Many fantasy football leagues do not allow owners to pick up players during the playoffs, effectively shutting down the waiver wire for the season. I blame this partly on lazy commissioners who want to devote more time to their fantasy basketball squads.
But for those leagues who do not want to force playoff owners to use injured or terrible players in their lineups during the postseason, here are four players you can sign up this weekend and stick into your playoff lineups if you are in a pinch.
Montell Owens, Jacksonville Jaguars (RB)
You would think being the fourth-string tailback for Jacksonville would be akin to being the fourth-smartest person in Honey Boo Boo’s family, but Owens had 14 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown last weekend against the New York Jets and suddenly is a fantasy find.
Owens faces a Miami Dolphins defense this Sunday that has run out of gas and has allowed 19 points or more in each of its last six contests, so Owens could supply 75 yards and a TD to needy fantasy owners who still have not filled the voids left behind by LeSean McCoy or Willis McGahee’s injuries.
Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (QB)
Think of Cousins as the GEICO of fantasy quarterbacks. If you are the proud owner of the reckless and injured Robert Griffin III, then picking up Cousins as insurance if you have roster space available is certainly a good idea.
The last thing fantasy owners need is RG3 not playing due to last-minute knee swelling or soreness and being stuck throwing Mark Sanchez or John Skelton in at quarterback when Cousins would be a better play.
Chris Givens, St. Louis Rams (WR)
Givens has become quarterback Sam Bradford’s top target as of late. That is sort of like being called the best tackler on the New Orleans Saints, but Givens has been targeted 30 times in his last three games and has 19 receptions for 232 yards and a touchdown over that time.
Givens is home this weekend against the Minnesota Vikings’ 18th-ranked pass defense. He should be able to muster up a solid fantasy stats day against that mediocre group, provided target-taker Danny Amendola does not steal some of Givens’ catches and yards. Amendola has been battling a foot injury and may or may not play.
Detroit Lions Defense
Consider the Lions D one 11-man player for the purposes of this column. Detroit’s defense has not been much of a fantasy help this season, ranking 15th in sacks, 19th in interceptions and 23rd in fumbles recovered. This is why they are likely available on most fantasy waiver wires and free-agent lists.
Yet Detroit plays against the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday, a team whose offense makes every opposing defense look like the 1985 Chicago Bears. Just last week, their inept offense helped the Seattle Seahawks put up arguably the top fantasy performance by a defense in 2012—eight turnovers, three sacks, two touchdowns, one shutout and a partridge in a pear tree.
And that was with John Skelton quarterbacking for the Cardinals. This week Ryan Lindley is taking back over under center, and he is actually worse. Look for Ndamukong Suh and his mouthy maulers to stomp and slam—legally, of course—Arizona’s incompetent into the ground.
Detroit will not post the gaudy defensive numbers Seattle did because its defense is not as talented and the game is being played in Arizona and not in Seattle’s thunderdome of a stadium. But the Lions are still a very viable fantasy option if the defense you own has a tougher matchup against an above-average offense, that is for sure.
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