Box scores never tell the whole story, so which fantasy options are rising and falling heading into Week 6? If you want to completely dominate your league, consider Fantasy Consigliere for premium analytics and next-level advice for all your leagues, all year long.
Stock up: Tom Brady, NE
Buying low on Tom Brady seemed like a good idea after a slow start to the season, but the ship may have sailed with Julian Edelman back and Josh Gordon getting more acclimated to the offense. After literally starting the year with three wideouts on the depth chart, New England is suddenly loaded, and Brady’s floor and ceiling both get a significant boost as everyone rounds into form. I think he’s the No. 1 quarterback for the remainder of the season, including this Sunday night against the Chiefs.
Stock down: Derek Carr, OAK
I said last week that Derek Carr was a potential QB1 for October, but he continued making head-scratching mistakes, including an interception from the one-yard line on first-and-goal. As head coach Jon Gruden said after the game, his quarterback is simply pressing, but it’s been happening for five weeks now, and the passing yards won’t matter if Carr keeps turning the ball over instead of converting drives into scores. He remains a QB2 based on the supporting cast, but Oakland’s franchise signal-caller carries significant risk.
Stock up: Joe Mixon, CIN
There was slight concern about Joe Mixon not seeing a full workload returning from his knee injury, but that definitely didn’t happen as he handled 25 touches (second most in his career) for 115 yards and a score in a 27-17 victory. The second-year back was bottled up for most of the game, but the stars can pickup fantasy points in bunches, and that’s exactly what Mixon did against the Dolphins. The Oklahoma product looks like an every-week RB1 that could be in three shootouts to finish out the month (v PIT, @ KC, v TB).
Stock up: LeSean McCoy, BUF
After being held to single-digit carries in each game to start his age-30 campaign, LeSean McCoy broke out with 26 touches for 108 yards on Sunday, and he’s suddenly back on the low-end RB2/FLEX map heading into Week 6. Plus, talk of a potential trade back to the Eagles sounds real, and that would be a huge boon to Shady’s value—even in a potential committee—as Philadelphia has one of the best offensive lines in the league, while Buffalo has arguably the worst. I think a case could be made for trading for McCoy or trading away McCoy, but his outlook definitely is significantly more positive than it was this time last week.
Stock down: Royce Freeman, DEN
Denver’s coaching staff promised that Royce Freeman would be more involved against the Jets, but it turned out to be one of the more predictable lies of the year so far. I have no confidence in Vance Joseph finding a way to get the rookie runner, who is averaging 5.1 yards per carry through five games, the ball on a consistent basis; Phillip Lindsay looks like the better option in all formats this weekend against the Rams.
Stock down: Dion Lewis, NE
Following a 12-carry, 34-yard performance in a 13-12 loss to the Bills, I think the Titans might realize that Dion Lewis is getting too many attempts ahead of Derrick Henry (11 carries for 56 yards in Week 5), especially after the backfield’s “lightning” lost a fumble. Tennessee gets a tough matchup against the Ravens this weekend, but they get almost all soft fronts the rest of the way, and Henry will probably be featured as the weather gets colder; that’s bad news for Lewis as a potential RB2 option.
Stock up: Sammy Watkins, KC
I guess even six receptions for 78 yards against Jacksonville (despite being questionable with a hamstring injury) isn’t enough for Sammy Watkins to get respect as a legitimate WR2 play, but now is the time to make a move for the 25-year-old if he still isn’t properly valued in your league. Through four healthy games, Watkins is on pace for an 80/1,016/4 receiving line, and matchups aren’t a big concern with Tyreek Hill drawing attention and Patrick Mahomes throwing passes.
Stock up: John Brown, BAL
It only led to four receptions for 58 yards, but John Brown was targeted a whopping 14 times last week, and as long as he stays healthy, fantasy owners can feel confident in him as a high-upside WR2/FLEX option that’s shown a promising floor. “Smokey” gets some very beatable cornerback groups (@ TEN, v NO, @ CAR, v PIT) until Baltimore’s Week 10 bye, so stick with the hot hand through the first week of November.
Stock down: Doug Baldwin, SEA
Those who were counting on Doug Baldwin as a difference-maker will probably be disappointed this year, as he is coming off a one-catch effort and doesn’t look to have a valuable role in scoring territory with Seattle going to more of a ground-and-pound offense. It’s fair to wonder how much Baldwin has left in the tank at age-30 and playing at less than 100% with a knee issue.
Stock down: Will Fuller, HOU
Over the past two years, Will Fuller had been basically unstoppable with Deshaun Watson in the lineup, but the ended up Sunday night when he caught just two passes for 15 yards in an overtime victory. Besides his talent, the biggest thing Fuller had working for him was probably that he was the only receiving option other than DeAndre Hopkins, but Keke Coutee’s emergence is a slight drain on his value. That said, it was only one bad game, so hopefully Fuller gets back on track in Week 6 against Buffalo.
Stock up: Greg Olsen, CAR
Greg Olsen hasn’t played since the opener, but he’s nearing a return, and it could be as early as this Sunday. The veteran would immediately be a midrange TE1 option if he plays against the Redskins, so he’s a valuable asset at an extremely thin position. Pick Olsen up if he was somehow dropped in your league (which seems to have happened at an alarming rate thanks to impatient owners).
Stock down: Vance McDonald, PIT
Just when it looked like Vance McDonald was finally unleashed after box-score production combined with highlight plays for two consecutive weeks, he was limited to a six-yard reception on a day where Pittsburgh scored 41 points. The performance doesn’t suddenly knock McDonald off the streaming radar, but we need to acknowledge his zero-point floor on a loaded offense, especially with Jesse James remaining involved.