Fantasy football is something we have a lot of fun playing, but we also need to remember that these guys are human.
When we witness injuries to guys like New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. that literally left him in tears, we're reminded how tough this sport can be.
How does that tie into fantasy football? Besides that he's no longer on your team and other guys have waiver-wire pickup potential, it doesn't, but it was worth mentioning.
We're still figuring out some lingering injuries to other players, so these rankings could change as the week evolves.
There are plenty of great matchups to exploit in Week 6.
Without further ado, let's get to some PPR rankings.
Week 6 QB Rankings
1. Tom Brady, NE (at NYJ)
2. Aaron Rodgers, GB (at MIN)
3. Matt Ryan, ATL (vs. MIA)
4. Drew Brees, NO (vs. DET)
5. Matthew Stafford, DET (at NO)
6. Deshaun Watson, HOU (vs. CLE)
7. Kirk Cousins, WAS (vs. SF)
8. Carson Palmer, ARZ (vs. TB)
9. Jameis Winston, TB (at ARZ)
10. Cam Newton, CAR (vs. PHI)
11. Alex Smith, KC (vs. PIT)
12. Carson Wentz, PHI (at CAR)
13. Philip Rivers, LAC (at OAK)
14. Derek Carr, OAK (vs. LAC)
15. Marcus Mariota, TEN (vs. IND)
(All rankings are PPR-based).
Some way, somehow, the New York Jets are 3-2 and tied with the New England Patriots for first place in the AFC East. This week, the Jets will face the wrath of an extra-rested Tom Brady in Week 6.
There are not enough stats in the world to demonstrate the excellence of Brady. You won't find this number on a stat sheet, but you should expect a statement game made here by him and the Patriots. This was a team picked by many to go 16-0 and run the table, and now they're tied with the Jets? No, Brady is going to light them up in this one.
Transitioning from one of the oldest quarterbacks in the league to one of the youngest, Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson is scorching hot at the moment.
Over the past two weeks, Watson has nine touchdown passes. Nine. Those touchdowns came against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tennessee Titans. This week, the Texans will be hosting the Cleveland Browns. If Watson can put up huge touchdown numbers against the Titans and Chiefs, I'm not sure what he'll do to the Browns.
Throw in the fact that the Browns give up the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and we're off to the races. Watson is a fringe top-five quarterback in fantasy football right now. Another strong performance against the Browns and he could remain a staple there.
Heading out to the West Coast, we could see the return of Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, according to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Carr finds himself a bit down my rankings because of his injury. Even if he's able to go, a transverse process fracture in his back is bound to still irritate him a little bit.
The Raiders are in a competitive division and they cannot afford to have EJ Manuel at quarterback for too long. There's no way Carr is 100 percent right now. The Los Angeles Chargers may rank toward the middle of the pack in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks, but we should take a wait-and-see approach with Carr. If he balls out, great—but proceed with a bit of caution. We could see running back Marshawn Lynch a bit more in Week 6.
Week 6 RB Rankings
1. Kareem Hunt, KC (vs. PIT)
2. Leonard Fournette, JAC (vs. LAR)
3. Todd Gurley, LAR (at JAC)
4. Devonta Freeman, ATL (vs. MIA)
5. Melvin Gordon, LAC (at OAK)
6. Le'Veon Bell, PIT (at KC)
7. Lamar Miller, HOU (vs. CLE)
8. C.J. Anderson, DEN (vs. NYG)
9. Aaron Jones, GB (at MIN)
10. Jordan Howard, CHI (at BAL)
11. Jay Ajayi, MIA (at ATL)
12. DeMarco Murray, TEN (vs. IND)
13. Doug Martin, TB (at ARZ)
14. Carlos Hyde, SF (at WAS)
15. Marshawn Lynch, OAK (vs. LAC)
16. Bilal Powell, NYJ (vs. NE)
17. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (vs. PHI)
18. Duke Johnson, CLE (at HOU)
19. Ameer Abdullah, DET (at NO)
20. Tevin Coleman, ATL (vs. MIA)
21. LeGarrette Blount, PHI (at CAR)
22. Mike Gillislee, NE (vs. NYJ)
23. Alvin Kamara, NO (vs. DET)
24. Chris Thompson, WAS (vs. SF)
25. Tarik Cohen, CHI (at BAL)
26. James White, NE (vs. NYJ)
27. Frank Gore, IND (at TEN)
28. Jonathan Stewart, CAR (vs. PHI)
29. Rob Kelley, WAS (vs. SF)
30. Mark Ingram, NO (vs. DET)
My goodness, did Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette have a game or what in Week 5. Not only did he had 184 total yards, but he had 29 touches. Speaking of touches, Fournette averages over 25 touches per game.
