Chris Wesseling

Waiver Wired

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Championship Week Dregs

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Be thankful that your roster was strong enough to get you to championship week because there are nothing but dregs left on the waiver wire at this point in the season.

Russell Wilson is owned in just 35 percent of Yahoo leagues, but he’s already been snatched up by Rotoworld readers in any league still paying attention. The lists of running backs and wide receivers are populated by nothing more than tumbleweeds this week. 

There only a handful of reasons to use this week’s waiver wire:

1. Take a flier on Sam Bradford in a dream matchup versus the most generous pass defense in fantasy and the NFL.

2. Take a flier on perennial waiver wire disappointment Jackie Battle.

3. Take a flier on a borderline tight end such as Dennis Pitta.

4. Stream a defense in a dream matchup such as the Colts in Ricky Stanzi’s first career start.

5. Stockpile backup running backs with a shot at double-digit carries in a meaningless season finale.

 

On to the players. Here is how I rank the top players at each position as we head into Week 16. Full write-ups of each player are below.

Quarterbacks
Russell Wilson
Sam Bradford
Tim Tebow
Chad Henne
Kirk Cousins

Running Backs
Jackie Battle  
Shane Vereen
Ben Tate
Lamar Miller
Ryan Grant / DuJuan Harris
Mike Tolbert
LaMichael James
Mike Goodson

Wide Receivers
Jacoby Jones
Riley Cooper
Brandon Gibson
Greg Little
Rod Streater
DeVier Posey
Leonard Hankerson
Dwayne Harris

Tight Ends
Dennis Pitta
Tony Scheffler
Brent Celek
Ben Watson
Scott Chandler

Team Defense
Colts
Jets
Panthers
Dolphins

Quarterbacks

Russell Wilson, Seahawks - Still unowned in 65 percent of Yahoo leagues, Wilson is fantasy’s No. 2 QB over the past three weeks, trailing only Cam Newton. The rookie is fifth in points per game over the past five weeks and 14th on the season. Only Newton and RGIII have more rushing yards than Wilson’s 402. Even in a tough matchup versus the 49ers, Wilson is a borderline QB1 option this week.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

Sam Bradford, Rams - If ever there was a week to take a flier on Bradford, this is it. Coming off the best fantasy game of his career with 31.8 points on 377 yards and three touchdowns versus the Vikings, Bradford travels to Tampa to face a Bucs defense allowing the most fantasy points to opposing QBs. The Bucs have surrendered 30+ fantasy points to QBs five times this season, including the past two weeks versus Nick Foles (35.8) and Drew Brees (32.5). With Danny Amendola back in the lineup, desperate fantasy owners could do worse than Bradford this week.

Recommendation: Worth a look as a matchup play.

Tim Tebow, Jets - Coach Rex Ryan is finally expected to pull the plug on Mark Sanchez this week. It’s not known yet whether it will be Tebow or Greg McElroy under center versus the Chargers in Week 16. While fantasy owners can ignore McElroy regardless, Tebow is worth a speculative add thanks to his history of relative success in fantasy football. Considering the Jets’ dearth of surrounding talent, expectations should remain low.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Chad Henne, Jaguars - The Patriots defense has allowed 25+ fantasy points to QBs seven times this season, including Colin Kaepernick’s 29.6 points and four touchdowns in Week 15. Henne figures to have plenty of opportunity for garbage-time throws to Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon against a revenge-minded New England club.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Kirk Cousins, Redskins - Coach Mike Shanahan won’t commit to Robert Griffin III as his starter until doctors tell him there is no chance to re-injure the ligament. At this point, RGIII’s Week 16 status is in doubt. Cousins could draw a second consecutive start after burning the Browns for 329 yards and a pair of touchdowns. One sour note is that Philadelphia’s pass defense has been much improved the past two weeks since ditching Jim Washburn and the Wide-9 scheme.

 

Recommendation: Worth a look in deeper leagues.

Watch List: Nick Foles, Ryan Tannehill, Ricky Stanzi, T.J. Yates, Ryan Mallett, Luke McCown, Brock Osweiler

Foles and Tannehill remain hard to trust outside of two-quarterback leagues. … Stanzi could make his first NFL start with Brady Quinn battling a rib injury. … Yates, Mallett, McCown, and Osweiler could see extensive action in the season finale if their respective teams have nothing for which to play.


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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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