The Hot Sheet looks at which top prospects are excelling and which ones are struggling on a week-to-week basis. The consensus top-flight players may not always appear on this list because we are trying to help you find the next group of breakout players before your leaguemates do.
The value of the players mentioned on the Hot List is rising, thanks to their performance on the field. On the other hand, Cold List players are struggling, and losing dynasty value as a result.
1) Kareem Hunt, RB KC
After the best ever rookie RB debut, Kareem Hunt had a lot to live up to and all he did was put up 109 total yards and another pair of touchdowns, good for an overall RB4 finish on the week. In just two weeks, Hunt is being mentioned among the best RBs in the game. With the injuries and slow starts for many of the top backs, Hunt is now being mentioned as a potential top five dynasty back. Some were worried about Hunt’s lack of volume in his Week One breakout, but that changed last week as he saw 74% of the snaps. As our own Rich Hribar pointed out in The Worksheet this week, Hunt’s 71.5 fantasy points through two games is the second-most ever by a rookie, behind only Billy Sims and there is little reason to expect him to slow down. Hunt looks like a lock to finish as a top ten RB this season and as a result, he could be a first-rounder in dynasty drafts next off-season.
2) Todd Gurley, RB LAR
After the changes made by the Rams this off-season, namely the hiring of former Redskins OC Sean McVay as head coach, RB Todd Gurley was one of the most discussed and hotly debated players in dynasty leagues. Many were burned after Gurley’s disappointing 2016 season and even though he put up solid fantasy numbers in the opener, there were concerns about a low yards per carry and simply a failure to hit the gaps as a runner. In the two games since, including last night’s NFC West battle in San Francisco, Gurley looks like the workhorse back on a quickly improving offense. Gurley’s increased role in the passing game has been a huge boost to his fantasy production and therefore, his dynasty value as well. A player tabbed just a week or two ago as a sell-high, now has the looks of a weekly plug and play automatic starter.
3) Ty Montgomery, RB GB
Hunt has been the talk of the dynasty community and is comfortably the RB1 through two games, but the RB2 is maybe just as surprising, Packers RB Ty Montgomery, with just 89 rushing yards through two games, is the second-best scorer in the early going. Of course, what he lacks as a runner, and he’s much-improved from a season ago, he makes up for as a receiver, with 10 receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. It’s no surprise that the former WR is a factor as a pass-catcher out of the backfield and it gives Montgomery a fantasy boost, especially as he’s part of the always high-powered Packers offense. Although Montgomery’s value is trending up, I get the feeling he’s still being underrated, meaning he should be a prime trade target in all dynasty leagues.
4) Trevor Siemian, QB DEN
As a starter for the majority of the 2016 season, Broncos QB Trevor Siemian managed just three weeks performing as a top 12 fantasy signal caller. Through two weeks this year, Siemian already has a pair of top four finishes, pasting the Chargers in Week One (QB4) and the Cowboys last week (QB3) throwing for six scores and running for another through a pair of games. Siemian has dominated in the red zone and looks like a different player with a new coaching staff in town. Even with this start, Siemian’s dynasty value is largely unchanged. In fact, I had no competition as I grabbed him off a couple of dynasty waiver wires this week. As a late-round draft pick who already has a season of below-average production, Siemian will need another couple of games in the low-end QB1 range before fantasy players really start to believe.
5) Buck Allen, RB BAL
Here’s another one we didn’t exactly see coming. The Ravens entered the pre-season with a plethora of RBs, but have already lost the two fantasy players found themselves targeting most often, second-year man Kenneth Dixon and former Charger Danny Woodhead. With that duo out of the lineup, the Ravens turned to Terrance West and Buck Allen. Both backs were heavily involved and are currently scoring as top 15 fantasy back through two weeks. For those in PPR leagues, Allen was a major factor in Week Two, catching five passes for 35 yards. With Dixon done for the year and the veteran Woodhead on the shelf for several weeks, Allen has an excellent chance to go from waiver wire to weekly starter. Much like Siemian though, many fantasy players will be slow to come around on Allen having any real dynasty value.
