Michael Vick, QB, PHI – Who else would be at the top of this list!? Vick had a record breaking performance on Monday night this week in more ways than one. The Eagles set team records in this game for total yards in a game, points in a half and had the biggest lead after the first quarter for any NFL road team since somewhere around 1950. This win put the Eagles at the top of the NFC East and puts them squarely in the conversation for the best team in the NFL. Vick and the other Eagles weapons put together a unique set of weapons that are very difficult to game plan against. Also, Vick has yet to throw an interception or lose a fumble this season. It is safe to say he is a top 5 QB and playing the best football of his life.
Keiland Williams, RB, WAS - He had a big night on Monday in a game that couldn’t end fast enough for the Redskins. Mike Shanahan is the most unpredictable coach in the league as far as dividing RB carries is concerned, so be careful with Williams if you pick him up… but he definitely needs to be owned after putting together a game with 139 total yards and three TDs. We will need to wait and see who gets the work after the return of Clinton Portis before we know if Williams is a reliable flex play down the stretch.
Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC - There hasn’t been a more productive and consistent receiver in fantasy football since Dwayne Bowe got his act together with two great matchups in weeks 6 and 7. In the past 5 games Bowe has managed 8 TDs and has two decent match ups coming up against the Cardinals and Seahawks. I was down on Bowe after his two big games in weeks 6 and 7, but have been wrong thus far and will adjust my rankings to make him a top 20 guy. I still think he is over rated and his performance will slip again soon… but probably not until after that Seahawks game, so make sure you start him for at least 2 more weeks!
Tom Brady, QB, NE - I saw a lot of people rank Brady very low this week, with the match up against the Steelers. The fact is, Brady is an elite fantasy QB… it does not matter who his opponent and receivers are. He is your starter if you drafted him and let this week serve as a lesson if you sat him. Just be thankful you didn’t learn it in the playoffs!
Fred Jackson, RB, BUF – Fantasy owners that were smart enough to recognize the talent of Jackson and moved him into their starting lineup this week were rewarded handsomely with 170 yards and 2 TDs. This is really the only favorable match up left on the Bills’ schedule, given how good the Browns have been in recent weeks… so Jackson is realistically only a flex play at best from here on out. I will say that he is one of the best bench RBs you could hope for in the playoffs to save your season from a big injury that hasn’t happened yet.
Mike Wallace, WR, PIT – When Hines Ward left this game on Sunday Night, I thought Wallace was in trouble. He was able to adapt the style of routes he ran as well as deal with the double team to put together an 8 catch, 136 yard, 2 TD game. Wallace has been a great WR2 for fantasy owners this year and after seeing him remain productive as the teams top receiver I am confident he will be a must-start as long as he remains healthy.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE - The Patriots rebounded from an embarrassing loss to the Cleveland Browns last week by travelling to Pittsburgh and earning a tough win against a team that I previously thought was one of the best in the NFL. Gronk was targeted 5 times and caught each pass, which is not too impressive until you realize that 3 of them were TDs. Don’t go nuts trying to pick-up a guy that only sees 5 targets, no matter who is throwing to him, but if you are a Hernandez owner… This game made it clear that neither is going to be a consistent option down the stretch.
Michael Turner, RB, ATL – I might be a little concerned about Turner only managing 3 fantasy points this week had the team lost, but they didn’t! You can expect them to go back to their running ways after this very narrow victory over the Ravens.
Cedric Benson, RB, CIN – It is very mind-boggling that after looking like a strong and effective runner in the first half against the Steelers, Benson is only able to manage 24 yards on 14 carries. I will call this an anomaly for now, but his level of play has been down from last year and he is quickly dropping to a flex play if he can’t get it together soon.
Reggie Wayne, WR, IND – What do you do with an under-performing, favorite target of Peyton Manning? Start him! I know it’s frustrating… but Wayne’s past has earned him remaining a top 10 receiver. Especially considering that there are no receivers who are performing really well at the moment.
Steve Johnson, WR, BUF – The Bills were not behind in this game, they were winning and leaning on Fred Jackson to close out their first win of the year. Even though he is a relatively unknown talent and on a bad team, I will keep my faith in him as a top 25 receiver for one more week…. considering he was on a streak of 6 productive games in a row (at least 9 fantasy points).
Jason Witten, TE, DAL - I did not expect the offense to click like they did this week. I really am only very big on Witten as long as the team is struggling and in need of a safety valve receiver. With all the injuries, Witten will be a top 5 TE still… but for how long is the question.
Aaron Hernandez, TE, NE – It is starting to look like the Patriots will use a different TE depending on the match up and formations they are using. Even though it was just one bad game, I will be moving Hernandez out of my top 10. Him and Gronkowski will likely be between 10 and 15.