Week 6 Upgrades & Downgrades
Well, as the season progresses, so does our understanding of which teams are contenders and which were merely pretenders. There are a few surprises that absolutely nobody saw coming and a few situations that are downright dreadful right now that were fairly predictable. Around Week 8, I am planning on writing an article that recaps the first 8 games for each team and how that compares to what was expected for them this past preseason. The article will also cover what to expect for their final 8 games and maybe even a way-too-early playoff prediction.
As I’ve said before, with the new setup, keep in mind that for players I have listed as “downgrades”, I simply mean you should expect less than their statistical average given the current matchup. They may still start for you and of course, they may still have a good week, but you shouldn’t expect as much from them. For “upgrades”, you can expect them to score more than they typically do but they may not be a starter in your league or for your team. Let’s get started!
- Cam Newton, Philly’s defense has been suspect in the secondary and he’s on a roll so use him while you can.
- Matthew Stafford, Stafford traditionally doesn’t play well on the road, but luckily for him he gets to play in a dome in New Orleans.
- Kirk Cousins, Also on a roll and San Francisco has been pathetic against the pass; doesn’t hurt that his #1 RB is also likely going to be out.
- Philip Rivers, Played well recently and Oakland is not a formidable foe in the passing game at all.
- Carson Palmer, they throw the ball 40+ times a game and now he gets Tampa Bay who is bottom 5 against the pass right now.
- Honorary Mention – Deshaun Watson, He’s been absolutely killing it and Cleveland’s pass D is just plain bad, but he HAS to slow down eventually, this is unsustainable.
- Carson Wentz, Did very well last week but Thursday matchups aren’t the best and Carolina’s D has been doing very well as of late.
- Derek Carr, Coming back after being out 1 week for a “2-6 week” injury. There are more trustworthy options out there this week.
- Alex Smith, Balling so far this year, but the Steeler,’ secondary has been pretty darn good so far this season. The Steelers have been soft against the run, so run it they shall.
- Ben Roethlisberger, Even though he will likely bounce back after last week’s bad showing he is still on the road against KC’s defense.
- Eli Manning, The man saw not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 of his WRs get hurt last week and OBJ is donezo for the season. He’s off my radar the rest of the season unless a miracle happens.
Position: Running Back
- Leonard Fournette, Had an average day going last week until he broke a 90 yard scamper for a TD, and now he gets the Rams who can’t stop the run.
- Todd Gurley, Got stymied last week, but the Jags aren’t doing well against the run either so far this season. Start him with confidence.
- Melvin Gordon, Scored twice through the air last week and has struggled running the ball for the most part this season, but the Raiders have been run on a lot this year, and successfully too.
- CJ Anderson, Likely going to be up early in this one and the Giant’s aren’t great at stopping the run.
- Alvin Kamara, With AP going bye bye, I like Kamara a lot going forward. I also like that they get Detroit in what should be a shootout down in New Orleans.
- Doug Martin, Ran the ball hard last week and now gets Arizona who has been giving up a healthy amount of fantasy points to opposing running backs so far this year.
- Chris Thompson, Kelley is likely out and Frisco gives up a ton of passes to opposing running backs, this is about as good as it’s going to get for him.
- Duke Johnson Jr., Gameflow should dictate this one. Houston has been killing it on offense and if Cleveland can’t score early Duke won’t be leaving the huddle in the 2nd half.
- Carlos Hyde, Rumor has it that he straight up got benched last week, not too thrilled about that one.
- Lamar Miller, Actually did pretty well last week, but Cleveland has been stopping the run all season.
- Jay Ajayi, Just looks like an absolute dud at this point. Atlanta can stop the run, so expect him to go nuts this week because this is the NFL and nothing makes sense in this league at times.
- Aaron Jones, Has done really well in Mongomery’s absence but the Vikings are pretty adept at stopping the run, oh and Rodgers loves to throw the ball in case you didn’t know.
- Frank Gore, Mr. Stability himself might find no room to run this week since Tennessee is only giving up 3.3 YPC to opposing running backs.
- Jonathan Stewart, Philly is pretty good at stopping the run so far in this still young season and they give up a lot of passes to opposing backs which is good for McCaffrey, just not Stewart.
- Latavius Murray, Looked like a hot mess last week and McKinnon did well with his touches, not giving up on hi,m in season-long formats after 1 week, just don’t play him.
- Isaiah Crowell, See Duke Johnson above.
Position: Wide Receiver
- Larry Fitzgerald, A little disappointing last week given the matchup, but he’s got another great one again this week.
- TY Hilton, Went nuts this week, his blow-ups are seemingly hard to predict, but he’s got a great matchup this week so another explosion could be forthcoming.
- DeAndre Hopkins, Has been thriving since Watson has taken over, but if you watch the games he’s getting a lot of jump balls that won’t always fall in his favor, still playing Cleveland though.
- Kelvin Benjamin, Philly’s secondary is very beatable and he’s coming on as of late.
- Terrelle Pryor Sr., Signs of life were shown before the bye and with Doctson out and Reed always ailing it could happen soon, guys.
- Chris Hogan, He’s always starting if you own him, I don’t care the matchup.
- Pierre Garcon, Josh Norman will be out for the Redskins secondary and he’s being fed the rock, just don’t tune in until the 4th quarter, for some reason they like scoring a lot of points then.
- Keenan Allen, Has had success against Oakland in the past and he’s had a solid fantasy floor so far this season.
- Mike Evans, I’m wary of him until he can finally break out, it will probably be this week because he’s on this list and not the one above this one.
- Jordy Nelson, Not sure why, but something seems off about Jordy. Now, I’m not going to sit him, but he has a tough matchup against Minnesota and Rodgers has no problem spreading it around.
- Jarvis Landry/DeVante Parker, Cutler sucks and Miami is a mess offensively as a whole, better options elsewhere.
- Alshon Jeffery, Even though there are reports that a few Panthers could be out in the secondary the matchup just isn’t great.
- Stefon Diggs/Adam Thielen, Bradford was BADford last week and even though he likely won’t play this week I don’t trust them to provide this week in a divisional matchup.
- Demaryius Thomas, Giant’s secondary has been reeling but he’s still going to see a lot of Janoris Jenkins so I like Sanders much more this week.
- Tyreek Hill, Steelers’ secondary has been stingy this year and they should have no problem running the ball all game.
- Will Fuller V, He has 6 catches in 2 games and 4 TDs, do you really think he can keep that up?
Position: Tight End
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Drafted years ago by the Bucs as an athletic freak but never really pulled it all together; apparently the Jets were the right place for him? I guess? IDK…
- Evan Engram, 4, count ‘em, 4 WRs got hurt last week, not many other options here by process of elimination.
- Delanie Walker, I like him if Mariota plays because the matchup is good.
- Austin Hooper, Sanu is out so there will be more targets to go around and Miami isn’t good at stopping TEs.
- Ryan Griffin, Cleveland is terrible at stopping opposing TEs, terrible.
- Jordan Reed, Even if he plays every body part is hurting him it seems, There are better options, but it is tough to sit him.
- Kyle Rudolph, Scored last week which is nice. GB is better against the TE than most teams and this offense just does not want to use him like they did last year.
- Delanie Walker, I don’t like him if Mariota sits, even though the matchup is good.
- George Kittle, Had a good game last week, I don’t see it happening again this week.
- Antonio Gates, I mean do I really even need to put him on here? He has caught no more than 3 balls in a given week and has 1 TD on the season.