In fantasy, you always want to first. Whether it's first in points or wins. Being first has a certain appeal to it. That holds true for projections and banging the table for a player before any other person in your league does.
Before Antonio Brown was a the consensus best WR in fantasy, he was an unknown player, and there was some owner that saw his talent before anyone else. Every year, there are players where you see the talent but the opportunities had not come.
As always, the NFL is an ever-changing landscape and we are here to guide you to on getting an early jump on the competition. Keep in mind, the players on this list are names to watch and not forget about. Circumstances them are currently in flux but that doesn't mean to dismiss them.
Sadly, at this point in his career Danny Woodhead getting hurt is almost as certain as having to pay taxes. Due to the injury he suffered earlier in the season and the emergence of Irish dancing sensation Alex Collins, Woodhead as been largely forgotten.
Javorius (Buck) Allen has been a suitable flex option for most of the season, yet all good things come to an end. Enter Danny Woodwood once more. The narrative around the appeal of Buck Allen all year was the high volume of targets he obtained in the passing game: a narrative looking to quickly change. Currently tied for 4th in the NFL with targets to running backs (50), that high number of volume will surely flow toward Woodhead's way.
For years, Woodhead has managed to find magical ways to produce fantasy points through the air and on the ground (especially in the rezone) for the gutsy owners to play the undersized back.
The lack of weapons on the Ravens will lead the coaches to eye the return of Woodhead with great anticipation as he looks to be another tool to help jump start the offense. Once back fully into the offense, look for him to be a nice RB2 to fill out your flex spot.
Ty Montgomery is literally the epitome of why fantasy is great. The first three weeks of the year it looked like Montgomery owners had found a RB1 on their hands that they most likely drafted in round four or later. With a dominating percentage of the offensive snaps on his shoulders, Montgomery became a well-coveted player. Sadly injuries took Montgomery away from us and gave us the headache in the form of Aaron Jones committee.
Since Jones has come in for Montgomery, he has played great. Jones passes the eye test with flying colors and has shown to be the better pure runner than Montgomery. The key to Montgomery's return to fantasy relevance lies in how the offense seems to run with Brett Hundley under center.
While one would assume that having anyone not named Aaron Rodgers back there would cause the Packers to lean more heavily on the run, the opposite seems to have occurred. With his best moments coming from the no huddle offense this past week, this change in pace favors the likes of Montgomery much better than Jones.
A proven pass blocker in his own right and a veteran player allows for a seemingly healthier Montgomery to crawl his way back into a higher snap count as the weeks go on. Granted, this doesn't mean that Montgomery will be the same player we saw in weeks 1 and 2, but he may end up becoming a low end RB2 that would help stabilize a playoff team.
It may seem weird to keep an eye on a top 10 draft pick. Especially so when one has been as solid as McCaffrey this season. While ranked as a top 15 RB within PPR structures, McCaffery has yet to truly breakout as a pure runner. Without his role in the passing game, McCaffrey has only managed to generate more than 20 yards of offense twice.
The good news: the Panthers may have finally decided to lean more on their top draft pick in the run game. Following the two fumbles by Jonathan Stewart this past week, McCaffrey rushed for a season high 15 times for 66 yards (had only averaged around five carries since week one). A dynamic athlete in his own right, McCaffrey has all the talent to put together a great second half, but opportunity as a runner is the key concept.
With the departure of Kelvin Benjamin as well, all the signs seem to be pointing to McCaffery obtaining a larger role in the offense and moving up into the top 10 RB rankings by the end of the season.
If you have specific lineup or roster questions feel free to submit a question via the "Submit a Question" button on our home page and we'll be sure to share our opinion. Also don't forget to check out our weekly position rankings!