Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Examining Waiver Priority

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

In typical 12-team fantasy leagues, there is no Andre Brown, Dennis Pitta or Martellus Bennett plug-and-play starter available this week.

While there are plenty of young QB2 options in shallower leagues with Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton and Jake Locker available, the window on running-back value closed with the injury updates on Monday. Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller and Reggie Bush got better news than expected, and the backfields of the Broncos and Jets are cloudy at best.

At wide receiver, Leonard Hankerson and Donnie Avery should be rostered but are hardly burgeoning fantasy stars. The tight end picture is fine in shallow leagues with Kyle Rudolph, Heath Miller and perhaps Fred Davis available, but the pickings are slim in most formats.

If your league is one that uses a Waiver Priority system, it’s a good week to stand on the sidelines and let another owner fall behind you in the order for the coming bye-week crunch.  

On to the players. Here is how I rank the top players at each position as we head into Week 4. Full write-ups of each player are below.

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Christian Ponder
Andy Dalton
Jake Locker
Shaun Hill
Kevin Kolb

Running Backs
Ryan Williams
Jacquizz Rodgers
Lamar Miller
Daniel Thomas
Ronnie Hillman
Bilal Powell
Tashard Choice
Lance Ball

Wide Receivers
Leonard Hankerson
Donnie Avery
Jerome Simpson
Ramses Barden
Jon Baldwin
Andrew Hawkins
Alshon Jeffery
Golden Tate

Tight Ends
Kyle Rudolph
Fred Davis
Heath Miller
Dustin Keller

Team Defense


Christian Ponder, Vikings - Outside of Matt Ryan and perhaps Robert Griffin III or Ben Roethlisberger, Ponder has played as well as any quarterback in the league in September. Lacking a true vertical threat, though, Ponder is just 14th in fantasy points. With Jerome Simpson due back from suspension this week, Ponder’s fantasy arrow is pointing up. This offense is more dangerous than commonly believed and Ponder is proving to be a high-end QB2 option.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Jake Locker, Titans - Bouncing back with his second strong game in three outings, Locker exploded for 378 yards and 30 fantasy points in Week 3. There will be inconsistency because Locker doesn’t always play under control, but his upside is QB1 territory with Kenny Britt returning to form. Britt was inches away from a breakout game versus the Lions. With the Titans’ passing-game talent and running-game struggles, Locker should be owned in more than 38 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Andy Dalton, Bengals - We recommended bailing on Dalton after a disappointing Week 1 performance, but he’s now cleared 300 yards with three scores apiece in each of his past two games. The Bengals offensive line has protected better than expected, and Andrew Hawkins and Armon Binns have stepped up as legit options beyond A.J. Green. Dalton is owned in only half of Yahoo leagues. That number should be higher for the No. 7 fantasy quarterback.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

Shaun Hill, Lions - Coach Jim Schwartz revealed only that a decision would be made on Matthew Stafford’s (hamstring) status by Friday. CBS Sports reported the Lions are “unsure” of Stafford’s availability versus the Vikings, although Profootballtalk hears the “expectation is that he should be OK.” Stafford owners can protect themselves from a game-time decision by picking up his reliable backup. Hill threw for 16 touchdowns and averaged 260 yards per game in 10 starts as an injury fill-in two years ago.

Recommendation: Worth a look as an injury fill-in.

Kevin Kolb, Cardinals - John Skelton admitted that his ankle is still two weeks from being game-ready, but it doesn’t matter at this point. With vastly improved pocket presence in back-to-back wins versus the Pats and Eagles, Kolb finally has a relatively firm grip on the starting job. He would have cleared the 300-yard mark in Week 3 had Andre Roberts’ 79-yard pass play not been called back on a holding penalty. The shaky offensive line will continue to lead to inconsistency, but Kolb has earned a roster spot in the deepest of fantasy leagues.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Cut Bait: Josh Freeman, Blaine Gabbert, Russell Wilson

Freeman is coming off the worst game of his career, and the Bucs play-calling and scheme lack creativity. … Gabbert has had back-to-back debacles after a promising opener. … Wilson is 32nd in the league in yards per attempt.

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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
Email :Chris Wesseling

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