Adam Levitan

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wire: Week 13

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

1. Ladarius Green, Chargers – Owned in 1 percent of Yahoo leagues
The “Free Ladarius Green” movement is on. A true athletic freak who runs a 4.4 at 6’6/238, Green is forcing the Chargers coaches to see the light. Over the last three weeks, he’s played on 72-of-212 snaps – a reasonable 33.9 percent. That includes a career-high 30 snaps and 41.6 percent in the Week 12 wild win at Kansas City. With snaps will come production. Green has seven catches for 161 yards with one touchdown over the last two games and also had a 35-yard catch called back by a bogus ineligible receiver penalty. It’s rare that No. 2 tight ends get on the borderline TE1 radar, but that’s the case with Green. Even Antonio Gates sees the torch being passed.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

2. Rob Housler, Cardinals – Owned in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues
Nothing has changed with Housler over the last month. He continues to play roughly 60 percent of the snaps, operating as a strict pass catcher for a hot Carson Palmer. Housler had a quiet 4/51/0 line against the Colts in Week 12, but it could have been more if the Cards needed him. He now has at least four catches and 50 yards in five of his last six games and gets the Eagles’ league-worst pass defense Sunday.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

3. Tim Wright, Bucs – Owned in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues
Tim Wright has gone from Waiver Wire darling to alleged bust and back again. The important aspect to note is that his role never changed. Wright didn’t produce in the box score during Weeks 10 and 11 because the Bucs were rolling. Mike Glennon didn’t need his primary pass-catching tight end. Against the Lions, Wright got loose for an 8/75/0 line and Tampa lost TE Tom Crabtree to a season-ending biceps injury. Wright has a tough matchup at Carolina this week, but there’s an opportunity for garbage-time stats – a spot he’s previously excelled in. Remember, this is an NCAA wideout turned tight end with excellent athletic skills. It gives us upside that the plodding tight ends don’t have.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

4. Dennis Pitta, Ravens – Owned in 3 percent of Yahoo leagues
Dennis Pitta finally practiced last week for the first time since July surgery to repair his dislocated hip. It’s a serious injury, one that the Ravens will be cautious with. The earliest Pitta will be back in action will be Week 14 and if that happens he’ll likely be on a snap count. But the reason Pitta is worth a speculative stash in deep formats is because of his upside. I mean, a washed up Dallas Clark and an inept Ed Dickson have combined for 78 targets already this year. Pitta would have been a serious candidate for 80 catches as Joe Flacco’s top possession receiver if he had been healthy. In a best-case scenario, owners will watch Pitta put something in the box score Week 14 and then unleash him in Week 15 (at Detroit).
Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues

5. Jacob Tamme, Broncos – Owned in 2 percent of Yahoo leagues
With Julius Thomas (knee) sidelined on Sunday night, Jacob Tamme posted a 5/47/1 line on five targets while playing 30 snaps. Virgil Green had 1/3/0 on one target and 56 snaps. Joel Dreessen surprisingly airballed with one target and five snaps. So it’s pretty clear who the Broncos see as their backup at the move tight end spot. Thomas is fully expected to play in Week 13, but his owners won’t find many better options on the wire than Tamme. When Thomas suits up, you play him. If he sits, Tamme is a fine back-end TE1.
Recommendation: Should be owned as a Julius Thomas handcuff

Watch List: John Carlson, Owen Daniels, Garrett Graham – Carlson is averaging 4.7 catches for 56.6 yards with one TD since the Kyle Rudolph injury. It’s a reasonable expectation. … Daniels (leg) is still targeting a Week 14 return. Until then, Graham will be a desperation TE2.

1. Browns – Owned in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Browns fantasy defense has been a disappointment this year because they have just eight interceptions and five fumble recoveries through 11 games. But it’s still a quality unit that boasts an excellent front seven. The Browns rank fourth in yards allowed per game (306.1) and have a shutdown corner in Joe Haden that should be focused after getting whipped by Antonio Brown in Week 12. Haden figures to eliminate Cecil Shorts and the Jags offense often falls apart when that happens. Let’s not overthink this – home vs. Jacksonville equals money.

2. Dolphins – Owned in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues
The opening total on the Dolphins at Jets game is 38.5 points. By today’s NFL standards, that’s absolutely miniscule. Both defenses are interesting options for streamers, but the Dolphins get the significant edge because Geno Smith is so careless with the football. He’s thrown 18 interceptions against just eight touchdowns on the year, and has also fumbled nine times. Chris Ivory (ankle) may be limited or inactive.

3. Bills – Owned in 19 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Bills are at “home” against the Falcons Sunday, but the game will actually be played at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. It’s a big blow. Not only will the fans not be as rabid, but the elements will be taken out of the mix due to the dome – which happens to be the same environment as the Falcons’ home field. Still, the Bills are coming off a bye and facing a team with an atrocious offensive line that is averaging just 14.8 points per game over the last five weeks. The Bills are tied for first in the NFL in both sacks and interceptions.

1. Nick Novak, Chargers – Owned in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues
The Chargers offense moves the ball on everyone. So getting Nick Novak in ideal conditions at home against a Bengals defense that has been decimated by injury is a dream. He’s made at least two field goals in three straight games.

2. Dan Carpenter, Bills – Owned in 8 percent of Yahoo leagues
Don’t worry about those Buffalo winds, this “home” game is in the Rogers Centre dome in Toronto. There’s also little reason to worry about opportunities as E.J. Manuel has led the team to at least 20 points in six of his seven starts. The Bills will easily move the ball on the Falcons leaky defense, meaning points for Dan Carpenter (22-of-24 this season on field goals).

3. Graham Gano, Panthers – Owned in 18 percent of Yahoo leagues
There’s always some risk in using Graham Gano because Riverboat Ron loves to go for it on fourth downs. But he shouldn’t have to gamble too much in a home spot against a Bucs team on back-to-back road games. Gano has made six field goals of 50-plus yards already this year.

4. Jay Feely, Cardinals – Owned in 7 percent of Yahoo leagues
Oddsmakers have set the over/under for the Cardinals at Eagles game at 48.5. Expect a shootout featuring plenty of opportunities for the red-hot Jay Feely. Over the last five games, he’s converted 13-of-14 field goals, including two from 50-plus. If the elements weren’t a concern, Feely would be higher on the list.

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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