Fantasy Football: Adding a lottery ticket with someone else's handcuff

As the fantasy playoffs are right around the corner, it's time to solidify your starting lineup through trades -- if your league deadline hasn't passed -- for the sake of depth, and churn the bottom of the roster with potential lottery tickets that might be floating on your waiver wire.

So where do you look for these lottery tickets? Well, a few obvious ones are guys returning from injury or suspension like Minnesota TE Kyle Rudolph and Cleveland WR Josh Gordon. Both could pay huge dividends when they return.

Rudolph is expected to start today against the Minnesota Vikings against the Chicago Bears, who are the worst team defending the tight ends. He's already a top 10 option at the position.


Gordon is set to return from suspension next week (Week 12) and is still available in more than 25 percent of Yahoo leagues. He should be owned everywhere. This guy lead the league in receiving in only 14 games last season and is going to be a difference maker during the stretch run.

But the spot most people are probably seeking help is the running back position.


One possibility is Adrian Peterson, who has a reinstatment hearing on Monday. Peterson is only available in 10 percent of leagues, and of course, there's a morality issue that goes along with adding him to your roster. It's also possible he's not reinstated this season, which is why he's a lottery ticket.

But, the fact of the matter is, he might be the best running back in the league when he's on the field, and that means he can help your team win a championship. It's up to you whether you can live with that.

However, I think the best bet for a running back flyer is to add a handcuff or two, even if they aren't the handcuffs of running backs on your roster.

Alfred Blue owners, even if Arian Foster isn't on their team, could see the benefit of this today. Foster will likely sit out today's juicy match-up with the Browns, meaning Blue immediately leaps into RB2 territory.

If Foster's groin injury lingers, Blue could win someone a league title down the stretch.

If the owners of DeMarco Murray, Matt Forte, Le'Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles or Eddie Lacy in your league haven't handcuffed their running back, jump on it.

These studs have been mostly healthy all year, but all have backups who could be featured players in their team's offense, they are just waiting for opportunity.

Read S. Wayne Carter, Jr.'s complete fantasy football column at