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Week 2 Upgrades, Downgrades, and Waiver Wire Wonders

by Sigmund Bloom, exclusive to Footballguys.com


Quarterback Upgrade

  1. QB Peyton Manning, DEN
  2. QB Colin Kaepernick, SF
  3. QB Eli Manning, NYG
  4. QB Terrelle Pryor, OAK (waiver wire: 3-5% in typical leagues, 25-50% in 2QB/QBflex)
  5. QB EJ Manuel, BUF (waiver wire: 3-5% in typical leagues, 10-20% in QBflex/deep)
  6. QB Matthew Stafford, DET
  7. QB Sam Bradford, STL (waiver wire: 1-3% in typical leagues, 10-20% in QB flex/deep lg)
  8. QB Michael Vick, PHI
  9. QB Carson Palmer, ARI (waiver wire: 1-3% in typical leagues, 10-20% in QB flex/deep lg)
  10. QB Matt Schaub, HOU (waiver wire: 3-5%)
  11. QB Geno Smith, NYJ (waiver wire: 1-3% in typical leagues, 7-15% in 2QB/QBflex)
  12. QB Philip Rivers, SD (waiver wire: 1%)

Quarterback Downgrade

  1. QB Cam Newton, CAR
  2. QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
  3. QB Josh Freeman, TB
  4. QB Jake Locker, TEN

Quarterback Holding steady

  1. QB Tom Brady, NE
  2. QB Robert Griffin III, WAS

Running Back Upgrade

  1. RB Joique Bell, DET (waiver wire: 25-50%, perhaps even more in deep PPR leagues)
  2. RB Reggie Bush, DET
  3. RB LeSean McCoy, PHI
  4. RB Eddie Lacy, GB
  5. RB Brandon Bolden, NE (waiver wire: 5-10% and potentially more in very deep leagues)
  6. RB DeMarco Murray, DAL
  7. RB Ben Tate, HOU
  8. RB Fred Jackson, BUF
  9. RB Darren McFadden, OAK
  10. RB Bryce Brown, PHI
  11. RB C.J. Anderson, DEN (waiver wire: 1-3%)
  12. RB LeVeon Bell, PIT (waiver wire: 5-10% if he was undrafted in short bench lgs)
  13. RB LeGarrette Blount, NE (waiver wire: 1%)
  14. RB Andre Brown, NYG (waiver wire: 1-3%)
  15. RB Knowshon Moreno, DEN (waiver wire: 3-5%)
  16. RB Bilal Powell, NYJ (waiver wire: 1%)
  17. RB DaRel Scott, NYG (waiver wire: 1%)
  18. RB Leon Washington, NE (waiver wire: 1%)

Running Back Downgrade

  1. RB David Wilson, NYG
  2. RB Montee Ball, DEN
  3. RB Chris Ivory, NYJ
  4. RB Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL
  5. RB Shane Vereen, NE
  6. RB Mark Ingram, NO
  7. RB Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX
  8. RB Lamar Miller, MIA
  9. RB Giovani Bernard, CIN
  10. RB Isaac Redman, PIT
  11. RB Ahmad Bradshaw, IND
  12. RB Ronnie Hillman, DEN
  13. RB Rashard Mendenhall, ARI
  14. RB Ryan Mathews, SD
  15. RB C.J. Spiller, BUF
  16. RB Arian Foster, HOU
  17. RB Doug Martin, TB
  18. RB Stevan Ridley, NE
  19. RB Chris Johnson, TEN
  20. RB Christine Michael, SEA

Running Back Holding steady

  1. RB Frank Gore, SF
  2. RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA
  3. RB Daryl Richardson, STL
  4. RB Trent Richardson, CLE

Wide Receiver Upgrade

  1. WR Anquan Boldin, SF
  2. WR Julian Edelman, NE (waiver wire: 20-40%)
  3. WR Wes Welker, DEN
  4. WR Brian Hartline, MIA
  5. WR DeSean Jackson, PHI
  6. WR Jordy Nelson, GB
  7. WR Reggie Wayne, IND
  8. WR Miles Austin, DAL
  9. WR Rueben Randle, NYG (waiver wire: 7-15%)
  10. WR Andre Roberts, ARI (waiver wire: 3-5%, potentially more in deep PPR leagues)
  11. WR Randall Cobb, GB
  12. WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
  13. WR Michael Floyd, ARI
  14. WR Leonard Hankerson, WAS (waiver wire: 3-5%)
  15. WR Vincent Jackson, TB
  16. WR Jerome Simpson, MIN (waiver wire: 3-5%)
  17. WR Marlon Brown, BAL (waiver wire: 3-5%)
  18. WR Victor Cruz, NYG
  19. WR Denarius Moore, OAK
  20. WR Hakeem Nicks, NYG
  21. WR Doug Baldwin, SEA (waiver wire: 3-5% in PPR leagues)
  22. WR Stephen Hill, NYJ (waiver wire: 3-5%)
  23. WR Eddie Royal, SD (waiver wire: 1%)
  24. WR Emmanuel Sanders, PIT (waiver wire: 3-5% if he went undrafted in shallow leagues)
  25. WR Rod Streater, OAK (waiver wire: 1-3%)
  26. WR Kenny Stills, NO (waiver wire: 1-3%)
  27. WR Josh Boyce, NE (waiver wire: 1%)
  28. WR Aaron Dobson, NE (waiver wire: 1%)
  29. WR Brandon Gibson, MIA (waiver wire: 1% in PPR leagues)

Wide Receiver Downgrade

  1. WR Dwayne Bowe, KC
  2. WR Kenny Britt, TEN
  3. WR Dez Bryant, DAL
  4. WR Kendall Wright, TEN
  5. WR James Jones, GB
  6. WR Kenbrell Thompkins, NE
  7. WR Mike Wallace, MIA
  8. WR Markus Wheaton, PIT
  9. WR Antonio Brown, PIT
  10. WR Greg Jennings, MIN
  11. WR Greg Little, CLE
  12. WR Roddy White, ATL
  13. WR T.Y. Hilton, IND
  14. WR Steve Johnson, BUF
  15. WR Ryan Broyles, DET
  16. WR Lance Moore, NO
  17. WR Sidney Rice, SEA
  18. WR Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN

Wide Receiver Holding steady

  1. WR Tavon Austin, STL
  2. WR Eric Decker, DEN
  3. WR Chris Givens, STL
  4. WR Cecil Shorts, JAX
  5. WR Golden Tate, SEA

