Fantasy is a tricky game. It's a game of chance. A game of disbelief. And a game of madness. Guessing is an art and a science. If you're kicking yourself for starting the Denver defense on Sunday, you already know this.
Picking the premier players each week isn't easy. Take Andy Dalton, for instance. He was week 10's goat with 86 yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions. Felt like even more, right? Yet last week, Dalton threw for 220 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. I didn't see that coming.
Jonas Gray, who mustered only three fantasy points week 10, tallied a whopping 48 points on Sunday. Did you see that coming? Did you even know his name? And J.J. Watt, who makes a habit of stopping other offenses, contributed with a touchdown of his own, his forth on the year. Never mind, we all saw that coming.
Like I said, choosing the hot hand is complicated. It's ideal to be smart. But if not, luck works too. Here are some smart waiver picks. And perhaps lucky too. Where's a leprechaun on a bed of four-leaf clovers when you need him?
Alfred Blue, RB, Houston Texans – Of course, I'm starting with Blue. He deserves lead billing on HoustonTexans.com after his gutsy performance, filling in for an injured Arian Foster. Facing a suddenly decent run defense, Blue plodded for 156 yards on 36 carries. Arian Foster is expected to return this week. In the meantime, Blue is worth a stash.
Jonas Gray, RB, New England Patriots – Alright. Gray's performance was noteworthy too with 38 carries for 199 yards. That's almost two football fields! Leaning on Gray instead of Shane Vereen proves once again that Bill Belichick hates fantasy football. Even with a fickle head coach, count on Gray to land the lead role once again week 12.
Kenny Stills, WR, New Orleans Saints – Brandin Cooks bum thumb means a promotion for Kenny Stills. On Sunday, Stills reeled in four receptions for 32 yards and a touchdown. Cooks is expected to miss several weeks. Consider Stills a good pickup in all formats as a WR3.
C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos – Anderson started the game splitting carries with Montee Ball, as expected, but an early exit to Ball (and other Broncos) meant more work for Anderson, who ended the day with 115 combined yards. Ball and Ronnie Hillman should miss at least another week, which means Anderson should shoulder the load next week.
Cecil Shorts III, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars – With Allen Robinson done for the season, Shorts is the next man up. Even with Robinson in the lineup week 10, their last game, Shorts fared nicely with 119 yards on five receptions. Shorts is still widely available.
Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis Rams – I like the uptick in usage. Mason led all backs with 29 carries for 113 yards. All other RBs combined for five total carries. Hmmm. Could he possibly be the lead guy? Come on Fisher, just give him the rose.
Cleveland Browns running backs – This "hot hand" approach is getting old. Not really sure which one will start, lead in carries, points, etc. Play with extreme caution.
Erin Skelley joins Texans Radio every week on SportsRadio 610. Follow her on Twitter @erinskelley. She'll babble fantasy to anyone who will listen.