Owners must prepare for the worst
Injuries have impacted almost every fantasy football team, and unfortunately there is very little that we, as simple fantasy owners, can do about it other than hope, pray and prepare for the worst. What makes this year unusual is the fact that the injuries seem to be hitting some of the brightest stars. This can cause utter destruction to a fantasy team, especially those in a league of 12 or more owners where the rosters get thin in a hurry and free agents are scarce. Some leagues have minimum roster requirements meaning an owner must play his or her entire roster, leaving no room for “inactive” or “reserve” players. If that sounds familiar, there truly is nothing you can do to inoculate yourself from the injury bug. However, if your league allows for some extra players, it may be best to consider adding at least one key backup that otherwise would never see the light of day on most fantasy rosters. A perfect example of such a player is running back Derrick Blaylock of the Kansas City Chiefs. Blaylock, in his fourth NFL season, rarely sees the field but his most significant statistic is the fact that he ranks second on the Chiefs depth chart behind the most dominant RB of the past three years, Priest Holmes. Blaylock carries virtually no value to anyone other than Holmes’ owners but his worth may be incalculable in the event of an injury to the heavenly KC star. Priest is the difference-maker to his owners and although Blaylock may not be able to replace Holmes’ production entirely, he will at least be able to help his owners ride out the storm should Priest go down for a few games. This scenario played itself out perfectly in Week 4 when little-used RB Jonathan Wells filled in for starter Domanick Davis in Houston. Davis should return to face the Vikings in Week 5 but this just goes to show how to create a salvageable week by using a well-placed reserve. The key is to remember that this safety-net approach works best for running backs and quarterbacks but is mostly a waste of time when it comes to wide receivers. Ask the PunditDear Pundit: I have Michael Vick (Atlanta) as my starting QB and just picked up Leonard Henry (Miami) as my reserve RB. I’ve been offered Kurt Warner (QB-NYG) and Jerome Bettis (RB-Pittsburgh) in exchange. Bettis is scoring regularly, and Warner seems to be a good fit in N.Y. Vick stinks as of late and I’m leaning toward doing the trade. Should I pull the trigger?Rick – Superior, Wis.Rick: Rules are rules for a reason and the rule here is “never trade away a superstar” and Vick certainly fits that description. Vick may be struggling, but he has such high potential and explosiveness that I fear you would live to regret letting him slide through your fingers. Keep Vick and pass on this offer.The Pigskin Pundit Question for the Pundit? Send it to PigskinPundit@hotmail.com.
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As the heat of the summer gives way to cooler mornings, summer trail race opportunities are slowly coming to an end.