By John Roeder
To many people and to many students in Freedom High school the start of the NFL season is the start of the fantasy football season. From in-person draft parties with friends to online drafts with complete strangers, to most people the proper selections that create their teams are the most integral part of having a successful season. With the first two weeks underway, let's take a look at some of the biggest surprises in the fantasy football world so far.
Coming into the year, Jonathan Taylor was said to be the unanimous first overall pick in most fantasy football drafts; the only other option that came close was Christian McCafery. Johnathan Taylor rushed 81 times for 328 yards and a touchdown, averaging four yards per carry, before he went down with an ankle injury in week four. The severity of the injury isn’t yet known, what this means is Nyheim Hines who has been a starter for the Colts in the past, could see some more touches and a big increase in points with the uncertainty to Taylor’s injury. Hiens is sure to get more touches and will become a viable flex and even a starting back in some leagues.
The biggest bust of the season so far is Kyle Pitts. Drafted as the third best tight end coming into the season. To say Pitts has under-preformed would be an understatement, through four games Pitts has just 10 completions for 150 yards and zero touchdowns. According to ESPN’s pre-season projections, Pitts would have 43 receptions for 638 yards at this point in the season, which obviously he hasn’t come close to. Pitts who was drafted fourth overall in the 2021 NFL Draft was set to have a breakout year, but due to inconsistent quarterback play and an overall struggling franchise that is the Atlanta Falcons, Pitts hasn’t been that “unicorn”( A player that can do it all, has many good traits, athletic freak) type player people had hoped he would be. In contrast, The biggest boom of the season so far has to be the NFL’s leading rusher, former rookie of the year, Saquan Barkley. Barkley who played his high school football in the valley at Whitehall High school is coming off a couple of injury-plagued seasons looks to be returning to true form, He has 463 yards on 87 carries and two touchdowns, while averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Barkley had 593 yards last season and only 34 the year before due to an acl injury that has plagued his last two seasons. Barkley was a 1000-yard rusher in each of his first two seasons, but hasn’t come close since, he looks to achieve that mark again this season, as long as he stays healthy. Saquan Barkley, the all time leading rusher at Whitehall played his final high school game in a playoff matchup against Freedom in the District 11 6A tournament on November 7th, 2014. Freedom came out on top led by a defense that managed to hold the NFL star to zero total touchdowns.
(Article written as of October 5, 2022)