Fantasy football: Midseason report card

It’s about that time when fantasy football experts start putting out their midseason report cards and lavishing praise on the likes of Matt Schaub, Cedric Benson and the Giants’ Steve Smith.

But it’s easy to look back.

That’s why I’m going to use today’s column to look forward. Going position-by-position, I’ll predict three players who will have a great second half and three dark-horse candidates who might surprise a lot of people with a number of strong games in the second half.

So without further ado …


While Matt Schaub put together arguably the best first half, I think you can look to another Texas quarterback to put together the best second half. Dallas signal-caller Tony Romo has thrown for just 1,652 yards and nine touchdowns in the Cowboys’ first six games, but look for him to start putting up the numbers fantasy owners expected of him from here on out. Romo was affected by the lack of a true No. 1 receiver during the first half (Roy Williams is a stiff), so now that Miles Austin has cemented himself in that role, look for Romo to blossom. Dallas also has a nice schedule, with the Seahawks this Sunday, then Oakland, San Diego and Washington twice down the stretch. Expect 2,300 yards and 22 TDs the rest of the way.

Dark horse: Matt Cassel. He’s starting to understand the Chiefs’ offense, and if you look at the schedule (Jacksonville, Oakland, Buffalo, Cleveland) you can definitely see some big games ahead.

Running back

Cedric Benson leads the NFL in rushing, but even more surprising is the fact Steven Jackson is third. Throw in his 165 yards receiving, and the Rams running back is quietly putting together a nice season. Jackson’s first half was quiet because he didn’t score a touchdown, but expect that to change this Sunday when he runs wild over the Lions. With soft run defenses such as Seattle, Chicago and Houston on the horizon, I expect Jackson to gain another 900 total yards and score 7-8 TDs down the stretch.

Dark horse: Chris “Beanie” Wells. Starting running back Tim Hightower’s days are numbered and Arizona has some weak rush defenses on the horizon (Carolina, Chicago, Seattle, St. Louis – twice — and Detroit).

Wide receiver

Besides a strong showing against Jacksonville, T.J. Houshmandzadeh has struggled with his new team. If you take out the Jaguars game, Houshmandzadeh is averaging 56.4 receiving yards per game and has zero touchdowns. But the Seahawks wide receiver is averaging more than five catches a game and because of that I think the yardage and scores will start to come. Houshmandzadeh is getting more and more comfortable in the offense, and with the Seahawks’ decimated defense you know the team is going to have to throw more and more in the weeks to come (Seahawks head coach Jim Mora even hinted at pulling a move like Mike Holmgren and abandoning the run game). Throw in the schedule (Detroit, Arizona, St. Louis, Houston, Tampa Bay and Tennessee) and I think you can expect 1,000 yards and eight TDs out of Housh the rest of the way.

Dark horse: Lee Evans. The Bills WR was having a pathetic season (159 yards and a TD in five games) until Trent Edwards got hurt. Since Ryan Fitzpatrick took over the QB job in Buffalo, Evans has 143 yards and a pair of scores. If Fitzpatrick can continue to play well and keep the job, expect Evans to haul in 800 yards and 7-8 scores over the remaining nine games.

For a look at the tight end and defensive positions, check out Aaron Swaney’s blog “Hot Off the Gridiron” at

Talk to us

More in Sports

Lake Stevens’ Jaxson Lewis (8) runs with the ball during a Class 4A state semifinal game between Lake Stevens and Kamiakan at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. Lake Stevens won, 48-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Another state title well within reach for surging Lake Stevens

The Vikings head into Saturday’s championship clash riding a string of dominant performances.

Graham-Kapowsin’s Daveon Superales keeps the ball on a quarterback run during the 4A semifinal against Lake Stevens on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
4A state championship capsule: Lake Stevens vs. Graham-Kapowsin

A by-the-numbers look at Saturday’s state title game, plus game picks from our experts and readers.

Prep roundup for Thursday, Nov. 30

Prep results for Thursday, Nov. 30: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Brandin Cooks (3) catches a pass for a first down as Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams (33) defends in the first half of Thursday’s game in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
Grading the Seahawks in their 41-35 loss to the Cowboys

Seattle gives a game effort on the road against a strong Dallas team, but falters at the end.

Kamiak’s Bella Hasan finishes at the rim with a driving layup against Stanwood on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at Stanwood High School in Stanwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
GALLERY: Hasan, Anderson power Kamiak girls past Stanwood

The duo combine for 50 points in a 71-49 victory of the Knights.

Granite Falls senior James Porter braces for a hit after making a catch against Kings on Friday, Oct. 19, 2023, at Granite Falls High School in Granite Falls, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Locals named to All-Emerald Sound Conference teams

Student-athletes honored from Granite Falls, King’s and Sultan.

Washington safety Makell Esteen (24) celebrates making an interception against Washington State with cornerback Jabbar Muhammad (1) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
UW, Oregon meet with Pac-12 title, potential CFP spot on the line

The final season of the Pac-12 is set to close with a massive rivalry clash.

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Nov. 29

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Nov. 29: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Abraham Lucas (72) takes his stance during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
Seahawks O-line could stabilize with possible return of Lucas

The Archbishop Murphy product hasn’t played since Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams.

Montana State guard RaeQuan Battle celebrates after scoring against Kansas State during the first half of a first-round college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 17, 2023, in Greensboro, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Community roundup: MP grad Battle ‘devastated’ by NCAA ruling

Plus, Jadyn Edwards joins New Mexico’s Hall of Honor, and Daniel Arias is back with the NFL’s Cardinals

Prep roundup for Tuesday, Nov. 28

Prep roundup for Tuesday, Nov. 28: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Jackson’s Trey Hawkins drives to the hoop during the game against Arlington on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
GALLERY: Jackson boys top Arlington in season opener

Drew Pepin, Ryan Mcferran and Trey Hawkins key the win for the Timberwolves.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.