Waiver Worthy Week 13: Buy ‘Em or Deny ‘Em

There were some surprising performances from Week 12, but does that mean the players are worth owning?  Let’s take a look:

Brandon Pettigrew/Kevin Boss/Joel Dreesen – Tight Ends – Detroit Lions/New York Giants/Houston Texans
If you read those three names and all you could see was Boring/Uninspiring/Who?, then you obviously haven’t been scrambling all season for a tight end like the rest of us.  Pettigrew, Boss, and Dreesen have all seen an increase in value in the last few weeks with some injuries/opportunities arising on their respective teams.  I’d look to add any of them to my roster in the order they’re listed in this blurbs’ heading.  If you’ve grown bored with a Shiancoe or Winslow type, these ends should be on your radar, unless it’s not allowed in your state.
Verdict – Buy ‘em

Toby Gerhart – Running Back – Minnesota Vikings
Adrian Peterson left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury and will probably be fine to play next week, but until we know for sure, it’s a good idea to grab his backup.  Gerhart was the recipient of 22 carries in three quarters. In fact, it’s even more remarkable considering he’s the backup on a Brett Favre led team, which was facing a bottom five pass defense.  The bottom line is that any running back that’s a primary back has value and should be acquired if possible.  If you’re an AP owner, don’t wait for more injury news to attach a rare handcuff to this Stanford grad.
Verdict – Buy ‘em

Mike Goodson/Jonathon Stewart – Running Backs – Carolina Panthers
Both of these backs should be owned in all leagues after this week, but if you have a choice and can only pick one, I’d base your choice on your league format, unless you prefer flipping a coin (who am I to judge?).  Jonathon Stewart is the starter until further notice, or until Daily Show filming begins, but if you’re in a league that gives any points for receptions, I’d take Goodson over Stewart as he can amass points through the air in addition to sharing at least half the carries.
Verdict – Buy ‘em

Jordy Nelson – Wide Receiver – Green Bay Packers
With a clearly diminished running game, the Packers are forced into four receiver sets more than most teams, something that they seem to prefer anyway.  When it comes to fourth wide receivers, Nelson is one of the better available as he chipped in five catches and his first score of the year versus a tough Atlanta Falcons defense this week.  While that’s all fine and good, it’s hard to imagine too many scenarios where you might have a need for a wide receiver this low on a teams’ depth chart.  Without an injury to Green Bay’s receiving core, I think you can live without Nelson’s love and affection.
Verdict – Deny ‘em

Derek Hagan – Wide Receiver – New York Giants
Hagan has had more excitement in the last twelve days than a turkey in waiting at the Butterball plant.  He signed with the Giants on November 16th and was immediately inserted into the wide receiver corps.  Based on who he’s replacing (Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith), it will again be very tempting to add him to your roster this week despite a rough day against Jacksonville in which he was only targeted four times.  Even though he’ll be in the Giants rotation for at least another week or two, I’d assume that in most leagues you could do better.
Verdict – Deny ‘em

Deion Branch -Wide Receiver – New England Patriots
Branch left Lions cornerback Alphonso Smith out on a limb Thursday as he scampered for 113 yards and two scores on three catches. It was all highlighted, though, by a 79 yard catch and run, which featured Branch literally running Smith in circles down the left sideline.  After taking Randy Moss’ place in the Patriots arsenal, I for one, expected Branch to turn in these sorts of games on a regular basis. Unfortunately, he’s been unreliable, failing to find the end zone since his first week in New England. I wouldn’t use a waiver pick on him, but he could be a slight upgrade on some deep rosters.  For our purposes, I need to see another solid performance to view him as a viable option.
Verdict – Deny ‘em

Chris Ivory – Running Back – New Orleans Saints
Ivory is owned in less than 13% of ESPN leagues despite being the lead back in a high-powered offense for the majority of this season.  He’s been generally lousy, outside of a week 6 outburst vs. Tampa Bay, an explosion that probably took place on most owners’ waiver wires.  After his two scores this week, he has two nice matchups in the next two weeks, but with the “immergence” of Julius Jones and the imminent returns of Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, Ivory will probably be relegated to goal-line duties at best.
Verdict – Deny ‘em

