Adam Levitan

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Waiver Wire: Week 12

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

1. Rob Housler, Cardinals – Owned in 13 percent of Yahoo leagues
It’s taken far longer than anyone expected, but things are finally starting to click for Rob Housler. A strict pass-catching tight end that is rarely asked to block, he put up a 6/70/0 line on a season-high nine targets in Week 11. Over the last five weeks, Housler is averaging 4.4 catches for 45.2 yards and has scored one touchdown. At a thinned-out tight end position, that’s certainly serviceable. Housler faces Indy, Philly and St. Louis over the next three weeks.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

2. Delanie Walker, Titans – Owned in 21 percent of Yahoo leagues
Delanie Walker’s resurgence with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm shouldn’t come as a surprise. Fitzy loves to check the ball down with his noodle arm, and Walker runs short routes. It’s a contrast to the style of Jake Locker, who was more erratic short and tried to press the ball deeper with his big arm. Over the last two games, Walker has totaled 14 catches for 153 yards and scored twice. This week, he’ll face an Oakland defense that just got torched by Garrett Graham and then he gets to face the Colts again in Week 13.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

3. Garrett Graham, Texans – Owned in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues
Here are Garrett Graham’s stat-lines in the five games since Owen Daniels’ leg fracture: 2/25/0, 3/38/0, 4/46/0, 2/18/0, 7/136/1. Obviously, one doesn’t fit here. Graham had a monstrous Week 11, overcoming an early fumble to take over as the No. 2 option behind Andre Johnson (DeAndre Hopkins was benched for mental mistakes). The state of the position makes Graham worth a look as a low-end TE1 this week because he’s playing the Jaguars, but I’m always wary of one-week flukes when a role hasn’t changed. Also note that Daniels is tentatively expected back Week 14.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

4. John Carlson, Vikings – Owned in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues
In the two games since Kyle Rudolph’s broken foot, Carlson has totaled 12 catches for 167 yards with one touchdown on 12 targets. As noted last week, this is not some undrafted rookie without talent. Carlson was the No. 38 overall pick in the 2008 draft and was signed to a $25 million contract in 2012. If the Vikings had more stability at the quarterback spot, he’d be a more intriguing TE1 option. But as it is, he’s a desperation streamer – even against a Packers defense that’s fiving up the 11th most points to tight ends.
Recommendation: Should be owned in deeper 12-team leagues

5. Joel Dreessen, Broncos – Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
We went through this same drill last week as Julius Thomas was nursing an ankle sprain. This week, it’s a knee issue. If you saw the hit Thomas took on Sunday night, it certainly looked like the kind of play that sidelines a player for a week. For now, the Broncos are only saying he has a sprain and is “day to day.” Owners can protect themselves by adding Joel Dreessen, a lumbering kind of tight end that won’t do much after the catch. But he’d be playing with Peyton Manning, which would make him gold.
Recommendation: Should be owned as a handcuff

6. Ladarius Green, Chargers – Owned in 0 percent of Yahoo leagues
I’ve had Ladarius Green on the Watch List for a few weeks now because he’s one of those guys who  merely needs a chance. Just some more playing time, or an injury in front, and he would blow up. There simply aren’t very many people on the planet that go 6’6/238 and have 4.4 wheels. Well, the Chargers are finally starting to get the message as Green has played on 42-of-140 snaps (30.0 percent) over the last two weeks. And in Week 11, he set career-highs with four catches for 81 yards. It should be enough for the Chargers to run some more “12” personnel featuring Antonio Gates as an in-line tight end and Green in the flex spot.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

Watch List: Fred Davis, Mychal Rivera, Brandon Bostick – I suspect Davis will dress and start if Jordan Reed (concussion) can’t get cleared. … Rivera might have something going with McGloin. Keep tabs on it. … Bostick is sharing the tight end routes with Andrew Quarless.

1. Saints – Owned in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues
There’s a lot working favor of the Saints defense. First off, they’re facing an Atlanta team that is playing musical chairs along their offensive line due to ineptitude. Steven Jackson is running with a fork in his back. Matt Ryan has no downfield weapons and has been picked off nine times in the last four games. Second, the game is on Thursday night and we know how that typically favors the defensive side of the ball. And finally, Rob Ryan’s unit is actually playing good ball. They’re seventh in the league in sacks and fifth in scoring defense (18.3 points allowed per game).

2. Packers – Owned in 53 percent of Yahoo leagues
At 5-5 and on a three-game losing streak, Green Bay’s season is on the brink. If they’re not flying around the field like wild beasts in a home game against the Vikings on Sunday, they don’t have blood in their veins. The Vikings quarterback controversy between Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel is laughable, and Adrian Peterson (groin) is not near 100 percent.

3. Raiders – Owned in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Raiders are 17th in yards allowed per game (350.3) and 20th in points allowed per game (24.6). But when I get a chance to bet against Ryan Fitzpatrick on the road, I do it. In his career, Fitzmagic has a 52:38 TD-to-INT ratio at home and 45:47 mark on the road. Also, outside of the Nick Foles seven-touchdown massacre, Oakland’s defense has played well at home. They’ve held the Jags, Redskins, Chargers and Steelers to just 17.0 points per game.

4. Lions – Owned in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues
I’m well aware that Mike Glennon has thrown just one interception in his last five games and Bobby Rainey is making Bucs fans forget about Doug Martin. But this is still a team that generated just 18.6 points per game in the first six starts of Glennon’s career. Going to Ford Field to face a defense that just got humiliated by Ben Roethlisberger won’t be easy.

1. Dan Bailey, Cowboys – Owned in 49 percent of Yahoo leagues
The only reason Dan Bailey is available in so many leagues is because the Cowboys are coming out of a bye. He’s clearly been a top-10 kicking option this season, knocking in four field goals from 50-plus (only Graham Gano has more) and going 17-of-19 overall. The spot is fine this week as the Cowboys travel to face the Giants.

2. David Akers, Lions – Owned in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues
David Akers is in a dome, at home, playing for the league’s No. 4 offense and facing the Bucs. The only thing that can go wrong here is more fake field goal calls from Jim Schwartz.

3. Robbie Gould, Bears – Owned in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues
Kicking in a dome is ideal, and that’s where Robbie Gould will be this week as the Bears travel to St. Louis. The offense moves just fine with Josh McCown and Gould has at least two field goals in five straight games.

4. Ryan Succop, Chiefs – Owned in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues
A conservative offense like the Chiefs have often leads to field goal opportunities. That’s been true in the case of Ryan Succop, who is tied for 11th in attempts with 22 and is 5-of-5 from 40-49 yards out. This week, KC faces a Chargers defense that everyone moves the ball on – and they’re at home.

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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