The NFL is an ever-changing landscape, from year to year, week to week, and even day to day. Hence, the Bruno Boys bring to you our Week Six Edition of the Fantasy Risers and Fallers.
For those of you unfamiliar with the concept behind the article, it’s rather simple. Risers and Fallers highlights those players who have seen their fantasy football value for the weekend’s upcoming games either rise (increase) or fall (decrease).
WEEK SIX RISERS
QB Carson Palmer (Cincinnati Bengals)
It’s never good to hear a quarterback has a thumb injury, but in Palmer’s case, it shouldn’t cause his owners to lose any sleep. First off, Palmer’s injury is on his non-throwing hand. Secondly, he’s practiced all week.
QB Eli Manning (New York Giants)
Sure, Manning didn’t partake in all 60 minutes of the Giants’ Week Five contest with the Raiders, but that’s because he didn’t need to. The Giants’ QB, despite his heel issues, is listed as probable for Sunday’s matchup with the Saints, and you know, this game will be a lot closer. Look for Manning to play the full game here.
RB Jonathan Stewart (Carolina Panthers)
With a probable listing heading into Sunday’s action with the Buccaneers, Stewart’s Achilles looks to be well on the mend. Coming off a solid nine point fantasy outing and having a matchup against the 28th ranked rush defense of the Bucs, Stewart makes for a nice flex play in Week Six.
RB Jamal Lewis (Cleveland Browns)
Lewis came back from injury with a vengeance in Week Five, going for 117 yards on 31 carries. The performance had to make his fantasy owners happy, as should the news that he’s been able to practice fully all week. What shouldn’t make his owners happy is the matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lewis is nothing more than a flex-type option.
RB Correll Buckhalter (Denver Broncos)
Practicing all week, it appears Buckhalter is a good bet to go this Monday Night against the Chargers. With San Diego ranking 27th against the rush and Buckhalter averaging 9.25 fantasy points in the four games he’s played in, utilize him as a strong flex play.
RBs Pierre Thomas & Mike Bell (New Orleans Saints)
It was actually a dilemma as to where to place Thomas and Bell in this week’s “Risers and Fallers.” On the one hand, both are probable and will play on Sunday against the Giants. On the other, with both healthy and Reggie Bush in the mix, there division of labor is somewhat up in the air. If you have safer options, we’d turn to them. But, if not, the fact that they’ll be on the field should at least be somewhat comforting.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw (New York Giants)
Bradshaw does have an ankle injury, but while it has limited his practice time, it won’t keep him off the field this week. Bradshaw is coming off a strong 165 total yard and two TD effort in Week Five, which helps propel him to RB2 status this week despite a tough matchup with the Saints.
RBs Rashard Mendenhall & Willie Parker (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Mendenhall, despite flu symptoms earlier in the week, practice fully on Friday. Meanwhile, Parker is probable and expected to play despite his turf toe issues. Yes, both backs being healthy takes away some what from their values, but the matchup against the Cleveland Browns allows both to be fantasy relevant. Mendenhall is a RB2 type play, while Parker is a flex option.
RB Justin Forsett (Seattle Seahawks)
While we’re not recommending Forsett, he is still a player whose value is on the rise and one all fantasy owners should watch moving forward. Forsett has been the most dynamic of the Seahawks’ backs, and according to ESPN’s Mike Sando he will be getting a larger role moving forward. If you have a bench spot that’s just being used on wasted space, grab Forsett.
WR Steve Breaston (Arizona Cardinals)
Breaston is listed as questionable heading into the weekend, but he was a limited participant in practice throughout the week and is expected to play Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Breaston has at least six fantasy points in each game he’s played him, so feel free to continue using him as a WR3.
WR Derek Mason (Baltimore Ravens)
Mason’s zero catch performance in Week Five may have fantasy owners nervous for Week Six, but let us ease your concern. Cam Cameron , the Ravens’ offensive coordinator, has stated that it is unacceptable for the Ravens to go forward without getting Mason involved, so look for Mason to get back to his WR3 status.
WR Steve Smith (Carolina Panthers)
Smith’s fantasy owners got a bit of a scare with the wide out appearing on this week’s injury report with a knee injury, but don’t fret much. Smith’s simply listed as probable and practiced fully on Friday. Continue to use him as normal.
