For the second straight week, a slimmed-down Leonard Fournette flashed both his high-TD and newfound receiving upside. Facing the Falcons, Fournette took 10 carries for 57 yards and a score, while also racking up 3 catches for 18 yards. Most importantly, he’s been in on 9 of the team’s last 13 third downs (69%), racking up 5 catches for 35 yards in that span. Between the weight loss, the added receiving work, and an improved line, all of Fournette’s fantasy stars are aligning for a massive sophomore campaign that builds upon his impressive rookie debut.
Up to 137 total yards (4.9 per touch) and 2 scores on the preseason, Fournette’s shaping up to be a true difference maker. Shedding pounds has often helped RBs make major leaps, especially in the pass-game. Just last year Carlos Hyde dropped 15 and saw his receiving spike from 27 rec and 163 yds to 59 rec and 350 yds, while Le’veon Bell ascended to the elite in his sophomore campaign after losing 20 lbs (45 rec + 399 yds to 83 rec + 854 yds). Based on his preseason receiving usage, Fournette seems bound for an additional 20+ catches, especially after the team just lost a top target in Marquise Lee.
After topping double-digit points in 11 of 13 games played, expected Fournette’s floor to be even safer with this improved usage and line. Health is the only real risk here — admittedly, fairly large considering Fournett’es troublesome history with ankle and foot ailments.
Still, the Talented sophomore seems primed for yet another leap forward after a top-10 campaign (despite missing 3 games) that saw him average 17+ FPs per contest. With health, Fournette could truly push for Ezekiel Elliott style numbers, and rises up to No.8 (above Melvin Gordon) on my latest Big Board.