While Weeks 1 and 2 in the NFL are a rollercoaster—riding high at one point, then plummeting back to solid ground another—Week 3 is that flat part when the brakes hit to slow your cart down as you enter the boarding platform. That is to say, by Week 3, we’ve started to see enough football to not wildly overreact, but rather start to face facts and the ever present reality that at some point, the rollercoaster will end and we’ll have to get off.
Three weeks is enough time to see trends developing that could have season long impacts. And when those trends aren’t in-favor of very important players on your fantasy roster, it’s ok to get a little panicked. I’ve collected a bunch of fantasy names that I’m sure you’re worrying about to start the week and given each of them a rating of how much panic is the right amount of panic to have if these players populate your fantasy roster.
They’re not who we thought they were
Likely, you drafted Adams with the mild expectation he’d be the number one receiver in fantasy football this year. After all, he was coming off a season in which he had 1,386 yards and 13 touchdowns and now was to be playing in a hopefully improved offense under Matt LaFleur. I can speak personally to all of this since these are the exact reasons I drafted Adams. While he’s been heavily targeted in Green Bay’s offense, the offense itself seems to be taking a while to get off the ground. Obviously you’re not going to trade or release Adams, but I don’t think he’ll be competing to be the number one guy in fantasy anytime soon. The touchdowns will come once the offense fully clicks, but when that will be is anyone’s guess.
While with Adams I’m still trying to remain mildly optimistic about (mainly because he’s on my fantasy team) Diggs I’ve already lost hope in. Both he and Adam Thielen were drafted thinking they would be a part of a dynamic passing attack, just like the one they had last year in which both receivers went over 1,000 yards and caught nine touchdowns. I can promise you, that’s not going to happen this year. The Vikings seem hellbent on running the football and keeping the ball out of Kirk Cousins’ hands, which isn’t the worst strategy given that when they’ve implemented it correctly, their 2-0 this season. When Minnesota does pass, it goes through Thielen, leaving Diggs on the outside, looking in. Unlike my Adams advice, I think you can move Diggs and I think you do move Diggs (maybe for Michael Thomas?). Package him out and get away from this Vikings pass attack.
Remember when we were all excited because Chris Carson was the clear number one back in an offense that loves to run the ball everywhere and anywhere (except from the 1-yard line of course) and was being way undervalued in drafts and had potential to be a top five fantasy back? I do. Man, how times change. Carson has rewarded fantasy owners with a costly fumble in each of his games so far this season, something that isn’t going to endear him to his coaching staff. At a certain point, Pete Carroll and the Seahawks are going to wonder if Rashaad Penny—a back who they drafted in the first round mind you—might offer something more on the ground. Carson hasn’t been producing with the touches he’s gotten and looks far from the back we expected him to be. He’s a perfect segue between this section and...
You have my permission to panic
...about Chris Carson.
If I ever feel wishy washy about a player leading up to fantasy drafts, please remind me not to draft him. I was back and forth on Michel all offseason and finally convinced myself that he was indeed ready to carry the workload in this Patriots offense. Welp, that’s been a big old fat lie as through three weeks, Michel has 108 yards on 45 carries. Doing some quick math in my head... that’s 2.4 yards a carry. Yikes. And all the offseason buzz about how great he was going to be in the passing game was a complete lie has he’s received one target so far this season and it was not caught. With Rex Burkhead and James White looking much better than Michel to start the season, it’s 100% time to freak out if you’re a Michel owner.
I’ve been starting Hockenson the last two weeks and let me tell you, I am really, really worried right now. Hockenson has done a whole bunch of nothing after his Week 1 performance where he dusted the entire Cardinals defense. Since then he’s had seven targets, two catches for eight yards through two games. I wasn’t expecting him to go for 100 plus yards every week but at least double digit yards per game would’ve been nice. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. They always say rookie tight ends have the hardest adjustment to the NFL and I’m starting to think the Cardinals just are absolutely terrible at guarding tight ends. If Hockenson is your only tight end, go find yourself a backup.
Eventually Mike Evans was going to get his, and get his he did Sunday, catching eight balls for 190 yards and three touchdowns. Talk about a comeback. Of course, this performance rattled all the Chris Godwin owners out there:
Chris Godwin owners watching all the fantasy points Mike Evans getting pic.twitter.com/034t7vR6vm— Fake Teams (@faketeams) September 22, 2019
I have good news for you Godwin owners: don’t panic. Bruce Arians and the Buccaneers offense isn’t going to suddenly start ignoring Godwin and turning him into a useless fantasy player. I feel confident in saying he’s still going to be a top 25 receiver this year. What I would prepare for though are games like these where suddenly Evans or, dare I dream, O.J. Howard suddenly get a ton of work and are the focal point of the offense. It seems Jameis Winston can only keep one receiver in his head at a time so hopefully they’ll just switch off every other week.
Wait, he’s still on your team?
Yes it was against a Cardinals defense that looks to be a hot mess, but Kyle Allen looked good Sunday, and more importantly, the offense looked good with him under center. Finally we got to see something from D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel and Christian McCaffrey returned to his 1,000/1,000 ways (it’s happening people). I don’t know what Cam’s future will be in Carolina, but I can assure you, he has no future on your fantasy team.