Breaking news: That's a lot.
Not only is it great for fantasy football purposes when you have a running back who gets a plethora of touches every game, but combine that with him going up against a Los Angeles Rams defense that gives up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs and you're golden. Unless quarterback Blake Bortles absolutely bombs, buckle up. Fournette is in for another top week at the running back position.
Lamar Miller is one of the more underrated running backs in fantasy land right now. Overshadow by Watson (and rightfully so, Watson has been terrific), Miller has been racking up his touches and is commanding the snap count in a former timeshare with D'Onta Foreman.
Going up against the Browns in Week 6, Miller, like Watson, should have a nice game. The Texans offense should get a big lead and run the ball until they're blue in the face. As Josh Moore of 4for4 Football points out, it may even be time to try to buy low on Miller based on his upcoming schedule.
There could be some trouble in the running back paradise that is the San Francisco 49ers backfield. In Week 5, Carlos Hyde was largely ineffective, rushing for 11 yards on eight carries. Following the game, head coach Kyle Shanahan came out and used the dreaded phrase of "hot hand" when describing his backfield, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.
Week 6 WR Rankings
1. Julio Jones, ATL (vs. MIA)
2. Antonio Brown, PIT (at KC)
3. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (vs. CLE)
4. Mike Evans, TB (at ARZ)
5. Michael Thomas, NO (vs. DET)
6. Brandin Cooks, NE (vs. NYJ)
7. Stefon Diggs, MIN (vs. GB)
8. Terrelle Pryor, WAS (vs. SF)
9. Jordy Nelson, GB (at MIN)
10. T.Y. Hilton, IND (at TEN)
11. Larry Fitzgerald, ARZ (vs. TB)
12. Keenan Allen, LAC (at OAK)
13. Golden Tate, DET (at NO)
14. Rishard Matthews, TEN (vs. IND)
15. Chris Hogan, NE (vs. NYJ)
16. Alshon Jeffery, PHI (at CAR)
17. Pierre Garcon, SF (at WAS)
18. Tyreek Hill, KC (vs. PIT)
19. Michael Crabtree, OAK (vs. LAC)
20. Devin Funchess, CAR (vs. PHI)
21. Davante Adams, GB (at MIN)
22. Jarvis Landry, MIA (at ATL)
23. Jaron Brown, ARZ (vs. TB)
24. Demaryius Thomas, DEN (vs. NYG)
25. Kelvin Benjamin, CAR (vs. PHI)
26. Will Fuller, HOU (vs. CLE)
27. Jeremy Maclin, BAL (vs. CHI)
28. DeVante Parker, MIA (at ATL)
29. Adam Thielen, MIN (vs. GB)
30. Emmanuel Sanders, DEN (vs. NYG)
I'm wondering why Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins isn't my WR1, but I'm going to stick to my guns on Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones. Either way, Hopkins has such an incredible matchup in Week 6. We've covered both his quarterback and their running back, now it's time for the trifecta: the stud wide receiver.
Hopkins is having a sensational season after having his career muddied by horrible quarterback play. With Watson, Hopkins has double-digit targets in every game but one and a touchdown in every game but three (and in those two games, he had seven receptions). In Week 5 he had three touchdowns.
Going up against the Browns, Hopkins' primary matchup will be against Jamar Taylor. If you're not sure who he is, well, he ranks 90th in pass coverage, per Pro Football Focus. Hopkins is going to get his in Week 6. The only thing that is worrisome is if they get up on the Browns early and revert to the run.
