We’re almost halfway through the NFL season, so which offensive weapons can fantasy football owners turn to for a championship push?
At this point in the NFL season, fantasy owners need to start preparing for their playoff pushes. This means that they need to monitor bye weeks, add depth, and perhaps make a blockbuster trade to spark a couple of monster weeks. In this article, we will be discussing some key players you’re going to have to target if you want to win your league.
QB (Quarterback): So far, the QB position has been somewhat disappointing. Big-name guys like Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Drew Brees, and even last years MVP Lamar Jackson, have performed well below their expectations, throwing too many Iand interceptions and too little touchdowns. This makes high-scoring fantasy QB’s extremely valuable, so if you’re going to win your league you’re going to need a reliable stud QB starting in your lineup.
If you are in search of talented and consistent QB’s, look no further than young stars Kyler Murray and Josh Allen. They are both ranked 1st and 3rd respectively and have led their teams to solid starts to the season. Both Murray and Allen have a ton in common: they both utilize their legs to score TD’s, they maintain their composure in big moments, and, most importantly, they have stud, trust-worthy wide receivers that they often target in crucial points in games. Murray has the 3rd ranked wideout, and perhaps the most talented WR in football, Deandre Hopkins, and Allen has the fourth-ranked wideout, and best route runner in the league, Stefon Diggs. Both Murray and Allen average over 25 points per week and should be on the top of your QB lists if you are in search of one.
A sneaky QB to target if you aren’t willing to give up much for Murray or Allen is Tennesse Titan Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill’s numbers have seemingly gone unnoticed by fantasy owners as he is still only rostered in 66.2% of leagues. The 32-year-old QB, ranked 9th in his position, is averaging 23.4 points per week and has already tossed a whopping 13 TD’s in only 5 games (2.6 TD/Game). Tannehill has led the Titans to a very impressive 5-0 record and is showing no signs of slowing down. If he is free to pick up on the waiver wire, grab him now, but if he isn’t look to trade for him and stash him as a top 10 fantasy QB who has the potential to help put your team over the hump.
Fantasy Running Backs
RB (Running Back): Injuries have plagued fantasy running back stars in these first six weeks of football. We saw Christian McCaffery, drafted 1st overall in most leagues, go down in week two. Dalvin Cook of the Vikings had a groin injury that kept him sidelined for a couple of weeks. Nick Chubb and Austin Ekeler were both placed on IR after week four and are still yet to return. Joe Mixon and Miles Sanders have been battling injuries on a weekly basis. Long story short, the RB’s many fantasy owners were relying on to have big seasons are hurt and now they have to find substitutes to fill such a valuable fantasy position.
A guy you need to watch for is Josh Jacobs. He had his bye just this past week, he’s quietly averaging almost 17 fantasy points per game, he’s had 106 carries in 5 games (21.2 Carries/Game), and has reached the end-zone five times this season. Jacobs hasn’t been perfect though. In week one he had a huge performance of 33.9 fantasy points on three touchdowns. However, in weeks two, three, and four, Jacobs had 12.0, 7.8, and 8.8 respectively, never breaking the pylon for six. This may suggest that Jacobs is TD dependent, in which case he makes for a very non-reliable fantasy play. Nevertheless, I like him because he gets the volume on a dangerous Raider’s offense and has some favorable matchups as the season progresses.
A second RB you should target to add to your roster is Miami Dolphin Myles Gaskin. Who could predict Myles Gaskin, let alone a Dolphin running back, to be a top 20 fantasy RB by week seven? He has shown so many signs of improvement from last year and has become a serious RB2/Flex play in fantasy. He’s averaging 12 fantasy points per game, his carries have increased in the last four weeks, and, against a strong San Francisco defense, Gaskin had 17.6 points, his highest point total all season. Gaskin is quickly becoming a scary fantasy RB and has serious potential to end the season on a tear. Try and buy him for cheap, but if you have to pay up I would strongly consider it.
