by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
With five weeks in the books we now have a solid knowledge of the fantasy football landscape. For the most part our preseason questions have been answered, and while there are always going to be questions (things in the NFL are always evolving) we have a good idea as to where the value lies. Who are the quarterbacks we can trust? What are the matchups we should be looking to exploit? Let’s take a look at how things look as we head into Week 6:
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Tampa Bay
- Tom Brady – New England Patriots – vs. Kansas City
- Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs – at New England
- Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans – vs. Buffalo
- Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – vs. San Francisco
- Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts – at New York Jets
- Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles – at New York Giants
- Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers – at Cleveland
- Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Cincinnati
- Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams – at Denver
- Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Arizona
- Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Atlanta
- Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – at Washington
- Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Pittsburgh
- Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – at Oakland
- Mitchell Trubisky – Chicago Bears – at Miami
- Alex Smith – Washington Redskins – vs. Carolina
- Eli Manning – New York Giants – vs. Philadelphia
- Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns – vs. Los Angeles Chargers
- Blake Bortles – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Dallas
- Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – at Tennessee
- C.J. Beathard – San Francisco 40ers – at Green Bay
- Sam Darnold – New York Jets – vs. Indianapolis
- Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – vs. Seattle
- Case Keenum – Denver Broncos – vs. Los Angeles Rams
- Is anyone expecting anything but a shootout between the Patriots and Chiefs on Sunday night football? While Mahomes has been the better performer overall, Brady showed what he’s capable of with his full compliment of weapons (the return of Julian Edelman and the growth in the role of Josh Gordon), throwing for 341 yards and 3 TD in Week 4 against the Colts. He should be able to continue to grow on that performance against a Kansas City defense that’s allowed the most passing yards to opposing quarterbacks through five weeks (1,802).
- Any concerns for Deshaun Watson have quickly dissipated. After throwing for 375 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT in Week 5, while rushing for 40 yards, he’s now thrown for at least 375 yards and rushed for at least 36 yards in three straight games (he’s thrown for at least 310 yards in four straight and rushed for at least 36 yards in all five contests this season). Forget the numbers, does anyone anticipate the Bills being able to slow him down?
- The questions facing Jared Goff isn’t about the matchup, especially after Sam Darnold picked apart the Denver Broncos in Week 5. The issue is about the health of his receiving corps, after both Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks were lost to concussions. If either are healthy enough to return for Week 6 Goff will be bumped up a few spots on the rankings, but for now we have to be at least a little bit skeptical.
- Cam Newton would seem like a player who deserves to be ranked a little bit higher, be he’s thrown for 237 yards or fewer in three of four games this season. He does have the ability to save his day with his legs, but if he doesn’t find the end zone his day is going to be lost. Keep that in mind before simply taking a set him and forget him approach.
- In what will be his first start of 2018 Jameis Winston will step into a favorable matchup, taking on the Atlanta Falcons (12 TD vs. 4 INT, while also struggling a little bit against opposing quarterbacks who can run). We’ve seen what the Tampa Bay offense can do with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, and Winston should bring an even bigger upside. Of course seeing what his backup can do could also lead to a quick hook, which is going to keep Winston’s value suppressed a little bit on the rankings.
- Sam Darnold had a “big” day in Week 5, and he did throw for 3 TD, but he was more of a game manager throwing the football just 22 times and completing 10 passes for 198 yards. He’s only passed for more than 200 yards once in five games, so while it would be easy to get excited don’t make the mistake of depending on him. Take out a few big plays and it would’ve been another lost day.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 6 rankings: