Week 13 Waiver Wire November 28, 2011  |  Eliot


Welcome to our first article focusing on Week 13.  We’ll amend this list if a “nobody” jumps out at us after the Monday Night NYG-NO slugfest but this should get you thinking about next week and prepping for the playoffs.  When playing the waiver wire this week look at the matchups guys have for your playoff run and assess your opponents weak spots, if you have an open roster spot – grab somebody that could help a playoff opponent and stash ’em on you bench.  Sometimes defense is the best offense in Fantasy Football.

This week we’ve made a slight change and added a list of players that probably shouldn’t be on waivers based on past performances, but depending on the depth of your league might be there.  Also listed are guys to keep an eye on, players who showed promise in previous weeks or Week 12 alone and should be considered, possibly as a FA add after the waiver period concludes.

QUARTERBACKS

Players who shouldn’t be on waivers but if are, grab them: Matt Moore MIA, Vince Young PHI, Rex Grossman WAS, Christian Ponder MIN

Insert Name Here, QB HOU – Another week, another new QB for the Houston Texans after Matt Leinart went down with a season ending collar bone injury.  Former Tarheel standout TJ Yates stepped in and was able to manage the Texans offense to a win.  Yates wasn’t asked to make any big plays as the Texans already had the game in hand for the most part, but was able to complete 8 of 15 for 70 yards.  He showed poise in the pocket and made good decisions.  He arguably has the top WR in all of football lined up to his left in Andre Johnson and one of the best receivers out of the backfield in all-everything back Arian Foster.  As with all rookie QBs he’ll have some ups and downs, but with the Houston Defense playing so well and a GREAT playoff schedule of @CIN, CAR and @IND Yates could manage his way to a decent finish in place of Leinart.

Kyle Orton, QB KC – Well Palko was not completely horrible last night…on that last drive…until he threw an INT to end the game.  The Palko Experiment is about to come to an end as soon as Orton gets a full week of practice (one can only hope).  He’ll be a nice pickup and possibly play especially in Weeks 15 and 16 when he gets Green Bay and Oakland.  With Bowe and Breaston just begging for a QB that can get them the ball when and where they want it Orton will have plenty of weapons to become fantasy relevant near the end of the season.

Keep an eye on: Caleb Hanie CHI, Jake Locker TEN, Tarvaris Jackson SEA

RUNNING BACKS

Players who shouldn’t be on waivers but if are, grab them:  CJ Spiller BUF, Peyton Hillis CLE,  DeAngelo Williams CAR

Roy Helu, RB WAS – Roy really belongs on the list above of players that should be gone, but if for some reason you didn’t listen to our advice last week and he’s still sitting out there he’s the frontrunner for waiver claims this week.  Helu got all the touches out of the backfield yesterday scoring on nice run from moderate distance.  We won’t guarantee Shanahan doesn’t go in a completely different direction next week but after Helu’s performance there’s no reason to think anybody but Helu will get the bulk of the work in Week 13.

Maurice Morris, RB DET – With news that Kevin Smith’s ankle injury isn’t as serious as initially thought, Morris’s shelf life might be limited. Morris came in after Smith went down Thanksgiving day and ruses for 39 yards on 7 carries but made most of his noise in the passing game as Stafford was unable to throw anything downfield.  9 catches and 81 yards later Morris had accumulated a total of 120 yards from scrimmage, a nice fantasy day.  His value is tied directly to Smith’s ability to get healthy, and ability to perform on that bum ankle.

Kendall Hunter, RB SF – While Hunter didn’t have a breakout game by any means in Week 12 we’re looking towards the future here.  With the 49ers playoff spot all wrapped up, it’s likely they will rest and/or reduce the reps for Frank Gore to maintain what little health his legs have left for their own playoff push.  Hunter has performed admirably in limited action this year when asked

Johnny White, RB BUF – We’re talking Johnny White here as a sleeper waiver add if you’re desperate, or are depending on CJ Spiller to carry you into the playoffs.  White is yet another UNC product (is it me or was it a good weekend to be a Tarheel in the NFL?) who played running back, corner and wide receiver at Carolina.  His NFL draft analysis lists his strengths as speed with size but may lack the ability to push the pile. He could earn more reps if Spiller continues to put up pedestrian numbers out of the Buffalo backfield.

Marcel Reece, RB OAK – Reese was the go to man in the passing game with all of Palmer’s WR weapons on the mend.  Reece caught 5 passes for 92 yards on 7 targets.  He’s not a week in and week out guy but somebody to stash especially for Bush/McFadden owners and those in PPR leagues.

