I have been writing this article for a few years now and I think it is time to change things up. Instead of trying to highlight a fantasy player from each NFL game, I'm going to give a game ball to the best performance at each of the offensive positions. And, as always, someone will earn a Dirty Sock.
QB Game Ball - Tony Romo, Dallas - 16/27, 353 yards, 3 TD
No T.O. - no problem. The Cowboys offense got off to a slow start against the Bucs but Romo eventually kicked things into gear. He ended up with three big touchdowns of 42, 66 and 80 yards - all to different receivers. Patrick Crayton caught that last one and finished with 135 yards receiving on the day. Tight end Jason Witten did not score but led the team with five catches and had 71 yards.
QB Honorable Mention - Drew Brees, New Orleans - 26/34, 358 yards, 6 TD, 1 Int (hey, it was against the Lions!)
RB Game Ball - Adrian Peterson, Minnesota - 25 carries, 180 yards, 3 TD
Sure, he's the top back in the game and he should do well against a team like the Browns. But 180 yards and three scores is very impressive. A lot of people will point out that Brett Favre won his first game as a Viking today, but Brett better give AP a nice pat on the rear.
RB Honorable Mention - Mike Bell, New Orleans - 28 carries, 143 yards (he's just filling in and, again, it was against the Lions!)
WR Game Ball - Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis - 10 catches, 162 yards, 1 TD
This summer it appeared that Wayne's stock had fallen amongst WRs. Sure, there are some exciting young guys out there like Larry Fitzgerald and Roddy White. But there was no reason to think Wayne was going to lose a step. And he certainly didn't against the Jags on Sunday. Peyton Manning found his favorite target early and often in a nice win for the Colts.
WR Honorable Mention - Tim Hightower, Arizona - 12 catches, 121 yards (okay, not a WR but a heck of a performance.)
TE Game Ball - John Carlson, Seattle - 6 catches, 95 yards, 2 TD
If you are a regular at GSI then you know that Dan has been preaching depth at the TE position all summer long. Carlson is a good example of that depth. He was listed at No. 11 on our latest Cheat Sheet and if you grabbed him late in a draft he paid big dividends today. He's not going to score twice every game, but he is a great target for Matt Hasselbeck in what could be an explosive Seahawks' offense.
TE Honorable Mention - Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta - 5 catches, 73 yards, 1 TD (apparently not going to be overlooked in the talented Falcons offense.)
D/ST Game Balls - Joshua Cribbs, Cleveland - 67 yard punt return
Cribbs may be the best return man in football and started the season off with his 7th career TD. It is not advisable to pick up the Browns D/ST but if you are in a pinch, Cribbs may be able to come through for you. Opponents will score often against Cleveland so Cribbs will get plenty of returns!
D/ST Honorable Mention - Philadelphia Eagles - 5 Int, 2 Fum, 5 sacks, 1 punt ret TD (Just read the next award......)
The Game Used Sock Award - Jake Delhomme, QB, Carolina - 7/17, 73 yards, 4 int, 1 fum
The Panthers are coming off of a playoff season. They have an explosive running game. They have a couple of excellent WRs. The always have a solid Defense. And Jake Delhomme usually doesn't stink. But today he did. Really, really bad. I am not an expert on the Panthers or the Eagles for that matter. And I really didn't get to see much of that game. But something tells me that the Panthers embarassing loss was a fluke. Don't be surprised if, in December, everyone is looking back at week one wondering how Carolina lost that game. Either way, Delhomme is walking home wearing a couple of stinky socks.
Stinky Sock Honorable Mention - Steve Slaton, RB, Houston - 9 carries, 17 yards, 3 catches, 35 yards (if you spent a first round pick on this guy, be worried.)
Fantasy Football, NFL