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Be wary of Andre Johnson's situation

Updated: October 1, 2010, 3:44 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

One wouldn't think that the time of a football game would affect a fantasy owner's decision making much, but in the case of Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson this week, I'd say it does. There are several important running backs who might be declared out by the time you read this or on Sunday morning, or they might play; however, it seems to me those fellows -- Ray Rice, Steven Jackson, Jahvid Best, Pierre Thomas -- aren't putting fantasy owners in a tremendous quandary. They play in early Sunday games. You'll know by game time and can prepare accordingly.

If Johnson, generally regarded as fantasy's top wide receiver and currently dealing with a sprained ankle, is ruled out an hour before his 4:05 p.m. ET game Sunday, many fantasy owners won't be pleased because they will be caught off-guard leaving him active. There is a way around this, depending on your league rules, and that is to have another wide receiver available playing in a late game or on Monday night. If Johnson doesn't suit up, which I doubt we'll know until the last minute, plug in Miami Dolphins such as Davone Bess or Brian Hartline for their nice Monday matchup against a poor New England Patriots secondary, or the Chicago Bears' Devin Hester/Earl Bennett for the New York Giants game Sunday night. Don't take a zero.

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