Adam Levitan

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wire: Week 4

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


TIGHT ENDS
1. Heath Miller, Steelers – Owned in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues
Heath Miller is doing his best Adrian Peterson impersonation. Just nine months after tearing his ACL, MCL and PCL, Miller returned to the field on Sunday night and immediately made an impact for the Steelers. His snaps were intentionally limited (39-of-66), but he posted an encouraging 3/35/0 line on four targets and also handled himself well as a blocker. If Miller can truly get back to 100 percent, he’ll be playing every snap just like he did last year, serving as a security blanket for Ben Roethlisberger. Remember that in 2012, Miller posted 71 catches for 816 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games. He’s not sexy, but few of the TE2s on waivers are.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

2. Coby Fleener, Colts – Owned in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues
Let’s throw out Coby Fleener’s 2/13/0 line on two targets from Week 3. The Colts were surprisingly able to run the ball at San Francisco, leading to just 27 pass attempts for Andrew Luck. Fleener still played on 49 snaps, Dwayne Allen (hip) is still out for the season and Fleener remains a seam-pusher for offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton. Nothing has changed since last week when I talked up Fleener here.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

3. Charles Clay, Dolphins – Owned in 28 percent of Yahoo leagues
Week 3 was another typical day at the office for Clay. He played on 82.1 percent of the snaps, earned six targets in the pass game and caught four balls for 40 yards. Here’s the target distribution in Miami through three games: Brian Hartline 29, Mike Wallace 21, Brandon Gibson 20, Charles Clay 19. Yes, Clay only has two fewer targets than 60 Minutes. He also leads the team in YAC with 95 yards, proving his underrated speed.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues
 
4. Scott Chandler, Bills – Owned in 5 percent of Yahoo leagues
Here’s another burly, slowish tight end coming off a Week 16 ACL tear. Just like Heath Miller, Scott Chandler has made his way back into the field surprisingly fast. And through three weeks, Chandler has actually been a big part of the offense. He’s played on 208-of-227 snaps (91.6 percent) and is tied for second on the team in targets with 18. Chandler busted out with a 5/79/1 line against the Jets and we can expect more comeback mode chances going forward. The Bills face the Ravens, Browns, Bengals, Dolphins, Saints and Chiefs over the next six weeks. Those teams have a combined record of 14-4.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

5. Brandon Pettigrew, Lions – Owned in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues
Some of the underneath targets that Nate Burleson would have received will go to Brandon Pettigrew. The problem is that he’s proven he won’t do much with them. Pettigrew has caught 4.13 passes per game in his five-year NFL career, but has averaged just 9.9 YPC and scored a grand total of 14 touchdowns. He’s a “catch it and go down” kind of guy. That’s only useful in deep PPR formats.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team PPR leagues

6. Rob Housler, Cardinals – Owned in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues
A popular sleeper tight end in some circles, Rob Housler missed the first two weeks of the season due to a high ankle sprain. He returned in Week 3, catching one pass for 13 yards on three targets while playing on 39-of-58 snaps (67.2 percent). Although Housler has serious pass-catching chops, Bruce Arians’ history of not using tight ends as receivers is concerning. And given the Cardinals offensive line issues, the tight end spot will be needed to block a ton.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 16-team leagues

Watch list: Brent Celek, Jordan Reed, Lardarius Green – Celek continues to play just about every down and run a ton of routes. He’s going to have some productive games with that usage. … Reed would have been third on this list if he didn’t hurt his quad during Week 3. The rookie was getting ready to leave Fred Davis in the dust. … Lardarius Green is Antonio Gates backup, but he’s a really talented dude. Green will be a strong add if Gates gets hurt.

Cut Bait: Delanie Walker, Garrett Graham, Vance McDonald, Ed Dickson – Walker was spotted with a walking boot on his left foot Monday. … Graham didn’t even see a target in Week 3 as he nurses a groin injury. Those big lines in Weeks 1 and 2 were flukes anyway. … Even with Vernon Davis (hamstring) sidelined, McDonald managed a meager 1/6/0 line on three targets. … Dickson has gone two straight weeks without a catch.  

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS
1. Titans – Owned in 26 percent of Yahoo leagues
We’ve seen the Titans defense go to Pittsburgh in Week 1 and give up just seven points. We saw them hold the Chargers to 277 total yards in a Week 3 win. Now they’ll play at home again, this time against rookie quarterback Geno Smith and the Jets, who are coming off a hard-fought win over the Bills. Smith has thrown six interceptions and fumbled once through three games.
 
2. Chiefs – Owned in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues
It’s way past time to take this Chiefs unit seriously. Justin Houston leads the NFL in sacks with 7.5, Dontari Poe has turned into a dominator in the middle and Eric Berry is excelling as a cover safety. We know Tamba Hali, Brandon Flowers and Derrick Johnson are going to do their thing. The Giants’ offense will almost certainly bounce back off their humiliating Week 3 loss at Carolina, but protecting Eli Manning will be an issue. His eight interceptions lead the league.

3. Colts – Owned in 6 percent of Yahoo leagues
This isn’t a great spot for the Colts in general. They’re coming off an emotional, impressive road win at San Francisco and now have to go to woeful Jacksonville. It’s a standard let-down spot. Still, the Jags offense is bad enough that the Colts can sleep through the first couple quarters and then wake up in time to make plays. They’re only giving up 14.6 points per game on the season.

KICKERS
1. Robbie Gould, Bears – Owned in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues
Robbie Gould has long been one of the game’s most accurate and strong-legged kickers, but his fantasy appeal was thwarted by an uneven offensive attack. Not anymore. With quarterback whisperer Marc Trestman in town, Jay Cutler is completing a career-high 67.3 percent of his passes and the Bears are scoring 31.7 points per game. Gould will be kicking in a dome against the Lions weak secondary in Week 4.

2. Caleb Sturgis, Dolphins – Owned in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues
I had Caleb Sturgis in this space last week and he rewarded us with a make from 46 yards out and another from 50. He’s now 6-of-6 on the season, including 5-of-5 from 40-plus. Sturgis will have a good look at some more bombs at New Orleans on Monday night. The game is in a dome and the Dolphins shouldn’t have trouble moving the ball.  

3. Steven Hauschka, Seahawks – Owned in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues
While kicking for Seattle from 2011-12, Steven Hauschka averaged 113.5 points per season and totaled eight makes from 50+ yards out. This year, he’s on pace for 128 points – a sign that the Seahawks offense is maturing under Russell Wilson. More chances, more points. Hauschka will have plus conditions at Houston in Week 4 and at Indy in Week 5.  



Adam Levitan is in his fifth 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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