Fantasy Doctor: Midseason takeaways

By Joey Figueroa

So many sports are happening right now. The Mets and Royals are set to square off in a World Series straight out of the 80s. The College Football Playoffs are approaching fast. And ball is life once again with the NBA returning this week while college hoops on the horizon.

But hey, fantasy football is still a thing, too.

With Week 7 of the NFL in the books, we’re roughly halfway through the fantasy season and, as always, it’s been a fun ride. Well, at least it’s been fun for your beloved Fantasy Doctor. Not to polish my own stethoscope, but I’ve gone a combined 9-0 over the past three weeks and I’m in either first or a close second place in all three of my leagues.

That isn’t to say some tough sledding won’t appear for me in the near future. Like Jamaal Charles a few weeks ago, Arian Foster is now done for the season, and guess who owned both Charles and Foster in two leagues? Yep, this guy.

But instead of complaining about injuries or dwelling on roster depth, I want to take a look at the first half and pinpoint some of the best, worst and strangest individual performances we’ve seen thus far — I left out a tight end for the sake of space, but I’m looking at you, Gronk, Zach Ertz and Gary Barnidge.

Quarterback

Best: Tom Brady. It’s easy to pick the guy with the most fantasy points in the league, but Tommy Terrific has, indeed, been terrific. His lowest point total was when he put up 23 against the Jaguars back in Week 3, and his 16-1 touchdown-interception ratio is the tops in the NFL. Keep starting him if you own him and keep fearing him if you don’t.

Worst: Sam Bradford. Sadly, I deemed Bradford a sleeper QB before the season and was very wrong. The dude has one 20-point outing this season, and Chip Kelly has to defend his starting title to the media every week.

Oh, Peyton Manning has also been terrible, but he’s quite aged in terms of quarterback years, so he gets a pass.

Strangest: Tyrod Taylor. He came out of nowhere to consistently put up near-20-point games and is set to return from injury this week.

Running Back

Best: Devonta Freeman. No one else is even close. Freeman has a 60-point cushion over the second-best fantasy back this season and shows no signs of slowing down. He either has 100 rushing yards or multiple scores in each of his last five games, so if he’s been in your lineup, I’d bet good money you’re near the top of your league.

Worst: Jeremy Hill. Ah, the dismay of running back committees. Hill seemed to be Cincinnati’s workhorse heading into the season, but Gio Bernard was having none of that and became the Bengal to own in fantasy.

Strangest: Danny Woodhead. I’d expect this type of output in PPR formats, but little Danny is the sixth-highest scoring back in standard formats. Rivers throws a bunch, Woodhead catches a bunch, Woodhead owners smile a bunch. Yay.

Wide Receiver

Best: DeAndre Hopkins. With Andre Johnson out of the picture, Hopkins has established himself as a top weapon not only in Houston, but across the NFL. He leads all receivers in fantasy points and yards and is tied for second in receptions and touchdowns in most standard leagues. He’s the real deal.

Worst: Demaryius Thomas. With Manning struggling, only death and taxes are certain anymore, and Thomas is no longer thriving in the Denver offense. He’s still been targeted as much as anyone, though, and his single touchdown catch has to be a fluke, right? Look for Thomas to break out in the second half.

Strangest: Odell Beckham Jr. Wasn’t this the year that Beckham took over the league? The ridiculous athlete has dealt with nagging injuries all season, but has shown glimpses of dominance whenever he’s let loose. But for now, the talent overshadows the production.

Defense of the week: The New York Giants are headed to New Orleans after playing well against much more competent offenses the past two weeks.

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