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Fantasy Football Panic Meter: A.J. Brown, Allen Robinson, Odell Beckham Jr. (2021)

Oct 11, 2021
A.J. Brown

Starting, sitting, trading, waiting, and replacing are decisions every fantasy football player makes all season long. Unfortunately, information comes at us fast and furious, making it difficult to decipher when to change our lineups. This article series will be here weekly to help you make those pivotal calls. Welcome to the Panic Meter.

Each week, we will give you several players who underperformed and how panicked you should feel about that letdown. The scale (as seen below) will tell you exactly what to do with last week’s busts, whether it means running them back out there this week or sending them packing for the waiver wire.

Every player will get a Panic Meter grade between 0 and 4 and a strategy to employ at that graded level.

0 This week wasn’t great, but panic, not my friend. Start him again next week.
1 Wait and see mode activated. If you have a replacement, it may be a smart move.
2 That was ugly. Something is wrong here. To the bench, he goes.
3 Hold at your own risk. This player isn’t reliable right now. Consider moving on.
4 Stop. DROP. Shut ’em down. Open up shop! He gone.

Now that you understand the system bring on the panic!

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Week 5 Panic Meter

T.J. Hockenson (TE – DET) | Panic Meter: 0

Tight ends are hard to come by, so advising that you bench one with Hockenson’s skills and lack of competition for targets is impossible. However, it is becoming more frustrating by the week that Jared Goff (QB – DET)  isn’t looking at his TE’s way more often. Hockenson has seen 33 passes from Goff in five games (6.6 targets/game), turning that volume into 24 catches, 237 yards, and two touchdowns. As frustrating as it is for his fantasy managers, there likely isn’t another TE option on the roster to replace T.J.

A.J. Brown (WR – TEN)  | Panic Meter: 0

Tennessee’s passing offense has taken a step back in 2021 after exploding in 2020 behind Ryan Tannehill (QB -TEN). Most of that success can be attributed to A.J. Brown’s breakout campaign. Unfortunately, he’s off to a slow start under new offensive coordinator Todd Downing. Ultimately, the Titans’ will find a way to get their star the football, and fantasy managers can hopefully let out a collective sigh next week when they take on Buffalo.

Odell Beckham Jr (WR – CLE)  | Panic Meter: 1

2016’s monster fantasy season is a long time ago now for Beckham believers. Never mind the injuries. He just hasn’t found a connection with Baker Mayfield (QB – CLE)  during his tenure in Cleveland. The Browns are short on receiving options, yet OBJ saw just three targets in last week’s shootout with the Chargers. Beckham came at a considerable discount on draft day, but he isn’t even paying that opportunity cost. It is time to shop the former WR1 around your league.

Allen Robinson (WR – CHI)  | Panic Meter: 2

Longing for the days of Mitchell Trubisky (QB – BUF)? You aren’t alone. Fantasy managers have given Robinson every opportunity to help their teams win, but it is not happening. Rookie Justin Fields’ (QB – CHI) inconsistencies appear too much to overcome for the veteran wideout. He’s AT BEST a risky FLEX play moving forward, but that might only be the case for leagues with three starting WR slots. The questions will pour in this week with options to start over Robinson, and I will be recommending almost every other option.

Miles Sanders (RB – PHI)  | Panic Meter: 2

The fleet of foot QBs almost always negatively impacts their RBs fantasy upside, but this is getting ridiculous in Philadelphia. Nick Sirianni is lost when it comes to his usage of Miles Sanders. No touchdowns in five weeks, only 20 carries over the previous three games, and fewer than four targets out of the backfield per game in 2021. Sanders’ fall was precipitous. The question that remains is, “Is this rock bottom?” Do not risk your fantasy season waiting for that answer. Instead, consider Sanders a bench stash until further notice.

NEW for the remainder of 2021…THE DROP LIST | Panic Meter: 4

Players who can be dropped in most re-draft fantasy formats: Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF), Trey Sermon (RB – SF), Robert Tonyan (TE – GB), Robby Anderson(WR – CAR), Kenyan Drake (RB – LV).

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Whether you’re new to fantasy football or a seasoned pro, our Fantasy Football 101: Strategy Tips & Advice page is for you. You can get started with Starting Your Own Fantasy Football League or head to a more advanced strategy – like What is the Right Amount of Risk to Absorb on Draft Day? – to learn more.

Aaron Pags is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Aaron, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyTriage.

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