Five weeks of football are already complete, and now not only do fantasy managers need to deal with injuries, but the bye weeks are here. Four teams are on a bye, which may make it more difficult to find players to fill your lineup. Sometimes it is a matter of filling your roster with players that are active and healthy. If you’re lucky, you can attempt to make start/sit decisions because your team has a lot of (healthy talent). In that case, read on because some players are making their way on the “up” list because of opportunity this week.
Please note 5 Up/5 Down is a guide on players that should exceed or fall below their rank this week. This is based on past performance, injury status, and matchup. This is not a start/sit column, but rather a guide.
Teams on bye: Atlanta, New Orleans, New York Jets, San Francisco
Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants
Stafford may be dealing with a finger injury, but he is seeming to play through it. The volume of passes and the way the Rams are using the running backs in the passing game helps Stafford. He’s ranked No. 10 this week but against the Giants, he should exceed that. He has 12 touchdowns in five games and should add to that this week.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
Supposedly Cook is healthy for Week 6. There was some question whether he would play this week because the Vikings are off in Week 7, but he did practice in full. With Alexander Mattison banged up, it seems that the Vikings are going to go back to their stud running back. Fantasy owners should do the same. He is ranked as No. 20 (likely because his injury status is questionable) but should finish higher than that.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Detroit Lions vs. Cincinnati Bengals
With Quintez Cephus on IR, the next man up for the Lions is St. Brown. He is a rookie, but he’s seen 16 targets in the past two games. He caught six for 70 yards in Week 4 and seven for 65 yards in Week 5. He should be seeing more and more targets as Jared Goff needs a receiver to connect to. St. Brown is ranked No. 49 but should exceed that this week against the Bengals.
James Washington, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Seattle Seahawks (SNF)
Washington missed Week 5 with a groin injury but has put in limited practices this week. Someone in Pittsburgh needs to step up now that JuJu Smith-Schuster is out. Chase Claypool is certainly still an option, but this is the opportunity for Washington to prove himself. Diontae Johnson is in the mix, but look for Washington to exceed his No. 80 ranking.
Ricky Seals-Jones, TE, Washington Football Team vs. Kansas City Chiefs
With Logan Thomas on IR, Seals-Jones has become the default tight end for Washington. He had five receptions for 41 yards in Week 5. While he’s not going to immediately jump in as a TE1, he will certainly see targets and he has a chance at finding the end zone. There are worse streamers this week. He’s ranked No. 13 but could crack the top 10.
Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos
In the past two weeks, Carr has not looked good. He didn’t throw a touchdown in Week 5 and he didn’t throw for more than 200 yards in Week 4. (He barely cracked 200 yards in Week 5). The Raiders face the Broncos in Week 6, who allow the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Carr is ranked No. 16 but this should be another rough week for him.
AJ Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
It’s hard to say what Dillon’s role on the Packers is at this point. He was given eight carries in Week 5, which he turned into 30 yards. He had four targets and he caught all of them for 49 yards and a touchdown. It was his best receiving performance of the season. But with Aaron Jones healthy, Dillon’s role is still just a backup. He’s ranked No. 29 with the hope that he is more involved in the passing game, but it’s not a sure thing.
A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills (MNF)
Brown hasn’t had more than 50 yards yet this season. He’s missed time with a hamstring injury, but he still only has one touchdown in five games. It’s a rough start for someone fantasy owners drafted as a WR1. He’s ranked No. 14 this week, but it’s hard to imagine he reaches that ranking. The Titans face the Bills, which has the potential to be a high-scoring game, but Brown needs to step up.
Jaylen Waddle, WR, Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (London)
Waddle has helped the Dolphins on special teams, but for the most part, that doesn’t help fantasy owners. He’s ranked No. 29 for Week 6, but he should finish below that. He’s just not part of this offense yet. Even with DeVante Parker likely out again, Waddle is going to be hard to trust. He may be used as a flex option, but his value is more in PPR formats than standard.
Robert Tonyan, TE, Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
Tonyan has had one game this season with more than 10 receiving yards. One. He’s ranked No. 15, but outside one game where he had 52 receiving yards and a touchdown (Week 2), his season has been a disappointment. There is nothing that indicates that Week 6 will be the week when Tonyan is a viable tight end option for fantasy managers.
Full Disclosure from Week 5
5 Up (3/5 correct)
- Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears (Ranked: 21, Actual: 29)
- Samaje Perine, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (Ranked: 28, Actual: 18)
- Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings (Ranked: 39, Actual: 6)
- Rondale Moore, WR, Arizona Cardinals (Ranked: 35, Actual: 30)
- Jared Cook, TE, Los Angeles Chargers (Ranked: 15, Actual: 37)
5 Down (2/3 correct)
- Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders (Ranked: 13, Actual: 31)
- Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles (Ranked: 27, Actual: 34)
- Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders (Ranked: 21, Actual: 21)
- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Atlanta Falcons (Ranked: 26, Actual: 19)
- George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers (Ranked: 7, Actual: DNP)
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.