Most outstanding QB: Peyton Manning
No surprise here. Manning really hasn't been spectacular by his own standards this season. He had a monster game vs. Houston in week two, throwing for 400 yards and three touchdowns. However, in Indy's other three games, he's failed to post 300 yards or multiple touchdowns. That being said, he's still the top-scoring AFC quarterback. Anyway, isn't there some law that says we're not allowed to make fun of Manning until the postseason?
Most disappointing QB: Ben Roethlisberger
There were several worthy candidates here (Daunte Culpepper and Carson Palmer), but I decided to go with the Steelers quarterback, who has tossed zero touchdowns and five interceptions in two games this season. Remember in the offseason how everyone was predicting the Bengals to have a down season because 90 percent of their players were arrested? Maybe the wrong team was being targeted. It looks like the motorcycle accident and appendectomy are taking a toll on Roethlisberger. While he certainly wasn't expected to be a monster fantasy option this season, nobody expected him to struggle this much.
Most surprising QB: David Carr
Houston's quarterback is the highest rated passer in the NFL. Say that again out loud several times until you finally realize its significance. Carr's seven touchdowns are tops in the AFC and he's thrown for at least 200 yards in every game. Expect the Texans to continue to have to play from behind. With a legitimate receiving threat in Andre Johnson, Carr should continue to be a solid fantasy option the rest of the way.
Most outstanding RB: Rudi Johnson
To be honest, if you took a running back with your first-round pick this season, you're probably a little disappointed at this point in the season. Larry Johnson hasn't been the monster everyone excpected him to be, failing to find the end zone until last week. Shaun Alexander is injured. Steven Jackson has just one touchdown. Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams have yet to have 100-yard games. And there are others.
Johnson has not been spectacular, but he is tied for the NFL lead with four TDs and is the AFC's second leading rusher.
Most disappointing RB: LaMont Jordan
This one was also tough because several running backs are stuck in mediocrity, but there wasn't one that was really much worse than the others. So I decided to go with the guy who I picked in two leagues. Sure, Jordan had 128 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland last week, but I'm not expecting many games like that from him the rest of the way. Jordan wasn't a great running back last year. He totaled 1,025 yards and averaged 3.8 yards per carry. However, he was valuable because he caught 70 balls for 563 yards. This year? Two catches for 13 yards. That's not getting it done.
Most surprising RB: Laurence Maroney
Going into this season, Reggie Bush was the rookie running back everyone was talking about. However, it's been Maroney that's been the most productive rookie ball carrier. He's put up 294 yards and three touchdowns. Maroney's been splitting carries with Corey Dillon, but he's averaging 4.9 yards per carry and shown he can be effective in the passing game with five catches for 61 yards in week three. If Dillon is sidelined this season, Maroney will be a fantasy monster.
Most outstanding WR: Andre Johnson
I thought the Texans wide receiver was going to have a huge year in 2005, but it didn't happen as he totaled 688 yards and a pair of TDs. This year has been a different story. Johnson has posted 410 yards and two touchdowns so far and has hit the 100-yard mark in three out of four games.
Most disappointing WR: Randy Moss
As I stated in this week's podcast, I don't understand what the Raiders are doing on offense. I've already talked about how LaMont Jordan having only two catches is absurd. And then there's Moss, who's caught seven balls for 84 yards and a touchdown all season. Aren't those the two playmakers you won't to touch the ball as much as possible when you have an inexperienced QB and a bad offensive line?
Most surprising WR: Laveranues Coles
Chad Pennington deserved consideration for the most surprising QB, and Coles is a major reason why. He is second to only Marvin Harrison with 412 receiving yards, and Coles' 30 catches are tops in the NFL. Although he's been injured, Coles hasn't missed any time and seems poised to bounce back from last year when he totaled just 845 yards.