Jacksonville Jaguars/San Diego Chargers – Defense
Tennessee made Houston’s defensive unit look like Liz Lemon in her “Brooklyn Without Limits” jeans.  Rusty Smith looked (clear throat) rusty and if he gets the start again next week, Jacksonville should be a great defense to plug-and-play for week 13.  Pay attention as to whether or not Kerry Collins will be back in as the starting quarterback as that would be enough for me to look for defensive help elsewhere.  If Collins does start, the Chargers get the Raiders at home and are on a roll lately.  I’d expect them to improve greatly on their last matchups’ results and provide solid points as well.
Verdict – Buy ‘em

Ben Obomanu -Wide Receiver – Seattle Seahawks
Seattle’s receivers have been a departing bunch this year as there has been more turnover than a Denny’s wait staff. It’s hard to get excited when a new face contributes, so keep expectations in check as I introduce you to Ben Obomanu.  He’s a fifth year player with first year stats, meaning he hasn’t played much in that time.  However, with Mike Williams North possibly out next week as well, Bobo (as he’s known in my house) could be in for another big game after his near 160 yards this week.  He’s now scored in three straight games, but has benefited from some long plays, something that can’t be counted on.  He’s possibly worth a look if you’ve been counting on Mike Williams North, but otherwise I’d look away, baby, look away.
Verdict – Deny ‘em

Ricky Williams – Running Back – Miami Dolphins
Believe it or not, Ricky Williams is actually running slightly above his career yards per carry this season.  The problem is it doesn’t really matter when he’s not getting the carries, which has been the story this season.  But that all went “up in smoke” this week as Ricky got the ball 20 times, easily his highest total of the season.  He’s not going to help you much currently with the Jets lurking two weeks from now, but the Dolphins fantasy playoff schedule is cake, which coincidentally was one of Ricky’s favorite treats during his “enlightenment” days.  If you’re looking for a speculative end-of-season add, look no further you found him.
Verdict – Buy ‘em

Blair White – Wide Receiver – Indianapolis Colts
White is just another reminder that it really doesn’t matter who the player is; if Peyton Manning is the quarterback, just being on the field with him gives a receiver value.  White’s scored three times in the last two games and has been an integral replacement for Austin Collie.  If you need some depth at wide receiver, give the Blair White project a try, but just make sure that Collie’s not playing first.
Verdict – Buy ‘em

What are your thoughts on these players?  Who would you pick up?  Who would you avoid?

Make sure to check out Rotoprofessor’s Week 13 Rankings:

36 comments

  1. Nick Tenaglia says:

    What about Brad Smith? I realize that one great games does not make a great fantasy player, however, after this past week’s explosion, you have to imagine that the Jets are going to try to find ways to incorporate this guy into the offense more. He is only owned in 1% of ESPN leagues, and has WR eligibility…

    Typically he sees most of his action out of the Seminole offense (the Jets version of the Wildcat), and every time that formation has come out, it has resulted in a run play. That formation is used like 5 or 6 times a game. But this week with the Jets going into New England in what will probably end up being one of the most important regular season games in the AFC all season long, you have to believe that the Jets are going to switch up every habit that they have in an effort to confuse the Pats. This means that Brad Smith will probably be able to showcase his quarterbacking abilities in the Seminole (he was a QB in college), and he will be used as a ‘slash’ player in every facet of the offense/special teams.

    My only concern with Smith is the Jets remaining schedule: @NE, vs MIA, @PIT, @CHI, vs BUF. None of these games really present great matchups for him other than maybe week 17 against the Bills, unless the Jets are willing to get creative in order to incorporate him into the offense….

  2. Matt Stoltzfus says:

    Nick, I see your point on Smith. He is absolutely a dynamic player, but he’s probably a better real life player then fantasy player. It would have to be a very deep league before I’d consider using him in light of all the offensive weapons the Jets have. Now in a return yardage league it’s a different story but for a standard league I’d hope there were better options available.

