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
Jeremy Kerley, WR NYJ
With Santonio Holmes out of commission for the Jets, Kerley has emerged as the clear number one option for Mark Sanchez. His seven receptions for 120 yards show that, and even more importantly, his 11 targets emphasizes it. Kerley has now averaged nearly nine targets a game in his last three games, so he’s clearly a big part of the passing attack.
IDP- DeMario Davis, ILB NYJ
Davis didn’t have the best statistical day of anyone in the division, but he might have had the most interesting. He totaled six solo tackles and one assist, bringing his total for the year to 11 total tackles. Davis has been on the deep IDP radar all year because Bart Scott is a major liability on this defense and the passing of the torch to Davis is inevitable. If you have the room and the patience, stash Davis – he could pay off in a major way in tackle heavy leagues.
Rashad Jennings, RB JAX
When MJD went down with an apparent foot injury, Rashad Jennings got his chance to shine. While his stat line was somewhat pedestrian, he ground out a solid performance especially in PPR formats. Jennings immediately vaults into consideration as a RB2 in all leagues.
IDP- Pat Angerer, ILB IND
There really wasn’t anything particularly impressive about anyone from this division, so I’m giving it to Angerer. FINALLY making his 2012 debut after breaking his foot in the pre-season opener, Angerer posted two solos and an assist to go along with two quarterback hits in limited playing time. The great news is he came out of the game setback free and is expected to return to every down duty soon. This guy was a machine last year, if you can convince the Angerer owner that Jerrell Freeman is the real deal and you can get Angerer cheap, do it. It’s all about the sales pitch!
Jonathan Dwyer, RB PIT
With 122 yards on 17 carries, Dwyer proved he can handle the load when called upon. The Steelers used a committee attack versus the Bengals, pairing Dwyer with Chris Rainey, who scored the lone rushing touchdown of the night. Dwyer is simply a handcuff to Rashard Mendenhall and will undoubtedly return to the bench upon his return, but with Mendenhall returning from a torn ACL and now a sore Achilles, Dwyer is a nice handcuff for the rest of the season.
IDP- Terrell Suggs, DE BAL
Could I possibly give this to anyone else? T-Sizzle returned from an Achilles injury to the tune of three solo tackles, one assist, a sack, a pass break up and a total of two quarterback hits. Once his conditioning returns, it looks like he’s going to pick up right where he left off in 2011.
Darren McFadden, RB OAK
The AFC West only had one of its four teams play last week and it was an ugly one – that’s exactly how I’d explain Darren McFadden’s play over the last three weeks. While he’s underperformed, averaging only three yards per carry so far in 2012, he now represents a perfect buy low opportunity after a few lackluster weeks. The Raiders are starting to implement some more power runs to get McFadden going as it doesn’t look like this zone-blocking is working for him. McFadden is the Raiders’ best offensive player. The staff will ensure he gets back on track ultimately, so now is the time to target the young explosive back.
IDP- Miles Burris, WLB OAK
Well, since the Chargers, Chiefs, and Broncos were all on BYE, my choice has to come from the Raiders defense and I picked rookie Miles Burris. Against Jacksonville, Burris finished second on the team with four solo tackles, three assists and he recorded his first sack of his career as well. Burris is earning more and more playing time and is definitely someone to monitor. Keep an eye on him as he has legit IDP potential.
Miles Austin, WR DAL
With five receptions, 97 yards and one touchdown, Austin has quietly maintained WR2 value despite his hamstring issues popping up again. He has only had one week under 15 PPR fantasy points (compared to 4 weeks under 15 for Dez Bryant) and has scored a touchdown in four of six games this year. A more consistent option to the more boom or bust Bryant, Austin will likely maintain his WR2 value with WR1 upside as the season moves along.
IDP- The NY Giants Defensive Ends
Keeping rookie phenom Robert Griffin III in check is no easy task, but the Giants did enough to get the win by bringing him down three times, one each by Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora. In order for the Giants to do what they do, they need these guys to bring relentless pressure on the quarterback.
Griffin still had almost 90 yards rushing, over 250 yards passing, two touchdowns and a quarterback rating over 108, but he also earned the respect of Umenyiora when he said RG3 was the best quarterback they’ve played this year.
Lance Moore, WR NO
The Saints wide receiver Lance Moore had a standout game in week seven facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Moore caught nine passes for a total of 121 yards – his second highest yardage game of his career. Making his performance even more impressive is the fact this was his return game from over two weeks off as he missed week five due to injury and the Saints were on bye in week six. Moore now ranks as the WR14 in PPR leagues, yet his dynasty value has not seen the huge jumps of other players in this same range. Moore is still a great trade target for contending teams.
IDP-Luke Kuechly, LB CAR
Filling in at middle linebacker for the injured Jon Beason once again, Kuechly put together another fine game with 15 total tackles (eight solo) and a fumble recovery. The rookie has been as advertised and may indeed replace Beason permanently in the middle one day, but with the GM being fired in Carolina and a coaching staff that might not be far behind, nothing is certain.
Adrian Peterson, RB MIN
There had been a lot of talk in recent weeks about the strength of Arizona being its defense. There had also been a lot of talk about Peterson not having that breakout game just yet. What happened when they met? Peterson went off for 159 total yards and a score while averaging 6.7 YPC and getting two receptions for the PPR folks. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. He should be in or just outside of your top five running backs.
IDP- Brian Robison, DE MIN
Start every lineman you have against Arizona!!! Robison has four sacks on the season after picking up three on Sunday. Most other weeks he is barely even worth having on your roster, but when Arizona is in town everyone plays. With Robison (3), Jared Allen (2), Kyle Williams (1) and Antoine Winfield (1), the Vikings hung seven sacks on the pitiful Cardinals. Good luck John Skelton!
Frank Gore, RB SF
Frank Gore is the logical choice for Week seven’s NFC West MVP. Gore looked flat out amazing en route to 131 rushing yards on 16 carries and another 51 receiving yards on five receptions. To say he looked like a man possessed would be a bit of an understatement. Gore looked what can only be described as rejuvenated. The fact that Gore put up this performance against a Seattle run defense which is widely considered one of the best in the league is a plus, so he gets extra points for knocking off a division rival in the process.
IDP- Daryl Washington, ILB ARZ
Outside of uber-stud JJ Watt, there hasn’t been an IDP more impressive than Washington. Against the Vikings, Washington had eight solo tackles, one assist and two more sacks. That brings his sack total to six on the season from a 3-4 ILB – that’s incredible considering the Vikings only had 17 pass attempts on Sunday.