A word of advice to start today's newsletter: Consider moving your initial waiver run for the week to Wednesday night instead of Tuesday. Why? Well, because Tuesday is kind of a no-man's land when it comes to injury news.
Teams don't have to give us injury updates Tuesday. Sure, we'll see roster moves that give us an idea of what to expect, plus the occasional coach comment, but we really learn the most about who might be in or out for the upcoming week on Wednesdays, when teams have to give their first practice reports of the week -- hence, moving your waiver run to Wednesday.
Injuries are a huge factor for Fantasy right now, especially with the first four bye weeks hitting this week -- reminder, the Falcons, Jets, Saints, and 49ers are all out this week. Having that extra 24 hours to get more new information can be a big deal. We'll have all of the injury updates you need in tomorrow morning's newsletter, and it'll be a veritable flood, I promise you that. For now, here's the trickle of information we got Tuesday before we get to the rest of the newsletter:
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire (knee) was placed on IR -- He'll miss at least the next three weeks with a sprained MCL, and Darrel Williams is likely to be the lead back with CEH sidelined. However, if you missed out on Williams on waivers, look for Jerick McKinnon, who should also see an increased role. He already was being played more in Week 5 before the injury, running a season-high 24 routes.
- Dallas Goedert was placed on the COVID-19 list -- Given that the Eagles play Thursday night against the Buccaneers to kick off Week 6, it seems awfully unlikely Goedert is going to play. The Eagles tight ends have combined for nearly a 27% target share, and Zach Ertz should be a solid contributor if he gets most of that.
- Rob Gronkowski (ribs) won't play Thursday -- Ertz will be the biggest name tight end there, as Gronkowski continues to work his way back from his rib injuries. He should be good to go in Week 7 with the extra time off.
- Tua Tagovailoa (ribs) was designated to return from IR -- That doesn't guarantee Tagovailoa will be back Sunday against the Jaguars, but there's a chance, as Brian Flores acknowledged earlier this week. That would be a boost for Miami's offense.
- The Broncos signed John Brown and the Steelers signed Anthony Miller -- Keep an eye on these depth signings, considering the injuries both teams have dealt with.
In the rest of today's newsletter, I've got five players I'm looking to buy heading into Week 6 and five I'm looking to sell, plus a look at every position with Heath Cummings' position previews. You can see a list of all the injuries we're watching for each position there, along with our consensus expert top-12, matchup notes, numbers to know, and more. And keep an eye out in Thursday's newsletter where I'll be taking a look at some 0-5 rosters (including one of my own!) and giving advice on how to turn their seasons around before it's too late -- and if you've got a roster that needs help, send it my way at Chris.Towers@CBSi.com with the subject line "#AskFFT" to get some advice.
In case you missed it Monday, check out my rankings below with a whole bunch of comments on why I like or dislike certain players this week that I compiled while going through the process of ranking them:
Hopefully that helps you get an understanding of what to expect for this week. Here's what the rest of today's newsletter has in store to help you get ready for Week 6:
- 📈Week 6 Stock Watch📉
- 🔍Week 6 Position Previews
Looking to make a trade? You know your team, and you might know where your weak points are already. Or, you might know how to take advantage of someone else's slow start. Make sure you've got your bearings before you go make offers with the help of Dave Richard's Trade Values Chart, and here are five players whose stock I'm buying and five I'm selling ahead of Week 6.
Five to buy
Here are five players I'm buying into moving forward. Things are only going to get better from here.
You don't always have to sell high or buy low. Sometimes a hot start is just the beginning of something big, and there's value in trying to buy those situations before their perceived value catches up.
- Mark Andrews -- There was reason to believe a breakout was coming for Andrews even before Week 5's massive performance, as his snap share and route participation rate were both up from 2020 along with the Ravens' overall pass volume. With Lamar Jackson throwing the ball nearly seven more times per game than his previous career high, there's just more opportunity than ever for Andrews. Given the Ravens' issues at running back, it makes sense for them to continue to throw more, and that should only lead to good things for Andrews. He is averaging nearly 1.5 targets per game more than last season, and he's a top-three TE the rest of the way. Also consider this a buy-high endorsement of Marquise Brown for the second straight week.
