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McNabb's pain felt by owners

Koy Detmer, NFL starter.

Those four words should strike fear in the hearts of anyone who has been riding the Donovan McNabb gravy train this season. But get used to them.

McNabb's big season came to a premature end when his ankle was broken Sunday in a win over Arizona. And to show you the kind of guy the Eagles and fantasy owners are saying goodbye to, McNabb stayed in the game and was 20-for-25 passing.

McNabb was fantasy football's top quarterback, and arguably the best player overall (Priest Holmes owners might disagree). Not only did he have 10 touchdown passes, but the dual threat also had six rushing touchdowns and two 100-yard rushing games this season.

And he wasn't the only starter to go down in a bad week for quarterbacks: Pittsburgh's Tommy Maddox and Denver's Brian Griese will miss a few games with injuries as well.

At least one injured quarterback is coming back (Kurt Warner), though owners of Marc Bulger may want to start looking for a shoulder to cry on as well.

Which brings us to the tip of the week: have a good backup quarterback, and not just for the bye week. Often overlooked, it could be the difference between hanging on to that big lead that McNabb helped you get and missing the playoffs.

Consider: 17 teams have had quarterback changes this season.

But this late in the season, the waiver wire is hardly brimming with guys who can carry your team for more than one week. In order, you might want to look at:

1. Brad Johnson: Availability is a longshot after his big game against Minnesota two weeks ago, but he could still be out there in many leagues.

2. Kordell Stewart: Don't laugh. He was great in the second half last season, and there always is the chance Maddox gave the offense the jump-start it needed. Stewart need only get behind the wheel and keep the ride going.

3. Steve Beuerlein: The savvy 37-year-old veteran looked pretty good Sunday, throwing touchdowns on his only two passes.

4. Jeff Blake: Now that Travis Taylor has emerged as a reliable target and Chris Redman is expected to be out a few more weeks with injury, you can do much worse.

5. Koy Detmer: Kidding. A joke. Stay away. Stay far away.

FLYING HIGH?: McNabb's injury should kill anyone relying on Philly's offense. The receivers are average at best, and expect their averageness (if that's not a word, it should be in this case) to come out with Detmer throwing to them. Duce Staley had a great game Sunday, but without McNabb, opposing defenses can key on the Eagles running game.

Maddox's injury could be bad news for owners of Plaxico Burress, who has been going off since the Steeler quarterback change. Fear this: With Stewart starting, Burress had one catch in each of the first two games.

FLASH IN THE PAN: This week's winner is Atlanta's Trevor Gaylor. He caught one big pass, a 74-yard touchdown, on a broken play in which Michael Vick worked his scrambling magic, and for that he will be this week's hot pickup.


Same goes for Cleveland's William Green, the first-round flop who finally had a decent game with 96 yards, 60 more than his season high.

LAST RITES?: Holmes had 127 total yards this week, but against Buffalo he should have had much more. You could chalk it up to a so-so game, if it wasn't coming on the heels of 56 total yards the previous week against San Francisco. I'm not saying he's fading, but we'll see for sure Sunday when he faces Seattle.

DO YOU?: Deuce McAllister probably will miss Sunday's Saints game, but backups James Fenderson and Curtis Keaton are no James Mungro.