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) Hunter Henry, TE SD
We’re only one game into the Week Six slate of games, but that was enough for rookie TE Hunter Henry to crack the Hot List, especially after the way he has been playing with veteran TE Antonio Gates banged up. After playing sparingly in the first two weeks of the season, his playing time was ramped up once Gates was forced to the sidelines. Over the past three weeks, Henry has been a top 12 TE and with his performance on Thursday Night Football, he is well on his way to a fourth consecutive appearance as a TE1.
2) Devontae Booker, RB DEN
Entering the Broncos matchup against San Diego last night, rookie RB Devontae Booker had seen his snap count increase in each successive game this season, hitting 29 in Week Five. On the other side, RB C.J. Anderson’s play count has declined with each week. With Anderson seemingly hitting a wall and Booker just finding his NFL legs, we are looking at a running back by committee. This has happened plenty of times over the years and we know it is the former backup, Booker in this case, who gains dynasty value, while the former starter sees their value drop.
3) Greg Olsen, TE CAR
Only two players in the league have finished among the top 12 fantasy scorers at their respective position in every week this season. One of those is RB DeMarco Murray. The other is Panthers TE Greg Olsen, who is coming off a career best performance of 181 receiving yards, besting his previous record by nearly 50 yards. Olsen didn’t even let backup QB Derek Anderson slow him down. With starter Cam Newton expected back this week, Olsen likely won’t be slowing down anytime soon. It’s only Olsen age, currently 31, that is keeping his dynasty value from truly exploding.
4) Sammie Coates, WR PIT
After a quiet rookie season which saw him make just one catch for 11 yards, WR Sammie Coates has quickly moved into a very important role for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Coates’ opportunity comes at the expense of the suspended WR Martavis Bryant and the struggling WR Markus Wheaton. Coates has been a favorite deep target for QB Ben Roethlisberger, connecting on a 40+ yard catch in each game this season. In Week Five against the Jets, Coates stepped up again, seeing a career high 11 targets, catching six of those for 139 yards and two scores, the first two touchdowns of Coates’ young career. While Coates is still known to make the occasional drop, or three, his dynasty value is quickly rising.
5) Dak Prescott, QB DAL
Much of the conversation over the past week has centered around the Dallas Cowboys QB situation, including the surprising play of rookie Dak Prescott and injured veteran Tony Romo, who has been receiving some positive reports regarding his back injury in recent days. Romo has started doing some work at practice, which has caused the discussion about how the Cowboys will manage his return to the field. In the meantime, Prescott is successfully leading the team and looking better each week. After a slow start in which he failed to throw a touchdown in the first two games, the rookie has picked it up and has been a top 12 fantasy QB in each of the past three games. If the Cowboys do opt to go back to Romo, I will be taking that opportunity to buy low on Prescott.
6) Dorial Green-Beckham, WR PHI
You can’t blame Eagles WR for getting off to a slow start, considering he was surprisingly traded by the Tennessee Titans late in the pre-season. DGB caught a pair of passes in each of the team’s first two games and then three in the two recent games. His Week Five total of 43 yards represents his highest mark this season and his yardage totals have increased in each successive week. As DGB becomes more comfortable in the Eagles offense, I expect him to only get better. Your window for buying low on the athletic WR is quickly closing.
7) Cordarrelle Patterson, WR DEN
Like Green-Beckham, the statline for Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson isn’t anything special. After being used sparingly in 2015, catching just two passes on the season, Patterson looked like that trend would continue through the first three games, catching both of his targets through three games. In the past two weeks though, with WR Stefon Diggs hobbled, Patterson has looked like a fantasy viable wideout. He was targeted six times in each of the past two games, totaling nine receptions for 77 yards and a touchdown, his first receiving score since early in the 2014 season.
