Adam Levitan

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Waiver Wire: Week 12

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It’s time to start thinking long and hard about schedules.

As we approach Week 12, the playoffs are on the horizon and it’s become very clear cut which aspects of the game defenses excel at. We don’t want quarterbacks and receivers against the Seahawks, for example. We do want quarterbacks and receivers facing the Lions, Redskins and Cowboys. Plan ahead when making your adds.

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.

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

Running backs
1. Bobby Rainey
2. Donald Brown
3. Chris Ogbonnaya
4. Montee Ball
5. Toby Gerhart

Wide receivers
1. Rishard Matthews
2. Nate Burleson
3. Miles Austin
4. Michael Crabtree
5. Rod Streater
6. Marquise Goodwin

Tight Ends
1. Rob Housler
2. Delanie Walker
3. Garrett Graham
4. John Carlson
5. Joel Dreessen
6. Ladarius Green

Defense/Special Teams
1. Saints
2. Packers
3. Raiders
4. Lions

1. Dan Bailey
2. David Akers
3. Robbie Gould
4. Ryan Succop

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $300,000 Fantasy Football league for Week 12. It's $25 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts Sunday at 1pm ET. Here's the link.

1. Josh McCown, Bears – Owned in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues
Jay Cutler has already been ruled out for Week 12 and is wearing a hard cast on his left ankle/leg. It suggests he’ll almost certainly miss Week 13 as well and can’t be counted on for Week 14 either. “We’re gonna be very, very careful,” said coach Marc Trestman. One of the reasons Trestman can be so careful is because of the play of McCown. Through four appearances this season, he’s completed 61-of-101 passes for 754 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. Even against a very good Ravens defense in miserable weather Week 11, he threw for 216 yards with a score. Now McCown gets to face the Rams in Week 12, Vikings in Week 13 and Cowboys in Week 14 if Cutler isn’t back.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

2. Case Keenum, Texans – Owned in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues
Gary Kubiak made a mistake by yanking Case Keenum in favor of Matt Schaub during the third quarter of last week’s loss to the Raiders. He admitted as much when he named Keenum his Week 12 starter. And even though the shine is beginning to wear off on this “local boy done good” story, the matchup this week is what we’re latching onto. The Texans will host a Jaguars team that has the No. 29 yardage defense, No. 31 scoring defense and No. 24 pass defense. After the Texans face the Patriots in Week 13, they’ll go to Jacksonville for a rematch in Week 14 – the first week of the fantasy playoffs in many leagues. Kubiak is highly unlikely to turn back to Schaub at any point going forward.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

3. Carson Palmer, Cardinals – Owned in 34 percent of Yahoo leagues
Carson Palmer has been atrocious against the Saints, Bucs, Panthers, 49ers and Seahawks. But in the other five games this season, he’s completed 111-of-171 passes (64.9 percent) for 1,407 yards (281.4 per game) with nine touchdowns against four interceptions. It’s obvious that he’s a shell of himself, but he can still win in against inferior opponents. Palmer gets the Colts No. 16 pass defense this week, then the Eagles (31) and Rams (14). Just be sure you have a different option at the ready for the fantasy playoffs, as Arizona faces Tennessee’s elite corner duo in Week 15 and the Legion of Boom in Week 16. Both are on the road.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

4. Scott Tolzien, Packers – Owned in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues
Scott Tolzien has performed far better than his numbers show (one TD, five INTs) through two games. More than just a check-down and quick slant guy, he’s averaging a healthy 12.8 yards per completion. It makes him a better fantasy bet than someone like Alex Smith, who is averaging just 10.2 yards per completion and 214.9 yards per game. Tolzien will start again in Week 12, this time with the best matchup he’s seen yet. He gets a Vikings secondary that ranks 29th in the league, and gets them at Lambeau. Just note that Aaron Rodgers could be back for Week 13.
Recommendation: Should be owned as a possible plug-n-play

Watch List: Mike Glennon, Jay Cutler, Jason Campbell, E.J. Manuel, Ryan Tannehill, Matt McGloin – The Lions give up tons of yardage to opposing pass offenses, making Glennon worth a look as a desperation spot-starter. … Cutler is worth stashing if you need a QB just in case he plays in Week 14 (vs. DAL) and Week 16 (at PHL). … Campbell won’t be a good play against Pittsburgh this week, but he gets the Jags in Week 13 and the Bears in Week 15. … The up-and-down Manuel was up against the Jets. He’ll face the disintegrating Falcons after the bye. … Tannehill has a god-awful schedule, a woeful offensive line and zero chemistry with his No. 1 wideout. … McGloin is likely to hold off Terrelle Pryor and get the nod for Week 12, but he’ll likely crash to earth against the Titans.    

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 the running backs, wideouts, tight ends, kickers and defenses.

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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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