Following a Week 5 bye, the Washington Redskins will take on the San Francisco 49ers (perhaps also known as Kirk Cousins' team in 2018). It may have been a slow start to the season for wide receiver Terrelle Pryor in Weeks 1-3 (10 receptions, 116 yards, zero touchdowns), but he went into the bye week with a touchdown on three receptions for 70 yards.
Like Hopkins, Pryor has an excellent matchup as the entire cast of 49ers cornerbacks are not any good, per PFF. Pryor will start creeping back into that WR1 role we thought he could be in fantasy.
After looking at his stats, I'm not sure I'm giving him enough love, but New England Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan has been killing it this season. After a Week 1 game in which the former Buffalo Bill did virtually nothing (one reception for eight yards), Hogan has since scored a touchdown in every game with at least four receptions for at least 60 yards. In Week 6, Hogan draws the Jets.
Outside of Morris Claiborne (who should be primarily on Brandin Cooks if they know what's good for them), Hogan can definitely outmaneuver the other corner the Jets will use. Hogan ranking inside the top 15 is becoming a staple in fantasy football.
Week 6 TE Rankings
1. Travis Kelce, KC (vs. PIT)
2. Zach Ertz, PHI (at CAR)
3. Rob Gronkowski, NE (vs. NYJ)
4. Delanie Walker (vs. IND)
5. Evan Engram, NYG (at DEN)
6. Jordan Reed, WAS (vs. 49ers)
7. Coby Fleener, NO (vs. DET)
8. Hunter Henry, LAC (at OAK)
9. Martellus Bennett, GB (at MIN)
10. Ryan Griffin, HOU (vs. CLE)
11. A.J. Derby, DEN (vs. NYG)
12. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NYJ (at NE)
13. David Njoku, CLE (at HOU)
14. Kyle Rudolph, MIN (at GB)
15. Ed Dickson, CAR (vs. CAR)
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce suffered a concussion on Sunday Night Football in Week 5, according to Matt McMullen of the Chiefs official website. While he's the TE1 in these rankings, per sure to keep an eye on his status as the week progresses.
While the Philadelphia Eagles signed wide receiver Alshon Jeffery over the offseason to be their No. 1 receiver, tight end Zach Ertz is giving him a run for his money. Ertz has been fantastic in 2017. He has 32 receptions on the season, and though he may have just two touchdowns, he's averaging over 77 yards per game. Ertz is in the Kelce/Rob Gronkowski landscape now: matchup-proof.
Naturally, we should remain cautious starting anybody against the Denver Broncos defense, but the fact of the matter is that their opponent in Week 6—the New York Giants—have almost no wide receivers. After a Week 5 that saw Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall go down, the Giants need bodies.
Fortunately, the best receiver they have is rookie tight end Evan Engram—and he's a good one. He should see plenty of work here. Of course, when they have the ball, the Giants may try to run for ball-control purposes, but this Broncos defense isn't going to allow that. It will be a tough season for the G-Men, but Engram should see some added production as this season lingers on.
Week 6 D/ST Rankings
1. Denver Broncos (vs. NYG)
2. Houston Texans (vs. CLE)
3. Baltimore Ravens (vs. CHI)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. LAR)
5. Kansas City Chiefs (vs. PIT)
6. Washington Redskins (vs. SF)
7. Arizona Cardinals (at ARI)
8. Philadelphia Eagles (at CAR)
9. Los Angeles Rams (at JAC)
10. New England Patriots (vs. NYJ)
We'll keep this section nice and short: The Denver Broncos may pitch a shutout this week. Going up against the Giants, not only do they not have any wide receivers, but they also have no running game and their offensive line is horrifying to watch. This could turn out to be very, very ugly.
Week 6 Kicker Rankings
1. Matt Prater, DET (at NO)
2. Greg Zuerlein, LAR (at JAC)
3. Wil Lutz, NO (vs. DET)
4. Matt Bryant, ATL (vs. MIA)
5. Justin Tucker, BAL (vs. CHI)
6. Stephen Gostkowski, NE (vs. NYJ)
7. Dustin Hopkins, WAS (vs. SF)
8. Brandon McManus, DEN (vs. NYG)
9. Adam Vinatieri, IND (at TEN)
10. Jake Elliott, PHI (at CAR)