Brian Hartline, WR, MIA – All season so far the Cardinals have leaned on their defense to get wins and the best part of their defense has been the secondary, featuring Patrick Peterson. Meanwhile, the Miami offense was centered around Reggie Bush. Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill has been doing a good job of managing the game and minimizing mistakes. Seemingly out of nowhere, Hartline exploded against the Cardinals for 12 catches on 19 targets for 253 yards and a touchdown. I’m honestly not too sure how I will rank him yet for next week but given the bye weeks, he is certainly going to be a serviceable flex-play at least.
Michael Turner, RB, ATL – This was a really strong bounce-back game for Turner, who appears to have lost a little quickness this year. It may not have been much but in the NFL, a tenth of a second difference to the hole can mean the difference between a 2 yard gain and a 20+ yard gain. Turner had just 13 carries for 103 yards rushing. The biggest surprise was the 3 catches for 68 yards and receiving touchdown. You can’t count on the receiving production but it was still a really nice game if he didn’t catch any passes. Hopefully you have a good enough team that Turner is a flex-play at best.
Tom Brady, QB, NE – If you own Tom Brady and were paying attention on Sunday, you were pretty disappointed at half time. It looked like Buffalo had taken over the game by half time with the Patriots only having 7 points. 45 points later the second half and ended and you finally had the highest scoring QB for the week in Brady. He shredded a pretty poor secondary but what impressed me was the offensive line play. With two 100 yard rushers and a clean jersey for Tom Brady facing what was thought to be one of the best front four in the NFL. He’ll have a tough time duplicating this level of production too often but it’s nice to see him putting up elite QB numbers again.
Roddy White, WR, ATL – A lot of people commented about me ranking Roddy White over Julio Jones in my preseason rankings. I’ll admit that my logic wasn’t fool proof but it was pretty solid. White has proven to be a fantasy stud and not just for one season. He’s been doing this for a few years now. Jones may have twice the talent but there is a lot to be said for confidence and ability to fight off defensive attention. Thus far, teams have been able to keep Jones pinned down but not so much with White. He’s living up to that #2 preseason rank I gave him so far.
Marques Colston, WR, NO – Colston is a really frustrating guy to own, historically. In the first three weeks, he didn’t get over 5 fantasy points and seemingly at random, he goes off for a huge game. That game was on Sunday. 9 catches for 153 yards and a TD on 13 targets. If you own Colston, you have to deal with the mediocrity to make it to these games. Start him every week.
Andre Roberts, WR, ARI – It still just feels awkward and a little dirty to mention that the Cardinals are 4-0, but their record stands and they won a big overtime game against the Dolphins on Sunday. Roberts has 4 TDs in 4 games and is a must-own in all leagues. I couldn’t use him as more than a bye-week fill-in quite yet but if Kolb can keep his stats up, he could crawl his way up to being a WR2 at best after a few weeks.
Tony Romo, QB, DAL – That makes two games that the Cowboys lost on the arm of their QB. I would be in a full-panic right now if Romo was my QB and I think you should try and trade for a better option immediately. This guy is going to lose his job and he will be the first QB of the season to do so.
Ryan Williams, RB, ARI – A lot of people really liked Ryan Williams now that Beanie Wells is out of the picture. This isn’t what they had in mind. Miami admittedly has a really solid run defense but I haven’t seen Williams do ANYTHING worth mentioning yet. He will be the lowest ranked of the feature backs until he can show me that he deserves the job.
Martellus Bennett, TE, NYG – The Giants were using him as the #2 receiving threat when Nicks was out and it seemed like he was going to be a sure-fire starter for his fantasy owners. I’ll still rank him as such but he really raised a lot of questions with his zero point performance.
Julio Jones, WR, ATL – People had him pegged at the #2 WR going into draft day and while I was NOT one of them (having him outside my top 10), he disappointed a lot of people. He hasn’t even outscored the team’s kicker on the year. Ouch.
Dennis Pitta, TE, BAL – He went from the most targeted TE in the league to not listed in the box score. Zeros hurt fantasy owners but don’t panic, they just didn’t need to look to a check-down option against the Browns secondary. The receivers were open on just about every play.
Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI – I didn’t start him with confidence but he killed me this week and I’m sure I am not alone. I’m not starting this guy until he proves himself again and I don’t think you should either.