Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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It's the Matchup, Stupid

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


As James Carville might say about the prospects of Redskins fantasy players this week, it’s the matchup, stupid. Rex Grossman and the aerial attack square off against a Vikings defense allowing the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and the third-most to opposing wide receivers.

Since the Week 9 bye, Minnesota’s defense has surrendered an average of 28 fantasy points, 253 yards, 3 passing touchdowns, and zero interceptions to quarterbacks. It gets even better. Since the Vikes lost five of the top six players in their secondary, Drew Brees has produced the first ever game of 400+ yards, five TDs, 0 INTs, and an 80 percent completion rate while Tim Tebow has exploded for 35 points and a near 150.0 passer rating.

The matchup is just as promising for Jabar Gaffney, still available in nearly half of all CBSSports.com leagues. Demaryius Thomas (144 yards, 2 TDs) and Lance Moore (91 yards, 2 TDs) have posted monster fantasy games sandwiching Titus Young’s season-best 87 yards and a score. Be sure to get your Redskins into the starting lineup for Championship Week.

On to the players. Here is how I rank the top players at each position as we head into Week 16. Full writeups of each player are below.

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.

Quarterbacks
Kyle Orton
Rex Grossman
Jake Locker
Seneca Wallace
Matt Flynn

Running Backs
Kahlil Bell
Lance Ball
Donald Brown
Stevan Ridley
Sammy Morris
Jason Snelling
Chris Ivory
John Kuhn

Wide Receivers
Demaryius Thomas

Jabar Gaffney
Darrius Heyward-Bey
Randall Cobb
Golden Tate
Greg Little
David Nelson
Andre Roberts

Tight Ends
Jared Cook
Todd Heap
Kyle Rudolph
Jacob Tamme

Defense/Special Teams
Titans
Seahawks
Eagles

Quarterbacks

Kyle Orton, Chiefs - It’s no coincidence that Kansas City racked up a season-high 438 yards of offense in Orton’s first start. He’s not only a far sight better than Tyler Palko and a superior passer to Matt Cassel, but also boosted by an above-average wide receiver corps. Orton has excellent matchups the final two weeks against the Raiders and Broncos, allowing the third- and fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Rex Grossman, Redskins - Matchups don’t get any better than Grossman’s for Week 16. A Vikings secondary playing without five of its six best players gave up the first ever game of 400 yards, five TDs, zero interceptions, and an 80 percent completion rate two weeks after Tim Tebow exploded for 35 points. Since the Week 9 bye, Minnesota’s defense has surrendered an average of 28 fantasy points, 253 yards, 3 TDs, and 0 INTs to opposing quarterbacks. Grossman is a borderline QB1 option this week.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Jake Locker, Titans - Matt Hasselbeck will start this week as long as his calf injury doesn’t flare up in practices. It’s no longer because Hasselbeck gives the Titans a better chance to win, but merely deference to his position as team leader while a playoff berth remains a slim possibility. If Tennessee gets officially knocked out, Locker could start the season finale at Houston. The impressive rookie sports a 99.4 passer rating, 8.2 YPA, and 4:0 TD-to-INT ratio on 66 attempts in three relief appearances.

Recommendation: Should be owned in two-quarterback leagues.

Matt Flynn, Packers - The upset loss at Kansas City means the Packers have a good reason to rest starters in the season finale versus the Lions provided they secure homefield advantage by beating the Hanie-McCown Bears this week. We won’t have a good read on Flynn’s playing time for another week, but it’s certainly conceivable that he could be playing 3+ quarters against a Lions team that may have already locked up its wild card spot.

Recommendation: Worth a look as insurance.

Seneca Wallace, Browns - Wallace is expected to draw the start over Colt McCoy this week, but it’s a brutal matchup against a Ravens defense sure to be motivated in a home game after being torched in Week 15. It doesn’t get any better for Wallace in the season finale versus a Steelers team likely to be playing for the best possible playoff matchup.

Recommendation: Worth a look in two-quarterback leagues.

Watch List: John Skelton, Chase Daniel, Chris Redman

Skelton’s Week 16 status hinges on Kevin Kolb’s concussion symptoms. … Daniel isn’t likely to get a long look as the Saints must win out and hope for a 49ers loss to land a bye. … Redman could end up with significant playing time in Week 17.

Hold Off: Kellen Clemens, Josh McCown

Always in danger of a faceplant, Clemens squares off against the hard-hitting Steelers and 49ers in the final two weeks. … McCown may be even worse than Caleb Hanie.

Cut Bait: T.J. Yates, Christian Ponder, Caleb Hanie

Yates and Ponder can no longer be trusted as QB2 options after their Week 15 performances. … Hanie is a good bet to get yanked even if manages to hold onto the starting job this week.


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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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