Fantasy football is all fun and games, until your first round pick turns out to be a disappointment, which has been the case for a few players so far in 2016. Luckily, there’s still about half the season to be played, which means there is time for them to turn it around.
If you’re like me, you’re patient and aren’t quick to give up on your studs which in turn could result in a huge payoff. Below are some players who have gotten off to a poor 1st half of the season, but are in to turn it around in the 2nd half. Keep on grinding with these guys. If you don’t own any of the players below, inquire about trades while their value is as low as it’ll get all season.
QB Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers)
He was the unanimous top QB selected in fantasy leagues throughout the offseason, yet Cam Newton is currently looking outside of the top 10 in terms of fantasy points among QBs. It hasn’t been the ideal start for Newton as the Panthers have stumbled to a 1-5 record as they’re the current doormat of the NFC South. Who would’ve thought?
If you’ve stuck it out with Newton week after week, it’s been quite frustrating and your fantasy team has suffered, as one will tend to do when your centerpiece isn’t going for a consistent 20+ points at the QB position. Luckily, I’m here to tell you that Newton will find his groove and end the season as a top 10 QB when it’s all said and done.
From a talent standpoint, Newton is just too good to be kept in check. Mix that in with his passion and ability to take over games, he’ll turn it around – even if that means making plays with his legs, something we know he’s more than capable of doing. He has missed a game so far this year, but once he gets back on his feet, the Panthers will turn it around as will he. Newton has already gone against defenses like Denver and Minnesota, and it won’t get much tougher than that.
RB C.J. Anderson (Denver Broncos)
It looked like Anderson was out to avenge his poor start to 2015 after his debut this season included a pair of TDs with nearly 150 total yards. Since then, he has only scored 2 TDs and has failed to eclipse 75 rushing yards in a game.
New QB Trevor Siemian stole the show for Denver early in the season, but he has since settled down and came back down to earth a bit. Even during his struggles, Anderson has averaged nearly 15 carries per game since week 1. Kubiak and the Broncos will continue to feed him the ball. Once he starts to pick it up, his workload will only increase.
With Siemian declining a bit after reaching his peak, Kubiak will be forced to rely on Anderson to produce for an offense which lacks a consistent passing game. You know Kubiak loves to run the football, which draws no worry regarding Anderson’s fantasy production in my eyes. He’ll be given the opportunity.
RB Todd Gurley (Los Angeles Rams)
Perhaps the biggest fantasy bust thus far, Todd Gurley has failed to turn in a 100 yard rushing game yet this season and is barely a top 20 fantasy RB as week 7 concludes. You’d have to think that Jeff Fisher will realize sooner than later that throwing the ball 50+ times with Case Keenum isn’t going to win football games. Instead, feeding your workhorse of a RB will.
So far this season Fisher has shied away from his old-school, ground and pound type offenses, but I expect that to change after LA’s loss in London to the Giants. I’m anticipating Gurley to get a consistent 20 carries week after week from here on out. A player with his talent can’t be contained on a weekly basis with that type of workload.
Despite sitting out the beginning of 2015, Gurley put together a tremendous campaign and finished as one of the top fantasy backs. Last year he put together five 100+ yards games on the ground, and I think he’ll match that in the 2nd half alone in 2016.
WR DeAndre Hopkins (Houston Texans)
After the acquisition of Brock Osweiler in the offseason, many swarmed towards DeAndre Hopkins as it seemed like Houston finally found themselves a sturdy presence under center. To put it lightly, Osweiler hasn’t lived up to his huge deal as players around him have suffered.
With the emergence of 1st round pick Will Fuller, Hopkins has faded out of the spotlight a bit. Don’t get it twisted, he’s still the #1 WR in Houston. Growing pains are expected when a new QB comes in and is expected to develop a rapport with the team’s stud WR – it will only get better with time.
Hopkins averages nearly 10 targets per game on the season, so the opportunity is there. He’s also coming off a 15 target performance prior to Monday Night’s game against Denver. Hopkins proved last year that he’s a stud, and I remain confident that he’s a WR1 in fantasy.
WR Alshon Jeffery (Chicago Bears)
There are two reasons to blame Jeffery’s lack of fantasy production so far this season. One, he’s yet to haul in a TD catch. Second, the Bears haven’t had consistent play from their QB since Jay Cutler’s injury. Good news, Cutler is set to return in week 8 which does wonders form Jeffery’s fantasy value.
With no TDs to his credit so far in 2016, you’d have to think Jeffery is bound to haul in a handful in the 2nd half of the season. He still has over 500 receiving yards to his credit which ranks 13th in the NFL – once he starts finding paydirt, he’ll be right back up there among WR1s in fantasy.
Getting Cutler back in that offense is the biggest thing to consider for Jeffery. He’s put together a pretty good season despite the disappointing fantasy status. It will only get better with Cutler back, assuming he starts to find the endzone as well.
WR Allen Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars)
One of the more hyped WRs heading into the season was Allen Robinson, and clearly he hasn’t lived up to that. Part of the reason being the poor play of Blake Bortles under center in what has been an overall disappointing start for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Compared to other players on this list, this is more gut than anything as there is limited evidence to defend Robinson. However, he remains the #1 WR in Jacksonville as his 3 TDs have kept him hovering as a top 40 fantasy WR so far this season. He can find the endzone, which is something he should continue to do, just needs to be more consistent.
If Bortles can show more consistency and get back to the level he was at most of last season, Robinson’s numbers will skyrocket as he’ll retain the WR1 label.