Panic or Don’t Panic: Fantasy Football Week 3 Sanity

Heading into Week 3 of the Fantasy Football season already panicking? Don’t worry, here’s what to panic or don’t panic about when it comes to your prized fantasy football stars.

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Sep 18, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) takes off his helmet against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals won 40-7. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Are your fantasy football draft studs looking more like draft duds? Did you’re WR1 take a premature bye-week? Is your RB1 under-performing so badly that you’re starting to drunkenly stare at the slim pickings at the waiver wire bar after closing time?

Are you starting to lose your mind because your quarterback is not playing up to your lofty expectations?

As the man said, “Be cool, Honey Bunny”.

One bad game is just one bad game. Two bad games?  A trend. Three bad games?

We’ll skip defenses and tight ends for now, mainly because most fantasy footballers tend to stream both slots on their rosters. Also, do you really need me to talk about kickers?

Don’t Panic. Read on and allow me to sooth your nerves or stoke your gut-feeling of any doubt.

Sep 18, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) takes off his helmet against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals won 40-7. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

PANIC: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

You were feeling really good about Jameis Winston after Week 1, weren’t you? You watched him tear the Atlanta Falcons to pieces to the tune of 281 yards, four touchdowns, and one turnover . . .

. . . then the Bucs ran into a legitimate defense in the form of the Arizona Cardinals. Winston turned in a one touchdown, five turnover performance, and the upcoming schedule is not pretty.

The Los Angeles Rams, Denver Broncos, and Carolina Panthers comprise the next three games.

Any given Sunday, I know, but there are better matchups out there. Surf the waiver wire, my friend, and panic.

Sep 18, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws in front of Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

DON’T PANIC: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

If you drafted him in the top four rounds, you must have been expecting Aaron Rodgers to be the Aaron Rodgers of old. However, if I had told you then that — through the first two games — Ryan Fitzpatrick would be the better fantasy quarterback, you would have laughed until your lungs fell out of your mouth.

Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers face the rival Detroit Lions this week. After their Week 4 bye, they draw the New York Giants’ much-improved defense.

After that, they have only a handful of worrisome games for the rest of the season, including a back-to-back collection of nastiness in Weeks 13 and 14. They’ll go up against the Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans, respectively.

Besides, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are still knocking off the rust, both coming back from injuries. Eddie Lacy is lean and hungry to prove doubters wrong. Aaron Rodgers will be fine.

Don’t Panic.

Sep 18, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) carries the ball in the second half of the game against the Seattle Seahawks at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Rams won 9-3. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

PANIC: Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams

Todd Gurley is having a bad year and it’s not likely to get any better.

Through the first two games, Gurley has managed only 112 total yards from scrimmage, putting him well below other running backs of a lesser pedigree (I drafted Matt Forte in the fifth round in two of my leagues. Just saying).

Whether or not he is a victim of bad quarterback play, abysmal play-calling, or the dreaded sophomore slump, one thing is for sure: he is bench-worthy.

Of the thirteen games left in the regular season, it’s hard to pick out any potential breakout for Gurley.

Panic and I hope you drafted a good backup.

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DON’T PANIC: Ezekiel Elliot, Dallas Cowboys

Oh, as much as I would love to heap the hate upon Ezekiel Elliot and the Dallas Cowboys, I just can’t.

Yes, he has yet to break 100 yards in a game and isn’t really at all involved in the passing game, Zeke has still managed to find the end zone in both games this year.

Plus, he’s averaging 22 touches per game thus far, and that is not likely to get any lower. Also, quarterback Dak Prescott will only get better with time and experience.

Not every week will be a good match-up for the rookie, but he does have some juicy games scattered here and there the rest of the season.

Don’t Panic, because you never know when Elliott might go off.

Pssst! The Cowboys play the hobbled Chicago Bears this week. Start Zeke with confidence.

Sep 18, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) attempts to tackle Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) during a NFL game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

PANIC: Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks

Wait! Baldwin is not doing that badly, you say?

You’re right, he did well in Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins (9 catches, 92 yards, and a touchdown). Then, he got injured against the Rams, turning in a three catch, 20-yard performance.

With quarterback Russell Wilson also injured,  a less-than-effective rushing attack and poor offensive line play, Baldwin’s year only gets worse once you glimpse at the schedule for the rest of the year.

Panic and regulate Baldwin to your bench and play only in an emergency or a bye-week. This is equal parts distrust in the offense and a tough schedule.

Sep 11, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall (23) defends Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson (15) catch during the second half at EverBank Field. Green Bay Packers defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

DON’T PANIC: Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars

Nine receptions for 126 yards and no touchdowns.

Doesn’t sound like the 1st round draft pick you thought you were getting, does it?

He’s been targeted 19 times (team high) and the majority of the remaining season is against middling to incredibly generous defenses, the Kansas City Chiefs, and Houston Texans aside.

Plus, sooner or later, running back Chris Ivory will return and — hopefully — jump start the running game.

Don’t Panic and start Allen Robinson with confidence against Baltimore this week.

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