  3. Ramblin' Wreck says:

    I’m looking for TE help. Ive been rolling A. Hernandez for a couple of disappointing weeks now. Cooley, Olsen, Boss, and Dressen are on the wire how would you rank these guys looking at the schedule for the next few weeks.

  4. Matt Stoltzfus says:

    Ramblin Wreck – Cooley, Boss, Olsen, Dreesen. I’d play any of them over A-Her right now.

  5. Nick – In my opinion, Smith is one of those players that is really tough to depend on because you just don’t know what to expect. He could go off (like he did in Week 12), but he also could be virtually silent. He’s a “big play” guy, meaning he’s only going to get a handful of looks a game. If he makes the most of them, great, but if he misses he’s a complete bust.

    Ramblin – I’d go with Cooley most likely, but I’d probably trust any of them over Hernandez. You may want to go week-to-week depending on matchups considering they are all currently available.

  6. Triz says:

    That was not a good weekend!

    Is it time to drop the Titans’ D/ST and Bironas are am I just mad at them?

    On a more rational question, my injured guys: Vincent Jackson, Steve Smith, Ryan Mathews, Austin Collie. Is it cut-off time for any of them? Thanks!

  7. Triz says:

    PS Not that I’m blaming you. If only I’d played Bryant instead of Bironas as your rankings suggested … :(

  8. Matt Stoltzfus says:

    Triz – I’d replace the Titans defense and Bironas at this point. That team isn’t headed in a good direction. As for your injured players, it’s hard to say without knowing who’s available in your league, but I’d hold those guys in this order: Collie, VJ, Matthews, Steve Smith. The last two should be replaceable in most leagues though.

  9. mogli says:

    Hi should i just drop vincent jackson, hes will miss the next game for sure and who knows how effective he will be after when he comes back.

    well my WRs are jackson, ,mario welker, reggie and mike thomas

    i thought i had a depth at WRs but seems like everybodys getting hurt. theres not very many good WRs out there in waiver wire as well. jacoby ford, steve breaston, blair white are the very few

  10. Triz says:

    Did I mention I have Reggie Wayne and Gates as well? They’re the *good* ones on my team, as they are only gimpy not out. Also, they aren’t Titans.

    You all let me know if your opponent this week has someone you need to go out injured and I will try to draft him.

  11. Matt Stoltzfus says:

    mogli – It’s looking like VJ will miss at least two weeks. I don’t have a problem with you dropping him as you at least have some decent options. I’d probably grab Ford or White to replace him if you’re looking for depth.

  12. Triz says:

    Oh, and thanks Matt. I’d need to compare what’s available to the rankings when they come out. Otherwise, White and Ford (not Breaston) are available in my league also. The only people who looked interesting last week and are still available are Goodson and Amendola. Oh, Hester is available also.

    So, maybe White/Ford and Goodson for Smith and Mathews? And if so, who would you prioritize getting?

    Thanks again!

  13. Triz says:

    Sorry, my current team:

    QB: Rivers
    TE: Gates / Tamme
    D/ST: Titans
    K: Bironas

    WR: Reggie Wayne, Mike Wallace, Sidney Rice, Steve Smith, Vincent Jackson, Austin Collie

    RB: Ray Rice, Green-Ellis, Tolbert, Keiland Williams, Ryan Mathews

    2 RB, 2 WR, 1 RB/WR league. Wow, I would look so heavy with WRs if they weren’t all broken!

  14. mogli – I like Breaston best of the guys you have there. Once Collie comes back, it’s hard to imagine White having much value and Ford has been incredibly unpredictable. If you need the WR, with Jackson out two weeks, that’s the way I’d go.

    Triz – Yes, you would! As for the Titans D/Bironas, who else is available out there for you?

    As for who to get, it’s tough. I’m not a big Williams fan, so I’d probably rather have Goodson over him (Mathews is debatable, but he’s a nice handcuff with Tolbert at this point).

    As for the WR, Jackson is probably one I would drop, however I don’t love either option that’s out there. Is there anyone else available you can grab?

