With the slew of injuries an NFL season can produce, even playoff-bound teams likely need fill-ins somewhere on their roster at this point in the season. Given that the trade deadline has passed in almost all leagues, your only option left is the waiver wire. My editors have asked for one pick at each position- a guy who might be available, a guy you may be able to pick up and plug in. Hopefully, a guy who will help you in the clutch, when you need it most.
Quarterback: Matt Moore
This was a close call between Moore and Alex Smith, but Smith has a terrible week 15 matchup with Pittsburgh- right when you need him most. Moore, on the other hand, has been reasonably consistent for the surging Dolphins and has absolutely cake matchups - Buffalo and New England- for the Fantasy playoffs (Note that he does play the Jets in week 17 in case your league plays that late). Before the playoffs, he goes up against Oakland and the Eagles. Sound scary? It’s actually not remotely frightening. Both teams give up over 15 points/game to opposing signal callers. In his last game against Buffalo, Moore put up 18 points. In his last game against the AFC West: 21. Moore also has a few weapons at his disposal: Anthony Fasano has played well of late, Brandon Marshall remains a freak of nature, and Reggie Bush can always take a short slant to the house. If you need a QB- maybe you wanted to ride it out with Vick or Cutler- you could do much worse than Moore.
Running Back: Roy Helu
Surprisingly, Helu is only owned in 30-40% of leagues (depending on which website you play on). I suppose fantasy owners have that little trust for Mike Shannahan, who is definitely Helu’s biggest obstacle. After this week against the Jets, Helu’s matchups are all reasonable, concluding with a week 16 game against the Vikings, who are giving up nearly 16/game to opposing rushers. He is also involved in the passing game, which is good news for week 14 against New England.
Wide Receiver: Johnny Knox
Jay Cutler’s injury actually benefited Knox tremendously. Cutler’s tendency was to look Earl Bennet’s way more often than not. This week, Knox was the only Bear receiver of note, catching 4 passes for 145 yards and a score. Yes, 81 of those yards came on one play, but Knox is a big-play guy. His matchups with Kansas City, Denver, and Seattle on the schedule are all very reasonable. Knox is owned in 50-60% of leagues so may not be available in yours, but if he is and you need the spot-start, use him.
Tight End: Brent Celek
The fact that Celek is owned in only 20-30% of leagues speaks to how deep the tight end pool is this season. If you missed out on the slew of strong TEs somehow (or perhaps have an underperforming Jermichael Finley on your roster), Celek is a decent option to finish the season. In two weeks with Vince Young under center, he has 11 catches for 135 yards. Not bad. He is definitely getting the looks and actually doing something with them. The Eagles love to throw (in fact, LeSean McCoy’s carries have dropped significantly of late), and Celek is involved in the passing game. The real shock here is how un-owned he is. Still want more? He finishes the fantasy playoffs in week 16 with a road game in Dallas. The last time he played the Cowboys? 7 for 94 and a score.
Good luck in the playoffs, as always you cant tweet me: @petethegreekff