Like a lot of you, I have a team that is currently 0-2 right out of the gate. It irritates me greatly, like an inch you just can’t quite reach on your back. I’ve been here before and I usually right the ship and move up in the standings. I remember once starting out 0-4 and still sneaking into the playoffs.
If you’ve been a good little owner and been active, done your research, and checked out the weekly player projections here on Fantasycpr, then there’s a good chance it’s not your fault for your team’s weak start. Many things can factor into losing a match-up. Let’s face it. I make the best, most logical choices for my line-up each week, but no matter how you slice it, events will occur that even Criss Angel couldn’t foretell. Case in point…. Ahmad Bradshaw. Jamaal Charles. Fred Davis. That’s right, I had them all. Injuries pulled all three players from their games before any of them had produced squat. I thought all three were good plays for Week Two. Just check where I had them ranked. (oh yeah. uhhh….sorry about that ! ) There were other players, that I didn’t have on my team, who I thought would post big numbers but also underachieved. Tom Brady let a lot of us down. ( He was probably thinking of his beautiful, super-model wife, who is once again with child ) and Peyton Manning. Many owners went into cardiac shock Monday night when Peyton threw three INT’s in the first quarter of play.
Even with these unfortunate events, it is somewhat consoling in my case, that my opponent achieved fantasy nirvana. Virtually, his entire team had the game of their lives. C.J. Spiller ( 28 pts. ), Reggie Bush ( 31 pts. ), Dwayne Bowe ( 22 pts. ), and Eli Manning ( 26 pts. ). His team totaled a whopping 162 pts. ! There is no substitution I could have made, no decision I could have reversed, to alter the outcome of that debacle.
If you suffered at the hands of these player’s performances, you really just have to stay the course. For the most part. It goes without saying, if you’ve got Tom Brady as your QB, don’t send him to the bench now. More often than not, Brady will get the job done. Some players are automatics, as far as starting goes. Guys like Ray Rice, Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy, and Calvin Johnson. Barring any injury concerns, always plug them in. If you took a player in the first round, you need big points out of him to succeed. Ride them to the end. So, you don’t want to panic and cut a star player who may just be ready to start producing. Bench him if you must, but don’t do anything rash. However, you do want to be looking for ways to improve your team.
So, when DO you give up on a player ? Well, I let Fred Davis go this morning. I believed that Fred had put his off-the-field problems behind him and was poised to excel with RGIII throwing the ball his way. Davis had a poor first game and a worse second game. He left Sunday’s game concussed after garnering a total of 14 yds. His status is questionable for next week. With an 0-2 record, I can’t risk another lackluster effort from him, if he even takes the field at all. Enter Martellus Bennett of the New York Giants. In the first two games, Bennett has nine catches for 112 yds. and a TD in each game.
Cedric Benson has been a disappointment for me, as well. I envisioned a lot of goal line touches for him in the Packers backfield. He has yet to score or do anything else to impress me. I cut him for DeAngelo Williams in one league. I merely benched him in another league where the waiver wire was not as tempting. It’s simple, if you can better yourself, make the move.
Two other star players who have frustrated fantasy owners are Chris Johnson and Michael Turner. Through two games, Johnson has a paltry 21 yds. on 19 carries and 58 yds. receiving. This from a guy that most drafted in the third or fourth round, if not higher. He can no longer be relied upon and he has lost his must-start status. Michael Turner has also had a slow start to the year, outshined by an explosive Falcon air attack. Matty-Ice has become a consistent top-ten QB, with Julio Jones, Roddy White, and the ageless Tony Gonzalez, all weapons at his disposal. Through two games, Michael Turner has amassed 74 yds., although he did find the end zone Monday night. A few hours later, he also found himself inside the Gwinnett County jail, after drunkenly driving his Audi R8 and being clocked at 97 mph on an Atlanta freeway. I wouldn’t dump Turner just yet, but you might consider handcuffing him ( no pun intended ) with Jacquizz Rodgers, as I have previously advised.
RB’s aren’t the only position with players having disappointing starts. Two veteran wide receivers have also struggled thus far. Anquan Boldin, after scoring in week one, was held to a pathetic 7 yds. receiving on two catches by the Eagle’s shutdown corner, Nnamdi Asomugha ( my spellcheck just blew out ). Santana Moss pulled down three passes for 14 yds. against the Rams. Most fantasy pundits expected Moss to be more involved, with Pierre Garcon out with a foot injury.
While you don’t want to panic and dump a player three weeks into the season that you invested a high draft pick in, you don’t want to miss a good pick-up that’s available, either. Your opponents may get to a player first that could single-handedly carry them to a win. The people who jumped on C.J. Spiller are feeling pretty good about themselves these days.
There are certainly some other players that I’m seeing that are available that would be a wise addition to some teams. Danny Amendola has emerged as the go-to WR for Sam Bradford and the Rams. He has 230 yds. and a TD already. Another player that I have sung the praises of since Day One, is Brandon LaFell of the Panthers. Brandon has 155 yds. and a TD. As for running backs to add, Pierre Thomas, Dexter McCluster, and Mikel Leshoure ( who should see his first action for Detroit this week since injuring himself in the pre-season last year) are all players who are available in a lot of leagues, and could have an impact.
Going forward, have patience with your high draft picks and keep a sharp eye out for potential stars, should one of your players continue to struggle. Good luck in Week 3 !