Each week, fantasy football rankings are posted, however, some players are poised to do better – or worse – than their rankings indicate. The rankings are a guide, and should be used to determine who to start over another player. This 5 Up/5 Down column is designed to help figure out which players we may like a bit more or a bit less.
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 that gives additional insight on a few select players.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
In Week 1, Stafford's fantasy numbers looked great because he threw four touchdowns. However, he only threw for 292 yards on 41 attempts. What this shows is that the Lions are still flinging the ball around, but he's also utilizing short-yardage passes. Theo Riddick tied for the second-most targets on the team with seven. Stafford's longest pass to Riddick went for 13 yards. This will likely be the Lions' game plan again in Week 2 against the Giants. Last week, the Cowboys had much more success through the air than on the ground, even with Ezekiel Elliot. Expect Stafford to throw the ball, and he has the potential to crack the top 10 quarterbacks despite his No. 12 ranking.
Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Even though the Buccaneers haven't played Rodgers should crack the top 20, at least in PPR leagues. The Bears did a decent job stopping the run in Week 1 (53 yards and a touchdown on the ground for Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman). However, the running backs did have success through the air — Coleman caught four passes for 42 yards. Since that's more of what Rodgers does, he will likely finish higher than his No. 21 ranking.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
After being covered by Josh Norman in Week 1, Jeffery fell to No. 19 in the rankings. He's still the No. 1 option in Philadelphia and that should show in Week 2. Nelson Agholor was the star in Week 1, but look for Jeffery to make an impact in Week 2. The Eagles signed Jeffery for a reason; fantasy owners haven't seen that reason yet. However, look for him to be a WR2 in Week 2.
Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers
In Week 1, Cobb had the most targets on the team. He caught nine of 13 balls for a team-high 85 yards. There are plenty of mouths to feed on the Packers, so the target leader may change from week to week. However, this week, Aaron Rodgers should be throwing the ball plenty, and Cobb will likely be a beneficiary of that. Jordy Nelson gets the red zone work, but Cobb should exceed his No. 31 ranking.
Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Even though the Buccaneers drafted O.J. Howard, Brate is still going to be the tight end to own. He's ranked No. 16 this week, but he could crack the top 10. He had a solid year in 2016, with 660 yards and eight touchdowns. He developed a rapport with Jameis Winston and the pair should continue to work together in 2017.
To be fair, Newton is coming off shoulder surgery and he did miss much of the preseason, so he needed at least one game to get back into form. He threw for 171 yards in Week 1 and his fantasy numbers were saved by two touchdowns. Christian McCaffrey had the most targets with seven, and the passing game struggled. Until Newton gets back into typical form, he shouldn't be considered a top-10 quarterback (he's currently ranked eighth). The Bills' defense wasn't really challenged last week by the Bills, so it will be a good test to see how they perform against the Panthers in Week 2.
Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
While Howard is still the lead back in Chicago, the presence of Tarik Cohen will diminish his value a bit. Howard also has been banged up in practice this week with a shoulder injury. It seems that the injury is not anything to be concerned with, but it still may affect his play. Howard is a RB2 for Week 2 (ranked No. 14), against a Tampa Bay defense that was solid against the run last year. Chicago will need to rely on the run, but Howard's value will come if he can find the end zone.
Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders
The Raiders have a great matchup against the Jets in Week 2, so Crabtree should have a good game. However, the No. 13 ranking may be a bit high. Amari Cooper will likely be the top wideout and will see chances in the red zone. Cooper had the most targets out of all Raiders, and that should continue in Week 2.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos
In Week 1, Trevor Siemian only threw the ball 28 times. The Broncos' offense isn't high-powered by any means, but they get the job done. However, having two wide receivers that are in the top 25 week to week seems a little unlikely. Sanders is ranked No. 24 and either Demaryius Thomas or Sanders will be a WR1, but trying to pick which one will be the best fantasy bet is going to be tough. For Week 2, Thomas should fare better than Sanders.
Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers
In Week 1, Henry didn't make the box score as he didn't even see one ball thrown his way. Antonio Gates had three targets (and he caught two of them). Henry is ranked No. 11, but it doesn't seem that he has a role in this offense as it is right now. He'll likely develop into a fantasy option, but until then, it's hard to even consider him as a TE2.
— 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.