Derek Carr, Raiders
Simply noting that he was able to take advantage of a banged up Chargers secondary this week, throwing for 282 yards and four touchdowns. Carr has some dynasty appeal. At least, as much appeal as any Raider can have.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
Big Ben has topped 20 fantasy points just twice this year and it appears the team’s lack of depth at wide receiver is hurting his production. Not helping matters is that Heath Miller is either playing injured or has hit the wall hard at 31 years of age. With just two truly above average skill position players helping him out in Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, Roethlisberger is suffering from a lack of weaponry.
Tre Mason, Rams
With the Rams playing a nationally televised game (a rarity to be sure) and Mason making his season debut, let’s just say that his fantasy stock will be on the uptick this week. The 2nd round pick provided an explosive element to a backfield clearing lacking that key ingredient, rushing five times for 40 yards and taking his lone reception for 12 yards. If not for one of his own players getting in his way, Mason would have had a long touchdown run as well. He will be starting in the very near future.
Lamar Miller, Dolphins
With Knowshon Moreno out for the year and the Dolphins devoid of talent behind Miller on the depth chart, he figures to receive a workhorse role over the balance of the season. Provided he can withstand the load, Miller has a chance to emerge as an upper to mid-tier RB2 from here on out.
Jerick McKinnon, Vikings
McKinnon drew the start this week against the Lions and totalled 17 touches to just three for former starter Matt Asiata. The diminutive rookie gained 82 yards on those touches and figures to continue to start over the balance of the season as the Vikings attempt to figure out their plans at running back for the 2015 season.
Antone Smith, Falcons
Smith has touchdowns in each of his last four games. He has 266 yards on just 18 touches. That’s 14.8 yards per touch. Steven Jackson is a plodder at this point, Jacquizz Rodgers will be looking for a new team next season and rookie 4th round pick Devonta Freeman has looked okay, nothing more. So, why isn’t Smith getting more touches? Riddle me that one.
Brandon Bolden, Patriots
While it is conceivable that rookie 4th round pick James White will take over Stevan Ridley’s role as the Patriots power back with Ridley out for the season due to a torn ACL, the smart money should be on Bolden. The 220 pound Bolden rushed for 545 yards and five touchdowns while averaging 4.9 yards per carry in limited action over the past two years. With an inconsistent passing attack, New England figures to run the ball more in 2014 than in prior years.
Zac Stacy, Rams
It’s officially official. Everything that Stacy accomplished as a rookie when he ran for nearly 1,000 yards despite not barely playing until Week 5 was based on volume. With Sam Bradford out of the lineup, the team’s wide receivers amongst the worst in the league and the cupboard bare behind Stacy at running back, the Rams had little choice but to run their offense through Stacy last season. On MNF, it was clear that he is a full on plodder and with Tre Mason and Benny Cunningham backing him up, Stacy isn’t going to get enough touches to emerge as a RB2 over the balance of the season. Sell now.
C.J. Spiller, Bills
Spiller owners need to face the facts. Fred Jackson is the team’s top running back with Spiller the backup, change of pace option. Not helping matters is that Jackson is an effective short yardage runner. With 340 total yards and one touchdown in six games, Spiller is an RB3 at best.
Eddie Lacy, Packers
Let’s be honest. Lacy has one solid outing in six games this year. Is it just me or does James Starks look like the Eddie Lacy from 2013 and Lacy looks like the James Starks from 2010 to 2012? Just sayin’.
Terrance West, Browns
Healthy scratch. After posting a 100-yard performance in Week 1 and racking up 190 total yards and a score in his first two games, West has rapidly fallen out of favour in Cleveland.
Matt Asiata, Vikings
No longer starting and never that good to begin with.
Mohamed Sanu, Bengals
With A.J.Green out of the lineup, Sanu posted career highs in targets with 14, receptions with 10 and yards with 120 while scoring once. That gives him touchdowns in three of the last four games. While I am not a big believer, Sanu is definitely worth starting until Green returns to the lineup especially considering Marvin Jones is heading to see a specialist regarding why the ankle injury he suffered in the preseason isn’t progressing.
DeSean Jackson, Redskins
With three 100-yard receiving performances in his last four games and coming off a three reception, 115 yard, one touchdown performance this week against the Cardinals, it’s time to anoint Jackson as the Redskins top receiving threat (sorry, Pierre Garcon owners).
Rueben Randle and Odell Beckham Jr., Giants
With Victor Cruz out for the year, Randle takes over the role as the Giants top wide receiver but it is Beckham who will see his target count explode. Unfortunately, he missed most of training camp and is unlikely to be a consistent producer until he has a better grasp of the team’s offense. As for Randle, he has just 36.7 fantasy points despite being targeted a healthy 49 times in six games. Let’s keep our expectations in check on these two. When it comes to Randle, this might be a case where moving into the number one role actually hurts a player’s fantasy value.
Andre Holmes, Raiders
Nine receptions on 20 targets for 195 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his last two games. I’m totally comfortable starting Holmes.
Percy Harvin, Seahawks
Well, it was pretty clear that Harvin would be a boom or bust option given how the Seahawks have used their wide receivers over the past few years. Five games into the season, it’s been almost all bust for Harvin in 2014. He has yet to top 100 total yards in a game or double digit fantasy points. Despite his explosiveness, Harvin is averaging 6.6 touches per game and has hauled in just 11 of his 26 targets.
Keenan Allen, Chargers
Just 296 yards and no touchdowns in six games, Allen is struggling with a sophomore slump. While there are better days ahead, it’s officially time to starting putting Allen on your bench if you have better options.
Jace Amaro, Jets
The Jets offense is a mess and their wide receivers don’t offer much hope of turning things around. Amaro, the team’s 2nd round pick in this year’s draft, caught 10 of his 12 targets this week for 68 yards and a score. Let’s assume they do the smart thing and keep getting him involved.
Clay Harbor, Jaguars
With Mercedes Lewis out of the lineup, Harbor has 14 receptions for 183 yards and a touchdown in his last three games. Even with Cecil Shorts back, the Jaguars are lacking at wide receiver, meaning Harbor should continue to be useful over the next few weeks.
Heath Miller, Steelers
Sure, Miller’s going to put together the odd solid performance as evidenced by his 10 reception, 85 yard, one touchdown effort in Week 4. More often than not, however, he’s going to disappoint. The problem is that he just isn’t a big part of the offense even with the Steelers having little depth at receiver. Removing his Week 4 game, Miller is averaging 4.8 targets per game.
In the NOT CONVINCED JUST YET category, we present:
Cam Newton, Panthers
As in Not Convinced Just Yet that he is back to elite fantasy starter status. Sure, he actually ran the ball this week but we need a little more evidence that it wasn’t just a one game mirage.
Jarvis Landry, Dolphins
He appears to have pushed Brian Hartline aside but we need another solid performance.