  15. Triz says:

    Hmm … Brad Smith NYJ? Or was that random? I have no idea who is actually good and who is flukey until the rankings here come out. :)

  16. KRD says:

    I’m in a bind. I only need to start 2 WRs since my RBs are good, but I don’t know who to start/pickup. I have Wayne, S. Moss, Injured Smith, Injured Jackson, and Sidney Rice.

    Some guys available (it’s a small league) are Branch, Washington, Thomas, Mason, Knox, Smith (Car), Amendola, Meachem, Breaston, Naanee, Blair White, Gaffney.

    I’m going to start Wayne, but I don’t know who else.

  17. Ken says:

    I have Zach Miller(oak.), Matthews and Nicks. Do you think I should drop them for other options in preparation for playoffs?

  18. Triz – That one was probably a little too random…lol WR rankings will be out first thing in the morning, so hopefully that’ll help!

    KRD – It’s probably Moss, but let me revisit this one tomorrow morning.

    Ken – It really depends on who you would be picking up…

  19. KRD says:

    I don’t really want to drop anyone off my team to be honest, I was probably going to start Moss but Rice seems like he has a chance to do well against Buffalo. But with Favre, who knows what’s going to happen.

  20. KRD says:

    Oh, how about this….. start jason witten or marcedes lewis?

  21. Matt Stoltzfus says:

    KRD – I’d go Witten there…

  22. Triz says:

    After going through the RB rankings and reading your advice … I should drop Williams and pick up Westbrook as first choice and Goodson as second, right? They are the top two available.

    Q: sticking with Rivers, yes? TE: going to keep Gates and Tamme, unless I should get Kevin Boss? doesn’t seem like a priority pickup anyway, right?

    D/ST: the Titans are predicted by ESPN to do better than any of the available Ds. (They were last week too though!) Available this week include Seahawks, Dolphins, Rams, Saints and Chargers.

    K: I think I need to change this but I’d better risk waiting for the kicker rankings as there are a LOT predicted by ESPN at least to do better than Bironas who are available (like, Bryant, Folk, Lindell, Rackers, Gano, Dawson …). No joke, there are twenty available kickers predicted by them to do better than Bironas and I don’t want to waste your time (when you could be doing actual rankings, lol).

    WRs … waiting, waiting on the list … :)

    Thanks again!

  23. Matt Stoltzfus says:

    Triz – Yeah, I’d want Westbrook and Goodson over Williams and in that order. You always want to start Rivers, and yes I’d stick with Gates/Tamme. You don’t need Boss if you have those two and for what its worth, i’d start Tamme of the two. Of the D’s you listed, I’d take the Chargers for this week. I have a feeling they’re about to throw the Raiders a beating. Without seeing the Rotoprofessors rankings, I’d probably take Bryant from that list of kickers but at this point, I’d be tempted to play any of them over Bironas. Just think the Titans are going to have tough times ahead…

  24. KRD – I’d definitely go Witten

    Triz – Patience :) The WR rankings will be up bright and early tomorrow morning.

    For the RB, I do like Westbrook over Williams at this point. With Gore out, he has the potential to be a usable back and the leadback for the 49ers moving forward.

    There’s no reason to get Boss with the duo you have. That’s about as good as it gets. And yes, definitely Rivers.

    As for the D, let me review it and get to you tonight on it. Off the cuff, I’d say Tennessee or Seattle, given the matchups, though.

  25. Triz says:

    LOL, okay, but unless “bright and early tomorrow morning” means by 3 am, I am going to need to bother you again because that is when waivers go through.

    I’ve put in claims to:

    1) get Westbrook / drop Williams
    2) get Goodson / drop Williams
    3) get Lindell / drop Bironas … only because I want Bironas gone and I’ll be watching Buffalo anyway. There will still be lots of choice in kickers though whenever the list comes out :)

    And I’m happy to wait to hear about you in regard to D/ST (though I’m tempted by the Chargers, again because I watch their games).

    But WR … well, you see who I have standing at the moment. So … Obomanu is available, but you say deny, and above you say you aren’t keen on Ford or White. The only others available I notice who did okay on last week’s list or your comments are Mike Thomas and Garcon.

