—Josiah Huband, Staff Writer —
Fantasy Football is back and in full swing. There have already been some very intriguing debuts, disappointments, and surprising performances. Kareem Hunt made his debut by going for 3 scores and 246 yards against the defending Super Bowl champions in Foxborough. Tom Brady shook off a rough start to the season and bounced back with back to back 300 yard performances. The fantasy football season is back, and many surprises have come with it.
One of the biggest shockers this season has been David Johnson’s broken wrist in week one, which sidelined him for 2 to 3 months. Johnson was the #1 pick in most leagues, and fantasy owners will either have to cut him, trade him, or just wait it out and hope he comes back in time for the fantasy playoffs. Ethan Speicher, a senior at Cosby High School, said that his biggest shocker this season has been Mike Gillislee. He also said that his best players are Aaron Rodgers and Carlos Hyde. “Hyde has gotten me 20 points in 2 out of the 3 weeks so far and Rodgers is just legendary.”
There have also been four running backs that have emerged as must starts in point based leagues. Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, and Chris Carson have all taken the starting running back positions for their respective teams by force. Hunt was forced into the role due to a injury to Spencer Ware, and the Chiefs may just keep Hunt in even after Ware returns. Hunt has not gone for less than 20 points through 3 weeks this season, which is almost unheard of for a rookie running back. Ezekiel Elliott lead the league in yards last year as a rookie, and Hunt has more yards and touchdowns than he did at this point last season.
Dalvin Cook won a very competitive starting job in Minnesota over Latavius Murray and has gone for more than 90 yards in 2 of his first 3 games. Leonard Fournette has taken more of a workload in Jacksonville due to a season ending ACL tear to star receiver Allen Robinson. With the way the offense looks now, look for Jacksonville to rely heavily on Fournette. It is very possible that he breaks the century mark in rushing yards in every game this season.
Chris Carson has perhaps been one of the biggest shocks this season due to the competitiveness of the Seattle backfield. He has out touched Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls in every game this season, so it looks like he has won the starting job in Seattle. With Seattle’s below average passing game, look for Carson to get a good amount of touches each game.
Some of the disappointments this season include David Johnson’s wrist injury, Le’veon Bell’s slow start, and Travis Kelce posting just one touchdown through three weeks. Speicher said that his biggest disappointments have been Kelvin Benjamin and Dez Bryant.
“Benjamin is the number one wide receiver in Carolina and Bryant was supposed to have a bounce back season in Dallas.” He also said that his worst players are Theo Riddick and Jimmy Graham.
“Graham is underused in Seattle and Riddick has not done anything so far. Le’veon Bell ran for under 50 yards in 2 of the 3 games so far. This simply won’t cut it considering his workload and him being the #1 or #2 pick in the majority of fantasy drafts. Travis Kelce was projected to be a top 3 tight end along with Rob Gronkowski and Jordan Reed. He has had one good game in week 2, but that 8 catch 108 yard performance has been sandwiched by two awful ones. Kelce was only targeted once in week 3, and he caught the pass for a gain of only one yard. With the emergence of Kareem Hunt and the presence of Tyreek Hill, I would not be concerned, but if he puts up stats like this in weeks 4 and 5, I would consider trades that involve him.”
The fantasy season has had more shockers, disappointments, and surprise breakouts than any other season through the first 3 games. Owners are dropping players that were top 10 picks like David Johnson and Alshon Jeffery in place for breakout rookies like Tarik Cohen, Cooper Kupp, and of course Kareem Hunt. If the season continues to go the way it is going now, it will be impossible to predict the winner in any fantasy league.
Header Photo Courtesy: Jeff Gross/Getty Images