To panic or not to panic?

You should definitely consider trading Brian Westbrook at this point.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - That is the question. If you have Drew Brees, there is no need to say anything, you simply write his name in the lineup each week and smile.

But what of the stars who have yet to perform up to their expected level?

Is it time to panic?

In general my answer to that question would be - no, remember it's only Week 2. Some teams have started off the season playing a more difficult schedule which will balance out over the full 17-week season.

Tennessee, for instance, opened up with the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers and this week played an up-and-coming Houston team.

Or Jacksonville, who started the season in Indianapolis and suffered a tough 14-12 loss to the Colts and Peyton Manning and then had to play the NFC champion Arizona Cardinals.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings played at Cleveland and at Detroit. Cleveland finished 2008 with the 26th-ranked defense, while the Lions were No.32, dead last. Which begs the question: Why has Bernard Berrian (RapidDraft ADP 83.9) only earned four fantasy points in two weeks?

Below are either other players, whom fantasy owners are likely dissatisfied with based on their performance over the first two weeks. Let's examine what to do about the situation.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay - Rodgers is tied for 16th in passing yards and has the same number of touchdown passes as Kyle Orton and rookie Mark Sanchez. He was the No.5 QB picked on draft day, but has yet to live up to the fifth- round selection. Rodgers was essentially without his best weapon on Sunday as Greg Jennings had no catches and a bad wrist. Don't give up on the Packers' quarterback, better days are around the corner - the St. Louis Rams are the opponent in Week 3.

Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago - Cutler's Bears are 1-1 despite the fact that he has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. He'll always throw INTs because he has a great arm and he knows it, therefore he tries to put the ball where lesser quarterbacks wouldn't. Seattle and Detroit are next up on the schedule. At the beginning of the year, I had high expectations for Cutler. I've lowered them a bit, but I still wouldn't trade him at this point.

Brian Westbrook, RB, Philadelphia - Westbrook's slow start concerns me, because the Eagles have put up 60 points in two games with minimal help from their star running back. He has no rushing touchdowns and doesn't see the ball a lot near the goal line. Add in Michael Vick and the Wildcat offense and I'm thinking Westbrook's TD totals are going to suffer. I would definitely consider trading him at this point.

Brandon Jacobs, RB, New York Giants - The Giants are 2-0 and have scored 56 points without much of a contribution from Jacobs. However, I believe the Giants will return to the running game, particularly when the weather turns bad, and Jacobs will get his points. Don't trade him away, the Giants passing game isn't as good as it looked against the Dallas Cowboys.

Matt Forte, RB, Chicago - Forte is a troubling situation for fantasy owners, because he was a top-five selection who is being used differently in 2009 versus 2008. Last year, Forte caught 63 balls out of the backfield as well as ran it, but in 2009 he has just five catches for 33 yards, to go along with 84 yards rushing (2.2 yards-per-carry). The problem is you won't receive top-five talent in return if you trade him while he's looked this "bad." You'll have to keep him at this point and wait until he has a good game to restore his perceived value.

Steve Slaton, RB, Houston - Slaton was a low first-round/high second-round pick on draft day (RapidDraft ADP 13.5) who has given fantasy owners a measly 11 points in two games. He's averaging 2.0 yards-per-carry and has zero touchdowns. Plus Chris Brown is getting involved and taking opportunities away from Slaton. Like Forte, you can't get fair value for him at this moment. But I'd ship him out as soon as he has a good game.

Eddie Royal, WR, Denver - After a 91-catch, 980-yard season with Cutler a year ago, Royal and his new quarterback Kyle Orton are obviously not on the same page. He's been targeted just seven times in two games, versus 8.1-per-game last year. That will make it extremely tough for Royal to perform up to the expectations of a fifth-round pick (RapidDraft ADP 60.9).

Bernard Berrian, WR, Minnesota - Berrian averaged 20.1 yards-per-catch in 2008, but in his six catches from Favre he has a 7.7 yards-per-catch average with no scores. He might still have some trade value if owners aren't paying attention, but it doesn't look pretty right now.

Greg Olsen, TE, Chicago - Olsen was one of the "darlings" on draft day as everyone thought he would benefit from having a top-notch quarterback behind center. So far that's amounted to four catches for 49 yards and no scores. You won't get anything in as trade as there are plenty of tight ends who can put up those numbers.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at
The Sports Network, a STATS Company. All Rights Reserved.  home | terms of use | privacy policy | comments |