Adam Levitan

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wire: Week 10

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


TIGHT ENDS
1. Tim Wright, Bucs – Owned in 12 percent of Yahoo leagues
Regular readers of this column are sick of hearing about Wright. To quickly recap: He’s a highly athletic NCAA wideout that has been converted to a move tight end. He has tremendous rapport with Mike Glennon (30 targets over the last five weeks), as both spent tons of time with the second stringers this offseason. The Bucs are going to be trailing a lot, leading to plenty of garbage time opportunities. And Mike Williams (hamstring) is done for the year, leaving Wright with an expanded red-zone role. Over the last five games, Wright is averaging 4.6 catches for 50.6 yards and has touchdowns in back-to-back weeks. It’s not rocket science.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Joel Dreessen, Broncos – Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
The waiver wire at tight end is thin. As a matter of fact, the entire position is lacking depth and difference-makers. Therefore, we’re down to a possible plug-n-play replacement as the No. 2 add at tight end. Julius Thomas’ ankle sprain is not severe, but he did sit out practice Monday and the 7-1 Broncos certainly won’t rush him. If he sits out against the Chargers, Joel Dreessen gets the fantasy nod over Jacob Tamme because he’s the better bet for a touchdown. Note that in Week 8 – when Thomas went down – both Dreessen and Tamme logged 47 snaps.
Recommendation: Should be owned as a handcuff

3. Garrett Graham, Texans – Owned in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues
Will the Texans offense run smoother under Case Keenum? Clearly. As mentioned above, a more aggressive style is going to open things up for everyone, including Garrett Graham. In two games with Keenum, he’s turned 14 targets into seven catches for 84 yards. Graham is capable of being more productive and doing work in the red zone, where he had three touchdowns in the first four weeks.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

4. John Carlson, Vikings – Owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
Kyle Rudolph is going to miss multiple weeks – possibly 4-6 -- due to a broken foot. That leaves John Carlson in an every-down role. Yes, the same John Carlson that was signed to a $25 million contract in March of 2012 and has posted a total of 19 catches since. Rudolph was only seeing 5.7 targets per game and producing 39.1 yards per day, so owners shouldn’t expect any miracles. But Carlson is getting an opportunity, which is more than most of the waiver tight ends can say.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 14-team leagues

5. Dennis Pitta, Ravens – Owned in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues
Dennis Pitta was placed on short-term IR after fracturing and dislocating his hip on the third day of Ravens camp. We haven’t heard many details on his progress, but reports from a few weeks back suggested he could return by mid-to-late November. Well, it’s getting close to that timeframe. The Ravens are truly desperate for his skill set, a move tight end that can make the tough catches they lost when they traded away Anquan Boldin. I firmly believe Pitta would have been a top-five fantasy tight end this season if not for his injury. If you have a deep bench, there’s some low-end stash appeal.
Recommendation: Should be stashed in deep leagues with deep benches or an IL spot

Watch List: Andrew Quarless, Zach Ertz, Brandon Bostick, Scott Chandler, Kellen Winslow – Quarless was far more involved in the passing game with Seneca Wallace than he was with Aaron Rodgers. … Ertz is averaging 5.0 targets per game over the last four weeks. Nick Foles seems to dig him. … Chandler doesn’t have any upside, but he does have a whopping 20 targets over the last two weeks. E.J. Manuel is an upgrade. … Winslow is off suspension, but Jeff Cumberland should remain the starter if he’s cleared of his concussion.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS
1. Giants – Owned in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Giants will come out of a bye and face a Raiders team that has to travel all the way across the country for a 1pm ET start. That alone is enough to warrant a stream. Throw in the fact that Terrelle Pryor has one touchdown against seven interceptions in his last three games and Darren McFadden’s hamstring pull, and we have a solid stream.

2. Cardinals – Owned in 54 percent of Yahoo leagues
It’s not that the Texans offense is bad with Case Keenum under center. It’s that this Cardinals defense is really, really good. Again, this is another team that’s coming out of a bye and playing at home. They’re tied for second in the NFL in interceptions (12) and are tied for 12th in sacks (23). Daryl Washington, Patrick Peterson, Calais Campbell and Tyrann Mathieu are all big-time playmakers.

3. Dolphins – Owned in 9 percent of Yahoo leagues
We saw what Miami’s defense is capable of when they went out and embarrassed Andy Dalton to the tune of three interceptions, one pick-six and a safety last Thursday night. Cameron Wake (knee) being healthy makes such a huge difference. Now they travel to Tampa for Monday Night Football, making it an extremely long week. Mike Glennon has played relatively mistake-free of late, but he remains a rookie playing without Doug Martin (shoulder) and Mike Williams (hamstring).

4. Steelers – Owned in 30 percent of Yahoo leagues
Yes, I know the Steelers gave up a franchise record 55 points and 610 yards to the Patriots in Week 9. That’s OK. They’ll come out hungry and motivated to try to salvage their season in a home game against the Bills Sunday. In a weak week for streamers, we have to try to push some soft edges. E.J. Manuel (knee) returning after four games off is one of them.

KICKERS  
1. David Akers, Lions – Owned in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues
We’ve talked a lot about how the Bears defense is falling apart as they’ve gotten older and been decimated by injury up front. The kicking game is one place we can attack them cheaply. David Akers is 38 years old, but has two makes from 50+ this season and has gone 10-of-11 on field goals over the last six games.

2. Nick Novak, Chargers – Owned in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues
Everyone is expecting a shootout between the Broncos and Chargers Sunday. Oddsmakers have set the total at 56.6, the highest number of the week. That should mean lots of chances in perfect weather for Nick Novak, who is 15-of-17 on the season.

3. Shaun Suisham, Steelers – Owned in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Bills are giving up 26.2 points per game, ninth-most in the NFL. They’re especially bad on the road, where they’re yielding 30.0 points per day. That’s where they’ll be Sunday, when they face Shaun Suisham and a Steelers offense that has the ability to move the ball with ease.



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.
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