Tight End Upgrade

  1. TE Jared Cook, STL
  2. TE Julius Thomas, DEN (waiver wire: 25-50% depending scoring, lg depth, and needs)
  3. TE Jordan Cameron, CLE
  4. TE Vernon Davis, SF
  5. TE Jason Witten, DAL
  6. TE Owen Daniels, HOU
  7. TE Tyler Eifert, CIN (waiver wire: 3-5%)
  8. TE Jermichael Finley, GB
  9. TE Brent Celek, PHI (waiver wire: 3-5%)
  10. TE Kellen Winslow Jr, NYJ (waiver wire: 1-3%)
  11. TE Antonio Gates, SD
  12. TE Garrett Graham, HOU (waiver wire: 1% in very deep and TE premium leagues)
  13. TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN (waiver wire: 1-3%)

Tight End Downgrade

  1. TE Zach Sudfeld, NE
  2. TE Brandon Pettigrew, DET
  3. TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN
  4. TE Coby Fleener, IND
  5. TE Ed Dickson, BAL
  6. TE Dwayne Allen, IND
  7. TE Fred Davis, WAS

Tight End Holding steady

  1. TE Brandon Myers, NYG

Quarterback Upgrade

QB Sam Bradford, STL - (waiver wire: 1-3% in typical leagues, 10-20% in QB flex/deep lg) - Bradford took advantage of an improved offensive line and set of targets in a more potent pass offense than any he has piloted so far in his career. He took shots downfield with good results, and Bradford also let his team to a fourth-quarter comeback victory. He is on the borderline of QB1 territory if he can sustain this level of play against the Falcons next week

QB Colin Kaepernick, SF - Like a transformer, Kaepernick and the 49ers offense changed modes to mystify a Packers defense that was geared up to stop the read option running game that had thoroughly embarrassed them in the playoffs in January. Kaepernick exhibited better touch, accuracy, decisions, and poise in the pocket than he had at any point last year, and he looked to have something special brewing with Anquan Boldin. The 49ers' run heavy 2012 approach is a thing of the past, and Kaepernick is an elite fantasy quarterback even when he doesn't rely on his legs.

QB Eli Manning, NYG - The Giants' running game's loss is Manning's fantasy owners' gain, as David Wilson fumbled away his opportunity, leaving the team in the wilderness at running back until Andre Brown returns from short-term IR. Manning was able to hit all three of his talented receivers downfield, and the Giants defense seems geared to get him into a lot of shootouts. He's a QB1 going into his showdown against his big brother next week.

QB Peyton Manning, DEN - The weather delay made it take a while for him to get started, but once he was rolling, Peyton Manning looked truly unstoppable in this offense. He won't tie NFL records for passing touchdowns in a game every week, but between a rough running game and defense missing its best pass rusher for the next five games, Manning is far and away the #1 quarterback at this juncture. With the poor Giants defense coming up, expect him to lap the field again this week.

QB EJ Manuel, BUF - (waiver wire: 3-5% in typical leagues, 10-20% in QBflex/deep) - Manuel wasn't the running sensation that the most optimistic fantasy projections had him at entering the season, but he was a much more confident and effective passer than anyone expected. If he gets more opportunities to run and maintains his accuracy and pocket presence, Manuel will be knocking on the door of QB1 territory soon. He has a stiff test against the Panthers fierce front seven next week, but Manuel proved that he is worth a roster spot in all leagues this week.

QB Carson Palmer, ARI - (waiver wire: 1-3% in typical leagues, 10-20% in QB flex/deep lg) - The Cardinals offensive line still subjected its quarterback to too much pressure, but that quarterback had the wherewithal to harness the significant talent at wide receiver to create a revived passing game. Palmer is an ideal fit in the Bruce Arians vertical offense with two big and athletic receivers. As long as Palmer can hold up under the number of hits he'll inevitably take (ask Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger), he'll be a very good bye week fill-in and matchup QB1 going forward.

QB Terrelle Pryor, OAK - (waiver wire: 3-5% in typical leagues, 25-50% in 2QB/QBflex) - The Colts' defense was frustrated by Pryor's elusiveness in the pocket and running ability, and it resulted in the best rushing yards total of any player in action on Sunday. Pryor was also an adequate passer, even though he didn't execute complex reads or otherwise resemble a classic pocket passer on most plays. With a little better footwork from Darren McFadden, Pryor would have had a top five QB score this week. He will be a QB1 level play at home against the Jaguars next week, and we might be waiting a while for his fantasy numbers to match his lack of passing polish.

QB Philip Rivers, SD - (waiver wire: 1%) - Rivers isn't a hot commodity, but he was way better than we expected with such a poor offensive line and somewhat underwhelming group of passcatchers. He is still just a bye/injury play at quarterback, but there were still signs of life... at least for the first half.

QB Matt Schaub, HOU - (waiver wire: 3-5%) - Schaub was very comfortable in hurry-up mode leading the comeback in the second half. He was accurate and effective throwing to both his tight ends and wide receivers. He is going to be an excellent bye/injury quarterback, and maybe even a low QB1 if the pass defense doesn't improve.

QB Geno Smith, NYJ - (waiver wire: 1-3% in typical leagues, 7-15% in 2QB/QBflex) - Smith looked overwhelmed, and even lost at times, but he led his team to a stirring comeback victory, and made lemonade out of the ragtag group of receivers in this suddenly pass-friendly Jets offense. Smith is still only a bye/injury/emergency play at quarterback, but he doesn't look out of his depth for the most part, and he seems like the type that will improve as the season goes on.

QB Matthew Stafford, DET - Stafford had trouble producing last year when no secondary targets stepped up their game to help out Calvin Johnson, but Reggie Bush and Joique Bell are poised to punish defenses that overplay Megatron this year. Johnson barely missed two scores, and Bell vultured two at the goal line, but that didn't stop Stafford from having a solid QB1 score. He's looking more like 2011 Stafford than 2012 Stafford going into a game at Arizona next week.

QB Michael Vick, PHI - Sure, Vick's injury risk goes up with the higher volume of plays, but he also faces tired defenses and he is obviously very comfortable in the offense. He's a strong QB1 with high in-week injury risk. Ride him until he lets you down.


Quarterback Downgrade

QB Josh Freeman, TB - Different year, same old Josh Freeman. He was inconsistent to the tune of a sub-.500 completion percentage, and only the top-end talent of Vincent Jackson saved him from a complete fantasy dud. Freeman may have some big games when he is on, but it's going to be hard to know what you'll get from him in any given week. He's only a low-end bye/injury/emergency play at this point.

