In a year where the playoff pictures are more carved out than normal, owners are scrambling to fine replacements for the fantasy playoffs. Teams will have no hesitation about resting their Peyton Mannings, or Arian Fosters when the postseason picture is being laid out this early. Here are a few guys to stockpile for the playoffs, and are capable of coming in and making an immediate impact on your team.
Colin Kaepernick (QB – SF): Kaeperinick couldn’t have hoped for any better of an audition. Dismantling a top ranked Bears defense on Monday Night Football, then beating Drew Brees in the Superdome a few days later. He doesn’t have experience, but he offers an absurdly higher level of potential and play-calling options than Alex Smith. It’s looking like he will be the starter, and in for solid fantasy points the remainder of the season.
Bryce Brown (RB – Phi): WOW. Granted, the Carolina run defense is nothing spectacular by any stretch of the imagination, Brown’s 19 carry, 178 yard, two TD performance was nothing short of a breakout. McCoy is projected to miss another week, and Brown has a favorable matchup coming up against Dallas. While McCoy will almost certainly crush his value upon his return from concussion, roll with Brown in the meantime.
Jonathan Dwyer (RB – Pit): Was an absolute gem when the backfield in Pittsburgh was less cluttered. In a showing of faith, Dwyer has been named the starter by Mike Tomlin, and he heads into a string of favorable matchups. All signs point to him returning to his 100+yard game form form weeks 7-8. He has a better offensive, offensive line, and easier schedule than someone like Beanie Wells.
Michael Bush (RB – Chi): If you own Matt Forte, you should already have a claim in for this guy. The Bears offensive weapons are crippled, and Bush has potential to be an incredibly solid every down back in Forte ends up missing substantial time, or rested for the playoffs due to the Bears’ strong record.
Greg Jennings (WR – GB): He unowned for some reason in just over 15% of ESPN leagues. Why, I have no idea. Pick him up if he’s available for whatever reason.
Cecil Shorts (WR – Jax): Since week 7 he has four touchdowns, three 100+ yards games, and has yet to put up below 5.5 points. Chad Henne being willing to make throws over 15 yards, unlike Blaine Gabbert, helps him immensely. If he is unavailable, I almost like Justin Blackmon just as much. Blackmon has three TD’s in his last four, including monster potential as seen in his 236 yard performance against Houston.
Ryan Broyles (WR – Det): Didn’t disappoint when given more playing time in Titus Young’s behavior-necessitated absence, catching six balls for 126 yards. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him build on this, as Schwartz is ready to roll with him another week. It obviously helps that he has Stafford throwing him the ball in a system that threw more than any other team in the league last year. It also helps that Calvin Johnson will be soaking up gobs of coverage, theoretically leaving Broyles as an undercovered, afterthought for most defenses.
T.Y. Hilton (WR – Ind): Has put up three touchdowns in the past two weeks in this Colts team that is pushing for the playoffs. He has been improving and gaining more playing time every week, and now appears to be the time to add him. He also returns punts.