Week 3 is complete and it is officially time to be hitting the panic button in your seasonal fantasy leagues. To be honest, I could have written this post last week with all of the injuries, and slow starts. However the other aspect of this post is patience. So, freaking out after Week 2 is a little too much for me, although there were several players who deservedly so are making owners sweat their lineups and decisions every week already.
This will be a longer than normal post this week due to it being the first of the season. I have had some time to think about this.
So should you panic on a struggling early-round draft pick or be patient? Should you actively seek trades involving these struggling players? Perhaps. Knowing when to panic and when to be patient is one of the keys to fantasy success.
Either way you should fit into one of these groups and whether it was injury, disappointing seasons, dangerously slow starts, or even worse poor fantasy management... I know, I know but it DOES happen! This is the point of the season where there is no rest for the weary. You must kick it into overdrive, not get complacent and most importantly know whether to show…
Patience or Panic?
1. Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers
Lacy seemed to finally have some forward progress in Week 3 against one of the worst run defenses in the league. The other issue is plain and simply his usage. With only 14 and 12 carries in the first two weeks Fit Eddie (Did you know he worked out with Tony Horton? The creator of P90X?). He did his part averaging better than four yards a carry in those first two weeks.
Week 3? He gets bumped up to 17 carries and 103 yards. No touchdowns yet, which is killer, but they will come and Green Bay’s offense should be clicking soon enough. The Packers have scored plenty, but still have kinks to work out. They scored ALOT in Week 3, but again penalties and other factors led to this. Aaron Rodgers for example threw four touchdown passes but finished with just 205 yards.
The Verdict: Patience
You can’t be considering dropping Formerly Fat Eddie yet, and he had enough of a glimmer in Week 3 that you can continue starting him with confidence as a RB2, or flex. He also has favorable matchups coming up with the Cowboys, Giants and Bears on tap after the Week 4 bye. If you are a buy low owner now is a great time, with Lacy coming off of a promising, yet not great, game and now the bye. Throw an offer out there and see what happens.
2. Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Hill appears on these types of lists often doesn’t he? I also know he is coming off a very nice Week 3 – 97 rushing yards, two touchdowns. This is the Hill we all know and love, but we also are quite familiar with his roller-coaster nature – up one week, down the next. But his performance Sunday against Denver could be just the thing to get him going, just like what happened late last season.
The Verdict: Patience
I am a Hill believer so I would very, very hard-pressed to move him or drop him right now. His trade value may not be exceptionally high (yet) and he definitely isn’t droppable unless you have an amazing stable of backs. He will hopefully keep his Week 3 pace up and reward owners who likely got him for cheap or late in their respective drafts. He will certainly frustrate you, but be patient, if you can.
3. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
Wilson’s ankle and knee injuries and porous offensive line are definitely concerns. In fact Wilson will in all likelihood be missing some time in Week 4, if not the entire game. This may not be as much of an issue at this point as starting him every week. I myself own him in several leagues and have been frustratingly watch my bench quarterbacks easily outscore Wilson.
The Verdict: Patience
Wilson is too valuable of a quarterback to give up on at this point. His trade value will never be lower and cutting him is a little rash in my opinion. The only consideration would be if there’s a better option on the waiver wire and that’s seems highly unlikely, especially in two-QB leagues. I rarely draft quarterbacks early and this year for whatever reason I did so with Wilson and Andrew Luck. So far the results haven’t been fantastic, but I am holding out hope and taking advantage of my bench options.
4. Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Floyd is in the concussion protocol, so certainly keep an eye on his playing status for Week 4. Aside from that, however, is the fact that he has gotten off to a start similar to what happened last season. Floyd is part of a fairly deep wide receiver pool, so benching him or replacing him figures to be easier than say a running back like Eddie Lacy or Jeremy Hill.
At this point, Floyd is no longer a must-start option and although I think he will turn things around (provided his concussion is not serious), there is no reason to have him in your lineups as more than a flex. With so many receivers producing early Floyd is more reputation than production at the moment.
The Verdict: Patience
This is a “wait and see” call. Floyd conceivably could some real damage in Weeks 4 and 5 facing the Rams and 49ers in what should be a revenge game for Carson Palmer following a disappointing showing in Buffalo. Again, Floyd must first clear the concussion protocols in enough time to be able to play this Sunday.
5. Jeremy Langford, RB, Chicago Bears
I wasn’t very high on Langord this season due to his weak production with heavy volume in 2015. So far in 2016 it has been more of the same with a few touchdowns in the first two games fueling his fantasy value. A closer look reveals 17 carries for 57 rushing yards in Week 1 and 11 and 28 in Week 2. The carries have already dwindled and other backs are getting involved in a Bears offense that has enough issues of its own. Throw in an ankle injury that will sideline him for at least a month and most of Langford’s preseason appeal has disappeared.
The Verdict: Panic
I usually don’t suggest dropping players this early but if you don’t have an IR spot in your league, there is no reason to keep Langford at this point besides blind optimism. Even when he returns, he figures to be a part of a committee and not the guy who will get the majority of the carries. This could change depending on how Jordan Howard and Ka’Deem Carey fare in Howard’s absence, but right now there’s not much reason to be encouraged about the fantasy viability of the Bears’ backfield.
6. Minnesota Vikings RBs
As a Vikings fan, I am thrilled with the 3-0 start. Minnesota is playing mistake-free on offense under the direction of new starting quarterback Sam Bradford and a breakout performance by wide receiver Stefon Diggs. But let’s be honest, the Vikings’ defense has been downright criminal so far this season. If you doubt me, replay Sunday’s game in Carolina where they decimated Cam Newton (8 sacks, 3 INTs) and their Week 2 showing against Aaron Rodgers (3 sacks, INT, fumble). Penalties and the loss of Adrian Peterson were the biggest reasons why that game was as close as it was.
Peterson’s loss was a devastating blow to both Minnesota and his fantasy owners, while also presenting Jerick Mckinnon with a huge opportunity. He got his first significant workload against the stout Panthers defense and did about as well one who isn’t Peterson would be expected. McKinnon is an elusive and shifty back who can make plays as a receiver and do things in the open field most ball carriers can’. We just haven’t seen it yet.
Matt Asiata is the plodding and bruising back who will be used in short-yardage and goal-line situations. He didn’t look very good against the Panthers in Week 3.
The Verdict: Patience for a few weeks...
McKinnon is the back to own if you need one and has a very high ceiling, but with the turmoil of running backs, injuries and so many other factors you may not have the patience to keep plugging him in week to week. I am willing to wait and see what he does against a weaker front seven and think he will be rewarding owners sooner than later. I also am not delusional and if he is stuck scoring eight fantasy points or fewer each week, it may be time to move on and cheer him on as a Vikings fan only…(in my McKinnon jersey of course).
— Written by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including socalledfantasyexperts.com. Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.