There’s no question that every roster spot on your fantasy squad is precious, especially if you don’t have an injured reserve spot in which to stash players who are not currently active.
But that doesn’t mean there’s no value to be found in those players, whether they be out of action due to suspension or injury or if they’ve simply been relegated to backup duty to start the season.
Some decent fantasy options won’t make their 2012 NFL debuts until later in the season, and chances are most of the other owners in your league have largely forgotten about them, or have their sights on adding them to their rosters down the line as their returns to the field draw closer.
Or, in some cases, they aren’t even being considered at all.
If you have a spot on your bench for one of these players, chances are you’ll be rewarded for stashing them later in the season.
Jahvid Best, RB, Detroit Lions
On the physically-unable-to-perform list as he continues to recover from a concussion, the earliest we’ll see Jahvid Best take the field for the Lions is Week 7, when they play the Chicago Bears in a Monday night tilt.
Coincidentally, Best had his best game of the season in 2011 against Da Bears, carrying the ball 12 times for 163 yards and a touchdown.
Best is the most explosive running back that the Lions have on their roster, and while he’s not going to be an every-down back, his abilty to break off big plays makes him an intriguing flex option when he’s healthy.
Mike Kafka, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
I know what you’re thinking; why on earth would I want a NFL backup on my fantasy team?
Michael Vick doesn’t have the greatest track record of staying healthy, and even with his new flak jacket it’s only a matter of time before injury sends him to the sidelines again.
Kafka has looked solid when given a chance to play, and with explosive weapons like DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy around him, he’s capable of putting up big fantasy numbers.
Jerome Simpson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Suspended for the first three games of the season, the earliest that we’ll see Simpson running routes is in Week 4 when the Vikings take on the Detroit Lions.
Partially overlooked because of his suspension and partially overlooked because he has Christian Ponder throwing the ball to him, Simpson put up solid numbers in Cincinnati last season, catching 50 passes for 725 yards and four touchdowns.
With no real No. 2 receiver opposite Percy Harvin, Simpson will have ample opportunities to become a big part of the Vikings offense upon his return, and he can certainly help your fantasy squad, either as a bye-week replacement or as a flex option.
Tim Tebow, QB, New York Jets
Tebow is going to be active in the Jets’ offense from day one, but as soon as Mark Sanchez throws his first interception, you can be sure that chants of “Tebow! Tebow!” will rain down upon the field at MetLife Stadium.
If Sanchez gets off to a slow start and the Jets aren’t able to get into the end zone, Rex Ryan will not hesitate to put Tebow under center to try to spark the offense.
Remember, Tebow was routinely a top-10 fantasy quarterback last year when he took over in Denver, and there’s no reason he can’t duplicate those numbers with the Jets.
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