QB Jake Locker, TEN - Locker did his job and the Titans won, but he isn't going to help any fantasy teams win at this rate. The offense was boring and very safe, and the defense played well enough with Gregg Williams' help to keep the game script on the boring, safe track. Perhaps the Titans will unleash Locker when the game flow calls for it, but he's not worth a roster spot in typical leagues until we see that happen.

QB Cam Newton, CAR - Yes, it was a tough draw against the Seattle defense, but Cam Newton and the Carolina offense appeared to be hyper-conservative. The Panthers' front seven was a revelation, so it might be easy for the offense to remain conservative in most games. Newton did not look to run or throw downfield as often, and while his play was mostly improved, his numbers greatly suffered. If he doesn't get back to QB1 level stats next week against the banged up Bills secondary, it might be time to bench Newton.

QB Ben Roethlisberger, PIT - We won't blame you if you drop Ben Roethlisberger for Sam Bradford, Terrelle Pryor, or Carson Palmer this week. Roethlisberger was stifled for most of the game against a Titans defense that doesn't have any premier defensive backs or pass rushers. The Steelers lost their starting center Maurkice Pouncey for the year when they didn't really have any room for error in that thin unit. They get a much stiffer test against the Bengals on Monday night this week, so don't expect a quick turnaround.


Quarterback Holding steady

QB Tom Brady, NE - Tom Brady's fantasy point total was a disappointment against an undermanned Bills defense. His rookie targets looked like rookies, and Danny Amendola missed a few dozen plays with a groin injury that could be an issue for a while. The good news is that Rob Gronkowski will be back soon, and both Julian Edelman and Shane Vereen look ready to capitalize on increased roles in the offense. If Brady had converted instead of fumbling at the goal line, we would all be impressed at his top five fantasy score despite an admittedly rough afternoon.

QB Robert Griffin III, WAS - Griffin was very rough early and didn't look threatening at all as a runner, but by the end of the game, his passing touch and confidence were starting to come back. Griffin is still going to get ample opportunities to run as he knocks off the rust. He's still a QB1 going into a matchup against a Packers secondary that was carved up by Colin Kaepernick.


Running Back Upgrade

RB C.J. Anderson, DEN - (waiver wire: 1-3%) - With no back in Denver asserting themselves, you have to look to the undrafted rookie that the Broncos kept as a fourth back even though he was hurt. Anderson might be able to handle pass protection better than Montee Ball, and he is big enough to be a better inside runner than Ronnie Hillman. In long bench leagues where it is easy to stash players, make Anderson a preemptive pickup this week.

RB Joique Bell, DET - (waiver wire: 25-50%, perhaps even more in deep PPR leagues) - Joique Bell did vulture two touchdowns, but this offense produced ample opportunity for short touchdowns last year. Bell also has a nice foundation of targets in PPR leagues that can turn into big gains like they did yesterday. Reggie Bush is already banged up, but it looks like Bell will have RB2 value (especially in PPR leagues) even if Bush plays all 16 games.

RB LeVeon Bell, PIT - (waiver wire: 5-10% if he was undrafted in short bench lgs) - It's hard to get too excited about Bell with Maurkice Pouncey out for the year and the Steelers offense looking like one of the worst in the league, but his competition has either been ineffective, or is sidelined for the season. By sheer volume Bell should be at least a flex play when he returns, but don't expect much more than that.

RB LeGarrette Blount, NE - (waiver wire: 1%) - Blount looked like just a guy against the Bills, but if Stevan Ridley can't hold onto the ball and Brandon Bolden can't get healthy, he could be a Shonn Greene in this offense, getting yards and scores against weaker defenses despite a relative lack of burst and power despite his size. In very deep leagues, he should be on your radar.

RB Brandon Bolden, NE - (waiver wire: 5-10% and potentially more in very deep leagues) - Bolden was a scratch because he was questionable with a knee issue, and he might not be healthy enough to play on Thursday, but he should be back for week 3, and get some extensive playing time to fill the void left by Shane Vereen. Bolden could also start to split Stevan Ridley's workload, as he did at times last year, and even start to overtake him if Ridley's fumble woes continue. LeGarrette Blount looked like just a guy and shouldn't be a threat of Bolden's value once he is healthy.

RB Andre Brown, NYG - (waiver wire: 1-3%) - If you can afford to stash Brown in an IR spot, or have large enough rosters to carry Brown for the next two months, he might pay off (if he stays healthy). David Wilson is doing a lot more to lose trust than earn it.

RB Bryce Brown, PHI - There is now no doubt that Brown would be a solid RB1 if LeSean McCoy were to go down ahead of him. Brown is now a contender with Ben Tate as the most valuable backup running back in fantasy football.

RB Reggie Bush, DET - Bush came out of this game banged up, but he showed that even the highest expectations for his production in this offense were not optimistic enough. Bush was barely denied two rushing touchdowns, and he looked as fast and quick as ever on the Detroit home turf. He's an everyweek RB1 who will rival just about any back in the league for fantasy as long as he stays on the field.

RB Fred Jackson, BUF - Jackson is not over the hill, he's running downhill with a head of steam. The Bills offense fed off of his physicality and Jackson was also very good as a receiver out of the backfield. It only makes sense for the team to use both backs heavily, which gives Jackson every week flex value in PPR leagues going forward, in addition to major upside in the event of a CJ Spiller injury.

RB Eddie Lacy, GB - Lacy had a costly fumble and spent a few series on the bench because of it, but he ran hard upon his return and generally looked like a rookie back who can hang in the NFL against tough defenses. He broke tackles and showed a good enough burst in the open field, and Lacy converted in the red zone. Better times are ahead when the Packers face less excellent defenses.

RB LeSean McCoy, PHI - Philadelphia is a running back's dream offense. There are lots of wide lanes, carries, and the defense you're facing is always a beat behind the play. McCoy isn't going to get 30 carries a game, but he is going to get 20+ routinely, and he'll rival Adrian Peterson's weekly value going forward.

RB Darren McFadden, OAK - McFadden didn't get hurt, he scored a touchdown, he had another long touchdown reception caught barely out of bounds, and the Raiders offense looks semi-viable with Terrelle Pryor at the helm. McFadden won't approach his RB1 numbers of his heyday, but he looks like a safe RB2/Flex with upside in PPR leagues as long as Pryor keeps defenses off balance with his legs.

RB Knowshon Moreno, DEN - (waiver wire: 3-5%) - Sure, he's the starter, and he's probably going to get you at least five points a week for a time being, but Moreno couldn't muster a startable fantasy line when his team scored 49 points. He'll still yield to Montee Ball in the red zone, and Moreno is merely competent with the ball in his hands. This waiver wire pickup is based on more perceived trade value to the Ball owner than the ability to be a gamechanger for your fantasy team.

