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We are a little over half way through the season and have seen quite a few surprise performances out of players. Let’s take a look at the more surprising story lines:
Adrian Peterson: Nobody saw this coming. After a very late ACL injury last year, the NFL’s model RB was left for dead in most people’s eyes coming into the season. Peterson dropped to a mid round draft pick in fantasy drafts. Nobody expected what we saw out of ADP. He burst onto the scene in Week 1, scoring 2 TDs and hasn’t looked back sense.
Peyton Manning: After missing a season and undergoing multiple neck surgeries, Peyton changed teams and went from playing in a dome to the thin cold air of Denver. I think most people were expecting to see Peyton lose a little zip or be a step below his usual MVP candidate stature. That didn’t happen… Peyton has taken Denver and the NFL back by storm and a the early favorite for NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
The Rookie QB’s: What the hell is happening in college football these days to prepare these kids to come into the NFL and make immediate impacts? RG3 opened the season in electrifying fashion and has played some of the most entertaining football I’ve seen all year. Meanwhile, Andrew Luck has taken a Colts team that was the worst in football last year to playoff contention and has thrown for EXACTLY the same number of yards as Peyton Manning so far. Other rookie QBs are also making in impact in Miami, Seattle, and Cleveland.
Honorable Mentions – Doug Martin: The rookie RB is pulling his weight in Tampa Bay and been a nice surprise for fantasy owners and Bucs fans.
Cam Newton: This makes the list just b/c of the story line… but it isn’t all that surprising. Look at Cam’s numbers the second half of last season compared to the first half. This story line started to play out then but he was saved by the rushing TD’s at the time.
Mathew Stafford: This one surprised me. With all that talent in Detroit on offense, Stafford should at least be putting up respectable numbers. Maybe he is a victim of his star WR being subject to the Madden Curse… but in the end, Lions fans can’t be happy this year. With that said, Stafford gets the benefit of the doubt WAY too much. In fact, if he way playing in New York for the Jets (ala Mark Sanchez), I expect the press would be even harder on him then they are Sanchez.
The Saints: Listen… I had a feeling that they would struggle after the offseason bounty-gate controversy. But the extent to which they have looked like utter crap has been surprising. They still have talent and enough to win games. I guess a head coach means alot more than I previously thought. You hear me Rex Ryan!
What are we missing? Chime in with your thoughts!