As we pass the halfway point in Fall Quarter, the NFL season is also half finished. Now that most of us are finished with midterms, I think it’s time to let the pros know how they are doing so far. Who’s at the top of the class and who should think about switching to pass/no pass? Let’s find out.
Best Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers has been an unstoppable force through eight weeks. He leads the NFL in touchdowns (20), completion percentage, QB rating and has thrown just three interceptions thus far. More importantly, his Packers are 7-0 and look unstoppable. He’s an MVP candidate and his Packers are the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Oh, and he has yet to score less than 21 fantasy points in a week. Suck it, Brett Favre.
Best Running Back: Fred Jackson has racked up more than 111 yards rushing in all but two games so far and has also become a key part of the Bills passing game this season. He already has over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and has found the end zone six times this year. And I got him in the eighth round. That’s a steal in my book.
Best Wide Receiver: I wanted to go with Wes Welker just for his 99-yard touchdown in week one, but there is no better receiver in the game right now than Calvin Johnson of the Lions. He has only had three games with fewer than 100 yards receiving and only one without a touchdown. With Matthew Stafford at the helm, Johnson has taken his game to a new level, and he brought the Lions with him. Not even Optimus Prime could stop this Megatron.
Best Tight End: Jimmy Graham has become Drew Brees’ second-favorite target, behind Marques Colston, in his second year in the pros. He has already matched his touchdown total from last season and his 97 fantasy points are the most among tight ends. Who has the second most? Rob Gronkowski with 76. That’s right — Graham is 21 points ahead of his closest competition.
Best Kicker: Even if he had missed every other kick, I would still give this to Sebastian Janikowski of the Raiders for his record-tying 63-yard field goal.
Best Defense: The Ravens have allowed the third-fewest yards in football and have already racked up 25 sacks and seven picks. They also have the most fantasy points of any defense, so for those of you who are saying “But third isn’t as good as first!” — first of all no one asked you, and second of all this is a FANTASY football column, so being first in fantasy points counts.
Best Rookie: Andy Dalton stepped in on day one for an absent Carson Palmer and has very quietly turned the once miserable Bengals into a respectable 5-2 team. He doesn’t have eye-popping stats, but he makes few mistakes and has proven to be a leader on and off the field. He’s a good candidate for those of you in keeper leagues, and his relationship with fellow rookie wide receiver A.J. Green should continue to flourish.
Biggest Surprise: See Andy Dalton above. Go on. Do it. Read it again. Don’t be lazy.
Biggest Disappointment: I’ve already vented my frustration with Chris Johnson in a previous column, so I won’t get into that again now. Suffice to say that he has shown no signs of improvement since I wrote that column and refuses to take responsibility for the fact that he sucks right now.