With injuries piling up, we’re truly getting down to the nitty gritty in fantasy football as we enter Week 13, and for some fantasy owners, that’s not necessarily a good thing.
There’s a lot to think about when you have three-four weeks remaining to make your final playoff push, and you still don’t have an answer at a key position, or (gasp), two or more.
Read on for the top fantasy options available in at least 51 percent of your fantasy football waiver wire in Week 13:
Chad Henne, QB, Miami Dolphins (Available in 75 percent of all standard fantasy football leagues)
Henne was a decent fantasy play earlier in the season, but a slew of inconsistent performances ridden with interceptions got him benched. However, he returned last week as the starter and put up 300 yards and two touchdowns in a win. He still threw a pick in his eighth straight game, but he has enough weapons to flirt with two scores and 250-300 yards every week. As long as he plays more like he did in Week 12, he can be a solid fantasy quarterback.
Jason Campbell, QB, Oakland Raiders (91 percent)
Campbell wasn’t horrible as the starter, and really only hit the bench again because Tom Cable had previously committed to Bruce Gradkowski as long as he was healthy. However, Gradkowski is back on the sidelines (likely for the season) with another shoulder injury, likely putting Campbell back in the starting lineup. In his three previous starts, Campbell put up five touchdowns and over 200 yards through the air. Anyone involved in Oakland’s passing game is a bit of a risk, but Campbell was playing well before, and there’s reason to believe he can continue to do so.
Which player would you rather start this week?
Kerry Collins, QB, Tennessee Titans (98 percent)
Collins is our uncharacteristic third quarterback option that we like on the waiver wire. We’ve hyped up Sam Bradford enough and vouched for Jon Kitna in previous columns, so we’re reaching for a dark horse here, and with Rusty Smith’s horrible effort in Week 12, you can bet your top dollar the Titans will rush Collins back for Week 13. You can’t expect fireworks, but if he can establish any kind of a connection with Randy Moss, his fantasy value could rise rather quickly.
Westbrook is over 30 and probably working on his last leg, but you’d be foolish to completely ignore his new role (Frank Gore is done for the season), or his gaudy stats he put up on Monday night. True, his 130-plus rushing yards and touchdown came against a terrible Arizona Cardinals defense, but he still got it done. Rookie back Anthony Dixon figures to stay in the mix and Week 13 brings on a tough Packers run defense, but seeing is believing. Westbrook just might have one half of a season left worth of magic in his legs.
Toby Gerhart, RB, Minnesota Vikings (84 percent)
Adrian Peterson had an MRI done and is reportedly dealing with only an ankle sprain. Still, it kept him out of the rest of the game in Week 12, and considering Gerhart’s solid showing, Minnesota would be wise to let him rest if he’s not 100 percent for Week 13. Gerhart took over 20 carries for nearly 80 rushing yards and a score, and while it was against a bad Redskins defense, he still ran hard and was pretty impressive. His value will be extremely limited when/if Peterson plays, but if Peterson is out, expect a heavy dose of carries for the rookie back.
Anthony Dixon, RB, San Francisco 49ers (98 percent)
Dixon isn’t owned in many fantasy leagues for good reason, but with the injury to Frank Gore, he does hold solid value. Westbrook figures to have the bigger role going forward, but with his age and durability concerns, Dixon will likely have a decent role, and if Westbrook struggles or goes down, he’d immediately step into a huge role. Stash him if you can and keep an eye on the situation in San Francisco.
Jacoby Ford, WR, Oakland Raiders (86 percent)
Ford started the season as an afterthought, and about three weeks ago came onto the scene as a solid fantasy sleeper. Now he’s out in the open, and it’s time to take action. The deep ball is back with Jason Campbell under center (sort of), and while it’s hard to trust any Oakland receiver, Ford’s two 100-plus yard receiving efforts in the past three weeks shouldn’t be ignored. Still, due to a lack of trust in his consistency, we only suggest you stash him on your roster for now, and don’t insert him into your starting lineup. On the other hand, if your league awards points for return yards, throw him in immediately.
With three straight solid games, including a break-out game in Week 12, it’s time for Obomanu (right) to get your attention and respect. He should still play in the shadow of the big Mike Williams when the former Trojan is healthy, but even when he is, Obomanu should still get enough targets to remain effective. He has four scores on the season and three in his last four weeks, showing he’s a top option in Seattle, with that fact unlikely to change anytime soon. Play him as a WR3 and ride the wave.
Kevin Boss, TE, New York Giants (76 percent)
Boss has turned in solid game after solid game over the past four weeks, scoring all of his touchdowns on the season (three) over that span. He’s not getting an insane amount of targets, but as long as Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks battle injuries, you have to like his chances in the Giants’ offense. Outside of the “sure thing” tight ends, there is a lot of inconsistency that fantasy owners are forced to take a chance on every week. Take a chance on one of those guys that is more likely to score. And right now, that’s Boss.
Follow Kevin on Twitter @NFLSoup_Kevin