Were Dak Prescott’s heroics enough to topple Ezekiel Elliott and finally shake up the top of the rankings?
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Karl Joseph, S, Raiders (NA last week)
Joseph bounced back from his quiet Week 7 game against the Jags. He racked up seven tackles against the Bucs and continues to be among the rookie leaders in tackles. Next up for Joseph and the Raiders is the defending Super Bowl champs.
Defensive stats: 43 tackles, 0 sacks, 1 INTs
Getty ImagesNorm Hall
Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants (8th last week)
Shepard made the most his chances against the Rams, catching five of the seven balls thrown his way. That’s actually an improvement for the inconsistent rookie, who caught only half of his chances the week before and just two of seven against the Packers.
Receiving stats: 31 catches, 334 yards, 2 TDs
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY SportsRobert Deutsch
Jordan Howard, RB, Bears (NA last week)
Howard took full advantage of the Monday Night Football stage, gashing the vaunted Vikings defense for a career-high 153 yards and a touchdown. Howard had done little the past two weeks after exceeding 100 rushing yards in Weeks 3 and 4. Maybe he’s ready to heat up.
Rushing stats: 99 carries, 505 yards, 2 TDs
Associated PressNam Y. Huh
DeForest Buckner, DE, 49ers (NA last week)
The 49ers are probably already looking toward the future after their 1-6 start, and Buckner has given them some long-term hope. The defensive lineman is one of the team’s leaders in tackles despite playing on the line.
Defensive stats: 36 tackles, 2 sacks, 0 INTs
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Keanu Neal, S, Falcons (NA last week)
Neal has been one of the most consistent tacklers this season, ranking second among rookies. The hard-hitting safety has forced three fumbles in the past four games and is playing a key role in the Falcons’ early success.
Defensive stats: 49 tackles, 0 INTs
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Jatavis Brown, LB, Chargers (10th last week)
For the second time in three weeks, Brown racked up double-digit tackles. He finished with 10 tackles against the Broncos before being forced to leave early with a knee injury. If Brown is healthy this week against the Titans, he could be ready to move up the rankings.
Defensive stats: 54 tackles, 3 sack, 0 INTs
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Michael Thomas, WR, Saints (4th last week)
Thomas might not have duplicated his 10-catch, 130-yard performance from a week ago, but he did have a productive game against the Seahawks. He caught all six passes thrown his way and is leading all rookies in receptions. Now, Thomas just needs to find the end zone a bit more.
Receiving stats: 42 catches, 500 yards, 3 TDs
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Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles (3rd last week)
Wentz’s reliance on safe, shot throws continued against the Cowboys. He averaged just 4.7 yards per completion, but his receivers did him no favors, dropping a number of passes. Despite the drops, Wentz completed 32 of 43 attempts. The Eagles losing three of their past four has definitely hurt Wentz’s early momentum.
For three quarters, it looked like Prescott was not only slipping in these rankings but was also losing his hold on the Cowboys starting job as Tony Romo continues to heal. Then the fourth quarter arrived, and Prescott came to life, rallying the Cowboys to a thrilling overtime win.
Despite falling short of his fifth consecutive game of at least 100 rushing yards, Elliott still holds on to the top spot. He still averaged 4.4 yards per carry, finished with 96 yards on the ground and remained the league's leading rusher. But if Prescott can build on his thrilling performance, Elliott might lose his grip on No. 1.