Backup plan could bring ring 

With playoff spots locked up, not to mention eliminated teams playing for nothing, the weeklong talk of coaches sitting their starters has fantasy owners a little freaked out about how to enter championship Sunday.

I find myself in a title game in one league (and a third-place game in a keeper league).

And we’re now reaching a point where more and more backups will be used in order to spell their studs.

Though you shouldn’t insert Indianapolis quarterback Jim Sorgi or New England QB Matt Cassel into your starting lineup, other positions could be tricky. With that in mind, I have these to offer:

» Michael Turner and Darren Sproles: Consider Turner the LaDainian Tomlinson of backups (coincidentally, he backs up L.T.). Whenever Turner has a chance to carry the majority of the load, he’s been able to shine bright. But he’s been hobbled by a shoulder injury, allowing Sproles to rush for 122 yards last week. With the San Diego Chargers locking up the AFC West, these super-subs sould get a bulk of the carries while Tomlinson rests against an extremely beatable Denver run defense.

» Brad Smith: The New York Jets’ receiver is arguably the most athletic player on the team. And with injuries hobbling Lavernaues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery, Smith could get some serious snaps down the stretch. And with the QB situation up in the air, Smith (a former Missouri signal-caller), could be under center as well.

Other key backups or suddenly starters include San Francisco quarterback Shaun Hill, Seattle receiver Nate Burleson, Miami receiver Greg Camarillo and Tampa Bay running back Michael Pittman.

STONE-COLD LOCK: Kansas City defense vs. Lions: If you haven’t picked up this defense, do it now. Detroit quarterback Jon Kitna is sacked 3.5 times per game and he has eight turnovers in the last four games. K.C. will look like a monster unit against the pitiful Lions.

Start ’em

» QB: Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks

» RB: Fred Taylor, Jaguars

» WR: Kevin Curtis, Eagles

» TE: Alex Smith, Buccaneers

» K: Robbie Gould, Bears

Sit ’em

» QB: Jay Cutler, Broncos

» RB: DeShaun Foster, Panthers

» WR: Bernard Berrian, Bears

» TE: Tony Scheffler, Broncos

» K: Jay Feely, Dolphins

Pick ’em up

» QB: Cleo Lemon, Dolphins

» RB: Dominic Rhodes, Raiders

» RB: LaMont Jordan, Raiders

» WR: Devin Hester, Bears

» TE: Kevin Boss, Giants

Cut ’em

» QB: Vinny Testaverde, Panthers

» QB: Kyle Boller, Ravens

» RB: Fred Jackson, Bills

» WR: Kevin Walkter, Texans

» TE: Jeremy Shockey, Giants

cnavalta@examiner.com

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