Fantasy football is filled of joys and disappointments for every owner of a team. They deal with players who turn into fantasy football gold and while other players turn out to be fantasy football trash. This season is no different from any other season for fantasy football.
As a fantasy football owner, you have to deal with a lot from matchups to injuries. This season, there has been many key NFL players who have been injured that has caused problems for fantasy football owners.
Big Name Players With Injuries
Kevin Benjamin, Panthers, tore his ACL during the off season; Jordan Nelson, Packers, tore ACL during preseason game; Tony Romo, Cowboys, broken collarbone; Dez Bryant, Cowboys, broken foot; Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, MCL sprain and knee bruise.
Through the first five weeks of the NFL season we have seen excellent play from players who we expected to play good but also the players who have come out of nowhere to become a fantasy football star.
While other players who you felt were going to have great season have turned out to be complete disappointments and have caused many fantasy football owners headaches.
Quarterback Surprises of the Season
Andy Dalton, Bengals, is a surprise this season, because he is the number one ranked quarterback in standard ESPN scoring.
Dalton in the past couple of seasons was a quarterback you play based on matchups. If Dalton went up against a good defense you would have sat him.
But this year, he is a must-start against any team. In week five of this season, he went up against the Seattle Seahawks defense, the best defense in the NFL, and put up over 20 points for fantasy football.
He has the weapons in wide receiver AJ Green, tight end Tyler Eifert, and running backs Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard to keep this up and be a top-five quarterback at the end of the year.
Tyrod Taylor, Bills, was a surprise to win the starting job in Buffalo as he beat out EJ Manuel and Matt Cassel for the job.
Taylor has been outstanding and very consistent player for fantasy football. He is a very dynamic quarterback who can throw and run.
He is ranked currently number four in standard ESPN scoring for quarterbacks. Even if Taylor has a bad day throwing the ball, he makes it up by running. A running quarterback in fantasy football is so valuable, because they can get points in many ways.
Taylor has the weapons to continue his success, but he just needs them to stay healthy. Many injuries have plagued the Bills’ offense, but Taylor has continued to be must start in fantasy football. He will continue to put up good numbers and will only get better once his running backs and wide receivers get healthy again.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars, is a quarterback that no one will probably ever start, unless they are in a league where you can start two quarterbacks.
But Bortles so far on the season has been producing good numbers for fantasy football. Jaguars are a bad team that gets behind a lot and that means Bortles has to throw the ball more, which turns into more points for him in fantasy football.
He is currently ranked seven in standard ESPN scoring. He has two good receivers in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. I don’t think Bortles can keep up his hot start to finish in the top 10 scoring quarterbacks at the end of the year but he will be borderline close to it.
Right now, Bortles is only a good play if the matchup is right or if you feel the Jaguars will be down by a lot that he would have to throw.
Tom Brady, Patriots, is probably not a big surprise to most people but let us remember during the summer he was facing a four game suspension for the delfategate scandal.
He appeals and goes to court and he wins. Brady doesn’t miss a game and currently is looking unstoppable. He is ranked number three in standard ESPN scoring.
Brady continues to be a great quarterback for fantasy football owners, and he could easily throw over 40 touchdowns this season. He has the best tight end in NFL with Rob Gronkowski.
His wide receivers are okay but he makes them into all-star players. His best receiver is Julian Edelman. Brady is a must start every week and he will continue to put up huge numbers in fantasy football.
Quarterback Disappointments of the Season
Peyton Manning, Broncos, is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game but for fantasy football owners, this season has been a disaster if you drafted Manning.
He is nearing 40 years of age and he doesn’t have the zip on the ball like he used to. Age has finally caught up to Manning and it giving fantasy football owners headaches. Owners might want to think of trading or dropping him. His offense line is terrible and he has no running game whatsoever.
People keep thinking he will bounce back because it is Manning and he has great numbers in his career. But let’s face it, Manning isn’t going to come back. He plays in Denver where the temperature will keep dropping and Manning has not been a good cold weather quarterback.
Right now, Manning is only good for a bench spot but it is getting to the point he is just taking up space on your team and might as well drop him.
