There are 11 NFL players that are members of the “20+ Club” and the three best to start in week #3 of the 2015 NFL season are New England quarterback Tom Brady, wide receiver Antonio Brown of Pittsburgh and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
To qualify for 20+ Club, a player must average 20 or more fantasy football points per game (FFPPG). According to fantasysports,yahoo,com, Brady is fantasy football’s leading scorer with 55.86 points and a 27.93 FFPPG average. Brown is averaging 23.40 FFPPG and Gronkowski is averaging 22.35 FFPPG.
The other members of the 20+ Club are quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer, Aaron Rodgers, Tyrod Taylor, Cam Newton and rookie Marcus Mariota. The only running back in the club is Pittsburgh’s DeAngelo Williams. The final member is Cleveland wide receiver Travis Benjamin.
Whether all 11 players remain in the 20+ Club throughout the season is anyone’s guess. The refinements in fantasy football scoring that have occurred over the years have made it tougher to score huge bundles of points in a given week of NFL football.
But it is week #3, so let’s get on with the four factors that will impact this weekend of NFL/fantasy football.
Factor No. 1 – Sometimes who you play gives you the fantasy football edge
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson (pictured) is not a member of the 20+ Club (yet), but he’s the starting quarterback for one of my fantasy football teams and this week the Seahawks play the Chicago Bears at home. It is the type of scenario that promotes visions of a three-touchdown performance and at least 24 fantasy football points by Wilson.
Here are five 20+ Club quarterbacks who will retain their membership after their week 3 games:
- Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay. Expectation: 23 fantasy football points.
- Cam Newton, Carolina. Expectation: 22.5 points
- Tom Brady, New England. Expectation: 22 points.
- Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh. Expectation: 21.5 points.
- Carson Palmer, Arizona. Expectation: 21 points.
Factor No. 2 – What do you do with DeAngelo Willams?
Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell’s two-game suspension is over. Yeah! DeAngelo Williams (pictured), who filled in for Bell, is the NFL’s No. 2 rusher with 204 yards and a 20+ Club member. Yeah! Now who starts Sunday afternoon against the St. Louis Rams?
Even if the Steelers split the carries between Bell and Williams, it devalues their impact on fantasy football. Sometimes success can have consequences. Here are the running backs that should score 10 or more points this weekend:
- Adrian Peterson, Minnesota. Expectation: 16.5 fantasy football points.
- Jamaal Charles, Kansas City. Expectation: 16 points.
- Jonathan Stewart, Carolina. Expectation: 15.5 points.
- Latavius Murray, Oakland. Expectation: 15.4 points.
- Matt Forte, Chicago. Expectation: 15.2 points.
- Justin Forsett, Baltimore. Expectation: 15.0 points.
- C.J. Anderson, Denver. Expectation: 14.8 points.
- Davonte Freeman, Atlanta. Expectation: 14.5 points.
- James Starks, Green Bay. Expectation: 14.2 points.
- Frank Gores, Indianapolis. Expectation: 13.9 points.
- LeSean McCoy, Buffalo. Expectation: 13.5 points.
- Joseph Randle, Dallas. Expectation: 13.0 points.
- Isaiah Crowell, St. Louis.. Expectation: 12.7 points.
- Carlos Hyle, San Francisco. Expectation: 12.5 points.
- Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati. Expectation: 12.2 points
- Bilal Powell, NY Jets. Expectation: 12.0 points..
- Melvin Gordon, San Diego. Expectation: 11.8 points
- T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville. Expectation: 11.6 points.
- Chris Johnson, Arizona. Expectation: 11.5 points.
- Dion Lewis, New Englnad. Expectation: 10.8 points.
- Ameer Abdullah, Detroit. Expectation: 10.5 points.
Factor No. 3 – New faces like Travis Benjamin emerge at wide receiver
Last year it was Odell Beckham Jr. of the Giants who grabbed our attention with an incredible series of spectacular catches. After just two weeks of the 2015 season, Cleveland wide receiver Travis Benjamin has jumped into the 20+ Club with a 22.2 FFPPG average. Benjamin has caught only six passes, but three of them have been for touchdowns.
Here is a list of the wide receivers expected to score in double digits this weekend:
- Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh. Expectation: 13.5 points.
- Julio Jones, Atlanta. Expectation: 13.2 points.
- Demaryius Thomas, Denver. Expectation: 13.0 points
- Randall Cobb, Green Bay. Expectation: 12.8 points.
- Calvin Johnson, Detroit. Expectation: 12.5 points.
- Emmanuel Sanders, Denver. Expectation: 12.2 points.
- Brandon Marshall, NY Jets. Expectation: 12.0 points.
- A.J. Green, Cincinnati. Expectation: 11.7 points
- Julian Edelman, New England. Expectation: 11.5 points.
- Allen Robinson, Jacksonville. Expectation: 11.3 points.
- DeAndre Hopkins, Houston. Expectation: 11 points.
Factor No. 4 – More injuries and the start of ”bye’ weeks will disrupt fantasy leagues
Earlier in the year, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo (pictured) was looking forward to the 2015 season. Now he is on the injured reserve list while he recuperates from a broken left collarbone. Romo’s favorite target – wide receiver Dez Bryant – will also miss several games due to a broken foot.
Injuries cannot be anticipated, so fantasy football owners have to scramble just like the Cowboys did to find replacements for Romo and Bryant. Maybe you drafted wisely and picked Detroit’s Matthew Stafford or Tennessee rookie Marcus Mariota as your second quarterback. Expect more injuries in the coming weeks and manage your waiver moves carefully.
In the meantime, you know the “bye” weeks are coming. New England and Tennessee start them off in week #4, so you’ll need to find suitable replacements for Tom Brady, Rob Gronkoski, Julian Edelman, Marcus Mariota and Bishop Sankey. If you drafted wisely, “bye” week pains should be minimal.
Here are some suitable “flex” players who can fill in this week and during the “bye” weeks.
- Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver, Arizona.
- LeGarrette Blount, running back, New England.
- Doug Martin, running back, Tampa Bay.
- Mike Evans, wide receiver, Tampa Bay.
- Jarvis Landry, wide receiver, Miami.