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
Shonn Greene, RB NYJ
Could we honestly give this to anyone else? After being drug through the mud by fantasy owners everywhere, Shonn Greene was treated to the Indianapolis Colts and their sorry excuse of a run defense. Greene embarrassed the Colts to the tune of 161 yards and three touchdowns. That’s 5.0 YPC to one of the league’s worst starting tailbacks. Greene can enjoy his week in the spotlight but this tells me one thing: START ANY RUNNING BACK YOU HAVE AGAINST THE COLTS! I really hope Trent Richardson can play this week, who knows what a running back with talent could do to this defense. –Eric Olinger (filling in for Paymon)
IDP- Kelvin Sheppard, MLB BUF
In the same way I’m playing every running back I own versus Indy, I play every IDP I have versus Arizona and their sieve-like offensive line. Last week people were talking about Mario Williams like he was the “Shonn Greene of defensive ends” and then he pops off two sacks against Arizona. As a team they totaled five sacks, but the guy I was most impressed with was Kelvin Sheppard and his seven solo tackles and two assists to lead the team. Sheppard is just a two down player but has legitimate IDP skill if given the opportunity. You have to be careful though, this nine tackle performance came after a four game stretch where he totaled nine tackles. If you are in a deep 12 to 14 team league and looking for a future stash, Sheppard is your guy.
Chris Johnson, RB TEN
How about putting up over 100 total yards against the Steelers? CJ2K is about to play a couple of extremely good match-ups in Buffalo and then Indy (who Shonn Greene just torched). The smart move is probably to hold through the Buffalo game and then sell on the promise of the Indy game. But most will likely play with fire and keep CJ2K in hopes of long term production. –Tim Stafford
IDP- Colin McCarthy, MLB TEN
McCarthy finished second on the team with eight total tackles, just three solo, but the biggest thing that impressed me was his ability in pass coverage with his heavily taped ankle. My initial worry for him coming back from the ankle injury was Tennessee easing him back in as a two down player and exiting on obvious passing downs. That did not appear to be the case. Since the Titans and Steelers played on Thursday night McCarthy has 10 days to rest up. I would confidently ink him back into your lineups.
Josh Gordon, WR CLE
Over the last two weeks Gordon has been everything the Browns were hoping for when they spent their 2013 second round pick on him in the Supplemental Draft. In week five, Gordon had two catches…a 62 yard touchdown catch and a 20 yard touchdown catch. He followed that up with Sunday’s three catch, 99 yard effort which included a 71 yard touchdown. Cleveland has been lacking a deep threat for a very long time, it definitely appears they have found him. –Eric Olinger
IDP- Jameel McClain, WLB/MLB BAL
McClain was had a pretty fair game Sunday by racking up seven solo tackles and an assist. During the game though, Ray Lewis tore the triceps in his right arm and will now miss the rest of the year. This should be good news for McClain who is expected to man the spot roamed by the future hall of famer. The drawback is determining how much, if any, the presence of Dannell Ellerbe affects the IDP production of McClain. I’m not expecting much, my money is on McClain taking this opportunity and running with it. He averaged roughly eight tackles a game last year when Lewis missed time.
Denarius Moore, WR, ATL
Many owners were sky high on Moore coming into the 2012 season, but a slow start due to injuries quickly left Moore in a rankings free-fall. After four weeks back in action, it’s clear that Moore is Carson Palmer’s favorite target. Nothing was more clear than Sunday’s five catch performance for 104 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. Over the last four games, Moore is averaging close to nine targets a game. He now deserves to be back in the WR 15-20 range from a ranking perspective. Unfortunately, it looks like he’ll be a feast or famine type of receiver in the near term with what looks to be a current vertical role, but he’s playing at an extremely high level.
Extra: I didn’t write about Ronnie Hillman since I wrote about him two weeks ago, but this guy is quietly earning the confidence of the Denver coaching staff and is only going to improve and see more snaps. Now is the time to acquire him. –Steve Wyremski
IDP- Chris Harris, CB DEN
In what was a monumental meltdown on Monday Night Football, Harris drove the spike deep into the hearts of Chargers fans everywhere when he picked off Philip Rivers not once, but twice, the second being a pick six that sealed the comeback for Peyton Manning and Company. Harris also chipped in four total tackles, all solo. Harris is nothing more than a desperation play in IDP leagues, but is serviceable when Denver plays against the league’s pass heavier teams.
