We're two weeks into the NFL season and if your fantasy team isn't playing well you're starting to panic. Some fantasy owners deal better than others with this issue, but some of your fear is actually warranted. The sample size is still small when compared to the whole season, but there are some NFL players that have shown they won't cut it this year. Here's a list of players owners are panicking over and my view on their situation.
PANIC METER: CALM DOWN
Aaron Rodgers (QB - Green Bay)
Yes, the best QB in the league is on this list. His owners are starting to worry after Green Bay's mediocre offensive output over the first two week. I'm here to tell you that your first round pick wasn't wasted. Give it some time. He's gone up against two really good defenses in the first week, so the schedule should ease up a bit from here. (On a related note: if you don't own Rodgers, now would be the time to steal him away from a worried owner).
Darren McFadden (RB - Oakland)
The Raiders have changed to a zone-running system this season and it hasn't turned out as well as planned. McFadden is only averaging 2.1 yards per carry, but the good thing is he's still averaging 20.5 touches a game. The key with McFadden is that he's healthy and that's all you should be concerned with. The production will come, so don't sell low on him at this point.
Larry Fitzgerald (WR - Arizona)
One catch for four yards does not a WR1 make. We know the Cardinals' offense is bad, but it was bad last year as well and Fitzgerald had 1,411 yards and 8 touchdowns. Just chalk it up as an outlier and hold the fort.
PANIC METER: CAUSE FOR CONCERN
Jamaal Charles (RB - Kansas City)
Despite conversation during the preseason that Charles was healthy, he followed up a reasonable first game with 3 yards on 6 carries. There was some talk after the game that his knee was sore. I'm not ready to press the panic meter completely because soreness is expected coming off ACL surgery, but maybe it's time to temper expectations on Charles. It doesn't help that the Chiefs keep getting blown out and have to move away from the running game. Hold on to him for a few more weeks.
Eric Decker (WR - Denver)
The theory before the season was that Decker would be Manning's preferred target because Manning didn't have the ability to go downfield as he used to. As it turns out, Manning is getting the ball into Demaryius Thomas' hands more than Decker's because of Thomas' play-making ability. Decker will still be a successful receiver in Denver's offense, but Thomas is clearly the #1 option. Decker's no more than a WR3 and should be valued as such in the trade market.
Wes Welker (WR - New England)
There's some reason to panic here because the Patriots are clearly trying to show Welker he's not that important to their success. They're starting Julian Edelman, clearly the inferior receiver, over him (although they claim Edelman blocks better). The injury to Aaron Hernandez forced the Patriots to go back to Welker as their slot receiver, which helped raise him from the dead. With the Patriots signing Kellen Winslow today, there's still cause for concern about Welker's future. If you can somehow get preseason value for Welker, you should probably jump at that now, but don't sell low on him just yet. The Patriots still need to win games.
Jared Cook (TE - Tennessee)
Cook is an athletic freak, but the Titans don't seem to care. They're focused on getting the ball to their wide receivers. Part of it might be the idea of using Jake Locker's arm strength to get the ball down the field, but it's not a good look for Cook owners either way. The breakout season may still happen, but look for the likes of Dennis Pitta and Martellus Bennett to start in the meantime.
Fred Davis (TE - Washington)
The Redskins don't seem concerned about their rookie QB making mistakes. Normally TEs are a safety blanket for rookie QBs, but Mike Shanahan isn't holding RG3 back. Davis wasn't effecting last week even without Pierre Garcon. The same mindset applies to Davis as it applies to Cook. You can hold on to him, but start another TE for the time being.
PANIC METER: SELL, SELL, SELL
Matt Schaub (QB - Houston)
If you haven't noticed, the Texans really like to run the football. They have a great running game and a great defense, so they have no problem turning Schaub into a game manager. He's played two bad defenses and only amassed a total of 461 yards and one touchdown in those affairs. He's definitely not a QB you can have in your lineup every week and he's proving he can't really be a match-up play either.
Chris Johnson (RB - Tennessee)
The Titans have looked like the worst offense in football through two weeks. Their offensive line is miserable and Johnson isn't helping his own case. He keeps looking for the big play instead of powering through a hole for a few yards. He's is the only player to average negative yards before contact per rush this season with a minimum of 10 rushes. I don't think you can start him until he shows you something and I would trade him for whatever you can get.
Michael Turner (RB - Atlanta)
Speaking of another RB who I'd trade for anything you can get, Turner picked up a DUI after last night's game. He probably was trying to drown his sorrows after realizing his NFL career is over. He looked incredibly slow last night and has only put up 2.6 yards per carry over the first two games. This isn't a surprise considering he's 30. The Falcons' offense is moving to an aerial attack and you don't want Turner on your roster.
Titus Young (WR - Detroit)
Rumors out of Lions' camp before the season indicated that Young was ready for a huge role in the offense. The Lions have been looking for a complimentary receiver to Calvin Johnson and Young has the physical ability to do so. Unfortunately for his owners, he doesn't have the ability to run good routes, concentrate on catching the ball, and stay out of the coach's doghouse. There's still a long season ahead for Young to improve, but his ascension to starting fantasy WR isn't happening just yet.
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