By: Billy Finn
Well, it may not feel like it, but the NFL regular season is already half over! As shocking as that may be, what’s even more shocking is that fantasy playoffs are right around the corner. One of the most important parts of fantasy is depth, especially this time of year when injuries become much more frequent due to colder weather. This week, I am going to give you players to pick up off the waiver wire for deep leagues who may receive playing time due to injury or because a backup may just be playing better than expected.
The first player to look to pick up is running back, Derrick Henry, from the Tennessee Titans. Henry is the backup to veteran Demarco Murray. Murray has been playing very well this season due to the fact Tennessee historically uses a run heavy offense. With that being said, as seen in week eight, Murray takes a lot of hits, sometimes leading to injury. Murray sustained an injury last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Henry, the former Heisman trophy winner, came into the Tennessee offense and did not miss a beat. Henry rushed for sixty yards and for the first touchdown of his career. He also, played fairly well in the pass game, catching four passes for thirty-seven yards. Henry showed just how much talent he has and if he continues to perform well in practice, and with the playing time that is given to him, the Titans may have a two headed monster on their hands.
Another guy to look for on the waiver wire is J.J. Nelson. Nelson is a wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. Nelson plays mostly in the slot and has world class speed. According to Bruce Arians, head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Nelson will be starting in the first game back off a bye week against the struggling 49ers defense. You can look for Nelson to be a “swing for the fences” type of player. Arizona will most likely line him up in the slot to see if they can beat the safety over the top for a long touchdown. I wouldn’t necessarily suggest Nelson for PPR leagues, but for standard scoring he is a must have player in the playoffs.
The final player is actually a quarterback, I always like to stay away from quarterbacks because I don’t find that quarterbacks are hard to find, but if there is one guy who may be a dark horse fantasy star, it is Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Cutler came back last week from a thumb injury to lead the struggling Bears to a big morale uplifting win against the very good Vikings team. Cutler played interception free and threw a strike in the red zone for a touchdown to his favorite target, Alshon Jeffrey against the very talented Vikings defense. Cutler is also auditioning for other teams. It has become rather evident that the marriage between Cutler and the Bears has become rather “distant” to say the least. Cutler is going to be playing his absolute best to make sure that he has a team to play for next season.
The fantasy playoffs are coming so be prepared! Drop that guy that’s been your “sleeper” and is taking up a roster spot for the past eight weeks. The best fantasy teams are usually pretty aggressive on the waiver wire and trade block so, go make some moves! Good luck with the push for the playoffs!