Monday Meltdown: Don’t overreact after Week 1; other thoughts

Even if your Trent Richardson-led fantasy team ended up on its head after yesterday, it’s not time to worry quite yet.

With the first fantasy Sunday of the season in the books, it’s easy for owners to ride the pendulum from ecstasy to agony today. Maybe your starting running back went down with injury and you didn’t have a backup plan (Fred Jackson owners), or perhaps your hail mary flex position starter delivered big in the points column (C.J. Spiller owners gutsy enough to play him).

Regardless of your situation, the first Monday of fantasy season is ripe for overreaction.

Don’t do it.

It’s easy to look at a disappointing fantasy showing this weekend and be ready to hold a fire sale on your roster. Owners of Trent Richardson or Titus Young may look at yesterday as a sign of things to come for young players who aren’t ready for the big time.

Conversely, Michael Bush owners are probably thinking they happened upon the next Arian Foster after his two touchdown performance. It’s easy to be happy with underrated players who delivered.

But here’s the thing: You aren’t going to win your fantasy football league this week, so just let it breathe. Don’t make the drastic cuts you want, and don’t plan on Atlanta throwing up a forty-burger each week, either. Just take it slow and easy.

In fact, I propose a name change to the media’s “Overreaction Monday,” as today is often referred to. How about “Moderation Monday?” Alliteration is fun.

Other thoughts from fantasy’s first Sunday…

Welcome to the party, Stevan Ridley. The Patriots’ second year running back had a monster day yesterday…on my bench. I just wasn’t ready to put my faith in him yet, given the way New England relies on the air attack. But after delivering 21.2 fantasy points via 125 yards rushing, 27 yards receiving, and a touchdown, I am a believer.

DeAngelo may be worth a drop. I know this runs counter to the aforementioned “don’t overreact” mantra, but Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams may be headed for free agency after yesterday’s putrid 0.4 point performance. One of the players I had pegged as an Ace from last week, Williams was a complete non-factor in a game where he had little competition in the backfield. In considering dropping him, here’s my rationale: Jonathan Stewart is going to come back, and the defenses Carolina will face are only going to get stronger. I drafted Williams in round 11, so I feel comfortable letting him go in favor of someone who showed any flash of upside yesterday.

Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles are back. Congratulations to any owners who were able to steal these guys in the second or third round, as both looked plenty comfortable coming back from devastating knee injuries. Peterson, in particular, is proving to be superhuman and ready to shoulder the load for Minnesota. Start both of these guys each week with confidence.

There’s still a lot of football left. And I am just talking about tonight! With Bengals/Ravens and Chargers/Raiders on the agenda for this evening, quite a few fantasy tilts are not even settled yet. No way can you call a matchup settled when Darren McFadden, Ray Rice, and A.J. Green haven’t even played yet. Grab a pizza, some beer, and enjoy the best Monday night of the season.

I had a big game yesterday. My namesake, Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill, turned in a 20-plus point performance yesterday as New York surprised everyone this side of Rex Ryan (I bet Ryan was surprised, too, but never near speechless). He may not be a consistent fantasy performer while catching passes from Mark Sanchez, but he is someone to keep an eye on. Speaking of players to keep an eye on…


Randall Cobb may be this week’s best waiver wire pickup.

Waiver Watch

Each Monday, I’ll post my thoughts on a few players to snag off the waiver wires. Remember, it’s still early in the year, so you aren’t going to want to drop anyone too high on your list. But if you have a backup quarterback or defense you won’t need for a while, why not grab one of these guys?

WR Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers Cobb lined up all over the field for the Packers yesterday, playing in the slot on first and second down, while lining up in the backfield on third downs. His fantasy value is boosted by his special teams play, but also be warned that he blew up in Week 1 last season, then virtually disappeared. Still, it looks like he is going to be in Green Bay’s plans more often this season.

WR/RB Dexter McCluster, Kansas City Chiefs See above. McCluster is another hybrid player, and he led the Chiefs in targets yesterday. He may not always be used as effectively, but when he is in the game he is an explosive presence to be dealt with.

RB Johnathan Dwyer, Pittsburgh Steelers He may not have put up a lot of fantasy points, but he was on the field much more than Issac Redman, and he displayed power. Rashard Mendenhall has yet to return, and Dwyer looks like the real deal.

D/ST Denver Broncos Did you watch that game last night? It was as if Big Ben was Pacman, and Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil, and Wesley Woodyard were the ghosts. Bonus points to Miller for his excellent sack celebrations.


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