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NFL Week 3: Fantasy Football midweek update

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With two weeks in the books, some of the top players are off to slow starts - is it time to panic?

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Every year players go through hot streaks and cold spells. It’s just the nature of sports. And in fantasy football, we take notice when the players on our teams are going through these stretches when they aren’t producing in the way we expected.

When these cold spells take place at the beginning of the season, owners are sometimes inclined to hit the panic button, afraid their players may be destined for woefully low production that season. And sometimes these fears are justified, but often they are just over-reactions.

Consider Eddie Lacy in 2014. Last year after the first three weeks of the season, he was averaging about 50 total yards per game, and had zero touchdowns. Despite that slow start, he finished with more than 1,500 total yards and 13 total touchdowns.

Even Marshawn Lynch went through a similar bad stretch last year (Weeks 5 - 7) where he only averaged 6.6 points per game, but like Lacy, he also had a great season, with more than 1,600 total yards and 17 total touchdowns.

So let’s take a look at a few highly regarded players who have started off the 2015 season very slowly.

Yards TD INT Points Ranking
Andrew Luck 493 3 5 10.9 25th
Peyton Manning 431 3 2 12.6 28th
Drew Brees 610 2 2 14.2 23rd

Rush Yards Rec Yards Total TD's Points Ranking
Marshawn Lynch 114 52 0 8.3 20th
DeMarco Murray 11 64 2 9.8 18th
Justin Forsett 111 25 0 6.8 35th
Lamar Miller 67 50 0 5.9 43rd

Many players have a bad game, or a bad run of games. Most of them will still produce good numbers by the end of the season. But some of them will under-produce all season. They key is to figure out which of these players are just in a rut and which ones will be bad all season long.

Andrew Luck
Don’t worry. He’s still an elite talent with very good receivers. Last year he went through a six game stretch where he averaged only 207 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions. So an underperforming two game stretch is nothing to get concerned about. He will still finish as a top FFL quarterback.

Peyton Manning
Don’t worry – too much. It’s true that he’s not the Peyton Manning of years ago. But he’s not David Klingler either. He has good weapons and probably has at least one last year left in the tank. He should finish the year as a top 10 fantasy football quarterback.

Drew Brees
Don’t worry. He’s still averaging a lot of yards, but just doesn’t have a lot of touchdowns. He is averaging only one touchdown pass per game, but last year Brees only had one touchdown pass in about 40 percent of his games. He should still finish as a top 10 FFL quarterback – maybe even top five.

Marshawn Lynch
Don’t worry. Lynch, like many good running backs, will have a few games where he's held in check, and a few games where he's going to explode for yardage and touchdowns. Lynch is on a slow start, but Seattle is too good a team for Lynch to underperform all season.

DeMarco Murray
Worry a little, but not a lot. I’ll admit, he is somebody I steered clear of in my leagues this year. A high work load in 2014, plus a split role in 2015 didn’t instill confidence that he would come close to repeating last year’s production in Dallas. Philly’s whole offense has been a mess after two games. The team has time to fix their offensive issues, and Murray should end the year as a solid RB2.

Justin Forsett
Maybe worry a little. Pre-season predictions were split on the one year wonder. It seems that he is going to lose touchdowns, and hasn’t’ been as involved in the passing game as some people hoped. He is still somebody to start, but if you drafted him as an RB1 you may be disappointed.

Lamar Miller
Don’t worry – too much. Miami has been playing catch-up all season, which has eaten into his rushing opportunities. He just needs some games with an opportunity to run the ball. He should still be a decent RB2 this season.