FANTASY PLAYS: Devonta Freeman looking strong for owners
DENVER (AP) Imagine this: Taking Devonta Freeman with one of your top picks. And then grabbing Larry Fitzgerald with another.
Sure, you’ve would’ve been ridiculed at your fantasy league draft. But now, you’d look like a savant.
Happens every year: someone you least expect just goes off while your top pick (See: C.J. Anderson) flounders.
Freeman has been a treasure chest of riches as he’s stepped into the Atlanta backfield for Tevin Coleman. With seven touchdowns, Freeman (Average Draft Position, 119.3) is producing better than Marshawn Lynch (ADP, 4.8), Anderson (ADP, 11.3) and DeMarco Murray (ADP, 12).
Fitzgerald, meanwhile, looks downright rejuvenated in Arizona. His ADP was 101 in Yahoo leagues. But he’s been more stable than Calvin Johnson (ADP, 16.8) and Odell Beckham Jr. (14.5). Although, Beckham did have one of the best out-of-bounds catches ever last weekend (not that it helps a fantasy team).
Don’t even get started on QBs, which have been somewhat perplexing. Just think about the typical order they were selected in most drafts for a minute: Andrew Luck (injured and struggling), Aaron Rodgers (fantastic), Peyton Manning (figuring things out), Russell Wilson (decent so far), Drew Brees (injured), Matt Ryan (great), Ben Roethlisberger (sidelined), Tony Romo (out) and Tom Brady (huge start).
Oh well, such is fantasy football life. Week 5 is almost here:
OBSERVATIONS FROM LAST WEEK
– St. Louis rookie running back Todd Gurley looked like everything he was billed and more against Arizona. He rushed for 146 yards, including a 52-yard run to set up what was the winning touchdown.
– The Dolphins are a fantasy mess. Ryan Tannehill has struggled and Lamar Miller just doesn’t get the touches for a player coming off a season in which he had 1,374 total yards. Joe Philbin was fired on Monday, and interim coach Dan Campbell may rely more on Miller.
– Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman made a strong case for more carries. He showed his explosiveness on a 72-yard TD run against Minnesota. Anderson finished with 43 yards.
– How many put New York Jets running back Chris Ivory on their bench last weekend? All he did was rush for a career-high 166 yards.
– Other than maybe Kansas City’s Cairo Santos, kickers struggled getting the ball through the uprights all weekend. Santos, though, was 7 for 7.
Hoping to tweak your lineup? Here are some possible waiver additions to consider:
– Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles (19.7 percent owned in ESPN) could be an option in a pinch. He was 28 of 50 for 298 yards and one TD in an overtime loss to Indianapolis.
– Cleveland’s Josh McCown (1.9 percent owned in ESPN) threw for 356 yards and two scores in a loss.
– Cleveland’s Duke Johnson (owned by 31 percent in Yahoo) rushed for 31 yards. He also caught nine passes for 85 yards and a score.
– Tampa Bay’s Charles Sims (owned by 11 percent in Yahoo) carried the ball 6 times for 23 yards. He also had three catches for 30 yards and a score.
– Jacksonville’s Allen Hurns caught a career-high 11 passes for 116 yards and one TD. Hurns (19 percent owned in Yahoo) had a combined 11 receptions in the opening three weeks.
– St. Louis receiver Tavon Austin (owned by 17 percent in Yahoo) had a big game, catching six passes for 96 yards and two scores.
– Cleveland’s Gary Barnidge (9 percent owned in Yahoo) has hauled in 12 passes for 180 yards and two TDs the last two weeks. He’s developing some chemistry with McCown.
– Green Bay’s Richard Rodgers. He would be so good on your team paired with Aaron Rodgers – a Rodgers-to-Rodgers connection. Richard Rodgers (owned 22 percent in ESPN) caught five passes for 45 yards and a score last weekend.
LOOKING AHEAD TO THURSDAY
Just what you want to hear: Indianapolis plans to keep Andrew Luck’s prognosis under wraps leading up to Thursday’s game at Houston. Luck missed his first NFL game Sunday because of a right shoulder injury. Arian Foster gets the chance to prove he’s shaken off the rust after he had eight carries for 10 yards in his season debut last week.
Pat Graham is an Associated Press sports writer based in Denver. He’s played NFL fantasy football for a while and also dabbles in college fantasy football. Follow him on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pgraham34.