RB DeMarco Murray, DAL - Murray looks to be very well-suited to flourish in the Bill Callahan power running game with more west coast passing game elements to keep the chains moving. Murray is one of the better running backs in the league, and he has been a tough runner, even if he hasn't been the most durable. He's an everyweek start and low RB1 in PPR leagues with the Cowboys offense clicking right now.

RB Bilal Powell, NYJ - (waiver wire: 1%) - Powell is just a boring committee back in a somewhat limited offense, but he is getting targets out of the backfield, and a Chris Ivory injury could increase his workload at any time. Most importantly, Geno Smith wasn't completely overwhelmed, which gives this offense some hope of at least baseline production in the running game against less tough run defenses. Powell is just bye/injury material, but he might save you later on in deep leagues.

RB DaRel Scott, NYG - (waiver wire: 1%) - Scott will likely have to share with a veteran signing and the Giants are still going to try to get David Wilson back in their good graces and confident on the field. Still, Scott could be the last man standing for a bit if neither alternative works out. He's only a pickup in very deep leagues, but he has some modest potential value.

RB Ben Tate, HOU - Tate looked decisively faster and stronger than Arian Foster, and honestly, more interested. Head coach Gary Kubiak said after the game that he wants to split the carries between Tate and Foster more evenly for now, so Tate has a good chance to get his foot in the door and have weekly flex value if he can stay healthy.

RB Leon Washington, NE - (waiver wire: 1%) - Washington might get enough action to put up 8-10 points in PPR leagues this week if Brandon Bolden can't go, but his value likely evaporates once Bolden is back.


Running Back Downgrade

RB Montee Ball, DEN - Sure, Ball could see more action once he gets pass protection down, and he did get on the field in the red zone, but this is not what you expect from a 4th-6th round pick. Ball looks like a Mark Ingram-esque roll of the dice for touchdowns in any given week until we see his role grow. Don't drop him, but don't start him either.

RB Giovani Bernard, CIN - The hopes that Bernard would be a featured weapon as a receiver out of the backfield and runner in space were dashed against a stout Bears defense, and the Steelers are coming to town next week. Bernard might catch fire in upcoming weeks as the Bengals pass offense hits its stride, but for now he is just a hope for the best flex play, which is a poor return on his 5th/6th round price tag.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw, IND - Bradshaw barely played and you have to wonder if the Colts will trust him to bear a full feature back workload at any point this season. Vick Ballard looked as good or better than Bradshaw, and there's no reason to the team to run Bradshaw into the ground when they have designs on going back to the postseason. He's just a flex play, and probably not worth plugging in against the Dolphins this week.

RB Arian Foster, HOU - Foster wasn't as crisp as usual, although he was rusty coming out of a missed preseason. Still, Ben Tate's burst and power were hard to ignore, and Kubiak saw what we saw. Foster will still be a low RB1, but he isn't going to be an elite fantasy back if Ben Tate stays healthy.

RB Ronnie Hillman, DEN - Hillman didn't get any drives to himself, instead getting a few touches here and there. While his straight-line speed was apparent, Hillman isn't going to break tackles or light the open field on fire, so he is just a desperation play at running back, and only because of the offense he plays in. He is droppable in short bench leagues.

RB Mark Ingram, NO - In the words of Denny Green, Ingram is who we thought he was. A running back who has no fantasy value without touchdowns, and good luck predicting when those come. Release Ingram for any player on this list worth 3% or more of your waiver wire budget.

RB Chris Ivory, NYJ - The Jets offense showed signs of life, but you can't say the same for Ivory's fantasy stock. He did emerge from the game unscathed, but it's hard to find another positive for Ivory. He's worth dropping for any player over 1% on this list.

RB Chris Johnson, TEN - This looks like one of Johnson's bad weeks, but the Steelers are still tough against the run, and Johnson ground out what he could as the Titans controlled the game. Yes, the lack of a goal-line carries is going to be a pain for his owners, but Johnson's value was always more in his ability to break long runs behind a revamped offensive line. He's just a boom/bust RB2, but you shouldn't have expected more than that.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew, JAX - it's hard to say how Jones-Drew looked in his first regular season game back from foot surgery because the Jags offensive line got completely dominated by the Chiefs front seven. Blaine Gabbert's play hit a new low, even for Gabbert. Jones-Drew has produced through some tough terrain before, but with his recent comments about his belief in himself flickering at times in camp in mind, it's time to ratchet down expectations to a mid-low RB2 for Jones-Drew unless the quarterbacks and this offensive line can get things turned around quickly.

RB Doug Martin, TB - Martin gave the old lunchpail performance and got what little was there against the Jets, including a short touchdown, but Josh Freeman's struggles can't make any Martin owner feel good about their high first-round pick. Martin is still an everyweek start, but elite fantasy numbers may not come if Freeman continues to play like a quarterback on his way out of Tampa.

RB Ryan Mathews, SD - Mathews looked as good as he ever has in terms of burst, power, and balance, but the Chargers offensive line gave him few holes to run through, and the new regime still insists on using Ronnie Brown a lot. Mathews may settle in an upside flex play, but it's hard to picture him becoming a consistent producer in this offense.

RB Rashard Mendenhall, ARI - Mendenhall only played a little over half of the snaps against the Rams, which spells RBBC, which spells a flex play at best, and not a good one with the poor quality of the Arizona offensive line.

RB Christine Michael, SEA - Michael didn't get on the field, which isn't as bad as being a healthy scratch, but still not great for his immediate value. If Marshawn Lynch were to get hurt, Michael would be an instant hit as the more talented part of a timeshare with Robert Turbin, but he is an expendable luxury if you're looking to open up a spot for this week's waiver wire run.

RB Lamar Miller, MIA - Whether it's more ominous that Miller didn't look good or the Miami line didn't open holes for him is up for debate, but they are both negatives, and Daniel Thomas's goal-line vulture act doesn't help anything. Miller is a boom/bust flex against the Colts this week, but that's not what you had in mind when you took him in the 4th/5th round. He could still break out, but playing him will us nervous until he does.

RB Isaac Redman, PIT - So much for value in theory. The Steelers offensive line lost their keystone in Maurkice Pouncey, and Isaac Redman lost the ball at the goal line, one of two fumbles on the day. Jonathan Dwyer is back, which means Redman should be off of your roster.

