NFL Fantasy: Quarter(ish) Season Review

Hannah Wilkes

Overtime Presenter & NFL Reporter

Join Hannah Wilkes and Josh Denzel on NFL Overtime every Thursday at 9pm on Sky Sports NFL where this week they’ll be joined by special guests Dan Hanzus and Gregg Rosenthal from the Around the NFL podcast

Last Updated: 07/10/21 10:39am




Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has impressed to start the season, even if his team hasn’t always

Sky Sports‘ NFL Fantasy Football guru Hannah Wilkes helps you navigate your way through the 2021 season in her weekly column, where this week she gives a quarter(ish) season review through four weeks of the 17-game season.

The last two weeks I’ve established that that writing about Fantasy Football is much easier when your teams are winning. Sadly, like many of us I find myself in a quarter-season Fantasy slump. Across multiple leagues.

It’s embarrassing. But, fear not folks, the season is still young and armed with four weeks of info, we now know who is worth backing and who no longer deserves a spot on our roster – no matter how good they were last year.

With that in mind, I’ve assembled a quarter(ish)-pole report card of sorts for the key spots on your fantasy roster. Some are surprises, some are glaringly obvious, and some might throw up some ideas as you look for a line-up refresh and we navigate the start of bye weeks from Monday.

Quarterback

Of course…Patrick Mahomes is top of the quarterback pile. Despite the Kansas City Chiefs being sat bottom of the AFC West, their superstar QB has thrown 14 touchdown passes, rushed for one, amassed 1,218 passing yards and a cool 111.92 Fantasy points! This guy can carry your otherwise poor roster, a fact that’s as revolutionary for me to point out as “the sky is blue”.

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Patrick Mahomes threw an unusual underarm touchdown pass for the Kansas City Chiefs in Week Four against the Philadelphia Eagles
Patrick Mahomes threw an unusual underarm touchdown pass for the Kansas City Chiefs in Week Four against the Philadelphia Eagles

Kudos if…you backed Jalen Hurts or Sam Darnold when drafting your QB. Sitting third and fifth respectively in QB Fantasy rankings (the bread to a Tom Brady sandwich at fourth, if you will), Hurts is growing into his role in Philly (or should I say ‘roll’ #breadpuns) despite the team results not yet quite coming, and Darnold is living proof that the ‘Adam Gase Effect’ was real in New York. He’s casually become the first QB in NFL history to rush for five TDs in his teams first four games of the season, and he’s thrown another five touchdowns this term, which sits in stark contrast to the nine total he passed for in 2020 in NYC.

Apologies if…like me you got overexcited by the Minnesota Vikings after a solid three weeks of Fantasy performances by Kirk Cousins. A paltry 10.12-point haul against the Cleveland Browns is far from ideal. But maybe stick with him as the Vikings host the Detroit Lions this Sunday…

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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins talks to Neil Reynolds about his first start to the season
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins talks to Neil Reynolds about his first start to the season

Running Back

The King…Derrick Henry is doing Derrick Henry things and naturally leads the way for Fantasy running backs in what I would call a generally underwhelming group so far this season (yeah, I said it, come at me). With almost double the rushing yards of second-placed Austin Ekeler through four weeks, there’s not much to say…other than express my immense regret at taking Christian McCaffery over him in not one, but two leagues.

Cordarrelle Patterson has had a sensational, if somewhat surprising, start to the season for the Atlanta Falcons

‘Score’darrelle…Cordarrelle Patterson is perhaps the biggest break out at RB despite only having rushed for only one touchdown! His three catches for touchdowns in the Atlanta Falcons’ loss to the Washington Football Team in Week Four got us all paying attention*. Here’s hoping he puts on another great show at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday against the Jets.

*and cursing yet another match-up winning performance from a guy SAT ON MY BENCH!

Kudos if…you stuck with Saquon Barkley. After a couple of quiet performances the first two weeks of the season as he comes back from that ACL tear, he’s looking back in form and hauling in catches and Fantasy points, scoring three times in the New York Giants’ last two games.

Wide Receiver

Top 3….Cooper Kupp, Tyreek Hill, Deebo Samuel. A*, A* and A** for Deebo for being our surprise of the season thus far. To quote my NFL Overtime co-host Josh Denzel, he really does play like a guy named Deebo. I’m still not entirely sure what that means, but it somehow makes sense. Plus with twelve 49ers catching touchdown passes through four weeks he’s the only guy in red and gold to feature in the endzone twice. Particularly impressive when you consider how low he was going in Fantasy drafts. Deeeeeebo.

San Francisco 49ers wideout Deebo Samuel is the NFL’s leading receiver through four weeks

One Moore thing…D.J. Moore may have been rostered at WR2 in the vast majority of leagues, but this guy is scoring like a bonafide WR1. Surpassing 100 receiving yards in his last two games, with three TDs, he’s potentially on his way to a career season and his catching percentage is way up. Lest we forget too that in PPR leagues, receptions mean points and points mean prizes.

Tight End

Urgh…There is no position in Fantasy Football, nay, all Fantasy sports, more stress inducing than figuring out what to do at Tight End in 2021. Unless you drafted Travis Kelce or Darren Waller, it’s a tricky spot to navigate and the fluctuations week to week this year are WILD!

Sensationally…Darren Shultz is fourth in overall TE rankings (behind Kelce, Waller and the currently injured Rob Gronkowski) despite having scored just 3.80 Fantasy points in Week Two against the Los Angeles Chargers. This riddle, I feel, sums up the whole position and I can’t bring myself to spin much positivity on the matter.

Kicker

Fittingly…just a single point separates No 1 from No 2 and two from three in the top kickers in Fantasy Football after four games apiece. Tyler Bass has picked up 44 points from 14 PATs and six field goals, Justin Tucker’s HOF candidate right leg has hoofed his way to 43 points thanks in part to his long-range ability, and 17 PATs from Matt Prater thanks to that all-firing Arizona Cardinals offense has him in 3rd.

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Watch Justin Tucker’s NFL-record 66-yard field goal for the Baltimore Ravens against the Detroit Lions
Watch Justin Tucker’s NFL-record 66-yard field goal for the Baltimore Ravens against the Detroit Lions

Look, there’s not huge variation in kicker and so much of whether your guy scores big comes down to the game itself and what position the team is in, so it’s not a spot you should be stressing about or making wild trades for.

Zen vibes only at K. OK?

Defense

When it comes to defense, from both a real football and Fantasy perspective, this line from NFL Research sums it up accurately and succinctly:

“Buffalo’s defense is even hotter than it’s chicken wings in 2021”

Frankly, I can think of anything more to say on the matter. But I will say that in Fantasy, the best thing you can do is stream your defense based on opponent, don’t be too loyal.

Unless, of course you, have the Bills.

Join Hannah Wilkes and Josh Denzel on NFL Overtime every Thursday at 9pm on Sky Sports NFL. This week they’ll be joined by special guests Dan Hanzus and Gregg Rosenthal from the Around the NFL podcast.

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