Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wired Returns!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


Labor Day 2010’s waiver kickoff brought us Millen’s Last Laugh brought us fantasy MVP Michael Vick, weekly starter Kyle Orton, breakout star Josh Freeman, top-five running back Peyton Hillis, and rookie sensation Rob Gronkowski. This year's "Waiver Wired" debut features a host of QB2 candidates, a potential No. 1 receiver on one of the pass-heaviest offensive in the league, and a pair of talented tight ends still flying under the radar.

 
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 This is the first Waiver Wired of the season, so let's review the rules:

 

Every Tuesday, I'll go over the best available pickups at every fantasy position except kicker. Every league setup is different, so I'll try to include players who may be available in shallow leagues, and lesser-known players that are worth trying in deep leagues. I give a recommendation for each player, such as "Should be owned in 12-team leagues." This doesn't mean you should own him, just that he's good enough to improve one of the rosters in your league. If I write, "Must be owned," or "Should be owned in all leagues," I'm recommending doing what you can to find a spot.

 

Most of my leagues have moved to sites which allow owners to place interesting free agents on a "watch list" for future consideration. As such, each week I will throw in a few long-term fliers that should be placed on watch lists for easy access when a quick decision is needed.

 

On to the players. Here is how I rank the top players available at each position as we head into the season opener. Full writeups of each player are below.

 

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Editor's Note: Join subscriber only chats, get weekly rankings before anyone else, plus exclusive weekly projections, stat tools, dynasty ranks, columns, and much more including the Rotoworld Oracle in our Season Pass. Also last-minute drafters can still get the latest projection updates in Rotoworld's draft guide.

 

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Quarterbacks
Rex Grossman
Matt Hasselbeck
Jason Campbell
Cam Newton
Kerry Collins
Vince Young
Shaun Hill
Tim Tebow

Running backs
Delone Carter
Kendall Hunter
Deji Karim
Derrick Ward
DeMarco Murray
Jerome Harrison
Montario Hardesty
Leon Washington
Bernard Scott

 

Wide Receivers
Brandon Gibson
Greg Little
Denarius Moore
Emmanuel Sanders
Donald Jones
Arrelious Benn
Jabar Gaffney
Steve Smith (PHI)
Nate Washington

 

Tight Ends
Lance Kendricks
Jared Cook
Evan Moore
Visanthe Shiancoe
Fred Davis
Julius Thomas

 

Defense/Special Teams
Texans
Rams
Browns
49ers

 

Kickers
John Kasay
Jason Hanson

 

Quarterbacks

 

Rex Grossman, Redskins - Owned in 7% of CBS Sports leagues.

 

Will he keep the job all year? Not bloody likely. But Grossman does have a few things going for him, not least of which is the most pass-heavy play-callers of the past three NFL seasons. Grossman also boasted an impressive 7.7 yards per attempt and 64.2 completion mark while moving the offense with nary a hiccup in three exhibition games. In this offense -- and perhaps this offense only -- Grossman has the look of a high-end QB2 until the inevitable face-plant comes later in the season.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

 

Matt Hasselbeck, Titans - Owned in 32% of CBS Sports leagues.

 

Hasselbeck’s waning accuracy and 34:44 TD-to-INT ratio the past three seasons don’t inspire much faith, but he showed in last year’s playoffs that there’s still enough left in the tank. Brett Favre’s up-and-down play in the lean rebuilding years of 2005-06 showed that an aging QB is as only as good as his surrounding talent. Hasselbeck is going from a weapon-less Seattle team to one with Chris Johnson, Kenny Britt, and Jared Cook -- not to mention a much better offensive line. There’s potential for a renaissance season starting with a dream matchup against the league’s worst secondary (Jacksonville) in Week 1.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

 

Cam Newton, Panthers - Owned in 41% of CBS Sports leagues.

 

Explosive running ability is the great equalizer for accuracy-challenged quarterbacks. Just ask last seasons fantasy playoff star Tim Tebow. Newton isn’t ready to lead an NFL offense, but his preseason performance included two of the longest scrambles in franchise history.  Newton's rushing numbers could mirror the ones Vince Young put up as a rookie: 552 yards and seven touchdowns.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

 

Jason Campbell, Raiders - Owned in 18% of CBS Sports leagues.

 

As you may have read by now, this is the first time in Campbell’s six-year NFL career that he will have the same offensive coordinator for a second season. Just how much that is worth in fantasy terms is debatable, but Campbell does have improved weaponry with Jacoby Ford moving into a starring role, Chaz Schilens getting back to full health, and Denarius Moore emerging as a viable weapon. Campbell should have little trouble moving the offense up and down the field this season.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

 

Kerry Collins, Colts - Owned in 9% of CBS Sports leagues.

 

It rarely ends well when a QB is dragged off his couch, and Collins will be no different. Now 38, Collins has the statuesque mobility of a late-career Drew Bledsoe to go with an erratic throwing arm and questionable decision-making. You wouldn’t know from the free pass he’s been given by national analysts, but Collins has been brutal the past two years in Nashville. With Peyton Manning out Week 1 -- and likely longer -- the Colts are planning a more run-heavy attack. Collins has had just two weeks in Indy’s offense. Keep expectations low.

 

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

 

Long-Term Fliers: Vince Young, Shaun Hill, Tim Tebow

 

In previous editions of this column, we’ve suggested adding high-upside backups Michael Vick and Kurt Warner only to see them go on to perform as elite fantasy QBs. Young certainly has that potential in a loaded offense with an injury-risk under center. … Tebow led all NFL QBs in fantasy points over the final three games of last season. … Hill was a top-10 fantasy QB in games he started last season.

 


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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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