This is the first week that this list will not include a quarterback. In fact, it will mainly feature two positions. While some quarterbacks and tight ends did have great days, there were no truly great fantasy performances. Jameis Winston and Austin Hooper topped their respective leaderboards, but numerous more impressive outings came from just the wide receiver and running back positions. Take a look at the five stars who all lived up to their true potential on Thursday, Sunday and Monday.
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs: 32 points standard, 39.2 points PPR
It was late in the third quarter and Tyreek Hill was on track to have his fourth straight disappointing game, having just four receptions for 62 yards. It would have been his fourth straight game with under 70 yards and no touchdowns, but then came the explosion. In the last 16 minutes of the game, Tyreek Hill caught three passes for 90 yards and three touchdowns, capped off by a 75-yard game-tying grab where he showed off his famous speed.
Tyreek Hill is a feast-or-famine wide receiver. There have been and will be more games this season where he will finish in the single digits. However, his upside is too good not to start, as he is one of the few receivers who has a legitimate chance to put up crazy numbers on any given week. His explosive potential makes him one of the most valuable assets in all of fantasy football.
Wide receiver Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers: 25 points standard, 35.2 points PPR
Nothing could be worse than being up a couple of points heading into the fourth quarter of the last game of the week and watching your opponent, who had Davante Adams, pull ahead in the final minutes. He was essentially Aaron Rodgers’s sole target on his game-tying and game-winning drives, catching four passes for 81 yards and a touchdown in the last three minutes of the game. When you add this to his previous six receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown in the game, it works out to be one heck of a fantasy outing.
Davante Adams is one of the most consistent wide receivers in fantasy football. He has had at least seven catches in all but one game this season (he had five in Week 1) and a touchdown in all but one game. Adams is another one of those wide receivers who, when he’s playing, you’re starting him. With the third most targets in the league and a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball, you can count on Adams to give you at least a solid week almost every time.
Honorable Mentions: Albert Wilson, Cole Beasley
Running back Todd Gurley II, Los Angeles Rams: 33 points standard, 36.5 points PPR
Todd Gurley is a bad man. He almost single-handedly took down the Denver Broncos on Sunday, rushing 28 times for 208 yards and two touchdowns. With Jared Goff having an off day and Cooper Kupp getting hurt, Gurley put the team on his back and carried the Rams to 6-0 on the season. Every week it seems like he gets better and better, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Gurley has put up at least 19 points in standard and 23 points in PPR every week this season. He leads the league in rushing yards with 623 and all non-quarterbacks in total touchdowns with nine rushing and two receiving. There is really nothing else to say other than that Gurley is the best running back in the NFL, and if you are lucky enough to own him in fantasy, well, congratulations.
Running back Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers: 32 points standard, 35 points PPR
Melvin Gordon and the Chargers absolutely obliterated the Cleveland Browns 38-14, and in so doing, opened many people’s eyes to just how good of a team they are. They are currently 4-2 on the season with their only two losses coming to two of the hottest teams in the league, the Chiefs and Rams. Their most recent win was largely due to the success of Gordon, who rushed 18 times for 132 yards and three touchdowns.
It was not just this game either, as Gordon has been one of the best running backs in the NFL this season (yet somehow not the best one in his own city). Gordon is third in the league in rushing yards this season (466) and second out of non-quarterbacks in total touchdowns (nine). He is averaging the best yards per attempt in his career by over one yard and is eighth in the league out of all qualified rushers and second out of all rushers with at least 80 attempts. Gordon is very undervalued, but he is truly in the highest tier of all NFL rushers.
Running back Saquon Barkley, New York Giants: 28 points standard, 37.9 points PPR
Saquon was just about the only functioning part of the entire Giants team on Thursday, and while they may have lost 34-13, fantasy owners who started Barkley most likely grabbed a win. He was extremely effective as a rusher (130 yards, one touchdown) and a receiver (nine receptions, 99 yards) and accounted for over 50 percent of the Giants’ total offensive yards.
The Giants are a really bad football team. Saquon Barkley is a really good running back. Fantasy football wise, it actually works out well for him. The Giants heavily rely on Barkley, as the rest of their offense is dreadful. Eli is old and on a fast decline, Odell can’t keep his mouth shut, and their offensive line might be the worst in the NFL. But Saquon is a star, and that combined with the large workload in both the rushing and receiving game makes him a top-end RB1 every week.
Honorable Mentions: Kareem Hunt, James Conner
Bonus: Kicker Jason Myers, New York Jets
The Jets beat the Colts 42-34 on Sunday due in large part to kicker Jason Myers making three touchdowns’ worth of field goals. Myers went 7-7 on field goals and 3-3 on extra points, amounting to a staggering 27 fantasy points. That is a great day for anyone, not just a kicker. If you were part of the extremely small percentage of people that started Myers, you lucked out.
Jorge Eckardt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.