As Week 6 is upon us, four more teams are on bye and fantasy owners are dealing with injuries as well. Trying to determine who to start is always a challenge, and the rankings are a great guide to start. However, when creating the rankings, sometimes players seem to rise or fall. The 5 Up/5 Down column is here to help make sense of the rankings.
At the end of the column is the full disclosure, listing how well last week's picks performed. Please note the 5 Up/5 Down column 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: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, Seattle
Josh McCown, QB, New York Jets
Remember at the beginning of the season, when the New England Patriots' defense was supposed to be good? Well, not anymore. The Patriots have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year. Every quarterback they've faced has thrown for more than 300 yards and at least one touchdown. (Four of the five quarterbacks have more than one touchdown). While McCown hasn't been amazing, this is his opportunity to look good. He's ranked No. 16, but he may hover around No. 10.
Samaje Perine, RB, Washington Redskins
For some reason Perine is not ranked for Week 6. With Rob Kelley banged up and likely out, Perine will be the lead back. Sure, his Week 4 performance wasn't the greatest (six carries for 27 yards) but he had the bye week to rest and work with the offense. Chris Thompson will be in the picture as well and they will eat into each other's workload. However, Perine is a RB3 and should at least crack the top 50.
Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings
While it is a risky call to say that Adam Thielen will be in the top 10 (he's currently ranked No. 11), it is certainly possible. Case Keenum should start again, and Keenum has looked for Thielen. With Stefon Diggs dealing with a groin injury, Thielen will be the go-to guy in Week 6. The Packers have allowed opposing wide receivers to have big days and while Keenum isn't going to match Aaron Rodgers throw-for-throw, he will find a way to move the ball and that will be with Thielen. This may be the week that he gets into the end zone for the first time this season.
Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Even though he only has one touchdown so far this year, Allen has stayed healthy (knock on wood!) and had at least four receptions in each game. He has two games with more than 100 receiving yards. While the Raiders haven't allowed a lot of points to opposing wide receivers, they also haven't faced any of the top receivers in the league. This will be a good test and Allen should exceed his No. 15 ranking.
A.J. Derby, TE, Denver Broncos
In past years, there has always been a team to start your tight end against. This year, that team is the New York Giants. The Giants have allowed at least one tight end per team to score a touchdown against the so far this season. Derby is widely available and he's coming off a four catch, 75-yard, one touchdown performance. He's not going to be the tight end to save a fantasy season, but he is a viable streaming option for Week 6. He's ranked No. 19, but he should finish in solid TE2 range.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
It's hard to knock a quarterback with 10 touchdowns over the past two games. However, the other shoe is going to drop on Watson at some point. He's ranked No. 4 this week, and he should finish within the top 10, but not within the top 5. He does have a great matchup against Cleveland, so putting him in the down section is tough, but he can't maintain that touchdown ratio... can he?
Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants
Even though the New York Giants have lost their receiving corps, the ground game is still going to struggle in Week 6. The Denver Broncos have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs so far this season. They've faced some top running backs as well. Between the matchup and the return of Orleans Darkwa to steal carries, Gallman may finish outside his No. 36 ranking.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins
In the preseason, many fantasy experts predicted Ajayi to be a bust. So far this year, he has 76 carries for 261 yards (averaging 3.4 yards per carry). He had a great Week 2, with more than 100 rushing yards, but since then, he's been far from the RB1 he was drafted as. He hasn't found the end zone yet this year and any other running back that has 139 yards in the past three games would be borderline droppable. He's not going to reach his No. 9 ranking this week.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
Nelson is banged up, but that isn't the reason that he should fall below his No. 9 ranking this week. He's scored a touchdown in each game that he's played in past the first quarter (he exited Week 2 with a quad injury early). However, if he doesn't find the end zone, his numbers would be quite pedestrian. He had two receptions in Week 5 for 24 yards (and a touchdown). The Minnesota Vikings have shut down No. 1 receivers and that will likely be Nelson this week.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
Even with Stefon Diggs injured, Rudolph isn't a reliable fantasy option. He'sranked No. 9for Week 6, but that ranking seems a bit high. He's touchdown-dependent, and the Green Bay Packers have been tough against tight ends. They have not allowed a touchdown to a tight end yet this season. Rudolph hasn't had more than 45 receiving yards yet this season. He's a low TE2 for Week 6.
Full Disclosure, Week 5:
Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals: (Ranked: 10, Actual: 12)
LeGarrette Blount, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: (Ranked: 21, Actual: 24)
Latavius Murray, RB, Minnesota Vikings: (Ranked: 30, Actual: 38)
Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans: (Ranked: 38, Actual: 4)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, New York Jets: (Ranked: 14, Actual: 13)
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers: (Ranked: 9, Actual: 28)
Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans: (Ranked: 10, Actual: 19)
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: (Ranked: 21, Actual: not in top 50)
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: (Ranked: 12, Actual: 40)
Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys: (Ranked: 12, Actual: 19)
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.