Consider this week's column a preemptive strike. Fifty percent of fantasy football players across the world are going to lose in head-to-head leagues in week one. That's just a fact, the same way there will be 16 NFL teams that will be 0-1 (barring the incredibly rare tie). Just like those NFL teams, I'm here to tell you that you shouldn't panic or overreact to a Week 1 fantasy football loss.
Here are a couple of examples. The Colts got shellacked by the Bears in Week 1, and the Seahawks lost at home to the Cardinals. Both those 0-1 teams made the playoffs. The Bears and Cardinals? Not so much. The Jets also destroyed the Bills 48-28. Whoops.
Point is, the NFL season is a long one and you shouldn't jump ship on a player and start dropping your guys -- you know, the players you liked enough to draft in mid- to late August -- for the Kevin Ogletrees and Dante Rosarios of the world off the waiver wire.
Be patient and stick to your guns, at least the first few weeks of the season. Any scientist worth their salt will tell you that you need a much larger sample size of data before you can start drawing any conclusions. And fantasy football, although not an exact science, is much the same way.
Don't cut bait on New England wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins just because he only catches a couple of passes Week 1 against the Bills, who have a poor rushing defense, meaning the Patriots will likely feed Stevan Ridley early and often.
When you wake up Tuesday morning and see the box score of the Houston Texans-San Diego Chargers game on Monday Night Football (you're not really going to stay up for the second-half of ESPN's double-header, are you?) and realize Ryan Mathews barely manged 60 yards from your flex, don't drop him. You'll need that running back depth later on.
Dangling Chris Johnson of the Titans as trade bait because he struggled to get going against a tough Pittsburgh Steelers run defense for a WR3 who might catch a long touchdown pass in Week 1 is another bad idea that's bound to sink your fantasy team.
And certainly don't blow half your free agent acquisition budget on Miami Dolphins back-up running back Daniel Thomas if he vultures a few 1-yard touchdown plunges against the Cleveland Browns. (You can star him on your watch list though ... just in case it becomes a trend.)
If you lose in week 1, you're going to want to shake things up. Resist the temptation.
As with anything, there are exceptions to the rule. Let's say you do win in Week 1 and even your bench players have good days. But in a lop-sided Seattle victory over the Carolina Panthers, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch suffers a season-ending injury (not wishing it, this is just an example) then you need to splurge and do everything you can to try to get your hands on rookie Christine Michael, who looks every bit the part of a future fantasy football stud.
Bottom line, you need to know when you are making a good move for your team, and when you are being rash and hitting the panic button.