Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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It's the Matchup, Stupid

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Wide Receivers

Demaryius Thomas, Broncos - The NFL’s leader with 338 yards in December, Thomas is still owned in less than 50 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. As the go-to receiver for a primary-read QB, Thomas has 33 targets to Eric Decker’s 13 over the past three weeks. In fact, he’s accounted for nearly 45 percent of Tim Tebow’s pass attempts over that span. "I've been real impressed with him," coach John Fox said Monday. Locked in as a starter, Thomas played 57-of-60 snaps in Week 15 compared to just 28 for Eddie Royal. Run him out there as a top-20 option at Buffalo for fantasy’s Championship Week.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.
 
Jabar Gaffney, Redskins - “Ever since Florida, he’s been my guy,” Rex Grossman said Sunday of his tight connection with Gaffney. The Redskins’ leading receiver is tied for 23rd in fantasy points, having topped 70 yards in all but the Darrelle Revis game over the past five weeks. Squaring off against an injury-depleted Vikings secondary that has surrendered monster games to Lance Moore, Titus Young, and Demaryius Thomas the past three weeks, Gaffney is a top-25 option for Championship Week.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues. 

Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders - I’ve covered several of DHB’s big games for Rotoworld this season. Week 15 versus the Lions was the first time in three years that I saw reason to believe the former No. 7 overall pick can be an impact player in this league. Detroit’s secondary is porous at this point, but Heyward-Bey was a tackle-breaking monster after the catch while racking up career-highs in receptions (8) and yards (155). Locked in as Carson Palmer’s No. 1 receiver, Heyward-Bey played 63 snaps last week compared to 35 for Denarius Moore. He’s a legit WR3 option for the final two weeks.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Randall Cobb, Packers - The loss at Kansas City should have coach Mike McCarthy thinking twice about playing his starters in the season finale versus the Lions. Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson and Donald Driver are obvious candidates for rest, which would leave the rookie as Matt Flynn’s top receiver for part -- or perhaps even all -- of Week 17. Cobb is worth stashing in leagues that utilize the final week.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Golden Tate, Seahawks - Tate has led Seattle receivers in snaps for all three games and fantasy production in two-of-three since Sidney Rice was placed on injured reserve. Doug Baldwin’s impressive rookie season notwithstanding, Tate is the No. 1 receiver in this offense going forward. His next two opponents, the 49ers and Cardinals, have allowed the 12th-most and 10th-most points respectively to opposing fantasy receivers.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Greg Little, Browns - Perhaps it was no coincidence that Seneca Wallace was under center, but the drop-prone rookie finally broke out with a 5/131/1 line at Arizona. Promising as that performance may be, Little draws the Ravens and Steelers in prohibitive matchups over the final two weeks. He’s only an option for the desperate fantasy owner.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

David Nelson, Bills - Nelson’s six receptions and 60 yards against the Dolphins were his most in two months. He’s only a WR3 option -- and an iffy one at that -- if Stevie Johnson experiences a setback with his groin in practices this week. Johnson is optimistic that he’ll play versus the Broncos, but coach Chan Gailey is taking more of a wait-and-see approach.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Andre Roberts, Cardinals - Finally outproducing Early Doucet, Roberts has posted 28 receptions for 354 yards and six catches of 20+ yards over his last seven games compared to 13 receptions for 133 yards and zero catches of 20+ yards over his first seven. He remains a low-upside fantasy option for Week 16 at Cincinnati.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Watch List: Jerricho Cotchery, Harry Douglas, Danario Alexander

Cotchery played 58 snaps Monday night compared to just nine for Hines Ward. … The Falcons could be resting Roddy White and/or Julio Jones for the majority of Week 17 if the pieces fall into place. … Alexander has regained his starting job from Brandon Gibson.

Hold Off: Lavelle Hawkins, Roy Williams, Earl Bennett, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Louis Murphy

The Titans passed the ball on a ridiculous 51 of Hawkins 54 snaps while playing from behind at Indy. That won’t happen again. Hawkins is clearly behind Nate Washington and Damian Williams in the pecking order. … Williams and Bennett are locked in as the starters with Johnny Knox out and Devin Hester banged up. Neither is trustworthy with poor QB play in Chicago. … Heyward-Bey is the only Raiders receiver worthy of a fantasy start right now.

Cut Bait: Johnny Knox, Devin Aromashodu


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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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