Fantasy Wide Receivers
WR (Wide Receiver): The WR position this year is stacked. Young stars CeeDee Lamb, Justin Jefferson, and Chase Claypool have had some monster fantasy weeks and could be the keys to victory. Hopkins, Hill, Thielen, and Cooper have all produced as expected, each averaging 14+ and making owners very satisfied. Brandin Cooks, Darius Slayton, and Jamison Crowder have all showed signs of greatness and could help as flex plays in a playoff push. But who are some guys that have the most potential to win your leagues?
Will Fuller, going into his fifth NFL season, has truly taken the league by surprise. During the offseason, as you probably know, the Texans made a questionable trade in sending WR star Deandre Hopkins to Arizona for an aging David Johnson. Many thought that this would open the door for Will Fuller to succeed but not to this extent. Fuller, ranked 9th among fantasy wideouts, is averaging 14.1 points in his first six games. He averages around seven targets per week and has reached the end-zone a solid four times so far. The combination of Watson’s skill and Fuller’s athleticism and consistency could launch him towards a top 10 WR fantasy season. Also, in week 12, a crucial week for fantasy owners, Fuller plays a terrible Lions defense so take note of that if you chose to trade for him.
DK Metcalf needs no introduction. Ever since he made scouts’ mouths drop at the combine Metcalf, a 6’4 230-pound “manimal,” has been a problem for NFL defenses. Metcalf is averaging an eye-opening 18 points per game and is ranked fifth in his position. He is coming off his bye, averaging eight targets per game, and establishing himself as a legit WR1. Metcalf has formed a dangerous connection with MVP front-runner Russel Wilson, and as a result, has reached the end-zone five times in five games. Metcalf hasn’t had a game in which he has had less than 90 yards receiving and should continue to have great success thanks to his schedule, which consists of multiple lackluster defenses. In fact, in weeks 12, 13, 14, and 15, DK plays the Eagles, Giants, Jets, and Redskins, all teams he should succeed playing against.
Stefon Diggs has quickly formed a connection with Josh Allen and as a result, has put up some really strong numbers to kick-off the season. Diggs, who was traded this offseason to the Bills after five seasons with the Vikings, is averaging 16 points per game and an unbelievable 10 targets per week. He is clearly Allen’s go-to WR on 3rd down and has shown pass-catching ability downfield, making big plays on a weekly basis. Diggs has the 3rd most receiving yards (555) and is a legit WR1 this season. He seems to be enjoying his role with the Bills and fantasy owners are loving his production. You should try and grab Diggs if you can, but be prepared to pay up for him.
Fantasy Tight Ends
TE (Tight End): If you are looking for depth…don’t look here. The TE position is so weak that if you do not have the top six TE’s, the position is a wasteland. Once again Travis Kelce and George Kittle are leading the pack, so if you can acquire them go for it. Zach Ertz has made it clear that he is injury prone and no longer a top 10 TE. We are still waiting for T.J Hockenson, Noah Fant, and Hunter Henry to breakout, but at this point, it looks like it may never happen! So, who should you target to improve that nasty TE position on your roster?
Darren Waller, although one of those top six TE’s, has impressed fantasy owners thus far. He’s been relatively consistent, averaging 11.3 points per week, but he has struggled to maintain a strong target count. The Raider’s TE is coming off his bye and has some solid matchups coming up. Depending on how he does in the next couple of weeks, we will see if Waller is the real deal or if he is starting to sink into that second tier of tight ends in fantasy. Nevertheless, he is a solid TE and is significantly better than his competitors at his position so if you can trade for him, you should.
If you are really in need of a TE and have nowhere else to go, consider picking up Austin Hooper. Hooper is far from a strong TE play and therefore you shouldn’t feel the need to give up a ton if you plan on trading for him. However, his numbers are gradually increasing and he could make a push to finish as a top 15 TE. Hooper is only averaging 6.3 points per game but that is because throughout his first three weeks he only had 9.7 points combined. In the last three weeks though, Hooper has had 15 receptions on 23 targets, one touchdown, and 143 receiving yards, all very strong and appealing numbers. If you need Hooper for a week or two, I would say that there is some risk in trading for him but he carries upside, which can make or break your fantasy success.