How unpredictable this season of fantasy football has been so far. It seems like there is never a sure thing. Your highest drafted players will post a goose egg while a waiver wire pickup will put up the most points of anyone in your lineup. In a season filled with so much uncertainty, that makes lists like these that much more important. Let’s take a look at some fluctuating fantasy stock as we gear up for another week of fantasy action:
QB, Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns
You can’t say enough about Josh McCown. The NFL journeyman was the highest scoring player in fantasy this past week with 37 points, his point total has increased in each of his past three starts–he was a top 5 QB in week 4 as well. McCown broke a franchise record with 457 passing yards in week 5 and became the first Brown to pass for 300 yards in three consecutive games. It is clear that Mike Pettine will continue to lean on the arm of McCown, he has at least 40 pass attempts in his last three starts.
McCown is showing signs of his tremendous 2013 campaign when he filled in for the injured Jay Cutler with the Bears. Definitely worth a start with the way he has been playing, but he faces a tough task against Denver in week 6–it’s his chance to prove himself.
Read more about if Josh McCown can be trusted as a QB1.
RB, Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals
After missing every game since week 1, Andre Ellington made his presence known in his return against the Lions this past Sunday. Despite carrying the ball only 3 times, Ellington outscored guys like Arian Foster, Giovani Bernard and even teammate, Chris Johnson. Ellington displayed his big play ability as he broke off a 63 yard run.
It’ll be tough for Bruce Arians to divvy up the carries between Ellington, CJ2K and David Johnson going forward, but it’s unlikely Chris Johnson will remain as effective as it gets into the 2nd half of the season which bodes well for Ellington. As of now, Ellington’s value will likely rely on big plays like he had, but that was definitely a good sign for Ellington owners as question marks have been on the horizon for weeks.
RB, Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Doug Martin from 2012 returned this past Sunday. Martin ran for 100 yards in consecutive games for the first time since weeks 8 and 9 of that season. He had a hat trick of touchdowns leading him to be the 2nd highest scoring fantasy player of the week, and highest running back. The Buccaneers have been looking to give him the ball more as they have steadily increased his carries the past three weeks in order to take the pressure off of Winston–and how he has taken advantage.
It looks like Martin has returned to elite 2012 form which makes him a start from here on out. However, it is a risky play as he has proven to be a hit or miss–but he’s making it worth the risk with his play as of late.
RB, Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks
After a disappointing week 4 in which many expected him to breakout with Marshawn Lynch sitting out, Thomas Rawls made fantasy owners regretful in week 5 as they likely sat him on their bench. The rookie running back responded in a big way with a 169 yard performance and his first career TD. He finished the week as a top 5 RB and just outside the top 10 overall.
Lynch may be back in week 6, but that’s still up in the air. Even then, Rawls should continue to be a pivotal piece in the Seahawks running game. Lynch has shown a noticeable decrease in explosiveness and power, while Rawls looks like the RB of the future. Rawls’ 23 carries in week 5 were more than Lynch had in any of his 3 starts.
WRs, Allen Robinson/Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars
It doesn’t matter who it is, the young duo of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns will continue to produce. Both receivers were top 5 in fantasy points this past week as Robinson went for 19 and Hurns totaled 17, respectively. Both have over 400 yards and at least 3 touchdowns this season, besting guys like T.Y. Hilton, Calvin Johnson and Jordan Matthews.
The young receivers are risers on the fantasy landscape and look to be a solid FLEX option each week, maybe even good enough to be a WR2 depending on the matchup.
QB, Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
What a horrid performance by Matthew Stafford in week 5. Stafford was so bad that he was benched in favor of Dan Orlovsky–he would even go on to get more fantasy points than Stafford. Other QBs to outscore the Lions QB included Brandon Weeden and Kirk Cousins. Stafford hasn’t eclipsed 300 yards once this season and has just 2 TDs to 5 INTs the past three weeks.
At this point, the Lions may even be better off starting Orlovsky. Get rid of Stafford by any means necessary, along with anyone else on the Lions offense–that unit is a debacle week after week.
RBs, Anthony Dixon/Cierre Wood/Dan Herron, Buffalo Bills
What a shame, none of the spot RBs emerged as a decent fantasy option as the ‘replace McCoy-Williams’ experiment failed. The trio combined for just 50 yards on 18 carries, going for less yardage than their QB. While the expectations couldn’t have been too high, you would’ve thought at least one would stand out over the others.
I actually had high hopes for Dixon this week, I thought he was bound for a goal line TD this week–oh how I was wrong. The Bills look forward to Karlos Williams’ likely return this week.
WR, Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Every week Mike Evans is close to landing on this end of the list, he finally shows up this week. He has only one game in which he broke double-digit fantasy points. The past two weeks he has combined for only 73 yards on 6 catches.
As the Buccaneers look to run the ball more, that diminishes any fantasy value he has left. Every week he becomes more of a dicey starting option. He may have another big game or two, but that’s when you should look to trade him–he won’t be a consistent fantasy player this year.
WR, Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles
What a disappointment Jordan Matthews has been this season. Matthews was expected to breakout in Chip Kelly’s new offense after a great rookie season. While he leads the team in receptions, targets and receiving yards, he has been non-existent since week 2 where he caught his only TD pass of the season. His targets even dipped to 7 this past Sunday, his lowest of the season.
I still have faith in Matthews, he’s too good to stay quiet in Chip Kelly’s offense. However, as it stands right now, his value has fallen tremendously.
WR, Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
It seems like Emmanuel Sanders has stolen the show in the Broncos receiving corps. While Thomas has posted respectable numbers so far this season, things have seemingly gotten worse and worse each week. His targets have regressed in each of the past three games, and he is coming off his lowest-receiving game of the season with an underwhelming 55 yards.
It definitely has been a season for Peyton Manning to forget, from a production standpoint. Manning has been subpar playing QB which has had a negative effect on Thomas and everyone on that offense.