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Fantasy Football Panic Meter: Javonte Williams, Laviska Shenault, Chase Claypool (2021)

Oct 18, 2021


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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.

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PANIC METER GRADE ACTION PLAN/STRATEGY
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!

Week 6 Panic Meter

Chase Claypool (WR – PIT) | Panic Meter: 0

Despite the injury to JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR – PIT), Claypool could not capitalize on the vacated targets in Pittsburgh. He’s dealt with injury concerns, and his QB appears ancient-armed. However, his playing time has upped since the injury to JuJu, especially in two-WR formations. This additional time on the field increases the likelihood of the vintage fantasy explosion we all know Chase can. Stay the course and be rewarded.

Laviska Shenault (WR – JAX) | Panic Meter: 1

Shenault ran 38 routes and garnered nine targets in London, both second-best amongst Jacksonville WRs. That is the good news. The bad? He’s topped 60 yards receiving once thus far in 2021, and Urban Meyer has only called his number three times on the ground. Laviska isn’t being utilized as the Swiss Army knife fantasy managers hoped. Currently, the upside is capped. If you stashed a young or injured lottery ticket on your bench, consider playing them over this Jags’ underwhelming wideout.

Javonte Williams (RB – DEN) | Panic Meter: 1

Heading into the season, Javonte Williams was everyone’s choice as the breakout rookie RB of 2021. His path to fantasy stardom was only slightly blurred by Melvin Gordon (RB – DEN). Well, after six weeks, Williams and Gordon are providing near-identical fantasy production. Managers of both are struggling to insert either into weekly lineups, merely guessing at which will outscore the other. While Williams hasn’t been horrible, it is clear he isn’t going to be fabulous–this season. He’s slipped below the FLEX line in most formats.

Tyler Boyd (WR – CIN) | Panic Meter: 1

Boyd has been a tough nut to crack. His role is cemented in a decent offense as the slot receiver. However, he is outshined by his younger, more athletic Cincinnati wideouts. He’s had some good performances and some stinkers. Which is an accurate picture of Boyd’s outlook for the rest of the year? Well, the schedule turns a tad more difficult for the Bengals now, so there is a possibility they will need to throw the ball more often. That bodes well for an underneath specialist like Tyler Boyd. He’s still a 1 because of the diminished upside, however.

Myles Gaskin (RB – MIA) | Panic Meter: 3

You can find everything you need to know about Myles Gaskin’s 2021 fantasy season in one Tweet:

I feel most of you will be dropping Gaskin this week, and I cannot blame you. A fantasy heart can only take so much breaking.

THE DROP LIST | Panic Meter: 4

Players who can be dropped in most re-draft fantasy formats: Kenneth Gainwell (RB – PHI), Nyheim Hines (RB – IND), Sony Michel (RB – LAR), & Ronald Jones (RB – TB).

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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 How to Manage Early-Season Injury Problems or head to more advanced strategy — like How to Effectively Assess the Quality of Your Team — 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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