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) Derek Carr, QB OAK
In Week Eight, a pair of young quarterbacks faced off as Derek Carr and the Raiders visited Jameis Winston’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and as he has often this year, Carr got the best of his opponent. The Raiders and Bucs battled to overtime and Carr put up some monster numbers, throwing for over 500 yards and four touchdowns in the game. For the season, that pushes Carr up to the QB3, behind only Matt Ryan and Andrew Luck.
2) Davante Adams, WR GB
After a disappointing 2015 season essentially wiped out his dynasty value, the light has turned on for Packers WR Davante Adams, who has ten or more receptions in the past two games. Adams got off to a decent start to the season, but wasn’t standing out. After six games, he was WR57 in PPR scoring. Thanks to the two huge performances in Weeks Seven and Eight, Adams is all the way up to WR17, ahead of Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and all other Packers pass catchers. Still just 23 years old, we could just be seeing the beginning of Adams as a star.
3) J.J. Nelson, WR ARZ
With Michael Floyd, John Brown and nearly the entire Cardinals WR depth chart dealing with injuries, undersized speed demon J.J. Nelson has taken over and is looking like a fantasy asset all of a sudden. Over the past two weeks, Nelson has 163 yards and a pair of touchdowns. With Floyd one of the season’s biggest flop and fellow backup Jaron Brown done for the year, Nelson has likely earned a larger role going forward. Nelson is not quite in the every week fantasy starter range, but he’s at least in consideration and should be owned in all dynasty leagues.
4) C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE HOU
Only one TE in the league has been among the top 15 scorers at his position for five weeks running. It’s not Greg Olsen or Rob Gronkowski. Instead, it’s Houston’s C.J. Fiedorowicz who closing in on top 12 range after barely playing in the first three weeks of the season. While the Texans WRs are disappointing, Fiedorowicz is greatly exceeding expectations and he can be plugged into fantasy lineups moving forward.
5) Tyreek Hill, WR KC
Chiefs WR Jeremy Maclin has been a disappointment this season, finishing as a top 25 WR just once, back in the season opener. Converted running back Tyreek Hill, a late round rookie, has been picking up the slack. Hill has finished as a top 30 receiver in the past two games, including a finish of WR8 last week when he had five receptions and narrowly missed his first 100-yard game. He has also scored in back-to-back games. Hill is a player that should be owned in all leagues going forward.
6) Jamison Crowder, WR WAS
Another undersized WR who has been making noise recently is the slow man from Washington, WR Jamison Crowder. With DeSean Jackson banged up, TE Jordan Reed missing time and rookie WR Josh Doctson done for the year, Crowder has been a fantasy producer by default. He’s put up two consecutive 100-yard games and he currently ranks as the WR15 in PPR scoring. With the Redskins leaning on the passing game this year, I expect this production to continue.
7) Derrick Henry, RB TEN
Titans fan and fantasy owners collectively held their breath when Tennessee RB DeMarco Murray left the Week Eight game with a foot injury. Fortunately, Murray returned to the field later and is expected to be fine. The other good news from that scare was the dominating performance of rookie RB Derrick Henry, who had seen his role reduced thanks to Murray’s dominating season. Henry isn’t taking the lead role from the veteran anytime soon but I wouldn’t be surprised if he begins seeing more snaps and touches in the Titans Exotic Smashmouth offense. Against the Jags defense in Week Eight, Henry set new career highs for carries, yards and scored his first career touchdown. Henry was also involved in the passing game, catching four balls for 37 yards.
8) C.J. Prosise, RB SEA
Henry wasn’t the only rookie RB with a breakout game in Week Eight. For Seattle, C.J. Prosise led the team in receiving and ate into the snaps of starter Christine Michael. After dealing with an injury and playing sparingly through the first six weeks of the season, Prosise exploded with over 100 total yards on just eight touches against the soft Saints defense in Week Eight, including a team-high 80 receiving yards. With Michael’s snaps declining in recent weeks, we could see Prosise’s role continue to grow.
Others considered: Kirk Cousins, Rob Kelley, A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, Amari Cooper, Michael Thomas, Willie Snead, Theo Riddick, Terrelle Pryor, Rob Gronkowski, Jonathan Stewart, Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Jordan Howard
1) Mark Ingram, RB NO
Saints RB Mark Ingram had been playing well and seeing his expected amount of involvement in the high-powered New Orleans offense, until Week Eight that is. After Ingram lost his second fumble in as many weeks, the starter was benched in favor of veteran Tim Hightower and Daniel Lasco. Hightower did run for over 100 yards, but struggled on multiple red zone opportunities. Following the game, HC Sean Payton explained that he expected Ingram to bounce back, but also that the team would use a committee backfield. Until he can play himself out of the doghouse, Ingram’s value is tanking and he’s nearly impossible to rely on as a starter.
2) Will Fuller, WR HOU
After starting the season and his career with a pair of WR1 (top 12) performances in the first month, rookie WR Will Fuller and the entire Texans offense has begun to struggle. Fuller’s WR ranks over the past four games are WR77, WR63 and WR88, along with one game where he was active but failed to record a catch. I still love Fuller’s talent, but his iffy hands are proving to be a weekly issue and the Texans QB situation is a disaster with Brock Osweiler looking like a bust. Fuller is still a dynasty asset, but his value needs to be reassessed after he burst onto the scene over the first month of the year.
3) C.J. Anderson, RB DEN
After suffering a knee injury in Week Seven, the Denver Broncos placed RB C.J. Anderson on the injured reserve list, likely ending his 2016 season. That leaves rookie Devontae Booker as the next in line for a large number of touched in the RB friendly backfield for the Broncos. Denver hasn’t seemed sold on Anderson over the past two seasons, considering they gave the below average Ronnie Hillman a ton of playing time last year, chose to tender Anderson at the lowest level before matching the Dolphins offer and then added the rookie Booker. While Anderson started the season well, Booker had been eating into his opportunities even before the knee injury took him down. If Booker plays well, I could see this being the end of Anderson’s time as the Broncos’ starting back.
4) Zach Ertz, TE PHI
One common narrative is that a rookie QBs best friend is a reliable TE, but that hasn’t been true for the Philadelphia Eagles as there are reports that rookie QB Carson Wentz and TE Zach Ertz are not on the same page. Ertz missed several games early in the season with a rib injury, but even once he returned, he’s been a non-factor. Over the past month since Ertz returned to the field, he’s managed just one top 20 performance. He hasn’t topped 60 yards in a single game this year and has yet to score a touchdown. The Eagles offense simply hasn’t been effective enough to produce big numbers outside of the occasional nice game for WR Jordan Matthews.
5) DeAndre Hopkins, WR HOU
I’ve already mentioned the recent downfall of Texans rookie WR Will Fuller and the Houston offense and the team’s star DeAndre Hopkins is even a bigger disappointment. Part of that has to do with the high expectations placed upon Hopkins as a first rounder in both dynasty and seasonal leagues. While Fuller has at least notched a pair of top 12 games, Hopkins hasn’t even done that well, posting just one back in Week Two. Hopkins is certainly a high end talent, but the addition of both Osweiler and Fuller have seemingly affected Hopkins’ game and his dynasty value.