Don't get too down if your studs mostly have been stumped this season. All the research and skilled drafting in the world can't change the fact that fantasy football is a land mine filled with injuries, suspensions, politics and other unpredictable factors.
That nugget of wisdom is small consolation if your season's quickly slipping away. You already may be feeling the onset of a panic attack, which unfortunately isn't nearly as effective as the rushing or passing attack. You know that feeling when Marshall Faulk or Priest Holmes gets hurt right before the fantasy playoffs? Yeah, that.
It also kind of feels like drafting Barry Sanders or Terrell Davis during those seasons when they fell of a cliff and broke your heart.
Let's not sugarcoat this: Some of you have planted your hooves on a big ol' land mine. Your would-be stars aren't going to get much better, but only time will reveal for certain who will bounce back and who is destined to be a drain on your team. There may be some hints, however.
Once you separate the slumpers from the slackers, you can make plans to trade away the dead weight or replace it with some gems from the waiver wire. Dawdling will cost you, however. Each week of limp performances saps your leverage in trade talks. And at this point in the season, it may be rough going on the free-agent market.
Pushing the panic button
Several players have underachieved, but not it's necessarily time to fret. Use the panic indicators below to see where your player stands.
PUSH PANIC: Insert fingers in hair ... and pull. FINGER ON THE BUTTON: Not quite a bum, but he's on the brink. HANDS OFF: Patience people.
Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles
Comment: After two brutal first games, McNabb still is completing just half of his passes, and his rating is just a point higher than Kordell Stewart's. But McNabb is using his feet again to make plays, and the Eagles have rediscovered the run.
Outlook: The running game, along with some long completions, will keep defenses honest. Also, the Eagles' schedule will continue to get lighter.
Emmitt Smith, RB, Cardinals and Eddie George, RB, Titans
Comment: Given that you had no business picking either of them early in drafts, serves you right. Ancient Emmitt already was making a case to get benched when he broke his shoulder. And Fast Eddie has been slowing down for years (15 carries for 35 yards Sunday!).
Outlook: Smith is out indefinitely, and Marcel Shipp has a lock on No. 1. As for Fast Eddie, if he can't get it done against Houston, he is done.
Tommy Maddox, QB, Steelers
Comment: If you're a QB and the words "Charlie Batch" are uttered in your locker room, this is not good. Batch filled in to share in Maddox's shellacking at home against Cleveland. After a three-TD opener, Maddox has scored twice. Neither of them happened in the last two games, although he was picked off in each game twice.
Worry wont hurry offense
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
Los Angeles Times welcomes civil dialogue about our stories; you must register with the site to participate. We filter comments for language and adherence to our Terms of Service, but not for factual accuracy. By commenting, you agree to these legal terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.
Having technical problems? Check here for guidance.