We've reached the point in the fantasy season where the phrase "desperate times call for desperate measures" very much comes into play.
For some teams, the season is already effectively over, and they have nothing to play for save spreading the misery by trying to knock other teams out of the playoff hunt.
For other fantasy owners, the postseason is a long shot, and all it will take is one more loss to crush any aspirations they may have had of advancing to fantasy football's second season.
These teams have nothing to lose and need to squeeze every possible point out of their lineups, so the sort of lineup decisions that may have seemed absolutely insane in October could make a lot more sense right now.
Such as considering starting a third-string quarterback.
That's exactly what the Pittsburgh Steelers will be doing Sunday when they travel to face the Cleveland Browns. With both starter Ben Roethlisberger and backup Byron Leftwich hampered by injuries, the team will hand the reins to 37-year-old Charlie Batch in Week 12, according to Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com.
Person w/ direct knowledge of Steelers plans says Charlie Batch will start Sun. And I SWEAR I saw Todd Haley smiling today.— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) November 19, 2012
However, just because the Steelers have been forced to start Charlie Batch doesn't mean fantasy owners should consider it, even in a favorable fantasy matchup.
Granted, the Cleveland Browns have allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, but it's likely that the Steelers will employ the same sort of run-heavy game plan that they did when Batch took the reins for a win over the St. Louis Rams last December.
Batch threw for just over 200 yards with an interception in that game, which equates to single-digit fantasy production in most scoring systems.
That's the sort of output that makes fantasy teams desperate, not the kind that desperate teams need, and for that reason, Charlie Batch should be left on the waiver wire where he belongs.