Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It's getting very late in the season to be picking up and starting a player. Your roster should be pretty well set with just a couple of weeks remaining until the playoffs begin, but if injury has created a hole in your roster, here are some possible solutions:
Jeff Garcia, QB, Tampa Bay - Playing Detroit is always a solution to a team's offensive problems. The Lions' defense is ranked 31st overall and 23rd against the pass, yielding an average 230.2 ypg. Add in that Earnest Graham is not available and it means that Garcia will have to throw early and often. I like Garcia to post a 300+ yard afternoon. Games against New Orleans next week and San Diego in Week 16 are also possible starts.
Tyler Thigpen, QB, Kansas City - In case you haven't noticed, the Chiefs' offense is now pass first, run Larry Johnson second. Over the last month Thigpen is averaging 236 yards and two touchdowns. He has three receivers that he can go to in Dwayne Bowe, Tony Gonzalez and Mark Bradley. He and Bowe are particularly adept at the "fade route" in the end zone. Fantasy playoff matchups against Denver (No.29-ranked pass defense) in Week 14 and San Diego (No.32-ranked pass defense) in Week 15 are an added bonus.
Peyton Hillis, RB, Denver - Hillis is not very fast or shifty, but he apparently does know how to get into the end zone. He also isn't a 20-carry, 100+ yard back, but there is nothing wrong with last week's 10-carry, 44-yard, two touchdown effort. Who else for the Broncos is going to punch the ball into the end zone from the three yard line?
Derrick Ward, RB, New York Giants - It appears more and more as if Brandon Jacobs will not play this week. If that is the case Ward could put up big numbers, but even if Jacobs plays, Ward always manages to get at least 50 yards in combined rushing and receiving yards.
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, New York Giants - Bradshaw is the No.3 option in the Giants backfield, but if Jacobs is sidelined he could get significant playing time. With the quality of the Giants offensive line and their dedication to the running game, Bradshaw could get you solid numbers in less than 10 carries.
Justin Gage, WR, Tennessee - Gage has three touchdown catches and almost 200 yards in the last two games. Given that the Jets don't allow other teams many yards on the ground (ranked No.4 at 81.3 ypg), it figures that Tennessee will get the passing game going early.
Brandon Lloyd, WR Chicago - Lloyd is finally back from injury and Kyle Orton returned to the field last week. It might be one game too early to start them, but then again they are playing the St. Louis Rams and their 30th-ranked defense.
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco - He's scored a touchdown each week since being sent to the locker room in the middle of the game by Coach Mike Singletary. Maybe the coach's motivational techniques worked.
Greg Olsen, TE, Chicago - Olsen is a solid target for Orton and has caught nine balls over the past two weeks. He'll continue to get looks.