RB Stevan Ridley, NE - Ridley isn't as big a downgrade as you think. Yes, getting benched for fumbles looms over his weekly fantasy value like Michael Vick's risk of having any weke cut short by injury, but he got over fumblitis last year, and without Shane Vereen for a few weeks, they NEED Ridley. Ridley still looked good on his carries when he hung on to the ball, and the Pats still ran a ton of plays. Consider him an RB2 against the Jets with a bit of risk of Belichick head games.

RB Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL - Instead of becoming an emerging part of a high octane offense, Rodgers looked like a role player who would likely split the backfield with Jason Snelling if Steven Jackson went down. Despite all of the lip service the Falcons pay to Rodgers as an everydown back, he doesn't look like he will be one at any point this year, and probably ever. Drop him for anyone worth over 1% of the waiver wire blind bid budget.

RB C.J. Spiller, BUF - Spiller was constantly swarmed by the Patriots defense, but he also ran tentative and with choppy steps in his cuts. While his hands out of the backfield will keep him viable even in down weeks in PPR leagues, there's no doubt that he is in a shared backfield again with Fred Jackson, which will keep him from being an everyweek RB1.

RB Shane Vereen, NE - Vereen is out until at least week 11. Pull out the stops to carry him in all but short bench leagues, but know that he may be expendable at any point during the bye week gauntlet. This is terrible news because Vereen was running hot, even while playing through the injury.

RB David Wilson, NYG - If you didn't own David Wilson, you had to feel a little sorry for him as he lost fumbles in the national spotlight again in week 1. If you do own him, you have to wonder if you can trust him in your lineup until you see him get a decent-sized workload and not fumble for an entire game. Next week against the Broncos looks like another pass-heavy game anyway, so for now this 2nd/3rd round pick is on your bench.


Running Back Holding steady

RB Frank Gore, SF - The Packers sold out to stop the run and left themselves wide open to be gashed by the pass. Other teams will choose the other position and open things up for Gore to have a bigger game. He still got a score and salvaged a decent total in a brutal week for running backs. Consider him a solid RB2, even in a tough matchup against the Seahawks next week.

RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA - Marshawn Lynch still looks like Marshawn Lynch. It's the Carolina front seven that has changed into a bunch of bullies who will have their way with opponents now. Lynch travels home for a tough matchup against the 49ers, but we all remember how that game went in Seattle last year. Don't worry about Beast Mode.

RB Daryl Richardson, STL - Richardson didn't have a true breakout game, but he gutted through an injury to handle basically the full load and help the Rams get an opening week victory. Isaiah Pead may spell him a bit upon his return, but Richardson basically passed the test as the lead back for St. Louis and should have at least good flex value going forward.

RB Trent Richardson, CLE - The Browns offensive line was atrocious, but it should get better when Jason Pinkston gets healthy. Richardson needs to be used more as a receiver out of the backfield, and in general to keep the offense settled down on time. This was a sad week 1 result, but Richardson played through worse last year and should hit his stride soon. You can't trade or bench him yet.


Wide Receiver Upgrade

WR Miles Austin, DAL - Austin is healthy and he looks like a great fit in the more west coast style short passing game in Dallas. With Dez Bryant upset and ailing, Austin's momentum should not slow down against the Chiefs this week. Consider him a WR2 in PPR leagues.

WR Doug Baldwin, SEA - (waiver wire: 3-5% in PPR leagues) - Baldwin ended up being Russell Wilson's favorite target on a tough afternoon. He looked more like the breakout undrafted rookie of 2011 than the banged-up disappointment of 2012, and it's clear that he and Wilson are on the same page right now. Baldwin is worth a pickup in PPR leagues with a skilled quarterback like Wilson throwing him the ball.

WR Anquan Boldin, SF - We hope that Baltimore is happy with the cap savings and draft they got in exchange for Boldin. We know that Colin Kaepernick and Boldin's fantasy owners are, as Boldin had the best day since the first game of his career. He is playing some of the best football of his career, and it's clear that he and Kaepernick have a wonderful thing going. Boldin is a solid WR2, and if this keeps up, he'll be a WR1.

WR Josh Boyce, NE - (waiver wire: 1%) - Boyce was active, but did not see a target. While Kenbrell Thompkins is clearly ahead of him, Thompkins' lackluster performance opens the door for Boyce to have an opportunity in this offense sooner than later. He's worth a look in very deep leagues, such a 20+ team formats.

WR Marlon Brown, BAL - (waiver wire: 3-5%) - The Ravens are going to be without Jacoby Jones for the short-term, and that's all this undrafted rookie needs to get a hold on the WR2 job in an offense without any other strong secondary targets. Torrey Smith is going to draw all of the coverage, and Brown could be the main beneficiary. He's a good speculative add in deep leagues.

WR Randall Cobb, GB - Showing absolutely no signs of problems with his preseason bicep injury, Cobb was as tenacious and sudden as ever, getting open and slicing through the 49ers' defense for consistent gains. He is a low PPR WR1 as long as the offense remains Aaron Rodgers-centric.

WR Victor Cruz, NYG - What heel injury? Cruz scored on a busted coverage and two other plays to show that he can get back to the WR1 level he produced at in 2011. The Giants pass offense looks ripe for big production, and Cruz is in the eye of the storm.

WR Aaron Dobson, NE - (waiver wire: 1%) - Kenbrell Thompkins looked like a scared rookie, so once Dobson is healthy, he should get a chance to show what he can do. In very deep leagues, he's worth a pre-emptive pickup.

WR Julian Edelman, NE - (waiver wire: 20-40%) - We should have seen this coming. Edelman was the only incumbent receiver in this offense, and he was Tom Brady's clearly preferred red zone target without Rob Gronkowski. Edelman is injury-prone, and Gronkowski's return will certainly take the edge off of his upside, but Danny Amendola and Gronkowski aren't known for durability, and Edelman looks like a player ready to take advantage of opportunity. He's a strong WR3/Flex play with upside in PPR leagues right now. The bottom line is that Edelman is a trusted target in a very potent pass offense. Don't get too hung up on the pecking order for targets because he is earning them with his play.

WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI - Carson Palmer is indeed going to be as good for Fitzgerald as everyone who took him in the third round hoped he would be. Fitzgerald scored twice and looked like his old self. As long as Palmer stays upright, Fitzgerald's fantasy numbers will be right.

WR Michael Floyd, ARI - Floyd made the kind of acrobatic, unbelievable catch that his counterpart Larry Fitzgerald makes routinely - a one-handed deep ball snag with a defensive back tugging on his jersey. Floyd didn't score or otherwise have a big game, but he showed his great fit in this offense, and he is at least a boom/bust WR3 flex going forward.

