Fantasy Football Report Card: This Season's Smartest Selections
With six weeks in the books, now is as good as time as ever to assess your fantasy football draft picks. Who has gone boom and who has gone bust?
The following slideshow will review 10 draft picks who have given fantasy owners great bang for their buck. You won’t see Aaron Rodgers or Adrian Peterson on this list, as they were no-brainers. Instead, what you will see here are players who flew a little under the radar and who are now carrying your clubs.
Odds are if you drafted a couple of these players you are in the thick of your fantasy league race. So without further ado, here are 10 picks that have made you look like a fantasy genius
1. Fred Jackson: Buffalo Bills
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We all knew Jackson was a serviceable running back, but none of us thought Jackson would be this good.
And how good has he been? Well, Jackson just happens to be the highest scoring running back in most leagues. Jackson is second in the league in rushing yards (610), tied for second in touchdowns (six) and fifth in receiving yards amongst running backs (279).
2.Matt Stafford: Detroit Lions
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Stafford was a trendy pick prior to the draft and his play to date has backed up the hype.
Stafford now ranks among the top five quarterbacks in the league. Stafford’s job is no doubt helped by the performance of star wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Stafford is sixth in passing yards (1,729) and third in touchdowns thrown (15).
If Stafford can stay healthy, he’ll climb the quarterback ranks and might warrant being called elite by season's end.
3. Jahvid Best: Detroit Lions
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Also making things a bit easier for Stafford is the play of running back Jahvid Best.
Best is one of the league's great multipurpose backs and one who can do damage rushing or receiving the ball. Best has 390 rushing yards along with 287 receiving yards while scoring three touchdowns on the season.
As long as Best is playing with the explosive Lions, he'll be a huge fantasy asset for years to come.
4. James Starks: Green Bay Packers
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Starks is lighting the fantasy wold on fire and is the preferred choice at running back for the Packers. As long as that lasts, the ceiling for Starks remains sky-high.
On the season, Starks has rushed for 299 yards and has caught 15 passes for an additional 113 yards while scoring two total touchdowns. Owners who were shrewd enough to take Starks instead of the banged up Ryan Grant probably have a leg up on the competition.
5. Jimmy Graham: New Orleans Saints
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The list of top tight ends coming into the season was a short one: Antonio Gates, Jason Witten, Dallas Clark, and Jermichael Finley.
However, Jimmy Graham has left those guys in his dust, as Graham has far and away been the most productive tight end in the league.
Graham has 620 yards receiving (206 more yards than the next closest competitor at tight end) and three touchdowns. Graham also leads tight ends in targets (59) and receptions (39).
6. Wes Welker: New England Patriots
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Welker has had a fine career thus far, but who knew he would outdo himself this year? Welker is on pace for a career year in 2011.
Welker was not rated among the top ten receivers coming into the season, but right now he is the top scoring receiver in the league, even ahead of Calvin Johnson.
Welker is tops in targets (74), receptions (51) and receiving yards (785). His six touchdowns aren’t too shabby either.
7. A.J. Green: Cincinnati Bengals
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Usually savvy owners will shy away from rookie receivers, as it normally takes them some time to grasp the offense and get down the routes and intricacies of the passing game.
That’s not been the case with Green.
Green is ranked in the top 10 amongst receivers in receptions (29), yards receiving (453) and touchdowns (four).
8.Willis McGahee: Denver Broncos
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If you want a late round flier who is significantly outperforming his draft status, then look no further than McGahee.
McGahee has pushed aside incumbent Knowshon Moreno and is the main man in the Broncos’ running attack. McGahee has 384 yards rushing to go with two total touchdowns.
With the Broncos switching to Tim Tebow at quarterback, expect the offense to flow even more through the running game, which will only enhance McGahee’s value.
9.Darren Sproles: New Orleans Saints
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With the veteran Pierre Thomas and first round draft pick Mark Ingram already on the roster, Sproles was already at a disadvantage. Sproles was simply known as a third down back and return specialist and not much more.
But lo and behold it is Sproles who is the most trusted back for the Saints.
Sproles leads running backs in receptions (39) and is second in receiving yards (310). Even though he is more of a receiving back, his 201 rushing yards are nothing to sneeze at.
10. Beanie Wells: Arizona Cardinals
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When opportunity came knocking this season, Wells answered.
Without Tim Hightower to share carries, Wells has been something of a revelation. Wells has 381 rushing yards, but more impressive are the six touchdowns he has scored.
Wells has played most of thel year hurt and the bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for him. Expect him to be well rested and ready to go the rest of the way.