Now that week eight is almost in the books, we are at the unofficial midpoint mark of the 2019 NFL season. With that we take a look at 5 surprising positive performers thus far this season.
1. QB Gardner Minshew
Minshew took over the starting role for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter of week 1 after a Nick Foles collarbone injury. Minshew has developed a cult like following in Jacksonville as the “mustache” sits at QB 12 on the season. After 8 weeks he has compiled 1976 yards while completing 161 of his 260 passes with 13 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. Minshew is averaging a respectable 17.64 fantasy points a game thus far in 2019.
Honorable mention – Matthew Stafford QB10 with 145.72 points in 7 games this season.
2. RB – Leonard Fournette
The biggest knock on Leonard Fournette entering 2019 was his health, or perhaps the lack of it. Though 8 games in 2019 (he has appeared in all of them), Fournette is a top 5 fantasy running back. He is averaging 18.05 PPR fantasy points a game. What make this number all the, more impressive is he has only scored one touchdown. LF27 is averaging 24.75 touches a game. His 791 rushing yards rank second behind Minnesota Vikings back Dalvin Cook.
Honorable mention – Dalvin Cook – Cook another “injury concern” leads the league in rushing and sits as RB2 overall trailing only Carolina Christian McCaffrey
3. WR – DJ Chark
Of all the surprise performers on this list, Chark is by far the biggest one. Chark is making the most of his opportunities with the football this season. He ranks 17th in receptions, 15th in targets, 7th in receiving yards and he is tied for first in touchdowns. Chark sits at WR5 with 142.20 PPR fantasy points on the season trailing 4th place Julio Jones by only 2.3 points.
Honorable mention – Courtland Sutton – WR13 with 120.60 points per game. The second year WR is well on his way to a break-out season.
4. TE – Austin Hooper
Heading into the 2019 season, I labeled Austin Hooper as a regression candidate. He finished the 2018 season as TE 6. I failed to see any way that he would maintain the 10.87 point per game place that he averaged in 2018. Well needless to say I was wrong. Hooper is averaging 17.89 PPR points per game and sits atop the TE rankings with 143.10 points. His 52 catches league the league and his 591 yards are second to only Travis Kelce. Hooper also leads the TE group with 5 touchdowns.
Honorable mention -Darren Waller – Waller is sitting at TE3 with 114.30 fantasy points trailing Travis Kelce by .1 of a point after 8 weeks. Waller has been a pleasant surprise for Jon Gruden, Derek Carr and his fantasy owners.
5. Rookie – Daniel Jones
I was rather vocal at how bad a pick Daniel Jones was when the New York Giants selected him 6th overall in the 2019 NFL entry Draft. While I remain of that opinion, Daniel Jones is doing his best to prove me and all the other doubters wrong. Jones took over the Giants stating QB role in week three this season. In his first outing he posted 34.24 fantasy points. He is averaging a respectable 15.29 points across his 6 starts. What makes his performance all the more impressive this season is he has yet to be under center with all of his weapons available.
Honorable mention – Terry McLaurin – McLaurin sits at WR19 on the season (in 7 games) with 103.80 PPR fantasy points. He leads all rookies WR and is the second highest scoring non QB rookie to Josh Jacobs season to date.