Joey Baskerville: Bad timing for injuries

Joey Baskerville

It couldn’t have happened at a worse time.

That’s probably how most Michael Turner and Ronnie Brown fantasy football owners have to feel right now.

Especially Brown owners, who just found out the Miami running back is done for the year.

Turner has a high ankle sprain, so he could be out for an extended period of time. Brown’s ankle and foot injuries have sidelined the 11th leading rusher for the season.

Not good.

But there may still be time to salvage your playoff aspirations with the postseason coming up in three weeks.

Four stop-gap backs you should target on the wavier wire (if available at this point) are: Falcons backup Jason Snelling, Cincinnati RB Larry Johnson, Seattle’s Justin Forsett and Bills backup Fred Jackson.

I don’t know how Ladell Betts could still be available in some of your leagues, but pick up the Washington No. 2 running back if he’s out there.

Pickings are slim at this point, but if you’re not in a deep league, you’re not out of the running yet.

Jags coaches should be ones apologizing ... again

A little more than a month ago, I wrote a fantasy column about how a Jacksonville Jaguars coach made a dumb decision to deactivate one of his players for, er, extracurricular activities.

Last week, that same coaching staff made another idiotic decision. Maurice Jones-Drew took a knee on a would-be touchdown with 1:48 left in a game that the Jags were losing against the New York Jets on the road.

Jacksonville still won the game on a chip-shot field goal, but it could have cost some fantasy owners and the Jags.

Jones-Drew said that a coach told him to take the knee and later apologized to fantasy owners. But coach Jack Del Rio should be the one apologizing.


Has Del Rio forgotten about a game in late December almost six years ago? You know, when New Orleans should have tied the game against Jacksonville at 20-all, had it not been for a chip-shot extra point missed by Saints kicker John Carney?

Scoring isn’t guaranteed at any level, so to take a touchdown off the board while losing just doesn’t make sense.

It honestly would’ve made my day if that field goal last Sunday were blocked or outright missed.

Ride or rot

Let’s start off with Thursday’s Miami/Carolina game. With Brown out, the Dolphins will rely heavily on Ricky Williams.

Williams isn’t doing too bad for himself this season, while Carolina’s rush defense is 25th in the league.

Williams isn’t usually a No. 1 starter for you, but you’ve got to ride with Williams for the rest of the season.

Colts QB Peyton Manning is too good this year to bench, and Baltimore’s defense has become overrated. Ride with Manning.

Others to ride with: Cincinnati WR Chad Ochocinco at Oakland, Philadelphia WR DeSean Jackson and QB Donovan McNabb at Chicago, San Diego WR Vincent Jackson and QB Philip Rivers at Denver, Jets RB Thomas Jones at New England, Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams vs. Miami, Dallas QB Tony Romo vs. Washington.

LaDainian Tomlinson’s story and production last week was touching against the Eagles. His wife is pregnant after trying for years since a miscarriage in 2003.

I wish him the best, but I just can’t ride with him this week on this matchup. Let him rot on the bench, as better matchups are ahead.

Others to let rot on the bench: Bears QB Jay Cutler vs. Philly, Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck at Minnesota, Green Bay WR Greg Jennings vs. San Francisco.

Dream team

Chris Johnson.

The Tennessee tailback leads the NFL in rushing as the first runner this year with 1,000 yards (1,091). He has an average of 6.4 yards per attempt and 121 yards a game this season.

He’s going against the same Houston team that he gobbled up 284 total yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns on in Week 3.

Oh, and it’s a Monday night game.

But he’s not the only player that’s on my dream team from the night. Heck, he’s not even the only Johnson on the dream team this week.

Others on the dream team: Texans QB Matt Schaub and WR Andre Johnson vs. Tennessee, New England QB Tom Brady and WR Randy Moss vs. Jets, Arizona QB Kurt Warner and WR Larry Fitzgerald at St. Louis, QB Drew Brees at Tampa Bay, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson vs. Seattle

Dread team: presented by JaMarcus Russell for the final time

Oakland QB JaMarcus Russell. No others on the list because I need to vent.

How can Russell only throw for double-digit passing yards three times this season, including his 64-yard performance against Kansas City?

Kansas City!

Late word came out he finally got benched, which means I can’t have fun at his expense any more.

Don’t sleep on my sleepers

New England RB Sammy Morris vs. Jets, Cleveland RB Jamal Lewis at Detroit, Lions RB Kevin Smith vs. Browns

Joey Baskerville is a sports writer for The Journal-Standard in Freeport, Ill. He would like to hear from readers about their seasons as the playoffs start in just three weeks. He can be reached at