Future Rankings: Playoff fill-ins

A look at high-upside, widely available replacements for sidelined starters

Updated: December 12, 2013, 9:19 AM ET
By Field Yates and numberFire | ESPN Insider

DennisPittaLarry French/Getty ImagesRavens tight end Dennis Pitta, who scored a TD last week, is available in most fantasy leagues.

The fantasy football playoffs kicked off with an abundance of snow, but despite the wintry conditions blanketing several stadiums, more than 100 touchdowns were scored in Week 14, leading to excitement and drama in the first week of the fantasy postseason.

Unfortunately, notable injuries accompanied the action, led by a season-ending knee injury for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and a mid-foot sprain for all-everything running back Adrian Peterson, putting the Vikings' lead back very much in doubt to play in Week 15.

Between injuries and struggles by top performers, there are fantasy owners scratching their heads over how to prepare for Week 15, the second week of the playoffs in many leagues.

Those who own Peterson, Gronkowski and other injured stars are now searching for alternatives to maximize their lineup, and not all have built-in replacements.

Though the waiver wire isn't jam-packed with fill-in commodities, there's a section of players worth investing in this week if you're in need of a last-minute starter.

All of these players, owned in less than 20 percent of leagues, boast better-than-you-might-expect TPS projections, which are courtesy of numberFire.


Pitta

Dennis Pitta, TE, Baltimore Ravens (TPS: 1; 12th among TEs)

Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.