If you’ve played fantasy football enough you reach that point several times a season where a player listed as “probable” has a set back in warm ups or something crazy changes at the last second. It leaves you scrambling and searching through available free agents to find anything with even remote potential. Below are five possible players worth taking a chance on that are almost certainly available in your league if you get desperate.
So how did I do last week with my ideas? Well, Carson Palmer was pure genius, Karlos Williams got a touchdown, only three defenses did worse than the Browns, and both Dorial Green-Beckham and Josh Hill didn’t catch a single pass. Hey, I said these were desperate starts for a reason, but two out of five isn’t bad when you’re desperate. The fact that I’m batting .400 means I’ll give it another shot for at least a week.
1. New Orleans Saints defense
I can pretty much guarantee they’ll be available in every single league, perhaps even until the end of time. As insane as this advice is, they’re playing the Bucs who scored 14 at home against the Titans. Jameis Winston is playing on the road for the first time against a division rival in a very hostile environment. That’s got to be good for a turnover or two right? Problem is, the Bucs will likely hand off to Doug Martin every single play and he might go for 250 by the time it’s done. If the Saints do a passable job against the Bucs’ run, though, then the defense could turn in a good performance. And as bad as the Saints defense is, remember that in 2012 when they fielded the worst defense OF ALL TIME, they shut out the Bucs at home 41-0. That’s right, the Bucs couldn’t score on the worst defense of all time. The sun has to shine sometime on this Saints defense and the lowly Bucs are the perfect victim.
2. Nick Foles, QB, St. Louis Rams
Surprisingly Foles is only taken in 18% of leagues. That seems way too low for a guy that just lit up the Seahawks defense for a 115.8 QB rating. Granted fantasy football doesn’t reward efficiency, but it’s still pretty impressive he threw for 297 yards and 1 touchdown. The Redskins did hold the Dolphins to just 17 in their loss to Miami but you just sense the wheels are about to come off over there. This is a decent start and picking up Foles for later weeks as an insurance policy is a good move. He’s playing well and looks comfortable with this offense. And based on what he did against the Seahawks, it’s fair to assume he could do better against the Redskins.
3. Terrence West, RB, Tennessee Titans
The Titans are going to try to protect Marcus Mariota so while Sankey is the starter expect them to run a lot unless they get down big. And I don’t see their opponent the Browns blowing anyone out. In fact, as bad as my advice to pick up the Browns defense was last week, I’m now advising you to pick against them. West had 13 carries last week so he’s seeing some reps. If you need a desperate play at running back, just hope West vultures a goal line carry away from Sankey. And hey, the Browns are one of the worst teams in fantasy as far as giving up points to backs. Just ask Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell how things went last week.
4. Cole Beasley, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Like Foles he’s owned in 18% of leagues. Tony Romo needs to throw to someone with Dez Bryant out. He already had 6 targets and 4 receptions last week, I feel good about that going up.
5. Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions
He’s only owned in 12% of leagues despite a solid 4 catch for 53 yards and a touchdown performance in week 1. And as awful as the Vikings looked in week 1, he’s a good start this week. He seems to be living up to his potential so far after a disappointing rookie season.