Need a QB after Daunte went down? Looking for an RB as a bye-week sub? Here are some players not likely owned in your league who can provide the spark you need for the second half of the season.
Bubba Franks, TE, Packers
Franks has been a fixture at TE in fantasy football for many years, but a slow start followed by a knee injury that cost him two weeks had many owners jettisoning him to the waiver wire. Bubba had his best game of the season in Week 8 (7 rec., 62 yds, 1 TD) and appears to be fully healthy. He will certainly be targeted more often by QB Brett Favre now that WRs Javon Walker and Robert Ferguson are out, and he is a dangerous threat in the red-zone. Look for Franks to have a great second half of the year, so go ahead and claim him before someone else beats you to him.
Marion Barber III, RB, Cowboys
Starting RB Julius Jones is having trouble recovering from his high left ankle sprain, giving the rookie Barber the opportunity to showcase his skills as the primary back the last two weeks. Barber has shined, rushing for 222 yds and 2 TDs on a combined 49 carries. Barber was a stud at Minnesota, and clearly has the talent to succeed in the NFL. The Cowboys have a bye in Week 9, but Jones’ status for Week 10 is still unknown. Pay careful attention to the situation over the next week. If Julius isn’t healthy, Barber would again be the starter, and would be a prime candidate for you to play in Week 10.
Tony Fisher, RB, Packers
Fisher started the season backing up former Pro-Bowl RB Ahman Green and promising youngster Najeh Davenport. Season-ending injuries to both have propelled Fisher into the spotlight. Fisher is known for his receiving skills out of the backfield, catching 15 balls in limited action this season, and will continue to play a key role in the passing game. In addition, he will receive around 15 carries a game as the feature back. Fisher preformed well in his first game as the starter, rushing for 51 yds and a TD. He is a very worthy pickup and is a decent option for you to start for the rest of the year.
Brad Johnson, QB, Vikings
Starting QB Daunte Culpepper shredded his knee during Week 8, leaving Brad Johnson as the Minnesota gunslinger. Yes, surprisingly enough, Brad Johnson is still in the NFL. He had some good years for the Redskins and Bucs and boasts a respectable 83.9 career passer rating, but clearly at age 37 his best days are behind him. Johnson also inherits a dysfunctional Vikings offense, which has many talented players but has been terrible so far. However, starting QBs are always valuable commodities in fantasy football. Johnson is a good pickup if you owned Culpepper and need a replacement, or if you need a better second or third-string QB.
Antonio Chatman, WR, Packers
You are probably bigger than the 5’9” Chatman, but don’t let his size fool you into thinking he can’t be a productive fantasy wideout. After starting the season as Green Bay’s #4 WR, injuries to Javon Walker and Robert Ferguson have forced Chatman into the starting lineup. The aforementioned injuries to RBs Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport have forced QB Brett Favre to air it out more, leading to more opportunities for Chatman and WR Donald Driver. Chatman has scored in three out of the last five weeks, and posted a solid game in Week 8 (8 rec., 97 yds). Claim him today if he’s still on your league’s waiver-wire.
Kevin Curtis, WR, Rams
Curtis has taken advantage of injuries to starting WRs Isaac Bruce (toe) and Torry Holt (knee) and made himself into a legitimate fantasy option over the last six weeks. He has scored in four out of the last six contests, and is averaging an impressive 15.8 yards/rec. for the season. The Rams have a bye during Week 9, and although Holt is expected to return in Week 10, the team has said it will list Bruce as Questionable on the injury report. Curtis will remain a starter if Bruce cannot suit up. In addition, QB Marc Bulger (shoulder) is expected to play in Week 10, so Curtis’ numbers might actually improve. If you need a short-term solution to your WR woes, Curtis is your man after his bye.
Ernest Wilford, WR, Jaguars
Coming into Week 8 Wilford had 9 rec. for 117 yds on the year. Starting WR Reggie Williams suffered a concussion during the game, giving Wilford a chance to step up. He responded quite well (6 rec., 145 yds, 2 TDs), prompting head coach Jack Del Rio to state that he will receive more playing time in the future. While it is unfair to expect Wilford to post similar numbers every week, he is worth keeping an eye on seeing as it’s hard to find WRs with this much fantasy upside halfway through the season. If you have a dud WR (Michael Clayton, Nate Burleson) taking up room on your roster, it might be time to cut him loose and take a chance on Wilford.