Whatever the reasons are -- and they were numerous -- Saquon Barkley did not give you the type of production you expected from a guy your probably took No. 1 overall. Whereas last year, haivng Barkley was an almost guaranteed entry into the fantasy playoffs, this year it wasn't such a sure thing. But if you were fortunate enough to make it into the second season, Barkley has come to life. Last week, he posted 143 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns and followed it up with is best game of the season -- 279 total yards (189 rushing) and two scores. This is why you spent a lot of draft capital on Barkley. Congrats if you got to experience it. It will be interesting to debate how highly he'll be drafted next season.
The Ballad of Alvin Kamara sounded very similar to the song Saquon Barkley's managers sang this season. Despite having usage rates that mirrored what we saw from him in his first two seasons, Kamara seemed unable to find his way into the end zone. His only two touchdowns this season came way back in Week 3... until today. Kamara scored twice and posted his second-best fantasy total of the season. Last week on the podcast, we asked where Kamara should go in drafts and it was surprising to see the number of Twitter responses suggesting he wouldn't go until the third round or later. After a frustrating season, positive touchdown regression would seem to be on the way and Kamara will hopefully shake some nagging injuries that have plagued him all season. It feels like he could be a 2020 league winner at a draft discount.
I should probably clarify here. Over the past few weeks, we've realized that this Dolphin duo could probably carry you to a championship. But if you had suggested this back in August, you (rightfully) would have been laughed off the internet. That's how much things can change over the course of a season in fantasy football. It's also a good reminder to not only be aggressive on the waiver wire but to try and stay ahead of the curve. It's always better to be on a player one week too early than one week too late.
At some point, this is more than a coincidence. Players that we didn't think to touch with a 39 1/2-foot pole before the season are playing huge roles in the back half of the fantasy season. it also might explain partially why Le'Veon Bell, who is undoubtedly one of the most talented running backs in the league has looked like a JAG (Just A Guy) for much of the season. It's likely why Sam Darnold can never seem to consistently put together quality performances or why Robby Anderson was barely relevant for long stretches of the season. I'm sure when we get to next August, we'll probably talk ourselves into drafting a few Jets but maybe -- just maybe -- we should remember this before taking the plunge.
For everyone who spent an early pick on Odell Beckham, Jr. or JuJu Smith-Schuster, snagging someone like A.J. Brown off the waiver wire could have been the shot in the arm to get you going in the latter part of the season. Of course, that's provided you held on to him long enough for Ryan Tanenhill to take over at quarterback. But over the past month, he's been on par with Michael Thomas among fantasy receivers and has pumped up his draft stock for next season. Consider this a footnote to a rookie wide receiver class that exceeded expectations.