The Panic Button
Is it time to panic yet?? This is the question I ask myself every Sunday night – and probably again Tuesday morning when re-evaluating my team. This week I found myself thinking about some of the biggest stars of the fantasy football world—those players on whom you spent half your auction money or your first round draft pick. I’ve listed them here on a panic level scale of 1-4. A level one player merely bears watching. A level four player is crying out for immediate action, and possibly a fist full of Xanax with a whiskey chaser.
Level 1 – Braylon Edwards
So he only had two catches. You expected 10? Well, the good news is your expectations are about right, and his two catches are the exception to your 10-catch norm. Derek Anderson threw to him a ton, but the preseason games he missed were painfully apparent in an offense that relies heavily on timing. I hope they have those issues worked out because next week proves an even tougher test against a surprisingly strong Steelers defense – one that held the Texans to only three points through the first three quarters. However, if his stats are still unimproved after next week, be on the lookout for a stat-panicky owner that will trade him for less than fair-market value. Braylon’s going to have a solid fantasy season. No worries here.
Honorable Mention – LaDanian Tomlinson
Level 2 – Joseph Addai
I originally had him listed as a three (probably because he’s my main back), but backed him down. Indy’s offensive line is much more suspect than originally thought, specifically the run-blocking. The loss of Jeff Saturday and the addition of three new starters on the offensive line has changed more than the offensive chemistry; the aura of invincibility is now gone. This situation has great potential to get better as the offensive line has more time to jell, but for now Addai will struggle–it’s hard for an elusive style back to hit non-existent holes.
Honorable Mention – Randy Moss
Level 3 – Steven Jackson
The Rams defense is awful. They gave up 21 points. By halftime. Need further proof? They gave up over 500 total yards. Granted, the Eagles are a quality offense, even missing their top two receivers. However, no matter how you look at it – that is a lot of yardage. Unfortunately for Jackson that means they’re going to be playing catch-up in far more games than I’d be comfortable with. He’s a great back and will always have a good first quarter – before his defense gets them down by double digits. Unfortunately after that Bulger will be forced to go to the air.
Honorable Mention – Maurice Jones-Drew
Level 4 – Marques Colston
Take a deep breath. Now exhale. Ok, now we can talk about this situation before you do anything rash. Is there real reason to panic? Absolutely. But at least you’re not at the Tom Brady level of panic. So let’s go pros and cons.
Pros: He’s not out all year. It’s a thumb injury, which is something that’s not prone to recurrence like say a hamstring injury is. You should have more depth at wide receiver than you have at quarterback. David Patten and Devery Henderson, the Saints second and third receivers, are most likely available on your waiver wire and didn’t look too terrible on Sunday.
Cons: You will be getting zero points from your number one receiver for over half your season. I think that’s really all the reason I need to put him at panic level 4. If you have the bench space to hang on to him, go for it. Despite the injury, he is still far too valuable to straight out drop at this point.
Honorable Mention – Tom Brady