If Sunday night's game taught us anything, it's that you shouldn't be afraid to start Andrew Luck.
He wasn't the best he has ever been. He didn't make much of an effort to stretch the defense, averaging 6.2 yards per attempt, perhaps because of some conservative play-calling in his return from a shoulder injury. But he looked healthy, putting plenty of zip on his passes, and was clearly the focal point of the offense. The Colts prefer to move the ball through the air and they indeed have the weapons to move the ball.
One of those weapons, Donte Moncrief, reasserted himself after a one-catch, 3-yard performance at Houston last week. That role-reversal between him and Andre Johnson happened in only one of the two games started by Matt Hasselbeck but still may have had something to do with the quarterback change. It's clear Luck has an affinity for Moncrief, so he's on the verge of gaining must-start status.
On the verge of losing it, however, is Dion Lewis, whose steadily decreasing number of carries never caused too much concern because he was still such a big part of the passing game. But he had seven total touches Sunday to LeGarrette Blount's 17. Of Lewis' three touchdowns this season, two came on the ground, so if Blount continues to establish himself as the preferred rusher, Lewis could find himself in more of the role Shane Vereen had last year. You may remember he was largely irrelevant outside of PPR leagues.
Danny Amendola is sure to attract some attention on waivers this week with his seven-catch, 105-yard performance, but keep in mind Brandon LaFell (foot) is expected back from the PUP list in Week 7. It shouldn't have a major impact on Rob Gronkowski's or Julian Edelman's production, but every other receiving option will move down a rung on the ladder.
Those are the just the most recent takeaways from Sunday's action. Here are 10 of the biggest from earlier in the day:
1. Martavis Bryant was worth the wait
When the Steelers elected not to activate Bryant for his first game back from suspension in Week 5, there was some concern he had fallen out of favor or out of shape during his absence. Fat chance! Once the Steelers put a legitimate passer under center in the second half (albeit an unproven one in Landry Jones), Bryant became the holy terror so many preseason prognosticators made him out to be. He showed off his toughness and leaping ability on an 8-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter, snatching the ball out of the air just before getting pummeled by a defender, while his 88-yard scoring play late in the fourth was one of the most impressive runs after a catch I've ever seen (somebody give the guy a block). Bryant will have to compete for looks, but he exudes the sort of talent that demands to be part of the game plan. Remember when Odell Beckham showed up a quarter of the way into last season? The impact could be similar. -Scott White
2. James Starks and Ronnie Hillman are the usurpers
Eddie Lacy and C.J. Anderson came into the season with big expectations as the lead backs for what were supposed to be the best offenses, so calling them disappointments would be the understatement of the year for Fantasy Football. We've been wondering whether their backups -- Starks and Hillman, respectively -- would push them aside and Week 6 may have been the tipping point. Hillman (44 snaps) and Anderson (40 snaps) split playing time fairly evenly, but Hillman received seven more rushing attempts and picked up 70 more yards. In Green Bay, Starks carried the ball just 10 times, but rumbled for 112 yards and scored twice, while Lacy continues to struggle to get up to speed with an ankle injury. Hillman (78 percent owned) and Starks (42 percent) should be owned in all formats at this point. -Chris Towers
3. Matthew Stafford is no Peyton Manning
And I mean that in the nicest way possible. Manning is cooked, lacking the arm strength to test defenses and the humility to avoid turnovers, but Stafford had probably been the second-biggest bust at the position prior to Week 6, when he responded to a halftime benching with one of the most confident passing displays of his career. Having averaged less than 6.0 yards per attempt in three of his previous four games -- a pathetic measure by anyone's standard -- he exploded for 9.6, repeatedly testing the Bears downfield en route to 405 yards and four touchdowns. That gunslinger mentality could lead to some mistakes, but as long as Stafford sticks with it, the highs should make up for them, particularly with the weapons he has. It's clear the Lions will have to rely on him to get the ball in the end zone, what with their lack of a running game. Considering it came against the Bears, I wouldn't be especially motivated to activate Stafford based on this performance, but the arrow for him is certainly pointing up. -Scott White
4. Jimmy Graham is impossible to figure out, or sit
The days of Graham challenging for the top spot at the tight end position are well in the past, as he has as many games with 3 or fewer Fantasy points as double-digit efforts. However, Week 6 was a great reminder that you still can't count him out, as the Seahawks looked his way a season-high 12 times. Graham responded with eight catches for 140 yards in a vintage performance. He has now been targeted on 22.2 percent of the Seahawks' throws, which isn't far off from the rate at which the Saints used him -- the Seahawks just don't throw as often. Still, the tight ends with more physical tools than Graham possesses can probably be counted off on one hand, so you can't risk sitting Graham at any point. -Chris Towers
