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Reality of fantasy is dead last

November 26, 2010
Daily Press

ESCANABA - My fantasy misfortune has worsened yet again. I wasn't even sure it was possible, but here I am dead last in my league, with yet another injured star. The Giants top receiver, and one of the top fantasy receivers this season, Hakeem Nicks, is expected to miss the next three-to-four weeks.

Being that if you own Nicks, he's likely one of your top two or three point getters, you're likely facing a big problem right now. So where do you turn?

New York's No. 2 receiver Steve Smith is also injured so going down the depth chart, Mario Manningham now will draw the opposition's best coverage.

Article Photos

Keith Shelton

You're not likely to find Manningham sitting on the waiver wire. He's 74 percent owned, and his production is likely to suffer anyway, moving from the slot position.

So that leaves Derek Hagan who will likely start opposite Manningham. Hagan is available in 97 percent of Yahoo leagues, but is he worth a pickup?

Hagan's been sparingly used as a NY Giant, getting his first action last Sunday, and catching three balls for 10 yards. He'll be used more next Sunday, but how much more? That's the risk you take.

If you're in dire straits, go ahead and pick Hagan up. Otherwise you hopefully have a bench receiver who is capable of chipping in seven or eight points in Nicks' abcense.

The other big injury over the weekend was of course Vince Young. If you had Young as your main quarterback, you could be in trouble. I doubt many owners are in this position, but if you are where do you turn?

The Titans' backup, Kerry Collins, is still nursing a calf injury so that means rookie Rusty Smith will be starting. The good news? Smith is 100 percent available. That's right, not a single owner has picked him up. So there has to be a reason, right? Nnot neccessarily.

Smith is unproven, but working in his favor is the fact the Titans are facing Houston this week, which has the NFL's worst pass defense.

As for other decent free agent pickups, how about Jon Kitna? Don't laugh.

Kitna has the Cowboys offense rolling in a way that Tony Romo couldn't muster this season. Last week against the Lions, Kitna even had a long rushing touchdown. Yeah, it's the Lions, but don't forget Kitna torched the Giants as well.

As a starter, he has fantasy games of 29 and 33 points, making him one of the top three fantasy quarterbacks these last two weeks. He's 72 percent available too.

Derrick Mason is a solid option if you need a viable second or third reciever. Joe Flacco likes to spread the ball around in Baltimore so Mason is rarely going to come down with more than four or five catches but he's a decent bet for a touchdown from week to week. Mason also faces some weak defenses down the stretch in Cinncinati and Houston. He's available in 44 percent of leagues.

With two more weeks to go before the fantasy playoffs start, you probably have a good idea by now if you're going to be in or out, but if you're on the edge, now is the time to make some final moves.

Check your players remaining schedules. You might have some big hitters who are suddenly going to be going up against great defenses. Don't be too sentimental. If they aren't top 10 at their position, dump 'em, and grab some quality free agents facing weak opponents.



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