It's halfway through the fantasy football season and, by now, most owners are either happy, scrambling or considering walking away.
In any of those cases, there are players that should be on your fantasy radar screen that might make the difference in your playoff seeding, help you make the cut and even factor in during your playoffs.
Anthony Armstrong, Washington Redskins
After an impressive pre-season, Armstrong came into the start of the fantasy season owned by 0% of Yahoo! owners. As the season has come along, Armstrong has found his way into a lot of playing time for the Redskins as a deep threat.
Last week, Armstrong led the 'Skins in receiving with 92 yards. While he isn't likely to be more of a situational go—to guy in the coming weeks, he may be in line for more opportunities as the NFL season winds down and certainly has the talent to help your fantasy team when the ball is thrown his way.
Brandon Tate, New England Patriots
Tate is a name that keeps coming up for the Patriots this year. When the Pats traded Randy Moss, the fantasy waiver wires lit up with Tate's name, and for good reason.
The speedy youngster has had a healthy season and has impressed in return duties this year, racking up yards and two touchdowns. This past Sunday, Tate made several highlight reels with a 65-yard touchdown catch.
Right now, unless your league scores well on return yards, Tate is not starting material. Tom Brady simply does not throw to him much as of yet, but he should see more opportunities going forward, and is still likely to see playing time in the last games of the season, even if the Patriots are resting starters by that time.
Derrick Ward, Houston Texans
The Texans have had one of the most talked about running backs this year in Arian Foster, but Derrick Ward has managed to get enough attention the past few weeks to consider using as a handcuff.
Ward has been seeing more time in relief of Foster in the past several weeks. This is not a Javon Ringer or a Anthony Dixon we are seeing here, however. Don't forget Ward rushed for over 1,000 yards for the 2008 New York Giants.
If something happens to Foster, Ward will be an immediate starter in most fantasy leagues.
Tavaris Jackson, Minnesota Vikings
If you've been hearing a lot about Jackson right now, it is with good reason. Brett Favre has been ineffective most of this year while dealing with many injuries and possible consequences for allegedly doing a music video version of the song "Pants on the Ground" toward a sideline reporter while with the Jets.
Remember that episode of The Simpsons where the injured football kicker goes out on the field anyway and his leg breaks off? That's Favre. Hurt elbow, broken foot, stitches in his chin, hit by a Buick; it seems injury isn't going to keep him off the field until a limb flies off.
If that time is going to come, it will be soon. With a running back like Adrian Peterson always a concern for defenses, Jackson could see opportunities to run up some stats in the air if he ever comes in as a starter.
If you have a roster spot you might want to stash him now, either for fantasy playoff use or last—minute trade bait.
Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers
It almost seems like fantasy owners have forgotten Jackson. Early in the fantasy season, it seemed like there would be a scramble to pick him up in leagues everywhere, followed by a mass dropping days later.
Jackson has reported to the Chargers and while he won't be eligible to play for a few weeks, he is practicing and preparing to play.
With the injury-heavy Chargers receiving core needing a healthy body, Jackson will play. Add in the losing record, odds of any Chargers starter playing during the fantasy playoffs is high. Have some room? Stash him.
Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
With Romo's injury, many owners dumped him. He should be cleared to return to play by the end of the season.
It's not certain he'll play even then given the risk for re-injury for what is likely to be a futile situation for Dallas by then, but he puts up huge stats when he's on the field. Worth a grab and stash risk if his owner dumped him on the wire.