Drew Brees, Saints, is another great quarterback for fantasy football owners in the past but this year has been a terrible one for Brees. Another quarterback that is getting up there in age and isn’t looking like his self this year.
He lost his favorite weapon in Jimmy Graham and the Saints have wanted to run the ball more. The Saints’ offense has been one of the best offenses in NFL over the last couple of years but they are not looking good. For as Brees, he has some good players around him that he could turn his season around.
He is currently ranked 20 in standard ESPN scoring and that is probably where he will stay around. He is dealing with shoulder injury which has affected him this season. Brees is a guy you want to keep on your team. If you start him don’t expect 20 point games from him. Expect about 13 to 15 points from him.
Brees is becoming a guy you will look for matchups. If he has good matchup start him, if he has a bad one sit him. Brees will not finish in the top-15 of quarterbacks this season.
Andrew Luck, Colts: Luck is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Last season, he was the second best quarterback in fantasy football. Luck was being drafted in the first round in fantasy football drafts all summer.
He has been the biggest disappointment in fantasy football. He has too many turnovers on the season and plus he injured his shoulder, which has kept him out of two games so far.
If you drafted Luck you were expecting 20 plus scoring games out of him. He just hasn’t produced and it is in part of a very poor offense line and a poor running game. But if you own Luck just be patient. He will bounce back because he surrounded by a lot of talented wide receivers and has a running game that will get going.
Also, Luck is very mobile and could get you points for rushing yards. Luck will bounce back and finish in the top 10 of quarterbacks for fantasy football but has of now he has been a bust draft pick if you picked him.
Matthew Stafford, Lions, is a quarterback who has made a Lions a playoff team over the last couple of years. From a Fantasy football side of things Stafford is just a quarterback who can’t produce enough points for you.
Stafford has the weapons to be a top 10 quarterback, but he just doesn’t live up to it. Injuries to his tight end, wide receivers and himself don’t help the cause but there is still enough talent around him to score more than 15 points a game.
This season has been a bad one for the Lions all around and Stafford is a guy you just can’t trust. Stafford might be a good guy to fill in for bye week to your other quarterback and that is about it. There are better options out there at quarterback than Stafford right now.
Running Back Surprises of the Season
Devonta Freeman, Falcons, was a guy many people didn’t hear of or had on their roster and the start of the season, but right now he is the hottest running back in fantasy football.
He wasn’t the starter until week three but ever since then he has put up huge games. In those three games he has a total of five touchdowns. He is doing it all too. He is running the ball very well and hard. He is catching the ball well and giving you points with receiving yards too. Also he is getting the goal-line carries.
Right now, he is the main and only running back the Falcons use. Freeman is on a very high powered offense that scores a lot of points. Freeman should continue to put up great games and should finish has a top-five running back. Freeman is one of those players that came out of no-where but everyone knows him now. He is fantasy football gold.
Dion Lewis, Patriots, is an interesting running back. He is best known for playing on the Eagles for a couple of years. He has never been a starter for any team but all of sudden he joins the Patriots and BAM! he is putting up 12 or more points a game.
He his running and catching the ball very well this year. He is creating matchup problems for defenses. People may have concerns with Lewis losing touches to LeGarrtte Blount, but you shouldn’t worry. Patriots love to play a fast-tempo game which Lewis is better for. Also Lewis is still getting some goal-line touches too.
Lewis may lose some touches but he is the best Patriots back. Lewis has potential to finish in the top 10 this year and will continue to put up consistent numbers for fantasy football owners.
Chris Johnson, Cardinals, is a running back that over the last couple of years have made fantasy football owners very frustrated. He played for the Titans, Jets and now with the Cardinals.
This season has been a second life for Johnson because he is looking like his rookie self. Putting up good numbers for a running back position and continues to lead the Cardinals’ backs in touches. With an injury to Andre Ellington, Johnson has taken the reigns of the starting job and it doesn’t look like he will lose the job.
Johnson has played against tough run defenses but still has put up nice numbers. Since becoming the starting running back, Johnson has three games where he scores at least 10 or more. Johnson is on pace to finish in the top 15 for running backs this year. Look for Johnson to keep putting up good numbers as long as he is the starter.
