Mark Sanchez, Jets
He got the Moving Up treatment last week based on opportunity. He gets the Moving Up treatment this week based on production. With 332 passing yards and two touchdowns, Sanchez was the 5th ranked fantasy quarterback this week. Consider him a low end QB1 until Nick Folks returns to the lineup. Unfortunately, the schedule isn’t as friendly as it could be.
Cam Newton, Panthers
While it was nice that he padded his fantasy production this week with 306 passing yards and two touchdowns that came mostly in garbage time against the Eagles, it’s pretty clear that Newton is no longer QB1 material. He turns the ball over far too often, takes too many sacks and is an inconsistent running threat, at best.
Matt Ryan, Falcons
The decimation along the Falcons offensive line has put a serious dent in Ryan’s production. It’s that simple. He has one multiple touchdown game in the last five games. He hasn’t topped 275 passing yards in the last four games, a stretch where he is averaging 16.9 PPG.
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks
While Lynch hasn’t been horrible in 2014, he wasn’t exactly lighting the league on fire prior to Week 9. However, he has heated up over the past two weeks with a 143 total yard, two touchdown performance in Week 9 and a 163 total yard, four touchdown performance this week against the Giants. While the Seahawks schedule isn’t great between now and Week 16, Lynch has more than enough talent to produce like a high end RB1 over the balance of the season.
Steven Jackson, Falcons
Has he been all that impressive? No. However, SJax has touchdowns in two straight games and rushed for a season high 81 yards this week on 16 carries, giving him 34 carries over the Falcons last two games. He’s here for that reason and Atlanta’s upcoming schedule which features the Panthers 23rd ranked run defense this week, the Browns (28th) next week, a touch matchup against the Cardinals (3rd) and then the Packers (30th), Steelers (11th) and Saints (12th) from Weeks 14-16.
Charles Sims, Bucs
The rookie 3rd round pick wasn’t anything special in his pro debut this week with just 23 yards on eight carries although he did catch two passes for 17 yards. More importantly, he equalled Bobby Rainey in touches and with Doug Martin apparently in the doghouse, Sims has an opportunity to grab hold of the lead running back position in Tampa. With the Bucs out of the playoff picture, they have plenty of incentive to see if he can be that player.
C.J. Anderson, Broncos
Ronnie Hillman is likely going to miss a couple of weeks and Montee Ball has been ineffective and will return from injury in Week 11. That spells opportunity for Anderson who chalked up 163 total yards and a score this week against the sorry Raiders defense. Well, the Rams defense has been equally sorry at times this season and they are on tap for Anderson in Week 11.
Justin Forsett, Ravens
Forsett is averaging 13.5 PPG over his last seven games. His lowest total yardage output over that stretch is 85 yards. He has topped 90 total yards in six of those games. He is averaging 16.4 touches per game this season and is the 6th ranked fantasy running back in total points. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and acts like a duck then it’s a duck. This duck is an RB1.
Montee Ball, Broncos
Ronnie Hillman goes down with an injury and up steps C.J. Anderson. With Ball having done nothing to prove that he is capable of handling a workhorse role or even guaranteeing himself a spot in the starting lineup during his first year and a half in the league, he is nothing more than a low end flex option at this point.
Toby Gerhart, Jaguars
Pure handcuff at this point. Gerhart has 11 rushes and four receptions since returning to the lineup thee games ago.
Odell Beckham Jr., Giants
The rookie 1st round pick has shoved Rueben Randle aside as the Giants leading receiver. After his eight reception, 156 yard performance in Week 9, he posted seven receptions for 108 yards this week against the Seahawks as he squared off against Richard Sherman. Not bad for a player with just five games under his belt.
Jordan Matthews, Eagles
Touted as a pro ready receiver and a potential WR3 entering the season, the Eagles rookie 2nd round pick was merely okay during the first eight weeks of the season, chalking up just 32 receptions for 313 yards and three touchdowns despite being targeted a fairly healthy 52 times. However, he busted out on Monday night, catching seven of his nine targets for 138 yards and two touchdowns. With Riley Cooper failing to deliver the big plays that were a hallmark of his career year in 2013, Matthews could be primed for a big finish to the season.
Torrey Smith, Ravens
Steve Smith started out hot but it appears that it will be Torrey that finishes hot. After struggling mightily over the first five games of the season, he has 16 receptions for 270 yards and five touchdowns in the last five weeks. Look for the yardage totals to jump and for Torrey to finish the season as a low end WR2.
Anquan Boldin, 49ers
Boldin has easily emerged as the 49ers most consistent pass receiving threat, topping 60 receiving yards in five of the last six games, a stretch where he has been targeted at least seven times a game. During those six games, he has hauled in 35 receptions for 466 yards and three scores. That’s WR2 production, folks.
Marques Colston, Saints
You have to love 7th round picks that have forged out the type of solid career that Colston has. However, he is clearly a player in decline in his 9th year in the league or suffering from an undisclosed injury. With just 30 receptions for 480 yards and a score in nine games, he is on pace to finish with career lows in receptions, yards and touchdowns (removing his injury marred 2008 season). And he’s trending downward with just 12 targets, nine receptions, 121 yards and no scores in his last three games.
Andre Holmes, Raiders
After a nice little stretch where it appeared that Holmes might emerge as the Raiders top threat at wide receiver (17 receptions for 298 yards and four touchdowns in four games), he has cooled considerably with just two receptions for 28 yards last week and a 0-0-0 line this week with just one target. With Oakland’s offensive game plan spreading the wealth like peanut butter, Holmes’ fantasy prospects have nose dived.
Steve Smith, Ravens
Hasn’t scored in four games and has just 88 receiving yards on 24 targets over the last three weeks. It’s not hard to jump to the conclusion that his 35 year old legs are struggling after his extensive workload over the early part of the season.
Jason Witten, Cowboys
After being targeted just 22 times over a five game stretch, Witten has regained his status in the Cowboys offense and has been targeted 22 times in the last three games. And he’s producing, catching 16 of those targets for 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns. A good way to help protect your injured quarterback is to have him throw checkdowns to his tight end. Did I mention that the Cowboys face passing defenses ranked 21st or lower from Week 12-16?
Zach Ertz, Eagles
Probably late on this one. After totalling 163 receiving yards and a score in the first two weeks of the season, Ertz has been a non-factor in the Eagles offense. Over his past seven games, he has 212 yards and a score. Worse yet, he has five targets in the last two games.
In the NOT CONVINCED JUST YET category, we present:
Adrian Peterson, Vikings – Getting the vibe that there is at least a decent chance that he does not see the field over the rest of the season.
Drew Stanton, Cardinals – He’s in but I need to see more before he gets the Moving Up endorsement.