Saturday - Feb 23, 2019

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When Stupidity Strikes

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 IDIOTS:



 

Ben Roethlisberger
– 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



Tampa

Bay
, Leftwich would make a serviceable option for a team in dire need. Two better options that are still coming off the boards in later rounds are Jason Campbell, the new starter in



Oakland
, and Matt Moore, the early favorite to start for the Panthers.


 

Cedric Benson
– 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
Philadelphia, Brandon Jackson of
Green Bay and

San Diego
’s Darren Sproles could all produce this season given the right circumstances.


 

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

Jackson
does sit out Malcolm Floyd will be become the go-to-guy in



San Diego
. However, most fantasy players are already touting Floyd as the second-coming of Jerry Rice. So, instead of giving up the kitchen sink in a trade or drafting Floyd too early, I suggest using a late-round pick or scooping up the lesser known Charger, Legedu Naanee, off the waiver wire. I also see all three of the Chicago Bears’ starting wide receivers as serviceable. A lot of preseason hype has surrounded the potential of Devin Aromashodu and Devin Hester, but I would not neglect picking up Johnny Knox if he can be had for cheap. With Mike Martz as the offense coordinator, any of these players could be in for an exciting season.


 


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.

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