Midseason Recap: What we’ve Learned

Running Back Resurgence

 

Last season it seemed like every single good running back got hurt, one way or another the top options at the position vanished by the end of the season and for some owners it was too much to overcome. This year we’ve seen a few go down already in Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin and Thomas Rawls but for the most part the position is back and better than ever. Young studs in David Johnson and Ezekiel Elliot are shaking off the critics and both are having fantastic years. Johnson being the #1 fantasy running back and Elliot as this year’s rushing leader through 7 weeks. And some surprises have popped up in 2016, Demarco Murray who has found new life in Tennessee as a top fantasy option, and Melvin Gordon who leads running backs with 8 touchdowns after having 0 in his rookie campaign… who would have thought. But those who invested early on running backs this season were smart because majority of the top running backs are outscoring most receivers to this point in the season, also the running backs are more consistent. Last season receivers were the consistency kings it seemed with Odell Beckham Antonio Brown and Julio leading the way, but this season in standard formats only one receiver has had 7 points or more in every single game and that is Marvin Jones.

Early QB Investments aren’t Proving valuable

 

Most people in fantasy love to jump on a top QB early in drafts, the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Russel Wilson and Andrew Luck all found their average draft position in the 4th round or higher. But who has been worth it? Rodgers coming off a season to forget last year with no Jordy Nelson and an overweight Eddie Lacy, looked to bounce back in 2016 with all his weapons back and healthy around him. Surprisingly Rodgers has gotten worse from last year; he just does not look like himself out there and is only completing about 60% of his passes. He is the 20th ranked fantasy QB and has a very tough schedule the rest of the way. Russel Wilson can’t get healthy this season and I thought this was his year to shine. Every week Wilson seems to barely practice but always suits up on gameday, with his ankle injury limiting his mobility and a newly found shoulder injury has made him a tough play the whole season. The 1-5 Panthers are struggling to find their form from last season and Cam isn’t the MVP we saw last year either, currently the 28th QB even with him being out a week because of a concussion he has not been living up to his price. He has 11 total touchdowns with 6 interceptions and looks like a middle of the pack option for the rest of the season if things don’t change. Andrew Luck has been the star of the bunch putting together a very nice fantasy season this far, he gets Donte Moncrief back this week and that bodes well for him to have a great rest of the season. The theme here is early QB’s this year were not worth it except for one, the position is simply too deep this year with teams passing more and more. We have even seen fantasy relevance for two rookie quarterbacks in Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott so far.

 

There are 2 tight ends you can trust

 

Tight ends are just not very good this year. Week in and week out most teams are scrambling to find a tight end to play because of inconsistent options. Gronk is back and looks to be his old amazing self, even totaling his career high 162 yards in week 6. He is a wide receiver one in the tight end slot and that is a big advantage every week (congrats to Gronk owners). And the best fantasy tight end this far through the season is Greg Olsen who has had at least 5 catches and 70 yards in each of his contests this far through the season and is Cam Newton’s go to in the red zone. As for the other tight ends, there is certainly talent, Coby Fleener, Travis Kelce, Delanie Walker and Jordan Reed all are good options outside the top 2. But each of them are inconsistent or injury prone and it’s not their fault. As a tight end, it is hard to become the teams favorite option especially how good receivers are now. If you are not a Gronk or Olsen owner this season you may find yourself at the dart board picking matchup based plays off the wavier and that’s just how thin the position is this season.

 

You Can’t Survive without the Waiver Wire

 

If you check your lineup once a week and make sure all your players are healthy that is all well and good. But your team will never get better if you don’t look to the waiver wire. There have been so many studs on waivers this far through the season you could almost build a whole team with these players and make the playoffs. Those owners who are active on the waiver wire are the ones that make deep runs in the playoffs. Some of the top 15 players you could have gotten this season from waivers (in most leagues) Tyrod Taylor, Jay Ajayi, Spencer Ware, Mike Wallace, Terrelle Pryor, Martellus Bennett and even Vikings defense. These are just a few of the top options that could have been found on waivers through the season, proving the wire is key to winning in fantasy.

 

fantasyreaList Writer: Nick Mahoney

 

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