5. John Brown is who we thought he was
If the Cardinals' passing game had any success this year, Brown would be the biggest beneficiary. That was the narrative coming into the season, but then of course Larry Fitzgerald turned back the clock about four years, pacing all wide receivers through the first five weeks. Brown flipped the script with the biggest receiving performance in the league in Week 6, catching 10 passes for 196 yards. Of course, he first started to find his footing in Week 4 against the Rams, when he also had double-digit targets. His last three games have been his best three, so you could argue Sunday's performance was simply the continuation of a trend, especially since Fitzgerald still had eight catches for 93 yards. But that's kind of the point. Now on pace for 4,632 yards, quarterback Carson Palmer should be able to sustain two wide receivers, not just one, and with the monster performance, Brown himself is suddenly on a 1,325-yard pace. That sounds pretty studly, right? -Scott White
6. Don't panic about Randall Cobb, Antonio Brown
Six weeks into the season, you've received elite production from Brown in three weeks and Cobb has only topped double digits twice. For receivers who were gone in the second round in nearly all Fantasy leagues, this is hardly the type of return you were expecting on your investment, and you might be wondering whether it's time to cut your losses and move on from them before they sink your season. That would be the wrong move. Brown's demise has been almost entirely the result of Michael Vick's inability to pass from the pocket, which should be fixed with Ben Roethlisberger's expected return in Week 7. Cobb's issues are a bit harder to pin down, though it is worth noting he has been limited in practice throughout the season with a shoulder injury. With a bye in Week 7, Cobb has an opportunity to get healthy and his value is too low right now to trade anyway. -Chris Towers
7. LeSean McCoy is going to be just fine
Remember all that talk about how McCoy didn't fit the style of running game coach Rex Ryan wanted and how his persistent hamstring injury would open the door for rookie Karlos Williams? Well, McCoy showed up for Week 6 as healthy as he has been all season and was as good as anyone could have asked for, rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. And the best part is Williams wasn't even there to claim part of the workload, sitting out with a concussion. In fact, no other Bills running back got a carry in Week 6, reaffirming McCoy's claim to a workhorse role. It's always possible his hamstring could flare up again, but for now, he looks like as safe a start as you'll find at running back and is no less suited than anyone else to meet Ryan's expectations. -Scott White
8. There's no more doubting Andy Dalton
I've been doubting Andy Dalton all season and it is time to admit I was wrong. In his first four games, you could reasonably argue Dalton was benefiting from a soft schedule, but he has six total touchdowns and 574 passing yards in his last two games, against the stout pass rushes of Seattle and Buffalo. Dalton returns from his Week 7 bye with matchups against the Steelers, Browns and Texans, and has earned the benefit of the doubt from me. With the improvements he has shown, and the impressive cache of weapons at his disposal, Dalton is a must-start Fantasy quarterback without reservations. -Chris Towers
9. Charcandrick West isn't the answer
Understanding that one game is too limited of a sample to tell us anything and that no one should drop West precisely for that reason, I still believe it's safe to assume that anyone who hoped West would simply inherit Jamaal Charles' numbers will be sorely disappointed. In fact, he was so underwhelming against a Vikings defense that had allowed some of the most yards per carry of any team coming into the week that I'll actually need to see him reverse course before I can consider him more than a bye-week replacement. And there's a chance coach Andy Reid was similarly disenchanted. He benched West after a fourth quarter fumble even though the Chiefs still had a chance of winning, so it's possible Knile Davis, who did a fine job filling in for Charles in the past, could displace West entirely. That's getting ahead of ourselves, though. For now, just plan on benching West until further notice. -Scott White
10. The Dolphins got the boost they needed
I don't think it's as easy as just saying the Dolphins needed to fire their coach and start doing Oklahoma drills in practice, but the turnaround from the team we saw in the first four games to the one that trounced the Titans in Week 6 is pretty astounding. The biggest beneficiary seemed to be running back Lamar Miller, who got the ball early and often after being more of a bit player during the team's slow start. Miller responded exactly like he did last season, rushing for 113 yards on 19 carries and generally looking like someone whose hands you want the ball in as much as possible. Maybe it was just a one-game blip on the radar, but if you held on to Miller or bought low during the bye week, you have to be thrilled by what you saw in Week 6. -Chris Towers