Fantasy Football brings early surprises


Sports Illustrated

In for the touchdown-- Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, runs down the field into the endzone for the score. McCaffrey is one of this years most impactful fantasy football players, and is an asset to any fantasy team.

Vijay Venkatesan and Mike Gregory

Boom: Christian McCaffrey, RB

While most fantasy football owners who held the number one pick opted to take New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley or New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara, those who ended up with Christian McCaffrey as their first round pick have been greatly rewarded with his exceptional production. While Barkley and Kamara have both missed games due to injury, McCaffrey has exploded for 923 total yards and nine touchdowns.

Bust: Todd Gurley, RB

Fantasy football’s top scoring running back from a season ago has disappointed fantasy owners who drafted him with hopes of him repeating his performance from a year ago. Last year the running back averaged an impressive 114 yards per game while adding a league high 18 touchdowns to go along. This season Gurley is averaging a mere 62.2 yards per game, averaging a whopping 3.8 yards per carry and has seen a big drop in his usage.

Boom: Patriots D/ST

For years the New England Patriots were forced to rely on all-star quarterback Tom Brady to lead the team to victories with impressive offensive performances. This season, the defense and special teams unit has allowed just three touchdowns all season, forced a remarkable 22 turnovers, and has scored five touchdowns. Fantasy owners who took a chance on this unit have been greatly rewarded with 20 plus points per game.

Bust: Melvin Gordon, RB

Although a holdout held Los Angeles Chargers star running back Melvin Gordon out of the first four games of the season, he has disappointed in his return to the field. Gordon has made a very small impact on the team in the three games since his return, averaging just 2.25 yards per carry for an average of 27 yards per game, compared to the 74 rushing yards per game and 5.1 yards per carry he averaged just last year.

Breakout: Darren Waller, TE

Almost nobody in the Fantasy Football world knew about tight-end Darren Waller before the 2019 season. Waller was a 6th round pick by the Baltimore Ravens in 2015, but has struggled to stay on the field due to multiple drug related suspensions. Waller winded up with the Oakland Raiders in 2019 and has been outstanding with 44 catches for 445 yards and two touchdowns through six games. He currently ranks as the second best tight end in point per reception leagues.