Half-Way Surprises

by J.K. Kalrson, Buffalo Sports Page

We’re about half way through the NFL season and it’s time to take a look at some fantasy football surprises.  Some players have lived up to their preseason/draft rankings, some have not, and some players have come out of the woodwork to be fantasy gold.  Let’s take a look at some of these players.

Quarterbacks

Quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan have been a huge disappointment so far this season:  Roethlisberger was projected by just about everyone to be a top 10 QB, but currently sits at the 23rd ranked quarterback for fantasy points scored this season. Matt Ryan is also not living up to his top 10 ranking, as he currently sits at 25.

Then there are these guys – the QBs that were not projected to be in the top 20 who now sit above Roethlisberger and Ryan on the scoring list through Week 7. Alex Smith and Deshaun Watson are currently #1 and #5 respectfully for fantasy points.   Most didn’t draft Jared Goff, Josh McCown, Blake Bortles or Jacoby Brissett, but they are all top 20 quarterbacks.

Running Backs

Running Backs have performed as expected with a few exceptions:  Chris Thompson is a top 10 RB through Week 7 – his preseason ranking was 55th, while Rob Kelley has done nothing for the Redskins.   Cleveland’s Duke Johnson has far surpassed his teammate Isaiah Crowell – who was ranked 12th preseason.  In spite of his team, Johnson still manages to remain the #14 RB for fantasy points.  Javorius Allen wasn’t on anyone’s radar with a ranking of 84th for RBs before fantasy drafts.  He is now sits at number 18 among backs in the league.

Wide Receivers

Three wide receivers who have been a surprise this season, and are top 15 for fantasy scoring are Chris Hogan, Nelson Agholor and Jermaine Kearse. NE’s Hogan is much more valuable than his preseason ranking of 37th, as he’s currently #7 for fantasy points.  Philly’s Agholor is the 9th ranked wide receiver for fantasy points.  His preseason ranking? 73rd.   The Jets’ Kearse is very similar to Agholor sitting at #14 for points with a preseason ranking of 70th.

As you look into making trades to make a run at the playoffs, make note of the players listed above. If you need more advice, you know where to find me (on Twitter @jk_karlson).

Top 10 Rankings

QBs: Carson Wentz (Philadelphia), Tom Brady (New England), 
Drew Brees (New Orleans), Russell Wilson (Seattle), 
Philip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers), 
Dak Prescott (Dallas), 
Kirk Cousins (Washington), 
Cam Newton (Carolina), 
Tyrod Taylor (Buffalo), 
Alex Smith (Denver).

RB: 
Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas), 
Kareem Hunt (Kansas City), 
Le’Veon Bell (Pittsburgh)
, Melvin Gordon (Los Angeles Chargers), 
Lesean McCoy (Buffalo), 
Mark Ingram (New Orleans)
, Devonta Freeman (Atlanta), 
Jordan Howard (Chicago), 
Carlos Hyde (San Francisco), 
Jay Ajayi (Miami).
*Note: this is likely Zeke’s last game before he has to serve his suspension, so utilize him while you can!

WR: 
Julio Jones (Atlanta), 
Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh), 
A.J. Green (Cincinnati), 
Mike Evans (Tampa Bay), 
Dez Bryant (Dallas), 
Tyreek Hill (Kansas City), 
Brandin Cooks (New England)
, Michael Thomas (New Orleans), 
DeAndre Hopkins (Houston), 
Doug Baldwin (Los Angeles Chargers).
*Note: pick up Kenny Stills, he’s better than a lot of wide receivers that are probably currently on your bench – like Terrell Pryor – (and after last week’s catching theatrics will likely get more targets in the future)

TE: 
Rob Gronkowski (New England)
, Zach Ertz (Philadelphia), 
Travis Kelce (Kansas City), 
Jimmy Graham (Seattle), 
Hunter Henry (Los Angeles Chargers), 
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (New York Jets), 
Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota), 
Cameron Brate (Tampa Bay)
, Jason Witten (Dallas), 
Jordan Reed (Washington).

J.K. Karlson

J.K. Karlson is a connoisseur of football, actual and fantasy. Commissioner of her fantasy league and winner of championships. Charity work includes setting lineups for those in need and helping others reach their fantasy best.

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