Adam Levitan

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wire: Week 9

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

There are six teams on a bye again this week, including offensive dynamos like the Broncos, Lions and 49ers. Hopefully you’ve built up some good depth on your bench by grinding the waiver wire, because the players available this week aren’t going to make the neck hairs stand up.

Speaking of the wire grind, think about the team we could have right now made up solely of waiver adds. The All Waiver Team at the midway point:

QB – Philip Rivers
RB – Knowshon Moreno
RB – Andre Ellington
WR – Terrance Williams
WR – Harry Douglas
WR – Keenan Allen
TE – Julius Thomas
FLEX – Jordan Reed
D – Kansas City
Bench – Terrelle Pryor
Bench – Zac Stacy
Bench – Danny Woodhead
Bench – Jarrett Boykin
Bench – Alshon Jeffery

Not too shabby, right? Stay on the hustle, keep churning the roster.

On to this week’s assets. Here is how I would rank the top players available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues at each position. Notes and recommendations on each player will follow below.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $300,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 9. It's $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the link.

1. Terrelle Pryor
2. Jake Locker
3. Carson Palmer
4. Case Keenum

Running backs
1. Shane Vereen
2. Andre Brown
3. Ben Tate
4. Montee Ball
5. Jonathan Stewart
6. Mike Tolbert
7. Daryl Richardson

Wide receivers
1. Darrius Heyward-Bey
2. Marvin Jones
3. Kendall Wright
4. Aaron Dobson
5. Nate Burleson
6. Lance Moore
7. Drew Davis
8. Kenny Stills

Tight Ends
1. Coby Fleener
2. Tim Wright
3. Joel Dreessen
4. Ben Watson

Defense/Special Teams
1. Raiders
2. Titans
3. Cowboys

1. Adam Vinatieri
2. Justin Tucker
3. Graham Gano

1. Terrelle Pryor, Raiders – Owned in 36 percent of Yahoo leagues
Just for a second, let’s assume Terrelle Pryor was a running back. He’s averaging 8.8 carries for 65.1 yards per game and has one touchdown. Note that there are only 13 running backs in the entire NFL averaging more rushing yards per game. Now let’s throw in the fact that despite the Week 8 clunker against a very good Pittsburgh secondary, he’s improving as a pocket passer and is still at 191.5 passing yards per day. And finally, let’s sprinkle in a home Week 9 matchup with the Eagles’ improving yet still leaky defense. We have a guy in Pryor that should be 100 percent owned, not available in 74 percent of leagues.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Jake Locker, Titans – Owned in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues
Making an early return from a hip injury in Week 7, Locker went 25-of-41 for 236 yards with two touchdowns and added three rushes for 29 yards against a very good 49ers defense. Now he’s had the bye to get healthier and gets a soft matchup against the Rams Sunday. As an excellent runner with rapidly improving pocket presence, a penchant for throwing deep and perhaps even some improved accuracy (61.8 completion percentage on the season), Locker is a solid plug-n-play for owners in need. He also has a very nice upcoming schedule: at Rams, vs. Jags, vs. Colts, at Raiders, at Colts, at Broncos, vs. Cardinals and at Jags in Week 16.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

3. Carson Palmer, Cardinals – Owned in 34 percent of Yahoo leagues
In last week’s Waiver Wired, I talked about the Cardinals’ upcoming schedule. In Week 8, we saw how much confidence a good matchup can instill in an offense. Carson Palmer had perhaps his best game of the season at home against the Falcons, going 13-of-18 for 172 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. His stats could have been much bigger if Bruce Arians wasn’t sitting on a 21-6 halftime lead. After a Week 9 bye, which Larry Fitzgerald should use to get healthier, Palmer will face the Texans, Jags, Colts, Eagles and Rams. Despite being on the verge of washed up, he’ll be a QB2 for those matchups.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

4. Case Keenum, Texans – Owned in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues
Matt Schaub (ankle) is healthy enough to play, but coach Gary Kubiak (whose job may be on the line) is going with undrafted rookie Case Keenum anyway. That should speak volumes. Keenum was extremely impressive in Week 7, going 15-of-25 for 271 yards with one touchdown and one fumble in a brutal spot at Kansas City. Note that he became the NCAA’s all-time leader in passing yards, touchdowns and completions while playing in the University of Houston’s fastbreak offense. The concern is that with a week of tape to prepare, a defense as good as the Colts’ will make adjustments to the undersized Keenum. He’s just a QB2 flier.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Watch List: Nick Foles, Ryan Tannehill, Geno Smith, Jason Campbell, Josh McCown, Chad Henne – If Foles (concussion) can get cleared, he’ll start at Oakland. Matt Barkley is brutal. It’s a decent matchup for Foles. … If the Dolphins could protect Tannehill, he’d produce far bigger numbers. But they’re incapable. … It’s been one game on, one game off for Smith all season. So inconsistent. … Campbell impressed at KC and has two special weapons. He’s on my radar. … McCown has good athleticism and a QB-friendly scheme. On the radar as well. … Henne is now averaging 265.0 passing yards per game in his five starts.

Editor’s Note: For more waiver thoughts and news from around the league, follow Adam Levitan, Rotoworld Football and our dominant News Page.

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Adam Levitan is in his seventh 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.
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