Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Head Games

Tuesday, September 04, 2012


Wide Receivers

Austin Collie, Colts - Owned in 25 percent of CBS leagues, 30% of Yahoo leagues.

Collie has been a quarterback-friendly receiver dating back to his BYU days. Emerging as Andrew Luck’s favorite target in OTAs and training-camp practices, Collie had climbed to No. 30 in the Rotoworld Draft Guide receiver ranks before his latest concussion. While Collie remains a red-flag injury risk, he is symptom-free and “full-go” for the season opener versus the Bears. He offers WR2 upside at the cost of a roster spot. This is a no-brainer pick-up entering the season.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Braylon Edwards, Seahawks - Owned in 10% of CBS leagues, 5% of Yahoo leagues

Edwards is just two years removed from a 21st-place fantasy finish with Mark Sanchez as his quarterback. Last year was a wash due to a season-long knee ailment, but all indications from Seahawks camp suggest Edwards has regained pre-injury form. Golden Tate, his competition for the starting split end job, is expected to miss at least two weeks with a knee injury. Edwards could take the job and run with it as a WR3 candidate under rookie Russell Wilson.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Rod Streater, Raiders - Owned in 3% of CBS leagues, 2% of Yahoo leagues.

A big, physical receiver with good hands and better than expected blocking ability, Streater was Carson Palmer’s top preseason target with an impressive 18 catches for 165 yards in three games. If Denarius Moore (hamstring) remains sidelined versus the Chargers, Streater is a borderline WR3 option. If Jacoby Ford (foot) sits out instead, Streater will play the slot as a less appealing fantasy option.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Davone Bess, Dolphins - Owned in 35% of CBS leagues, 26% of Yahoo leagues.

Easily the Dolphins’ best receiver throughout camp and preseason action, Bess is locked in as Ryan Tannehill’s No. 1 target entering the season. Don’t expect touchdowns or big plays in a low-scoring offense, but there should be plenty of six-catch, 70-yard games in Bess’ future.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all PPR leagues.

Randall Cobb, Packers - Owned in 41% of CBS leagues, 43% of Yahoo leagues.

The steam has gone out of Cobb’s breakout sails on the heels of Donald Driver’s strong training camp. Should Driver or James Jones suffer an injury, however, Cobb would enter the fantasy WR3 mix with an increase in snaps. A Percy Harvin-like talent, Cobb should earn more playing time over the course of the season regardless. He’s an ideal WR5 stash.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Jerome Simpson, Vikings - Owned in 28% of CBS leagues, 16 percent of Yahoo leagues.

A popular preseason breakout candidate a year ago, Simpson’s vertical game ended up being a poor fit for Jay Gruden’s West Coast offense that relied more on preseason route running. The Vikings spent the offseason and training camp raving about Simpson’s speed and athleticism as a much-needed downfield threat to complement Percy Harvin. Suspended the first three games, Simpson projects as the every-down “X” receiver once he returns in October. Stash him if you have the roster space.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Steve Smith, Rams - Owned in 9% of CBS leagues, 5 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Smith doesn’t offer much in the way of upside in a run-oriented offense that figures to be among the league’s lowest scoring. If you’re looking for early-season targets, receptions and yards, though, Smith could offer borderline WR3 production as the starter opposite Danny Amendola.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Jonathan Baldwin, Chiefs - Owned in 35% of CBS leagues, 23% of Yahoo leagues.

Baldwin made plenty of noise with spectacular catches in offseason and training-camp practices, but that was before Dwayne Bowe signed his franchise tender and reported to the team. Baldwin is now relegated to third or fourth option in the passing game for an offense that figures to run as much as possible. The 2011 first-rounder is likely another year away from a true breakout.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Alshon Jeffery, Bears - Owned in 35% of CBS leagues, 37% of Yahoo leagues.

Devin Hester will enter the season as the nominal starter opposite Brandon Marshall, but Jeffery is coming like a freight train after a strong training camp. As an early-season situational player, Jeffery’s production will be spotty, but he has a chance to finish second to Marshall in wide receiver snaps this year. The second-rounder is purely a stash for now.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Watch List: Eddie Royal, Vincent Brown, Doug Baldwin, Brian Quick, Dwayne Harris

Royal has been among the NFL’s most inefficient receivers over the past couple of years. Skepticism is advised when coach Norv Turner calls him one of the most impressive players he’s coached the past few years. Pay no mind Peter King’s “fantasy alert” on Royal. That is a curse more often than a blessing. … Brown was the best route runner and the only Chargers receivers capable of playing all three positions before fracturing his ankle a couple of weeks ago. He won’t play before mid-season, but he’s still worth stowing away on your watch list. … Coming off a hamstring procedure, Baldwin is a wildcard in Seattle. … Quick has been relegated to second-team work throughout camp, but could see action in three-wide sets after the Greg Salas trade. … NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell saw similar physical attributes to former Bills great Andre Reed when Harris entered the league a year ago. He’s a deep sleeper as Dallas’ potential No. 3 receiver.

Hold Off: Leonard Hankerson, Emmanuel Sanders, Golden Tate

Hankerson was behind Josh Morgan in the Redskins’ Week 1 depth chart. Keep him in mind for later in the season. … Sanders will move to the No. 3 receiver role now that Mike Wallace has reported for duty. … Tate is out two weeks with a right knee injury.

Cut Bait: Laurent Robinson, Mario Manningham, Michael Floyd

Already behind Justin Blackmon in the pecking order, Robinson has no prayer of matching last year’s numbers. … Manningham is in a rotation with Randy Moss opposite Michael Crabtree in a run-heavy offense. … Floyd is the No. 4 receiver in an offense without a quarterback or an offensive line.


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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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