As fantasy managers, we often face difficult decisions. To sit, or not to sit? In an age where data is coming at us more frequently than ever, it’s easy for information to become over-saturated or lost in translation. This article series will be here each week to help you filter through the jungle of statistics so you can make more educated lineup decisions. Welcome to the “Panic Meter.”
Each week, we’ll feature several underperforming players with an assigned grade corresponding to the appropriate level of panic for the respective player/performance. Below is a scale with grades between 0 and 4, as well as a strategy that correlates to the specific grade.
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|PANIC METER GRADE||STRATEGY/PLAN OF ACTION|
|0||This past week was not ideal, but it can be chalked up as an anomaly. Don’t even think about benching them.|
|1||Panic is setting in. The leash becomes shorter but said player is still in consideration as a starter. Make sure a plan B is in place.|
|2||Officially panicked, exploring trade options, and possibly benching for a more proven/reliable option.|
|3||Fire sale. Get rid of them for whatever you can before it’s too late. They can no longer be trusted as a starter. A borderline drop-candidate.|
|4||Sever all ties. Smash the drop button so hard that man ends up in the shadow realm.|
Jaylen Waddle | Panic Meter: 1
Waddle was on fire to begin the season. He has since cooled, registering a total of five catches for 62 yards in his two most recent contests. However, even after two five-point weeks, I’d be hesitant to sound the panic alarm. A mean injury bug has hit Miami’s QB room lately, causing the offense to stall to a certain degree. In all likelihood, we can chalk Waddle’s recent duds up to circumstance. We’ve seen what he is capable of (40.1 PPR points in week two) so benching him at the moment would be an ill-advised overreaction. Unless the duds continue… in which case, the panic meter will adjust accordingly.
James Robinson | Panic Meter: 2
After an excellent start to the season, Robinson has begun to fizzle out. After two weeks with less than six PPR points, it’s fair to be worried about Robinson. In the two aforementioned weeks, Robinson has been out-snapped, out-touched and out-produced by Travis Etienne. It is possible that we are witnessing a changing of the guard in the backfield. It is equally possible we’re witnessing the effects of an offensive regression by the Jags as a whole. Either way, panic is rising. You need to hold because you missed your window to trade him for peak value. Robinson moves from a low-end RB1 to a flex who needs to be monitored.
Aaron Rodgers | Panic Meter: 2
Aaron Rodgers has become a matchup-dependent QB. So far he has displayed a stable floor, but the upside is nowhere to be found. At the moment, Rodgers is a walking talking 16-point game. He now has four consecutive weeks with no more than 16.8 points. Better days should be ahead. He needs to be rostered, but he is far from a lineup lock. If you haven’t already, grabbing a QB off the waiver wire and playing the matchups would be a wise move.
Russell Wilson | Panic Meter: 3
Just a week removed from a 27-point performance, Russell Wilson came crashing back down to earth in Week five. After a nine-point stinker, Wilson has 11 points or less in three of his last four games. Things are not looking good for the Broncos’ offense. Wilson is missing throws, not seeing open receivers, getting booed at home and seemingly losing the locker room. If you’re not panicking after that Week five disaster against the Colts, you either have nerves of steel or you haven’t been watching football. Based on pure potential alone, you shouldn’t drop Wilson. But you certainly don’t need to play him unless the matchup is favorable. If you wanted to cut ties with him, nobody would blame you.
Ezekiel Elliott | Panic Meter: 3
After another fantasy dud in week five, Ezekiel Elliott has finished with single-digit totals in three of five games this season. He doesn’t have one game with more than 15 PPR points. For a player who is touching the ball 15+ times a game, Elliot is scoring a remarkably low amount of points. With Tony Pollard clearly looking like the more explosive back, it’s extremely difficult to get excited about playing Elliott, even as a flex. You can’t drop him (yet) because he is seeing RB1 volume, but trading him away for a decent flex option (or anything you can get) is very much in play.
James Conner | Panic Meter: 3
Hopefully, you took my advice last week and moved James Conner for Breece Hall while his name held value because that ship has sailed. After a 7.3-point performance in Week 5, the panic meter is at an all-time high for Conner. It marks the third time this season he has finished with less than nine points. He currently sits at RB28 on the season. At this point, there’s not much you can do except hold. You don’t want to drop him yet, but it’s not like you can trade him either. What you don’t have to do is start him. Moving forward, Conner is a matchup-dependent flex whose value is suffering by the week. Monitor the ankle injury to see if it will impact him this week and beyond.
Cut List | Panic Meter: 4
Darrell Henderson, Matt Gay, Elijah Moore, Brandon Aiyuk, Trevor Lawrence
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