Fantasy football is truly an emotional rollercoaster. One week you believe no one can stop you on your route to the championship. The next week you’re wondering why you drafted a 45-year-old who’s going through a divorce.
Riding the fantasy rollercoaster is part of the experience, and it’s all worth it if you can finish on top. This is one of the most crucial points in the season, as waivers become increasingly important and the trade deadline approaches. There are several key takeaways from the first seven weeks of football. Here’s what you need to know to keep your team on track.
Josh Jacobs is Fantasy Football’s Best RB
Throughout his career, Jacobs has been an average RB2 on an offense that never prioritized the run game. This was true up until Week 4 of this season. During his past three games, Jacobs has been on one of the most dominant and improbable hot streaks in recent NFL history.
Since Week 4, Jacobs has averaged 147 yards and two touchdowns per game. He also has 13 total receptions during this stretch. Many fantasy owners believe Jacobs will return to being an average running back once this streak is over. This is not true.
While it will be nearly impossible for Jacobs to maintain the numbers he’s putting up now, he will be an RB1 for the rest of the season. Jacobs’ success has had a direct correlation to the Raiders’ success as a team. They started 0-3 in an offense where Jacobs played a pretty average role. Since Week 4, they are 2-1 and have scored 29+ points in each game. The Raiders realize Jacobs is the key to moving the ball downfield.
So what can we expect from Jacobs in the future? I predict he will be a reliable fantasy running back who sees 20+ carries and around four receptions per game on a team that can find the red zone consistently. Next season during fantasy drafts, you won’t see his name on the board after the first round. Until Jacobs has an off week, I am willing to give him the title of the best running back in fantasy football.
The Injury Bug Is Biting
The beginning of the season was relatively tame in terms of injuries. While there were a decent amount of concussions, which was unfortunate, it was promising not to see that many star players suffer season-ending injuries. However, during the past couple of weeks, the injury bug has reintroduced itself.
Since Week 6, Hollywood Brown, DK Metcalf, Breece Hall and Mike Williams have suffered long-term injuries. This is highly upsetting, especially with players like Brown and Hall, who had such a great start to their seasons. Hopefully, all of these players will quickly recover so they can get back to torturing defensive coordinators.
As a fantasy owner, you must adjust for injuries. Considering who will take over in the absence of these star players is essential. In the case of Brown and Hall, it seems as though the players they split touches with will see the most significant increase in volume.
In New York, Michael Carter was slated to see more than 50% of the workload, but the Jets traded for James Robinson on Monday. In Arizona, DeAndre Hopkins will now see the majority of the targets. Hopkins got 10 receptions for 103 yards against the Saints. It’s a shame we never got to see Brown and Hopkins play side by side. As it stands, Hopkins is now the undisputed WR1 for the Cardinals.
I think the situation is a little different for Metcalf and Williams. Tyler Lockett (Seahawks) and Keenan Allen (Chargers) will see more volume with their fellow star receivers out. I believe RBs Kenneth Walker (Seahawks) and Austin Ekeler (Chargers) will see the most fantasy success following these injuries. Walker is establishing himself as a superstar in Seattle right before our eyes. While the Seahawks have had a surprisingly good pass game this season, they are much better off keeping the ball on the ground with Walker while Metcalf is out.
Ekeler will continue his dominant season in Los Angeles with Williams on the sidelines. Allen was out for most of the first part of the season, and the Chargers gave many extra touches to Ekeler. He saw the most red zone action and was heavily involved in the passing game. Now that Allen is back and Williams is out expect more of the same. The Chargers need Ekeler to support the offense when one of their star receivers is out. He will continue to put up RB1 numbers in the coming weeks.
With all this being said, it is truly devastating to watch these star players suffer significant injuries. These players had so much promise for the rest of the season, and it is a shame that we don’t get to see what they are truly capable of this year. It would be great to see each of them have a speedy recovery and a dominant return.
As we approach the midway point, we clearly understand what the 2022 season looks like. As fantasy owners rush to drop Tom Brady and pick up Daniel Jones, it’s important to remember football is ever-changing. Something seemingly impossible from last year may be possible this year, except for Gisele wanting to live in Boston again. That’s never happening.
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