Adam Levitan

Waiver Wired

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Waiver Wire: Week 14

Tuesday, December 03, 2013


The playoffs are finally here.

If you’re grasping for waiver plug-n-plays at the running back and wideout spot, chances are slim that you’ll fare well in the playoffs. At this time of year, the wire is better used for handcuffing (at all positions) and lottery ticket stashes.

For example, you can drop your backup quarterback if you can own both Josh McCown and Jay Cutler. If you own LeSean McCoy, there’s far more value in owning Bryce Brown than Jonathan Stewart. Think about what would happen if one of your starters got hurt and submit your claims from there.

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

Quarterbacks
1. Jay Cutler
2. Carson Palmer
3. Ryan Tannehill
4. Case Keenum
5. Mike Glennon

Running backs
1. Donald Brown
2. Montee Ball
3. Jonathan Dwyer
4. Knile Davis
5. LeGarrette Blount
6. Willis McGahee
7. Jordan Todman

Wide receivers
1. Julian Edelman
2. Michael Crabtree
3. Doug Baldwin
4. Nate Burleson
5. Cordarrelle Patterson  
6. Rod Streater
7. Andre Holmes `
8. Ace Sanders

Tight Ends
1. Ladarius Green
2. Garrett Graham
3. Jared Cook
4. Zach Ertz
5. Brandon Myers

Defense/Special Teams
1. Raiders
2. Jaguars
3. Jets

Kickers   
1. Robbie Gould
2. Alex Henery
3. Nick Novak
4. Dan Carpenter


QUARTERBACKS
1. Jay Cutler, Bears – Owned in 31 percent of Yahoo leagues
A week ago, Jay Cutler (ankle) said he he’d be disappointed if he weren’t back for Week 14. We haven’t heard a real update since then as he tries to gain medical clearance. All we know is that Cutler will test out the ankle during Thursday’s practice and go from there. Ideally, owners will be able to roster both Cutler and Josh McCown, and then just use whichever one starts against the Cowboys on Monday night. Either one would be a top-10 play. Note that in four full starts this season, McCown is averaging 298.7 yards passing with seven touchdowns and one pick while completing 64.5 percent of his passes.
Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues

2. Carson Palmer, Cardinals – Owned in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues
This week’s home game against the Rams is the last week I’d consider streaming Carson Palmer. It’s been a fun ride, as he’s averaged 289.6 passing yards with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions over the last four weeks. That domination of soft matchups is exactly what we’re talking about when we play the “wait on a QB” game during the draft. Palmer will be a borderline QB1 option in Week 14, but then he’ll be hands off at Tennessee in Week 15, at Seattle in Week 16 and vs. San Francisco in Week 17.
Recommendation: Should be owned as a one-week plug-n-play

3. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins – Owned in 25 percent of Yahoo leagues
Ryan Tannehill has gone over 300 yards in back-to-back games and completed more than 62 percent of his passes in five straight. He’s done it by exploiting some very shaky secondaries over the last month (TB, SD, CAR, NYJ). That would be a red flag if he didn’t have another tasty matchup this week. Tannehill and an emerging Mike Wallace get to feast on struggling Ike Taylor Sunday, opening up a strong possibility of a big play or two. Tannehill is a two-QB league desperation option.
Recommendation: Should be owned in two-quarterback leagues

4. Case Keenum, Texans – Owned in 29 percent of Yahoo leagues
It’s no longer a simple no-brainer to stream in the quarterback facing the Jags. See the Defense/Special Teams section of this column for more on that. That said, this is still a good matchup for Keenum, who gained back a little confidence by going for 272 yards against the Patriots in Week 13. We know the Jags secondary is susceptible to big plays (see Gordon, Josh).
Recommendation: Should be owned in two-quarterback leagues

5. Mike Glennon, Bucs – Owned in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues
Owners might be looking to bail out on Mike Glennon  after he was held to 180 yards and no touchdowns with one interception in Week 13. Let’s not overreact to a back-to-back road spot in which he was at Carolina. This week, Glennon gets a Bills defense that brought Roddy White back to life and the game is in Tampa. He’ll bounce back.
Recommendation: Should be owned in two-quarterback leagues

Watch List: E.J. Manuel, Chad Henne, Jason Campbell, Matt McGloin, Ryan Fitzpatrick – Manuel will get a boost if Darrelle Revis (chest) sits. … Henne is at home against the Texans on Thursday night. Nice spot. … If Campbell (concussion) can get cleared, he’ll start. … McGloin gets to face the Jets’ woeful secondary. … Fitzpatrick’s legs and the chances of garbage-time points make him worth a desperation look at Denver. 

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 RBs, WRs, TEs, Ks and Ds.


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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.
Email :Adam Levitan



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