By Robbie Congdon
With most fantasy football leagues ending their regular season after week 14, we have officially hit the halfway point. There have been a lot of surprises at different positions, both positive and negative.
At quarterback, the biggest surprises have been Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons and Cam Newton from the Carolina Panthers. Ryan leads most fantasy leagues in points and leads the NFL in passing yards. Typically, Ryan is a decent fantasy quarterback, but has been tough to depend on in the past. This year he has found consistency and is someone owners can stick with for the rest of the season. On the other hand, Newton has been quite the disappointment this year. After a stellar 2015 season, he topped all quarterback rankings heading into 2016. He proved all the experts wrong and has been battling injuries all season. When he’s been healthy he’s been very unimpressive, so the injuries aren’t a sufficient excuse. If you haven’t traded him yet, it’s probably too late and time to get a backup.
At wide receiver, Antonio Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers and AJ Green from the Cincinnati Bengals have continued their consistency from past seasons. On the other hand, two big surprises from this year have been Larry Fitzgerald from the Arizona Cardinals and Deandre Hopkins from the Houston Texans. Fitzgerald has been in the league for 12 years and the veteran was predicted to fall off this season. He has done the complete opposite of that, and is in the top 5 in scoring in most fantasy leagues.
Conversely, Hopkins, the highly-valued Houston Texans pass catcher has been a big disappointment after being a top 3 receiver in the 2015 season. At this point, I recommend trying to trade him because he’s still a big name and people would give you quality starters for him.
At running back, Ezekiel Elliot has proved to be the star running back he was expected to be in Dallas. He leads the league in rushing yards and is in the top 3 for fantasy points. A positive surprise at running back has been Melvin Gordon of the San Diego Chargers. He struggled in 2015 and was a risky draft pick this year, but he leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns.“I decided to roll the dice with
Gordon late in the draft and it ended up paying off. He’s been my best player this season,” said Gordon fantasy owner Andrew Blanchette.
On the negative side, Eddie Lacy of the Green Bay Packers was a huge disappointment. He lost a lot of weight over
the offseason and was projected to have a rebound 2016 season from his 2015 blunders. He had a terrible first 6 weeks, then got hurt and is now out for the year. He should go undrafted in 2017 fantasy drafts.
It’s the point in the season where it is getting tough to keep sticking with the players who are struggling. It’s also time to pick up a couple guys that have been consistent and not let go of them. The chances are pretty slim that the top players will fall off now after seven weeks of consistent weekly production.