Fantasy Sports Fix: Surprising starts
So many times in fantasy football, you expect one thing and get another. Such is the case with this season so far. Most of us expected great things from top picks like Adrian Peterson, Cam Newton, Dez Bryant and Todd Gurley. What fantasy owners have received from these players and others is inconsistent play, injuries, low scores and plenty of frustration.
Every position has been affected it seems. People who drafted running backs Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson and Doug Martin with one of their first picks have been gifted a total of five games and zero touchdowns between the injured trio. Owners of quarterbacks Cam Newton and Carson Palmer have been given a total of 10 interceptions and two concussions. Wide receivers like Alshon Jeffery and Odell Beckham Jr. have also been pretty inconsistent, as the duo has only combined for one touchdown between them at this point.
While some of the top tier players are clearly struggling to find their groove right now, guys who were drafted very late or even not at all in some cases have been producing stellar numbers for their lucky and insightful owners.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons quarterback, wasn’t even drafted in most 10- or 12-team leagues leading up to the season. After the first five weeks, Ryan is the top fantasy option at quarterback, averaging a very solid 26 points per game.
Elite running backs seem to be so few and far between these days, so it’s nice to see some young guys making a name for themselves this year. Although I did not jump on the Ezekiel Elliot hype train early on, I am very impressed by the rookie and his league-leading 546 rushing yards. Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, who was ranked outside the top 20 rushers by many analysts, has six touchdowns and is tied with Carlos Hyde for the lead. DeMarco Murray was ranked as the 19th overall running back before the season started and is now leading all running backs in standard scoring leagues with 18 fantasy points per contest.
The wide receiver position seems to have retained its value as most of the top picks have worked their way into the top 12. There have also been some pretty great performances from receivers who were drafted under the radar without much hype. Lions receiver Marvin Jones was drafted later than the 10th round in most drafts and even taken behind struggling teammate Golden Tate but has wound up with three touchdowns and finds himself in the top five of the position, averaging 15 fantasy points per game. Texans rookie Will Fuller was probably not even drafted in many leagues and he is ranked eighth in standard scoring, at the moment ahead of players like Larry Fitzgerald, Doug Baldwin and T.Y. Hilton.
Finally, I’ve scoured the waiver wire to uncover three players who I think could be great additions if you’re looking for replacements for whatever reason.
Fozzy Whittaker, running back, Carolina Panthers, 42 percent owned
Sammie Coates, wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers, 40 percent owned
Alex Smith, Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs, 23 percent owned
That’s it for this week, good luck in Week 6.
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