The new NFL season has already produced some thrilling entertainment, and this campaign promises to be the best in more than 100 years of competition. The stronger teams have generally gotten off to good starts, but there have been a few surprise results along the way.
The NFL may be a historic competition, but fantasy football is a much newer phenomenon. Fantasy coaches should have registered their teams prior to the start of the new season, but this is an ongoing process. There are weekly changes to the roster to consider, along with trades, when time allows.
With that in mind, who are the players who have started the new NFL strongly, leaving them as prime candidates for any fantasy football team?
A General Guide to Fantasy Football
With the advent of Daily Fantasy Sports, the practice can take many new forms. However, most like to play the game traditionally. Pick a side from all NFL players, and compile your strongest unit.
A budget will be in place, so it’s simply not possible to select the best-performing player in each position. Fantasy coaches will have to make some smaller purchases to line up alongside the big names.
Once your NFL fantasy roster is in place, you will look to pick starting teams ahead of each game. Points are then awarded based on those players’ actual performances in the real NFL.
Substitutions and trades can be made, so remember to keep up to date with news from the league. You don’t want to waste time by picking an injured player. Now that we know how the system works, here are some of the best-performing players from the opening rounds of 2023.
Patrick Mahomes: Kansas City Chiefs
Quarterback is the key position in any NFL lineup, and the biggest spend of any fantasy budget will go towards filling this slot. Touchdowns, runs, and passes all contribute to fantasy points, so you should aim for the best.
The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes has inherited Tom Brady’s mantle as the most effective quarterback in the NFL, and this season’s stats are backing that up.
After the first six games of the new season, Mahomes had thrown 11 passing touchdowns and had made 153 pass completions for a total of 1,593 passing yards. Other QBs may match him in certain areas, but Patrick Mahomes remains a safe pick in terms of overall stats.
Davante Adams: Las Vegas Raiders
The wide receiver position is another key area of the field where points can quickly build for your fantasy roster. One player in the news recently is Las Vegas Raiders’ Davante Adams, who suggested that greatness is more important than wins.
Raiders’ fans may feel that Adams has an ego problem, but he’ll be looking to prove a point in the coming weeks. He is ranked at number seven in current NFL wide receiver rankings, but his trade price will be more affordable as a result. Las Vegas are on a good run and have some winnable fixtures coming up.
Joshua Kelley: Los Angeles Chargers
If you’ve spent big on Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, you may need to be more frugal in other areas of the pitch. At running back, players such as Tony Pollard and Christian McCaffrey are currently topping the rankings, but there should be room in your budget to consider the Chargers’ Joshua Kelley.
He’s something of a sleeper at RB, but he could provide some solid value moving into November when the Chargers will need a depth of roster. Against the Miami Dolphins earlier in the season, Kelley totaled 91 yards from 16 carries and one touchdown. It’s a return that matches far more expensive players among the Fantasy picks.
George Kittle: San Francisco 49ers
At the start of the season, Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce was a relative bargain. He’s since soared to the top of fantasy rankings, and anyone wanting to add this Tight End to their roster may have to blow their budget.
As an alternative in this position, the 49ers’ George Kittle is returning good numbers, but should be less expensive. The 30-year-old has an impressive record of 34 receiving touchdowns across his career, and three of those scores came against the Dallas Cowboys in early October.
Kittle looks set for a productive campaign, and his trade price can only rise from this point.
Derek Carr: New Orleans Saints
Those looking for a cost-effective, backup quarterback, could consider the New Orleans Saints’ key man, Derek Carr. He crossed from the Las Vegas Raiders to the Saints in the offseason and, while his stats aren’t spectacular, they are solid enough to keep Carr in reserve.
Many players start slowly at new sides. New Orleans has endured some tough fixtures in the opening weeks but, with a more favorable schedule, Derek Carr’s numbers should improve.
Jake Elliott: Philadelphia Eagles
Away from quarterback, many fantasy players look to invest heavily in their kicker. Over at the Philadelphia Eagles, Jake Elliott’s form has been inconsistent, but he still ranks as the number-one kicker in the league.
Against the New York Jets on October 16, Elliott missed his second field goal of the season in a 14-12 win. Misses such as this could see his fantasy price fluctuate, and players may just pick him up at a bargain price. Kickers win games both in the NFL and in DFS, and this is a strong selection.
Form may be temporary, but the key to a successful fantasy football team is picking the right players at the right time. All of the names on this list have started the new NFL season positively, and they should be in good shape to score heavily for your team in the coming weeks.
Remember to monitor the stats of these, and other promising NFL stars moving forward. Check team news for details of any injuries, and you can keep your fantasy side buoyant as the campaign develops.