Man, it’s getting tough to make it through a week of football without a season ending injury. This time we have another quarterback and it happened to a player, Matt Leinart, on a team, the Houston Texans, that already lost a starting quarterback, Matt Schaub, for the season. After the Indianapolis Colts lost uber-star QB Peyton Manning for the season the Texans were expected to win the AFC South and earn their first playoff berth. With presumably rookie T.J. Yates taking over the QB reigns unless newly signed veteran turnover machine Jake Delhomme takes over, the Texans just might not steamroll into the playoffs.
Other than Arian Foster or Ben Tate, most Texans offensive weapons such as Owen Daniels and Andre Johnson will lose fantasy value with Yates at the helm. The Texans’ defense might also take a hit if Yates forces the defense to play more than usual due to a high number of turnovers. But Yates might be one of those rare third string rookie quarterbacks that turns out to be pretty good though. I guess we have to find out.
Now, enough about the Texans, let’s get on to the list of fantasy football players that might still be available on the waiver wire in your league that you should pick up to help you solidify your team for the fantasy playoffs or help propel your team into the playoffs…
T.J. Yates. There probably aren’t too many starting quarterbacks available this late in the season in your league, especially if you play in a 2-QB starting league. Kyle Orton was probably picked up already and Leinart’s injury leaves you with Yates as your only option. We aren’t really sure what to expect from the rookie 5th round pick but he does have a great offensive line blocking for him and one of the best set of offensive skilled playmakers he can throw the ball to including Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels and Arian Foster. Pick him up and hope for the best but be warned that the Texans play the Falcons this week.
Roy Helu. The only problem about picking up Helu and starting him is that you never know what Mike Shanahan’s plans are at running back. It’s a guessing game week to week. What you can believe in is Helu himself. When given the chance to be the lead back he’s produced effectively. This past weekend against a pretty darn good Seahawks run defense he had 162 total yards and 1 touchdown. Great numbers for a RB1. If you’ve been hit with the fantasy injury bug pick up Helu and don’t drop him.
Shane Vereen. Yes, the Law Firm is the Patriots’ starting running back but they play the Colts this weekend and garbage time could start pretty early. Vereen is a home run flex option for the week, which means he could get you 0 points or 15 points. If you have nothing to lose or like taking risks go for it. The other risk is that even if the Law Firm is benched in a blowout, which you never know when it comes to Belichick, is that the Patriots also have Danny Woodhead and Stevan Ridley on the team.
Brandon Saine. This is another dark horse RB candidate but you never know with the Packers. Last year James Starks came out of nowhere down the stretch run for the Packers and Saine could be this season’s Starks. Saine was given some redzone looks Thanksgiving Day against the Lions but wasn’t able to convert. Starks is banged up and Ryan Grant is Ryan Grant. Saine is a must pick up if you own any Packers RB.
Greg Little. The only bad thing about Greg Little is the dropped passes. And he’s had a lot of them. In fact, he dropped 4 of them Sunday. The great thing about Little is that he’s Colt McCoy’s favorite target. McCoy looked for Little 13 times Sunday, catching 5 of them for 57 yards and 1 touchdown. Little does play the Ravens this week though so you might want to grab and stash him.
Damian Williams. When Hasselbeck plays he finds Williams, it’s as simple as that. Williams hauled in another touchdown pass against the Bucs on Sunday and Hasselbeck will be under center once again this week. If Williams is still available go pick him up.
Johnny Knox. There’s something to be said with the theory of back-up quarterbacks sprung into action immediately finding a connection with their second string receiver. The Curtis Painter to Pierre Garcon early in the season was unstoppable, Vince Young and Riley Cooper are having a blast together and Caleb Hanie found Johnny Knox four times, which led to Knox netting 145 yards receiving and 1 touchdown. He might be available in your league because someone cut him after Cutler’s injury. If that’s the case then pick him up.
Riley Cooper. Cooper has been filling in quite well for the injured Jeremy Maclin, as he has 8 catches for 146 yards and 1 touchdown in his past two games. Maclin doesn’t look like he’s going to play this Thursday night against the Seahawks and neither will Mike Vick probably. That means Cooper has a chance to keep his production going for at least one more week, making him a reliable fantasy WR3 option.
Jermaine Gresham. He has scored a total of 4 touchdowns in his past 6 games and can be considered a TE1 the rest of the season. If you need a tight end pick him up before somebody else does.
New England Patriots. The Patriots might not be available in your league but if somebody dropped them fearing the Eagles would score a ton of points on them then pick them up and start them as they go up against the Colts this past Sunday. The Colts are brutal on offense and have just given the starting quarterback job to Dan Orlovsky. Yes, THE Dan Orlovsky, the man who could be the first person in history to be a starting quarterback for two 0-16 teams! Sacks, interceptions, and return touchdowns are all in play against the Colts.
If the Patriots defense isn’t available then you can look to the Jaguars, Titans or Broncos as suitable fantasy defenses. They are both playing good in real life and have great fantasy matchups this week with the Broncos facing the Vikings, the Titans taking on the Bills and the Jaguars going up against the Chargers.
If you have any questions leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them. Good luck everybody!
Tags: Andre Johnson Arian Foster Ben Tate Brandon Saine Damian Williams Germaine Gresham Greg Little HOuston Texans Jake Delhomme Johnny Knox Matt Leinart Matt Schaub Owen Daniels Riley Cooper Roy Helu Shane Vereen T.J. Yates Week 13 Fantasy Football Week 13 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire