Updated Oct. 14, 2009
Jeremy Maclin, WR
While Kevin Curtis once again led the Eagles in chronic knee problems, rookie Jeremy Maclin stepped in to lead the team in all the other categories that count, like pass targets, catches, receiving yards, long distance TDs, photo ops, kissed babies, and shoe deals.
Barring some miraculous event that allows 31-year-old Curtis to regain his ability to fly around the field like he did during his 1,110-yard season in 2007, it's hard to imagine how the Eagles are going to keep Maclin out of the starting lineup.
Knowshon Moreno/Eddie Royal, RB/WR
Well, after a convincing 5-0 start, it may be time to begrudgingly give fantasy killjoy head coach Josh McDaniels his due credit. As the Broncos secured their improbable fifth straight win this week, some encouraging signs of clarity on the fantasy front also emerged.
For one thing, rookie RB Knowshon Moreno stepped up to competently handle the lead role against a tough New England defense, ending the day with 88 yards on 21 carries. Also encouraging was the fact that Eddie Royal was given a week off from his job as a downfield decoy and caught 10 of his team-leading 15 pass targets.
Chad Henne/Greg Camarillo, QB/WR
There was a strong chance that after Marc Anthony's inspired national anthem appearance, it was going to be all downhill for the Dolphins against the Jets this past Monday night. The Dolphins offense would have none of that pessimism however, and responded with about seven different versions of the wildcat to flaunt their run dominance—one version which I swear resulted in coach Tony Sparano gaining about 12 yards on an end-around.
Also noteworthy was the fairly amazing performance by rifle-armed Chad Henne, in only his 2nd pro start. Needless to say, it's so far so good for Henne and the Dolphins receivers, and there is no doubt that Miami hasn't seen a fastball like Henne's since AJ Burnett was pitching for the Marlins.
Hakeem Nicks, WR
The Giants passing game is working so well right now that even a proven chump like David Carr was able to step in and complete 64 percent of his passes. If Carr's historical statistics were worth looking up, I'd check the numbers, but I'm guessing that 64 percent might be double his career completion rate.
In any event, now that Eli Mannings plantar fascia drama is temporarily postponed, and Mario Manningham is discovering a newfound talent for dropping passes, it might make sense to look at rookie Hakeem Nicks as a possible fantasy bench addition. Nicks has scored two weeks in a row, and led the Giants in targets this past week with six, including two red-zone targets.
Anthony Gonzalez/Austin Collie, WR
It's yet to be seen if Anthony Gonzalez will actually return after the Colts Week Six bye to play the Rams in Week Seven, but the way that Peyton Manning is making a mockery of modern pass defense so far this season, he is worth picking up and stashing away if he is available in your league. Under the scenario that he can return, Pierre Garcon is likely the odd guy out, as Gonzalez moves outside, and emerging rookie Austin Collie takes over in the slot.
Justin Fargas, RB
If there is anything consistent about the Raiders this year, it is that someone is willing to step up each game to become one of the colossal fantasy disappointments of the week. Although the entire team was uniformly incompetent against the Giants this past week, the dubious distinction of colossal fantasy disappointment probably goes to Justin Fargas, who managed just 18 yards on 11 carries and doesn't deserve to be on anyone's fantasy roster.
David Garrard/Torry Holt, QB/WR
After the 41-0 trouncing by Seattle this weekend, it is easy to see why the city of Jacksonville is rooting for the discovery of water on the moon, as they would gladly allow their home team to relocate there in the near future.
In fact, maybe that's why Michael Sims-Walker missed the game this week, he was trying out his new lunar running shoes. Torry Holt, did have a decent game with seven catches for 95 yards, but the fact that Jacksonville passing offense couldn't even generate a garbage-time TD in a 41-0 blowout is an ominous sign.
Laurence Maroney, RB
Well, for one thing, Laurence Maroney's performance is becoming easier to forecast. With Fred Taylor, Laurence Maroney does essentially nothing, without Fred Taylor Laurence Maroney does pretty much the same.
How does Maroney respond to matchups? Difficult matchup equals zilch, easy matchup equals zilch plus zippo. How about while wearing throwback uniform, on the road, versus an NFC East opponent? That's right, under that scenario, Maroney is about good for diddly-squat with a side of scrambled goose eggs.
Jerome Harrison/Jamal Lewis, RB
Evidently, the Browns-Bills game was rained out around the fourth inning this weekend, with Cleveland coming away with a soggy 6-3 victory. Of course, in what seems to be an emerging pattern for the Browns offense, the main contributor was probably the guy you would least expect.
In fact, Jamal Lewis wasn't really even expected to play, but he plodded his way to 117 yards on 31 carries nonetheless. Going forward, it seems that Browns coach Eric Mangini is perfectly comfortable going with a marginally effective Jamal Lewis mixed in with a smattering of Jerome Harrison, but this seems to be a backfield situation to avoid for fantasy purposes.
Patrick Crayton, WR
Not to take anything away from Miles Austin, but unless he is the long lost progeny of bionic man Steve Austin, his insane 250-yard, two-touchdown performance this past week seems to have "accidental aberration" written all over it.
That said, Austin is at least a slight upgrade over Crayton, and it appears that the Cowboys are going to give their new breakout receiver a chance to prove his legitimacy. Until further noice, Crayton's fantasy value takes a significant hit as Austin likely sees more playing time across from Roy Williams.
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