RISING STOCK

Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts- In the preseason, I ranked Luck fourth among quarterbacks. That might be too low, as through four games he’s thrown for over 370 yards three times and had more than three touchdowns in three games as well, adding four today against a poor Titans defense. Right now, it might be just Luck and Peyton Manning fighting for the top spot among the signal-callers this year.

images1JYNP6AYMike Glennon, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- One thing is clear; it shouldn’t matter that Lovie Smith did not choose Glennon to be his quarterback, because he is clearly the best option the first-year Bucs coach has at the position. Glennon not only revitalized a stagnant Bucs offense, throwing for 302 yards and two touchdowns, but he showed the poise to redeem himself after he threw a bad pass in the endzone on fourth down, by leading a game-winning drive with 35 seconds left in the game as Tampa Bay came from behind to beat the Steelers 27-24. It may have been the Bucs first victory of the season, but with Glennon at the helm, there could be a lot more to come.

Matt Asiata/Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings- So much for those who thought the Vikings wouldn’t have a backfield without Adrian Peterson, as the two-headed monster decimated the Falcons today. The rookie McKinnon rushed 18 times for 135 yards, including his longest for 55 yards, while Asiata was the short-yardage back, rushing 20 times for 79 yards and three scores. McKinnon looks like the better long-term play, but the hybrid fullback-turned-tailback is clearly the preferred goal-line presence for the Vikings, who seem to be ok in their post-AP life.

Trent Richardson, RB, Indianapolis Colts- I can’t believe I’m saying this, but apparently the Colts DO know what they’re doing with the former third overall pick, as splitting the back-field workload between Richardson and the veteran Ahmad Bradshaw has benefitted both. While the former-Brown is could only muster 47 rushing yards on 20 carries, he did hit pay dirt, and he is being used in the passing game, catching four passes for 52 yards. He may never be the top 10 back he was projected to be out of college, but the Colts have turned him into a serviceable runner, and one who could be a nice buy-low candidate for fantasy owners.

FALLING STOCK

shLeSean McCoy, RB- Philadelphia Eagles- It was no secret that I thought the Eagles’ offense would struggle against the 49ers, as I highlighted Nick Foles, Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz on Si ’em Down this week, but if you took Shady with your first overall pick, you have to be nervous at this point; only 17 yards on 10 carries and not one target in the passing game. This is a down year overall for the top three running backs from June, with Adrian Peterson out and Jamaal Charles hurt, and Shady has kept the downslide going. He does face the Rams and Giants over the next two weeks, and they have both allowed big games to DeMarco Murray and Alfred Morris already, so McCoy is a solid buy-low candidate. But with Murray, Le’Veon Bell, Morris and others who were drafted later having more consistent years, it’s looking like McCoy could also be one of the bigger busts of the season.

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings- In the Vikings first game of the season, with Peterson in the lineup, Patterson rushed three times for 102 yards and a touchdown. In the three weeks since, he has rushed one time for -7 yards, and his targets have decreased since a high of seven in week two. If healthy, Teddy Bridewater may be able to get Patterson more involved in the offense, but until he does, he has to be downgraded for guys like DeAndre Hopkins, Steve Smith Sr., Terrance Williams, and Kelvin Benjamin.

Geno Smith, QB, New York Jets- He had no help from his defense, offensive line or from dropped passes from his targets, but he definitely didn’t help himself with two turnovers in the fourth quarter against the Lions, then cursing at fans after the loss. He’s been the same as he was last year: incredibly shaky and erratic. The Vick Watch begins.

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