The 2017-2018 NFL Season is 3 weeks old. Although it's early in the season, based on what I've seen, it might be difficult for any of the high-profile players on this list to become fantasy football studs. That's a problem. The reason is because almost every single one of these players was drafted earlier than he should have been in season long fantasy football.
For DFS contests, many of the players are at a value less salary. Again, all players here have time to turn their fantasy disappointments around. Will they?
2017 NFL Fantasy Football Disappointments
1. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
The reigning MVP has thrown only 4 TD passes in 3 games this season. That's not terrible. What is are the 3 interceptions in 3 games. It's tough at the top. Ask any quarterback that's played in a Super Bowl.
I'm not bullish on Ryan's form. The Falcons battle the Buffalo Bills in NFL Week 4. The Bills allow 203 passing yards per game. The architect of Buffalo's defense is Sean McDermott. McDermott knows how to get into Matty Ice's head.
2. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Dak did throw 2 TDs in the Cowboys' 28 to 17 win over Arizona in Week 3. Prescott's totals are 5 TDs to 2 interceptions. He's also rushed for 64 yards and a TD.
Dak's only completing 62% of his passes. He threw for only 183 yards versus the Cardinals in the Week 3 win. Prescott's numbers don't figure to become mind-blowing because the Cowboys don't run a dynamic offense. Also, the schedule just gets tougher from here. Dallas battles Atlanta, at Washington, the Rams, Green Bay, and Philadelphia in 5 of their next 6 games.
3. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
To write that the 2015 NFL MVP's performance this season has been underwhelming is to disregard exactly how bad Cam's been. Newton doesn't even look like the same quarterback from a couple of seasons ago. His TD to INT ratio is a horrid 2 to 4. He's completing 61.4% of his passes. His QB rating is a Brock Osweiler-ish 69.7.
Cam's been the worst quarterback in the NFL after 3 games. How bad has he played? He threw for 167 yards against the New Orleans Saints' defense in NFL Week 3. The Saints' had allowed Sam Bradford to throw for 346 yards and 3 TDs in Week 1. In Week 2, Tom Brady torched the Saints for 447 yards and 3 TDs.
Running Back Disappintments
1. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
It's not fair to put David Johnson, the Arizona Cardinals' running back, on this list. DJ got hurt in the first game of the season. He never got a shot to prove his number 1 fantasy football draft pick status.
Le'Veon has no excuses. In most NFL Fantasy season long drafts, Bell went second after DJ. How has he performed so far? 256 combined yards with a TD. Bell has caught 13 passes in 3 games. That's a nice number for DraftKings DFS where a point is rewarded for each catch.
Let's be honest, though. How many of us believe Bell is worth his $8,700 DraftKings salary? I know I'm not. It looks to me like Bell's lost a step. What's more disturbing is that Pitt's offensive line is responsible for a total of 69 rushing yards per game. That ranks 30th in the NFL.
2. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
In 3 games, Zeke's got 192 rushing yards and a TD. Elliott was a Top 10 pick in most season long fantasy drafts. He averaged a ridiculous .9 yards per carry against Denver's defense in NFL Week 2. He only averaged 3.6 yards per carry against Arizona.
NFL Week 4 could be the moment Elliott turns it around. The Cowboys battle the L.A. Rams. The Rams' defense runs a system based around cornerback Trumaine Johnson taking away the opposing teams best deep threat. Zeke should find some room to run.
3. Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns
I got sucked into the idea that Isaiah Crowell might turn into one of the top running backs in the NFL this year. I was wrong. I have no clue what's happened in Cleveland where or the past couple of seasons the Browns appeared on the right track. Crowell's numbers are just awful. He's averaging 2.9 yards per carry. He's only caught 4 passes this season. He has a total of 157 yards.
There's a slimmer of a hope that Crowell turns his season around starting in NFL Week 4. The Browns host the Bengals. Cincinnati allows 129.7 rushing yards per game. If Duke Johnson, who has been more effective than Crowell, doesn't take away touches, who knows?
Since I drafted Crowell in my season long fantasy league, I'm hoping for a turnaround. Not holding my breath. Just hoping.
Wide Receiver Disappointments
1. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Julio's been a huge disappointment from a fantasy perspective. He hasn't scored a TD. He does have 16 catches for 265 yards. That's not terrible. That's the point about Julio.
Jones is doing exactly what he's always done. The difference is that unlike 2015-2016, QB Matt Ryan doesn't have to rely on Julio to be the team's Megatron. Jones is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Even without having scored a TD this season, he's one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.
Jones might only catch 6 TDs this season. That's sort of been his average during his career. That's what he scored last season. Nobody who drafted Julio early should have ever expected more than that. He's on pace for about 85 catches. No one should have expected more than that.
2. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
Bryant is averaging around 3 catches per game. He's got 11 catches. He's caught 2 TD passes. The problem with Dez is that he just doesn't have a quarterback that's going to air it out to him in every game. Because the Boys have Ezekiel Elliott, the need to target Dez isn't as big of a priority as it was in the past.
Not only that, this is Bryant's 8th season in the NFL. He's in the Larry Fitzgerald category. The LF category means Dez is more of a flex DFS option in most weeks. He'll occasionally come up huge for you. But, in most weeks, he's going to disappoint as a player in the $6,500 to $7,200 salary range.
3. Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders
Cooper's only got 10 catches for 101 yards. He's caught only 1 TD. The problem with adding Cooper to any DraftKings DFS team is that in most cases Carr prefers to throw to Michael Crabtree once the Raiders get into the red zone.
That makes Amari not much more than the set-up man for Crabtree's touchdown catches. Hey, it's worked so far, right? Why change what's working? Amari's a team player. He's not going to complain.