Fantasy Island Volume Two: The Bench

Koy Detmer.. would make a decent pickup

Well, it is the first week of August and that mean that most of you fantasy football fanatics have already drafted, or will draft within the next week for the upcoming season. While most of you are wondering about the strengths and weaknesses of your respective starting line-ups, I want to go in a different direction and address the unheralded part of any fantasy team: the bench.

Although most view the bench simply as bye-week fill-ins, injuries can make your reserves more important than you could have, or wanted to believe. Just ask anyone who had Donovan McNabb as his or her starting quarterback last year.

Speaking of which, we all know the most important position on any fantasy team is the quarterback. My strategy for drafting quarterbacks might seem a bit unorthodox; however, it could save some of you from disaster later on. If possible, I would draft three signal callers. Furthermore, I would make sure that one of the quarterbacks is the "real-life" backup for the starter that you have. For instance, if you select Donovan McNabb, I would highly recommend picking up Koy Detmer. This way, no matter what happens to McNabb, you are covered. It may not bring you super numbers, but it is much better than having to see what's on the scrap heap around week 10.

Speaking of which, we all know the most important position on any fantasy team is the quarterback. My strategy for drafting quarterbacks might seem a bit unorthodox; however, it could save some of you from disaster later on. If possible, I would draft three signal callers. Furthermore, I would make sure that one of the quarterbacks is the "real-life" backup for the starter that you have. For instance, if you select Donovan McNabb, I would highly recommend picking up Koy Detmer. This way, no matter what happens to McNabb, you are covered. It may not bring you super numbers, but it is much better than having to see what's on the scrap heap around week 10.

As far as running backs are concerned, I would always try to draft at least three, with one being an impressive receiver out of the backfield. A fullback could also fit the bill. Being that this is an Eagles site, I will once again use them as an example. The West Coast Offense dictates a 50 plus reception season from the fullback. Perhaps Jon Ritchie would make a nice third stringer on someone's team

As far as the other positions are concerned, there are so many players available that I suggest another unorthodox method in choosing reserves. DO YOUR ROOKIE HOMEWORK! While others are trying to stockpile big names in the later rounds and ending up with garbage, you can calmly pick up rookies you think are going to have a good year. This really gives you more options to choose from. The last Eagles example: L.J. Smith, rookie tight end out of Rutgers. The Eagles love to run the two tight end sets close to the end zone, and really feel that Smith is the prototypical tight end for this offense. Look for Smith to get some touchdown passes thrown his way, and if you are lucky enough to have him, some fantasy points your way!

So that's it. It's not that hard after all to draft a solid bench, for emergency purposes. You just need to stay calm, cool and collected in the later rounds. Who knows, you could have yourself a great reserve squad on your hands, just by remaining focused. Stay tuned next week for another volume of Fantasy Island.

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