Adrian Peterson, Vikings, is a name you probably wouldn’t think of a surprise but remember he missed a whole season last year. He couldn’t be with the team. Also he is turning 30 years old this which is like a death for running backs. Running backs who hit the age of 30 all of sudden lose their touch and just don’t produce the same numbers, but Peterson is putting up numbers.
After a tough week one showing, Peterson has turned on the jets and looks like his old self again. He is a special athlete that continues to shock people. Peterson has the potential to finish in the top five for running backs but will most likely finish in the top 10. Expect huge games for Peterson in the future because he is the main guy in the Vikings’ offense.
Running Back Disappointments of the Season
Jeremy Hill, Bengals, had a terrific rookie campaign last year. Many people were high on him to do the same this year. People were drafting Hill late first round, early second round in most fantasy football drafts.
But Hill has been a disappointment and really has relied on touchdowns to safe him this year.
Through five games, Hill only has two games that were good in which he scored two touchdowns in both of those games. He just not getting the rushing yards like he did last year.
Also, his back up Giovani Bernard has played better than him over the last couple of weeks and has been used more in the passing game than Hill. Hill is still going to get touches and have good games but right now he is too inconsistent. He still can finish in the top 15 this year but it looks like he could slip to the top 20 if he continues to lose touches and not play.
Lamar Miller, Dolphins, is a guy who has been the main guy for the Dolphins the past two seasons. Miller was expected to be a top 15 type of guy this year but it doesn’t look like that will happen.
He just hasn’t got going and looks lost when running the ball. The Dolphins have been getting down early and have been force to throw a lot which it hurts Miller too because Miller is not used in the passing game. He is forced to stay and help protect his quarterback because their offensive line is struggling.
Right now, Miller is not a guy you want to start in your line-up unless you are desperate to. He is the starting running back so he will get touches but we will see if he can turn those touches into something.
CJ Anderson, Broncos, Anderson was the hottest running back the last eight weeks of the season last year. He was supposed to be the main guy in Denver. He was going in the first round of many fantasy football drafts.
But, Anderson hasn’t lived up to the hype and it looks like last season was a fluke.
Again, the Broncos offensive line is playing and he has a backup behind him who is playing better football than Anderson. Anderson is getting the touches but he has done nothing with them. Has a good chance of finishing outside the top 20 which would be a huge disappointment.
He is a guy you just can’t start and trust. What looked a promising season as turn out to be a complete disaster for Anderson and Anderson owners.
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks, is another guy who was drafted high in most drafts and has been very bad. Lynch has been one of the most consistent fantasy football players over the last couple of years but this year has been one disaster.
He has been dealing with a hamstring problem which has kept him out of a couple of games. But in the games he played he just hasn’t produced.
Right now, you just have to wait and see with Lynch’s hamstring and hopefully he will be able to play soon. Patience you must have with Lynch. Lynch should get going when he is healthy and be a factor again. You just have to see how healthy he is and when he will be able to come back.
Wide Receivers Surprises of the Season
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals, has been falling off the fantasy football radar for the past couple of seasons but this year he has found the fountain of youth. Looking like his young self and producing many big games so far.
He is the clear number one receiver on the Cardinals this year and has very good chemistry with quarterback Carson Palmer. Fitzgerald looks like he could have his best season since the Cardinals made the Super Bowl about five years ago. He is a guy you can trust for the rest of the season, because how often Palmer is looking Fitzgerald way.
He will have tough games where he will see team’s best cornerback but Fitzgerald should be fine. He should finish in the top 10 this season for wide receivers.
James Jones, Packers, had a very interesting off season where he was cut by two teams and finally resigned with the Packers who played for three ago. The Packers lost Jordy Nelson for the season and Jones stepped in to fill a spot in which he has done plus some. Jones and Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers has tremendous chemistry this season that it looks like they have played for five straight seasons. Jones has five touchdowns in five games.
He is getting more targets from Rodgers every week. Jones is turning in the number one guy for the Packers. Jones will continue produce because the Packers are high scoring offense and has the best quarterback in the game. Jones will be a top 15 guy this season.
Travis Benjamin, Browns, is a guy many people didn’t have on their roster to begin the season but everyone wishes they have him now. Benjamin has been a bright spot for the Browns this season giving them a deep threat down the field. He has been very consistent this year scoring at least eight or points through the first five games.
