Andrew Luck, Colts
Move over Aaron Rodgers, there’s a new sheriff in town. Well, maybe not but there was for one day at least. Luck proved he is no ordinary rookie with a come from behind win over the Packers. He completed 31 of 55 passes for a career-high 362 yards and a pair of touchdowns – his third consecutive game with two touchdown passes.
Brandon Weeden, Browns
Another rookie who is playing well is Weeden. If your league doesn’t punish interceptions, Weeden has been productive over his last four games after an opening day flop against the Eagles. In his last four contests, Weeden has thrown for 1,170 yards and five touchdowns. It would be nice if he could cut down on the picks (nine on the season and five in his last four games).
Sam Bradford, Rams
Bradford was a borderline fantasy backup despite having just one starting caliber wide receiver. And he just lost that guy with Danny Amendola out for six to seven weeks with a dislocated collarbone.
Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers
He was Moving Up last week because he was ready to resume playing for a Steelers team in need of a spark at running back. Spark supplied to the tune of 81 rushing yards, over 100 total yards and a score. RB2 the rest of the way.
Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants
So much for a time-share in the Giants backfield. Bradshaw extinguished that possibility with a 200-rushing yard, one touchdown performance this week against the Browns. While Bradshaw was chalking up 34 touches, backup Andre Brown went down with a concussion and failed to touch the ball on offense.
Ryan Mathews, Chargers
Mathews showed this week why he’s the man in San Diego and no longer the hottest buy low opportunity in fantasy football. You needed to make that happen last week, folks, because Mathews owners won’t be letting him go for 50 cents on the dollar after his 80 rushing yards, 59 receiving yards, and one touchdown performance this week against the Saints. Jackie Battle proved he is a plodder while Mathews looked like a hungry, top five fantasy running back.
Alex Green and James Starks, Packers
Cedric Benson could be headed to injured reserve with a Lisfranc sprain, opening up the starting gig in the Packers backfield. Green subbed in with a nine carries, 55 yards this week but 41 of those yards came on one carry. Head coach Mike McCarthy has said he doesn’t yet trust giving Green a full workload but Starks may not be fully healed from the turf toe injury he suffered in the preseason. Looks like it will be a committee but if I had to pick one guy, I’d gamble on Starks.
LaRod Stephens-Howling, Alfonso Smith and William Powell, Cardinals
Beanie Wells is on injured reserve and Ryan Williams is headed there so the Cardinals backfield is wide open. These three guys have to be Moving Up but none can be trusted until they emerge and I don’t see that happening. Don’t give up your waiver priority for a 1/3 chance at a RB3. If you’re truly desperate, my pick is Smith but it is worth noting that there are several serviceable veteran free agent running backs that are looking for work.
Daniel Thomas, Dolphins
Goal line dud in 2011 to goal line stud in 2012? Not quite but he does have touchdowns in two of his last three games and the bye weeks are upon us with the injuries at running back piling up.
Ryan Williams, Cardinals
He’s out for the year with a shoulder injury which means he won’t set a MU/MD record of Moving Down three weeks in a row. Basically, Williams’ injury forces his owners not to start him, which isn’t a bad thing the way he was playing.
DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
With Stewart healthy and the Panthers offensive line a mess, neither Panthers running back is startable. They are bye week fill in or flex options, at best.
Marques Colston, Saints
Colston looked a step slow and like a player playing through a foot injury during the first three weeks of the season. Sure enough, he was. Over the Saints past two games, Colston has caught 18 passes for 284 yards and four touchdowns. Looks like the foot is healed. Did we mention that tight end Jimmy Graham was wearing a walking boot after the Saints-Chargers game this week?
Victor Cruz, Giants
Duh. With Hakeem Nicks out, Cruz has been a target machine, averaging over 11 per game. This week, he caught five balls for a measly 50 yards but three were for touchdowns. With Nicks’ future cloudy, Cruz is looking set as a WR1 over the balance of the season.
Josh Gordon, Browns
In his most extensive action of the season, Gordon came up big for the Browns, hauling in a pair of touchdown passes and gaining 82 yards on the day. Sure, the touchdowns were the only catches he had but he made them count and his eight targets were six more than the drop prone Greg Little had. Gordon could be the team’s new top threat at wide receiver much earlier than expected. If you read above, you also know the Browns are throwing it around plenty over their last four games.
Robert Meachem, Chargers
Meachem is another guy who made his catches count this week, hauling in a pair of touchdowns amongst his three receptions. Looks like he might finally be on the same page as quarterback Philip Rivers and if the price is right, he makes for a good trade target.
Jeremy Kerley, Jets
The Jets need to throw it to someone and with Stephen Hill and Dustin Keller out this week, Kerley had nine targets, catching five of them for 94 yards.
Jordy Nelson, Packers
After his two receptions and 29 yards this week against the sad sack Colts secondary, Nelson is on pace to finish the season with 925 receiving yards and three touchdowns and that’s with Greg Jennings having missed almost three full games. That’s a tad off his 1,263-yard, 15-touchdown performance from 2011. That being said, I would rate him as a buy low option.
Jeremy Maclin, Eagles
Returning from a hip injury this week, Maclin caught five of his eight targets for 39 yards against the Steelers. That gives him seven receptions for 69 yards over his last three games.
Brandon LaFell, Panthers
After a pair of nice games to open the season, LaFell has gone cold, catching just four passes for 71 yards over his past three games including an O-fer in Week 4. After the Panthers Week 6 bye, he gets the Cowboys and Bears. Not good.
Justin Blackmon, Jaguars
The most receiving yards he has put up in a single game is 48 and he’s averaging 2.4 FPts/G. Blaine Gabbert isn’t helping Blackmon but it doesn’t appear that Blackmon’s helping Gabbert either.
Joel Dreessen, Broncos
He ain’t sexy, he’s my touchdown scoring tight end. Meet Joel Dreessen. Dreessen has become Mr. Red Zone for the Broncos, tallying scores in each of the team’s last three games despite chalking up just 74 receiving yards in those games.
Jimmy Graham, Saints
An ankle injury caused him to miss time this week and we won’t know until next week how serious the injury is since the Saints have a bye in Week 6.