By the time Week 2 rolls around, we’ll likely be looking at a major injury or two that either happened in the preseason or during Week 1’s games. This dirty dozen set of bench warmers are just a bad break away from becoming quality Fantasy producers.
Last year, we saw plenty of backup players suddenly find themselves with a ton of playing time and lots of Fantasy points by season’s end, including Mike James, Keenan Allen and Terrance Williams.
Top 12 Fantasy Football Backups For 2014
We’re all used to talking about handcuffs, third-down backs and goal-line vultures, but I’m going to try to limit this list to backups in the truest sense. Guys that are holding their helmets in their hands while someone else racks up all the Fantasy points.
Matt Flynn, QB, Green Bay: Yeah, sure, we all saw how he flopped on his free-agent tour of both Seattle and Oakland, but now he’s back with the team that he had his most success with. The Packers have a ton of weapons, and Flynn can get them the ball.
Ryan Mallet, QB, New England: The 6-foot-6 beast out of Arkansas has been waiting in the wings behind Tom Brady for three years now, learning the offensive extensively. If Brady goes down, he should be ready to step in – and hopefully, he’ll have a healthy TE Rob Gronkowski to throw to because that will make a big difference.
Knile Davis, RB, Kansas City: He’s my favorite handcuff of this season (even though I said I wouldn’t mention those). Davis would likely be lethal in Andy Reid’s offense because he’s also adept at running and receiving.
Christine Michael, RB, Seattle: This one might be spoiled if Marshawn Lynch continues to hold out. In this offense, behind that offensive line, Michael could be a top-15 running back.
Andre Brown, RB, Houston: I’ve already gone on record saying Brown is waaaay undervalued this season, as Arian Foster tells us he’s ready to come back from back surgery.
Ka’Deem Carey, RB, Chicago: Carey can pound the rock, yet he also has good hands out of the backfield to work in Jay Cutler’s passing game – sound familiar? If Matt Forte gets injured, Carey will be highly sought after as a three-down back.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Indianapolis: Trent Richardson is sketchy at best, but let’s say he plays well. Bradshaw, back from neck surgery, averaged 4.53 yards per carry before hurting his neck last year. Also, Vick Ballard is likely done for the season with a torn Achilles’ Heel.
Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh: Right after getting drafted out of Clemson, where he played alongside Sammy Watkins, Bryant was reportedly in the running for starting on the other side of Antonio Brown. He’s 6-foot-4 and because of that, he could get some good chances in the red zone, according to Steelers.com.
Marquess Wilson, WR, Chicago: If either Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery goes down with an injury, the Bears will replace a 6-foot-4 receiver with 6-foot-4 Wilson. He also reportedly added 20 pounds to his frame.
Harry Douglas, WR, Atlanta: No. 83 already showed that he’s capable of putting up great Fantasy stats if given the opportunity. He stepped in for Julio Jones and Roddy White last season and excelled.
Mike Williams, WR, Buffalo: Even if Williams makes it onto the field as a starter, he’ll have to overcome having an inconsistent young quarterback behind center and a dynamic rookie receiver on the opposite side taking away whatever few targets there are. But Williams turned 27 years old this season, and he has scored nine or more touchdowns in two of his four NFL seasons.
Jacob Tamme, TE, Denver: We’ve seen Tamme and Peyton Manning connect before to great applause, when the two played in Indianapolis together. If Julius Thomas goes down, Tamme would step right in and be a valuable weapon down the seam.
If you’re in a deep league, with deep rosters, take a flier on some of the top Fantasy Football backups for 2014, and you just might end up with a player that’s a certain starter for next season!