Winning fantasy football is not always about putting out the most consistent lineup. Sometimes, it is necessary to catch lightning in a bottle.
It might be a risky move to start a middling player this late in the season after he has not shown much in recent weeks. However, this is also the time of the year where points are more important than names. If you have a player with a chance to put up huge numbers, you have to use him.
These players are far from superstars, but they can be enough to help you secure a spot in the playoffs this week.
Josh McCown, QB, Chicago Bears
Lost in the St. Louis Rams' domination of the Chicago Bears on Sunday was the fact that Josh McCown had yet another good game in place of injured quarterback Jay Cutler. The backup threw for 352 yards and two touchdowns while getting 47 pass attempts in an effort to make up the early deficit.
Considering the Bears' struggles at defending the run, the Minnesota Viking's Adrian Peterson can put the team in an early hole again this week, which will once again force the Bears into a lot of passes. With Cutler not expected to play, per John Breech of CBS Sports, this means that we should expect another big day out of McCown.
The Vikings have allowed at least one passing touchdown in every game this season, and they have also allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. McCown will take advantage of that by getting the ball to his elite weapons at wide receiver and post huge numbers in Week 13.
Although he will likely return to the bench once Cutler is deemed healthy enough to play, McCown remains a great one-week option for your team.
Shane Vereen, RB, New England Patriots
While Shane Vereen is not available in most leagues, he remains someone who should be starting in every league, despite earning only 15 combined points in his first two games coming off injured reserve.
The Patriots backfield has been a mess all season, with a rotation of Stevan Ridley, LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden all getting carries. The first two fumbled last week and never returned to the field, giving fantasy owners fits while trying to predict who will have a big game.
However, Shane Vereen has become the safest player in the backfield with 18 total touches last week. He is the only one capable of making plays as a receiver, and that alone makes him a great option to pick up big chunks of yards at a time.
Additionally, he was even given a few carries near the goal line on Sunday, which could lead to even bigger days for your fantasy team.
The Houston Texans run defense is much less intimidating after allowing 144 total yards to Maurice Jones-Drew and 148 to Rashad Jennings, respectively, over the last two weeks. Vereen should be the next to have a big day against this struggling unit.
Stevie Johnson, WR, Buffalo Bills
With only one double-digit point performance since Week 3, it makes sense for fantasy owners to start giving up on Stevie Johnson. However, Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com reports that the receiver returned to practice after suffering a groin injury and is probable for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.
After getting two weeks off, Johnson should be able to return to being the solid player he was expected to be heading into the year.
The veteran receiver is unquestionably the No. 1 target on this roster, with an average of 8.7 targets per game. With EJ Manuel coming off his best game as a professional, the two should be able to connect even more often.
Against a Falcons defense that has allowed the second-most passing touchdowns in the NFL, Johnson should be in line for a strong performance.
|Alex Smith||QB||Kansas City Chiefs||Denver Broncos|
|Andy Dalton||QB||Cincinnati Bengals||San Diego Chargers|
|Lamar Miller||RB||Miami Dolphins||New York Jets|
|Dennis Johnson||RB||Houston Texans||New England Patriots|
|Rueben Randle||WR||New York Giants||Washington Redskins|
|Cordarrelle Patterson||WR||Minnesota Vikings||Chicago Bears|
|Heath Miller||TE||Pittsburgh Steelers||Baltimore Ravens|
|Rob Housler||TE||Arizona Cardinals||Philadelphia Eagles|
|Cleveland Browns||D/ST||-||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Miami Dolphins||D/ST||-||New York Jets|
Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.