• Darren Sproles, RB,Saints If you ever wondered what Reggie Bush was supposed to look like in New Orleans, Sproles did a pretty good impression, catching seven balls for 75 yards and returning a punt 72 yards for a touchdown. Sproles won't date a Kardashian, but he's an ideal companion for the Saints' scheme, and he could serve as your weekly flex runner, bumping up to bye-week fill-in when needed.
• Rex Grossman, QB,Redskins Everyone loves to hate Grossman, but he has now started the Redskins' last four games and thrown for 1,145 yards and nine touchdowns, including three 300-yard performances. Over that span only Drew Brees (1,184) and Philip Rivers (1,177) have more passing yards. It's a small sample size, but with Grossman's college teammate Jabar Gaffney joining Santana Moss and Anthony Armstrong at receiver, and with weapons at tight end, it might be time to give Rex a hug.
• Cedric Benson, RB,Bengals He might be the most maligned every-down running back in the league, but Benson shook off a tumultuous off-season—which included a five-day stretch in jail as part of a deal to settle two assault cases—by gaining 121 yards on 25 carries against the Browns. Better still, Cincinnati faces teams that are thought to be weak against the run in its next seven games. Best-case scenario? Play him against the cupcakes, then trade him while the dough is on the rise.
• Steve Smith, WR,Panthers Cam Newton knows a money player when he sees one. The No. 1 pick in the April draft hit Smith—whom many had written off—eight times for 178 yards and two scores, equaling Smith's 2010 TD output. Now it looks as if Smith could go for 1,000 yards this year, which makes him a viable starter on any fantasy team.
• Scott Chandler, TE,Bills Chandler had the biggest game for a Buffalo tight end in years, catching five balls for 63 yards and two scores. But before last week he had one catch for eight yards since turning pro with the Chargers in 2007. Before you go rushing to the waiver wire, know that coach Chan Gailey has a history of low tight end usage. If Chandler winds up with five touchdown catches this year, it would be a surprise.
MICHAEL DEMOCKER/THE TIMES-PICAYUNE/LANDOV
FAST START Some opening-day performances can be deceiving, but Sproles showed that at only 28, he has plenty to offer—especially in the Saints' system.