Waiver Watchers: Week 11

19 Nov

Looking for a sleeper this week? Tavaris Jackson or Earl Bennett may be your man.

By Curtis M. Gaines

This week is the last week of byes and probably the most crucial especially if you have Big Ben, Drew Brees, Darren Sproles and Adrian Foster hopefully you have a disposable player on your bench that you can, or should drop for these second half of the season fantasy sleepers. This week I will give you my drops and adds to put into perspective what most owners should be doing now, positioning themselves for quality match-ups and emerging players and then suggest my sleepers for Week 11.

My first drop was Torrey Smith for Laurent Robinson. I’m willing to bet that as long as Miles Austin is on the bench Robinson will be a homerun threat, in addition I think most owners will steer clear of Smith because of his propensity to disappear, therefore dropping him now is advantageous in the respect that, if you decide to pick him back up for Robinson or a bye week fill-in he will more than likely be available…but I would advise you keep him cut until Week 14 when Baltimore faces Indianapolis. Other than that matchup, the outlook looks bleak for Smith especially with Flacco playing so sporadically. This week Robinson should see quality targets against a good defense but again, Romo is playing at a high level and I expect he will continue into December and should yet again, put up decent fantasy numbers. Robinson makes a good WR2 or Flex start this week.

Projection: 5 rec. 80 yards 1 TD

My next drop was Jon Baldwin, despite the favorable matchup against New England Baldwin and the Chiefs have burned fantasy owners twice since his breakout game three weeks ago, this is even more of an unattractive matchup considering that Cassel is hurt and his back up Tyler Palko can easily make any Kansas City WR a skeptical start this week. I also made this drop because I picked up Carson Palmer to start against Minnesota in lieu of Cam Newton against Detroit. I’ll go into more detail about that decision next. However, if you are hurting for a flex or WR3 fill-in this week and you find the waiver wires thin, you may find Baldwin a high risk /reward option. The factors you have to keep in mind though is the Chiefs offensive line have given up the 15th most sacks (22) and 18th most QB hits (44). Keep in mind also that the Chiefs have only mustered ten touchdowns through the air all season with their 27th ranked passing offense. In essence, despite the matchup against the worst pass defense in the league all signs point to a mediocre performance from KC WRs and Palko.

That concludes my drop list this week, now lets focus on analysis and matchups starting with:

Cam Newton vs Carson Palmer

It’s a known fact that the NFL is a copycat league, with that being said, last week Tennessee exposed the Panther offensive line and demonstrated how to defend Cam Newton. Pressure. Tennessee held Newton to his second lowest fantasy performance and held him to his only game thus far without a running or passing touchdown. Detroit has held QB’s they’ve faced to the 27th lowest fantasy points this season. Only Tony Romo amassed over 300 yards passing and multiple touchdowns against them. Bear in mind I am not suggesting yoo bench Cam Newton, but if Palmer is still available in your league and you can afford to drop an under-performing fantasy player, this is the week to do it. If I was to rank QB’s this week I would have to rank Cam below these QB’s: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Tony Romo, Eli Manning, Tavaris Jackson (yes I said that and will explain later in my sleeper section), and Matthew Stafford. Detroit’s front four will be a true test of Newton’s ability this week, a test I am unwilling to gamble on with Palmer on my bench considering Oakland’s matchup.

Palmer's projected to throw for 330 yards and 3 TDs this week

Carson Palmer proved last week that he still has the arm and accuracy to spread pass defenses thin. Add to this, Denarius Moore and the lethal combination of throwing power, accuracy and speed against one of the league’s slowest secondaries, and you will have a beautiful scenario for bountiful fantasy points via Palmer and Friends. Minnesota has allowed multi-touchdown games for all opposing QB’s besides, Kevin Kolb, Josh Freeman and the aforementioned Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel. Palmer has already thrown for 5 touchdowns in his last two games thus adding to the speculation that he will once again pass for over two touchdowns this week.

Cam Newton: 200 yards, 50 rush, 1 TD, 2 INT
Carson Palmer: 330 yards, 3 TD


I don’t think you can say Palmer is sleeper but I do think a lot of people are ignoring the matchup and Palmer’s capability. Minnesota has given up the second most fantasy points thus far and it doesn’t look like it will get better with their top cornerback Antoine Winfield going down to injury last week. I strongly believe Carson Palmer will out play all quarterbacks not named Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.

Tavaris Jackson:

You saw it above and I didn’t stutter. Tavaris has the arm and supporting cast (Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin, Mike Williams, Ben Obomanu) and faces the STL Rams this week. Now I’m not picking on the Rams pass defense but I do believe that Seattle’s wide receiver core is deep and will wreak havoc on them this week especially if they commit to stopping the run (Marshawn Lynch) which they haven’t been able to do well this year. If you have a bye week fill-in need, insert TJAX.

Projection: 280 yards, 40 RUSH, 3 TD, 1 INT

Earl Bennett:

Orange shoes and all despite the NFL fines, Bennett is Cutler’s favorite target after returning from injury. The two have history previous to the NFL from their college days at Vanderbilt so the chemistry and timing should be noted. San Diego’s defense has been hampered by injury and under-performing so far this year and Chicago’s offensive line has been great in protecting Cutler the past few weeks allowing him enough time to make quality passes.

Projection: 5 rec. 60 yards 1 TD

The Cardinals pass defense is weak. Expect a breakout game.

Braylon Edwards:

San Francisco made an offensive statement last week against the Giants when they relied on the arm of Alex Smith to steer them toward victory. This only makes Edwards a more attractive fantasy option for the weeks to come and what better defense to break out against than the Arizona Cardinals who give up the fourth most fantasy points to wide receivers. Considering that Gore is still nursing an injury and Smith is playing exceptionally well one can deduce that Braylon Edwards should have a medium to stellar game this week.

Projection: 5 rec. 95 yards 1 TD

Marion Barber:

Need a bye week fill in? Barber should be able to capitalize on red zone carries this week against a weak San Diego run defense. Matt Forte is the man in Chicago but Barber should get enough touches to consider him a good flex or bye week fill in this week ahead of Jackie Battle, Roy Helu, Tashard Choice, Mike Tolbert and Chris Ogbonnaya.

Projection: 50 RUSH, 1 TD

Honorable Mention: (Micheal Crabtree, Denarius Moore, Doug Baldwin)


3 Responses to “Waiver Watchers: Week 11”

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  3. Filomena Spenner December 21, 2011 at 10:17 PM #

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