Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Scott Free

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Wide Receivers

Denarius Moore, Raiders - There’s no excuse for Moore to be owned in fewer leagues than Michael Crabtree, but that remains the case. He was targeted more than any other Raiders receiver for the second straight week, drawing multiple pass interference penalties and finding the end zone on a spectacular 23-yard run against one of the league’s stiffest defenses. Mama, there goes that man again. "Unbelievable," said coach Hue Jackson of the performance. "I’m not going to stop him, that’s for sure. I’m just going to keep letting him do what he does.” If you’re one of the few Rotoworld readers yet to roster Moore, it’s time to snap to attention.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Nate Washington, Titans - Washington was killing single coverage opposite Kenny Britt, as evidenced by 21 receptions in Matt Hasselbeck’s first three games with the Titans. Washington’s previous three-game high was 13. He’s going to take over for Britt as Hasselbeck’s favorite target. The question is whether he can handle the extra defensive attention that goes with the responsibility. Washington may be a safer weekly play, but the Raiders receivers offer higher upside due to their considerable talent edge.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Jacoby Ford, Raiders - The Raiders have been targeting Week 4 for Ford’s return from a hamstring injury, and he’s “hopeful” of playing Sunday in an inviting matchup. The Patriots are surrendering the most wide receiver fantasy points in the league, by nearly a touchdown per game over the second-place Rams. Even with Denarius Moore emerging as Oakland’s top fantasy receiver, Ford’s own talent is undeniable. Coach Hue Jackson will build his offense around the explosive trio of Moore, Ford, and Darren McFadden going forward.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Donald Jones, Bills - We still prefer David Nelson over the long haul, but there’s no good reason for Jones to be owned in just one percent of CBSSports.com leagues. Jones is neck-and-neck with Stevie Johnson for the snap lead among Bills wideouts, and he’s actually run more pass routes than the No. 1 receiver. While Jones isn’t a strong bet to repeat his 100-yard performance, the No. 2 receiver on the NFL’s highest-scoring offense should be owned in 14-team leagues.

Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper leagues.

Danario Alexander, Rams - Alexander may be flying under the radar this week coming off a disappointing 28-yard performance against the Ravens. It’s important to note, however, that the coaching staff followed through on a promise to increase his role. DX was targeted a team-high eight times while increasing his snap-count for a second straight week. This is the most talented receiver on the Rams roster.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Torrey Smith, Ravens - Early last season, a speedy rookie arrived on the scene with 125 yards and two touchdowns in a breakout performance. David Gettis was a hot waiver wire addition, only to top 50 yards just one time the rest of the way. Smith, like Gettis, is a textbook example of chasing last week’s points. The long-term potential is there, but the Ravens made the trade for Lee Evans because Smith essentially only runs the post, fly, and stop-and-go routes. That was enough to burn overmatched Rams corner Justin King, but it’s not going to be repeated against better defenses. Smith will likely head back to the bench in favor of the original blowup-quarter artist, Evans. Even if he gets one more start, Smith draws the forbidding Jets in Week 4 followed by the bye week.

Recommendation: Worth a flier in 12-team leagues.

Brandon Gibson, Rams - Gibson is officially St. Louis’ No. 1 receiver, a top-35 fantasy receiver early on, and author of three consecutive 50-yard games. While his upside is low, Gibson should be owned in more than 20 percent of fantasy leagues.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Steve Smith, Eagles - Smith seemed primed for a big opportunity Sunday night when Jeremy Maclin came down with a hamstring injury. Coach Andy Reid suggested Monday, though, that Maclin’s hamstring isn’t as bad as initially believed. Maclin is considered “day to day” this week, leaving the No. 2 role up in the air against the 49ers. If Maclin does play, Smith isn’t worthy of a roster spot.

Recommendation: Worth a look as an injury replacement.

Dane Sanzenbacher, Bears - Coach Lovie Smith suggested that Earl Bennett’s Week 2 chest injury could be of the multi-week variety, leaving Sanzenbacher to handle slot duties. The undrafted rookie was targeted seven times against the Packers, finding the end zone on one of his five receptions. It’s conceivable that Sanzenbacher could hold off Bennett over the course of the season.

Recommendation: Worth a look in PPR leagues.

Cut Bait: Braylon Edwards, Roy Williams, Big Mike Williams, Brandon LaFell, Jacoby Jones, Eddie Royal, Josh Morgan, Andre Roberts, Arrelious Benn

Edwards is out at least another two weeks. He wasn’t producing even when he was playing. … Between the Roy Williams fiasco and his lopsided play-calling, Mike Martz should be under more heat than any other coordinator. … Big Mike just isn’t getting open. … LaFell still isn’t playing enough snaps. … Royal should lose his job to Eric Decker.

Hold Off: Victor Cruz, Michael Jenkins, Andre Caldwell, Brian Hartline, Josh Cribbs, Steve Breaston

Cruz has bonafide playmaking ability, but his path to reliable fantasy value is blocked by Mario Manningham’s return. Evan Silva suggests Manningham could end up seeing time in the slot with Cruz moved to the perimeter, so continue to monitor the situation. … Molasses Jenkins had three targets apiece in each of the first two weeks. His 11 targets, nine receptions, and 88 yards will stand as season-highs. They better -- for the sanity of Vikings fans. … Caldwell will likely head back to the third receiver role with Jerome Simpson starting in Week 4. … Hartlines are a dime a dozen on the wire.

Watch List: Randy Moss, Danny Amendola, Titus Young, Damian Williams, Patrick Crayton, Emmanuel Sanders, Randall Cobb, Laurent Robinson

Moss is reportedly willing to return to a contender with an established quarterback. I wouldn’t count on it happening for a few weeks. Even then, he won’t be much more than a red-zone specialist. … Amendola may be held out through the Week 5 bye. … Young has playmaking ability and 15 targets over the past two weeks. His role is growing. … Williams is the committee head in the search for a Kenny Britt replacement. … Crayton isn’t worth a roster spot with Malcom Floyd back from injury. … Sanders is being outproduced by Antonio Brown early on.


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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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