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September 18, 2013

Bitten By The Injury Bug


The best laid plans . . .

There is nothing more frustrating than losing a key player to an injury, especially if you don't have a reliable back-up. The situation is going to become even more critical in a few weeks – not only will more injuries occur, but the bye weeks begin, when four or so teams get a week off, thus reducing the talent pool even further.

It's important to plan our moves carefully. A lot of what you do depends on what your record is. If you are 2-0 and lose a player, you may want to try and ride it out and save your FA moves (or FA money) for later in the year. If you are 0-2, you need a win by any means necessary.

This week Eddie Lacy, the Green Bay running back, went down with a concussion. There is no knowing how long he'll be out, but you have to figure a while, given the new stringent rules about dealing with head injuries.

His replacement, James Stark, had a huge game. Are you thinking about picking him up? Don't do it! For one thing, Green Bay plays Cincinnati next week, and the Bengals have a terrific run defense. More important, Starks is a plodder; he had the game of his life this week. If Lacy is going to be out for a while, you might take a chance on Jonathan Franklin, a rookie out of UCLA. He may end up supplanting Starks.

When Vick Ballard went down last week everyone hopped on the Ahmad Bradshaw bandwagon and with good reason – given the Colts' powerful passing game you have to figure running lanes will be open. But hold on! New Yorkers know Bradshaw has trouble staying healthy as well – in fact, he's frequently injured. Donald Brown is next in line, and he might be a good guy to stash away.

We can't stress how important it is to have handcuffs on your blue-chip players. For example, if you have Arian Foster, you must get Ben Tate: this is a no brainer, especially considering Tate is a huge talent. But even if the handcuff isn't nearly as good as the guy ahead of him – think Toby Gerhart – he's a worthy handcuff. The reason is that teams are conditioned to do certain things. If Adrian Peterson goes down in Minnesota, Gerhart is going to see plenty of action simply because that's what the Vikings do – they are a run-first team.

The other hot FA this week is Eddie Royal, who shockingly has five touchdown catches already. Normally we wouldn't even consider him, but Malcolm Floyd went out on stretchers yesterday, so that leaves Royal as the go-to guy in San Diego. I never thought I'd say it but with Philip Rivers throwing well, he's a worthy pick up if you need a wide receiver.

"Skippy Brown" recently won the Draft King Spring Fling contest, besting over 1000 other professional fantasy baseball players. For comments, tips, advice, rants, or just to annoy him you can now contact the Skipper via email: skippybrown@yahoo.com.

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