Cam Newton, QB, CAR – That’s it, I am done fighting it. Cam Newton is now to be treated as the top 5 QB that he has been playing like so far for fantasy owners. Only Tom Brady and Drew Brees has passed for more yards so far on the season and one of Newton’s games was in a monsoon. Ron Rivera and the Panthers coaching staff have done a great job of game planning to help him feel more comfortable. This has meant employing a spread-style offense and letting Cam play from the shot gun. I had my reservations about Cam this week against the Bears but he blew me away and he has maneuvered his way to being an elite, must-start QB every week from here on out.
Matt Forte, RB, CHI – Last week the Bears seemed afraid to try and run the ball, this week Forte got 25 carries and racked up a staggering 205 yards on the ground with a TD just for good measure. I don’t know how long Mike Martz can keep this rushing attack going, but it is the only chance the Bears have of overcoming their O-line issues. Either way Forte is a top 10 back with his involvement in the passing game, but if they continue to run he might be a top 5 back.
Ravens, D/ST, BAL – In my Key Matchups article on Thursday, I stated that I thought the Ravens would keep Sanchez in check and force turnovers to win the game. I didn’t expect quite this dominating of a performance but I think we may have found the best fantasy-defense of 2011. The Ravens finished this week as the #2 scoring “player” in standard leagues with a whopping 32 points.
Beanie Wells, RB, ARI – We just didn’t see this coming as Wells returned from an injury that kept him out in Week 3. When healthy, expect big games from Beanie as he has had a TD in every game he has played as well as at least 90 yards each time as well. You can’t ask for more from a RB2 in my opinion.
Pierre Garcon, WR, IND – This was a fluke, I wouldn’t even go pick up Garcon just yet. It is hard to call 146 yards and two scores a fluke, but I did it anyways. Garcon only caught two passes and each was a big scoring play, but he also dropped some very catch-able balls and at best I see Garcon back to a frustrating player that is bound to have some serious consistency issues.
Arian Foster, RB, HOU – Foster looked like a beast this week against Pittsburgh. Tate was a quality back in his absence and I was never too sold on Foster for this season after he got banged up. I saw Tate splitting time with Foster, but I now think I was wrong. Foster was a punishing physical runner and showed his break away speed on a long TD run late to seal the game. Consider him back to being a top 5 back.
Calvin Johnson, WR, DET – Megatron is just hands down the fantasy football MVP of the first quarter of the season. He is on pace for a mind-blowing THIRTY TWO touchdown passes this season. It is not likely that he can keep hauling in two TD passes per game the rest of the way, but he will no-doubt finish strong and have a career year.
Mario Manningham, WR, NYG – The Cardinals secondary is full of holes and after the Giants torched the Eagles in Week 3, I expected a big day from Manningham. It didn’t quite happen, but both Nicks and Victor Cruz DID have good games. I am not worried about Manningham yet, but Cruz is clearly going to be a long-term factor in the passing game and might eat into Manningham’s targets a little bit.
Tim Hightower, RB, WAS – I touched on this a bit yesterday, but Hightower saw limited work as he banged up his shoulder against the Rams in week 3. The Bye week is well-timed for putting this behind him but with Torain running so well, it’ll be VERY difficult to trust any of the Redskins’ RBs come week 6.
Mark Sanchez, QB, NYJ – I really just don’t see Sanchez as a viable starting QB for fantasy owners. If you saw this game, you probably have little trouble agreeing with me. No matter how good the opposing defense is, a QB should NEVER have negative fantasy points and I would have no trouble dropping Sanchez if i had him as my backup. Rex Grossman, Colt McCoy and Andy Dalton are all guys I would rather use a bench spot on.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE – The Patriots spent an absurd amount of time in two tight end formations before Hernandez went down with an injury. Now they only have one on the active roster and he did almost nothing against the Raiders. Treat this as a fluke, because he is such a great red zone target for Brady. You just can’t afford to bench him.
Devery Henderson, WR, NO – The Saints receivers are getting back to healthy and Henderson and Meachem are back to the “too risky” category for me. Someone will have a big game each week, but I think it is just too big a headache to try and guess who it will be each week.