And when thinking about the best way to tackle your questions I of course immediately thought of Jodie Foster.
Two double-digit scoring efforts to open the season and Shady was moving along swimmingly. Then his head dropped below the water and owners saw their teams drowning with a 2.2 point effort in Week 3 and a dreadful 1.7 point performance in Week 4.
In one league that I'm playing in, one owner pulled the rip cord and accepted a trade of Keenan Allen and an injured Ryan Mathews for McCoy. Think about that for a second ... a wideout who has himself struggled and a running back that is OUT for the next month for one of the premium running backs in the entire game. I almost quit the league in protest, that's how out of line I think that deal is.
Panic Level:Sanda Bullock in Speed. Get on or get off? You got to keep the bus (your fantasy team) moving at a steady 55 miles per hour but there's LA traffic everywhere. I know it's stressful and you're not totally sure how it's going to turn out but in the end you will jump the freeway overpass gap and all will be good.
My advice: McCoy, despite two poor weeks, still has tremendous trade value. EVERYONE in your league has some level of interest. It's just a matter of finding the right partner. Beware the manager that offers you a trade and not vice versa. He or she is 100 percent testing the waters with a terrible low-ball offer. Personally, I'm holding onto McCoy, playing him every week and going down with the ship if he doesn't pan out. But if you're not as bullish, I get it. Shop him around but don't accept any trade that doesn't land you a combo that looks something like Antonio Brown and Trent Richardson. A good, reliable wide receiver and a low-end flex-play.
Plus: He's got a new, more dynamic quarterback in Blake Bortles, which should yield more productive offensive opportunities.
Minus: The numbers. He's averaging just 2.6 yards per carry and only got 10 carries in week 4 versus the Chargers.
There are whispers Gerhart's job status is in jeopardy and that his foot is still ailing after injuring it in Week 1. After waiting four years for his opportunity, could you really blame the guy if he is hiding the severity of the injury to trainers and coaches?
I have no idea whether he's hurt or how badly, but I do know this; he doesn't look right. So maybe Gerhart's gutting it out for now hoping to shoo away the buzzards as the season progresses. But the likelihood he gets healthier without a prolonged rest in the rugged NFL is um ... unlikely.
Panic Level: Fredric Weiss seeing Vince Carter come down the lane. You're terrified of the train heading straight at you but helpless to do anything but cover up and hope for the best.
Advice: The trade market for Gerhart is nil, but because of his position and modicum of success in Weeks 3 and 4 (six and eight points respectively) you can't drop him. The only thing you can do is put him on your bench and see what happens.
Guys, he's done as a top-flight fantasy force for this year.
Panic Room was created literally with Lacy in mind. A consensus top-10 pick that has looked terrible but with the question of whether he could rebound.
He opened the season with terrible matchups at Seattle, home versus the Jets and at Detroit. So most experts were braced for a slow start albeit not four-points-per-game slow.
Week 4 was supposed to be Lacy's coming out party versus a pliable Chicago defense minus the services of Jared Allen no less. In a way, I guess that held up; he got almost 12 fantasy points. But you take away the touchdown and the numbers were ugly. Just 48 rushing yards on 17 carries. That's a 2.8 yards-per-carry average folks. On the season he's averaging a woeful 3 yards per carry.
Watching him run, I'm not sure if his confidence is shot, but he's not hitting the hole nearly as hard as we saw last year and the way James Starks has looked by contrast, any and all confidence that Lacy returns to form is lost for me.
If you take away that crazy 67-yard touchdown run in Week 1 Patterson really hasn't been very good. That one trick play netted him 12.7 points out of the 18.8 he scored that week. If it was a 67-yard catch, that would be one thing, but managers can hardly count on a wide receiver toss sweep to generate points on a weekly basis.
