Who is going to lead your fantasy team to a win?

After+eight+games+of+injury%2C+Derrius+Guice+scored+a+touchdown+in+his+first+game+back.+

NBC Sports

After eight games of injury, Derrius Guice scored a touchdown in his first game back.

Aidan Spizz, Sports Editor

It’s official: fantasy football season has begun.  With only three weeks left in the regular season until the playoffs, waiver pickups can possibly be the difference between a fantasy winner and someone who comes in second place.  

Unlike in previous years, there has yet to be an amazing roster add, but hopefully a league winner can be added in the coming weeks.  Here are the players that should fill up your bench as the playoffs approach (Note: Players must be available in at least 25% of ESPN.com leagues in order to qualify):

Handcuffs

If your team is led by a running back like Christian McCaffrey (Panthers), Dalvin Cook (Vikings), Ezekiel Elliot (Cowboys), or Leonard Fournette (Jaguars), you must also carry their backup.  Reggie Bonnafon (Christian McCaffrey), Alexander Mattison (Dalvin Cook), Tony Pollard (Ezekiel Elliot), and Ryquell Armstead (Leonard Fournette) will all become workhorse backs in the event that their starter hurt themselves.  You don’t want to be in a position where you are scrambling to fill a hole at running back due to injury, so definitely handcuff your players.

“Every week someone goes down with an injury.  It’s important to stash another running back, preferably the backup to your RB1, in case you need to replace your RB1.  For example, my starting running back is Elliot, so I made sure to also own Pollard,” said junior Isaac Goldstein.  

Mohamed Sanu, Patriots

Mohamed Sanu was recently traded to the New England Patriots.  In his most recent game with his new team, he had ten receptions for eighty one yards and a touchdown.  With games against Kansas City and Cincinnati come play time, Sanu is a must addition to ensure depth at wide receiver.  

Steelers D/ST

The Steelers D/ST haven’t had a week with below thirteen fantasy points since Week 3.  Yet, somehow, they are only owned in 73.3% of ESPN.com leagues.  Their remaining schedule is Cincinnati, Cleveland, Arizona, Buffalo, and the New York Jets.  This is the second easiest schedule in the league behind Miami.  Quickly go add them because they will definitely serve as a stable D/ST, and it is usually very difficult to find one.

Derrius Guice, Redskins

Derrius Guice is finally back after a very long IR stint.  If you are scarce at running back, take the risk with Guice.  He hasn’t played since Week 1, but he is expected to make an immediate contribution.  Interim Head Coach Bill Callahan said he is “confident” that Guice will contribute once he returns.  Also, he is expected to have a presence in the catching game, which is very useful in PPR leagues.

“Derrius Guice, despite recent injuries, is a promising young player, and, given Redskins coach Bill Callahan’s commitment to the running game, he should see plenty of action in the upcoming weeks,” said junior Daniel Ruskin.  

Deebo Samuel, 49ers

After an early injury to Emanuel Sanders, Deebo Samuel become the leading receiver for the 49ers in their game against the Seahawks.  He had eight catches for 112 yards.  With upcoming games against the Cardinals, Saints, Falcons, and Rams, expect Samuel to continue to receive targets even if Emanuel Sanders returns.  

Sterling Shepard, Giants

Sterling Shepard has not played since a Week 5 game against the Vikings.  Because of this, he is available in 39% of ESPN.com leagues.  However, he has averaged 16 fantasy points per game.  During the fantasy playoffs, the Giants are playing the Eagles, Dolphins, and Redskins.  These three teams have three of the worst secondaries in football.  Shepard is definitely someone you should stash on your bench if you have the space.  Assuming he returns, he will surely have an amazing end to the season.  

If you add these players, it may be the difference between coming in second place and winning your fantasy league.  All of these players offer very high upside and don’t present much of a risk if you have space in your bunch.