8) Brian Hoyer, QB CHI
A player like Brian Hoyer, a journeyman QB who is 31 years old, wouldn’t typically make the hot list, but the Bears starter is on a surprising hot streak that can’t be ignored. After entering the season with five career 300 yard passing games, Hoyer has passed for over 300 yards in each of the past three games, also throwing for at least two touchdowns passes in each contest. He has played well enough that there is talk injured starter Jay Cutler won’t be getting his job back once he’s healthy. As I said, it is a surprising turn of events, but Hoyer should not only be owned in dynasty leagues, he’s worthy of weekly starter consideration.
Others considered: David Johnson, Tom Brady, Chris Hogan, Jordan Howard, DeMarco Murray, Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Ezekiel Elliott, LeSean McCoy, Brian Quick, Derek Carr, Davante Adams, Mike Evans
1) Kelvin Benjamin, WR CAR
Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin got off to a sizzling start in his return to the field after last year’s ACL tear ended his season before it even began. After the first two games of the season, Benjamin sat upon the list as the top scoring fantasy WR in the entire league. Since that time though, Benjamin is just WR54, which includes the team’s Week Three game in which Benjamin was completely shut out, seeing just one target. The big WR will clearly put up some monster games from time to time as the team’s best option outside of reliable TE Greg Olsen, but counting on Benjamin to be a consistent threat is a dangerous game.
2) Golden Tate, WR DET
One of the most heated debates in the fantasy community over the offseason centered around which Lions WR would step up and take over the lead role in place of the retired Calvin Johnson. Would it be WR Golden Tate, who had performed well in the past couple of years when Johnson was out of the lineup, or would it be the newly signed free agent WR Marvin Jones. That question has been emphatically answered early this season as Jones is among the top scoring fantasy WRs in the league and Tate was ultimately benched in one game for veteran Andre Roberts. Tate’s essentially an afterthought and can’t be used in fantasy lineups considering his best game of the season is a 41-yard performance in Week One.
3) Lamar Miller, RB HOU
When RB Lamar Miller left the Miami Dolphins for the RB friendly Houston Texans over the offseason, he immediately gained massive dynasty value. Miller was a player that had always been a favorite of many dynasty players, but just hadn’t seen the volume of touches necessary to succeed in South Beach. At least that was the narrative we heard so often. Now in Houston, Miller is getting all the carries he can handle, but still isn’t all that productive. In Week One, it took a career high 28 carries to get to 106 rushing yards and he has eclipsed 85 yards in a game since. He also has failed to find the end zone this season and his carries have decreased each game. Maybe the Texans are learning what the Dolphins already knew?
4) Alshon Jeffery, WR CHI
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the short season thus far has been Bears WR Alshon Jeffery, who has yet to finish higher than the WR29 in any week this season. Jeffery has been quite efficient, catching over 70% of his targets, but he is simply not seeing the volume we would expect from one of the best WRs in the game. He has only led the Bears in targets in one game this year, falling behind players like WRs Eddie Royal and Cameron Meredith, along with TE Zach Miller. It seems that this would have to change at some point, but Jeffery’s production has dropped with Brian Hoyer at the helm and as mentioned earlier, he may not be giving up that job. Hoyer also said this week he had no intentions of forcing the ball to Jeffery. This could simply end up being a lost season for the soon to be free agent.
5) Orleans Darkwa, RB NYG
With the New York Giants top two RBs, Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen, dealing with injuries, RB Orleans Darkwa finally had his chance. Darkwa has been a favorite of the metrics-based dynasty players since he entered the league, but has never really had a chance to be the lead back in an offense. Now that he finally has seen that opportunity, we are seeing why. Darkwa has totaled 112 rushing yards in three games and was often outplayed by veteran Bobby Rainey. With Jennings due back soon, Darkwa may have lost his chance at a significant role in the Giants offense.
Others considered: C.J. Anderson, Blaine Gabbert, Michael Floyd, Ryan Mathews, Nelson Agholor, Philip Dorsett, Ryan Tannehill, Tajae Sharpe, Breshad Perriman, Brock Osweiler, Jerick McKinnon, DeAngelo Williams, Tyler Boyd, Robert Woods