Fantasy emergency management

If you can pickup Matt Cassel, do it.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - drafted Tom Brady and your season appears to have gone up in smoke in the first quarter of the first game. Now is not the time to panic, it's time to evaluate your options.

True, they're not great options, but let's not throw away the season just yet.

Plan No.1 is the obvious. If you can pickup Matt Cassel, do it. He's "played" in the system for a few years and any quarterback with Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Ben Watson should be able to put up respectable numbers. Remember, wasn't it 2001 when a young Brady took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe and led them to a Super Bowl? I'm not saying Cassel is the next Brady, but you could do worse. An alternative is another waiver wire pickup, but there isn't much out there. Kerry Collins and Damon Huard are not an option.

Plan No.2 is trade. Here you have two strategies: go for the big "blockbuster" trade or look for value in someone's backup. It's unlikely you have enough talent to trade for a Peyton Manning or Drew Brees because you used a top pick to draft Brady. So let's look at some other possible targets.

In one of my 12-team leagues, excluding the backup on the team that had Brady (it was Vince Young - talk about bad luck), the possible trade targets are: Philip Rivers, Trent Edwards, Jake Delhomme, Jason Campbell, David Garrard, Marc Bulger, Jay Cutler, Jon Kitna, Jeff Garcia, Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers.

From this list I would look at Rivers, Delhomme, Cutler, Kitna and Eli Manning. Now you have to survey each of these owners' roster to see if you have something that would be valuable to them. They know you are hurting, so it's not going to be equal value for equal value, but if it's close go for it.

Rivers threw three touchdowns last week, to both starting wide receivers and his tight end. And you always have the possibility that a swing pass to Ladainian Tomlinson will result in a long touchdown. He's a pretty good choice.

Cutler looks like he found a receiver to go opposite Brandon Marshall in last night's romp over the Oakland Raiders. Eddie Royal posted nine catches for 146 yards and a TD in Marshall's absence. Marshall will be back next week to give Cutler as much firepower as he has ever had at the receiver position.

Kitna has the advantage of a horrible defense! It's an advantage to Kitna and you as his fantasy owner because he will always be behind and forced to throw. He has two great wideouts in Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson and should put up good statistics.

Delhomme proved to me in the final throw to beat San Diego that his surgically repaired elbow is healthy. He beat double coverage on the game's final play to hit TE Dante Rosario. And by Week 3 he will have Steve Smith back in the fold.

Eli Manning has improved his game to the point where he wouldn't kill you and in fact could help your team on occasions. Although he opened the season with just 216 yards and no touchdowns he is capable of hooking up with Plaxico Burress enough times to help you. In 2007 he had five games of 250 yards-or- more and five games of two TDs-or-more.

If you had Brady, it's not a good situation, but the great fantasy owner doesn't give up.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at

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