Fantasy Football

Why Not To Panic Early in Fantasy Football 2018


Hello again fantasy world, I am happy to be here to help you with your 2018 fake football team!

This article has one mission: to make sure you R-E-L-A-X after the week one potential dud performance from your studs.

There were many oddball occurrences in a crazy week that had the J-E-T-S look like they matter, the highest point total in a season opener match EVER, and all new head coaches getting a big fat “L” to begin their tenure, combining for an 0-7 record and getting outscored 210-117!

In the world of fantasy sports, the devil is in the details AND the team you draft is NEVER the team you end up with. Let’s look at this week by position and go through the ups and downs of week 1 to give you confidence going forward.

Remember, volume and match-ups are the KING of fantasy sports. Keep that in the back of your mind as we review why not to panic early in fantasy football with examples from each of the offensive fantasy positions.

Why Not To Panic Early in Fantasy Football 2018

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Here are two pieces of advice. In fantasy football, it’s better to think than to feel. Next, it’s better to keep a short-term memory with play-makers. What does this mean? Well, it means that you can’t judge fantasy football players through what you hear or through an opinion formulated by a friend or even a commentator on TV.

Numbers don’t lie, but more importantly, we are dealing with people who have bad games and maybe enticing match-ups on the horizon. Try to look at the entire picture with fantasy football, rather than judging by the superficial bottom line fantasy point total.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

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I have seen his ADP anywhere from 89-115.  Week 1, against the reigning Superbowl champions, he finished 21/43 with 251 passing yards, no touchdowns, and one interception.  That line is not good.  However, he does have one of the top offensive lines in football, a solid corps of play-makers, and a relatively easy strength of schedule.

I am not worrying about the former MVP, playing on the fantasy wasteland of Thursday night games.  He gets CAR, NO, CIN for his next three – all at home.  I see only optimism for the Boston College native.

Case Keenum, Denver Broncos

Looking at a line with three interceptions is never enticing.  He finished with 25/39 with over 300 yards passing and three touchdowns as he begins to build report with his talented corps of play-makers.  Denver has talented young backs who can open up the running game, allowing for more passing lanes to present themselves going forward.  I was happy with his performance; he gets OAK at home next.

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys and Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Dak threw for 170 yards while rushing five times for 19 yards. Cam Newton had a similar line of 161 pass yards, while rushing 13 times for 58 yards, though did have a rushing touchdown. I am a bit higher on Cam Newton this year than I am on Dak Prescott, though I think both with rebound. Dak gets NYG, @SEA, DET in the next three games and Cam plays @ATL and Cincy before a very early week 4 BYE. I would not push the panic button in either case, hold on for fantasy success to present itself.

Running Back

With injuries to start the season to McKinnon, Guice, and Marlon Mack, holdout with Bell, and injury to Leonard Fournette, Sony Michel, Jeremy Hill to begin the season I will say this. DO NOT PANIC – remember volume and match-ups and to not be a stranger to the waiver wire.

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

It looked like he was running through mud for his first 16 carries only gaining 37 yards and not being targeted for a screen pass in the first half. The second half boded much better for the rookie and his true form came about.

Red-zone look:

RB rushes in the NFL inside the 20:

  1. Adrian Peterson – 7
  2. Alvin Kamara – 4 with 5 red-zone targets
  3. Joe Mixon – 3
  4. Saquon Barkley – 3
  5. James Connor – 2 with 1 red-zone target

This season is going to be tough to predict or the young stud, but the volume will be there and once the team addresses their offensive line, the sky is the limit for Barkley. Hold with confidence here.

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

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The Cowboys just looked bad. They really couldn’t get anything going in this one on the road. He finished the day with 15 carries for 69 yards and the team’s only score. He gets NYG, @SEA, and DET in his next three. Have patience here as the team tries to figure out what they have in the air without Dez Bryant and Jason Witten.

Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings and David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals

Both had solidly quiet days back from injury. Both were targeted five times or more, both were lead backs in their respective games. They had double-digit scoring in fantasy; however, I worry more about David Johnson with a new head coach, difficult schedule, and very weak offensive line. I know both coaches and offensive coordinators are going to keep their studs very active in their schemes, and with volume comes fantasy happiness.

Wide Receiver

There were several players drafted at relatively high ADPs at the wide receiver position who put up an underwhelming amount of fantasy points this week.  These names include: Robert Woods, Pierre Garcon, Mohamed Sanu, Sterling Shepard, Kelvin Benjamin, Marvin Jones, Nelson Agholor, Corey Davis, and Allen Robinson.

What do these players all have in common?  They all had six or more targets Week 1.

R-E-L-A-X and don’t worry if your wide receiver wasn’t a top 10 scorer this week. Remember, as long as there is volume heading your way, you don’t have to panic about whether a player is worth holding onto after the first week. Touchdowns aren’t as predictable as involvement and play-making ability in the offense.  I’m not dropping any of these guys yet and have optimism in each of them going forward.

Tight Ends

Delanie Walker and Greg Olsen went down. Walker is out for the season and Olsen for an extended period of time.

Remember, don’t PANIC! We can find guys that had a lot of looks from week one and plenty of red zone targets as well. Guys like George Kittle and Eric Ebron are highly available to replace your injured tight ends, or even backup Jonnu Smith in Tennessee if you lost Walker.  The highest target total from Week 1 for wide receiver was 19, whereas the highest target total for a tight end was 12.  Remember, make sure you compare apples to apples when it comes to productivity in a position.

Trey Burton, Chicago Bears

Don’t fret over Trey Burton’s one catch for 15-yard performance. He had six targets and Trubisky missed him wide open in the end zone for an easy six points. This is the price you have to pay early on while young quarterbacks learn NFL systems and begin to spread their wings. He will establish chemistry, just you wait.

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

Ertz had 10 targets in his opener, while only catching five balls for 48 yards. Not much to say here. He is a focal point of the offense and will finish as a top 10 TE.

That’s all for this week. Remember to have fun with fantasy sports. You can find me @LuftCT with questions or positive comments.

Check out the rest of our 2018 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.”

About Christopher T. Luft

Christopher Luft is from Connecticut and graduated from Providence College with a BS degree in Biology. He went to Optometry school at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and completed an ocular disease residency at the Wilmington, Delaware VA. Chris loves to cook, spend time with his wife, practice and study jiu-jitsu, and of course, fantasy sports.

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