By: Ismail Sy
Pictured: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens Quarterback. Credit: AP
This fantasy football season has been interesting to say the least. There have been a lot of injuries to top fantasy players such as Saquon Barkley, Joe Mixon, Christian McCaffrey, and Austin Ekeler. There have also been plenty of surprises, such as Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, who went from the second best OVERALL fantasy player last year to being only the 10th best quarterback in fantasy this year. He is one of many players who did not live up to expectations. There have also been some stunning revelations, such as Jaguars running back James Robinson, who is a top five RB after not being on any radars at the start of the season. Overall, there have been many highs and lows throughout this fantasy football season. I have made a list of three players who have been highs this season, and three players that have been lows this season.
High: Jaguars RB James Robinson
As I mentioned right at the top, James Robinson has been sensational this season. The only bright spot on a 1-15 Jaguars football team, Robinson is third in the league in rushing, and he is currently the number four scoring fantasy running back. He averages 17.4 fantasy points a game in PPR leagues, and has been producing RB1 numbers. He has scored double digit Points Per Reception (PPR) in every game this season. He has blossomed into a very good running back, and on short notice as well, since the Jaguars released Leonard Fournette just weeks before the season. He is the clear starter in Jacksonville, and gets tremendous volume as he only has three games below 16 carries this season. Robinson has been an under-the-radar player for most of the season, and if you have him in your league, consider yourself lucky that you have a consistent RB1 like Robinson.
Low: Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake
The second half of last year when he joined the Arizona Cardinals, Kenyan Drake was a top ten running back for the rest of the season. In those eight games, Drake averaged about 20 points a game, which is RB1 level production. Many had Drake as a top ten RB heading into the season, and he has underperformed in a big way. He is currently RB20 in PPR formats, and he is only averaging 12 points a game. The volume is there, as Drake has not had a game with single digit carries. He has not had those explosive plays he did last year, and he also has little involvement in the passing game. Now, over the last five weeks, he has been solid, including a 24 point game against the Patriots. Drake is not the RB1 he was at the end of last year, and we all expected him to be a top ten back this season. He turned it around towards the end, however he has not been what we expected.
High: Chargers QB Justin Herbert
No one expected Justin Herbert to be starting for the Chargers this season, let alone shine in the role. Ever since former starter Tyrod Taylor got hurt in week two, Herbert has pulled no punches. He has only had one game below 200 passing yards this season, and before that, his lowest amount of passing yards in a game was 264, which is still very high. Herbert is currently QB8 in fantasy leagues, and he averages about 24 points per game, which is elite QB1 production. Keep in mind, he is doing this as a first year player, with so much room to grow. Herbert does a great job of limiting turnovers, which only helps his fantasy production. So, if you picked up Herbert on waivers at the start of the season, good for you.
Low: Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson was not only the best quarterback in fantasy football last year, but he was the second best player overall. Out of all the wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends, he was number two. This year though, he has taken a significant step down from what he was just a season ago. He is still a top 10 fantasy QB, as he averages about 20 points per game. However, he has not lived up to his ADP (average draft position). Some people were taking Lamar in the first round of fantasy football drafts. He has not met the hype. However, he is still a QB1, and you simply cannot bench someone like Lamar Jackson. He will remain one of the best options at the position in 2021, but he is not worth the early round pick.
High: Seahawks WR DK Metcalf
DK Metcalf is an absolute physical specimen. A lot of people expected Metcalf to take a leap, especially after his incredible playoff performance against Philly last season. However, no one expected him to improve this much. Metcalf has established himself as a top 5 wide receiver for fantasy, and in the NFL as well. He has been very reliable all season in fantasy. If you got him in the middle rounds of the draft along with other WR1s such as Davante Adams, or DeAndre Hopkins, then you are one lucky person. Metcalf has been a revelation this year, and he can potentially be the number one fantasy wide receiver next season.
Low: Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott is the epitome of consistency when it comes to fantasy. He has been a top 5 option at the running back position ever since he came into the league four years ago. However, after a strong start to the season, Zeke has been on a steep decline ever since QB Dak Prescott got injured. He has not had a fantasy game over 20 points, partly because defenses have been keying on him. However, no one envisioned a running back of Zeke’s caliber to decline this badly. He is not only no longer a RB1, but he finished the season as a low end flex option. If you have better He has definitely disappointed this season, and it has been very hard to watch. Expect him to bounce back, but he is not the first round pick he once was.
Overall, these six players have either impressed the fantasy community, or they have let us down. Hopefully the lows bounce back, and finish strong, while the highs look to continue their amazing runs. Anything can happen in these next few weeks.