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Most Surprising Players Thus Far in 2011

Updated on October 5, 2011

After watching some highlights of the Bears Panthers game this weekend, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the guys that have rejuvenated their careers this year and look better than ever.

The first guy that comes to mind is Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers. He seemingly fell off the map for the past two seasons not producing very good numbers at all. This year he already has 24 catches for 530 yards and 2 TD's. That's over 22 ypc if you're keeping track. This may be because of the emergence of rookie QB Cam Newton, but Smith looks like a pro bowl player once again.

Matt Forte: Not that's he's went anywhere, but these numbers are worth showing. Through four games he has 634 combined yards rushing and receiving and 2 TD's. He's accounted for nearly 60% of the Bears offensive production, and makes $945,250 this season. Compare that to Chris Johnson's combined 301 yards and $30 million guaranteed contract. Doesn't seem to make much sense to me.

Matt Forte accounts for nearly 60% of the Bears offense this season.
Matt Forte accounts for nearly 60% of the Bears offense this season.
Cam having one of the best rookie seasons ever for a QB.
Cam having one of the best rookie seasons ever for a QB.

Matt Hasselback: the resurgence of this man is the biggest surprise of the season in my opinion and why the Titans are 3-1. He's thrown for over over 1,150 yards, 8 TD's, and a QB rating of over 104. These are amazing numbers for a guy in his mid 30's that Seattle and everyone else thought was washed up. Way to go Matt!

Now let's go to the obvious pick, rookie Cam Newton. He's made rookie mistakes, which are to be expected, but he's thrown for a rookie record 1,386 yard, 5 TD's and 5 INT's. He's also rushed for 4 more TD's so far this season. He looks mature well beyond his years and has this Panthers team competing in every game each week.

There have been many guys that have stepped up this year, but these are the guys that stick out the most to me. Let me know if you think someone else should have been on this list!


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    • Bigpayno profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Yeah you are enjoying a solid fantasy lineup right now. Mine has been hit or miss. I'm somehow 3-1 because my opponents have bad weeks. I have Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, and Jones-Drew who have all been hit or miss. Julio Jones picked up some slack for me last weekend where Wallace struggled for the Steelers.

    • hale12783 profile image


      6 years ago from New York

      Thank god I picked Steve Smith up late in my fantasy draft this year! I thought he had fallen off completely too, but I drafted Cam a round after and it has turned in to an amazing combo. Of all of these players, I think Forte will be the one to fall off first. He seems to do this every year, has a few amazing weeks and then slowly fades away.

    • Bigpayno profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Very good one! He has been very impressive. Seems like it's a different Raider receiver every year that steps up doesn't it?

    • Manny2437 profile image


      6 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      I'd like to throw Raiders rookie WR Denarius Moore in there. He has been surprisingly impressive. Not better than the guys you stated though, just exceeding expectations.


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