More troubling is the fact that Patterson's following efforts have trended downwards. 5.6 points in Week 2 then 5.4 points then just 3.8 points in Week 4. Wide receiver is a notoriously volatile position in terms of fantasy scoring and I get that, but the targets simply aren't there.
All those plays offensive coordinator Norv Turner allegedly drew up specifically for Patterson must have been written in invisible ink because the extremely versatile Tennessee product is averaging just over five targets per game. His 21 total targets are the same as Andre Holmes, Terrance Williams and Torrey Smith. Not good.
Panic Level:Walter White in his crawl space desperately looking for his stash of cash. Every fantasy expert on Earth seemingly tabbed Patterson to be the breakout wideout star of 2014. But managers now looking for that Cordarrelle pick to pay out is left scrambling around snatching at dirt and cobwebs. All you can do is laugh because it makes absolutely zero sense that Patterson isn't panning out.
Advice: I'm close to bailing on Patterson but not quite there yet. I'm holding on to him for one more week, but if you're thinking trade, his trade value varies wildly depending on what kind of league you're in. If it's more of a beginner's type league outside of Minnesota, his trade value is nil because he's not that name-brand receiver quite yet. In a more experienced league, Patterson should net you Triple S (Steve Smith Sr.) or DeAndre Hopkins depending on how much you believe in those respective players.
The Terrific One reminds me of a great but aging boxer. Physically he looks fine, but when he's out there, he's just not as sharp as he once was. Accuracy, which has always been a Brady calling card, isn't quite as good. The small, subtle movements inside the pocket that have frustrated pass rushers for a decade and a half have disappeared.
And like a hall-of-fame boxer with legions of fans who howl to the moon that their guy still has juice left, Brady apologists point to the offensive line and the lack of certifiable playmakers. Things I 100 percent agree with, but we're talking about a guy that has a made a career of turning regular-joe wide receivers into reliable targets.
And consider Brady's draft price and expectation. Managers were expecting one of the best quarterbacks ever to merely put up top-10ish numbers. He's currently averaging a horrendous nine fantasy points per game and while he may have a couple magical games left in the tank, it is totally impossible to know when he will deliver.
Advice: Despite his reputation and 95 percent ownership, given the young, enticing quarterback options commonly available in most leagues, Brady should not be rostered in any format. Drop him and play matchups the rest of the way.
Panic Alarm Snooze Button:
NO ONE has been higher on Jerick McKinnon than yours truly. I've been calling his name out since the preseason as a guy who could pay dividends around Week 6. I was off by two weeks, my bad. An option quarterback out of Georgia Southern, McKinnon had to learn the running back position since entering the league but has always been an UNBELIEVABLE athlete. He ran a 4.41 second 40-yard dash and has a crazy 40.5 inch vertical. Versus the Falcons, he broke off this 55-yard run en route to 152 scrimmage yards on the day. Matt Asiata is the lead for now but the team did spend a third-round pick on McKinnon, so they're invested. Don't get me wrong, I like Taliaferro a lot as well, but if I'm choosing between the two I'll take McKinnon all day.
After popping off three scores in his shockingly-fast recovery from a high-ankle sprain, you're probably thinking, "Hey, it's a no brainer, get Jamaal!" But for me, it's an extremely close call. Charles, no question, has the higher upside but Bell is no slouch in the upside department, either. The injury still concerns me a bit and Bell seems like a slightly safer and more stable play in standard scoring. By just a smidge, I say keep Le'Veon and see what happens.
We have a bunch of running inside jokes on NFL Fantasy LIVE. For example, we rib Elliot Harrison about how good looking he is and his uncanny resemblance to Jordan Cameron, also a good-looking man. Another popular semi-comical gag is my hair. Now I have to say, before I worked here I literally got ZERO comments on my hair, either positive or negative. But now all of a sudden, I'm the guy with good hair on the show. As for your question though, I keep the Koh-hawk strong to very strong with an upper-middle class hair product that rhymes with "Brew." High hold, low shine. Four words I live by.