Eight weeks are gone and a number of teams have played out half of their schedule already. As such, now seems like a good time to take a look at some of the most memorable fantasy players of 2014 so far, for better or for worse.
-Andrew Luck: He’s always been good, that’s how you get drafted first overall in the real world. This year he’s been a fantasy monster too, leading the NFL in passing yards by almost 400 and in a tie with Peyton Manning for the passing TD lead. He puts up major numbers almost every week, and was largely drafted behind players like Manning and Rodgers, making him a tremendous value pick for his owners.
-Philip Rivers: Speaking of value picks, this guy has come to define that term this year. With an average draft position in the 90s or worse depending on the site of your choice, he has been a top-10 fantasy scorer this year, trailing only Luck, Manning, and Aaron Rodgers in terms of quarterback production.
-DeMarco Murray: In standard leagues he’s the only non-quarterback in the top-five in fantasy scoring, despite losing five fumbles already. His production has been historic and, more importantly for fantasy owners, stunningly consistent. 100 yards and a score has been almost guaranteed this year, giving fantasy players great confidence in rolling him out every week.
Antonio Brown: No matter your league settings, he’s been amazing. He leads the league in targets and receptions, is within 15 yards of the yardage lead currently held by T.Y. Hilton, and is tied for fourth with seven touchdown catches. He’s also shown the ability to maintain this level of production before, as he finished second in the NFL in receiving yards last season (and has the best odds of any player not catching passes from Manning or Luck of taking the crown for himself this year according to sports books listed on Gambling.com). At just 26, he’s entering his prime as one of the NFL’s most consistent and dynamic wideouts.
-Doug Martin: Long gone are the glory days of the Muscle Hamster. Even when healthy this season, he has struggled to provide any kind of real production. A poor offensive line has certainly played a role, but Bobby Rainey has shown flashes behind that same line in ways Martin simply hasn’t.
-Keenan Allen: Last year as a rookie taken in the third-round he was a fantasy darling, notching 1,000 yards and eight scores, raising expectations for this season. By and large he has fallen incredibly short of those expectations, failing to score his first touchdown until last week against Denver and showing real signs of life in just one other game (against a terrible Jacksonville defense). With the type of season Rivers is having, it’s downright shocking to see Allen struggle to put up points.
-Toby Gerhart: After years of successfully backing up Adrian Peterson in Minnesota, this was supposed to be Gerhart’s year to break out as the starter in Jacksonville. He flopped spectacularly, only accumulating 133 yards on 2.6 yards per carry with just one score. Denard Robinson has proven that it’s possible to score points in fantasy as a Jaguar running back, only making those that took Gerhart in the top 50 picks kick themselves all the more.