WR Brandon Gibson, MIA - (waiver wire: 1% in PPR leagues) - With Dustin Keller out for the year, GIbson is the sole slot receiver in Miami, and he soaked up a lot of targets to put together a good PPR stat line in week 1. He's worth carrying in deep PPR leagues as bye/injury/emergency depth.

WR Leonard Hankerson, WAS - (waiver wire: 3-5%) - It was catchup mode football and Hankerson is still marooned as one of many secondary options in a run-first offense, but he did make plays downfield and assert himself as a touchdown maker in this pass offense. Hankerson is worth an add in deeper leagues to see if he can build on this momentum at Green Bay.

WR Brian Hartline, MIA - Hartline's terrific chemistry with Ryan Tannehill from last year carried over, and he abused the #2 corners he faced with his precise route-running and soft hands. Hartline has also already equaled his touchdown total from last year. He's a strong WR3 in PPR leagues with WR2 upside.

WR Stephen Hill, NYJ - (waiver wire: 3-5%) - Hill looked like he might become Geno Smith's favorite target, and with Smith not looking completely in over his head, that's a good thing. Hill has the physical attributes to be a good deep ball threat, and he notched enough grabs to have PPR relevance in week 1. He's a good receiver to put on your bench for possible returns as the season goes on.

WR DeSean Jackson, PHI - It felt like the Eagles took the foot off of the gas in the second half, and here we come to find out that they really didn't have the pedal all the way down in the first half! Jackson is a strong WR1 in PPR leagues going forward as the clear focal point of the passing attack.

WR Vincent Jackson, TB - Jackson produced through a poor showing by Josh Freeman and a matchup with Antonio Cromartie, one of the best corners in the game. The risk looms that Freeman could get pulled down the line, but for now Jackson looks like a WR1 as long as Freeman, even at his current level of inconsistency, stays in.

WR Denarius Moore, OAK - Moore suffered a big drop in ADP during the preseason, but Terrelle Pryor's performance should have anyone who decided to take him around the 12th round pretty happy with the results. Moore got a short touchdown, and Pryor's ability to keep plays alive will likely get his deep ball game into play much more often than Matt Flynn's pop-gun arm would have.

WR Jordy Nelson, GB - If Jordy Nelson's preseason knee surgery slowed him down, you couldn't tell in San Francisco. He is back to his 2011 WR1 form, with impossible toe-tap sideline catches and a mindmeld with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Congrats if you got him when his stock was down.

WR Hakeem Nicks, NYG - Nicks showed no ill effects of his camp struggles to stay off of the injury list, and like his running mates Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle, he is poised to approach career-highs in this pass-friendly set of circumstances. He's back to being a low WR1 as long as he is healthy.

WR Rueben Randle, NYG - (waiver wire: 7-15%) - Mario Manningham showed that the #3 role in the Giants offense can have fantasy relevance, Randle may make it in a startable slot in this running-deficient offense on a defense-deficient team. The second-year wideout may not need a Hakeem Nicks injury to get into lineups in deep leagues.

WR Andre Roberts, ARI - (waiver wire: 3-5%, potentially more in deep PPR leagues) - Roberts played the same role he did in the preseason. With Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd running downfield routes, he was the underneath receiver that Carson Palmer could look to if nothing was coming open deep. Roberts played this role well, and the so-so pass-blocking offensive line only helps his cause to rack up receptions this year.

WR Eddie Royal, SD - (waiver wire: 1%) - Royal had a surprisingly good opening game, reminiscent of his rookie year debut. He scored twice and showed that his place above Vincent Brown on the depth chart wasn't just mind games. He also had a crucial drop and will probably get passed by Brown once he's healthy. Only kick the tires on Royal in very deep leagues.

WR Emmanuel Sanders, PIT - (waiver wire: 3-5% if he went undrafted in shallow leagues) - Sanders gain is Steelers' fans misery, as the Todd Haley dink and dunk offense will keep him well-fed with targets as long as he stays healthy. He's a low-end WR3/Flex in PPR leagues.

WR Jerome Simpson, MIN - (waiver wire: 3-5%) - It feels like we've been here before with Simpson. The highlight catch, the big day, the tantalizing physical potential on the verge of being realized. While Simpson's past and Christian Ponder make it hard to completely trust him, he's worth a pickup in all but the most shallow leagues.

WR Kenny Stills, NO - (waiver wire: 1-3%) - The Saints re-signed Robert Meachem, but it was Stills getting the snaps as the third receiver, and converting the longest play of the day for the pass offense. He's a boom/bust option week-to-week, but sometimes your matchup demands a play with the ability to score an 80-yard touchdown, even if it is at a great risk of a low score.

WR Rod Streater, OAK - (waiver wire: 1-3%) - Every game with Terrelle Pryor at quarterback is going to be an adventure for the wide receivers, but Streater seems to be his favorite and he has exhibited a knack for getting in Pryor's line of sight when he is scrambling, which is often. You could do worse for a bye/injury/emergency wide receiver play in deep leagues.

WR Reggie Wayne, IND - New offensive coordinator, same results in Indianapolis, as Reggie Wayne is still far and away the #1 target in this offense. He'll approach WR1 numbers again in PPR leagues.

WR Wes Welker, DEN - Peyton Manning showed no inclination to spread the ball around early against the Ravens, and looked Welker's way twice for scores. We thought Welker might take a step back from his New England numbers, but he might actually take a step forward in this offense. He's a PPR WR1 who will contend for top 5 numbers.


Wide Receiver Downgrade

WR Dwayne Bowe, KC - San Francisco fans could have warned Bowe's owners that Alex Smith doesn't throw downfield very often. Bowe was just one of many who got 4-6 targets in this Andy Reid offense, and that is not what you want from your 4th/5th round pick. It's hard to bench Bowe, but he may present limited upside for the entire season.

WR Kenny Britt, TEN - If it's not his knees, then it's a very close to the vest offense that will take Britt's fantasy value and erase it this year. Don't release Britt quite yet, but if things don't turn around soon, it might be time to move on from this whole pass offense.

WR Antonio Brown, PIT - The Steelers offense is in shambles, which can't be a good thing for their #1 receiver. Brown still has WR3/Flex value in PPR leagues, but more was expected from those that took him in the 5th-6th round.

WR Ryan Broyles, DET - Broyles was a trendy sleeper in PPR leagues because of the potential as the number two receiver in the Detroit offense, but he has gone from playing the preseason to being a scratch in week 1, as he comes back from his second ACL tear in two years. It's possible that the Lions are just being cautious, but it is also possible that Broyles isn't going to be himself for at least another month or two. You don't have the luxury to find out which one is true while key early-season waiver wire runs are going on this week.

