It’s been a weird fantasy football season.
Maybe you can say that about every season but this one feel especially weird. We’re currently living in an NFL in which Alex Smith is the third best fantasy quarterback, Julio Jones is being outscored by Robby Anderson and Adam Thielen, every player you know and love is injured and Brock Osweiler is Denver’s starting quarterback. (That last point isn’t fantasy related but still, who would’ve thought we’d ever see Brock Lobster back in Denver? Certainly not I.)
With all this weirdness, it would be nice to see some names that we thought we knew to be fantasy stars claim their rightful place in the universe just in time for playoff action. I mean, why else have I been stashing Isaiah Crowell on my bench this entire season? Here are five disappointing players who could redeem themselves in the next few weeks.
After finishing inside the top 10 of fantasy quarterbacks last year, there was hope that Carr would take the next step and become a member of the fantasy elites. Well, that clearly hasn’t happened this season as he’s currently QB21 in terms of total fantasy points. If you’ve held onto him at this point, you must either be a Raiders fan with crippling loyalty or be David Carr. Honestly, I hope you’re the latter. I’d rather be David Carr right now than a Raiders fan with crippling loyalty what with the whole “We’re moving to Las Vegas” thing.
If you have keep Carr on your bench up to this point, you might be in for a sweet surprise ramping up to the fantasy playoffs. The Raiders’ schedule is about to get really cushy for the signal caller as Oakland plays the Patriots (30th pass defense per ROPE Index), Giants (28th), Chiefs (20th) and Cowboys (18th). He’ll also play against a Broncos defense that’s allowed the second most touchdown passes this season (19). Don’t be surprised if you suddenly see some big games out of Carr.
Remember when the Panthers told us that they traded away Kelvin Benjamin because they wanted to get faster on offense? I don’t know what exactly about having Benjamin on the field prevented the Panthers from running their zone reads with Cam Newton but hey, I guess it worked! Since shipping Benjamin up to Buffalo, the Panthers’ offense has looked like a whole new beast and Christian McCaffrey has been benefiting in a big, big way.
In Week 9, immediately following the trade, McCaffrey posted the best game of his career, carrying the ball 15 times for 66 yards and a touchdown. He followed that up with a two touchdown performance against the Dolphins Monday night. The biggest thing I like seeing out of the new McCaff is his yards per carry has skyrocketed. Before Week 9, he was averaging a dreadful 2.9 yards per carry. Through the past two games, he’s been averaging 4.5. Added bonus: the Panthers’ final three games are against run defenses in the bottom half of the league.
I’ll admit it, I had such high hopes for Crowell this season. I drafted him in three of my leagues thinking that I was getting myself a steal and would be laughing in the faces of all the lame trades my league members would be sending me for a thriving Crowell. Alas, that fantasy did not play out.
Currently RB24 in total points, Crowell has underwhelmed to the utmost degree. Just what I get for putting my faith in a member of the Browns. But don’t be so quick to write him off. He’s coming off of two very productive games, both of which he rushed for over 60 yards and a touchdown and hopefully it’s a sign that he’s finally getting things going. Let’s hope so as Crowell is facing a pretty beatable lineup of run defenses from this point onward. Here are the Browns’ remaining six games: vs Jaguars (26th run defense per RORDs), at Bengals (10th), at Chargers (28th), vs Packers (17th), vs Ravens (18th), at Bears (31st) and finally at Steelers (15th). I’m kinda happy I’ve kept him around on my team for so long. Time to cash in!
Everyone has been trying to figure out what to do with Amari Cooper this season and I’ve always said, hold onto him. Now’s the time for him to shine and prove me right! He’s certainly got a big hill to climb as he’s currently the 34th wide receiver in fantasy and is being outscored by the likes of Anderson, Robert Woods, Nelson Agholor and Kenny Stills to name just a few. But given that I’ve said Derek Carr is about to have a resurgence, it would make sense for Cooper to experience one as well.
Hopefully Cooper will be able to take advantage of the Raiders’ remaining schedule as it features some pretty worthless pass defenses. At the very least, the Raiders get to play the Chiefs one more time. I think another 210 yard, two touchdown performance is could totally happen again.
If you play in a PPR league, you might be wondering why in the bloody hell Landry is on this list. He’s currently the 8th best receiver in PPR leagues so he doesn’t have much “turning around” to do before the fantasy playoffs. I however do not play PPR. Hence, Landry is on the list.
Landry’s issue this season—and for his entire career for that matter—has never been opportunity. He’s third in the league in terms of targets. The issue for Landry has been consistently turning those targets into production, something he has not done too well on this season. Among wide receivers with at least 50 targets this season, Landry ranks dead last in yards per target (4.8). However, there’s hope for Landry owners as, like most people on this list, he’s set to face off against a bunch of bad defenses. The Dolphins play the Buccaneers (31st pass defense), Broncos (15th), Chiefs (20th) and play the Patriots (30th) twice. Not a bad playoff stretch for a receiver averaging almost 11 targets a game.
Who’s most likely to turn it around in the next few weeks?
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