Zach Mettenberger, QB, Titans
Despite declining attempts in each subsequent NFL start Mettenberger has posted two multiple-TD games in three starts and topped 260 yards twice as well. Down the stretch he has a litany of favorable matchups; in fact, on paper his only negative matchup is a trip to Jacksonville. If you’ve been snake-bitten by injuries or just playing the Zero QB Theorem all season long, Mettenberger—available in more than half of MFL leagues—is exactly the kind of guy to hold serve for you at the QB position while the rest of your juggernaut secures a championship.
Shaun Hill, QB, Rams
If Mettenberger walks out the door with another before you can make your move, Hill isn’t a bad consolation prize. His schedule doesn’t look quite as rosy on paper, but his playoff sked—at Washington, home to the Cardinals and Giants—and the emergence of Kenny Britt make him another viable Zero QB Theorem contributor.
Dan Herron, RB, Colts
With Ahmad Bradshaw’s season likely over, the solution in Indy won’t be to give Trent Richardson more touches. And why should it be? Richardson has done nothing to warrant the first round pick the Colts sent to Cleveland for him; the only two games this season in which he was Indy’s top fantasy back he averaged just over two yards per carry but fell into the end zone against Tennessee; and he gained a net of zero yards on seven carries but also caught one ball for 21 yards against the Pats. Herron is nothing special, averaging the same robust 3.4 yards per carry Richardson is, and he has just three career receptions. But he’s already jumped in for a couple complimentary workloads this season, and as noted with Bradshaw out of the mix he’ll get some run as a viable alternative to the sluggish Richardson.
Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Ravens
The Ravens keep wavering on who gets complementary carries to Justin Forsett; last time out it was Bernard Pierce underwhelming with 31 yards on eight carries. So Taliaferro is hardly a sure thing, though he’s scored more recently—and more often—than Pierce. Baltimore’s closing schedule isn’t necessarily a cakewalk, but if you’re mining the depths for running back help you could do worse than the potential goal-line guy for a team with playoff aspirations, facing the likes of Jacksonville, Houston, and Cleveland to close the season.
Kenny Stills, WR, Saints
News just keeps getting worse on rookie Brandin Cooks; first it was one-two weeks with a busted thumb, now the rest of his rookie season is in jeopardy. That leaves Stills as Drew Brees’ deep threat, a gig he’s had at least a modicum of success in even with Cooks still in the picture. Now you can expect Stills to run neck and neck with the rest of the Saints’ wide receiver corps, with the advantage of favorable matchups right down the schedule—culminating with a tasty home date against the Falcons Week 16. Stills remains available in more than half of MFL leagues, a situation you can help rectify with your waiver claim this week.
Eric Ebron, TE, Lions
Okay, so Ebron wasn’t the savior of a wingman to Calvin Johnson the Lions might have envisioned when they picked him 10th overall back in May. But first-round tight ends rarely do much as rookies, so that wasn’t necessarily unexpected. What Ebron does have now is a real opportunity to make a splast down the stretch. For starters he’s healthy, which pushes him to the top of a crowded pile in Detroit. In fact, he was the only tight end to see targets—four of them—in last week’s loss to Arizona. Ebron’s schedule from here on out is quite fantasy friendly—specifically the Patriots and the Bears twice. Defenses will be paying attention to Megatron, of course, and if Ebron can remain healthy his talent/opportunity combo platter makes him the perfect here-to-the-end streaming tight end.
ONE-NIGHT STAND – WEEK 14
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Vikings vs. Jets
Teddy Two-Gloves has yet to deliver a multiple touchdown game, but he does have at least one score in four straight. You know he’ll be on the waiver wire, you know he won’t have Adrian Peterson at his disposal, and you know the Jets blow when it comes to pass defense—especially on the road. Plus, by Week 14 Bridgewater should have a fully functional Kyle Rudolph to throw to, which in and of itself might be worth that second TD.
ONE-NIGHT STAND – WEEK 15
Chris Johnson, RB, Jets @ Titans
Johnson hasn’t been fully phased out of the Jets offense just yet, and with little to offer in the passing game there’s no reason Gang Green can’t pound the Titans on the ground like the Steelers did Monday night. So while Chris Ivory takes his, don’t you think CJ?K will be more than a little motivated to exact a measure of revenge on the team that kicked him to the curb? The Titans have allowed three straight 100-yard rushers—two of them at home—and seem ill-equipped to shut down any aspect of the Jets’ ground game. Rex Ryan loves himself a little revenge as well, so a few extra touches for Johnson could make him a valuable plug-and-play if you find yourself scraping the bottom of the barrel in your fantasy playoffs.
ONE-NIGHT STAND – WEEK 16
Anthony Dixon, RB, Bills @ Raiders
Maybe Fred Jackson is back for this one, or maybe the Bills shut him down early to protect their investment and see just what they have in backups Dixon and Bryce Brown. Doesn’t matter, anyone the Bills hand off to should find success against the Raiders and even if all the backs are healthy and involved Dixon should see the money shots at the stripe. You have to like his opportunity facing an Oakland D that’s allowing 150 combo yards and more than one TD per game to opposing running backs. And it’s not like Jim Brown and Barry Sanders have been doing the damage; Ryan Mathews, CJ Anderson, Branden Oliver, and Chris Ivory have all had their way with Oakland, in many cases producing quality yardage on minimal carries. Stash Dixon in the back of your brain in case you find yourself up against the wall looking for RB help in your fantasy title match.