1) Jordan Howard, RB CHI
After we all witness the breakout game of Bears rookie RB Tarik Cohen in Week One, there was a little cause for concern if you were counting on Jordan Howard as a starting RB this season, but we were all careful not to place too much emphasis on just one game. Now, two weeks in, including a Week Two game in which Howard had more carries than yard and was essentially a non-factor in the passing game, it’s time to panic. Howard was among the league leaders in drops a year ago and had a crucial one in Week One, so considering Cohen’s ability as a pass-catcher, that is an angle we won’t see to Howard’s game. Factor in the poor situation in Chicago right now means fewer goal line opportunities and more passing as the team plays from behind and we could be looking at a long season for Howard. If you can get out now, don’t hesitate to pull the trigger on a trade.
2) DeMarco Murray, RB TEN
After the entire Titans running game struggled in Week One, it was refreshing to see a Tennessee RB post a big game, including a long touchdown run. The only problem was that RB was not starter DeMarco Murray, who sat out most of the second half as the Titans cruised over the Jaguars. Of course, talented backup Derrick Henry drew most of the second-half touches and Tennessee HC Mike Mularkey has taken multiple opportunities since then to let us knew he still considers Murray the starter. Despite that proclamation, there is a chance the team rests Murray, bothered by a sore hamstring, and gives Henry the start in Week Three. While running against a tough Seattle defense is no easy task, a strong game from Henry at home could cause even more of a RB controversy, or at least a RBBC in Tennessee.
3) Isaiah Crowell, RB CLE
After the Browns looked to upgrade their QB, WR, TE and OL positions this off-season, yet left their backfield in the hands of Isaiah Crowell, the hype became too much to handle. The inconsistent Crowell was quickly rising in value and it made little sense. While the team seemed to be making the right moves for the long-term, this looked nothing like a team that could being competitive week in and week out, yet Crowell’s ADP and trade value continued to strengthen. Through two weeks, Crowell has posted fantasy performances of RB26 and RB59 and fantasy players are panicking. In a struggling offense that just lost its top WR in Corey Coleman, there is little reason to expect big production from Crowell. He is still young and you can see a path to relevance for the team as a whole, but short-term expectations much be tempered.
4) Eddie Lacy, RB SEA
In Week One, Seattle RB Eddie Lacy, tabbed as the starter with Thomas Rawls missing time with an injury, averaged less than one yard per carry and looked like a shell of his former self. It didn’t seem like things could get much worse, but in Week Two, with Rawls back, Lacy was a healthy scratch. He’s officially fallen behind Rawls, C.J. Prosise and impressive rookie Chris Carson, who has easily been the best back on the team since pre-season. Barring an injury, which is quite possible knowing this group, it is difficult to even see Lacy getting on the field for the Seahawks. After battling injuries and weight issues in Green Bay, Lacy’s dynasty value nearly bottomed out, and now it is officially gone.
5) Donte Moncrief, WR IND
We all know the Colts offense is off to a bad start as they attempt to weather the storm that is Andrew Luck’s injury. The team has already made a change at QB, though neither Scott Tolzien nor Jacoby Brissett have been effective. At this point, there is no real timeline for Luck’s return, but it is fair to begin wondering if we’ll see him at all this season. The absence of the team’s star QB can and will be blamed for letdown performances of the other key offensive skill players, namely T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief. We’ve all seen what Hilton can do and we’ve also seen how he performs without Luck, and it’s not good, but he remains a proven asset. Moncrief on the other hand, might not be that good. Thrown in with other members of the fantastic WR class of 2014, Moncrief continues to be talked about among the top 25 WRs in the game, yet has proven very little over his career. He has been a red zone target when Luck is on the field, yet saw little volume in the passing game overall, often resulting in boom or bust stat lines. Once Luck does return, even if that is in 2018, I will take that opportunity to sell my Moncrief shares.
Other players considered: Sammy Watkins, Bilal Powell, Kenny Britt, Terrelle Pryor, T.Y. Hilton, Paul Perkins, Ezekiel Elliott, Brandon Marshall, Michael Thomas, Eric Decker, Adrian Peterson, Brandin Cooks, Lamar Miller, Jordan Matthews, Larry Fitzgerald, Jimmy Graham, Jamison Crowder, Corey Davis, Russell Wilson, John Brown, Corey Coleman, Greg Olsen