1. Rob Gronkowski (Tight End, Patriots)
Analysis: The Gronk’s success last year has defenses keying in on him this year. Even without Aaron Hernandez, Gronk was limited to two receptions for twenty one yards last week against a tough Baltimore defense, requiring Brady to look at Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker and Julian Edelman (In fact, the absence of Hernandez could be a negative, allowing defenses to focus on Gronkowski instead of having to worry about a dual threat).
However, Gronkowski still ranks in the top 10 for fantasy producing Tight Ends, and it will get better. Miami and Buffalo, who the Patriots get to play twice, rank in the bottom half of the NFL in pass defense. Depending on how serious the recent injury of Darrelle Revis is, the New York Jets may also have more exposure in the air.
Gronk owners, no worries. He is still your starting tight end.
2. Nick Foles (Quarterback, Eagles)
Things are getting interesting in the Eagles’ camp with a struggling Michael Vick, who has 8 turnovers in three games and does not even rank in the top 20 for fantasy producing Quarterbacks. If Vick continues to struggle against the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers, there will be serious discussions about throwing Nick Foles into the mix and giving the rookie a chance to change things up.
If there is space on the bench, Vick owners may want to seriously consider picking up Foles as a backup very soon while noone else is looking at him. Owners in keeper leagues may also want to keep Foles on their radar very soon. If Vick goes out and Foles blows up, he could be a great future keeper pickup at a very cheap price.
3. Nick Folk (Kicker, Jets)
Folk is a kicker, so if you love your homers and want him, you should take him. He hasn’t missed a field goal yet.
4. Juron Criner (Wide Receiver, Raiders)
Keep a close eye on Criner. With the recent concussion of Darrius Heyward-Bey, it looks like Criner will have an opportunity in the lineup of Oakland’s Wide Receivers. But don’t do anything crazy just yet–Criner has yet to prove himself.
5. Mike Thomas (Wide Receiver, Jaguars)
Unless you are the owner of MJD, you should really stay clear of any member of the Jacksonville Jaguars.