It’s that time of year again. We’re midway through the fantasy season and you’re most likely looking at a few teams that are nothing like the ones that you drafted.
You picked up a few surprises off of the waiver wire that are now your top performers, and you had to drop a few of those heart-breakers that you thought were going to ball-out… whether it was due to injury or being a straight-up bust.
Hopefully you’ve been more on the side of the pleasant surprises like most of my teams are. But I can tell you that Pocket Doggs is not faring well after losing AP, Keenan Allen, Sammy Watkins and Zach Ertz to injuries… not to mention Jamal Charles is still doing a whole lotta nothing on my already depleted bench.
I love writing these kinds of articles because we always get some great discussions going on. And nothing gives me more joy than complaining about gambling on something that is completely out of my control. I’m going to give you, in my opinion, the biggest fantasy busts (and happy accidents) of the season. Be sure to share your own experiences as well… who has come up big, or who has made you cry into your pillow?
Let’s start with the positives. Here are some players who have really impressed me and performed well above my expectations:
- DeMarco Murray (Tennessee): After leaving the Cowboys and having a rough year in Philly, haters were starting to say that he only put up numbers in Dallas because of their killer O-Line. Getting into a new offense and owning the #2 rushing spot in the league proves otherwise.
- Spencer Ware (Kansas City): He wasn’t even supposed to be the #1 back in KC, but now he’s top ten in the league! Charles is back in the lineup now and Ware has maintained his feature back touches. Coming off back to back HUGE games, I think we can expect to see his production continue along these lines.
- Melvin Gordon (San Diego): I’m still not sold that he’s that incredibly talented, but he’s almost always on the northside of 20 carries per game, and is the only weapon the Chargers have now that Woodhead is hurt. It’s a numbers game that is playing in his favor right now as the 3rd back in the entire league.
- Mike Wallace (Minnesota): Nobody expected much out of old Mr. Wallace this year, but he’s the most targeted WR the Vikings have, and his performance is incredibly consistent week to week, with a few games already over 20 pts.
- Terrelle Pryor (Cleveland): This converted QB/WR has surprised a lot of people by cracking the top 15 receivers. His performance is a bit spotty, but that’s due to the fact that he plays for Cleveland and has already had about 25 different people throwing to him.
- Marvin Jones (Detroit): After the departure of Megatron, Jones has passed up Golden Tate and Anquan Boldin to be the Lions’ #1 guy. He’s tailed off a bit after the first couple of weeks, but he’s always good for points in the teens.
- Matt Ryan (Atlanta): Now I’m not pretending that he was supposed to be a bust this year, but for someone who always sits around the #10 spot, playing at #1 is a pretty nice surprise. It can’t hurt when you have the best receiver in the league catching your passes (thanks Julio!)
- Marcus Mariotta (Tennessee): While his yards aren’t always there, dude throws a crap ton of TD’s. This young QB is cracking the top 10, which is much better than most of his critics expected. With the exception of one week he’s been a real solid pick.
- Kirk Cousins (Washington): When one of my buddies took Cousins in the 5th round, I laughed so hard I choked on my beer. Guess he’s the one laughing now! You win this one, Geehan! One of the most consistent QB’s in the league right now.
- Martellus Bennett (New England): I had him as a sleeper pick going into this season, but even I didn’t expect him to be the #2 TE in the league! Especially with Brady out for the first four weeks. Granted, Gronk being out of the picture for a bit had to up his targets.
- Jimmy Graham (Seattle): He FINALLY looks like the Jimmy Graham of old who tore defenses apart in New Orleans. Wish I would have taken a chance on him this year.
Honorable Mentions: Tevin Coleman (RB- Atlanta), Jay Ajayi (RB- Miami), LeSean McCoy (RB- Buffalo), Jack Doyle (TE- Indianapolis), Minnesota Defense.
Now here are the guys who cut me real deep (players out due to injury excluded):
- Todd Gurley (St. Lous): Going from the #1 back last year and being projected in the top 3 this year, nobody expected to see him hovering around that 20 spot. His season isn’t awful, but he’s performing well below expectations.
- Matt Jones (Washington): I’ve been getting an “I told you so” on this one for weeks. As the clear RB1 in Washington, I thought this was such a safe pick. After pretty low production and being passed up by the other backs on the squad, I’ve got to say I was wrong on this one.
- Eddie Lacy (Green Bay): Never. Again. I stood up for you when everyone called you fat and out of shape! I know Lacy is on the IR now… but up until last week he had me screaming and throwing things at my tv just like years past. I thought he changed… but cheeseburger Eddie continues to disappoint.
- Jamal Charles (Kansas City): I know he was out earlier in the season, so I’m not counting those games. But now that he’s back and “110%” as he calls it… I beg to differ. Spencer Ware has clearly taken his job, as he’s done pretty much nothing and put up a goose-egg last week. I believed in you, JC, and you made me look silly.
- Allen Robinson (Jacksonville): By far the most disappointing on this list, and one that I own in half of my leagues. From being in the top 5 and saying he’s better than AB, to being ranked in the 40’s… C’mon MAN!
- Julian Edleman (New England): Many people’s first receiver picked is now ranked 50th in the league. Only two games in double digits. Not quite what we expected from this superstar.
- Jordy Nelson (Green Bay): The love of my life just isn’t getting it done this year. Randall Cobb is even scoring more than he is. To be fair, the Packer’s offense just isn’t getting it done in general, so I still love you Jordy and I’ll gamble on you anytime!
- DeAndre Hopkins (Houston): This one hurts for sure. He’s so incredibly talented, and Brock Osweiler is just so incredibly bad that it completely cancels it out.
- Cam Newton (Carolina): From the MVP to an everyday, ordinary QB, Cam has really taken a step back this year. Granted, he’s been banged up a bit due to the fact that his line can’t keep him off his back for a single play… but still.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick (New York Jets): I didn’t expect him to be a top 5, or even top 10 QB… but wow. A 6-pick game, losing his job to Geno Smith, and now getting shoved back into that lineup to continue sucking. Yikes.
- Carson Palmer (Arizona): Carson, buddy, I never thought I’d have you on this list. I hate you so much as a former Bengal and Trojan, but I’ve always respected you on my fantasy squads. You were always my sleeper that everyone was jealous of. But you’re old and fragile now, and you’re just not doing it for me this season.
- Travis Kelce (Kansas City): We can blame this on a lot of things, but Kelce was arguably a top 3 TE… and just isn’t anymore. He’s not getting the targets that he used to now that their receivers aren’t as awful, and they actually have a run game this year thanks to Mr. Ware. Someone has to suffer, and it’s Kelce.
- Julius Thomas (Jacksonville): You are a mess. I didn’t expect much to begin with, but you have managed to destroy even my low expectations. To be fair, all of the Jaguars have this year, so don’t take offense to it.
Dishonorable Mentions: TJ Yeldon (RB- Jacksonville), Alshon Jeffrey (WR- Chicago), Antonio Gates (TE- San Diego), Cincinnatti defense.
Photo By Kyle Engman – https://secure.flickr.com/photos/kyleengmannfl/14976232222/in/photostream/, CC BY 2.0, Link