After four games the New England Patriots are 4-0 with one of the most impressive defences in the NFL to thank in large part.
On Sunday the Buffalo Bills became the first team to score an offensive touchdown against them, but it couldn’t stop Bill Belichick’s side finishing on top, 16-10.
Racking up three touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and 18 sacks, in fantasy terms they are averaging 19.7 points in standard scoring according to ESPN.
That’s a full seven points ahead of the fear-mongering ‘Monsters of the Midway’ over in Chicago. Amazingly, Only nine offensive players average more points than the Pats D, which deserves a double-take.
Target the Falcons defence early and often in Fantasy this season https://t.co/CXhPgoVjdx
— Paddy Power Fantasy (@PPFantasy) October 2, 2019
Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes lead the way, with Carolina Panthers running back, Christian McCaffrey, the first non-QB on the board with 21.7 points per game.
It’s early in the fantasy campaign, but a few players have missed the mark so far. Here are six players who are struggling to meet expectations and failing to keep up with the Pats D.
Davante Adams – Green Bay Packers
Hands up if you predicted Phillip Dorsett II, Courtland Sutton and John Ross would have more fantasy points than the Packers wide receiver after four games?
Adams, although still Aaron Rodgers go-to receiver, has yet to score a touchdown and is averaging just 9.4 points per game.
DJ Chark Jr, Ross and Terry McLaurin are three scores ahead of the normally consistent receiver.
It’s too early to rule out a big season from the wideout, with only three players putting up more yards over the first four games. 15 targets and 18 points against the Eagles points in the right direction, but he still has some ground to make up to fulfil his potential as the league’s second-best WR.
James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers
A big win over the Cincinnati Bengals doesn’t save the running back from this list. He finished the game with 10 carries for just 42 yards, saved by his eight receptions for 83.
He still has only one touchdown to his name, so, having been taken as RB5 in ADP is a huge disappointment as he currently ranks 21st in his position.
Big Ben is out, Mason Rudolph is in, and perhaps the flashes of offence we saw, with Jayden Samuels taking snaps in the wildcat formation is the shape of things to come. Yet, the 24-year-old needs to get closer to the 100-yard rushing mark week-in, week-out to become a top tier option this term.
Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals
While Conner got himself moving in the right direction on Monday night, the Bengals third-year running back didn’t.
It’s hard to put all the blame on Mixon. His offensive line is terrible. Zac Taylor looks like an average at best coach, and he has to rely on Andy Dalton as a passing threat.
Ranked 47th at his position with just 6.5 points per game, you are right to be worried if you picked Mixon up to be one of your starting running backs. RB47 before the season start would have been someone you picked up in the 13th round.
While the Dolphins have been stinking up the league, don’t be distracted by how bad this Bengals team is. If you can find someone willing, it’s time to consider trading away the back with zero rushing touchdowns.
Adam Thielen – Minnesota Vikings
This is a classic case of people selecting picks based on 2018s data. All the noise out of the Vikings camp was that they were going to run the ball more.
With more work going through Dalvin Cook, it was always going to mean fewer targets for Thielen and Stefon Diggs, and fewer fantasy points to hand out.
Cook is doing just fine, third in terms of points this season, just behind McCaffrey and Austin Ekeler of the Chargers. Thielen, who was picked as WR10 in drafts, is ranked down at 26th with just nine points per game.
Kirk Cousins has apologised and said he will do what he can to get the ball to his WR more, but in the NFL, actions speak louder than words.
Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles
In terms of average fantasy points, the 2017 Super Bowl winner currently ranks as TE11, putting him behind Austin Hooper, Will Dissly, Darren Waller and Delanie Walker.
In some drafts Ertz was going as early as the third round!
It may have made perfect sense at the time, but you would be expecting more than 6.8 points per game at that price.
Tight end is such a volatile position, but last year the Eagles main receiver was putting up 10 points per game in standard leagues.
No one in his position has been targeted more, just Carson Wentz has looked elsewhere when it comes to the scoring plays and that’s what hurts tight end’s the most.
Volume is fine, ranking him fourth in catches, he just needs to rediscover his red zone threat to become a huge weapon in fantasy.
Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns
With so much depth at the position, especially in one QB leagues, it almost seems mad to pick out anyone for underperforming, but when you are ranked as the fourth-highest quarterback on ADP and taken within the first six rounds, you expect results and the second-year gun-slinger has failed to deliver.
Mahomes has been his usual point-scoring self, Deshaun Watson has done enough – saved by his week one exploits – and even the struggling Rodgers is averaging 4.1 more points than Baker after four weeks.
Considering Matthew Stafford, Marcus Mariota and Jacoby Brissett were going undrafted in most leagues – all three are still owned in less than 50% of leagues – and have averaged seven points more, Mayfield, with more interceptions than touchdowns and fewer yards than Dalton and Jameis Winston, could be doing you more harm than good.