What Are the Comfort Levels for Fantasy Studs Heading into Week 6?
It's no secret: Football is a violent sport. But, hey, that doesn't mean we can't think that injuries suck.
Unless you've been under a rock the past 48 hours or so, you won't know that the New York Giants have lost Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall to season-ending ankle surgeries.
The talent pool among the top-tier guys diminished a little with those two going down, but as the old saying goes: It's time for the next man up.
Sometimes injuries adjust how comfortable with players, too, and that plays a role in this week's slideshow.
Here, we have seven more players for you for Week 6. How comfortable are you with selecting these names?
Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
It's hard to feel iffy about Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell, but it might be warranted here.
Sure, he gets the touches and all that, but the Pittsburgh Steelers offense and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are sputtering.
Coming off a five-interception game, something is wrong with Big Ben.
Going into Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs is not a great way to get back on track.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown will be fine—he's totally matchup-proof—but the Chiefs know and understand that. From there, they'll zero in on Bell, and he could end up with a stat line that shows a lot of touches, but what is the production?
He's my RB6 this week. Still high based on who he is but lower than we're accustomed to seeing him.
Comfort Level: Rely on Roethlisberger to play well on the road so, uh, not good.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Touches at the running back position tend to make fantasy owners happy campers.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette is the epitome of "touches."
So far this season, he is averaging over 25 touches per game and is coming off a rushing performance in which he went over 180 yards.
Next up in Week 6? The Los Angeles Rams, also known as the team that gives up a ton of fantasy points to opposing running backs. By a ton, we mean the most.
The Jaguars seem to have recognized quarterback Blake Bortles is not good enough to carry them to a victory, so ride the stellar defense and the young running back to wins.
As a result of that, we get a running back with a huge workload who racks up plenty of fantasy points for our teams. Seems like a good deal.
Comfort Level: If the human embodiment of the Jaguars defense was the quarterback instead of Bortles.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, one of the definitions for "demoralize" is "to upset or destroy the normal functioning of."
Why does that apply here? Well, the Cleveland Browns and their cornerbacks are about be just that—demoralized.
The main reason for this is Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. He's been the WR1 we all knew he could be with rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson at the helm.
In each game this season, Hopkins has either a touchdown or seven receptions. In fact, he's coming off a three-touchdown game in Week 5.
For Week 6? Jamar Taylor is set to be his primary cover man.
According to Pro Football Focus, he's not so good at covering a receiver as he ranks 90th in that category.
Poor Browns. Here comes Hopkins; it will all be over soon.
Comfort Level: Deshaun Watson over the past two weeks.
Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Uh oh. It seems we may have a situation brewing in the San Francisco 49ers backfield.
According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan uttered the horrible phrase "hot hand." He said this in regard to his plans for the running game.
In Week 5, Carlos Hyde was largely ineffective, rushing for 11 yards on eight carries. Meanwhile, rookie Matt Breida carried the ball two more times for 49 yards.
There's a lot of risk associated here and it comes against an underrated Washington Redskins defense that allows the 10th-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs.
If you start Hyde, I'd expect to be somewhat disappointed. Not only with Breida and "hot hand" in mind, but the 49ers could be out of this game and forced to throw a ton. At that point, hope the passes go to Hyde.
Comfort Level: Shanahan said "hot hand"—that's not good.
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
While the talent may be otherworldly, the main issue with Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones in general is that he needs to score more touchdowns.
Well, buckle up, boys and girls, because he's almost guaranteed to get one in Week 6.
Coming off a bye in Week 5, Jones and the Falcons will do battle with the Miami Dolphins (who have had quite the distraction so far this week).
The Dolphins stink against wide receivers. They rank 30th and 32nd in DVOA against No. 1 and No. 2 wide receivers; and Cordrea Tankersley, Bobby McCain, Xavien Howard or whoever else the Dolphins throw Jones' way will not be able to overmatch him.
If Jones doesn't score a touchdown in Week 6, he might as well not try the rest of the season. This is his matchup to exploit and rack up fantasy points.
Comfort Level: I'm not sure I'm able to type out the real comparison here, but it's good.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans
To be fair, I'm not overly confident in the Tennessee Titans as a football team right now, never mind individual players.
With quarterback Marcus Mariota on the shelf in Week 5, the Titans lost 16-10 to the lowly Miami Dolphins, which is pathetic.
But OK, sticking with the running game.
If Matt Cassel suits up again in Week 6, it's your funeral if you start DeMarco Murray—it just won't work out.
With Mariota, there's obviously more upside, but the presence of backup running back Derrick Henry remains.
Fortunately, the Titans get a cushy matchup against the Indianapolis Colts on Monday so that should help.
The combination of Henry and not knowing that status of Mariota leaves me a little leery, but the matchup with the Colts should leave you with some confidence.
Comfort Level: If Cassel starts, like being tattooed for 100 hours straight.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
After not being on the field for the game-winning drive over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5, speculation mounted that Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson may have been hurt.
According to Rob Demovsky of ESPN, that may not be the case as Nelson claimed to be OK following the win.
However, if there is an injury and it's the hamstring issue Mike Silver of NFL.com reported, it's time to be a little worried.
Soft tissue injuries are never a fun gamble in football or, in our case, fantasy football.
Will Nelson be on a snap count? Will he not be? Was there actually an injury? Who knows.
Best practice here is to wait to see how the week evolves and when/if Nelson practices. So early in the week though, I'm a little skeptical.
But if we get the all-systems-go signal, fire up Nelson. He's matchup-proof and likes to score touchdowns.
Let's see what happens.
Comfort Level: Similar to however his hamstring feels.