardinals in Week 15, Jackson is fully expected to keep the reigns for this week's matchup against the Falcons. On the positive side, T-Jax is coming off a commando performance and playing indoors in mid-December. On the down side, he's still Tarvaris Jackson.


Wide Receivers

Deion Branch, Seahawks - Despite salvaging his season with three straight games over 55 yards, Branch is owned in just half of all fantasy leagues. Though he's the best wide receiver option on many waiver wires, beware of Branch drawing Darrelle Revis in Week 16 action. The Jets do give up a lot of fantasy points to quarterbacks and receivers, but much of that damage comes against their other corners. Desperate owners can roll with a streaking Branch, but don't expect miracles this week.

Devin Hester, Bears - Hester's 4-reception, 46-yard performance against the Saints could have easily looked like six or seven receptions for 150 yards and two touchdowns if not for desperate pass interference penalties. As it turns out, that was Hester's worst statistical performance in a month, and he's established himself as the clear No. 1 in Chicago's passing game. If you need a homerun, let Hester step up to the plate this week.

Dennis Northcutt, Jaguars - While desperate owners flailed at supposed starters Mike Walker and Reggie Williams in Week 15, Northcutt drew the start and outshined both waiver darlings. Targeted eight times, Northcutt posted an incredible 127 yards and a touchdown on five receptions. The Jags aerial attack, however, is too inconsistent to rely on Northcutt against the dominant pass defenses of the Colts and Ravens the next two weeks.


Tight Ends

John Carlson, Seahawks - Carlson is owned in two-thirds of all leagues, but the scorching rookie is a must-grab if he's available. With an average of six receptions for 83 yards, only Tony Gonzalez is out-producing Carlson the past three weeks. Seneca Wallace loves throwing to No. 89, and the Jets defense allows the third most tight end points in the league. Pick him up and insert him into your starting lineup if he's available.

Vernon Davis, 49ers - Surefire TE1s like Carlson aren't likely to be available in your league, so Davis will have to make for an acceptable substitute in desperate deep leagues. In an offense lacking any semblance of a game-breaker, Davis received a whopping eight targets -- and even a rushing attempt -- in Week 15. With Frank Gore out of the lineup, the Niners may finally realize that Davis is their most explosive weapon in the passing game. He makes for a decent high-risk/high-reward option for desperate owners.

Defenses

Cowboys - After a disappointing first three months, the Cowboys were sitting on the waiver wire in two of my leagues as of Sunday night. With their DaMarcus Ware-led pass rush playing so well, I'm hoping to pick them up and plug them in against Baltimore as a replacement for the Titans defense lacking Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch.

Patriots - Thanks to Ellis Hobbs' 95-yard kickoff return touchdowns, the Pats defense/special teams finally showed some signs of life in Week 15. If you risk a negative score for points allowed, look elsewhere. But if you're desperate for a few turnovers, the Cardinals pass-only offense will leave Kurt Warner exposed -- and a lot of balls up for grabs -- in a game where weather is expected to be a factor.

Texans - When in doubt, there's always the Raiders opponent du jour.


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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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