Tony Romo, Cowboys
Killer fourth-quarter interceptions don’t usually kill your fantasy squad, and a quarterback is in rarified air when they throw for over 500 yards, so Romo is Moving Up this week. He torched a banged-up Broncos secondary for 506 yards and five touchdowns before tossing the game away with a late interception. While he played well during the first four weeks of the season, this marked his first 300-plus-yard game, and here is hoping head coach Jason Garrett has figured out that the Cowboys’ path to prosperity is through the air.
Tom Brady, Patriots
Sure, the weather was awful, but… Brady’s streak of throwing for at least one touchdown pass came to an end at 52 games as the Patriots were held out of the end zone against the Bengals. The streak ended two games shy of Drew Brees’ record of 54. Of more concern for Brady owners is that he is on pace to finish the season with less than 3,900 passing yards and just 22 touchdown passes. At this point, with 17.7 PPG, he rates as the 27th-ranked quarterback.
Christian Ponder, Vikings
If Matt Cassel’s solid performance in a Week 4 win over the Steelers wasn’t enough, Ponder had to endure the Vikings signing Bucs castoff Josh Freeman this week. Teams always sign third-stringers for $3 million to sit on the bench.
Eddie Lacy, Packers
Back from a concussion suffered in Week 2, Lacy piled up 99 yards on 23 carries but couldn’t find the end zone. With James Starks out, fellow rookie Johnathan Franklin had just three carries as the coaching staff ignored him due to his late-game fumble against the Bengals in Week 3. Lacy rates as a low-end RB2, at least as long as he stays healthy.
Zac Stacy, Rams
Meet the Rams’ new starting running back. At least he was for Week 5. The rookie fifth-round pick proved serviceable with 14 carries for 78 yards, but it’s worth noting that he split the role with Daryl Richardson. Stacy appears to be the better option given his size and the likelihood that he will get the goal-line carries. Just remember that the Rams’ pathetic rushing attack isn’t going to improve by leaps and bounds overnight.
Willis McGahee, Browns
The Browns’ backfield working order was set this week with McGahee getting 26 touches, Bobby Rainey two, and Chris Ogbonnaya none. While McGahee did little with his rushing attempts, gaining just 72 yards, he did find the end zone. This is clearly a volume play since McGahee has shown little explosion thus far in 2013, averaging a very underwhelming 2.6 yards per carry.
David Wilson, Giants
So much for the coming-out party. Wilson is well on his way to becoming a fantasy bust in 2013 and failing to live up to all of the offseason and preseason hype he received. He went out early while playing a soft Eagles run defense after managing just 16 yards on six carries with a touchdown that helped pad his fantasy stats. Touted for his big-play ability, Wilson is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry behind an aging and ineffective Giants offensive line.
Lamar Miller, Dolphins
Another breakout candidate that is approaching bust status is Dolphins running back Lamar Miller. While Miller has the look of a quality back when the ball in his hands, he struggled mightily in Week 1 (10 carries for three yards) and again this week (seven carries for 15 yards). Worse yet, he is averaging just 11 touches per game and it is hard to produce with such a low volume of work.
Trent Richardson, Colts
Wow. Maybe the Browns were right. Here are Richardson’s yards per carry in each of his first five games—3.6, 3.2, 2.7, 3.0, and 3.1. The run defenses he has faced are ranked 23rd, 12th, 28th, 31st and 19th. Maybe the legendary Jim Brown was right and he is just average.
Terrance Williams, Cowboys
Subbing in for an injured Miles Austin in Week 4, Williams played surprisingly well, catching seven of his eight targets for 71 yards. However, he was even better this week against the Broncos, going four for four on his targets for 151 yards, including an 82-yard touchdown. We all know Austin’s injury history, so that makes Williams worth owning in 2013—and his dynasty prospects are even better.
Alshon Jeffery, Bears
Truth be told, I thought his five-reception, 107-yard, one-touchdown performance in Week 4 against the Lions was a fluke. I was wrong. With the Saints focused on shutting down Brandon Marshall, Jeffery had a career day with ten receptions for 218 yards and a score. After catching just 50 percent of his targets as a rookie in 2012, he is up to 62.2 percent and appears on the verge of establishing himself as a solid WR3 or better.
T.Y. Hilton, Colts
Hey, you get a Moving Up every time you torch Richard Sherman for 140 yards and a pair of touchdowns. We can now safely conclude that Hilton is the Colts’ No. 2 receiver and not Darrius Heyward-Bey, who failed to catch any of his six targets this week.
Keenan Allen, Chargers
With Eddie Royal crashing back to earth, you could easily make the case for Allen or Vincent Brown as solid candidates to get the Moving Up treatment. It just so happens that I like Allen’s skill set a lot more than Brown’s, even if he isn’t as experienced. After his 80-yard performance in Week 4 against the Cowboys, Allen caught six of his nine targets this week for 115 yards and a score. It says here that he will emerge as the Chargers’ top wide receiver this season, if he hasn’t already done so.
Andre Roberts, Cardinals
A surprisingly solid WR4 last year, Roberts has quickly become persona non grata in the Cardinals offense this season. After 17 targets through Weeks 1 and 2, Roberts had a pair of one-reception, six-yard performances in Weeks 3 and 4 before going without a reception this week against the Panthers. With just seven targets over the past three weeks, you can safely dump him.
Julian Edelman, Patriots
Danny Amendola returned to the lineup this past week and the expectation is that tight end Rob Gronkowski will return for the Patriots’ Week 6 matchup against the Saints. My hunch is that Gronk’s return sounds the death knell for Edelman’s fantasy prospects. Sell now.
Ryan Broyles, Lions
Even though Calvin Johnson was out of the lineup this week, Broyles was targeted just twice, catching both passes for 27 yards. Meanwhile, Kris Durham had eight targets and Patrick Edwards five. Looks like injuries have caught up to Broyles. He isn’t worth owning in standard-size leagues.
Julius Thomas, Broncos
Thomas posted his second 100-yard receiving performance of the season this week, hauling in nine of his 12 targets for 122 yards and a pair of scores. His last big performance came in Week 1 and, while he was solid in Weeks 2 and 3, his performance this week proves that he is much more than a one-week, game-planned fluke. If you were debating him as a TE1 over the balance of the season, you now know the answer.
Jared Cook, Rams
After posting the best game of his career in Week 1 with 141 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns, Cook has faltered, with just 13 receptions for 125 yards over his past four games. Austin Pettis and Brian Quick have taken snaps away from Cook in multiple-receiver sets, and Pettis has become a favorite of Sam Bradford’s in the red zone.