Sneaky pickups entering Week 12 

November, 22, 2013

At this point in the fantasy season, pending playoff teams should be taking a good look at rosters, both starters and bench players, and planning ahead for December. The teams fighting to make the playoffs are a bit more concerned with the next two weeks, but still, if your teams get to the dance, make sure they are prepared. ESPN colleague KC Joyner deftly wrote about the best players to acquire via trade earlier this week, but now it’s time to dig a bit deeper than Nick Foles and A.J. Green. This is, after all, the weekly sneaky pickups blog entry, so here are players owned in less than 10 percent of ESPN standard leagues worth stashing. By the way, we’ll be dealing with keeper pickups for 2014 in early December.

Quarterback: Two names jump out at me, and neither is Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie Mike Glennon, whom I’ve praised for weeks. The Bucs, after this week’s shootout with the Detroit Lions, still have the Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams and New Orleans Saints to play. But the Tennessee Titans' Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chicago Bears' Josh McCown are in a different situation. Fitzpatrick, a relatively safe, ignored veteran bidding for his fourth consecutive season of 23 or more touchdown passes (yes, really!), closes the season at the Jacksonville Jaguars and hosting the Houston Texans. Let’s just say there will be little on the line. While everyone assumes starter Jay Cutler returns any week now, sometimes week-to-week becomes quite a bit more. McCown/Cutler has a home game with the shell of the Dallas Cowboys secondary in Week 14, and doesn’t face a top passing defense after that. How could Fitzpatrick or McCown/Cutler matter? Well, Aaron Rodgers got hurt, didn’t he? Anyone can. And what if the Denver Broncos lock everything up in the next few weeks? Peyton Manning could miss a game or two.