Each week, we’re going to give a player from each division a “Player of the Week” honor. In an attempt to not cram the same info down your throat you might find elsewhere, we’re going to mostly focus on players who weren’t draft day all-stars. In some cases they won’t even be rostered in redraft leagues, but are players who are worth stashing in dynasty leagues and those who have yielded the greatest return on your investment so far. After all, you don’t need to be told Andre Johnson had a great day – he was drafted in such a spot that it was expected. Same with Julio Jones, Steve Smith (CAR), and Arian Foster. That’s not to say we won’t occasionally honor a truly elite performance, especially from rookies.
As part of a group collaboration, members of the DLF Senior Team have each chosen to represent a division and will be selecting which players will be getting the “gold star” for the week. As an added bonus, I will also include the most impressive IDP performances of the week for each division, because defensive players need love too!
Here is who is will be nominating players for each division and be sure to follow us on Twitter by clicking their names:
AFC West – Steve Wyremski
AFC East – Paymon Shokoohi
AFC North – Eric Olinger
AFC South – Tim Stafford
NFC West – The FF Ghost
NFC East – Jarrett Behar
NFC North – Jacob Feldman
NFC South – Ryan McDowell
Brian Hartline, WR MIA
Hartline followed a decent showing in week one with a great showing in week two. His nine catch, 111 yard performance was a career day for the four year receiver. Even more important, he and Ryan Tannehill have developed, rather quickly, a very strong chemistry. Hartline has sneaky speed and quickness and is a solid route runner. I’m buying him as a legit receiving option going forward and as a low end WR3 option for me for the rest of the season. He appears to be Tannehill’s favorite target. If only someone could have mentioned this in June. –Paymon Shokoohi
IDP- Garrett McIntyre, OLB NYJ
Garrett McIntyre wasn’t even a blip on the IDP radar prior to Sunday’s breakout performance. He definitely forced us to take notice with seven total tackles (six solo), including two sacks and four tackles for loss. He’s definitely not worth adding except in the DEEPEST of DEEP leagues, but his performance still warrants recognition, especially since you may never hear his name again.
Reggie Wayne, WR IND
If you’re a contending team and need the last piece at receiver to push you over the top, Wayne is a prime option. He’s tied for second in the league in targets and is making the most out of them. For an old man, 13.7 yards per catch is nothing to sneeze at. There’s no reason to think this will change – Wayne is still the most talented pass catcher on the team. Andrew Luck already trusts him and I could see a 1,200 yard season. –Tim Stafford
IDP- Michael Griffin, S TEN
I have to admit, when I saw this stat line I thought it was a misprint. There is no way a Safety racked up 16 solo tackles and two assists, but that’s what happened. That’s insane! When you look beyond the box score, you realize just how bad this team misses second year stud MLB Colin McCarthy. Griffin is a top tier DB regardless, but as long as McCarthy is absent, Griffin is a MUST START!
Brandon Weeden, QB CLE
It’s amazing how quickly the tides turn in the NFL. Last week, Weeden was being beaten down by everyone. People were joking about his ERA being higher than his quarterback rating (5.1). The one good thing about tanking so badly in week one is that there was nowhere to go but up. Weeden bounced back very impressively, going 26-for-37 for 322 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a rock solid quarterback rating of 114.9. Being able to move on from a poor performance is a key quality in a quarterback. There could still be some dynasty value here if the wide receivers step up. –Eric Olinger
IDP- D’Qwell Jackson, MLB CLE
A one man wrecking crew on defense, D’Qwell Jackson picked off an Andy Dalton pass, sacked the quarterback three times, and added two more assists. While the big plays are incredible forJackson, through two weeks he only has eight tackles. Obviously, he’s getting the job done one way or the other, but Jackson has built his reputation on being among the league leaders in tackles.
Brandon Myers, OAK TE
Don’t look now, but Brandon Myers is a top ten tight end after two weeks. Amazingly, so far he’s caught 100% of passes thrown his way. In standard PPR leagues, he’s scored 11.5 and 18.2 points in the first two weeks of 2012 totaling 11 catches for 151 yards. Those 11 targets rank tenth among tight ends and only one short of a stud like Vernon Davis. It’s an impressive start.
The 27 year-old career backup tight end is known for his blocking, but he’s doing his best impression of the new version of the 2011 Jake Ballard. Carson Palmer has publicly praised the tight end and it appears that the veteran quarterback trusts him. Clearly, we can’t expect this type of production from Myers going forward, but he’ll be a decent bye week filler or match-up play. –Steve Wyremski
IDP- Matt Shaughnessy, DE OAK
Matt Shaughnessy’s 2011 season abruptly ended after he tore his shoulder up in week four. He didn’t participate much in offseason activities either, so he entered this season a big question mark. The way he finished 2010 shows how Shaughnessy has a ton of IDP appeal and he seems to be picking up right where he left off. Through two games, he has eight total tackles and one and a half sacks. Still only 25 years old, Shaughnessy is definitely on the dynasty IDP radar again and should be added as a top 15 DE.
