After starting the season 6-0, I have gone just 2-2 in the last four weeks (I'm prematurely giving myself the win because Mike Wallace would need to have a 50-plus point performance against the Chiefs tonight in order to hand me a loss). Keep in mind that my fantasy league rewards receptions and return yards. I had to bench Percy Harvin this week because he sprained his ankle in three different places last week. No doubt he is a king when it comes to return yards, and he is all that the Minnesota Vikings have on offense beyond Adrian Peterson. When you consider the fact that every reception in my league is worth a full point, you're talking about benching a guy who is a sure bet to score 20 points every single week. In a head-to-head league that level of consistency is invaluable.
Then we have a guy who is the focal point of the St. Louis Rams offense, Danny Amendola. I am lucky to have him, as I stashed him away after one of my fellow fantasy owners dropped him prematurely. He'll pay dividends in the playoffs because the Rams have one of the friendliest schedules in the NFL down the stretch, and the fact that he had 11 catches and 102 yards receiving against a very good San Francisco 49ers secondary is not bad, either.
Bunch those two together with Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels (who did not play in Chicago last night due to a bruised back) and New Orleans Saints all purpose running back Darren Sproles (who could be out anywhere from two to six weeks with a broken hand) and you can see why injuries constitute a major challenge for my team right now.
When injuries strike your team this hard, the only thing you can do is try to fill the gap or make some deals. Luckily for me, I was able to trade Ahmad Bradshaw and his always questionable foot injury for Trent Richardson two weeks ago (so far I'm winning that deal). Besides that transaction, Golden Tate (two catches for 51 yards and a touchdown to go with a 23 yard passing touchdown), Marcel Reece (102 total yards including seven receptions against Baltimore) and Lance Moore (seven catches for 91 yards in a win over Atlanta) are now in my starting lineup. And since I think Josh Freeman has trade value and should definitely not be exposed to the waiver wire, I'm rolling without a replacement for the aforementioned Daniels, who should be good to go next week against Jacksonville.
No matter what, it doesn't matter how you start or even how things go in the middle of the season (especially when you're 7-2 like I am), it's how you finish. Hopefully with all your team return/reception machines intact.
If you would like to follow more of the sports stuff that I have been doing, you can follow me on twitter @jackchoros.