WR Randy Moss (New England Patriots)
Moss, who was a limited participant in practice this week, has been designated as probable for the Patriots matchup with the Titans. Use him as a WR1 against the 31st ranked pass defense in the league.
WR Wes Welker (New England Patriots)
For the first time all season, Welker’s owners can breathe easy. The wide receiver is no longer listed on the Patriots’ injury report. Brady will continue to look Welker’s way often, so use him as a WR2 option.
WR David Clowney (New York Jets)
Looking for a sleeper play for Week Six, then look no further than Clowney. Clowney, who had four catches for 72 yards last week, should once again see an expanded role thanks to injuries to Jerricho Cotchery and Brad Smith .
WR Braylon Edwards (New York Jets)
A doubtful Jerricho Cotchery is good news for Edwards and his fantasy owners. The former Browns receiver, who apparently has remembered how to catch the ball, made a splash in his first game with the J-E-T-S! and should have another solid one this weekend.
WR Jeremy Maclin (Philadelphia Eagles)
Kevin Curtis did participate in full on Friday, but the fact that he’s still sporting a questionable tag leads us to believe Maclin will be the wideout lining up opposite DeSean Jackson for the majority of the game. After his Week Five outing, Maclin is definitely worth a fantasy play against Oakland.
WR Nate Burleson (Seattle Seahawks)
With a matchup against the 32nd ranked pass defense of the Arizona Cardinals on the horizon, Burleson gave his owners a scare by being a limited participant in the Seahawks’ Thursday practice; however, rest assured the wide out, who is listed as probable, is expected to play Sunday.
WR Antonio Bryant (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Those Bryant owners who have been disappointed by his bust of a 2009 season thus far, take heart because according to coach, Raheem Morris , Bryant is looking as good as he has since OTA. It may be time to plug Bryant back into your fantasy lineups; however, do not use him as more than a WR3 until he proves he’s worthy.
TE Kevin Boss (New York Giants)
After a promising 2008 campaign, Boss has disappointed so far in 2009. However, if you’re in a pickle and need a bye week TE, Boss is listed as probable and play against the Saints on Sunday. Just know though that the Saints are giving up less than 5 points on average to opposing TEs.
WEEK SIX FALLERS
QB Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions)
Stafford may only have a questionable listing, but that’s the same listing he had in Week Five when he didn’t play against the Pittsburgh Steelers . All indications are pointing to Daunte Culpepper starting, so if for some crazy reason you were using Stafford as your starting fantasy QB, you’ll need to find another option yet again in Week Six.
QB Matt Cassel (Kansas City Chiefs)
Cassel’s healthy. The problem is starting LT Branden Albert is not. Cassel hasn’t exactly been getting the most time in the pocket, and this won’t help. It might be best to look for another option to man your fantasy offense.
RB LaMont Jordan (Denver Broncos)
Not that he had much value to begin with, but seeing as Correll Buckhalter will be back for the Broncos, Jordan should not be on any fantasy rosters.
WR Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions)
The Lions have listed Johnson as questionable for Week Six, but that listing may be more a tease to fantasy owners than anything else. The Lions’ wide receiver has not practiced all week due to his knee injury.
WR Percy Harvin (Minnesota Vikings)
Despite partaking in Thursday and Friday’s practices as a limited participant, Harvin will be a game-time decision on Sunday. While it seems likely he’ll go, the shoulder injury he’s dealing with and the fact that he’s only mustered three and six fantasy points the last two weeks has us staying away in Week Six.
WRs Jerricho Cotchery & Brad Smith (New York Jets)
Both wide receivers are listed as doubtful for this week, and while Rex Ryan doesn’t want to rule them out just yet, we’re willing to.
TE Dante Rosario (Carolina Panthers)
Rosario did have a TD in both Week Two and Week Three, but did have just one catch for 22 yards last weekend. Couple his inconsistencies with a questionable tag and it’s best to look for your bye week tight end elsewhere.
TE Benjamin Watson (New England Patriots)
Due to a head injury suffered in the Patriots loss to the Denver Broncos, Watson is sporting a questionable tag heading into Sunday’s contest with the Titans. He has been a limited participant in practices this week, but will be a game-time decision. As the Patriots will be partaking in a late afternoon game, it’s best to look for a safer TE option.
K Phil Dawson (Cleveland Browns)
The good news is that Dawson was able to practice on a limited basis, which is a step forward. The bad news is he’s still going to be kicking for the Cleveland Browns.
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