Week 1 of the NFL regular season, and, in turn, Week 1 of the fantasy football season, is now in the books. For fantasy owners all around the map, the time has come when you either have the utmost confidence in your team or no confidence at all. Either way, there have probably been some brash thoughts about your team running through your head already, and there undoubtedly has been some overreaction going on in that owner's head of yours. I am strikingly guilty of this myself, but the reality of the situation is that no matter how many points your first round pick got or didn't get in Week 1, there is no real reason for concern just yet. Your playoff hopes are not gone just yet.
Of course, I say this as I watched my third round pick and hopeful top 10 fantasy running back, C.J. Anderson, put a damper on my Week 2 fantasy prospects during Thursday Night Football last week. He gained a whopping 27 rushing yards on 12 carries with 1 reception for 2 yards, an effort that netted an astounding 2 fantasy points a more impressive 3-point performance. For non-fantasy readers, 5 points through two contests from your third round pick is well, quite frankly, horrific. My sixteenth and final pick of my fantasy draft outscored him in one game thus far. Anderson had a great year last year, and the preseason buzz around him was that he had potential to be the top fantasy back this year while flourishing in a loaded Denver offense. What happened to that?
Whether or not our coveted player's lack of fantasy production continues or not remains to be seen as the season progresses, but the issues at hand here are the reactions stemming from that lack of production. Fantasy football, as seasoned owners have seen, is a marathon, not a sprint. Just because a player may be in last place in the beginning of the year doesn't mean they will finish the year in last place. There have been many instances throughout the years where players have started slow and then hit their stride a few weeks into the season (2013 Josh Gordon, anybody?).
But it's much easier said than done to ignore the early-season red flags of your top players. Adrian Peterson didn't look very comfortable in the Vikings' new offense. DeMarco Murray, aside from scoring a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown, finished his first game with 9 yards on 8 carries. Dez Bryant broke a bone in his foot and could be sidelined for about eight weeks. If you have one of these players on your team, you might be worried. If you have all of these players on your team, you're definitely panicking.
I'll admit, that "drop" button glows a mighty red in the middle of the Broncos game where C.J. Anderson runs timidly enough to barely get back to the line of scrimmage and surrenders a decent amount of carries to his backup. But when I take a step back and look at the big picture, I realize that overreaction is my, and any fantasy owner's, worst enemy. I learned my lesson after last year, when I dropped Ben Roethlisberger after the first two weeks of mediocre performances for the season, only for my dad to add him to his team and finish the season as the fifth-ranked fantasy quarterback. Dropping such a highly-drafted player, at this stage in the game, can only hurt your team in the long run.
On the contrary, your league's waiver wire is probably buzzing for names like Tyler Eifert, Danny Woodhead and Chris Ivory, who likely went undrafted and put up monster numbers in Week 1. But will that type of production continue, or were these players just Week 1 darlings? It's anybody's guess as to the flukes achieved in Week 1, but it is very important to consider these results in moderation. Fantasy is played on a week-to-week basis, and there are bound to be outlying performances. However, there are also breakout, sleeper candidates every year, and the uncertainty of that is part of the beauty of fantasy football.
Ultimately, there is a vast degree of uncertainty involved in managing a fantasy football team, and that's what makes the game fun. So if you're worried about your player's season prospects based on his performance in one game, don't. Stay the course, consider all things, and keep a close eye on your team and how your players are faring in their games from week to week. I will only officially grant permission to be concerned in about three more weeks. In the meantime, hit that waiver wire hard, and don't forget to set your lineup for Sunday!