Fantasy Football: Holding onto Jamaal Charles and other Top Players

Jamaal Charles

Chris Humphreys – USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 was full of disappointing performances across the league, none more so than Jamaal Charles. The unfortunate truth is that players sometimes have bad games.  Whether it is a coaching decision or a matchup problem, bad weeks are inevitable no matter how much we want our players to succeed.  On the bright side, I believe it is better for a terrible week one instead of week 10 when playoff races are in full effect.  Evaluating and rebuilding is much easier in the early weeks of the season.

For me, I have a three-week rule for players and it is very simple: if a guy hasn’t hit his stride by week three, it’s time to cut ties or try to get some value for him if  he has not made any improvement.   What this means is there is no need to trade Eddie Lacy for pennies on the dollar or give up the farm to get Calvin Johnson after one week.  That’s a terrible overreaction and that usually cripples fantasy seasons beyond repair.

In the famous words of Walter White, “…your best course would be to tread lightly.”  Remember, fantasy football is a long season.  Give it some time, and most of these problems will work themselves out.  Here is my list of players that should bounce back, and hopefully show why you drafted them in your leagues.

Tony Romo

Greg Fiume – Getty Images

Tony Romo

Romo is a guy that I targeted in many of my leagues, so his turd of a performance really left me high and dry last week.  There is no reason to believe that he will consistently finish in the bottom of his position every week, while guys like Josh McCown, Matt Cassel, Brian Hoyer, and Ryan Fitzpatrick put up better numbers.  His offense is too explosive, and he has too many weapons as his disposal to consistently be that bad.

Romo is a rhythm quarterback that loves to use the playaction to get the ball downfield.  Because Dallas was losing 21-3 by the end of the first quarter, the offense only ran the ball 10 times for the rest of the game.  Don’t expect that to happen every week, no matter how putrid that Dallas defense may be.  Tennessee has a solid defense, but expect Romo – and Dez Bryant for that matter – to coming out firing and rebound in a big way.

Jamaal Charles

Photo Credit: DFLAdmin

Jamaal Charles

Charles finished with a measly 34 total yards on seven carries and four catches against the Titans.  Head coach Andy Reid admitted after the game that he wet the bed, and should have gotten Charles more involved in the offense.  I know some owners are scratching their heads in how this could happen with a top three pick, but the signs were there coming into this season.

The Chiefs offensive line is missing four out of their five starters from last season at the moment, and this can cause some underwhelming games for Charles this season.  But if history has taught us anything, it’s that Reid has proven his running backs are very valuable in his offensive system.  Oh, and history also tells us this is the same guy that has had 1,100+ rushing yards when healthy.  Charles will bounce back and there is little doubt in my mind he will make good on his ADP.  He may not have the most ideal matchup against the Denver Broncos, but you can expect Charles to put up close to RB1 numbers this Sunday.

Larry Fitzgerald

Darren Urban – azcardinals.com

Larry Fitzgerald

If you would have told me that Fitzgerald would not have a catch nor a single target until the fourth quarter on Monday night, I would have probably never asked you anything sports related ever again.  Out of a possible 157 regular season games, Fitzgerald has a catch in 156 of them, with one goose egg coming in the seventh game of his rookie season.  If I know nothing else about him, it’s that he is the model of consistency.

I saw multiple people this week asking if dropping Fitzgerald for Allen Hurns was good waiver wire move. Seeing that made my brain hurt, and is down right laughable. While Fitz may not be the number one receiver anymore – Michael Floyd is the real deal and looks poised for a massive year – there is not reason to expect such a steep decline that he isn’t even rosterable.  Arizona is going to throw the ball a lot in Bruce Arians’ coaching system, and the worst-case scenario for him will be around a WR3. I see no reason for him to have another outing like Monday night against the Giants defense this Sunday.

Keenan Allen

Casey Sapio – USA TODAY Sports

Keenan Allen

I almost considered doing an entirely separate article for Allen because I know fantasy owners are going to be down on him after this week.  He had a bad game against the Cardinals, and will probably have similar numbers against the Seahawks in week two.  Owners will shy away from Allen as well with the emergence of Malcolm Floyd and the ageless Antonio Gates both catching more balls than him.  I am making it known; he will be the first player that I will look to trade for come Monday morning.

If you have a share of Allen, don’t abandon ship just yet.  He still had the second most targets on the team, and had more snaps than any other skill position.  It’s all about opportunities in fantasy football, and Allen should have plenty of those in the foreseeable future.

For all your start and sit questions, check out the week two rankings from Chris Meyers.

For other players to target week two and beyond, check out Michael Waterloo’s players to target.

You can reach me on Twitter with any thoughts, questions, concerns, or just want to talk fantasy sports. 

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