We are now over a third of the fantasy season down and teams’ seasons are starting to take shape. The Browns have not skipped a beat since last season and the Giants have seemingly joined them in tank mode. From a fantasy perspective, the game or season script will dictate the use of certain players. Here is a list of the first 8 teams, with players that may have below market value to trade for, if you are lucky, pluck off the waiver wire.
Why have I only done 8 teams you ask? Always keep them wanting more…
1. Arizona Cardinals – John Brown
Brown has significant concerns about his health as he has struggled to stay on the field and gain any form of momentum (partially/ predominantly due to Sickle Cell Anaemia). However, Brown is the only player for the Cardinals that can stretch the defence and take advantage of Palmer’s canon. Larry Fitz also tends to fade as they get deeper into the season and new recruit Adrian Peterson may (if being optimistic) cause safeties to come up closer to the line.
2. Atlanta Falcons – Tevin Coleman
Whilst Coleman is the undisputed number 2 on the team, he is one of the few players that are startable on a weekly basis despite this. He has scored over 10 points in 0.5 PPR over the past 3 weeks and is good for approximately 3 receptions per game. Throw in the fact that the Falcons are reeling from injuries to their WR core, Coleman has already taken a bye and he is facing the 5th easiest matchups between weeks 6-8 and there might be a steal available for you.Embed from Getty Images
3. Carolina Panthers – Jonathan Stewart
Johnny Stewart is the reverse Larry Fitzgerald. He seems to start every season slow and really gain rhythm after the team’s bye week – finishing as the 4th highest RB towards the back end of last season. The Panthers have a bye in week 11 and has a tough schedule before then, so might be easy pickings in a trade. I expect McCaffrey to have a more carved out 3rd down role as the season wears on so Stewart will have 1st and 2nd down work and Newton will allow Stewart to have goal line carries.
4. Green Bay Packers – Randall Cobb
Cobb was expected to bounce back from a poor 2016 season and in his first 3 starts in 2017 he got over 10 points in 0.5 PPR. Despite Jordy and Adams being the 1 & 2, Jordy tends to suffer from lingering injuries and Cobb has a specialist role as slot receiver in the middle of the field. The Packers can sustain 3 WRs and Cobb will get work.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Literally No-one.
Assume the Jags defence and Fournette are valued too high by their owners and move on.
6. Los Angeles Rams – Cooper Kupp
Kupp is the favourite receiver of Jared Goff and looks to have the smoothest routes and safest hands for the Rams, despite missing a catch in the end zone to beat the Seahawks in week 5. Whilst he is not getting a significant amount of yards on a weekly basis, he does have potential for a TD in a given week and has the 3rd easiest schedule for WRs rest of season (although a tough one in week 6).Embed from Getty Images
7. Miami Dolphins – Jay Ajayi
Ajayi has just not met expectations this season after breaking out after week 6 in 2016. Most of the blame must fall on Jay Cutler and the offensive line, but Ajayi has not been able to find a way to get it done regardless. The good news is that he is still going to get a lot of volume, with approx. 15-20 rushing attempts per week and with a new offensive line coach on the way in Miami, this might just spark a bit of life into this team. Oh, and the eventual move to Matt Moore at QB. His next 3 games are the 4th easiest for all RBs and Ajayi will be persistent in getting it going.
8. New England Patriots – Chris Hogan
You must be thinking, how Chris Hogan makes this list; when he has already got 6 receiving TDs this season and is the 6th highest WR in points. However, if you are cute about it you might be able to trade a poorer performer with a bigger name (Baldwin, Cooper) in order to snatch Hogan. With Gronkowski suffering from lingering injuries, Hogan has been the focal point in the end zone and in week 5 had 11 total targets. A balloon will always come down to earth due to gravity, but it may just float at a high level for the rest of the season.