Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Baldwin Brothers

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Tight Ends

Brent Celek, Eagles - Celek’s season-best 7/94/1 line was the result of a perfect storm against a tight-end friendly Dallas defense that lost coverage linebacker Sean Lee early in the game. Even if Michael Vick prefers his downfield receivers, there’s reason to believe Celek could keep rolling for one more week. The Bears’ Cover-2 defense allows the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season, making Celek an interesting matchup gamble for the second straight game.

Recommendation: Worth a look as a matchup play.

Jake Ballard, Giants - It’s time to give Ballard credit as a lumbering Kevin Boss clone with decent pass-catching skills. His average of 9.0 fantasy points over the past five weeks ranks fifth among tight ends, and he hasn’t been held under 55 yards in three straight games. Even if he lacks upside, Ballard could be a consistent borderline TE1 going forward.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Heath Miller, Steelers - Miller is coming off a season-best nine targets, seven catches and 85 yards against a Patriots defense concentrating on stopping the big play, so there’s plenty of potential for point-chasing. The Week 9 matchup is also forbidding against the stingiest tight-end defense in the NFL (Ravens). On the bright side, Miller has been a top-five fantasy tight end over the past three weeks as his passing-game role increases with the offensive line solidifying. He has a shot at borderline TE1 status going forward.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Zach Miller, Seahawks - Seattle’s passing game has been downright frisky in Tarvaris Jackson’s last few games, and Miller draws a tight-end friendly Dallas defense that was carved up by Celek in Week 8. He’s only a desperation matchup play this week.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Watch List: Visanthe Schiancoe, Ben Watson, Ed Dickson

Schiancoe, Watson, and Dickson offer similar production to Celek and Heath Miller, but the matchups aren’t quite as good this week.

Hold Off: Scott Chandler, Marcedes Lewis, Tony Scheffler, Donald Lee

We’ve been down this road with Chandler before. He’s not going to find the end zone every week, so there’s an ongoing risk of a goose egg. … Lewis has no value because Blaine Gabbert is the NFL’s worst quarterback. … Scheffler remains behind Brandon Pettigrew.

Cut Bait: Rob Housler, Evan Moore

Defense/Special Teams

Texans - Even without Pro Bowler Mario Williams, this continues to be a top-10 fantasy and NFL defense. The Texans have held their last two opponents to an average of just 161 yards per game, and Week 9 brings an inviting matchup against a Browns offense lacking playmakers.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Raiders - Coming out of their bye week against Tim Tebow in the Black Hole, one could make the case that the Raiders are the No. 1 fantasy defense play for Week 9. Tebow has been sacked an average of 6.5 times the past two weeks, and he’s coming off a fumble-six, a pick-six, and two more fumbles against the Lions. His elongated motion and failure to read defenses in a timely fashion leave him as a fantasy defense’s dream matchup.

Recommendation: Should be owned as a matchup play.

Falcons - Curtis Painter has three interceptions to zero touchdowns over the past two games, mustering just 17 points of offense against the Titans and Saints. The Falcons defense has improved of late, holding its last two opponents under 20 points.

Recommendation: Worth a look as a matchup play.



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.
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