That's more like it. Finally, a week when both LaDainian Tomlinson and Larry Johnson lived up to their top three draft-day value, injuries weren't laying waste to several high-profile victims and Jerious Norwood broke out on Monday night, as predicted last week on NFL This Week by yours truly (making the video segment even better is Brad Evans mocking my pick shortly after I made it). Yes, every once in a while this game can trick you into thinking that it has at least a few threads of logic woven into its fabric. But I know better than to get too comfortable – and so should you. Week 7 will surely bring a new barrage of changeups and curveballs (how about two trades, for starters?) to throw any thought of normalcy out the window. Until then, let's take a look at the fairly logical week that was:
The Good: Adrian Peterson. Good doesn't come close to describing Peterson's 20-carry, 224-yard, three-TD performance. Sure, the Bears have been more malleable than usual against the run of late, but c'mon … Peterson looked significantly faster than anyone else on the field. He was getting around the corner of the line of scrimmage and several yards downfield before Bears defenders could even make first contact. He darted up the middle and seemingly found every hole afforded him. He really was on another level than his competition. There's been a lot of talk since this performance that he may be rivaled as a running back talent by only Tomlinson. And that might be accurate. But we have to give some credit to that Minnesota offensive line, which may be the best in the league. Chester Taylor also picked up solid yardage, gaining 83 yards on 22 carries – but I'm guessing Taylor won't reach 20 carries again in a week in which Peterson is also healthy.
The Bad: Chris Chambers. Sure, Miami hasn't been a hot bed for receiver production since Dan Marino hung up his cleats, but Chambers has at least enjoyed being the clear-cut go-to guy for the Dolphins the past few years. This season, his 66 targets trail only T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Derrick Mason and Larry Fitzgerald among wideouts. Tuesday's trade between Miami and San Diego lands Chambers in an offense that already has plenty of mouths to feed, starting with LaDainian Tomlinson, followed by Antonio Gates, and Vincent Jackson. One could argue that Chambers stands a better chance to bank touchdowns in a much more prolific offensive environment like San Diego, but all the previously mentioned Chargers are highly adept red zone weapons, and you also have to throw 6-foot-5 Malcolm Floyd into the mix. San Diego might be a better situation for Chambers to go after a Super Bowl ring, but it probably won't help his fantasy owners in their quest for a league title.
The Ugly: Arizona quarterback situation. Admittedly, the matchup up of Vinny Testaverde and Kurt Warner had a modicum of nostalgic intrigue to it. But replace Warner with Tim Rattay and you have the makings of a situation worthy of the dreaded Mr. Yuck sticker. Rattay added insult to Warner's injury (he sprained his elbow late in the first quarter trying to retrieve a fumble from Carolina DE Julius Peppers) by throwing three interceptions and completing just 50 percent of his passes in backup duty on Sunday. At least Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald still managed a moderately successful fantasy line (6 receptions, 97 yards). And, on the flip side, the 43-year-old Testaverde was passable in his first significant action since Week 11 of '05, throwing for 206 yards and a TD without turning the ball over. Star wideout Steve Smith enjoyed the kind of relationship with Testaverde typically reserved for injured incumbent Jake Delhomme. Smith finished with 10 catches for 136 yards and a TD, a far cry more productive than the expectations were to be had David Carr (sore back) been able to start at quarterback for Carolina.
MARKET MOVERS: Charting player values
Brian Griese, Chi, QB – Griese has thrown for multiple TD passes in all three of his starts, including three scoring tosses on Sunday. He's also averaging 294 passing yards per contest, all of which make his six interceptions much more palatable.
Greg Olsen, Chi, TE – Olsen was targeted seven times by Griese for the second consecutive game, nabbing five of those passes for 63 yards. Olsen is averaging 60 receiving yards in his past two.
Cleo Lemon, Mia, QB – In his first start of the season, Lemon flashed his arm and legs, passing for two TDs and rushing for another couple of scores. Lemon will probably have to continue to impress if he hopes to stem the tide of the future movement in Miami, which includes rookie quarterback John Beck.
Chris Cooley, TE, Was – Cooley tied Tony Gonzalez for the most TE targets on Sunday (10). And like Gonzo, Cooley caught nine of those passes and topped 100 yards (105 yards, TD). It was Cooley's fourth consecutive game with a TD.
David Garrard, Jac, QB – Garrard had multiple touchdown passes for the first time this season on Sunday. He has yet to throw an interception and, for that matter, he has yet to have a bad game in fantasy this season.
DeAngelo Williams, Car, RB – Williams had his best day as a pro on Sunday, rushing 10 times for 121 yards and a TD.
Donte' Stallworth, NE, WR – With so many weapons in New England, Stallworth's ability to make a fantasy impact was in question through the first few weeks of the season. But he's emerged the past two weeks, combining for 11 catches, 201 receiving yards and two TDs – he went 7-136-1 on Sunday.
Devin Hester, Chi, WR – Start a return specialist at WR in fantasy leagues? I used to think there was no way you could make that gamble, but Hester makes a strong case for deeper leagues. In leagues that award return TDs to count for starters, Hester would have come through for owners in three of his six games this season. On Sunday, in addition to recording his third return TD of the season, Hester also added an 81-yard TD reception.
Shaun Alexander, Sea, RB – With just 35 rushing yards on Sunday night, Alexander has compiled just 60 rushing yards on 25 carries over the past two weeks. And he's gone four straight games without a score, a dubious feat unmatched since his rookie season. Apparently his injured wrist is still giving him problems, but the issues run deeper than that in Seahawks running game. Don't be surprised if fullback Leonard Weaver figures more prominently in the backfield mix going forward.
Chad Pennington, NYJ, QB – Pennington failed to post a job-saving line in Week 6, throwing for just 128 yards and a pick. Head coach Eric Mangini remains steadfast that Pennington is still his starter, but the heat is on with enticing backup Kellen Clemens waiting in the wings.
Warrick Dunn, Atl, RB – Dunn rushed just eight times for 15 yards on Sunday, while backup Jerious Norwood ran for 87 yards and a TD on six carries. Norwood, last season's leader in yards per carry, is now averaging 5.7 yards per carry compared to Dunn's 3.2 clip. Head coach Bobby Petrino's decision to lean more heavily on Dunn gets more inexplicable with each passing week.