WR Dez Bryant, DAL - Which bad news do you want first? Bryant was consistently double-covered, he got few targets, they were mostly short targets, he was angry on the sidelines, and he suffered a foot injury. Bryant has the ability to rival any receiver in the game in fantasy numbers, but this offense does not look like a good one for his skillset. The emphasis on short passing will likely keep defenses focused on Dez. You can't possibly bench him, but it doesn't feel as good to own him as it did on Saturday.

WR T.Y. Hilton, IND - Hilton is going to be behind Darrius Heyward-Bey in snaps, and he is going to be a fantasy dud in any week that he doesn't reel in a deep ball. That was his profile last year too (with Donnie Avery in the spoiler spot), but it is still disappointing that his role didn't grow, and his ADP reflected a belief that it would. Hilton could still hit later in the year, but he's hard to trust in your lineup right now.

WR Greg Jennings, MIN - Jennings was already facing an uphill battle against #1 corners with Christian Ponder as his quarterback, now he has a viable #2 in Jerome Simpson to contend with. We wouldn't start him next week against Charles Tillman, and it's not clear when you'll be able to start Jennings with confidence this year.

WR Steve Johnson, BUF - Johnson did catch one of EJ Manuel's two touchdown passes, but he also dropped a pass that could have helped the Bills situate themselves to pull the upset in the fourth quarter. Manuel seemed to be willing to take what the defense gave him instead of pressing the issue downfield, and that doesn't bode well for Johnson's numbers this year. He is a limited upside WR3/Flex who may end up just being good bench depth this year as Manuel spreads it around and often relies on his running backs as receivers out of the backfield.

WR James Jones, GB - Jones is another player that carries hopes of a new expanded role into the season only to be the same frustrating player he has been for fantasy owners in the past. Without touchdowns, Jones is a waste of a starting spot in your lineup. He isn't a drop candidate, but he probably won't be of use to you until the bye week gauntlet starts in week 4.

WR Greg Little, CLE - Little seemed over his dropsies in the second half of 2012, but they are back with a vengeance. He missed his first chance to establish himself in the Norv Turner offense while Josh Gordon is out, and will likely fade into a lesser role for the rest of the season.

WR Lance Moore, NO - Honestly, this is not really a shock. Moore has good year-end numbers, but it's a rocky ride week-to-week for his fantasy owners. Moore is just a boom/bust WR3/Flex who doesn't really have that much rhyme or reason to when he goes off and when he has a dud.

WR Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN - Patterson might be limited by a back injury, but his potential early-season opportunity is shrinking as Jerome Simpson's play is elevating. He is the kind of player who could emerge in any given week because of his play-making ability, but it's hard to know when he'll get the touches to get his foot in the door at this point. If you need to make a tough cut to get a hot waiver wire name, consider Patterson.

WR Sidney Rice, SEA - Sidney Rice is healthy, and you could see shades of his past explosiveness, but he is something like the 3A option in this pass offense right now, and that doesn't even include Percy Harvin, who will be back soon. Rice could go off in any given week, and shouldn't be dropped except for the best pickups of the week, but he should remain on your bench until we see him get the money red zone and deep targets that made him a stud with Brett Favre.

WR Kenbrell Thompkins, NE - Sometimes, undrafted rookies show us why they went undrafted. That's what happened to Thompkins, as he failed to gain separation on most targets, dropped and juggled passes, and laid out too often to catch balls that should have been easier. Yes, he got a lot of targets, but Thompkins did nothing to suggest that he was going to earn that kind of opportunity again without injuries to the key pieces of the Patriots passing game. He should only be dropped in very short bench leagues for the likes of Julian Edelman and Joique Bell, but Thompkins is a step onto the plank in all leagues.

WR Mike Wallace, MIA - The Dolphins won, and Mike Wallace is still unhappy. He got few targets and directed all questions about the subject to the coach. Wallace is looking like a boom/bust weekly option, but he does have a good bounceback opportunity against the Colts this week. If he can't produce in this one, he will banished to the bench until he does.

WR Markus Wheaton, PIT - Wheaton was a preseason sensation, but most of snaps were left in the preseason as Jerricho Cotchery was the clear #3 receiver in this offense. We might revisit Wheaton as a waiver wire pickup later in the season, but you can drop him if you took a flyer on him late in your draft.

WR Roddy White, ATL - His streak of playing every game in his career is intact, but White himself has admitted that he won't be himself for at least another week or two. It's going to be hard to trust him this week unless you really don't like your other options, and high ankle sprains always have a risk of aggravation and re-injury. White doesn't take a huge hit, so don't sell low, but know that his value is diminished for the time being.

WR Kendall Wright, TEN - Wright is a number three receiver in a run-first offense with a quarterback who is still in development. It's hard to give up on a former first-round pick this early in the season, but you shouldn't hold him over hotter names like Edelman and Roberts.


Wide Receiver Holding steady

WR Tavon Austin, STL - The big unveil of Austin in the Rams offense didn't produce fireworks, but it did produce a double-digit point day in PPR leagues, and Austin should only go up from here. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer seems up to the task of giving Sam Bradford good situations to utilize his new weapons, so Austin's role and big play potential will grow.

WR Eric Decker, DEN - Let's get this out of the way right away - Decker had the worst game of his career on the opening night of the season. On the other hand, he is in the most potent pass offense in the league (maybe ever), and Peyton Manning has a reputation for helping his guys get back on track. Whatever Decker lost with his drops, he regained by being a starting receiver in a Peyton Manning offense that may rival any in the future Hall of Famer's career.

WR Chris Givens, STL - It was Jared Cook and not Givens who stole the show on Sunday, but the success of the pass offense overall should encourage Givens' owners. He will be the designated deep target, and Givens can benefit from safeties having to keep one eye on Cook in the middle of the field. Remember his five-game streak of deep catches last year when he gets hot - and he should soon.

WR Cecil Shorts, JAX - Shorts let his owners down, but he insists that he was getting open, and with Chad Henne taking over, he'll likely get more and better targets even if he isn't. The Raiders defense presents a great bounceback opportunity, so give Shorts another chance this week.

WR Golden Tate, SEA - Tate wasn't featured in the pass offense, but there were flashes of the explosive attributes that made him a camp star and had many predicting a breakout with Percy Harvin sidelined for at least a few months. You probably want to see Tate do it before you trust him in your lineup, but don't drop him out of disappointment unless these middling numbers continue for a few more weeks.


