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Fantasy Football Week 13: Average Players on the Verge of Huge Games

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 13:  Shane Vereen #34 of the New England Patriots reacts after a ruin in the first quarter against the Houston Texans during the 2013 AFC Divisional Playoffs game at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2013

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

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 17:  Josh McCown #12 of the Chicago Bears passes against the Baltimore Ravens at Soldier Field on November 17, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Ravens 23-20 in overtime.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

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

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 02:  Stevie Johnson #13 of the Buffalo Bills runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

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. 

More Unheralded Players to Get into Your Lineup
PlayerPositionTeamOpponent
Alex SmithQBKansas City ChiefsDenver Broncos
Andy DaltonQBCincinnati BengalsSan Diego Chargers
Lamar MillerRBMiami DolphinsNew York Jets
Dennis JohnsonRBHouston TexansNew England Patriots
Rueben RandleWRNew York GiantsWashington Redskins
Cordarrelle PattersonWRMinnesota VikingsChicago Bears
Heath MillerTEPittsburgh SteelersBaltimore Ravens
Rob HouslerTEArizona CardinalsPhiladelphia Eagles
Cleveland BrownsD/ST-Jacksonville Jaguars
Miami DolphinsD/ST-New York Jets

 

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