Every week I’ll address some topics that have my head spinning after Sunday’s action:
For the second straight Sunday Pittsburgh running back Jonathan Dwyer eclipsed the 100-yard mark on the ground as the Steelers knocked off the Redskins. While Dwyer is still searching for his first score of the season he has now registered 229 yards rushing on 34 carries over the past two weeks. However, he did suffer a strained right quad in the game. That, along with the potential Week 9 returns of both Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman to the lineup, leaves his fantasy value moving forward very much in question.
Denver third-year wide receiver Demaryius Thomas continues to emerge as one of the league’s most dynamic playmakers at the position. He exploited his favorable matchup with New Orleans on Sunday night by tallying 137 yards and a touchdown on seven catches. With 39 receptions for 679 yards on the year, Thomas has already surpassed his previous career highs in both categories that were established last season. Though Eric Decker may steal his thunder at times, it’s clear there’s room in Peyton Manning’s arsenal for both receivers to be extremely productive.
With both Greg Jennings (groin) and Jordy Nelson (hamstring) out of action on Sunday it was James Jones that led the Packers in receiving. The veteran was targeted a team-high nine times and finished with seven catches for 78 yards in Week 8’s victory over Jacksonville. With Jennings out indefinitely and Nelson’s status unclear for the team’s matchup with Arizona, Jones could be in line to be the top option again in Week 9 as the Packers brace for a Week 10 bye. Jones’ value may have a time table on it, but he’s a decent low-end WR2 until further notice with even more upside in PPR formats.
After suggesting owners to keep their eyes on how the Redskins utilized tight end Logan Paulsen last week, we are fully endorsing picking up now to owners seeking help at the position. Paulsen, who has risen atop the team’s depth chart falling the season-ending injury suffered by Fred Davis, by pulling in four balls for 46 yards versus the Steelers. In the six-plus quarters of play since Davis went down Paulsen has been targeted 12 times by Robert Griffin II and caught eight passes for 119 yards. He’s still just a TE2 at best, but he has some upside as a potential bye-week filler and may make for a nice backup.
Even though he carried 11 times, Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams only netted 33 yards rushing in Sunday’s loss at Chicago. He was in the game for 14 snaps compared to Jonathan Stewart’s 53 and Mike Tolbert’s 32 plays. With the NFL Trade Deadline approaching on Tuesday there are rumors surfacing that Williams is on the block. A trade to a new team and a fresh start could breathe some life into his fantasy value, but is upside would still be very limited. Currently he’s only worth a roster spot in the deepest of leagues.
--Robert Griffin III, Eli Manning, Alex Green, Calvin Johnson, Brent Celek
--Russell Wilson, Vick Ballard, Titus Young, Chris Givens, Jason Witten