Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Examining Waiver Priority

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Wide Receivers

Leonard Hankerson, Redskins - Coach Mike Shanahan stated Monday that Hankerson has “played well enough to earn a starting job.” Hank is expected to remain the “X” receiver for as long as Pierre Garcon’s foot keeps him out of the lineup. The inference is that Hankerson will then move to the “Z” spot once Garcon is healthy, although he could lose a few snaps to Josh Morgan at that point. Either way, Hankerson is worthy of a roster spot in 12-team leagues this week.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Donnie Avery, Colts - Avery started over Austin Collie and played more snaps than Reggie Wayne in Week 3. With Collie now out for the season, Avery is locked in as the every-down starter opposite Wayne. Although he had just two catches versus the Jaguars, Avery has been targeted at least eight times in all three games thus far.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Jerome Simpson, Vikings - We’ve been calling the Vikings offense a fantasy sleeper since the preseason. The one thing holding them back early this season has been the lack of a legit vertical threat. Simpson figures to step in as the every-down “X” receiver with Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph all drawing defensive attention toward the middle of the field. Simpson will likely fall short of WR3 consistency, but his talent is worthy of a flier.   

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Ramses Barden, Giants - Pat yourself on the back if you had the foresight to plug Barden in for his 138-yard coming out party last Thursday. If he’s still available in your league, however, you may have missed your window. Hakeem Nicks is scheduled to resume practicing this week and “definitely anticipates” playing against the Eagles. Barden may have bypassed Domenik Hixon on the totem pole, but he’s far less attractive fantasy option if Nicks rejoins the lineup.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Jon Baldwin, Chiefs - Baldwin’s snap count has been on the rise for three consecutive weeks, and he finally bypassed both Dexter McCluster and Steve Breaston in Week 3. With McCluster (elbow) potentially sidelined for multiple weeks, Baldwin should be second in the passing-game pecking order behind only Dwayne Bowe. The question is whether Matt Cassel’s offense can support two fantasy receivers on a weekly basis.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Andrew Hawkins, Bengals - We love what we’ve seen from Hawkins with the ball in his hands. With a punt returner’s skill-set, he’s among the most dangerous after-catch slot receivers in the league. The dilemma for fantasy leagues is that the Bengals don’t go three-wide as much as most teams, leaving Hawkins’ snap count hovering around 50 percent. Among the top-15 fantasy receivers, Hawkins has the fewest targets (16) through three games. He’s been targeted just seven times the past two weeks.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Alshon Jeffery, Bears - Have the Bears finally conceded that Devin Hester isn’t a starting receiver? Jeffery played 53-of-72 snaps in Week 3 compared to Hester’s 13. The rookie also tied Brandon Marshall for the team lead with five receptions. Just beware that there’s a tough matchup looming at Dallas before the Jaguars and then a bye week.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues.

Golden Tate, Seahawks - Tate’s 18 fantasy points trailed only A.J. Green, Torrey Smith and Calvin Johnson in Week 3, but we know they come with a giant blown-call asterisk. Tate has just three catches apiece in his two games, and Russell Wilson is bringing up the rear in yards per attempt. Tate is best left for those in deep leagues.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues

Watch List: Michael Floyd, T.Y. Hilton, Rod Streater, Derek Hagan, Jacoby Jones, Armon Binns

Keep an eye on Floyd’s snap count. He had 13 more snaps than Early Doucet and only 10 fewer than Andre Roberts versus the Eagles. … Hilton played half the snaps of Donnie Avery. While his Week 3 performance was excellent, it will likely go down as his best of the season. … Darrius Heyward-Bey is likely looking at a multi-week absence, but there’s no clear replacement between Streater and Hagan. … Binns saw just three targets and took advantage of a weak secondary. Hold off for now.

Hold Off: Damaris Johnson

Jeremy Maclin (hip) is expected back for Week 4, and Riley Cooper (collarbone) expects to be cleared for a return to game action.

Cut Bait: Greg Little, Dexter McCluster, Austin Collie, Stephen Hill

Coach Pat Shurmur hinted that Little’s drops could end up leading to a benching. He’s averaging just 25 yards per game. … McCluster had his arm in his sling Monday after it appeared that his elbow was dislocated during the Saints game. … Collie is done for the year. … Hill is likely to miss Week 4.


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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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