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1) Fred Jackson owners, I am sorry. Please take solace in knowing that your plight moving forward is not uncommon, and many a fantasy champion has overcome critical early season losses of key fantasy contributors.
The other good news is that Jackson's knee injury does not appear as serious as it looked, or as devastating fantasy-wise as was originally feared. The MRI came back clean, and I expect Jackson back by Week 5.
Do not, under any circumstance, drop Jackson.
C.J. Spiller was a top-six back in fantasy last season after Jackson went down, and he showed last week that this phenomenon is likely to extend into 2012.
To be honest, I thought that the 31-year-old Jackson might have lost his job for good after going down last season only to see Spiller go absolutely bananas. I thought there was no way that the Bills could keep the absolutely electric Spiller out of game plans in 2012, and that we would begin to see a changing of the guard coming into this season in Buffalo, a torch being passed from Jackson to Spiller.
Although that never occurred this preseason and Jackson opened up as the outright starter, I feel this injury will force my initial expectation to come to fruition. You are holding on to Jackson at this point to dump him when his value reaches its highest point right before his return.
You won't get back the same value that you gave up to draft him, but be prepared to cut bait. Just don't do it now while his value is at rock bottom.
2) Keep wheeling and dealing. This advice will be the same for all positions. Fantasy football is a dynamic marketplace, and owners' ideas and values vary greatly.
I don't like to accept trades this early in the season, but I like to offer them. I like to offer lots of trades that I feel are terribly lopsided in my favor, even borderline insulting. Mark Ingram and Anquan Boldin for Julio Jones, deals like that.
You never know when a league member will be stupid, drunk or bored enough to actually take you up on one of these, and it happens more often than you would think, even among good players.
Here are the running backs I am looking to buy low this week:
a) Willis McGahee
b) Peyton Hillis
c) Chris Johnson
d) Jamaal Charles
Here are the running backs I am looking to sell high this week:
a) Alfred Morris
b) Kevin Smith
c) Shonn Greene
d) Frank Gore
3) Matt Forte owners, I am sorry. "High-ankle sprain" were the last three words you were hoping to hear in reference to your RB1/high-end RB2. Well, besides "Dr. James Andrews," at least.
Add in that Michael Bush has already vultured two TDs that would have been all-Forte last season, and I can imagine a pretty bleak picture is emerging in the minds of those who selected Forte in Round 2 of their fantasy drafts. I avoided Forte in all drafts this season (as you should have), so my advice is for the non-Forte owners in leagues:
Fleece the Forte owner, and do it now before someone else does.
Find out who it is and take a look at every spot on his roster. Hopefully, he has been left incredibly thin at RB and is already off to an 0-1 start. That is your perfect potential sucker.
See if you can cook up a silly package deal involving your flex RB and a high-end, throw-in-type player for one marquee player from his roster. Think Donald Brown and Justin Blackmon for Brandon Marshall, etc.