If you were worried about Aaron Hernandez taking targets away from Wes Welker (like I was), worry no more - or at least for a little while as Hernandez rounds back into shape. If you held onto Welker through his rough patch you're being rewarded right now in a big way. Sort of like how I felt when I stuck with 'American Horror Story' through the crazy first couple of episodes last season and then it became one of my favorite shows. As I look forward to the season premiere this week with Jessica Lange as a nun (I think) and Adam Levine as either a musical judge or a psychiatric patient - I can't tell - we can look at Targets and Touches for Week 6.
Is this it for Dez Bryant? Is he finally becoming the matchup nightmare fantasy owners (like me) expected him to be this season? True, he's not nearly a finished product and still drops passes and runs wrong routes, but he's now officially viable at the very least for your flex spot, with the potential to possibly be a No. 1 at some point this season. And by no coincidence, Miles Austin's (5 targets on Sunday) production has taken a hit in the wake of this. It's like the Cowboys offense has gone from All-Austin to All-Bryant in two weeks. If you want to get ahead of the curve, dangle Austin in trade talks because it sure looks like Bryant's becoming the man in Dallas. I don't know how to feel about this because I have Bryant in one league and Austin in another. I have to figure out a way to make trades between leagues, and soon.
Donnie Avery nabbed 12 targets from Andrew Luck but he's hard to recommend to play. Indianapolis' passing game isn't as dynamic as it will be eventually, and even though Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne are (for the most part) putting up very good numbers, players like Avery and T.Y. Hilton are too much risk-reward for me.
Whew, did I trade for Jordy Nelson at the exact right time. I flipped Ben Roethlisberger for him in one of our nfl.com leagues a week ago, and even though it's only one week for Nelson, there's no way I would have been able to pull that off now. But here's why I made the trade for Nelson, who was really struggling: Cedric Benson's injury has allowed Green Bay to get back to what they do best, and that's incorporate the dink and dunk to go along with their vertical passing game. This Texans defense is pretty good and Aaron Rodgers made them look like amateurs Sunday night. You'll see them closely resembling the 2011 version of Green Bay's offense now, and Nelson is the big cog in that considering Greg Jennings is dealing with a groin injury that could hamper him all season.
Andre Johnson is simply Andre Johnson no more. He had 12 targets against Green Bay but could only manage 75 yards receiving, and this was in a game where the Texans had to throw to try and keep up. Johnson's not the receiver he used to be, and this offense is no longer capable of getting involved in shootouts and putting up monster fantasy points in the passing game. Johnson's trade bait for me, and while I'm sure he'll still be started during the bye weeks, I won't be surprised if after they're over if he sits on your bench for a long time the rest of the way.
It was zero catches, zero targets for Brian Hartline against St. Louis Sunday. While Hartline has decent fantasy value, you can't play him against the elite defenses in the NFL just yet. Ryan Tannehill is starting to branch out and throw to different receivers, which is also part of his maturation as a quarterback. Maybe it's the NFL Fantasy LIVE curse - since appearing on our show he's played in two games, with four catches for 59 yards. He's never going to talk to us again. Sigh.
Cue Vin Scully! "What a day for Shonn Greene. And now a word from Farmer John." 32 touches for Shonn Greene of the Jets on Sunday, ranking him number one overall for the week in that category. This is a glass half-full situation. Yes, it looks like he's gotten going again somewhat. And with Bilal Powell's injury, he's in no danger of losing carries to anyone. But he simply can't get it done against good defenses to warrant more than being a matchup play. Look, his best two games were against the Bills and Colts, who are devastated with defensive line injuries. Against the Dolphins, 49ers and Texans, he was non-existent. True, those are three of the best defenses against the run in the league, but the point remains the same.
Jason Smith hosts NFL Fantasy Live on the NFL Network and writes fantasy and other pith for NFL.com. Talk to him on Twitter @howaboutafresca, and listen to his Fantasy Podcast with Michael Fabiano and Elliot Harrison every week on nfl.com. He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.