If New York is the city that never sleeps, the NFL is the professional sports league that never rests.
Four weeks complete, a day after a series of close contests and a day most consider an NFL rest day, and football news continues to churn out at a break-neck rate and player values ebb and flow in all sorts of directions.
This week’s Stock Up/Stock Down options include:
Felix Jones, DAL. The best playmaker in the Dallas backfield and a Jerry Jones pet project since he joined the Cowboys, Felix will be getting an expanded role in the offense. To fantasy football owners, the real question was, what took so long? We all got a glimpse of what Felix can do when he has increased touches from his stellar playoff stats.
Brandon Tate, NE. Rumor has it that the New England Patriots are amazingly close to finalizing a deal for Randy Moss to return to Minnesota. Not a bad move for the Pats, who stood to lose Moss anyway at the end of the season. Brandon Tate has done well in multiple facets of the game, especially the return game. His skillset should morph into a Randy Moss-esque role, while Julian Edelman, who will also see at least a partial uptick in numbers, is more of a Wes Welker possession receiver type player.
Brett Favre, MIN. Favre has campaigned to play with Randy Moss multiple times before and it looks like he may get his chance now. Having a consistent big-play target should help take the pressure off Favre and hopefully reduce his overall mistakes and turnovers moving forward.
Marshawn Lynch, SEA. Yes, you saw that right. Seattle. Lynch is young and a solid downhill runner who should shine in a more featured role. Seattle’s schedule is littered with some lightweight run defenses. The only thing to worry about here is how well the rest of the offense works around Lynch to keep defenses honest.
Mike Tolbert, SD. Even with Ryan Mathews back in action, Tolbert got the majority of the carries for San Diego and is unofficially the lead back. No sense in overworking rookie Mathews. Tolbert is worth an add in all formats moving forward, especially with Oakland on the horizon.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, NE. Not shabby, with 70 yards and a TD as primary ball carrier for New England against Miami on Monday. Fred Taylor is aging fast and now apparently has turf toe, so Green-Ellis looks to be the top back moving forward.
Ryan Torain, DEN. Always on the verge of rushing into fantasy limelight with Denver, Torain received a healthy dose of carries for the Mike Shanahan-led Redskins this past week as he moved past Clinton Portis in terms of game-plan prominence.
Justin Forsett, SEA. Coming into the season, many had Forsett as a solid sleeper option and penciled in as the primary back for the Seahawks. The acquisition of Marshawn Lynch relegates Forsett to a part-time option.
Cadillac Williams, TB. One of Carnell’s attractive points coming into the season included that he was the primary ball carrier with very little competition. That has changed. Cadillac himself admitted his time as a feature back is basically over as Kareem Huggins and LeGarrette Blount have usurped their own parts in the offensive gameplan.
Marques Colston, NO. The Saints developed a reputation before as a team that spreads the wealth, especially in the passing game. However, like cream in a container of milk, Colston always found his way to the top fantasy-wise. However, this year, he’s only one of many moving parts and not in the least a consistent fantasy option. He has just 190 yards and no TDs through four weeks, and it is impossible to count on him any given week with Lance Moore and Devery Henderson getting plenty of looks as well as Robert Meachem and his solid upside potential on the field.
Jay Cutler, CHI. Some were drooling in anticipation when Jay Cutler was hooked up with Mike Martz for this season. Many overlooked the fact that Cutler has a history of forcing the ball into tough spots and costly turnovers. Add in a porous O-line and there are bound to be some fantasy goose eggs along the way. Cutler also suffered from an apparent concussion in Week 4 action. He’ll have more big-stat games, but don’t expect consistent greatness from a fantasy standpoint moving forward.
Johnny Knox/Devin Hester/Devin Aromashodu, CHI. See Cutler, Jay. The receivers’ value can only go as far as the quarterback’s arm can take them. The poor offensive line play will keep Cutler or whoever is under center in Chicago dumping off passes to Matt Forte or Greg Olsen more than chucking bombs down the field. It doesn’t help that the pigskin has been spread around, not giving any receiver enough catches to be a fantasy stud at the moment.
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