In-Season NFL

Clarifying Fantasy Football’s Biggest Rumors

Going into the 2019-2020 NFL season, certain fantasy football assumptions seemed like evident truth. However, some fantasy football predictions fail to come to fruition, while others end up fact. Going into this season, I had my convictions myself about what was to be a fantasy fact this season. On some assumptions, I hit the nail on the head, while on others I missed completely. Let’s dive right into my fantasy assumptions and what ended up fantasy or fact:

Fantasy: Joe Mixon will be a top-five fantasy running back

Going into this season, Joe Mixon was one of my favorite fantasy prospects. Last season, Mixon managed 4.9 yards per carry while still behind one of the league’s worst offensive lines. Additionally, Mixon posted over 40 catches while catching 78% of his targets. On a stagnant offense, behind a truly abysmal offensive line, Mixon seemed to do it all on his own while posting roughly 1500 total yards. However, Mixon’s seemingly dominant skill-set and talent haven’t translated as this season Mixon has posted an average of just ten points per fantasy matchup (a number you can find on the waiver wire in most ten team leagues). Mixon showed great promise going into this season fantasy-wise and simply has not produced at the level expected, burning league owners everywhere.

Fact: Cooper Kupp is a stud

Another fantasy assumption I had going into this season regarded my complete confidence in Cooper Kupp as a fantasy stud. Last season, before going down with a season-ending injury Kupp was on pace for 290 points in PPR leagues. That would place Kupp as a top-five receiver in all of fantasy last season. So far, Cooper Kupp has somehow managed to not only meet but exceed my fantasy expectations. Right now, Kupp is the second-ranked receiver in all of PPR, averaging 21 points per game while showing boom potential (four games of 25+ points) while also showing great consistency (only one single-digit fantasy performance this year). Many questions arose about Kupp going into the season after he suffered a season-ending ACL injury last season. However, his targets and skillset had me convinced he was bound for superstardom this season in fantasy, and that is now coming to fruition.

Partial Fantasy: DeVonta Freeman will be an RB1

With Tevin Coleman out of the picture, I was convinced that DeVonta Freeman was aimed for fantasy glory. Before this season, Freeman posted 19.1 rushes, 80.6 rushing yards, 4.8 targets, 39.9 receiving yards, and 1.4 touchdowns per game in eight games over the previous three seasons, with Coleman sidelined due to injury. Additionally, Freeman in his last near full season (14 games) averaged a healthy 4.4 yards per carry while also providing juice in the passing game with 36 catches. The two seasons prior, he had over 1000 yards rushing, 50+ catches, and over ten rushing touchdowns. With all this already adding to the hype, the Falcons drafted two offensive linemen in the first round of this year’s draft. However, Freeman has been decent this season with four games of 15+ fantasy points, but he’s posted a pitiful 3.4 yard per carry mark, demonstrating bountiful consistency issues (three games of under ten fantasy points and two of under five points). Freeman’s contributions in the passing game have given him some nice fantasy outings, but consistency has been non-existent.

Fact: Evan Engram will be in Ertz and Kittle tier

With superstar Odell Beckham traded away in the off-season, Sterling Shepard out week one with an injury, Golden Tate suspended the first four games, and Corey Coleman out for the season with a torn ACL, Evan Engram went into the season as the number one receiver in the “Big Apple”. The sky was the limit in my eyes for Evan Engram this season, and he’s delivered big time. This season, Engram has averaged 14.1 fantasy points per game (just 0.2 less than Travis Kelce himself), while posting two outings of over 20 fantasy points and having scored double-digit points in every game but two. Engram has been an absolute superstar at tight end this season in fantasy, turning my confidence in the “G-Men” tight end into a reality.

Fantasy: Derrick Henry is undraftable

Derrick Henry has always had monumental consistency issues as last season, Henry had over half of his season rushing yardage total in the final four weeks alone. Henry failed to hit 60 rushing yards in every single one of his first twelve games during the 2018 season, but then popped off for over 500 yards in weeks fourteen through seventeen. With his absurd inconsistency, I had zero faith in drafting a running back who was a legitimate waste of bench space twelve out of sixteen weeks. However, this season Henry has posted double-digit fantasy points in seven of nine weeks, fifteen or more points in almost half his games, and is averaging 14.1 fantasy points per game. Henry has been a huge surprise in Tennessee this season while delivering as a true RB1. I’ll admit, I was straight-up wrong about Henry.

Conclusion

Going into the season, there were many assumptions about the fantasy landscape to come. Some of my predictions failed to ever come to fruition, while others have won me games this season and propelled me to my 6-2 record at the top of my league. One thing is for sure, it’s been a wild season in fantasy football, and more twists and turns are sure to come. Thank you for joining us today at The Sports Wave and leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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