(photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Good morning and no — it is never too early to panic! After all, this is fantasy football; it's not like you're going to hurt Joe Burrow’s feelings if you bench him or, even worse, drop him (insert dramatic music here). They are just going to continue to do the best they can to help their teams win until the coaches or organizations decide that their services are no longer needed. What you should do is use a proven method of evaluation: the 5 Ws and H. Every week, evaluate your team and never stop tinkering.
This is what I do every week:
WHO are the players on my roster providing consistent production and who can I sell high because their production may be a mirage?
WHAT do I want my team to look like next week?
WHEN should I look to move on from a struggling player?
WHERE can I realistically look to bolster my roster (waivers or trades)?
WHY is he playing/not playing?
HOW do I strengthen my weakest areas?
You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers. The more specific you are, the better advice you get. Week 3 is here, let’s roll!
Mac Jones, Darnell Mooney and Irv Smith Jr. are among the top players who fantasy managers should feel emboldened to drop this week in favor of other options on the waiver wire. Check out all of Gary Davenport's top drops for Week 3:
Jerome Ford, Zack Moss and Josh Reynolds are among the headliners on the Week 3 waiver wire, according to our own Jake Ciely. Be sure to check out his entire rundown of this week's best pickup options:
Leo C.: Any D/STs you like in the short or long term?
There seem to be a lot of quality D/ST units this season. Eight teams are averaging double digit points and five more are averaging over eight points. My advice is to target bad offenses — try to pick up the defenses that are playing them. Any team playing the Bears, Cardinals, Panthers, Texans. Also look at defenses that bring the quarterback down regularly. They will get a fantasy bump as well.
Adam M.: QBs are Richardson and Watson. Drop them both and pivot to Goff?
I would definitely not drop Richardson. He was about to break some fantasy records in that Houston game before his concussion. If you do not have an IR to store him on, he may be worth risking a bench spot for. Watson may be a different story. He seems to be used as a game manager/situational playmaker in Cleveland and that will not yield a ton of fantasy points, but there is still the threat of an explosive week. Unfortunately, though, he is not consistently producing starter worthy points. For what it is worth, Goff is not exactly lighting the world on fire either.
Aaron F.: Seems like there are lots of injuries this year so far. Has this changed your strategy at all - i.e. handcuffing may be more important than in years past?
It has not. I feel like every year we say, "There are a lot of injuries this year." The truth is, there are just a lot of injuries because football is a violent sport. I think handcuffs are always necessary but not always possible if you are trying to have a competitive fantasy roster. The best thing you can do is to keep an eye out for teams that have a system that can plug and play guys. Target the system more than players. Cleveland will run the football, that is their identity, they won’t pivot from that now that Chubb is hurt, so of course you want to grab the next man up. The Rams are going to let Matthew Stafford throw it all over the lot, so receivers in that system get a boost (see Puka Nacua).
There are a lot of questions about adding Jerome Ford so I will answer all of them with this: Yes, Jerome Ford is a definitely a back you want to go out and add, if available. If he can perform like he did against the Steelers there is no need for the Browns to go out and waste assets on bringing in another back. They also have Pierre Strong who people may also want to keep an eye on! You know that the Browns will stay dedicated to running the football and the presence of Deshaun Watson keeps defenses honest and allows the running backs more freedom.
Mike C.: How should I approach the Giants RBs with FAAB on the waiver wire this week?
You probably should not. None of the options are attractive enough to spend money on. I would wait and see. Their game against the 49ers on Thursday night is probably going to be a massacre. If anything this should give Daniel Jones an uptick in fantasy. He will probably get a few more carries and probably throw the ball more. But stay away from him this week as well.
Fernando P.: Is it time to move on from Kyle Pitts? Options on waivers are Knox, Higbee, Musgrave, Ertz, Taysom Hill.
None of those options sound super appealing; the production is low for all of them. However they do have some intrigue. If moving on from Pitts means dropping him, that would be a hasty move but it is fair to think about benching him for a more consistent option. In this case, Ertz and Hill would be the best options to pick up. Ertz has the most targets in the NFL for a tight end through two games and there will be a special package for Hill that makes him a big play and goal-line factor in every game.
Benjamin V.: A bit far off this question, maybe this will be better suited next week, but as someone with major problems at RB and not wanting to address this last minute, what is the outlook for Alvin Kamara in Week 4?
I think the performance of the Saints backfield to this point in the season shows us that Kamara will be a major factor when he returns. The positives are that he will be fresh and healthy. He should also be highly motivated to perform in this landscape that throws away quality backs so fast. Running back targets and receptions have been few and far between over the first two games for the Saints, but expect that to change when Kamara returns.
Daniel C.: Should I start Jared Goff going forward over Justin Fields?
That depends. Are you looking for consistency or are you looking for big fantasy potential? If the answer is consistency, go grab Goff. Even with the turnovers in the first two weeks Fields still managed to score 15 and 16 points. Those are certainly not great numbers but if he is able to eliminate the turnovers, his numbers will be up there with the top fantasy quarterbacks.
The best play would be to start Goff this week and continue to watch Fields. It's games like this next one against the Kansas City Chiefs where Fields' outlook is not the greatest, but he could go for one of those 40-point games. That’s the risk!
Jake V.: Drop Cam Akers for Kyren Williams? Drop someone else for Williams and hold Akers to see where he gets traded?
I would definitely not drop Akers. The NFL is really a week to week league and depending on where he lands he could be an immediate factor. As for Williams, he's definitely worth an add but beware that his value is still linked to touchdowns and although he has found the end zone early this season, touchdowns are a difficult thing to rely on for big fantasy points. 3.6 yards per carry is not exactly making me want to run to the waiver wire but that could improve as his role increases.
Jackson M.: Can I bench Dameon Pierce for someone like Gabe Davis at this point?
Absolutely! Benching Pierce is not getting rid of him. If he does reach the form that so many in fantasy believed he would, you can always insert him. Just keep in mind that Gabe Davis is definitely a boom or bust type of talent week to week until he proves he can produce consistently.
Ursula D.: What is the easiest way to get out of my league without paying?
It is probably too early to try and get out of a league without paying based on your roster’s performance. I also think if you are simply looking for a way out because your roster is less than stellar — that is a lame move (but you know that and I am assuming tongue in cheek here).
I would consider trading your most productive player for a couple good performers and then possibly flipping one of those for a couple decent performers. It is never too early to turn the roster over.
Trevor M.: How do I salvage my self esteem and confidence? Is there a WR on waivers who does that?
If your self esteem and confidence are gone after two weeks, you probably did not like your roster when you drafted it. Fortunately there is help.
Look at the Houston Texans receiving corps. You're likely not getting Nico Collins, but Robert Woods is averaging 10 targets per game through their first two games and Tank Dell had 7 catches for 72 yards and a touchdown. Woods seems to be a consistent target guy. He is not a sexy pickup but he's still a quality route runner.
Is Nico Collins for real? Is Justin Fields doomed to disappoint? 11 important fantasy football questions after Week 2
Every week we have a file where I go to grab your questions. You can find it here.
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