Your Fantasy Football Preview

With football season in full swing, Americans around the world are glued to their cell phones, laptops, and TVs. Why? Fantasy football.


According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, approximately 33 million people play fantasy football each year. For those who are not familiar with this pastime, a fantasy football league consists of a group of people who select a certain amount of National Football League (NFL) players, the number changing with league rules. Some may choose to draft automatically, allowing the computer to select their teams,, while others prepare weeks in advance, researching players and simulating rosters. Fantasy teams are awarded points Ultimately, one fantasy team wins the league championship. Every league has its own traditions and prizes (and, in some cases, competitive trash talk).


Fantasy football participants often talk of “sleepers,” young football players who have an unpredicted breakout season. These players often become dependable starters in fantasy football and can lead to victory for those who have them on their team. So far in this young season, three rookies have stolen the show.


Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

When the Chiefs’ starting running back Spencer Ware tore a ligament in a preseason game against the Seahawks, the next man up was third-round pick Kareem Hunt. In his debut game against the Patriots, the Toledo-born running back made history with 246 total scrimmage yards, the most ever gained in the NFL by a player in his first game, and three touchdowns. Since then, Hunt has averaged 6.2 yards per carry and has tallied over 750 total yards as of the fifth week of the fantasy season. His combination of speed and power is a perfect fit for head coach Andy Reid’s spread offense, meaning that the remainder of this season will be a busy one for him. This superstar is likely no longer available on the waiver wire in anyone’s league, so those who picked him up early should be thankful.


Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans

This rookie quarterback from Clemson University has found his footing in his first season in the NFL. After beating Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship, Watson declared his intention to enter the draft and was selected twelfth overall. The fourth and fifth weeks of this football season reinforced his value as a fantasy player; he threw for 544 yards and nine touchdowns with just one interception. Watson’s running ability propels him into excellence – he has already rushed for two touchdowns this season. In Week Five, sports media agency SB Nation ranked him as the eighth best quarterback in the NFL. Watson is undoubtedly a strong starter.


Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Fournette is another rookie running back making a huge impact. Though the Jaguars do not have the most active offense in the league, their running game has been efficient with the addition of this former Louisiana State University back. Averaging almost 22 carries per game, Fournette has become the centerpiece of the offense. His best performance this season has been in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he ran for 181 yards, including a 90-yard touchdown late in the game. Fournette has potential to finish as a top-tier running back in fantasy this year.