    Do you think I should pick up either of them and drop Jackson or Smith? I’m probably going with 3 RBs (guess Rice, Green-Ellis, Tolbert) and 2 WRs this week (Wayne and Rice) so unless someone is going to have a great week, I guess this is looking towards the playoffs anyway.

    Thanks!!

  26. hahaha….it’s actually 5 AM, so let’s see what I can do!

    I actually like both Thomas and Garcon more then Jackson at this point, though it all depends on his health. With him expecting to miss at least two weeks, are you ever actually going to trust him?

    As a little preview, I have Garcon as a WR2 this week and would definitely play him over Sidney Rice this week. It’s a great matchup and he is well worth grabbing!

  27. Triz says:

    Just in case the rankings don’t get up in time, here’s what I’m currently trying to pick up in order, based on the comments and advice above:

    1) Mike Thomas (dropping Steve Smith NYG)
    2) Westbrook (dropping Keiland Williams)
    3) Goodson (also dropping KW – if 2 fails)
    4) Chargers D/ST (dropping Titans D/ST)
    5) Lindell (dropping Bironas)
    6) Garcon (dropping Smith if 1 failed; dropping Jackson otherwise)

    This isn’t necessarily the priority in which I need a spot filled as leaving to the end options like Lindell that I think other people are less likely to pick up. (I believe you about Garcon, but other sites disagree so I’m hoping that will work out!).

    Does that sound okay to anyone awake to give an opinion? The waivers in our league start going through any time after 3 est.

  28. I probably would’ve held onto Smith over Thomas, but that’s just me.

    How’d you make out?

  29. Triz says:

    I was sorry to give up on Smith after trying to wait it out, but I looked at my roster full of Qs and realized I was one tweaked knee away from not having a full roster this week (especially since you say don’t play Sidney Rice).

    On the good news side, I got ALL of them, except Garcon, who no one else picked up either. I’m going to wait a day or two to see if the injury news gets clearer before I figure out who I’m going to drop for him (I can pick Smith back up and drop someone else on Friday too).

    Thanks again for your all your help! I managed to tie last week thanks to the horrendous Titans and stupid Colts so suddenly HAVE to win this week.

  30. Triz says:

    (And I’m playing the number one team in our league, a guy who is on a five game winning streak. Eek!)

  31. Sara says:

    So my starting RBs have been doing horribly again recently (Chris Johnson and SJax) but Green-Ellis has been on a roll. Should I bench Jackson for him this week?
    I’m also trying to get the Bears defense in a trade, but if not, should I play Cleveland (which I already have) or swap out? Top ranked available defenses are: TB/STL/NE/ATL/SEA/DEN/IND/KC/OAK/ARI/WAS. I’m in a 3-way tie in the middle of the league and really need a win to pull ahead..
    Thanks!

  32. Sara, the return of Kerry Collins should do wonders for Johnson’s performance. I wouldn’t push the panic button on him. As for Jackson/Green-Ellis, if BenJarvus had a better matchup then maybe, but Jackson’s upside far outweighs his for this week. I know the struggles are frustrating, but sometimes there is nothing you can do. Johnson & Jackson are RB1 and should both be in your lineup.

    As for the defense, if you can’t get Chicago, I’d go with St. Louis for this week.

  33. Sara says:

    Alright, I picked up STL, thanks :)
    As for WRs, Garcon and Mike Williams are projected higher than Calvin Johnson and Mike Wallace, should I start either of them this week? My 3rd WR is Jennings, and I still have Boldin benched.

  34. Johnson I would still play, as his upside is the highest of anyone you have. For the second spot, I like both Williams and Boldin better then Wallace this week. If you are down on Boldin, I’d play Williams.

  35. Sara says:

    Okay, last question, I know kickers aren’t terribly important, but Kaeding and the Steelers’ new kicker vs BAL are both looking awfully good as FA. Would you play either of them over Bryant this week?

  36. They are appealing, but I’d probably stick with Bryant. Kaeding would be my 2nd choice if you really want a change.

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