For better, for worse: Defining the line between a slump and a decline
Those who have spent any amount of time playing fantasy baseball know that you can't win a championship during the season's first three weeks. Three weeks is very little time at all. In Europe, that's scarcely enough time to take the family on holiday.
Among fantasy owners, there seems to be an imperative that drives the player evaluation process from the very beginning of league play. Constantly taking stock in their resources, there's a persistent urge to weigh bear versus bull market assets. Still, it seldom pays dividends to give up on a star player during the early stages of the season. Slumps happen. Slow starts ... happen. However, over the course of a career, players will attempt to play through pain, often to the detriment of their statistical production. At the same time, all players will eventually reach a point where the inevitability of time reaches a tipping point and production wanes.
What follows is an evaluation of a few examples of slumping players -- some (for better) who are simply mired in slumps with brighter prospects likely on the horizon and others (for worse) who have exhibited some worrisome traits should give fantasy owners pause for concern.