Aaron Rodgers, Packers
HA! I told you last when I had Rodgers Moving Down that I was sure he would bust out and make me look like a fool and, sure enough, he did. Rodgers simply torched an undermanned Bears secondary for 302 yards and four scores, completing 22 of 28 passes in a blowout win. While that’s great, I still think he will underperform his preseason ADP by season’s end.
Kyle Orton, Bills
Orton takes over under center for the Bills and, while he is the Rodney Dangerfield of quarterbacks, he has had a couple of solid seasons and played well in his only start in Dallas last season. If you need a plug and play option, you could do worse than Orton.
Tom Brady, Patriots
Brady is the 23rd ranked fantasy quarterback, or, for some perspective, LAST amongst quarterbacks with four starts (plus behind some with three). He has four touchdown passes in four games. He is averaging under 200 passing yards per game. He has two games with less than 160 passing yards. Perhaps worst of all, the Patriots offense looks like a complete mess with receivers unable to gain separation and a pair of rookies starting on the offensive line.
Cam Newton, Panthers
Let’s face it. Nobody knows when Newton’s ankle will be sufficiently recovered for him to resume his normal workload running the ball. He has just 33 yards on eight carries in 2014.
Chris Ivory, Jets
Four weeks into the season, Ivory has taken over as the leader in the Jets backfield. He has out touched Chris Johnson 33-18 over the past two weeks, totalling 196 yards. While we expect this to remain a timeshare situation, Ivory is definitely now the top fantasy option on the Jets.
Darrin Reaves and Fozzy Whitaker, Panthers
It’s last man standing amongst the Panthers running backs. Neither Deangelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart are going to play this week, and Mike Tolbert is on injured reserve. That leaves Reeves, a rookie undrafted free agent, and Whitaker, a veteran journeyman, as the team’s only options for this week’s game against the Ravens. I have no clue as to which player will take the reins although Whitaker is banged up. Give the edge to Reeves but keep your expectations in check.
Darren McFadden, Raiders
With just 226 yards and one touchdown on 56 touches, Run-DMC is hardly lighting it up in the Oakland backfield. However, the Raiders firmly planted Maurice Jones-Drew on the bench this week as McFadden out touched him 15 to 4. That makes him a volume play as McFadden has now totalled 51 touches over his last three games.
Rashad Jennings, Giants
While Jennings wasn’t great this week, he is clearly getting a workhorse type role in the Giants backfield, averaging 22.5 touches per game. That makes him an upper to mid tier RB2 the rest of the way.
LeSean McCoy, Eagles
Little bit worried about the state of the Eagles offensive line but I’m still calling this one a buy low.
Donald Brown, Chargers
Brown’s been useless, averaging 2.0 yards per carry on his 50 carries this year, and Ryan Mathews is returning soon. Nothing more than a flex option this week against the Jets, Brown basically needs to find the end zone to have much value.
Maurice Jones-Drew, Raiders
While MJD looked decent in the preseason, he has been putrid since the regular season started and now sits squarely behind Darren McFadden on the Raiders depth chart at running back. After carrying the ball nine times for 11 yards in Week 1, Jones-Drew missed a pair of games before putting up a major dud in Week 4, gaining three yards on four touches.
Terrance Williams, Cowboys
Williams has been solid given his limited number of targets (just 21 on the season) but let’s hope the Cowboys coaches took note of his six reception, 77 yard, two touchdown performance this week. While Dez Bryant deserves to be targeted 10-plus times a week, Williams deserves to be a bigger part of the Cowboys offense.
Eddie Royal, Chargers
With four touchdowns in four games, Royal is once again proving to be a solid red zone option for the Chargers. He totalled eight scores in 15 games last season.
Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs
His 81 yards this week were the second most that he has put up in a game since Alex Smith joined the Chiefs. No, that’s not a typo. He had 150 yards in Kansas City’s playoff loss to the Colts but his regular season high last year was just 70. Perhaps he and Smith are in the process of developing some chemistry.
Jarius Wright, Vikings
Teddy Bridgewater is in at quarterback and Jarius Wright’s fantasy stock is on the rise, especially in PPR formats. Considered a deep sleeper entering the season, Wright had just six targets in three games but was targeted a career-high 10 times this week, catching eight passes for 132 yards and nearly scoring. He should definitely be on the watch list in deeper leagues.
Andre Holmes, Raiders
With Rod Streater out of the line up, Holmes stepped up this week against the Dolphins, catching five passes for 74 yards and a touchdown. This one’s not a hot Moving Up since it took Holmes 12 targets to amass that production.
Louis Murphy, Bucs
Mike Evans is going to miss two or three weeks with an injured groin and Murphy hauled in six of his 11 targets this week for 99 yards. With little depth at wide receiver and the team’s tight ends contributing little in the passing games, Murphy could be a decent bye week fill in.
Marvin Jones, Bengals
Just a heads up that Jones should return to the Bengals line up this week. He’s fast. Mohamed Sanu is not.
DeSean Jackson, Redskins
Two solid games, two total duds. There is a risk that Kirk Cousins may not be able to connect with Djax consistently on long balls.
Danny Amendola, Patriots
After a pair of one target games in Weeks 2 and 3, Amendola didn’t get a single look from Tom Brady this week despite the fact that the Patriots got blown out and that both Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins didn’t dress.
Hakeem Nicks, Colts
With T.Y. Hilton, Reggie Wayne, Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener soaking up touches, Nicks has been targeted just 18 times in four games. It’s foolhardy to think he can continue on his current target to touchdown ratio of nine to one.
Travis Kelce, Chiefs
Kelce had his coming out party this week, putting on a show on Monday night as he torched the Patriots and looked very much like the next BIG THING at tight end. Kelce caught all eight of his nine targets for 93 yards and a score, as he consistently gained yards after the catch. He rates as a mid-tier TE1.
Larry Donnell, Giants
So much for the preseason notion that Rueben Randle would emerge as Eli Manning’s favourite red zone target. That job has been handed to Donnell as he went off this week on the Redskins, catching seven of his eight targets for 54 yards and three touchdowns. Sure, he may have just totalled the most fantasy points of his career but with 31 targets and four scores in four games, Donnell is looking like a surprise TE1 one-quarter of the way into the season.
Vernon Davis, 49ers
After returning to the line up this week from the ankle and knee injuries that caused him to miss Week 3, Davis suffered a back injury in the third quarter of the 49ers win over the Eagles.
Jason Witten, Cowboys
Witten is off to a slow start as the 32-year old Cowboys tight end has just 156 receiving yards and no touchdowns in four games. While it appears that he still has some gas left in the tank, Dallas just hasn’t carved out a bigger role for him in their offense with DeMarco Murray torching opposing run defenes. Let’s call this one a buy low opportunity.
In the NOT CONVINCED JUST YET category, we present:
RB Branden Oliver, Chargers
Sorry, but Ryan Mathews should be back within a week or two and the Jets are up next.