Aaron Rodgers, Packers
The King is Back! Long Live the King! After three subpar performances (for him) to start the season, Rodgers has been back to his 2011 self over the Packers last three games, throwing for 900 yards, rushing for 87 more and tossing 13 touchdowns. In Week 6, he demolished the league’s best defense, torching the Texans for 338 yards and six touchdown passes. If Greg Jennings gets healthy, look out.
Kevin Kolb, Cardinals
No real Moving Down trends at quarterback this week so Kolb gets the nod after injuring his ribs against the Bills. Playing behind the league’s worst offensive line, it was only a matter of time before Kolb went down. While backup John Skelton was horrendous in replacing him, there are no guarantees Kolb will be available this week at Minnesota.
William Powell, Arizona
Powell’s the man in Arizona after LaRod Stephens-Howling’s first quarter flop against the Bills. He played decently enough, totaling 70 yards on 13 carries and catching one pass for eight yards. However, being the lead back in an offense possibly led by John Skelton isn’t exactly a winning fantasy proposal, especially against a solid Vikings defense this week.
Shonn Greene, Jets
Greene was the leading fantasy rusher in Week 6, posting career highs in rushing yards with 161 and touchdowns with three against a clearly overmatched Colts run defense. Has he finally turned the corner? Nah. This is a sell high, folks, all the way. The 100-yard performance was just his 4th in 47 games and Greene puts up one or two solid performances to tease us every year (33.3% of his 2011 fantasy production came in two games). Up next are the Patriots (6th ranked run defense), Dolphins (5th), a bye and then the Seahawks (2nd).
Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants
Torching the Browns for 200 rushing yards, 29 receiving yards and a touchdown was impressive but you could easily make the argument that getting 116 yards and a touchdown on the ground in a road game against the 49ers is more impressive.
Felix Jones, Cowboys
With DeMarco Murray going down with a foot sprain, Jones received his most extended playing time of the season, carrying the rock 18 times for 92 yards and a touchdown. Essentially persona non grata for the first four games of the season (nine total touches on offense), Jones will move into the starting lineup if Murray misses extended time and has proven to be an explosive runner during short spans of games. He rates as a mid-tier to high-end RB2 over the next several weeks if Murray is out, courtesy of a schedule that features the Panthers (23rd ranked run defense), Giants (16th), Falcons (27th), Eagles (15th) and Browns (25th).
Jahvid Best, Lions
Detroit management released a statement yesterday that Best is still not cleared to play after suffering a concussion during Week 6 of last season, exactly one year ago to the day. While the statement left open the possibility of his return later in the season, it seems clear that a 2012 return isn’t in the cards and Best’s career is likely over. Unfortunate, given his dynamic playmaking ability and short time in the league.
Adrian Peterson, Vikings
While Peterson has been solid and is on pace to finish the season with over 1,300 rushing yards and just under 1,700 total yards, the touchdowns just aren’t coming. After a pair of scores during the Vikings opening week win over the Jaguars, AP has failed to find the end zone and is on pace to finish the season with a career-low five touchdowns (his previous low was 10 during his sophomore season in 2008).
Alex Green, Packers
The good: the Packers gave him a whopping 22 carries, a rare occurrence in their offense. The bad: Green didn’t pretty much nothing, looking entirely pedestrian in gaining 65 yards, just under three yards a pop. That opens the door a crack for James Stark beginning with this week’s game against the Rams.
Mike Williams, Bucs
After a disappointing performance in his sophomore year, Williams has been decent in 2012 but has really clicked with quarterback Josh Freeman in the Bucs last two games despite being targeted just 14 times. He topped 100 yards in each game (for the 2nd and 3rd time in his career and first time since Week 8 of his rookie season in 2009), catching one touchdown pass.
Wes Welker, Patriots
Welker is certainly doing his best to make the Patriots brain trust of head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels look like fools for playing Julian Edelman ahead of him for the first two and half games of the season. Over his past five games, Welker has totaled 608 receiving yards and scored two touchdowns (one each in Weeks 5 and 6). Even with tight end Aaron Hernandez back in the lineup, Welker was targeted 14 times against Seattle, giving him 61 over his past five games.
Denarius Moore, Raiders
With 35 targets in his four games, Moore is clearly the Raiders leading receiver and he is coming off his best performance of the season, catching five passes for 104 yards and a score against the Falcons. With the Raiders up and down, there will be plenty of garbage time points in Oakland’s offense and Moore figures to lap up much of that.
Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers
Vjax is a target machine in the Bucs offense, on pace to finish with a career-high 147 in that category. He’s also on pace to finish the season with 1,184 and 13 touchdowns, which would also be career-highs. With his 66-yard, two-touchdown performance this week against the Chiefs, Jackson has 166 yards and three touchdowns over his past two games.
Pierre Garcon, Redskins
Garcon put up a pair of dud performances (44 yards in total) after his return from a injury suffered in Week 1 and was declared inactive this week with an inflamed foot. Few thought he would emerge as a truly leading wide receiver for the Redskins but that was expected to be performance based. Looks like it will be caused by injury instead, since he looked solid in his only healthy game this season. Buy low and hope for health, folks.
Brian Hartline, Dolphins
Zero catches on zero targets for a big fat O-fer. Hartline is the epitome of a mid-level player playing in a role he is ill-suited for as the Dolphins leading receiver. The Rams completely shut him down and you can expect that to happen several more times this season.
Greg Little, Browns
This guy’s talented but he has hands of stone and the Browns seem to have moved on to using Josh Gordon as their leading wide receiver. Little has just seven targets in his last two games, catching three passes for 18 yards (all this week). If there is a Browns wide receiver to own, it is Gordon.
Antonio Gates, Chargers
Looks like San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers has remembered who butters his bread. Gates was targeted a season-high 10 times this week against the Broncos, catching six passes for 81 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season. His performance should put his naysayers to bed as he looked like solid, if not exactly like the Gates of years gone by.
Dennis Pitta, Ravens
Pitta’s promising start to the season seems like a long time ago. After three solid games in which he caught 18 passes for 188 yards and a pair of scores, Pitta has gone stone cold. He put up an O-fer in Week 4 and has followed that up with 22 and 33-yard performances. The reason? Opportunity. He averaged over ten targets a game for the first three weeks of the season but just 3.7 over the last three weeks.