Adam Levitan

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wired Debut!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

1. Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings – Owned in 34 percent of Yahoo leagues
In certain instances, there’s enough talent to stash a player that lacks a real role. We did it with Randall Cobb last year and we should do it with Cordarrelle Patterson this year. In terms of athletic ability, he might be the No. 1 rookie. The Vikings are going to use him as a backup receiver and kick returner to start, manufacturing him some touches from scrimmage on screens and reverses. But Patterson has shown enough comfort in the playbook and enough improvement in his route-running to suggest that he’ll pass Jerome Simpson for the starting X job sooner rather than later. That’s when the real party will start.
Recommendation: Should be stashed in all 12-team leagues

2. Andre Roberts, Cardinals – Owned in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues
T.Y. Hilton was Bruce Arians’ No. 3 wideout last year. He recorded a 50/861/7 line, good for a top-24 fantasy finish at wide receiver. Arians’ No. 3 wideout this year will be Andre Roberts, an underrated slot man that will play between Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. Given the state of the Cardinals’ running backs and offensive line, expect them to be using a three-wide set very often this season. Roberts reminds a little of a poor man’s Antonio Brown, another one of Arians’ former No. 3 wideouts.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

3. Santonio Holmes, Jets – Owned in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues
If you didn’t follow the offseason saga surrounding Santonio Holmes’ Lisfranc rehab, consider yourself lucky. It was a drama-filled comedy filled with uncertainty and jabs with the Jets’ front office over how hard he’s really trying to get back. The latest twist is that Holmes is practicing and is expected to play Week 1. He’d step right in as the No. 1 receiver, but there are plenty of red flags here. He’s coming off a severe foot injury, has one of the league’s worst quarterback situations and hasn’t been productive as a member of the Jets anyway (52.2 yards per game). Still, Holmes is a top-tier talent and playmaker (15 touchdowns in his last 32 games).
Recommendation: Worth stashing in 12-team leagues

4. Kenny Stills, Saints – Owned in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Saints expected second-year man Joe Morgan to be their No. 3 wideout this year. That plan went in the toilet when Morgan ripped up his knee in an early-camp intrasquad scrimmage. Enter Kenny Stills, a slightly built (6’0/194) yet exceptionally fast (4.38) fifth-round rookie. Nick Toon is not a threat as he’s Marques Colston’s backup on the inside. In four preseason games, Still recorded nine catches for 170 yards (18.9 YPC) with two touchdowns. Given the state of the Saints’ leaky defense and Drew Brees’ status as an elite deep thrower, Stills should see significant targets despite being behind Jimmy Graham, Colston, Lance Moore and Darren Sproles on the receiving totem pole.
Recommendation: Worth owning in deeper 12-team leagues

5. Quinton Patton, 49ers – Owned in 8 percent of Yahoo leagues
Ever since Michael Crabtree’s Achilles’ tear, the No. 2 receiver spot in San Francisco has been wide open. A.J. Jenkins was so bad he got traded, Mario Manningham (knee) is on PUP, Kyle Williams (hamstring) missed the entire preseason and Vernon Davis remains a move tight end. During the preseason, Marlon Moore was the starting X receiver opposite Anquan Boldin. But he’s a former undrafted free agent journeyman, while Quinton Patton is a fourth-round rookie that the Niners appear high on. Patton finished the preseason with a 6/85/2 line despite playing just 46 snaps across two games. He won’t have a problem passing up Moore.
Recommendation: Worth stashing in deeper 12-team leagues.  

6. Nate Washington, Titans – Owned in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues
Despite trade rumors, young draft picks (Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter) and a 30-year-old body, Washington keeps worming his way into the starting lineup. He continued to run opposite Kenny Britt in all two-wide sets during the preseason, racking up a 10/131/1 line on just 77 snaps. Washington led the Titans with 746 yards and four touchdowns last year – it wouldn’t be a surprise if he puts up similar numbers in 2013.
Recommendation: Worth holding in deeper 12-team leagues

7. Marlon Brown, Ravens – Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
Much like the Niners, the Ravens are in search of someone to emerge at their No. 2 wideout spot. And Baltimore is even more desperate because they lost their pass-catching tight end, Dennis Pitta, to a hip injury. Return man Jacoby Jones is not a natural receiver and won’t be long for the job. Enter Marlon Brown, a rookie that went undrafted in April because he tore his ACL in November of last season. It should surprise no one if he earns a look at starting reps at some point very soon.
Recommendation: Worth a stash in 14-team leagues

8. Markus Wheaton, Steelers – Owned in 8 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Steelers always seem to find steals at the wideout position in the middle rounds of the draft. They got Mike Wallace in the third round, Antonio Brown in the sixth and Emmanuel Sanders in the third. Third-round rookie Markus Wheaton has drawn comparisons to another former third-rounder, Hines Ward. He’s tough, can play all over the field and knows how to get open. He opened eyes with nine catches, 139 yards and a touchdown this preseason – but operated mostly with the backups. Wheaton has to pass Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery on the depth chart to get on the WR3/flex radar.
Recommendation: Worth a stash in 14-team leagues

Watch list: Patrick Edwards, Eddie Royal, Marlon Moore, Rod Streater, Jeremy Kerley, Riley Cooper, Julian Edelman

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Adam Levitan is in his sixth season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
Email :Adam Levitan

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