Go ahead and climb Jacob's ladder (pause)
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall
It’s playoff time and a lot of you are probably shitting your pants because you just found out one of your key players is questionable and you missed out on all the hot waiver-wire pickups. Don’t worry, because I am back with another edition of “Don’t Sleep” to help get you through these tough times. All of these players have cleared waivers and can step in and help you this week. Percentage owned based on ESPN leagues.
More after the jump:
Quarterbacks for Week 14
Christian Ponder (MIN) 8 percent owned/ Joe Webb (MIN) 0 percent owned: Depending on who plays, either one of these guys could be a good option this week. There has not been a better time to grab Ponder all year if he is healthy enough to play this weekend. He is coming off his best game of the season in which he lit the Broncos up for 381 passing yards and three touchdowns. That was good for 28 fantasy points and he has a good matchup with the shorthanded Lions this week. Drew Brees torched Detroit for almost 350 years and three touchdowns last week. While Ponder is nowhere near as sharp as Brees, he should be good for 250 yards and a couple touchdowns. On the other hand, if Ponder isn’t able to play, Webb could be a sneaky option this week. Webb is able to do things with his legs that Ponder is unable to do. I would actually almost consider Webb the better option because of his legs if all things are equal.
Tarvaris Jackson (SEA) 3 percent owned: The Rams defense is pathetic and that alone is a good enough reason to play Tarvaris this week. The Rams have absolutely nothing to play for and the Seahawks, believe it or not, are actually still fighting for a playoff spot. Marshawn Lynch has been going “beast mode” lately and it should continue to open things up for the passing game. Alex Smith was able to put together a top 10 quarterback performance last week against the Rams, and Tarvaris should be able to do something similar.
Running Backs for Week 14
Kendall Hunter (SF) 21 percent owned: If you are in a league that has a Week 17 championship, you have to pick up Kendall Hunter. The 49ers have already locked up the NFC West and even though Coach Harbaugh says he won’t rest Frank Gore or any other starters, he would be a fool not to take it easy on Gore, who has been nursing injuries all year. Hunter may also get at least an even split in carries against the Seahawks in Week 16, so he is at least worth a speculative add.
Dexter McCluster (KC) 22 percent owned: McCluster had a bit of a breakout in Week 13 even though his touchdown came on a fluky play. He has freak athleticism and it seems like the Chiefs are starting to realize that they have a dynamic playmaker when they get him in the open field. His role should continue to grow and he has a plus matchup against a struggling Packers defense in Week 14.
Wide Receivers for Week 14
Golden Tate (SEA) 0 percent owned: Sidney Rice is out for the season because of concussion issues and even though Ben Obomanu was announced as his replacement, Tate was the major benefactor against the Eagles. Pete Carroll seemed to be in love with Tate after the game, stating that the team needs to keep getting him the ball because he is a special player that can make plays. Tate is Seattle’s biggest weapon besides Marshawn Lynch, and he should get plenty of targets in these last few weeks of the season. Against a horrific Rams defense, Tate could get close to 100 yards and a touchdown this week.
Brad Smith (BUF) 0 percent owned: Another wide receiver that is zero percent owned is making an appearance on “Don’t Sleep.” Most people thought Brad Smith’s game against the Jets was a fluke, but he definitely had a nice follow-up performance against Tennessee with seven receptions for 72 yards. The Bills are a passing offense with Fred Jackson out for the season and Smith should continue to get a lot of targets as the starter opposite the inconsistent Stevie Johnson.
Tight Ends for Week 14
Jacob Tamme (IND) 0 percent owned: I have learned that it is probably not a good idea to suggest any Colts as starters, but Tamme has done pretty well since taking over tight end duties for Dallas Clark. He has 13 catches over the past three games and is due to find the end zone soon. He is worth a pickup as insurance during the playoff run.