Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Stash 'em if You Got 'em

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


Welcome to yet another week of lackluster waiver options. There are no strong quarterbacks out there, the running backs are mired in draining committee attacks, and the available wide receivers have been hit-or-miss all season. 


It’s a good week to see if potential fantasy starters for the fantasy playoffs may have been dropped due to injuries. Beanie Wells, Cedric Benson, Greg Jennings, Pierre Garcon, and Danny Amendola are all worth rostering. 

Wells (turf toe) remains on track to return from I.R. in Week 12 while Benson (Lisfranc sprain) is eligible in Week 14. La’Rod Stephens-Howling is nobody’s idea of a feature back and will return to a third-down role once Wells is back. Beanie has fine matchups versus the Rams and Jets in Weeks 12-13, but the schedule gets more harrowing in Weeks 14-16 against the Lions, Bears and 49ers.

The Packers finally got production from their backfield in Week 9, going with James Starks on early downs and Alex Green in passing situations. He told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he’s optimistic about returning to practice soon, so it appears that he has a chance to be healthy for the fantasy playoffs. Benson faces more playing time concerns and a later return date than Wells. He has tough matchups in Weeks 14-15 versus the Lions and Bears, but draws a pushover Titans defense in Week 16.

Amendola (clavicle) insists he “absolutely” will return this week, and the Rams website agrees that he “looks poised” to do so. We addressed Amendola’s outlook last week. He should immediately resume the role of Sam Bradford’s go-to receiver versus the 49ers this week.

Jennings was dropped in quite a few 10-team leagues after undergoing core muscle injury surgery last week. Coach Mike McCarthy expects him to miss a minimum of a couple of weeks, putting his return at Week 12 in a best-case scenario. Although Jennings could be eased back into the wide receiver mix with Randall Cobb and James Jones excelling, he remains worthy of a roster stash in all leagues. There’s no telling how the depth chart will shake out by Week 16 in a juicy matchup versus the Titans.

The Redskins hope to get Garcon (foot) back after the Week 10 bye, but he could be shut down for the season if he doesn’t show improvement. He was unable to run at full speed as recently as a week ago. Of all players listed above, Garcon’s injury is the biggest question mark. Unless he takes a turn for the better in the next few days, he’s not going to be worthy of a roster spot. 

On the players. Here is how I rank the top players at each position as we head into Week 10. Full write-ups of each player are below.

Quarterbacks
Jake Locker
Ryan Fitzpatrick 
Ryan Tannehill 
Blaine Gabbert
Kevin Kolb

Running Backs
Vick Ballard 
James Starks
Marcel Reece 
Isaac Redman 
Joique Bell
Jacquizz Rodgers 
Shane Vereen / Danny Woodhead 
Mark Ingram / Chris Ivory
Lance Dunbar

Wide Receivers
T.Y. Hilton 
Darrius Heyward-Bey
Danario Alexander
Ryan Broyles

Emmanuel Sanders

Michael Floyd
Golden Tate
Davone Bess 
Andrew Hawkins

Tight Ends
Dustin Keller 
Brandon Myers
Dwayne Allen
Scott Chandler 
Rob Housler

Team Defense
Steelers 
Dolphins 
Pats 

Quarterbacks

Jake Locker, Titans - Reports surfaced that Locker is “nearly healed” one day after Matt Hasselbeck struggled to move the ball in an embarrassing loss to the Bears. Coincidence? We think not. Coach Mike Munchak left the door open for Locker to start at Miami in Week 10. At the very least, Locker should be under center at Jacksonville in Week 12 after the bye. Locker averaged 20 fantasy points per game in three starts before the shoulder injury.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills - Fitzpatrick is risky matchup play, as he’s gone three of the past four games without a touchdown in a run-heavy offense. The last time he played the Patriots, though, the Amish Rifle tossed four touchdowns on top of 350 yards. Aqib Talib is serving the last week of his suspension, so New England doesn’t have their secondary reinforcements in place just yet. 

Recommendation: Worth a look as a matchup play. 

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins - Although he’s been overshadowed by RGIII and Andrew Luck, Tannehill’s poise and pre-snap reads have been preternatural for a rookie. Throwing out the game he didn’t finish due to injury, Tannehill is averaging 282 passing yards in his last four starts. Touchdowns have been elusive, but that should change against Tennessee’s league worst (34.2 points per game) defense in Week 10.

Recommendation: Worth a look as a matchup play.

Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars - Gabbert is 16th in fantasy points over the past three weeks and now has his deepest wide receiver corps to date with a healthy Laurent Robinson joining Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon. In his latest sign of progress, Gabbert managed to top 200 yards in back-to-back games for the first time in his young career. Three of his past five games have produced the three highest completion percentages of his 22 career starts. Gabbert is averaging 19 fantasy points per over the past two games.  

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues. 

Kevin Kolb, Cardinals - Arizona is 4-1 in games finished by Kolb and winless in four games with Skelton closing out or going the distance. There’s little doubt that Kolb (shoulder, ribs) will regain the starting job once he’s healthy. Entering the Week 10 bye, coach Ken Whisenhunt stated that he anticipates Kolb returning “sooner rather than later.” Kolb had averaged a respectable 20 fantasy points per game as the starter from Weeks 2-6.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Watch List: Nick Foles, Joe Webb

Coach Andy Reid confirmed after Monday’s loss that Michael Vick will remain the quarterback. Once the Eagles are mathematically eliminated, though, Reid could opt to give the rookie a look. Foles’ fantasy upside is limited behind Philly’s turnstile offensive line. … Coach Leslie Frazier gave Christian Ponder a vote of confidence, but he may have to turn to Webb in the next couple of weeks if the passing game keeps holding the offense hostage.

Cut Bait: Christian Ponder

Ponder managed just 27 yards in the air to his receivers at Seattle. 


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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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