It may be only 4 weeks into the NFL and fantasy football season, but it’s never too early to discuss surprises and let-downs. Therefore, I decided to take a look at the top-5 players who have pleasantly surprised owners, and the 5 who have let their owners down the most.
I will do this quarterly, so every 4 weeks (8, 12, and 16) to take a look at what has changed. In order to determine surprises vs. let-downs, I will look at players, where they were drafted in most leagues, what were their expectations, and compare all that to their actual performances.
***It’s worth noting that before is start this, through 4 weeks, in the top-15 players(standard scoring leagues) , there is only 1 RB (Arian Foster), 0 WR, 13 QBs, and 1 defense( Bears).
Let’s start with the positives and look at surprises (in standard scoring leagues).
1. Robert Griffin III- Any real surprise here? He is an obvious choice, and here is why:
- He leads fantasy in scoring with 100 points
- Thrown for 1,070 yards and ran for 252
- 4 TD passes, 1 int, 4 rushing TDs
- “Worst” performance was last week vs. Tampa Bay where he scored 22 points
- Currently tied for 1st in the NFL with 4 rushing TDs
- 3rd in competition percentage , 69.4%,
- 4th in QB rating with 103.4
2. Alfred Morris- He has made me go against one of my few rules in fantasy, and that is to never trust a Shanahan running back, however he’s:
- 5th RB overall
- Averaging just under 15 ppg.
- 5th in the NFL with 376 rushing yards.
- Tied for 1st with rg3 and Arian Foster with 4 rushing TDs.
- Average draft selection= 101.3 overall (11th -12th round).
- Referred to as “that other Redskin rookie.”
3. CJ Spiller- Despite his injury, he’s:
- Led all RB in scoring through three weeks even with coming out of week 3 early
- Currently in a 3-way tie for 2nd for fantasy RBs with Rice and Charles (62 points)
- 1st in NFL in yards per carry with 8.3 (2.1 ypc more than rg3 who is second)
- 8th in overall rushing with 341 yards
- 2nd in NFL with 3 rushing TDs
- Also has 9 receptions for 119 yards and a TD.
- That’s with really only playing 2 real game since he took over in week one after Jackson went down
- 4. It’s a tie- Matt Ryan- We all knew he was good, but this good?
- 2nd in fantasy with 92 points
- Lowest scoring game was 17
- 2nd in NFL with 11 TD passes,
- 1st in NFL passer rating (112.1)
- Tied for 6th in passing yards with Peyton Manning (1,1,62)
Heath Miller- People forget how much of an offensive weapon he used to be, but this season:
- Before his week 4 bye, Miller was tied for 3rd in fantasy for TE, ahead of Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski.
- Tied for 1st in NFL with 4 receiving TDs
- In 3 games, 15 receptions and 129 yards.
- Currently 6th over for TEs even with Bye week (8 points behind leader Tony Gonzales)
- His last two seasons combined, 93 receptions- 1,143 yards and 4 TDs.
- Most TDs in single-season is 7 in 2007.
5. Ben Roethlisberger- never thought of as an elite fantasy scorer, but this season:
- Before his week 4 bye, he was third in all of fantasy with 65 points, 4 behind Matt Ryan.
- Despite bye, 4th in NFL with 8 TD passes.
- Only 21 TDs all last year,
- 5th in yards per game with 301 (ahead of Stafford, Ryan, Peyton and Rodgers)
- Still 14th overall in fantasy with bye.
1. Aaron Rodgers-I never thought I would say this and I will likely catch a lot of flak for this, but based on stats thus far, Rodgers has been a let-down. He was selected 1st overall in many leagues, average drat was 3rd overall, and has led fantasy in scoring last 2 seasons and now, 4 weeks in his numbers are terrifying pedestrian:
- Before his 27-points vs. Saints, Rodgers was tied for 19th in QBs (Now he is the 1th ranked QB)
- He is 1st in league in completion percentage (69.9) and 7th in TDs, but he’s 13th in passing yards.
- He is 24th in the NFL in yards per attempt
- 1st in the NFL with 16 sacks.
- I don’t think he is a bust, or will become seasons end, but when you are talking about Aaron Rodgers, you think greatness, so far he hasn’t been.
- I expect 20+ point performances week In and week out,
- Yet weeks 2 and 3 combined he got 19 against Seattle and Chicago, showing he can be stopped and he can be sacked.
- I’m being a stickler but he has 3 INTs this season, and only 6 last year.
- 2. CJK- O-line or not, I’ve lost faith in him as a must-start each week.
- I previously defended him and after his performance last week vs. Houston where he rushed for 141 yards, that was just short of 3 times what he rushed for in first 3 games combined.
- He was drafted 9th overall on average, and if he wants to be taken seriously again as a legit fantasy player he needs to duplicate this performance often, almost every week.
- He currently is the 32nd ranked fantasy RB, tied with Donald Brown who had a bye last week and one point ahead of Leshoure who missed the first 2 games.
- 25th in rushing overall with 186 yards
- Tied for 39th in yards per carry with 3.2
- 20th with 58 attempts.
3. Tony Romo- the numbers speak for themselves:
- He was drafted on average in the 4th-5thround
- Currently ranks 23rd overall QB, 1 point ahead of Blaine Gabbert
- 5 TDs and 8 INTs
- Even without his 5 INT performance against the Bears, he had 4 TDs to 3 INTs with 2 fumbles lost.
- He’s got the weapons and they’re healthy, he just needs to throw better.
- He is 10th in comp % and 8th in yards in the NFL
- But he has 10 turnovers already
4. LeSean McCoy- 3rd ranked player in preseason rankings, however:
- Currently ranked 15th among RBs and not even top-50 overall.
- Highest scoring game was 13 points.
- Although he ranks 3rd in rushing, he has only scored 1 TD.
- His reception numbers are hurting, averaging 4.2 yards per catch, but he averages 4.7 yards per rush
- The TDs just aren’t there after he scored 20 a season ago.
5. Larry Fitz- It’s not fair to him since he is a great receiver with no consistency at QB, but this is fantasy. After being ranked #2 WR in preseason, through four weeks:
- 22nd ranked WR. He’s behind guys like James Jones, Brandon Hartline and even his own teammate Andre Roberts.
- His average draft was 14th overall, which means 1st -2nd round.
- NFL rankings: 35th in yards (225)
- Not even top-50 in yards per catch (11.5)
- Tied for 18th in reception with 22
- Tied for 25th with catches over 20 yards with (4).