By Eric Pedigo
Andre Johnson, Kevin Kolb, Ray Rice, Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush, Michael Bush, Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Smith, Clinton Portis, Hakeem Nicks, Jay Cutler, Knowshown Moreno, Darren McFadden, Michael Vick, Matthew Stafford, Beanie Wells, Kevin Boss, Ryan Mathews, Sidney Rice, Dennis Dixon, Pierre Garcon, Steve Breaston, Ryan Grant, and Owen Daniels. We’re heading into week five of the NFL season, and I just listed twenty-four players who have all been affected by injury already this year. Football is a violent game, and injuries are unavoidable. And with so many players going down this year, injuries are all but guaranteed to impact your fantasy roster. So how do you manage to still pile up wins while waiting for your team to hopefully return to full health? Is there a secret to staying competitive while starting a rag-tag bunch of waiver-wire all-stars? Well you probably can’t, and no there’s not. But a smart fantasy player will make the most out of his unfortunate situation, and hopefully scrape together enough wins to land his team in the playoffs.
The best way to brace your team for the damage that losing a starting RB can cause is to handcuff all of your starters. In other words, make sure you have your starting running back’s backup on your roster. Running back is the most difficult position to fill when waiver-wire window shopping. So don’t leave yourself scrambling to find a running back the day before kickoff. Having your starter’s backup will insure you have some kind of a starter in place at all times. Typically, the backup is a level or two below the starter, so you’ll probably see somewhat of a decrease in quality. It’s like drinking an RC when you’re used to Pepsi. But sometimes in rare instances, the backup turns out to be awesome, like Clear Pepsi. Either way, having your starting running backs handcuffed is a way better alternative to starting Vonte Leach because Kevin Smith wasn’t available.
Unfortunately, wide receivers are a more complicated bunch. It’s significantly more difficult to predict who will see the majority of targets in the passing game, than it is to pinpoint who will get more carries if a starter goes down. Handcuffing your receivers just doesn’t work the same way. It would seem that inventing a magical cream that heals all hamstring ailments is the only way to not be affected by receiver injuries. Though I’m sure you’re smart enough to pull that off, I doubt you have the time or resources. So in the meantime, the best you can do is please your wife. And the only way to do that is to devote as much of your time as possible to researching fantasy football. Chicks totally dig that. So scour your league’s waiver-wire on a regular basis. Wide receivers are much easier to come by than running backs. You just need to pay attention and get your waiver claims in.
Remember, it’s all about making the playoffs. You’re going to suffer a few injuries, and you will lose some games along the way. But staying on top of your injury issues could be the deciding factor that gets your team into the post-season. It’s all just luck from there.
Week 5 start and sit lists: click here
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