Chris Givens: Rams WR Is Quality Waiver-Wire Pickup for Fantasy Playoff Push

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28:   Chris Givens #13 of the St. Louis Rams celebrates scoring the opening touchdown during the NFL International Series match between the New England Patriots and the St.Louis Rams at Wembley Stadium on October 28, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Fantasy football leagues are slowly approaching playoff time, making waiver-wire pickups that much more important over the next week or so.

If you're looking for a dangerous pickup, snatch up Chris Givens. He isn't big, and he didn't carry a notable reputation out of Wake Forest, but the St. Louis Rams rookie has proved himself as a dangerous vertical threat with Sam Bradford under center.

Givens was excellent in St. Louis' 31-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. He only caught five passes, but racked up 115 yards and an excellent 37-yard touchdown catch to give the Rams the lead.

Because he's only 6'0'', Givens must rely on his speed and quickness to get open, but he's doing a good job so far. He only had 17 catches entering Week 12, but he has 352 yards. That means he's averaging over 20 yards per catch.

Givens' big-play ability should excite the Rams, but it should also intrigue fantasy football owners. Pickings are slim in the waiver-wire world at this point in the season. Grabbing a capable player is difficult, so buying into a lesser-known commodity is sometimes necessary.

The Rams need a vertical threat. It's something that will probably be addressed in the first round of the 2013 draft, but it's not something that they can really do anything about now. Givens is the best option they have in that area, even if he is still a work in progress. 

If they had another receiver to stretch the field, Givens may not get as many looks, but they don't. He will continue to pick up big plays, making him a consistent threat to find the end zone. That means instant points for your fantasy squad.

No one is saying bench your No. 1 wideout for this guy, but he's a great option to stash on your bench right now. Aside from the San Francisco 49ers in Week 13, the Rams play a favorable bunch of defenses to close the year.

Depth is important in the NFL, and the same holds true for the fantasy world. Pick up Givens, keep him on your bench and maybe look to play him against Tampa Bay in Week 16.

Either way, you have a dangerous player on your bench and someone else doesn't.