What to take away from this year’s fantasy football season

in Sports by

As the 2018-2019 fantasy football season has come to an end, only few can say they were lucky enough to hoist their league trophy, while many can say they were so close. Nonetheless, while team owners begin to put the fantasy season behind them and await the arrival of next season, it is only appropriate to look back on the breakout players who might’ve won you the title this year, weep over the bust players who might’ve proved to be the reason you lost or construct an idea of who you might want on your roster next year.

Each fantasy season will undoubtedly showcase busts that plague a team owner’s roster; however, this year seemed to contain more than its fair share. The most notable busts of the season would have to be two of the top three picks, RB David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals, and RB Le’veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Johnson, who was coming off a wrist injury that greatly impacted his 2017 campaign, to be a league-winner and produce around 25 points on a weekly basis. However, early into the season, it was evident this wouldn’t be the case. It seemed that the Cardinals failed to utilize Johnson properly, whether it be his lack of touches in the running game or his lack of involvement in the passing game. Bell on the other hand, produced an even more disappointing season in which he failed to produce any points whatsoever. Bell, who refused to play the entire season in hopes of signing a long term deal with the Steelers, kept team owners guessing when he would return to the field. However, when he was deemed unable to return in the later half of the season, due to NFL rules that set a deadline for his required appearance at practice, many teams who opted to trade for Bell at a cheap price or keep him on the bench while awaiting his return most likely were not able to be in legitimate contention for the title. Countless other busts, such as running backs Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook or Devonta Freeman, all of which were ranked in the top 20, were hurt most of the season. Such failure to perform at or above expectations by top ranked players affected most rosters in an extremely negative fashion. Those who fell victim to such mediocre seasons from players who were drafted to be stars most likely suffered the consequences.

On the other hand, though every fantasy football season features top players falling short of their expectations, breakout players are also sure to emerge. If you’re lucky, you were able to land or pick up some of these players and lead your team to victory. One of the better breakout players this season would be RB James Conner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who took over the role of Le’veon Bell and became one of the top waiver wire finds of the year. He rushed just shy of 1000 yards on the season, was involved in the passing game with 55 receptions and accounted for 12 total touchdowns. WR Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs also had himself a breakout year, totaling 1,479 yards through the air and 12 total touchdowns. Hill has improved in every season of his career, however with the arrival of second-year QB Patrick Mahomes, another breakout player, he was able to become a true WR1. The fantasy season finished with Mahomes becoming the top fantasy quarterback and statistically having the best fantasy season of all time. He threw for over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns, helped facilitate Hill’s phenomenal season and led many fantasy teams to the title. Finally, RB Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers managed to rack up over 1000 yards rushing and 867 yards receiving with 107 receptions. His unexpected performance across the season has potentially landed him in the top 5 overall picks for next year. Other breakout players include RB Joe Mixon, TE George Kittle, WR Robert Woods, WR Cooper Kupp and RB Damien Williams, who recently became the featured back for the Kansas City Chiefs after they released RB Kareem Hunt towards the end of the season.

Overall, if this fantasy football season has shown us anything, it’s that you really can’t prepare for or predict what will happen. Top players that seem to have a clear path to success may suffer an injury or experience a roadblock that hurts their season. Players who seem like they will have little fantasy relevance in the upcoming season will suddenly emerge and become one of the top players in the league. The only takeaway from this season has to be to expect the unexpected. Therefore, it is always important to be active on the waiver wire to snag these types of players, because even if you have drafted someone like Le’veon Bell, a player sure to rack up some points, someone like James Conner will emerge and quickly turn your season around. Strategies like these may not guarantee a title run, but being lucky enough to land a breakout player or two may certainly pave a path to the championship.

Sammy is a sophomore at American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla. and is entering his second year writing for the newsmagazine. Outside of composing various articles, Sammy works as the presentation coordinator for Black, Gold and Green and volunteers at numerous community service projects such as the David Posnack JCC. As a die-hard Miami Heat and Dolphins fan, he loves tuning in to/attending any game he can in addition to playing both sports in his free time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.