We are through eight weeks of the NFL, and with most people playing a 16-week fantasy schedule, that means we have reached the halfway point in fantasy football. Over the next couple of days, I will look at the surprises of this fantasy season.
The Preseason Top 10 (by ESPN Average Draft Pick)
- Randy Moss
- Terrell Owens
- Reggie Wayne
- Braylon Edwards
- Larry Fitzgerald
- Andre Johnson
- T.J. Houshmandzadeh
- Marques Colston
- Plaxico Burress
- Steve Smith (Car)
The Current Top 10
- Santana Moss (101)
- Roddy White (95)
- Larry Fitzgerald (93)
- Greg Jennings (89)
- Calvin Johnson (85)
- Andre Johnson (84)
- Anquan Boldin (84)
- Steve Smith (Car) (83)
- Lee Evans (80)
- Vincent Jackson (78)
Only three people in the original Top 10 are actually ranked in the top 10.
Randy Moss, Braylon Edwards, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Reggie Wayne, and Terrell Owens have all been healthy but have had issues with their QBs. All of them but Edwards are still ranked in the Top 20.
Plaxico has missed games and seems to be on a different page than most people in the Giants organization.
Santana Moss has been the biggest surprise this season; he is the only receiver to break 100 points and has done so, even though he disappeared in Weeks Six and Seven.
Roddy White has proved to be a huge target for Matt Ryan and has gone over 100 yards with at least one TD in four of his last five games.
The Cardinals place two WRs in the Top 10, and even though he missed two weeks due to injury, Anquan Boldin leads all WRs with seven TDs
Steve Smith (No. 8) and Brandon Marshall (No. 14) have both posted great numbers, despite missing games due to suspensions.
There have been a couple of great rookies, including DeSean Jackson and Donnie Avery.
Year to End Top 10
- Larry Fitzgerald: The Cardinals don't do anything but throw, and even with the emergence of Steve Breaston, Fitz will still get plenty of looks and should be the leading receiver in this high-octane offense.
- Andre Johnson: He is currently averaging over 100 yards per game and should continue to dominate as long as he can stay healthy. He still has some friendly matchups to play, and should put up numbers even when the matchups aren't great.
- Brandon Marshall: Jay Cutler should be fully healthy, and the return of Eddie Royal should open more things up for the Denver offense. He is playing in the NFL's third-ranked passing offense and has a great string of matchups. He would be ranked higher, but what are arguably his two toughest matchups (Buffalo and Carolina) come during the fantasy playoffs.
- Greg Jennings: Last year, his value was strongly influenced by the 12 TDs that he scored, but this year, he is averaging close to 100 yards per game. The emergence of Aaron Rodgers has helped greatly. He has scored all of his TDs in his last four games and should continue to find the end zone and rack up impressive yardage totals.
- Steve Smith: He is averaging over 100 yards per game this season and would likely be challenging for the overall lead in points had he not missed the first two games of the season due to a suspension. He has a good schedule remaining and gets to play all three NFC South teams again (he went over 10 points on all of them the first time).
- Reggie Wayne: Peyton Manning getting healthier should only help Wayne, who is currently 11th in fantasy point. He was actually in the Top 10, but is coming off two disappointing games against Green Bay and Tennessee. The schedule gets considerably softer from here on out, and the second time the Colts play Tennessee is after most fantasy seasons are over.
- Roddy White: He has produced against just about everybody and is clearly Matt Ryan's favorite target. Michael Turner's ineffectiveness against strong defenses only adds to his value, because the Falcons will be throwing more. With New Orleans (twice), Minnesota, St. Louis, San Diego, and Denver still on the schedule, Roddy will continue to post impressive numbers
- Anquan Boldin: Boldin is in the Top 10, despite missing two games due to injury and is on pace to score at least 16 times. The emergence of Steve Breaston may mean that he won't get as many looks, but he seems to be the favorite red-zone target on a team that will constantly be airing it out.
- Lee Evans: He has been a big surprise this season, and the new chemistry between him and Trent Edwards has helped a lot (last year, he performed much better with J.P. Losman at QB). He has a great schedule the rest of the way, with the Jets (twice), New England (twice), Cleveland, Kansas City, San Fransisco, Miami, and Denver.
- Randy Moss: At first it looked like the loss of Tom Brady would kill Moss' season as well, but now Moss has put up double digits in three of four games following the bye week, and appears to still be playing hard. With a pretty good schedule, including Miami, Seattle, and Arizona, I expect Moss to return to be a top-10 receiver the rest of the way, although he still won't come close to equalling his expectations at the beginning of the year.
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