Benched

Before the season start, there was a heated debate about the Madden Curse. Since the popular video game started putting a player on the cover, injuries mounted. After a reported “no thanks” from LaDanian Tomlinson and others, Vince Young got the nod.

Seven games into the season, you could say that the curse lives. While he’s missed one complete game and half of the Tampa game, last week’s 42-yard passing effort tells the tale. Young is not one of the main reasons why the Titans are 5-2. In six starts, the Titans have scored two offensive touchdowns in one of those games. A quad injury has limited his running ability. You could see it last week when he had a chance to run for a first down on a third and seven, and was caught well short of the marker.

Young is so benched. I don’t advocate the Titans benching him, but for fantasy purposes, I can’t hope the he will turn things around. Until he puts together a couple of two-TD games, adding some of his running skills, I can live with Derek Anderson.

I have one of those fantasy quandries that could cost me a shot at a playoff spot. My team is 3-5, although 8 of 12 teams make the playoffs. I’m going against another 3-5 team. This team has LaDanian Tomlinson, but they also have Joey Harrington as the starting QB. My running backs are MJD, Willis McGahee, LenDale White, and Ryan Grant. All are somewhat similarly ranked this week. McGahee is a top-five guy so far, but he’s facing the Steelers on the road. MJD faces the somewhat weak Saints, although the Saints should be able to focus on the run with Quinn Gray at QB. LenDale White is on fire lately. He faces the David Carr-led Panthers. Ryan Grant goes to KC, so he’s probably out.

The fantasy mantra is to not bench your studs. McGahee has been a quality running back, with 639 yards in seven games. He’s scored between 11 and 18 points a week. White’s season low is two (of course I started him this week). Otherwise he’s scored at least 13 a game after week one. MJD has scored in single digits four times this year. I think I’ve talked myself into starting McGahee. When in doubt, go for the guy you know is starting and will give you at least 20 carries.

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