The Fantasy Fool: Players you need to win your fantasy football championship

Bears running back Marion Barber III is a must-add for fantasy owners, now that Matt Forte is out with a sprained knee.
Bears running back Marion Barber III is a must-add for fantasy owners, now that Matt Forte is out with a sprained knee. (DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer)
Posted: December 06, 2011

If you're reading this, I'm guessing you are either (a) making plans for your postseason march, (b) wondering where everything went wrong in a season once so full of promise, or (c) an Indianapolis Colts player who has decided to look into a potentially more rewarding career as a fantasy football enthusiast.

First off, welcome to the column, Delone.

Second, if it's any consolation to the disillusioned set, I started a lineup this weekend that featured Matt Forte, Michael Turner, DeAngelo Williams, Nate Washington, Brandon Lloyd and Jason Witten in a must-win game, and not one of them delivered double-digit production. In a point-per-reception league, no less! I suppose that's the beauty of competing in multiple leagues; but missing the postseason still stings.

Know what I mean, DeSean?

For those soldiering on in their quest for fantasy glory, the old maxims still apply.

Ride your stallions. (Keep up the good work, Shady.)

Resist the seductive lure of the one-week wonders. (Sorry, Christian.)

Play the matchups. (Oui, Mssr. Garcon?)

Handcuff your studs. (It was fun while it lasted, Mr. Forte.)

And when all else fails, pray for a career game from a fringe starter. (Got another one of those in you, Shonn?)

The fantasy postseason is here. Let's finish strong.

To win a fantasy championship, it helps to start with a great draft. But filling in your roster throughout the season with the right free agents is also important. Here's a look at players worth considering, and others who would look better in someone else's lineup.

Catch 'em while you can

Marion Barber III, RB, Bears. Stop me if you've heard me say this before; but if you're a Matt Forte owner, Barber should already be safely stashed away on your bench. With the very strong possibility that Forte (sprained knee) won't play again until after your postseason run, Barber is a must-add. He won't give you what you've come to expect from Forte; but Barber has a nose for the end zone and he has a decent matchup in Week 14 at Denver.

Kendall Hunter, RB, 49ers. No, Frank Gore didn't get hurt again. But the 49ers have clinched their division, and you have to think they will lighten the workload on their injury-prone playmaker in the weeks ahead. Grab Hunter preemptively if he's available.

Don't be fooled

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos. The advice I offered after his fine Week 7 performance still applies: Thomas has great potential; but he is perpetually injured, and he hasn't yet earned a starting job over Eric Decker and Eddie Royal. Unless you have a crystal ball telling you when he will show up next, I'd pass.

Donald Driver, WR, Packers. Once one of the most underrated wideouts in Fantasyland, Driver is likely playing out the final games of his stellar career. His two-touchdown outburst against the putrid Giants secondary will undoubtedly be the enduring highlight of his 2011 season. He's still the fifth receiving option, at best, on his team.

Brad Smith, WR, Bills. I've never understood the fantasy allure of Smith. Every time he catches more than a pass or two (a rare feat, indeed), some pundit declares Smith a worthy waiver-wire pickup. Go ahead. Let me know how that works out for you.


Read Ladd Biro's blog, "Fantasy Fools," at fantasy-fools.blogspot.com. Follow him on Facebook or @ladd_biro on Twitter.

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