Just like eating and drinking, it is human instinct to be fretful if you’re a fantasy football owner, especially when players on your team are not performing to the level of expectation. Yet one of the biggest mistakes owners commit is trading away or dropping these players early in the season.
A similar dilemma occurs when a bench player is outperforming your starter, and you keep sitting the bench player because, well that’s why you got him, to be a backup. If you find yourself in one of these situations only two weeks into the fantasy season, do not stress: take a deep breath and think about this logically.
One player in particular who has underperformed to this point is Antonio Gates. Two weeks into the season and Gates has looked quite lackluster, producing a total of seven points. Since the tight end position is not a glorified one, as pertaining to fantasy football, Gates is valuable because he is capable of producing massive numbers. Last season, he torched opposing defenses for 782 yards and 10 touchdowns in only 10 games. Additionally, Gates hasn’t gone below 700 yards and eight touchdowns for a season since his rookie year in 2003, so there is reason to be highly optimistic.
Other players who have left fantasy owners slightly nervous are a pair of highly-desired running-backs, Chris Johnson and Arian Foster. Johnson, simply put, has produced 10 points in two games, while Foster missed week one and only gained 33 yards on the ground in week two.
I’ve heard owners speak about the trade value the two possess and possibly dumping them off for other needs on the team. Maybe that’s not such a good idea. Throughout the past three years, nobody has accumulated more yards from scrimmage than Johnson, and Foster led all running backs in fantasy football last year. Johnson will shake off the rust from missing the preseason, and Foster’s hamstring will heal; you just have to be patient. It will pay off.
It isn’t all just mediocre performances, as there are players who are just outright tearing it up for their owners. But there is a problem; they are on the bench. I am mindful of the fact that it is only week two, and some players cool off; however, some won’t cool off and need to be starting on your team.
For starters, if Matthew Stafford can stay healthy, watch out. When healthy last season, Stafford displayed glimpses of brilliance (2 games, 535 yards 7 total TD) and is off to another promising start this season, already amassing 600 yards passing and seven touchdowns. Yet, he is only started in 55% of leagues. It’s time for you who have him to start playing him. Still not convinced? He currently is ranked as the fourth best quarterback and the sixth best player overall in fantasy, ahead of names like Rivers, Rogers and Vick, to name a few.
Finally, start Rob Gronkowski. It’s mind-boggling to see that Gronkowski starts in only 52% of leagues despite leading all tight ends with 34 points. As previously stated, the tight end is far from a high-scoring position in fantasy, so if you have a tight end capable of putting up wide receiver or running back-type numbers, you need to start them. This isn’t a fading trend either because Tom Brady has shown that when he likes a receiver, he is going to target them often. Brady has grown fond of Gronkowski in the red zone as five of the tight end’s 10 receptions have come within distance of the end zone.
So, to all the fantasy owners out there, be patient, think rationally and good luck in week three.
Dave Seronick can be reached at email@example.com
Read more of Dave Seronick’s work at www.rotoinfo.com