I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: nothing that’s happened so far means anything yet. You may feel like this season is well worn already, with every player’s destiny being firmly established, but the truth is it’s less than 15 percent done. And in a sport with so little consistency from day to day and week to week that it takes 162 games to sort everything out, 15 percent might as well be nothing.

Just look at how quickly things can change still. Julio Rodriguez and Nico Hoerner entered last week batting .186 and .182, respectively. They exited it batting .276 and .289. That’s not to say everything is right as rain with them now, but whatever concerns we might have had are certainly less acute. We’ve likewise already navigated full-blown freakouts for players like Trea Turner, Pete Alonso, Vinnie Pasquantino and Cedric Mullins and come out on the other side of them. When we’re still at a point in the season when a player can completely reverse his fortunes in the span of a week, again, nothing means anything yet.

So when will nothing become something? I’ve always subscribed to the six-week rule, meaning that only after six weeks should we begin assessing players on their performance. Notice I say “begin.” By no means am i suggesting that everything will be known after six weeks. After six weeks last year, Gunnar Henderson was batting .170 with a .651 OPS, and it’s fair to say things got better from there.

Henderson was obviously a special case, being a highly regarded prospect in his first full major-league season, and you’ll of course want to exercise prudence in such cases. But generally speaking, six weeks is enough time for a player to pull out of an early-season funk, if that’s all it is. It also leaves ample time to right the ship if you don’t like where it’s headed. Were I to put the cutoff at, say, a month instead … well, here’s where some players’ numbers stood at that point last season.

Clearly, a month isn’t long enough, and getting back to this season, we’re not even a month in yet.

Of course, I’ve made my share of adds and drops already, as have you, so I’m not saying your team must exist in total stasis until six weeks have passed. But any exceptions to the six-week rule must be applied with the utmost care. More than poor performance, what might cause me to sound the alarm prior to six weeks is if certain skill indicators are trailing, like a lack of whiffs for a pitcher or a lack of exit velocity for a hitter. It’s also true that the realities of roster space may force you into a decision before six weeks have passed, at least for your lesser investments. For the early picks, though — say, your first 10 — you almost can’t be too patient. The earlier you take a player, the longer you should wait for him to come around.

Ultimately, what I’m trying to say here is to chill out already. A number of highly regarded players are underperforming still — and may be for several more weeks — but it’s totally normal. It doesn’t mean there won’t be any busts this year, but the numbers to date won’t help us much in predicting them.

In the interest of staving off all the but-what-abouts that are sure to follow, I’ve compiled a do-not-drop list. The concept is pretty simple: these players are too good to drop, regardless of how you feel about their performance so far. It’s always precarious putting together a one-size-fits-all list given the various league depths and scoring formats, so to help with that, I’ve added labels to distinguish between Head-to-Head leagues (which tend to be shallower) and Rotisserie leagues (which tend to be deeper).

And obviously, just because a player isn’t on this list doesn’t mean you have to drop him. Prudence, people! I promise you have it

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