Andy Dalton, Bengals
Is Dalton ready to emerge as a solid QB1? Maybe. Over the past two weeks, he has thrown for 709 yards and six touchdowns with just one interception. Sure, it was against the Bills 22nd ranked pass defense and the Lions 27th ranked unit but the Bengals face five pass defenses ranked 12th or worst over their next eight games.
Josh McCown, Bears
Only if you’re truly desperate.
Tom Brady, Patriots
After passing for at least one touchdown in 52 consecutive games, Brady has now failed to throw for a touchdown in two of his last three games. The return of tight end Rob Gronkowski to the lineup was supposed to help cure what ails the Patriots passing game but that didn’t happen this week. In his last three games, Brady has thrown for 694 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions while completing 51.2% of his passes.
Sam Bradford, Rams
Out for the year.
Brandon Weeden, Browns
The Browns have yet to compile a win in 2013 with Weeden as their starter and he was awful this week against the Packers with just 149 yards and a touchdown on 42 attempts. A trip to the bench will give Jason Campbell the start in Week 8.
Chris Ivory, Jets
Ivory had his most extensive use of the season this week with 34 carries for 104 yards in the Jets overtime win over the Patriots. While the Jets claimed that the game plan was to use Ivory’s hard charging running style against a banged up New England front seven, it’s worth noting that Bilal Powell is becoming an afterthought in the Jets offensive game planning (see below). The upcoming schedule looks rough but Ivory will rate as a decent flex option provided he takes over the starting role, which seems likely.
Mike James, Buccaneers
Meet the Buccaneers new starting running back. That is, unless they sign a veteran off the scrap heap but with a Thursday night game, James gets at least a week to prove that he is Da’ Man. He figures to take over for Doug Martin (see below) and the rookie 2013 6th round pick didn’t look horrible this week against the Falcons with 45 yards on 14 carries.
Roy Helu, Redskins
Reading Helu’s stat line of 11 carries for 41 yards and three touchdowns, you might jump to the conclusion that Alfred Morris was injured this week but that wasn’t the case. It was more a case of the Redskins coming out with a package of plays that Helu plays in and that package being effective against the Bears. That being said, look for the Redskins to continue using Helu in the red zone until opposing defenses figure out how to shut him down.
C.J. Spiller, Bills
With Spiller seemingly ready to handle a full load this week against the Dolphins, he totaled just nine touches to 15 for Fred Jackson. Not good but even worse was what he did with his touches, gaining just seven yards. Spiller is certainly in the running for Fantasy Bust of the Year as he has just 410 total yards, 15 receptions and a single touchdown in seven games. The schedule looks nice but if I’m a Spiller owner, I’m ready to cut bait if I get a decent offer for him.
Trent Richardson, Colts
Two questions. One, why did the Colts trade for Richardson? Two, how is it that Donald Brown isn’t starting? If you watched the Colts-Broncos game this week and came away with the opinion that Richardson is the superior player, I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you.
Bilal Powell, Jets
Over the past five weeks, Powell’s touches have declined from 29 to 17 to 13 to 12 to just three this week. That looks like a pattern. And it’s a pattern that has killed any fantasy value he had.
Doug Martin, Bucs & Arian Foster, Texans
Foster suffered a hamstring injury but with the Texans on a Week 8 bye, he might not miss any time. That won’t be the case with Martin who went down with a shoulder injury in the Bucs loss to the Falcons and left the stadium with his arm in a sling. He may be out for the year with a torn labrum in his shoulder.
Lamar Miller, Dolphins
It looks like it is officially a timeshare in Miami. Not what Miller owners were hoping for entering the season.
Harry Douglas, Falcons
Turns out Douglas is better than I gave him credit for. With the Bucs refusing to put Darrelle Revis on him, Douglas had a career day with seven receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Drew Davis had one target and Kevin Cone didn’t get any. Looks like Douglas is the lead man in Atlanta until Roddy White returns.
Jarrett Boykin, Packers
Gets the Moving Up treatment two weeks in a row courtesy of his eight receptions, 103 yards and one touchdown performance this week against the Browns.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Colts
DHB has been a bit of a flop in his first year in Indianapolis, catching 18 of his 35 targets for 190 yards and a touchdown during his first seven games with the Colts. However, he was solid this week with a four-reception, 44-yard, one-touchdown performance (he also chipped in a 30 yard run) and Reggie Wayne is out for the season with a torn ACL. That sounds like opportunity for the former 1st round pick
Mike Brown, Jaguars
For deep leaguers only. Brown has nine receptions for 169 yards over the past two weeks but there is a decent chance he will lose playing time to Ace Sanders once the rookie returns from a concussion. If you need a bye week filler in large league, you could do worse than Brown.
Victor Cruz, Giants
Opposing defenses seem to have slid their coverage towards Cruz over the last three weeks. He is still getting plenty of targets (24 in those games) but the big plays have dried up as he has put up just 166 yards and failed to find the end zone.
Nate Washington, Titans
Washington appeared on the verge of reclaiming his role as the Titans leading wide receiver after his four-reception, 105-yard, two-touchdown performance in Week 4. In the three games since then, he has seven receptions for 107 yards and no touchdowns.
Miles Austin, Cowboys
Either Austin’s hamstring is still bothering him or he is being phased out in Dallas. He was targeted just three times this week after being targeted four times in Week 6. He failed to catch a pass in either game and has just 125 receiving yards and no touchdowns in five games this year.
Jordan Reed, Redskins
Reed was lights out this week against the Bears, catching all nine of his targets for 134 yards and a touchdown. The rookie 3rd round pick has a stranglehold on the tight end position and is averaging a very respectable 8.4 FPts/G despite seeing limited action early in the season.
Robert Housler, Cardinals
Housler has been quietly effective over the past two weeks, catching four of his five targets for 32 yards against the 49ers in Week 6 and all seven of his targets this week against the Seahawks for 53 yards. Look for him to be a bigger part of the Cardinals offensive game plan over the next few weeks as head coach Bruce Arians uses him on short and intermediate routes to help slow down opposing pass rushers.
Greg Olsen, Panthers
Since there are no really great options to have Moving Down at tight end this week Olsen gets the nod courtesy of his lack of production over the Panthers last two games (six receptions for 56 yards and no touchdowns) as well as his inability to find the end zone thus far in 2013 (just one touchdown).