Fantasy impact: Westbrook day to day
I'll say this right here and now: I think Brian Westbrook is one of the most dynamic and versatile football players the NFL's seen since Marshall Faulk. I enjoy watching him more than most other backs in the league, and if he played 16 games every season, he'd be an automatic selection to the Hall of Fame when his time comes.
However, that "if" word sucks the high hard one, doesn't it?!
"If" Westbrook could stay healthy, we'd never have to worry about drafting guys like LeSean McCoy this season, or others such as Reno Mahe or Correll Buckhalter or Tony Hunt or Lorenzo Booker or Ryan Moats or Dorsey Levens or Lamar Gordon or Bruce Perry or Duce Staley over the past seven years.
Well, our boy Brian's at it again. After tweaking his ankle in Week 2 (again), he'll be listed either as questionable or probable for the team's next game Sunday. Big shocker, eh? To fantasy owners, this is no coincidence. It's more of a slap in the face, really. It's like he's continually teasing us, week in and week out.
Because of this, playing Westbrook again becomes a major problem this week. Will he be questionable up 'til game time, then miraculously play (like he's done several other times, just sticking a knife in those of us who've benched him)? Or will he be a "game time decision," then sit out (which he's also done numerous others, leaving those of us who've kept him in our lineups with a big fat zero when his backup racks up 125 total yards and two touchdowns in his place)?
What to do?
Well, I know he's terrific when he plays, but thus far Westbrook's only had 16 touches in each of the first two weeks, and he hasn't put up any more than 70 total yards in either of them. So, at the moment, you aren't really losing all that much by not playing him. Sure, the potential's always there for him to go off and score four times. You and I will both be cursing at the TV and pulling out our remaining follicles of hair while he's doing it, but those are the breaks, I guess.
The smart thing to do here is to bench him, take the lumps that may come with it, but mainly to accept this ahead of time. When you have Westbrook on your team, this comes with the territory. It's your job now to find a suitable replacement.
Who to play?
If you already drafted LeSean McCoy as a handicap, then you played it well and will most assuredly benefit from it. When called into action over the years, most Westbrook backups have come up big in his place. McCoy will almost definitely do the same. If given 20 touches, especially at home against the struggling 0-2 Chiefs, you have to think he'll have a really nice game. Look for it to be a coming out party for the rookie out of Pitt.
The third stringer in Philly is some guy named Eldra Buckley. Yeah, I have no idea who he is, either. In fact, I had to look it up before even writing this paragraph. Turns out he's a rookie from UT Chattanooga. Long live the Mocs! Yes, if you know your history, that is the same school your friend and mine, Terrell Owens, attended before he became the current figure known simply as "T.O." Maybe after a couple weeks of Westbrook on the bench nursing this ankle, we could be blessed with the birth of "E.B.!"
Or maybe not. I think we both know he needs to stay on the waiver wire where he belongs. I, for one, will be rooting hard for ya, though, E.B. You do your thing.