Fantasy Football Heat Index: Kyler Murray, Zach Charbonnet, David Njoku


Every Monday of the NFL regular season, we will showcase exceptional player performances from the weekend and analyze their potential for sustained success in fantasy football. We will rank these performances from 🔥 to 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 based on whether we believe they are momentary or long-term options for your fantasy teams.

Fantasy Football Heat Index


Kyler Murray (QB – ARI)

Stats: 20/30, 214 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 7 rushing attempts, 51 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD

Position Rank (pre-MNF): QB7 (21.66 points)

Analysis: Two games played. Two QB1 weeks for quarterback Kyler Murray. One week after scoring 17.26 fantasy points and finishing as the QB12 in his first action of the season, Murray topped that with 21.66 points in Arizona’s 21-16 defeat to the Houston Texans. He’s the current QB7 on the week.

With this kind of production in his first two games of the season, Murray has become a “smoke-’em-if-you-got-’em” situation. Unless you roster one of the elite quarterbacks, it will be difficult to keep Murray out of your starting lineup.

While many of us expected Murray to be a limited version of himself, it’s been quite the opposite. Murray has looked like his quick and elusive self, and it’s showing up in the box score. One week after a 6-33-1 rushing line, Murray was even better on Sunday with 51 yards and another touchdown with his legs.

Heat Index: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Running Back

Brian Robinson Jr. (RB – WAS)

Stats: 17 rushing attempts, 73 rushing yards, 7 receptions, 58 receiving yards, 9 targets

Position Rank (pre-MNF): RB10 (16.6 points)

Analysis: Washington running back Brian Robinson Jr. is quietly having a breakout fantasy football season. With locked-in rushing volume and an increasing passing-game role, Robinson Jr. has become a must-start for fantasy football managers.

Robinson Jr. has 10+ carries in eight of 11 contests this season, but his newfound receiving role has really unlocked his full potential. With Antonio Gibson inactive on Sunday, Robinson Jr. saw a career-high 21.4% target share. The Alabama product has hauled in 13 total receptions and 177 receiving yards over the past two weeks. For reference, he had 14 total receptions and 137 receiving yards in the previous nine contests.

While vibes are high right now, you must wonder what happens when Gibson returns to the lineup. Gibson’s continued involvement would impact Robinson Jr.’s ceiling, but at least you have the rushing volume to fall back on.

Heat Index: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Zach Charbonnet (RB – SEA)

Stats: 15 rushing attempts, 47 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 22 receiving yards, 6 targets

Position Rank (pre-MNF): RB20 (9.9 points)

Analysis: Rookie running back Zach Charbonnet has seen his workload steadily increase over the past month, but he’s potentially looking at a league-winning role moving forward. Starting running back Kenneth Walker III left Sunday’s game in obvious pain with what Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll described as “an oblique strain that was legit.”

In Walker III’s absence, Charbonnet had 69 total yards and took most running back snaps. In fact, Charbonnet’s 84% snap percentage is the most by a Seahawks running back all season. Since Carroll is notoriously optimistic about injuries, I will assume that Walker III will miss some time. If so, Charbonnet becomes an immediate RB1 candidate and the waiver-wire pickup of the week if available.

Heat Index: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Wide Receiver

Jayden Reed (WR – GB)

Stats: 4 receptions, 46 receiving yards, 6 targets, 3 rushing attempts, 46 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD

Position Rank (pre-MNF): WR11 (17.2 points)

Analysis: With consecutive breakout performances, it’s time to start thinking about Packers wide receiver Jayden Reed as a starting flex moving forward. One week after scoring 16.9 fantasy points, Reed barely topped that performance with 17.2 points in Green Bay’s 23-20 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers.

The major caveat here:  Do you really trust a wide receiver attached to quarterback Jordan Love and this dreadful offense? I’m not sure, but you might as well ride the hot hand while you can. Reed is currently only playing in 11-personnel, but he’s earning targets and added 46 rushing yards on Sunday. With Aaron Jones carted off, it would make sense for Green Bay to utilize Reed’s rushing ability more as the season progresses.

Heat Index: 🔥🔥🔥

Tight End

David Njoku (TE – CLE)

Stats: 7 receptions, 56 receiving yards, 15 targets

Position Rank (pre-MNF): TE6 (9.1 points)

Analysis: After a slow start to his 2023 campaign, Cleveland tight end David Njoku is starting to pay off for patient fantasy managers. Njoku failed to reach 10+ half-PPR fantasy points in any of the season’s first six games, but he’s averaging 11.05 points over the past four contests.

With rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson under center, Njoku had a season-high seven receptions on a whopping 15 targets Sunday. If that type of target share continues, Njoku becomes an intriguing asset in PPR formats. Njoku is the TE5 in half-point PPR leagues, but he’s even higher (TE2) in PPR scoring heading into “Monday Night Football.”

Heat Index: 🔥🔥

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