I hope this article finds you on your couch in a post-Thanksgiving stupor, half comatose, finishing off your 3rd piece of breakfast pie while bits of dressing hang on for dear life from your Movember beard. It's going to be a tough week due to all the action we had on Thursday, but I'll go through a few deep waiver add/desperation plays at each position that may help you make your playoff push.
Kirk Cousins VS New York Giants
Cousins has put up a couple of nice games against bad opponents this year. This week, he'll face a New York Giants defense that is last in the league in passing yards allowed per game (309 yards per game, ty ESPN for the stat). The matchup is a good one, even if you have a hard time stomaching a Cousins' start to begin your playoff push. While he put up 30+ points against New Orleans and Tampa Bay, he's posted fewer than 10 points in 5 games this year. It's a risk, but if you're desperate, he could pay off this week.
Brian Hoyer VS New Orleans Saints
Most of the analysis for this pick is right there in the header, the Texans are playing the Saints this weekend. New Orleans' D has given us some up some of the biggest games to opposing quarterbacks this year, and I don't expect that to change with the release of Rex Ryan. The Texans have plenty of talent at wide receiver, and Hoyer is good enough to take advantage of this soft matchup.
Shaun Draughn VS Arizona Cardinals
Draughn has been a tough runner while filling in for the injured Carlos Hyde this year. With Hyde expected to be out again this week, I think Draughn could serve as a nice spot starter for those desperate at RB. Arizona is a tough matchup, but you're getting a starting running back, an asset tough to come by this late in the season.
James White VS Denver Broncos
The Patriots backfield is difficult to project, but there is so much offensive production available in New England, it's hard to resist trying to peg who will get the work. Denver's pass rush and tough front 7 could force the Patriots in to a game plan similar to what they used against the Jets. White may have another big game, or he could see 2 touches and give you nothing. Good luck!
Dwayne Harris VS Washington
Harris has put up several good games this year, but he is the number three option, making him a boom-bust start. Against Washington, the Giants will have to score, and Harris should end up getting some work. He's taken a major step forward this year, and I think that will continue this week down in DC.
Nate Washington VS New Orleans Saints
If you're making a desperation start, looking to see who is playing the Saints and going from there is good way to start. The Saints have fire Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan, but I don't see that changing the season for New Orleans. The Texans and Hoyer have been able to move the ball through the air, and I don't think that changes this week against the Saints. With so much offense going around, I think Washington hands in a nice week this week.
The poor Ravens are losing everyone to injury this year. Picking the Browns in this game is a bit like cheering for the hyenas in the Lion King. But, if you need a DST for one week, I think taking advantage of Baltimore's injuries will pay off for you.
Nick Novak VS New Orleans Saints
Novak will face the Saints this weekend, a matchup that has been fruitful for opposing kickers this year. I expect the Texans to score early and often. Novak should have plenty of chances to knock in a few kicks indoors.
Mike Nugent VS St. Louis Rams
The Nuge may benefit from a fairly stiff Rams defense this week. The Bengals have too many weapons to be completely stopped (outside of games against the Texans), but they may be slowed by the tough Rams pass rush. Nugent may get a chance to finish off a few stalled drives this week, so I'll take a shot on him if I was in need of a fresh start at kicker.