Adam Levitan

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wire: Week 11

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Depth is not what we need at this time of year. Two teams are on a bye this week (Dallas, St. Louis) and four teams are off in Week 12 (Buffalo, Cincy, Philadelphia, Seattle). After that, it’s all full slates the rest of the way as we careen toward the fantasy playoffs.

What we do need at this time of year is wins. We can cut low-upside hangers-on in favor of one-week plug-n-plays. If our starting lineup is in good shape, the best stashes are handcuffs and then lottery tickets that are one injury away from difference-making status.

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 11. It's $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the link.

1. Case Keenum
2. Josh McCown
3. Carson Palmer
4. Scott Tolzien

Running backs
1. Andre Brown
2. Shane Vereen
3. Rashad Jennings
4. Brian Leonard
5. Bernard Pierce
6. Bobby Rainey
7. Dennis Johnson
8. Shonn Greene
9. Mark Ingram
* Chris Ivory is owned in 54 percent of Yahoo leagues. If available, he’d be my No. 2 add at RB.

Wide receivers
1. Riley Cooper
2. Rishard Matthews
3. Nate Burleson
4. Andre Roberts
5. Jarrett Boykin
6. Mike Brown
7. Mario Manningham
*Aaron Dobson is owned in 55 percent of Yahoo leagues. If available, he’d be my No. 1 add at WR.

Tight Ends
1. Tyler Eifert
2. John Carlson
3. Rob Housler
4. Vance McDonald
5. Levine Toilolo

Defense/Special Teams
1. Texans
2. Jets
3. Saints
4. Giants

1. Nick Folk
2. Shaun Suisham
3. Ryan Succop
4. Alex Henery


1. Case Keenum, Texans – Owned in 29 percent of Yahoo leagues
Case Keenum has now played in three NFL games. He has a poor 55.9 completion percentage, but a strong 14.4 yards per completion rate and 7:0 TD-to-INT ratio. They are the numbers of a young quarterback playing a streetball kind of style, and that can pay big dividends in fantasy. Keenum’s ability to hit a very good Cardinals defense for three scores on the road speaks volumes and suggests he’ll light up the Raiders at home this week. After that, he’ll face Jacksonville. There aren’t many better plug-n-plays out there.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

2. Josh McCown, Bears – Owned in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues
Jay Cutler has a high-ankle sprain and has already been ruled out for Week 11. It suggests he’s going to miss at least a few weeks. Backup Josh McCown has been very impressive in three appearances this season (two relief and one start), completing 42-of-70 passes (60.0 percent) for 538 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s certainly capable, but it’s the system that makes me think he can sustain this level of play. The Bears are committed to protecting the quarterback, Marc Trestman schemes guys to get open and Brandon Marshall/Alshon Jeffery are elite. McCown won’t be a good stream against the Ravens this week, but he gets the Rams in Week 12, the Vikings in Week 13 and the Cowboys in Week 14 (if Cutler isn’t back yet).
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

3. Carson Palmer, Cardinals – Owned in 28 percent of Yahoo leagues
We’ve discussed Carson Palmer’s immobility, punctured arm and poor offensive line plenty. But as he’s shown over the last couple weeks, he can put up numbers in the right matchups. And over the next five weeks, he gets the following schedule: at JAX, vs. IND, at PHL, vs. STL, at TEN. That’s what we call a cupcake. Palmer isn’t capable of explosive days anymore, but he has a 100 percent Larry Fitzgerald, Bruce Arians and these plus matchups in his corner.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

4. Scott Tolzien, Packers – Owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
Filling in for Aaron Rodgers in Week 15 of the 2010 season, Matt Flynn threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns against the Patriots. He did it again in Week 17 of 2012, lighting up the Lions for 480 yards and six scores. And as we’ve seen since then, Flynn is a borderline NFL quarterback. So what can Scott Tolzien do with a couple week stint in the Packers scheme? He looked capable of doing Flynn-like things in relief of Seneca Wallace against the Eagles while throwing for 280 yards and a score. Tolzien gets plus matchups against the Giants and Vikings before Rodgers is expected back.
Recommendation: Should be owned in two-quarterback leagues

Watch List: Jason Campbell, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Geno Smith – Campbell’s ribs are fine as he comes out of the bye. He faces a ravaged Bengals defense this week. … Jake Locker is done for the year, leaving Fitzmagic with some low-upside QB2 appeal. … Geno Smith comes out of the bye as well and gets a good matchup against the Bills.   

Editor’s Note: For more waiver thoughts and news from around the league, follow Adam Levitan, Rotoworld Football and our dominant News Page. Keep reading for notes on running backs, wideouts, tight ends, defenses and kickers.

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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.
Email :Adam Levitan

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