With only a week (or two) left in the fantasy season, it's time to start thinking creatively if you want to score a championship.
And that means making some pickups that are a bit on the risky side but could pay off big.
Some of these guys have had up-and-down seasons, but the ups have come recently—and yet they're still barely owned in most leagues. Here are some of the players to target for some last-minute help as the fantasy season winds down.
Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars
Injuries have been somewhat of an issue, and he plays for a terrible team, but Cecil Shorts has had some pretty big weeks with the Jaguars in 2012. In three of his last five games, he's registered 100 yards or more, and he's had touchdowns in four of them. Even against good teams like the Texans and the Colts, he's been able to do some damage, combining for 186 yards and two TDs in those two matchups.
Shorts is 61 percent owned in most fantasy leagues, and though he averages nine fantasy points per game, he has been good for double-digit fantasy points nine times.
Plus, he's coming up against the Patriots secondary this week. For a while this season, that wasn't good news. After the performance that unit submitted against San Francisco, however, it is.
Joe Morgan, New Orleans Saints
Morgan doesn't get too many targets, but he's been making a habit of doing a lot with the ones he does get. Last week, he caught two passes for 61 yards and a touchdown; the week prior, against New York, he had two catches for 106 yards.
Morgan is a risk. He's been inconsistent, and he only averages 3.1 fantasy points per game. But he's barely owned in any leagues, and his best performances have come in the last two weeks, and it's because he's been coming up with big plays.
The good news for Morgan—and for his potential fantasy owners this week—is that the Saints are playing the Cowboys this week, who have been very hit or miss this season and are nothing to brag about defensively. Over their last four games, they've allowed an average of 28.5 points per game, and they allowed 319 yards in the air to Pittsburgh last week. So the outlook could be good for Drew Brees and his crew of wideouts—including Morgan.
Leonard Hankerson, Washington Redskins
Hankerson is far from consistent, but he made a splash last week with a very good performance in a win over Cleveland. Be wary, though: He finished with 56 yards and two touchdowns, but he only got three targets. In fact, he has yet to register 100-plus yards in a single game, and last week's touchdowns marked his first since Week 2.
But Hankerson could still be a solid pickup considering how well he—and the Redskins—have been playing of late, and considering that the Eagles are next up on the docket. Philadelphia has allowed 30 or more points in six of its last eight games, and the last time these two teams faced each other, Redskins wide receivers registered four touchdowns.
Hankerson didn't account for one of them, but maybe after the game he had last week, he'll get some better opportunities.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!