Carson Wentz’s struggles in Week 6 has turned this into a two-horse race between the Dallas Cowboys’ star rookies. But does Ezekiel Elliott hold his lead over teammate Dak Prescott?
Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants (10th last week)
While Odell Beckham Jr. continues his love affair with the kicking net, Shepard has struggled to get back on track since his Week 2 performance, when he caught eight passes for 117 yards. Despite his meager output in Week 6 (4 catches, 25 yards), he was targeted eight times, which shows Eli Manning still has confidence in the rookie.
Receiving stats: 26 catches, 302 yards, 2 TDs
Karl Joseph, S, Raiders (NA last week)
Despite being demoted in the preseason, Joseph has bounced back nicely. Joseph, who suffered a torn ACL last fall at West Virginia, has been consistently performing since Week 3, when he finished with 10 tackles against the Titans. He’s among the rookie leaders in tackles.
Defensive stats: 33 tackles, 1 INTs
Photo: Full Length/Norm Hall
Michael Thomas, WR, Saints (NA last week)
Thomas feasted on the Panthers’ suspect secondary, hauling in five receptions for 78 yards and one touchdown, his third consecutive game getting into the end zone. The Saints’ explosive offense, which has scored at least 30 points in four of their five games, should give Thomas ample opportunity to add to his production.
Receiving stats: 26 catches, 307 yards, 3 TDs
Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers (NA last week)
Henry is in the unenviable position of trying to be Antonio Gates’ heir apparent. Henry has scored in each of his past three games and has averaged 73 receiving yards per game during that span. With the Chargers off to a 2-4 start, they might want to plan for the future and give Henry more reps than the 36-year-old Gates.
Receiving stats: 19 catches, 310 yards, 3 TDs
Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Jaguars (9th last week)
Ngakoue has become a real presence on the defensive line, especially when it comes to getting after the quarterback. He picked up a sack in his fourth consecutive game and leads the Jaguars in that category.
Brown is coming off a 14-tackle outing against the defending champs and has recorded a sack in three of his past four games. With his increased production, the Chargers might have to decide whether to re-sign Manti Te’o, who is out for the season with an Achilles injury, in the offseason or give Brown, who leads all rookies in tackles, his spot moving forward.
Defensive stats: 42 tackles, 3 sack, 0 INTs
Cody Kessler, QB, Browns (NA last week)
Kessler wasn't even ranked last week but moved all the way up to fourth after a career game against the Titans. The Browns’ third-round pick threw for a career-high 336 yards and two touchdowns in Cleveland’s narrow loss. The Browns might actually pick up a win soon if Kessler can build on this performance.
Passing stats: 80 of 122, 865 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT
Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles (3rd last week)
Wentz has not been the same since the Eagles’ Week 4 bye week. He was held to a career-low 179 passing yards and completed just 50 percent of his throws in Philly’s second straight loss Sunday. Despite his recent slide, he’s still been stellar this season.
Tony Romo is almost ready to return but will he get his starting spot back? Just asking the question illustrates how well Prescott has performed this season. Yes, he finally threw his first career interception in Week 6, but not before breaking Tom Brady’s record for most attempts to start a career without throwing a pick.
Another week, another 100-yard rushing performance for Elliott, who’s making a habit of shredding defenses. The No. 4 overall pick has rushed for more yards in his first six games than all but one player -- Eric Dickerson -- did in NFL history. Zeke is the clear frontrunner.