Dominik Hixon, WR NYG
If you were a Premium Member prior to the season, you would know he was my pick for the Giants’ sleeper this year. Health, not talent, was always the primary concern with Hixon, and with the Giants offense clicking right now and Hakeem Nicks and TE Martellus Bennett nursing a knee injury, Hixon will see his fair share of targets. In addition, if Nicks were to miss anymore time, Hixon becomes an instant WR2 play. After his four receptions and 78 yards , Hixon is a great roster stash and worth picking up if someone dropped him upon Nicks’ return. –Jarrett Behar
IDP- Madieu Williams, FS WAS
Williams was an IDP monster versus his former team on Sunday. Against the Vikings he totaled 12 tackles, eight solo, and picked off a Christian Ponder pass for a touchdown. Between the tackle vacuum of London Fletcher and Perry Riley players are usually fighting for scraps as far as tackles go, but as long as Williams is starting, he has nice IDP value as a high end DB3, low DB2.
Josh Freeman, QB TB
Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman had a breakout game in week six against the Kansas City Chiefs. As the Chiefs defense did their best to stop the rushing attack led by rookie Doug Martin, the Bucs took advantage as Freeman threw for 328 yards and three scores. This effort was good enough for over 25 fantasy points and moves Freeman up to viable QB2 range. Against the Chiefs deflated defense, this could be a fluke, but Freeman also had a very good game against the Redskins in week 4, coming up one yard short of a 300 yard passing game. Freeman is on the rise and wide receivers Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson are both benefiting. –Ryan McDowell
IDP- Mark Barron, SS TBB
IDP STUD! Very rarely does a rookie come in and match the hype on either side of the ball, but Barron has done it. He can do it all as he showed on Sunday when he picked up six solo tackles, two assists, and an interception versus the Brady Quinn led Chiefs. He’s now averaging seven total tackles a game as a rookie and that number should continue to creep up. In dynasty leagues there are only a couple of DB’s that should be more valuable.
Aaron Rodgers, QB GBP and Jordy Nelson, WR GBP
Was there any other option for the NFC North this week? When you have a quarterback throw 6 touchdown passes and a wide receiver catch three of them, you have to give them the honor. Rodgers and Nelson helped each other out of their slumps by finally playing at the level that many drafted/ranked them at before the start of the season. I’m sure that they single handedly propelled many fantasy teams to victory this weekend. –Jacob Feldman
IDP- AJ Hawk, ILB GBP
While Hawk did have a very nice game on Sunday night, his biggest boost comes at the expense of DJ Smith, who was lost for the season due to a knee injury. Against Houston however, Hawk had a game high 10 tackles, six solo, and one sack. The injury will definitely push Hawk back into an every down linebacker role and definitely increase his value for the rest of the season. In a year we’re seeing All-pro linebackers dropping like flies, he’s worth an add.
Russell Wilson, QB SEA
It almost feels as if I’m recycling weeks already in Week 6 because the NFC West player of the week is once again a return honoree. This week the NFC West player of the week nod goes to Russell Wilson who lifted his team past the powerhouse New England Patriots with an impressive fantasy performance to boot. Wilson posted 293 passing yards with three touchdown passes in addition to another five rushing attempts for 17 yards. The performance by Wilson allowed the Seahawks to move into a three-way tie for first place in the NFC West with all of the other NFC West teams losing in Week 6. –TheFFGhost
IDP- Bobby Wagner, MLB SEA
This was a big test for Wagner, playing every down versus an offense like New England will expose any holes in your game and the rookie came through nicely. Wagner came through with a game high 14 total tackles, seven solo, and seven assists. In dynasty IDP leagues the arrow is pointing way up on Wagner. Get him now if you have the opportunity to buy cheap.
We’ll see you next week for more divisional debriefing.