Isn’t it hard to believe six weeks of the NFL season have already flown past us? This seems to be the case every year.
As we draw near the middle of this year’s football season, the haves and the have-nots are beginning to reveal themselves to us, both in actual football and in Fantasy Football. There’s plenty of players and teams we expected to perform well that are indeed doing so, but there’s also been some surprise performers sneaking their way up to the tops of the rankings. As all of this happens, certain Fantasy Football teams are thriving, while others are falling flat on their faces. So, what players have been the best performers in fantasy, and who should you try to add onto (or keep on) your roster? Let’s discuss.
The first thing to talk about is quarterbacks (QB), essentially the main players on each team. To anyone who knows football, it’s probably no surprise that Russell Wilson, the Seattle Seahawks QB, is the best around right now. He’s averaging the most fantasy points per game (PPG) with 29.5 and is looking like the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of Fantasy Football, as well as the MVP of the actual NFL. Speaking of MVP’s, last year’s NFL MVP, Lamar Jackson, is not quite having an MVP-caliber season. He’s barely cracking the top ten in average PPG for QBs with 21, which is still respectable, but underwhelming compared to his accomplishments a year ago. Probably the biggest surprise of the year so far has been Justin Herbert, the Los Angeles Chargers rookie QB. Currently, Herbert is averaging 21.8 fantasy PPG, the seventh best out of all QBs. Any fantasy managers who had Herbert on their roster at the start of the season probably just did it for fun, but now, those fantasy managers are thriving with the young QB on their team. Two other QBs to keep an eye on are Kyler Murray and Patrick Mahomes, both averaging 26.4 PPG, second to only Wilson.
Arguably the most important position to consider in Fantasy Football is running back (RB), as it is notoriously the most difficult position to get a good, reliable player at. So far, anyone who has Alvin Kamara on their team is feeling fantastic, as he is far and away the best NFL fantasy RB through the first six weeks. Kamara is averaging 29.5 fantasy PPG, with Aaron Jones of the Green Bay Packers the next best running back, averaging 23 PPG, 6.5 less than Kamara. Basically, if you don’t have Kamara on your team, trade for him like your life depends on it. Another RB to watch out for in the coming weeks will be the Carolina Panthers star, Christian McCaffrey. Although he’s been injured for the past month, when McCaffrey returns, he’s poised to break out. McCaffrey was averaging 26.7 PPG through the first two games of this season before getting injured, and was the top RB in fantasy football last year. If you still have McCaffrey on your roster, don’t worry, good weeks are coming. Speaking of Carolina Panthers RBs, one of the biggest surprises of the year so far has been Mike Davis, the backup RB to McCaffrey. Since McCaffrey was sidelined with his injury, Davis has been averaging 21.7 PPG as his replacement, making him an unexpected top RB this season. Another somewhat-surprising fantasy RB so far has been James Robinson, a rookie RB on the Jacksonville Jaguars. Robinson is currently a top ten fantasy running back, averaging 17 PPG. Anyone who was able to sneak Robinson onto their rosters this year made a great move.
Now, we come to wide receivers (WR), where one of the biggest fantasy surprises of the season has presented itself to us. As things stand, Travis Fulgham, a WR on the Philadelphia Eagles, is averaging the most fantasy PPG amongst WRs, putting up 21.5 PPG on average thus far. However, as impressive as that statistic is, it should be taken with a grain of salt, as he has only played three games so far, about half as many as the rest of the WRs. Over the next few weeks, it will be important to see if Fulgham can keep it up. But that being said, I would try to strike while the iron is hot and get him on your team ASAP. Now, as far as WRs who have been active all six weeks go, Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons has been the best so far, averaging 20.2 fantasy PPG. But, Ridley’s not the best WR by much, as Davante Adams, D.K. Metcalf, DeAndre Hopkins, Adam Thielen, Jamison Crowder and Stefon Diggs are all averaging only about one point or half a point less than Ridley is per game. So, if you have any of these WRs on your team, that’s fantastic. However, if you don’t have any of them on your team, I would try to trade for at least one of them, as they are likely to outscore your WRs any given week if your opponent has any of them on their team.
Moving onto the less important fantasy positions, there’s really only two tight ends (TEs) to go crazy over, and they are George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers and Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs. Kittle is averaging 20.4 PPG, the best of all TEs, while Kelce is averaging 18.7 PPG. However, Kelce has been much more consistent than Kittle, as Kittle had two extremely good fantasy games where he scored above 23 fantasy points, and two mediocre fantasy games, each of which where he scored less than ten points. Meanwhile, Kelce’s worst fantasy performance of the year so far was when he scored exactly ten fantasy points, with his next-worst game being a 14.7 point night. After Kittle and Kelce, there aren’t any other TEs who average above 15 fantasy PPG. Darren Waller and Jonnu Smith are the next best TEs, averaging just below 15 PPG. Furthermore, one of the biggest TE disappointments of the year so far has been Zach Ertz, who in previous years has been in the conversation with Kittle and Kelce as the best TE in the league. Now, this year, Ertz isn’t even in the top 10 for fantasy TEs, as he is averaging less than ten fantasy PPG.
Lastly, for defense/special teams and kickers, the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens are looking strong. The Colts are currently tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for having the best fantasy defense/special teams, averaging 11.8 PPG, while their kicker, Rodrigo Blankenship, is one of the five best fantasy kickers, averaging 11 PPG. Meanwhile, the Ravens are tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for having the third-best defense/special teams in fantasy football, averaging 10.8 PPG, while their always-reliable kicker, Justin Tucker, is still a top five fantasy kicker, averaging 11.2 PPG. However, having mentioned Blankenship and Tucker, the overall best fantasy kicker so far this year has definitely been Younghoe Koo of the Atlanta Falcons, who has averaged 13.2 fantasy PPG, almost two more than any other kicker.
So, over the next few weeks, trading to get some of these players on your team might be a smart move, as we’re not too many weeks away from the trade deadline, where all teams will be locked and no more trades can be settled. But, if you already have a few of these players on your team, keep your foot on the gas and go full steam ahead — you may end up winning yourself a fantasy championship.
Matt Holderman can be contacted: