Panic Attack: Need Help Already?

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We are just a few hours away from kickoff, and it's hard not to get pumped for the upcoming NFL (and fantasy!) season. Drafts are done, teams are set and now it's time to let the players do what they do: accumulate stats.

But if you're the type of owner who drafts a team and then sits back and hopes for the best, I assume you enjoy last place. If you're not getting better, you're getting worse. Sure, we all had bad picks in our draft. But there's plenty you can do to rectify the situation. Here's a list of some guys that may still be available to plug any holes:

Quarterback
I hope you have a better QB than anything on the waiver wire, but maybe you spaced out and ended up with Ben Roethlisburger (suspended for a month) and no backup. Don't worry, I won't judge. But go get Matthew Stafford (Lions), Matt Ryan (Falcons), Joe Flacco (Ravens) or Kyle Orton (Broncos), if they happen to be available.
All taken? How about Big Ben's temporary replacement, Dennis Dixon. Kid can run. And throw ... maybe.
How about Derek Anderson (Cardinals), who has Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston among his receiving weapons. Sure he won't complete more than half of his passes, but the ones he does hit should go for some yardage.

Running Back
It's probably slim pickins from the free agent list, depending on how deep your league is. But a couple guys that may be around and should be owned:
Kareem Huggins (Bucs) is tearing it up and has secured the No. 2 job in Tampa Bay. He's one Cadillac Williams injury away from being the starter on a run-heavy offense. He's gonna be a star, even if it's not for a few months.
Michael Bush (Raiders) was rumored to be out a month with a hand injury, but he could be good to go as early as this week. Don't be surprised if he beats out Darren McFadden for the starting job sooner rather than later.
If you want to get nuts, take a chance on the Pats duo of Sammy Morris and Kevin Faulk. There will be fantasy value somewhere in here, I just don't know where.

Wide Receiver
I'm huge on Steelers burner Mike Wallace. Dude is a beast on 60 Minutes, and he's got a great set of wheels. I took him way too early in a couple leagues, and I'm entirely OK with that.
I also like Denver's Jabar Gaffney, for the simple fact that there's literally nobody else on that team who can catch a pass. Seriously. Name one. That's what I thought.
Legedu Naanee (Chargers) has the No. 2 job to himself, with only Malcolm Floyd to beat out until (if) Vincent Jackson returns from suspension. Yeah, TE Antonio Gates is still Phillip Rivers' top option, but there will be plenty of balls to go around in that offense.

Tight End
This is such a deep class, there shouldn't be any problems if you want to play matchups all year.
I'm huge on Zach Miller (Raiders). Go get him if he's still available. Just trust me. He and Jason Campbell will be best buds by Week 3.
How about Todd Heap (Ravens)? John Carlson (Seahawks)? Fred Davis (Redskins)? I bet at least one is available, and all are serviceable.

Defense
I have Minnesota in a few leagues, which I'm very high on ... except when they play New Orleans in tonight's opener. Some other options (for this week, especially):
San Diego has the Chiefs, who will be improved, but certainly no offensive juggernaut.
Miami plays Buffalo. Buffalo's offense sucks. Ergo, Miami D is a good play.
Not that I would ever condone playing the Cleveland D, but they have offensively challenged Tampa Bay this week, and you could do worse for a plug-and-play.

Kicker
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Don't be afraid to pick up a new kicker each week, depending on matchups, domes, etc. Some for this week:
Jay Feely (Cardinals) at St. Louis (dome).
Dan Carpenter (Dolphins) is at Buffalo. It's not cold there yet ... is it?
How about David Buehler (Cowboys)? Buehler? Buehler? (Sorry, couldn't resist). Not a great matchup at Washington this week, but you gotta think the 'Boys will put up some points.

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Matt Wood is a web editor for suntimes.com and editor of CenterstageChicago.com. He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Wood published on September 9, 2010 2:04 PM.

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