Thursday, October 2, 2008

A bailout plan for your fantasy team

Your stock portfolio is tanking. Your 401(k) took a big hit. Your bank just went under, your job’s offering buyouts, and you can barely afford a gallon of milk or a tank of gas.

And worst of all, your fantasy team is 0-4.

With all the recent talk about the country’s economic mess, it got me thinking: What about a fantasy football bailout? After all, since most of us use fantasy as a pleasant diversion from all the real-life troubles we’re faced with, what fun is it if your team is struggling, too?

If you’ve had a rough four weeks to open the season, consider this column a shred of hope. Unfortunately I can’t pretend to be big government and just swoop in and forgive you for making Jeff Garcia your starting QB; nor can I divide up the points from Brett Favre’s six touchdown passes from last Sunday and distribute them to failing teams at the bottom of the standings. But what I can do is outline my own version of a fantasy bailout plan. It’s a two-pronged strategy, involving guys to start and guys to sit this week, and I guarantee it will cost the American taxpayers nowhere near $700 billion.

Here’s what you need to do to rescue your fantasy team:

Start Michael Turner. He’s alternated good and bad games (rushing totals in his first four games: 220, 42, 104, 56; touchdown totals: two, zero, three, zero). This week looks like a good one against the Green Bay Packers, who are allowing 157 rushing yards a game.

Sit LenDale White. Yes, he had a 1-yard TD run last week. But rookie Chris Johnson had TWO short-yardage scores and is a more productive runner. Plus, the Tennessee Titans are playing the Baltimore Ravens (69 rushing yards a game, zero rush TDs allowed) this week.

Start Trent Edwards. Looking for someone to hold down the fort while Favre is on a bye this week? Edwards has thrown a touchdown every game this year and faces the Arizona Cardinals, who were just gashed by Favre last week.

Sit David Garrard. Everyone’s favorite QB sleeper (well, almost everyone) still hasn’t awakened (two TDs in four games). Now he faces the Pittsburgh Steelers – third in the NFL in pass defense, three TDs allowed, six INTs.

Start Joseph Addai. He’s got four TDs in four career games against the Houston Texans, who’ve given up seven rushing TDs already this year. You do the math.

Sit Felix Jones. The matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals sure seems tempting, but when a rookie running back gets zero carries the week before and is completely healthy (as far as we know), I can’t start him in good conscience the following Sunday.

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