Andre Brown, RB NYG
There were lot of great performances to choose from in this game, but I’ll go with the player who had 13 carries, 71 yards, two receptions for 19 more yards and a touchdown. Even better, he’s the player least likely to be on dynasty rosters. Brown has bounced around the league after being a fourth round pick of the Giants in 2009 and suffering an Achilles injury in camp shortly after. He’s had brief stints with the Broncos, Colts, Panthers and Redskins before rejoining the Giants. It’s clear to me the coaching staff does not yet trust David Wilson in regards to pass protection or ball security. Brown figures to take over for Bradshaw as the early down and clock killing back until Ahmad Bradshaw returns from his neck injury, and it’s possible he will have a role even after Bradshaw returns. –Jarrett Behar
IDP- DeMeco Ryans, MLB PHI
A week after there was talk of Ryans being benched on passing downs, he responded with one of his best overall games in years. Ryans was everywhere, tallying six solo tackles, one assist, a sack, and an interception. For Juan Castillo’s Wide-9 defense to work, this is the type of performance needed from the Eagles linebackers. Between Ryans and Mychal Kendricks, they finally have them.
Pierre Thomas, RB NO
Although the Saints are off to a disappointing 0-2 start to the 2012 season, the way they have used their running backs has been a thing of beauty. We all know the diminutive Darren Sproles is a PPR machine. In fact, he has yet to record a carry this season. Dynasty owners are also well aware of Mark Ingram, the much hyped top draft pick of the Saints in 2011. The running back who is often forgotten in the Big Easy is the veteran Pierre Thomas. In their week two matchup against the division foe Carolina Panthers, Thomas racked up 110 yards on only nine rushing attempts. He also hauled in four balls for 33 yards. His totals were good for over 18 points in PPR leagues. Although Thomas is most likely rostered in most dynasty leagues, he makes for a great trade target as owners focus on Sproles and Ingram. –Ryan McDowell
IDP- Charles Godfrey, S CAR
Godfrey was a pain in Drew Brees’ side from the opening kickoff on. He picked off a first quarter pass and returned it for a touchdown, made 11 tackles (six solo) and did his best to shadow Darren Sproles. Godfrey always seems to be available on IDP waiver wires for some reason. He’s a solid DB3 and perfect for bye weeks or injury fill-ins at worst. In a game where we’re looking for the next superstar, we often overlook the steady guys.
Mikel LeShoure, RB DET
It is rare that people get excited about a non-rookie with zero career snaps in the NFL. There is a reason in LeShoure’s case – he is the most talented runner on a very high powered offense. Coaches have said he will be involved immediately now that his suspension has ended. A full year removed from his achilles injury, it should only take a few weeks for him to return to the form that made him a second round draft pick in 2011. Kevin Smith will still be involved on passing downs, but this should be LeShoure’s backfield unless he blows it. – Jacob Feldman
IDP- Clay Matthews, OLB GB
Normally, Matthews is only an option in big play leagues, but he’s playing like his butt is on fire right now. Through two weeks he has already matched his sack total from last year with six. When Jay Cutler isn’t too busy whining, he’s checking under the bed for Matthews. Thursday night he owned the Bears. His seven tackles and three and a half sacks ruined everything Cutler and Co. were trying to do. Even in standard leagues, Matthews deserves to be in your lineups. He’s white hot right now, so enjoy the production.
Danny Amendola, WR STL
Far and away I think I have the easiest job this week out of anyone in assigning the NFC Player of the week. I think it would be hard to argue that anyone but Danny Amendola deserves mentioning. His 15 receptions for 160 yards and one touchdown are staggering by any measure. Several DLF experts have been screaming for our readers to take him seriously and this past weekend is why. Amendola is a PPR machine, but Sunday proved he is absolutely rosterable in non-PPR leagues as well. -TheFFGhost
IDP- Calais Campbell, DE ARZ
I’m still pretty bitter over Arizona ruining my Survivor Poll. West coast teams aren’t supposed to travel east for 1pm games and win. NOBODY is supposed to walk into Foxboro and smack the Patriots in the mouth, especially not in their home opener. I guess Calais Campbell missed the memo. With seven solo tackles, three assists and two sacks, Campbell led the charge to pull off the biggest upset of the young season. Already one of the premier young defensive linemen in the league, Campbell deserves to be recognized for his great performance.
We’ll see you next week for the next installment of our weekly Divisional Debriefing.