Last week was a pretty solid one for my fantasy surprises as Harrison Butker came up in a big way while both Duke Johnson and the Ravens defenses both had impressive performances. One thing I’ve noticed early on this fantasy football season is that the running back position does not seem nearly as predictable as it has in past years. Historically if you draft a back in one or both of the first two rounds, that player will be leading you in total points scored. Just look at any preseason ranking list of the top ten backs or so and you’ll see how this year is odd.
ESPN’s list for instance made a ton of sense at the time, but of course that’s part of the game. David Johnson got hurt, Le’Veon Bell is doing his thing, the Ezekiel Elliott suspension figures to be starting soon, LeSean McCoy and Jay Ajayi have both struggled and are without touchdowns, etc. Todd Gurley has done very well this season while both Devonta Freeman and Melvin Gordon are on pace for nice fantasy years, but it just seems the position was more of a crapshoot than usual. What will be interesting to see is if this also leads to more parody in the fantasy football world as well.
QB: Jacoby Brissett vs Titans: While I highlighted it as my “game of the weak”, this one does have the potential to be high scoring. Brissett likely isn’t a player getting much fantasy consideration outside of deep leagues, but the chance is there for a solid performance. The Titans have struggled defending the pass, Brissett has a premier wideout in T.Y. Hilton and at times has shown that he can do some damage running the ball. If you’re looking for a spot starter in a deep league or a value daily fantasy play, Brissett could be the guy. Expect around 250 total yards and two touchdowns.
RB: Alvin Kamara vs Lions: After going the way many people thought it would, the Saints pulled on the Adrian Peterson experiment. One beneficiary of this figures to be Kamara, who also has more to add in the passing game than Mark Ingram (who has improved in that regard). The Lions have had some struggles against pass catching backs, so Kamara could be in for a pretty nice performance in a game with shootout potential. Expect around 80 total yards and a touchdown.
WR: Will Fuller vs Browns: Fuller isn’t going to keep scoring two touchdowns a week, but the makings of a very nice performance this Sunday are there. With DeAndre Hopkins expected to see plenty of Jason McCourty, Fuller figures to be covered by Jamar Taylor who has struggled to this point. With his big play potential, all it takes is one chance to make starting Fuller worth your while. He’s worth a look in all daily fantasy formats and as a third receiver or flex option in year long leagues. Expect around 60 yards and a touchdown.
TE: Evan Engram vs Broncos: Normally I wouldn’t recommend any pass catcher against the Broncos, but Engram has the chance for a big night. With the Giants wideouts being so short handed, Engram could have the chance to lineup wide as he used to in college and there is upside for double digit targets. At a position as week as tight end, that’s worth taking a flier on for both now and the rest of the year. Expect around 50 yards and a touchdown.
K: Dustin Hopkins vs 49ers: Even in games where the 49ers have kept it close or a low scoring contest, they’ve still allowed opponents to get drives going. As a result, that can lead to a decent amount of field goals. For that reason, Hopkins could make for an interesting play. Regardless if Kirk Cousins and the offense score touchdowns or stall in field goal range, opportunities should be there. Expect around two field goals and three extra points.
DEF: Falcons vs Dolphins: While the Falcons defense should be refreshed coming off the bye, this pick is as much about the lack of faith I have in the Dolphins. Despite working with Adam Gase previously, Jay Cutler looks much like a quarterback who decided to retire earlier this year. With DeVante Parker’s status up in the air, that doesn’t help things either. Cutler has always been inconsistent for better or worse, but even if he does have a big game know starting the Falcons defense made plenty of sense at the time. Expect around four sacks and an interception.