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updated: 10/14/2010 6:31 PM

Fantasy team hurting? Help is on the way

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  • If Aaron Rodgers doesn't play this week, there are other options for fantasy football owners who lost their starting QB.

    If Aaron Rodgers doesn't play this week, there are other options for fantasy football owners who lost their starting QB.
    Associated Press


Screeeeeeeeech! Ka-BOOM! CRASH!

Like a six-car pileup on a Chicago expressway, Packer after Packer went down in a heap last week in Washington. After realizing TE Jermichael Finley and LB Nick Barnett will miss significant time, while QB Aaron Rodgers (concussion) and LB Clay Matthews (hamstring) are both questionable this week, Bears fans must be absolutely licking their chops at the prospects of Green Bay missing the playoffs.

As for fantasy fans? Well, many of you are licking your wounds.

There was good news Thursday on the Rodgers front in that he was able to put in a limited practice. The Packers think he'll play, but he still must pass tests by the team's medical staff, so it's no given that he'll suit up.

Another frightening development is the hit Tom Brady's fantasy value took after the Patriots shipped Randy Moss off to Minnesota.

Those of you with Brady or Rodgers may need help, especially in the short term with Brady facing the Ravens this week and Rodgers' status in doubt.

So let's see if we can apply some band-aids (in the case of Brady and Rodgers, and maybe even WR Greg Jennings) and reconstructive surgery for those of you who lost Finley last week and Ryan Grant earlier in the season.

QB woes:

For help this week, I would look to get one of these six QBs, in this order: 1) Miami's Chad Henne, who is coming off a bye and playing the beaten-up Packers defense; 2) The Jets' Mark Sanchez, who plays at Denver against another banged-up unit; 3) Vince Young, who goes against the team that has allowed the most fantasy points to QBs this season (Jacksonville); 4) Sam Bradford, who will throw at least 2 TD passes in a high-scoring game with the Chargers; 5) David Garrard, who has 5 TD passes in his last two games; and 6) Josh Freeman, whose Bucs host the Saints. Freeman's been solid, but he lost his starting center and that will be a big hit to the O-line.

One word of warning be careful before you assume Lions QB Shaun Hill (8 TDs last four) is a good pickup. Hill could be without Calvin Johnson, and he's playing a Giants defense that has allowed just 13 combined points to the Bears and Texans the last two weeks.

RB woes:

Those of you who lost Grant or are struggling to replace Darren McFadden or Knowshon Moreno should consider trading for or acquiring Marshawn Lynch. Seahawks announcer Warren Moon was on a Chicago radio station this week, and he believes Lynch will be the main ball-carrier in Seattle. It will be tough sledding for Lynch against the Bears on Sunday, but after that, Seattle has Arizona, Oakland and Arizona again in three of the next four weeks.

And as I said in a previous column, consider stashing Packers rookie James Starks on your bench. He's eligible to come of the phyisically unable to perform list in Week 7 and could play a big role in righting the team's dreadful run game.

WR woes:

If Rodgers doesn't play, Greg Jennings' value which is already low takes another hit. Consider buying low on Marques Colston, Hines Ward or Mike Wallace. Free-agent options include Kenny Britt (3 TDs in three weeks), Roy E. Williams (3 TDs last two) and even Nate Burleson.

In the short term, be careful with getting too excited about Buffalo's Steve Johnson (2 TDs last week) as the Bills have the bye this week, then play the Ravens, Chiefs and Bears.

TE woes:

Replacing Finley is impossible, but finding an adequate replacement isn't impossible. For example, I lost the Redskins' Chris Cooley last year and Fred Davis filled in nicely. Free agents to consider include: 1) Jacksonville's Marcedes Lewis (5 TDs in 16 catches on 23 targets); 2) Kansas City's Tony Moeaki (2 TDs on 16 catches on 23 targets in one fewer game than Lewis); 3) New England's Aaron Hernandez (18-240), who will only get more looks with Randy Moss gone; and 4) Cincinnati's Jermaine Gresham (22-158-2 on 33 targets).

Defense woes: Worried about the Green Bay defense/special teams? Go grab Kansas City. You'll be glad you did with this schedule coming: Jacksonville, Buffalo and Oakland in Weeks 7-9, then Arizona and Seattle in Weeks 10-11.

My teams: Matt Schaub (3 points) destroyed my chances to take control of my division in the regular league (3-2) as I lost a 115-103 decision. My unit-league team (3-2) exploded and won 79-42 thanks to big days from Tony Romo, Cedric Benson, Roddy White and Terrell Owens.

Good bets

Dolphins WR Davone Bess and RB Ronnie Brown at Green Bay. Miami is fresh and will take advantage of a sieve-like Packers defense.

Rams WR Danny Amendola vs. San Diego. You think Sam Bradford likes this guy? He was targeted an astounding 19 times last week, catching 12 for 95 yards.

Ravens QB Joe Flacco at New England. Don't let what happened two weeks ago fool you the Pats' D isn't all that.

Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe at Houston. With a measley 9 catches and a horrific drop in the end zone on a bomb last week, Bowe has been a major bust. But he gets well here vs. a sickly secondary.

Bears defense and WR Johnny Knox vs. Seattle. Jay Cutler's back, which means it's bombs away.

Saints WRs Marques Colston and Robert Meacham at Tampa Bay. Colston will catch his first TD pass, while Meacham is my sleeper pick of the week.

Jets WR Santonio Holmes at Denver. It was a decent debut by Holmes (3-41) last week. Watch for those numbers to at least double Sunday.

Colts WR Pierre Garcon at Washington. Teams continue to gash the Redskins' secondary. I predict this will be Garcon's breakout game of 2010.

Bad bets

Patriots QB Tom Brady vs. Baltimore. No Randy Moss? Tough Ravens defense? I'd consider other options.

Browns RB Peyton Hillis at Pittsburgh. Even if the banged-up Hills (quad) plays, he's a horrible bet against the Steelers.

Eagles WR DeSean Jackson vs. Atlanta. He's not a terrible play, but with just 5 catches the last two games, Jackson's down a bit right now.

Niners WR Michael Crabtree vs. Oakland. Crabtree (11-204-1 last two) is improving, but Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha will be draped all over the second-year wideout.

Vikings QB Brett Favre vs. Dallas. The Cowboys are mad about allowing 34 points to the Titans. I say Favre throws 1 TD and 3 picks.

Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch vs. the Bears. Watch for about 50-60 yards in Lynch's Seattle debut.