Google “early celebration”. Now, does a single video or gif come up where things work out well for the person showboating?
Didn’t think so.
The same goes for panicking this early. There are 17 football games in the regular season this year before playoffs. There have been four so far. We all need to settle down. And why do I know that we need to settle down after only four weeks? Well, probably because it’s been mathematically proven by Adam Harstad of FootballGuys. For multiple years he compared the first four weeks of fantasy results vs. average draft position and, up until week four at least, ADP was still a better predictor of rest of season fantasy success. Beyond that we end up with a big enough sample size with few enough games left that things start to swing the other way. But right now for the most part, what we knew before the season is mathematically more important than the fantasy points that have been scored in the first four games.
Here’s an example. Here are the stat lines for two tight ends after four weeks - one from last year and one from this year.
- Player A: 18 receptions for 221 yards and 5 touchdowns
- Player B: 15 receptions for 144 yards and 4 touchdowns
Both pretty good right? Player A was 2020 Jonnu Smith. Through four games he was the TE2 overall. Over his remaining games, he was the TE23 overall. Player B is the 2021 hot fantasy commodity Dawson Knox. A guy who had a 9% target share the first three weeks of the season and then just played the worst tight end defense in the league. Anyone that spent big FAAB on Knox or traded for him, how are we feeling given the info we just discussed?
Well, you might not need to be as maybe Knox has carved out a new role in that offense and maybe it IS sustainable. We see breakouts all the time. But the fantasy points he scored the first four weeks isn’t what actually dictates that. Last year through five weeks Logan Thomas was the TE26 overall in fantasy. But he was playing every single snap and lining up at WR more than any other TE in the league. He finished TE4. THAT is what matters. Focusing on the right details. Focusing on the reasons we drafted these guys in the first place - not how many touchdowns they caught in a couple games. Otherwise you might end up on the wrong side of something like this.
So far this year Jakobi Meyers has run 168 routes. Kyle Pitts has run 139 - 120 of which have been run from a WR position. Yes, Kyle Pitts has run 86% of his snaps from a wide receiver spot which is an even higher percentage than Logan Thomas last year. Dawson Knox has run 115 routes. He’s the fourth target on that team. Dawson Knox is averaging 36 yards a game - he just happened to score a couple touchdowns. Reminds us a lot of Jonnu Smith (TE2 through 5 games) and Tyler Higbee (TE6 through 5 games) early last year. Then what happened with those fellas? Not to bash on Dawson Knox here - he’s a good player - but if people were paying attention to the right details, this trade should be Knox and Meyers for PITTS, not the other way around. And given what we know about tight end production, I’m confident in the upside of Kyle Pitts and that, from here on out, he will finish higher than Dawson Knox in fantasy football. Feel free to blow me up on Twitter @CoopAFiasco if I end up being wrong about that. I can handle it.
The bottom line here with all these examples and studies is pretty simple. Continue to trust your process. Don’t victory lap success after four weeks. And don’t panic and bench/trade guys either. Unless something drastic has changed like injuries or trades, these guys should largely still have the potential that they had when you drafted them. And you drafted them for a reason. If you don’t believe me, why don’t you go check with the Robert Woods owner after last night’s game vs. the Seahawks? I think they’ve probably already forgotten the first four weeks. As they should.