Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Scott Free

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I turned to Twitter Monday night for an informal poll on this week’s title and lead story. Should I go with Bengals fill-in starter Bernard Scott or break down the Raiders’ potential shootout with the Patriots? The vote came down on the side of Scott, with the best title suggestion coming from @JHLothrop with “Ridley’s Believe or Scott.” Other suggestions:

Cedric Benson is headed to Commissioner Goodell’s office this week to appeal his three-game suspension for violating the personal conduct policy during the lockout. While there’s a chance that Benson’s suspension will be reduced, he’s almost certain to miss at least Week 4 against a Bills defense allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing backs.

Update: A decision on Benson's appeal is not expected to be announced until next week. In the meantime, coach Marvin Lewis confirmed that Benson will be available to start against the Bills this week. Scott is still worthy of the top waiver pickup, as Benson's suspension could kick in next week. 

If history is a guideline, the playmaking Scott will see the majority of the touches over Brian Leonard as the Bengals’ feature back. The last time Benson missed a three-game stretch, back in 2009, Scott averaged 18.7 touches and 97.3 yards as a solid RB2. Scott remains freely available in 57 percent of leagues. With the potential for three starts, including two during the bye-week crunch, Scott is this week’s top pickup.

On to the players. Here is how I rank the top players at each position as we head into Week 3. Full writeups of each player are below.

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Jason Campbell
Vince Young
Matt Hasselbeck
Donovan McNabb
Curtis Painter

Running Backs
Bernard Scott
Stevan Ridley
Kendall Hunter
Montario Hardesty
DeMarco Murray
Tashard Choice
Earnest Graham
Alfonso Smith

Wide Receivers
Denarius Moore

Nate Washington
Jacoby Ford
Donald Jones
Danario Alexander
Torrey Smith
Brandon Gibson
Steve Smith (PHI)
Dane Sanzenbacher

Tight Ends
Randy McMichael
James Casey
Jermaine Gresham
Ed Dickson
Chris Cooley

Defense/Special Teams


Jason Campbell - The Raiders offensive line dominated the Jets defense last week. Campbell has been sacked just twice all season, and his weapons of Darren McFadden, Denarius Moore, and Jacoby Ford have the kind of game-breaking speed that will give defenses fits going forward. If ever there was a week to gamble on Campbell, it’s Week 4 against a Patriots defense allowing the second-most points to opposing fantasy quarterbacks and the most points to opposing fantays receivers.

Recommendation: Worth a look as a matchup play.

Vince Young - Coach Andy Reid confirmed Monday that V.Y.’s hamstring is no longer an issue. The beat writers have reversed course this week, believing Young would get the call over Mike Kafka if Michael Vick’s hand injury doesn’t cooperate. Vick is considered “likely” to play against the 49ers, but Young is gaining value considering the vicious hits the starter is taking on a weekly basis.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Matt Hasselbeck, Titans - Tennessee’s offensive line can’t open holes in the running game, but they’re fine pass blockers. With time to pick defenses apart, Hasselbeck has completed 70 percent of his passes through three games while placing seventh in passing yards. The Kenny Britt injury is worrisome enough to keep Hasselbeck from the No. 1 spot on this list.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Donovan McNabb, Vikings - The Vikings offense has some interesting pieces, but it’s been held back by an inaccurate quarterback, horrendous coaching, and outside receivers with no separation ability. The only reason McNabb appears on this list is a slate of matchups against four defenses (Chiefs, Cardinals, Bears, Packers) in the top-12 for most points allowed to opposing fantasy quarterbacks. Hold your nose if you need McNabb in a deeper league.

Recommendation: Worth a look in two-quarterback leagues.

Curtis Painter, Colts - Despite three more weeks of free passes from national analysts, Kerry Collins is likely headed to the bench after another miserable performance. The Colts have been reluctant to trust Painter -- with good reason considering his career 21.0 passer rating -- but he’s not substantially worse than Collins at this point in their respective careers. Keep expectations ankle-low, but Painter is worth a look in two-quarterback leagues.

Recommendation: Worth a look in two-quarterback leagues.

Cut Bait: Kerry Collins, Andy Dalton

Collins could lose his job to Curtis Painter this week. … Dalton predictably came back down to Earth against the 49ers after lighting up an injury-depleted Broncos defense.

Hold Off: Blaine Gabbert

Watch List: John Beck, Tim Tebow, Mike Kafka

Rex Grossman morphed into Bad Rex Monday night. Very Bad Rex. His history of mind-blowing mistakes suggests Beck will get his turn at some point this season. … Orton hasn’t impressed for a Broncos team spinning its wheels at 1-2.

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

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