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Fantasy football: The panic button may be premature

Michael Vick

Michael Vick Photo Credit: Getty Images

Cedric Benson over Fred Jackson? Tampa Bay’s Mike Williams over Wes Welker? Any one of about 15 quarterbacks over Ryan Fitzpatrick?

Unless your team is sitting pretty at 3-0 or 2-1, you've probably been replaying draft day in your mind. Unfortunately, unless Doc Brown shows up with a DeLorean and 1.21 gigawatts of electricity, you're just going to have to look for ways to turn around the team you have. Yes, trading for some help could be the answer. But it's entirely possible, too, that the guys who can fuel your team's turnaround are already on your roster — they're just slumping.

Here's a look at some struggling players and recommendations for whether you should stand pat or move on.

Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee
He's clearly still feeling the lingering effects of his lengthy training camp holdout. But Johnson is an elite talent who is just 26 years old, and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has played well enough to prevent defenses from stacking the box against the fourth-year running back.

Michael Vick, WR, Philadelphia
The only thing to be concerned about with Vick is injury — but you knew that when you drafted him, right? Even though Vick has been just the 18th-best fantasy QB so far, don't forget that in his last three seasons as a starter, he has finished second, sixth and second in fantasy scoring among signal callers.

DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia
D-Jax has been bad the past two weeks, but it's not really that surprising. Last season, Jackson had seven games in which he scored five or fewer fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues. Just accept the fact that he's a roller-coaster ride.

DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina
Williams is averaging an abysmal 2.3 yards per carry, which might be easier to dismiss if he hadn't struggled before suffering a season-ending foot injury last year. Williams seems to have lost “it,” and now Jonathan Stewart is chewing more into his playing time.

Dallas Clark, TE, Indianapolis
Clark, who has just 83 yards receiving, clearly misses Peyton Manning. A quarterback change might be Clark's only hope to get back on track. Only one tight end — the Giants' Jeremy Shockey in 2002 — has finished with more than 750 yards while catching passes from Kerry Collins as a starting quarterback.

Shonn Greene, RB, N.Y. Jets
For the second year in a row, Greene, who is averaging 3.3 yards per carry, appears to be squandering his chance to be a featured running back. The Jets didn't hesitate to yank his starting gig from him last year. It might be just a matter of time before they give youngsters Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell an audition.

Ryan Chatelain ( is amNY’s fantasy football columnist.


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