Not only is he a good receiver but also a kick returner too. He has the ability to score points for you with a punt or kick return touchdown too. The biggest concern with Benjamin in the quarterback play for the Browns.
He has had two different quarterbacks throwing to him through five games but looks like he has good chemistry with both. Benjamin is the only receiver the Browns truly have and he looks to continue his hot start. He has top 15 potential but could sneak in the top 10 for wide receivers in fantasy football.
Brandon Marshall, Jets, has been a very pleasant surprise to start the season because of how last year went for him with the Bears. But this season with the Jets he looks like he has found a second gear and is playing very good football.
He has made himself the number one wide receiver on the Jets and his getting plenty of targets. He has scored a touchdown in three of the four games they have played so far. He has scored double digit fantasy points in all four games and should be a must start moving forward and the rest of the season.
Wide Receiver Disappointments of the Season
Demaryius Thomas, Broncos, is on the disappointed side because he is not putting up numbers like we are used to seeing from him.
He is very involved in the Broncos offense and gets plenty of targets from Peyton Manning. Thomas’ production all depends on Manning. If Manning can find some new life in him then Thomas will return to having big games. But until then don’t expect huge numbers from Thomas.
Still start him but lower your expectation of his points. Thomas most likely will be good for 7-10 points a game and that is about it. He does have the potential to have big games but it is hard to see that happening with how Manning has played so far this season.
Calvin Johnson, Lions, has been a tremendous wide receiver for fantasy football his whole career but this year has not been a good start for him. The struggles for Johnson are from his quarterback not playing good to facing double teams each and every week. Johnson has the potential to have a big game every week just because he is a very gifted receiver but to trust him is very hard.
He is producing very low numbers for fantasy football owners and people drafted very high on him. You must have patience with Johnson because he is just too good and should have a couple of good games soon. But right now Johnson looks like he will finish outside the top 20 for wide receivers unless he turns around soon.
Andre Johnson, Colts, was supposed to find new life in the high powered offense of the Colts. Andrew Luck becoming a superstar was supposed to have good connection with Johnson. Well neither has happened so far and it has been a difficult start for Johnson. He has two games where he has scored zero points and only has it double digit points once.
But, maybe things are going to turn around for him with Luck getting healthy again and the Colts finally getting Johnson more involved. His last game against the Texans he scored two touchdowns and was heavily targeted. His quarterback was Matt Hassleback because Luck was out with an injury but still produced. For now Johnson is only going to be on your bench or you use him while you’re other players on bye. He is not a must start yet only until he can show you consistency will he become a must start.
Tight End Surprises of the Season
Tyler Eifert, Bengals, has been a very nice surprise this season for fantasy football owners who have him. Through five games he has five touchdowns.
Two of those games were multi touchdown games. He has very good hands and a big body which makes him a big target for Andy Dalton. He is getting many looks in the red zone which is good. He has already had two games over 100 yards receiving. Eifert will continue to heavily use to the Bengals offense and should finish in the top 5 scoring for tight ends.
Gary Barnidge, Browns, has been a huge factor in the Browns offense the past three weeks. He has scored double digit points in all three games. Barnidge has been a threat down field and has shown very good hands. It is hard to believe he will keep on the pace that he is currently on but for now you must play him because he has shown the consistency that you want in fantasy football. He probably will slow down though and have some tough games but he is becoming a must start.
Tight End Disappointments of the Season
Jimmy Graham, Seahawks, who has been one of the best tight ends in the league, has not produced it this year. Graham is coming from the high powered Saints offense to the more running attack of the Seahawks offense and it is showing.
This season Graham has been forced to block more and it is hurting his production. You will continue to start Graham just because he is a lot better than many other players at the position. Just don’t expect him to score double digit touchdowns this year. He should still finish in the top 10 scoring for tight ends.
Zack Ertz, Eagles, has the talent to be great but just doesn’t show it when he plays. He continues to share duties with Brent Celek. Ertz was supposed to take over for him but has yet to take the job yet. Ertz is not a player you want to own or have on your team. There are other players who are better and should start over him. Ertz will finish outside the top 15 for tight ends this year.