Tight End Upgrade

TE Jordan Cameron, CLE - Another former basketball player, another huge hit at tight end in fantasy leagues. Cameron showed those basketball rebounding skills and led the Browns in receiving. He could have easily had two scores, and he should remain a big part of the offense even after Josh Gordon returns in week 3. He gets the team Julius Thomas dominated in week 1 (Ravens) this week.

TE Brent Celek, PHI - (waiver wire: 3-5%) - Celek didn't get many targets, but the two he got were wide open and big gains, with one resulting in a touchdown. He might be a boom/bust weekly play, but Celek looks good and the Eagles offense still has another level of velocity or two that we haven't seen yet.

TE Jared Cook, STL - Chris Palmer will never be able to live down how little Cook did in Tennessee. Cook was every bit the physical freak of nature that his measureables indicated he was coming out of South Carolina, and he can push for a top 3 finish at tight end if this keeps up. He's even worth flex consideration if you happened to draft him to back up a Jimmy Graham or Jason Witten.

TE Owen Daniels, HOU - Daniels might be the second-most talented Wisconsin tight end on the roster, but he is still a main target in the red zone and able to perform his job well in this offense. He is another of the very pleasant surprises at tight end that has created a strong group of TE1 options heading into week 2.

TE Vernon Davis, SF - it looks like the 49ers are really going to follow through on making Davis a bigger part of the passing game in more than just the playoffs this year. Davis came up big in the red zone, and Colin Kaepernick's progress as a passer only adds gasoline to the fire here. Davis has been a top 3 fantasy tight end before, and he might do it again this year.

TE Tyler Eifert, CIN - (waiver wire: 3-5%) - Eifert was featured about as much as you could hope for a rookie tight end to be in his debut. He caught all five of his targets, and Eifert should continue to get more looks as defenses sell out to take AJ Green away. He isn't a TE1 yet, but it's coming soon.

TE Jermichael Finley, GB - Finley had a rough start to the 49ers game, with a drop that turned into an interception, but he recovered with a tough touchdown catch and run. He definitely appeared to be stronger in the upper body and generally more calm and confident than in his last two seasons of disappointment. He's a solid TE1 going forward.

TE Antonio Gates, SD - Gates didn't put up big numbers, but he looked faster and more athletic than he did at any point last season. Philip Rivers was surprisingly effective behind the new look offensive line for the first half, and the Chargers will likely have to be a passing team, so Gates is at least going to be good depth for your fantasy team.

TE Garrett Graham, HOU - (waiver wire: 1% in very deep and TE premium leagues) - Graham is ready to be a starter in this offense, but he has Owen Daniels ahead of him. If Daniels, who has had three ACL tears, goes down, Graham becomes an instant low-end TE1. He's worth a preemptive add in deep and TE premium leagues.

TE Jermaine Gresham, CIN - (waiver wire: 1-3%) - Gresham was left for dead in some leagues, but he is still very tough to bring down after the catch, and he is getting enough targets to remain as good depth in deep leagues and TE premium leagues, with upside to be more if injuries strike the Bengals passing game.

TE Julius Thomas, DEN - (waiver wire: 25-50% depending scoring, lg depth, and needs) - Peyton Manning's favorite target is whoever is open, and Thomas was open early and often against the Ravens. He is just not going to be the player defenses choose to double-team, so he'll remain a solid TE1 until he lets us down in consecutive weeks.

TE Kellen Winslow Jr, NYJ - (waiver wire: 1-3%) - The canard about tight ends being the security blanket for rookie quarterbacks is spoken more often than it plays out on the field, but it seems to have taken for Geno Smith and Kellen Winslow. Smith found Winslow in key situations, and the veteran didn't look washed up. He might lead the Jets in receptions, and Winslow should at least be good bye/injury depth in PPR and TE premium leagues.

TE Jason Witten, DAL - just like with Vernon Davis, it looks like the coaches are making good on their annual promise to increase this top tight end's fantasy value. Witten got red zone love and reciprocated with two scores for the Cowboys in the win. He's looking like a value of a 4th round pick.


Tight End Downgrade

TE Dwayne Allen, IND - Allen had a big catch over the middle to score a touchdown, but he also left the game with a hip injury and didn't get enough targets to be considered start-worthy before his injury. It's probably too early to drop Allen because he is talented and in a good pass offense, but we need to see more before we can recommend starting him.

TE Fred Davis, WAS - Davis is one of the most talented passcatchers in the Washington offense, but he continues to blend in with a host of other receivers, and now a rookie tight end, Jordan Reed. He can't be started until numbers come in bigger bunches, and if they don't come soon, Davis will be droppable.

TE Ed Dickson, BAL - Dickson failed miserably on his targets against the Broncos with drops and poor plays on the ball. While opportunity will persist because Dallas Clark was even worse, Dickson doesn't seem up to the task of elevating his game to become one of Joe Flacco's main men this year. He can be dropped unless you're in a very deep or TE premium league.

TE Coby Fleener, IND - Between his preseason injuries and poor play, it appears that the push to get Fleener more involved in the pass offense has been halted. He is physically talented and with his college quarterback and a college coach, but Fleener should be on the waiver wire in all but very deep or TE premium leagues until he starts to produce in the red zone like he did at Stanford.

TE Brandon Pettigrew, DET - Drops, fumbles, all in a day's work for Pettigrew, who should be branded as a blocking tight end now that undrafted rookie Joseph Fauria is presenting a more sure-handed option as a receiving tight end for the Lions. You know what to do with blocking tight ends in fantasy leagues - it's what Pettigrew does too often with his waning number of targets.

TE Kyle Rudolph, MIN - Rudolph's value has always been touchdown-dependent, but with Jerome Simpson looking better, the lows are going to be even lower, Rudolph is not a mainstay in the passing game, and he is a liability in PPR leagues, where production is easier to come by at tight end. The Bears did give up ten receptions to tight ends this week, so if he can't do it this week, Rudolph might at the edge of the roster plank.

TE Zach Sudfeld, NE - More like Dudfeld, as the undrafted rookie stumbled and had his one target go off of his hands for an interception. He also hurt his hamstring and might not play this week. There was no emphasis on him in the gameplan to begin with, and the Patriots have no reason to change that once Sudfeld is healthy, as long as Rob Gronkowski is too. He can be dropped.


Tight End Holding steady

TE Brandon Myers, NYG - Brandon Myers can go across the country to his new team and new quarterback, but he took his "king of garbage time" title with him, scoring a meaningless touchdown in the final minute for the Giants. While garbage time points have been a continuing boon for Myers' owners in the past, be careful. The rug can get pulled out at any time, as it did for Myers' owners in the fantasy playoffs last year.