Fantasy 911

Using the replacements

by Roy Skaggs – special to the garden island

Has your team been ravaged by injuries this year? I lost my second and fourth round picks early on when Ronnie Brown and Javon Walker went down.

Many times that can cost you the entire season unless you make some great free agent pickups or trades.

Continuing on my thread last week, match ups are also very important by using your backups instead of your injured stars.

Put me in coach (start)

• Quarterbacks

Kurt Warner (Cardinals) and Derek Anderson (Browns) were great starts last week and will continue to shine. Both of these guys were holding a clipboard at the beginning of the season. So was A.J. Feely (Eagles) and if Donovan McNabb doesn’t play, Feely makes a nice start.

• Running backs

I picked up Kolby Smith (Chiefs) last week and started him since he was playing the Raiders. I never would have thought he was going to have the game he did. Until Larry Johnson returns, I would start Smith. Jamal Lewis (Browns) continues to prove people wrong and since Cleveland actually has a passing game, the running lanes are a bit wider for him to go through. And who would have thought that Justin Fargas (Raiders) would continue to play so well in place of LaMont Jordan?

• Wide receivers

In six meetings with the Saints, Joey Galloway (Bucs) has nine touchdowns. Look at what the loss of a quarterback has done to Steve Smith (Panthers). He should have a great outing with the 49ers coming to town. Brandon Marshall (Broncos) has done very well in the absence of star receiver Javon Walker.

• Tight ends

For the Redskins, Chris Cooley has been their best receiver. All healed up from injuries, Dallas Clark (Colts) should see plenty of action this week.

Hold my clipboard (sit)

• Quarterbacks

Jeff Garcia (Bucs) left last week’s game but he did return. I’m hoping he plays but be careful before inserting him into your lineup. So far, David Garrard (Jaguars) hasn’t thrown a interception. I expect that to change this weekend.

• Running backs

Kevin Jones (Lions) really came on strong after his injury but is coming up against the best run defense in the NFL. Although Rudi Johnson (Bengals) had a pretty good game last week, I would expect a lot less on that tender hammy versus the Steelers. If you own Chester Taylor (Vikings), look for other alternatives.

• Wide receivers

Being the only viable receiver on the Ravens, Derrick Mason is going to find it hard to do much against the Patriots. Denver’s secondary will make it very hard for the Raiders wide receivers.

• Tight ends

The Tampa Bay defense is very strong against the pass and Eric Johnson (Saints) hasn’t been doing very much anyway. The Colts haven’t allowed a tight end to score yet, so why should things be any different for Mercedes Lewis (Jaguars)?

• Roy Skaggs, Fantasy Football columnist, can be reached at


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