Ertz has been a fantasy disappointment this year and that should continue in Week 6
Fantasy football is a tough game to play. Fantasy owners have to try to guess which players are going to have the best games and put them in their lineups. When bye weeks are part of the equation, it gets tougher. But in 2020, we have games moving (seemingly) each week because of COVID-19.
Last week, we had football on Tuesday night (but no "Thursday Night Football" for Week 6). Currently, two games are scheduled for Monday night. The Minnesota-Atlanta game is still on for Sunday, but the Falcons did announce a positive case with a personnel member and closed its facility on Thursday. If more issues become known, that game may be moved.
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: Las Vegas, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans, Seattle
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Tennessee Titans
The Titans face the Texans in Week 6, which is a tough matchup. However, the Texans did just allow Gardner Minshew to throw for 301 yards and two touchdowns. Tannehill looked good on Tuesday night against Buffalo, getting A.J. Brown back and finding him in the end zone and connecting with Jonnu Smith as well. And that was with limited practices. Now that the Titans have been able to practice, Tannehill should continue to have solid games. Tannehill likely won't have as good of a game on Sunday compared to Tuesday night, but he should exceed his No. 16 ranking.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Detroit Lions
Peterson did miss practice on Thursday with an illness, but rarely (in the pre-COVID era) did illnesses result in missed games. Assuming that Peterson practices on Friday and is in the lineup on Sunday, he should be better than RB36, as he's ranked. The Lions face the Jaguars, who have allowed running backs to rush for 95 or more yards in the past two weeks. Joe Mixon scored two touchdowns against them in Week 4. This is a good matchup for Peterson, as he'll likely be the one running the ball as long as he's healthy. If he sits, D'Andre Swift (No. 46) would move up to RB2 status.
DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins face the Jets in Week 6, who have given up 100-yard games to receivers in each of the last two weeks. They've also given up three touchdowns to the position in the last two weeks. Parker has scored twice this year and Ryan Fitzpatrick does look for him. The Jets just aren't very good, but the Dolphins are going to have to throw the ball as their running game is not great either. Look for Fitzpatrick to have a good game and Parker to exceed his No. 43 ranking because of it.
Chase Claypool, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Fantasy owners certainly should not expect another four-touchdown day, but Claypool is filling the role that once belonged to JuJu Smith-Schuster when Antonio Brown was on the team (remember those days?). Claypool is currently ranked No. 35, behind Smith-Schuster (No. 17) and Diontae Johnson (No. 31). The rookie may be hit or miss: in two games this season, he's scored at least one touchdown and had more than 85 yards. In the other two games, he has had fewer than 40 yards. It's a gamble to put him on the "Up" list but the Steelers face the Browns, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Claypool should have another good game.
Robert Tonyan, TE, Green Bay Packers
Tonyan was seemingly unknown to most fantasy owners prior to Week 4 when he scored three touchdowns. However, he had also found the end zone in the two games prior. Clearly, Aaron Rodgers looks for him in the red zone. On Sunday, the Packers come off of their bye and face the Buccaneers, who have allowed tight ends to score a touchdown in the past two games. Odds are that Tonyan won't score three touchdowns, but it's a good bet he'll get one and exceed his No. 15 ranking.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
While it is certainly possible the Falcons/Vikings game ends up being a shootout, Ryan needs his receivers back. Julio Jones will likely still be out. When Jones and Calvin Ridley were both active and healthy, Ryan was a top-six quarterback (Week 1). Ryan still managed to be successful against Dallas in Week 2, but in the past three weeks, he hasn't cracked the top 10. Ryan is ranked No. 8, but that may be a bit too high. Also, please be aware that this is the game that may end up moving because of potential COVID-19 concerns
James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars face the Lions, who are a great matchup for opposing running backs. However, ranking Robinson No. 3 seems a bit high. Sure, Alvin Kamara is on bye, but Robinson would have to have a monster day. It is possible: the Lions have given up three touchdowns to opposing running backs (as a team) in two of their four games this season. In the other two games, they haven't allowed the running back to score. Laviska Shenault Jr. may be a bigger factor in this game, especially if the Jaguars are playing from behind for most of it.
Darrell Henderson Jr., RB, Los Angeles Rams
Henderson was the best running back in terms of fantasy points on the Rams in Weeks 2 and 3. By Week 5, Cam Akers had returned from injury and Malcolm Brown was healthy and Henderson had 38 rushing yards (he only had 21 in Week 4). His fantasy day was saved by a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown, but with Akers and Brown back in the picture, Henderson will likely drop below his No. 23 ranking for Week 6. The matchup is tough — the 49ers allow the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs and haven't allowed one to score a touchdown since Week 1. The Rams' backfield is a mess when they are all healthy, which just means a headache for fantasy owners.
Robby Anderson, WR, Carolina Panthers
Anderson has looked great this season, with 99 or more receiving yards in four of five games. He only has one touchdown, but that should change. Unfortunately, that may not happen in Week 6. The Panthers face the Bears, who have a solid secondary and are really good at not allowing big plays. They have given up just one reception of 40-plus yards to a receiver (Calvin Ridley) through five games. (Calvin Ridley). The first touchdown Chicago allowed to a WR was last week (Mike Evans). Anderson is ranked No. 24, but this is going to be a tough week for him to get there.
Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
In the past two games, Ertz has had 11 targets. He's caught five of them for 15 yards. Without his name (and obviously, his potential), Ertz would be on the waiver wire. He's had five or fewer receptions for less than 50 yards in four of the five games so far this season. He hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 1. While Carson Wentz is also to blame here, trusting Ertz as the No. 6 tight end against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6 doesn't seem like it's going to happen.
Full Disclosure from Week 5
5 Up (0/5 correct)
Drew Brees, QB, Saints (Ranked: 8, Actual: 11)
Joshua Kelley, RB, Chargers (Ranked: 23, Actual: 44)
Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings (Ranked: 27, Actual: 68)
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers (Ranked: 31, Actual: 61)
Logan Thomas, TE, Washington (Ranked: 15, Actual: 45)
5 Down (5/5 correct)
Gardner Minshew, QB, Jaguars (Ranked: 11, Actual: 13)
Kenyan Drake, RB, Cardinals (Ranked: 14, Actual: 24)
Jerick McKinnon, RB, 49ers (Ranked: 19, Actual: 54)
Robert Woods, WR, Rams (Ranked: 14, Actual: 22)
Tyler Higbee, TE, Rams (Ranked: 7, Actual: 27)
— 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.