Unconventional Wisdom: Second-tier starters who may prove vital
Quick question before we get to fantasy matters. Why did the Chiefs claim Kyle Orton if he isn't starting this week?
Presumably, when the Chiefs snagged Orton off waivers, he was going to be the guy to save the offense and help them chase down the Raiders and outlast in the Chargers and Broncos in the AFC West. Two weeks later, they find themselves three games behind Oakland, yet Orton will remain on the sidelines in his second game with the team.
I understand the argument for starting Tyler Palko last week. It would have been a serious challenge for Orton to join Kansas City on a Tuesday and start the following Sunday. We all remember what happened to Carson Palmer. But if the Chiefs have any hope of making up a three-game deficit in five weeks, don't they have to start Orton this week? Let's not forget that before his turnover troubles cost him his job in Denver, he posted 7,455 yards, a near 2:1 TD:INT ratio, and 7.2 yards per attempt. No, not world-beating numbers, but a solid line nonetheless. Three months ago, most everyone agreed he was a clear starter over Tim Tebow. We aren't talking about an NFL nobody here. This is a proven commodity in the league. A weapon like Dwayne Bowe alone makes Orton league average at worst, and that's way more than can be said for Palko.
Speaking of playoff pushes, Week 13 is the final week of the regular season for a large swath of the fantasy football community. If you're in this group, now is not the time to be the Todd Haley of your league. You never know when a borderline call in your starting lineup might make the difference. As you prepare to get your best lineups active this week, take a look at a few players you may want to give a second look before keeping on your bench, depending on your circumstances.
Stewart's 36 receptions this year are 11th best in the league, and he's had a lot fewer snaps than most of the guys in front of him. If you've lined up in an NFL backfield against the Buccaneers this season, you've probably had a fun day. With his pass-catching abilities, Stewart becomes especially dangerous to them. Not only do I prefer him to his teammate Williams, I'd start him over Roy Helu and Willis McGahee.
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