The other day I checked the website for one of my multiple dynasty league teams. Since it’s a slow part of the year for fantasy football action, I had not checked on my team for a couple of weeks. While I had been keeping up with the recent happenings in the NFL, I had not taken time to reflect on the impact to my team. To make a long story short, my team is decimated. The problem, however, is that the destruction of my team is not my fault. Cedric Benson, who is my starting runningback, is now facing suspension and jail time from a bar fiasco. Vincent Jackson, one of my studs from last year, is already serving a three-game suspension for a DUI and is threatening to hold out the first 10 games of the season due to contract issues. My other receiver, Carolina’s Steve Smith, broke his arm playing ultimate Frisbee … actually flag football, but at this point does it really matter? Finally, to make matters worse, in another league I am without a legitimate starting quarterback because of Ben Roethlisberger’s personal indiscretion. These players fail to realize that not only are their bad decisions killing their careers and hurting their fans, they are destroying fantasy teams. Thankfully though, I am resilient. When one jail door slams, a new window of opportunity is opened for a lesser-known player. Here is a look at a few of the idiots (in no particular order), and potential replacements for teams in need.
– The womanizing quarterback has officially been suspended for six games. The Steelers’ star came through in a big way in 2009 with 29 touchdowns to 12 interceptions while passing for more than 4,500 yards. By missing the first third of the season, however, you might as well cut those stats in half to predict 2010. Luckily there are a few backup plans that can be had for fairly cheap. The first is Byron Leftwich who as of right now appears to be the leading candidate to take over for ‘Big Ben’ during the first part of the season. While I doubt he performs much better than he did during his stint with
– Another year, another run in with the cops for Benson. Last year’s comeback story seemed too good to be true … maybe it was. There is still a chance that Benson is innocent, but given his track record a suspension is very probable. Grabbing some insurance is a good idea given that fact alone. The two backs that would benefit most from a suspended Benson would be Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard. Although, Scott would most likely become the lead back, I advise grabbing both if Benson does get suspended … or worse. Other cheap help in the runningback department comes from a number of second-stringers with chances to contribute. Players such as Mike Bell from
Vincent Jackson and/or Steve Smith
– Reports look good for Smith to return from his broken arm by the first game of the regular season, yet it is always a good idea to have a backup plan. As for Jackson, whether he will be traded, sit out or finally decide to play is still up in the air. Replacing players of this caliber will be difficult, but a number of potential stars still exist beyond the radar. Obviously, if
While it is hard to predict a player’s potential for any given year, it is even more difficult to guess what off-field predicament they may get themselves into. Just like any injury or other unforeseen event, fantasy footballers have to adjust and patch the holes left by the players that take part in ill-advised and often plain stupid decisions. Hopefully these professionals will begin realizing that their actions not only have an affect on their careers, but also the fans and the sports itself. So Jackson if you are reading this can you just forget about the contract already … the Chargers need you, but most importantly my fantasy team needs you.