Keep an eye on: Donald Brown IND, Marion Barber CHI (unless you’re a Forte owner then you need to own him), DJ Ware NYG, Keilland Williams DET

WIDE RECEIVERS

Players who shouldn’t be on waivers but if are, grab them: James Jones GB, Derrius Heyward-Bey OAK, Santana Moss WAS

Johnny Knox, WR CHI – Knox was clearly Caleb Hanie’s favorite target Sunday amassing 4 catches for 145 yards and a TD on 10 targets.  Knox, who had fallen into fantasy obscurity with Jake Cutler behind center this season found his groove with Hanie and has a decent fantasy playoff schedule of @DEN, SEA and GB.  He’s especially valuable in those leagues with TD yardage bonuses.

Greg Little, WR CLE – Little (another Tarheel) has shown up on Waiver Wire articles all season, only to provide his owners with a 5 catch 50 yard 0 TD performance the following week.  Yesterday was no difference from  catch/yardage standpoint but Little finally added his first NFL TD to his stat line.  He’s got a brutal schedule his last 4 games drawing the Ravens D twice and Pitt once but the Browns will surely be throwing and he’s had decent chemistry with QB McCoy all season.  He’s worth an add, especially in PPR leagues, but don’t expect anything more than what he’s been providing all season.

Brad Smith, WR BUF – Smith, who has QB eligibility in many leagues, turned in a 4 catch, 77 yard performance which included an impressive TD catch where he tipped the ball to himself over the defender.  With Donald Jones out for the season, Smith lined up opposite Stevie Johnson, and should see some looks the rest of the way as Johnson garners most of the defensive attention.  Smith also handles some kick returns and can be dynamic in that role, for leagues that provide points for kick return yardage Smith is a must add.

Harry Douglas, WR ATL – We told you about Douglas last week, and even with Julio Jones back in the lineup he still produced.  Douglas had only 45 yards receiving but did get a score.  He’s probably the 3rd or 4th option on this team, but with Matt Ryan playing better he has some Fake Football relevance from here on out.

David Nelson, WR BUF – He very well could be owned but this guy has had such an up and down year he might be out on the waiver wire.  Week 12 saw him grab his 5th TD of the year and amass 5 catches for 47 yards.  Nelson, as we know, is a huge target that works best over the middle as a quasi-TE/WR hybrid.  He’s a tough matchup, outside of his Week 2 performance where he caught 10 balls for 83 yards and a TD he’s typically going to go for 4-5 catches, 50 yards and maybe a score.  A decent WR3 or injury replacement and a lock for 10 points in PPR leagues.

Keep an eye on: Jason Avant PHI (Maclin?), Riley Cooper PHI (Maclin?), Chaz Schilens OAK, Arrelious Been, TB, Damian Williams TEN, Jordan Norwood CLE

TIGHT ENDS

Players who shouldn’t be on waivers but if are, grab them: Dustin Keller NYJ, Brent Celek PHI, Jermaine Gresham CIN

Week 12 was a fairly quiet round of games around the league for Tight Ends unless your name was Dustin Keller or Tony Gonzalez.  From a waiver perspective there’s not likely a guy out there that’s going to make  lot of noise for your Fake Football squad down the stretch.  Marcedes Lewis who we suggested last week had the best opportunity with 12 targets but he dropped an easy, uncontested TD pass that really ruined what would’ve been a nice game for him.

Keep an eye on: Joel Dreessen HOU, Scott Chandler BUF, Jeremy Shockey CAR, Dennis Pitta BAL

KICKERS

Lawrence Tynes, K NYG – Tynes is due for a big game.  The Giants have no running game to speak of limiting their options in the Red Zone which should lead to more Tynes opportunities.  With a Week 13 matchup vs. Green Bay one would expect a high scoring offensive affair, and plenty of Red Zone trips.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

New England Patriots, DST – The old “who’s playing the Colts” strategy applies here.  Even Carolina kept them to 19 points and produced 2 turnovers and 2 sacks, which is saying something for one of the worst DSTs in the league.  The Patriots have a horrible secondary.  The Colts have a horrible quarterback.  It’s easier to overcome a shoddy secondary with schemes than it is to hide a terrible quarterback.  I’d roll the dice with the Pats in a game that could won by New England by 21+.

Atlanta Falcons, DST – The Falcons turned in a decent performance (except maybe late in the game) vs. Christian Ponder and the Vikings.  In Week 13 they’ll get another rookie likely making his first NFL start in TJ Yates.  Yates won’t be asked to do a lot, so the Falcons will focus their pressure on stopping the run and take their chances with Yates throwing the ball wide.  If they can contain the Texans rushing attack and get pressure on Yates they could be in line for a nice defensive showing.

Denver Broncos, DST – It’s fairly clear that HC John Fox is happy to go 3 and out 75% of the time which means he’s relying on his Defense to get the job done in Denver.  And they are responding in a huge way.  Their last 4 games (all wins) they have given up 24, 10, 13 and 13 points respectively.  Sunday, they travel to Minnesota and face Rookie QB Christian Ponder who has played well for the Vikings but is not a huge threat.  Adrian Peterson could indeed be out again limiting the Viking rushing attack.  Denver and their defense will be in another low scoring affair that could be decided by Special Teams play.

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