September 13, 2008
Hurricane Ike continues to cause massive amounts of destruction, and it's taken a chunk of the Week 2 NFL schedule with it. If you were counting on Ravens and Texans this week, it's time for a Plan B.
The Baltimore at Houston game scheduled for Sunday (and then Monday) is now officially postponed. The damage to Reliant Stadium has rendered the facility unusable until further notice. There's no way for the league to get this game played now, so it's decided to shift the schedule around.
Week 2 becomes the bye week for the Texans and Ravens. They're off completely, and will lose their scheduled bye weeks from later in the season. This postponed game will be made up in Week 10, and the Cincinnati at Houston game originally scheduled for Week 10 shifts to Week 8.
The fantasy reshuffle hurts those invested in Houston players the most - Andre Johnson was a sure start in any league, and there's utility to be had with Matt Schaub, Kevin Walter, Owen Daniels, Kris Brown and the defense. If you had Steve Slaton queued up as a flex play, make a new plan. Baltimore's prospects didn't look as rosy, with a rookie quarterback and a three-headed backfield, but nonetheless, the absence will be felt in deeper groups. (Andy Behrens, struggling for a quarterback fill in a very deep league, has formed his own Seneca Wallace Conference.)
As cumbersome as this news is to fantasy owners now, there's a benefit down the road - Week 8 becomes a lot more playable. Initially the league was going to have six teams off that weekend, but now it's just four because the Bengals and Texans will both be in action. Cincinnati's bye week slides from Week 8 to Week 10, keeping the bye count at four.
Before I dispatch you to fix your lineups, one final thought: hurricanes are no laughing matter, and first and foremost my thoughts and concerns are with those affected by this disaster. Hang in there.