Fantasy plays: How to keep your team going with spare parts

Credit: Joe Mahoney

Credit: Joe Mahoney

In virtually every fantasy football league in the world, Kirk Cousins wasn't even considered as a quarterback option on draft day. He wasn't even the top option on his own team for most of the offseason.

A lot has changed in four months. Cousins was a solid fantasy performer yet again last week, with 302 yards passing, one touchdown through the air and one score on the ground. Many fantasy owners desperate for a productive quarterback in the final stretch of the regular season rode him to a victory, proving yet again that you can win crunch-time fantasy games with waiver wire castoffs.

Cousins has been a viable quarterback streaming option for several weeks, most notably in a 4 TD performance against the Saints two weeks ago. So was Jameis Winston in Tampa Bay's complete domination of the Eagles two weeks ago.

The lesson here is that it's not too late to remake your lineup with spare parts as you look to make a final run to the playoffs or even solidify your roster if you have a postseason berth locked up. And if you're completely out of contention, remember that it's deeply immoral for fantasy owners to mail it in during the final weeks. Doing so affects the integrity of the game but most importantly can allow your opponent to sneak into the playoffs on a cheap win while others in the league don't have the same luxury.

The lesson is that it's never too late to rework your team, even if it's with obscure names. Here are some options:


The good news for Rob Gronkowski and his owners: His knee injury isn't as bad as originally thought. The bad news: He apparently will miss at least one game. Enter Chandler. He has touchdowns in two of the last three weeks, including a 58-yard output against the Broncos. He gets a favorable matchup this week against a weak Philadelphia defense, and is only 9 percent owned in Yahoo leagues.


Yes, it would have seemed laughable in September, but he makes sense if you're thin at quarterback. His New Orleans matchup at home in two weeks is favorable. He is 43 percent owned in Yahoo leagues.


Another formerly unheard-of player who now has fantasy relevance as injuries take their toll on the San Diego offense. Inman picked up 65 yards and a touchdown last week. The other (and harder to obtain on the waiver wire) Charger WR option is Stevie Johnson.


In most leagues, it's too late to snag the Ravens running back. But he is clearly their go-to back with Justin Forsett injured. If you want to gamble on his backup, look at Terrance West. He ripped off a couple nice runs Monday night and could find the end zone in the last month of the season.


His eruption against the Seahawks on Sunday (201 yards and a touchdown) is baffling considering it was similar to his production for the entire season up to that point. He is definitely worth a flyer, but his big game seems more like an anomaly than a sign of things to come the rest of the year. But with defenses focusing on Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant, he will continue to get looks.


The Miami rookie wideout has not lived up to the hype, but it's still not too late. He had 80 yards and a touchdown in Miami's blowout loss to the New York Jets, and look for the Dolphins to get their young talent as many reps in the final month of the season as they get ready for 2016. And if the Dolphins keep getting blown out, that opens up the door to garbage time points.