Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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The Blunt Truth on Tight Ends

Tuesday, December 06, 2011




Wide Receivers

Santana Moss, Redskins - Washington’s No. 1 receiver is still owned in fewer leagues than Jabar Gaffney. That’s backwards. Moss was targeted 12 times to Gaffney’s goose egg against the Jets. Our initial Week 14 rankings for Season Pass have Moss as a top-25 fantasy option against a Patriots defense that allows the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers as well as quarterbacks. If he’s still out there, Moss is a must-own this week.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Golden Tate, Seahawks - Coach Pete Carroll announced Ben Obomanu as Sidney Rice’s replacement last week, but it was Tate who emerged as the clear No. 1 receiver versus Philly. Showing impressive run-after-catch ability and red-zone chops, Tate played 51 snaps whereas no other Seattle receiver surpassed 30. "This is what we see in practice all the time, we just haven't got him in there as much to give him the focal point opportunities,” said Carroll after the game. “It's great to see Golden; we're just going to keep doing it. He's really special. He makes plays, so we have to keep giving it to him." The next day, Carroll went even further, "I'm always on his butt about something, but that's because he's going to be really good." If Moss is already owned, Tate would be my No. 1 target at receiver this week even in a run-heavy offense.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12- and 14-team leagues.

Malcom Floyd, Chargers - Floyd proved to be over his troublesome hip injury while reeling in all four targets for 108 yards and a long score against the Jaguars’ injury-depleted secondary. Floyd does boast three 100-yard performances in his last four games, but that string goes all the way back to Week 5. While he’s overly dependent on Philip Rivers’ come-and-go accuracy on deep balls, Floyd does have two home games and a dome game over the next three weeks. Weather hold the Chargers' vertical passing game back the rest of the way.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Jacoby Ford, Raiders - To be clear, Denarius Moore would be the recommended pickup in Oakland, but he’s already owned in 80 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. As we’ve stated several times this season, Ford has enough playmaking ability to merit a roster spot in fantasy leagues even if it’s purely as a stash. Ford (foot) is hoping to be cleared for a return to practice this week.  

Recommendation: Worth a look as a roster stash.

Demaryius Thomas, Broncos - We’ve been through this one before. Thomas is an ultra-talented but injury-prone playmaker whose production will be hit-or-miss in an offense that typically attempts 15-20 passes per game. Thomas’ upside is certainly worth stashing if he keeps the starting job ahead of Eddie Royal, but he’s far from guaranteed to outproduce Eric Decker going forward.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Damian Williams, Titans - With a 36:31 target edge over Nate Washington, Williams has taken over as Matt Hasselbeck’s favorite target over the past five weeks. Although Williams’ 4/62/0 line from Week 13 looks rather pedestrian, the two came close to hooking up for a series of big plays, including a near-touchdown off Williams’ fingertips. Keep expectations low in what is now a run-heavy offense, but Williams is at least worth stashing at the end of the bench.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Brad Smith, Bills - I filed Smith’s 4/77/1 line in Week 12 under the “fluke” category, but he’s now topped 70 yards in back-to-back weeks. In two games as the starer opposite Stevie Johnson, Smith has compiled 17 targets, 11 receptions, and 149 yards. There’s no harm in adding him to your roster, but I’d still be hesitant to play him as a WR3 option.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Chaz Schilens, Raiders - The oft-injured one was Oakland’s top receiver in Week 13 with Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore out of the lineup. Schiles caught 6-of-7 targets for 87 yards before departing with a foot injury of his own. Although coach Hue Jackson expects Schilens to play this week, his role is up in the air with Moore and Ford possibly returning.

Recommendation: Worth a look pending injury updates.

Watch List: Brandon LaFell, Devin Aromashodu, Austin Collie, Randall Cobb

LaFell is worth monintoring. At this point, there’s still not enough separation from Legedu Naanee. … Aromashodu drew a whopping 15 targets in the shootout with Denver. I need to see that again. … The majority of Collie’s season-high seven receptions came in fourth-quarter garbage time. … Keep an eye on Cobb if you play in a league that puts stock in Week 17. He could be in line for a heavy workload if the Packers rest their key players.

Hold Off: Robert Meachem, Andre Roberts, Ted Ginn, Kyle Williams, Jacoby Jones, Kevin Walter

The 100-yard games by Meachem and Roberts were one-week aberrations. Roberts only produces against the Cowboys. … The 49ers passing game doesn’t support any receiver beyond Michael Crabtree. … Ditto the Texans. Even with Andre Johnson out, Jones and Walter are best left alone in a run-dominant offense.

Cut Bait: Earl Bennett, Riley Cooper, Jason Avant, Ben Obomanu, Harry Douglas, Jerome Simpson, Vincent Brown

Bennett has one catch for five yards in each of Caleb Hanie’s two starts. … Cooper is headed back to the pine with Jeremy Maclin due to practice on Wednesday. … Avant was a one-week wonder, as predicted. … Obomanu played fewer than 10 snaps last week even with Sidney Rice out. … Douglas’ role is diminished with Julio Jones back. … Simpson can’t be trusted. ... Brown played just five snaps in Monday night's game. 

Defense/Special Teams

Dolphins - Miami is just 15th in total defense on the season, but they’ve been dominant over the past five weeks. Oakland’s only two scores last week came in garbage time, and the Dolphins have held three of their past five opponents to single-digit points. They host a rusty, turnover-prone Michael Vick this week.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Seahawks - Seattle hosts a reeling Rams offense that never made it across the 50-yard line against the 49ers in Week 13. The Seahawks held the Rams to just seven points three weeks ago. With Sam Bradford (ankle) in question once again, it could be a repeat performance.

Recommendation: Worth a look as a matchup play.

Broncos - Facing the Bears last week, Kansas City’s defense racked up three interceptions, seven sacks and double-digit fantasy points. Denver’s defense is certainly worth a look against Caleb Hanie if Defensive Rookie of the Year favorite Von Miller (thumb) returns to action.

Recommendation: Worth a look as a matchup play.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter.


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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