Fantasy Football: Keep calm, everything is fine

You’re excited. You spent all Sunday streaming as many games as your bandwidth could handle and now you’re about to overreact when it comes to your fantasy football team. Before you relegate Peyton Manning to the bench next week, make sure to take a step back and make sense of what happened in Week 1.

Marucs Mariota is not a Hall-of-Famer: Well, he might be one day, but certainly not yet. Pick him up if he’s a free agent in your league, but keep in mind that he played the Buccaneers last week and there’s a reason that Tampa Bay had the worst record in the league last year. Also, do not count Jameis Winston out just yet. Sure he struggled in his first game, but he was missing wide receiver Mike Evans who’s expected to be back next week. It wasn’t too long ago that we were questioning if Andrew Luck was the real deal after one bad week in 2012.

James Jones is back: After two years in the football graveyard that is Oakland, Jones is back with superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. He and Rodgers just have ‘it’—a certain connection that always seems to result in the back of the end zone. In 2012, when he led the league in touchdown receptions, one out of every five of  his catches put points on the board. If he’s available in your league, pick him up.

Percy Harvin is tempting: When he’s not getting in fights with teammates or injured, Percy Harvin can be a serious game changer. He’s never really had a true position in the NFL, but his combination of speed and agility gives Buffalo Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan a lethal weapon he can play anywhere on the field. It’s only Week 1, but Harvin could become the go-to-receiver for new quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

The fill ins: Indianapolis Colts wideout Donte Moncrief is going to be the top receiver in Indy until T.Y. Hilton gets back from a knee injury. If Terrance Williams is available in your league, he could be a fantasy game-changer in Dallas until Dez Bryant returns from injury. Tennessee running back Bishop Sankey had an outstanding week one and with David Cobb out, he should be the Titans’ starting running back for the foreseeable future.

Defence roulette: This can be a dangerous strategy, but if you missed out on getting one of the league’s top defences you will have to juggle your team’s defence from week-to-week. If the Dolphins are available, they’re your best bet this week, but in deep leagues, you might want to go with the Titans defence. They’re matched up against the Browns this week and with or without Josh McCown, they’re totally punchless. If you’re really lucky, Johnny Manziel gets the start and you’re guaranteed a turnover or two.

Lightning round: Everything is fine! Manning will be fine in Denver. Will he lead the league in touchdown passes? No, but he should be your team’s starting quarterback every single week. Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will probably be fine. This was most likely just a bad week, but it might take Peterson a while to get back into his rhythm. Carlos Hyde is fine. He just locked down the starting job in one of the league’s most run-heavy offence’s out in San Francisco. Lastly, your team is fine. Don’t over-think your roster. Your starters should start and barring some exceptional circumstances, your bench players should sit. If you start tinkering with your lineup, you will likely lose.

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