Week 12…it’s crunch time! Is your team riding high or riding pine? If you’re in the hunt and your league still allows waivers, don’t stand pat. A hot player you can use as a fill-in may bail you out when you’re least expecting it. So let’s get some!
Mike McMahon QB Philadelphia Eagles
OK, McMahon isn’t the strongest Smokin’ Hot!!! pick of the year, but for all of you hard-up McNabb and Bulger owners, he might be the best left out there. McMahon looked shaky early but settled down to throw for almost 300 yards and a TD, as well as add a score on the ground against a tough Giants D last weekend. You may remember Mike starting for the Lions a couple of years ago, so he has some decent game experience. Not only do the Eagles throw more than any other team, but McMahon is also very mobile and will make things happen with his feet as well. Whether he’ll resemble a Randall Cunningham photonegative on the field has yet to be seen, but with a porous Packers, middling Seahawks, and again the Giants on tap, look for MM to be a servicable fantasy starter should you need to do so. This is one McMahon that even Mean Gene Okerlund likes!
Matt Jones WR Jacksonville Jaguars
Converted QB Jones is proving to be a quick study at receiver for the Jags this year. Matt grabbed a TD pass for the second straight week on the way to a 46-yard receiving day against the Titans last week, and narrowly missed catching a second score. He’s a huge target and a physical mutant that should eventually give D-backs more nightmares than a Star Jones lingerie video. He’s not there quite yet…hey, who is?…but he’s a decent play as a #3 WR against a soft Cardinals D, followed by the Browns, Colts, and Niners.
Jamie Martin QB St Louis Rams
Just two games back from missing several due to injury, Marc Bulger got popped in the shoulder yet again and early reports have him missing two weeks or more. Bad news for Bulger owners, but another opportunity for Martin owners. Jamie didn’t look great during his last stint as the starter a few weeks ago, but remember that Ike Bruce and Torry Holt were also riding pine with injuries. With the lowly Texans and putrid Cardinals next on the schedule, Martin may be a pretty fine choice as a spot starter even if you have a decent QB on your roster already. Jamie’s back and he’s going to start trouble…hey now, hey now…Jamie’s back!
Braylon Edwards WR Cleveland Browns
After joining the club of receivers grumbling about not getting the ball thrown his way enough, Edwards becomes one of the few who actually makes good on his claims. Edwards is a future stud in Cleveland and he’s been getting more and more looks each week, the latest being a 6 / 90 performance against the Fins. Look for the QB play to be erratic as Charlie Frye will likely get some late season snaps relieving Trent Dilfer, but Edwards will burn a couple of more teams before the season is through. If you know which ones, you’re a smarter man than me. Next on tap for the Browns is the Vikings, Jags, and Bengals. When was the last time we saw a highly-drafted Wolverines WR who wasn’t a total bust? Amani Toomer?
Reggie Brown WR Philadelphia Eagles
One doesn’t typically expect rookie receivers to be much of a threat in the fantasy world, but here’s the third one of mention in the article. Reggie appears here again coming off of an 88 yard and a TD game against the Giants. As was mentioned when discussing McMahon, the Eagles love to throw and there’s no T.O. around anymore to compete with for catches or fresh Sharpies. Look for Brown to continue to be a top target in Philly and serve as a respectable #3 WR for you down the stretch.
On the Radar
Maurice Hicks RB San Francisco 49ers
With Frank Gore getting hurt in practice late in the week and Kevin Barlow getting concussed during the game, Mo Hicks got his first carries of the year and made them count with a 83 yard and a TD performance in just under 2 quarters of action. Hicks looked pretty good when he had the chance to play last year and is definitely worth a roster slot should Gore and Barlow miss time this weekend against an average Titans run defense. Watch the injury report, and if things look bad for the top two…Go Mo!
Zach Hilton TE New Orleans Saints
It’s about time a Hilton hits it big without owning a huge hotel chain or making a raunchy home video! Hilton broke onto the fantasy (football, that is!) scene this past weekend with a 6 /72 week against the battered Pats. Hilton is a big sucka…much like Fletch, 6’8″ without the afro…and with Conwell looking to miss a few more weeks, you may hear more from this guy before the year is through. A couple of years ago, the Saints had a guy come from nowhere to be a fantasy stud at TE over the last several weeks of the season. Where is Boo Williams now? If Hilton can do a Boo or two, he’ll do good things for you! Yahoo!
Ken Dorsey QB San Francisco 49ers
I’m no big Dorsey fan, but he didn’t look bad throwing for 249 yards and a TD and almost spearheading a late comeback against the Seahawks. And you have to love the schedule on tap; Titans, Colts, Seahawks again, Jags, Rams, and Texans. Wow, I hope you don’t have to reach this far for a starter at this point, but if you do, Dorsey should post reasonably servicable numbers for you should he keep the starters job.