- Najee Harris -- Through the first five games of his career, Harris has a 21% target share, and with JuJu Smith-Schuster likely out for the rest of the season, that might be sustainable. That number is inflated by that 19-target game in Week 3, sure, but he also has at least five targets in every game since Week 1. The Steelers really don't throw the ball to their tight ends, so we're going to see a ton of Harris along with Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson moving forward. I don't know if you can count on him for 100-plus yards on the ground most weeks -- though against the Seahawks in Week 6, it's not out of the question -- but he should be good for around 15 carries most weeks and already leads all running backs in targets. He's a top-six RB for me the rest of the way, so if anyone thinks they've got a sell-high window, buy.
But if you do want to buy low, here are three players I think have seen their worst days already:
- Brandin Cooks -- With just 70 yards over the past two games, it's clear opposing defenses have figured out they needed to focus on Cooks, right? Well … did they not realize that the first three games, when he had 322 yards? Cooks is still earning a ton of targets and air yards -- 49.9% of the Texans' total, actually -- and should continue to, and I think that'll still lead to plenty of production most weeks. There will be frustrating weeks when he and Davis Mills can't connect, but his role still looks too valuable for him not to be worth starting in Fantasy.
- CeeDee Lamb/Amari Cooper -- In Week 1, Lamb and Cooper combined for 20 catches, 243 yards, and three touchdowns; over the past three weeks, they have 18 catches, 318 yards, and three touchdowns combined. Did defenses figure them out? Nah. This is mostly about the Cowboys' surprisingly low pass volume, as they've attempted just 80 passes over the past three games -- Dak Prescott averaged 44.4 passes per game in 2020. It's also a little about Cooper's hamstring injury that he has dealt with over the past few games. Lamb and Cooper have both been efficient with the targets they have received, and I still think it's reasonable to expect the Cowboys to be above average in pass volume moving forward, especially if their defense cools off. Buy both.
- T.J. Hockenson -- I was skeptical of Hockenson coming into the season, but I didn't expect anything like his latest stretch, where he has just 74 yards over his past three games. Hockenson is clearly struggling as he faces increased defensive attention, and while I don't believe Hockenson is the kind of player who can thrive the way Darren Waller or Travis Kelce do as a team's primary option, he's also clearly the Lions best player, and they have to do a better job of getting him involved. I have faith they will, and even if Hockenson won't make the leap to the elite tier at tight end, I think he will be someone you want in your lineup every week. Take advantage of the dip.
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Five to sell
I'm not saying these guys won't be useful or good moving forward, but I think you can probably get more in return for them than you're likely to get from them:
- Kareem Hunt -- The Browns are a run-first team, but it's next to impossible for their current 12-1 ratio of rushing to passing touchdowns to continue. Last season they had 27 pass touchdowns to 21 rush touchdowns, and while four teams last season did have more scores on the ground than through the air, the Browns current ratio has no recent precedent -- the 2016 Buffalo Bills have the highest ratio of rush to pass touchdowns over the past decade at 29-17, and the Browns are higher. Hunt has five rushing touchdowns in five games, after scoring eight in his previous 24 games with the Browns despite the fact that his attempts per game is actually lower than it was in 2020. He'll be a viable RB2 for the rest of the season, but this is your chance to get a lot more for him.
- Dawson Knox -- I'm going to borrow a note from Heath Cummings on this one: "Dawson Knox has 18 catches for 261 yards & 5 TD on 24 targets this year. He's currently TE3 for the season. If you gave him Travis Kelce's career efficiency, Knox would have 17-218-1.4. That would make him TE11. I do not believe Knox is better than Travis Kelce." That about sums it up, doesn't it? Knox is having a breakout, but it's going to be really hard to sustain anything like his present pace. He's clearly a factor in the Bills passing game, which is more than we expected, and that should keep him in the top-12 TE range as long as it continues. But he has just one game with more than 50 yards this season, so he still looks like a touchdown-or-bust option. Or, to borrow a note from myself: The case for Knox is 2020 Robert Tonyan; the case against is 2021 Tonyan.
- Leonard Fournette -- Fournette still managed to put together a good Fantasy day, but there were warning signs in Week 5 against the Dolphins. For one thing, despite the Buccaneers winning 45-17, he had just 12 carries in the game -- Ronald Jones and Giovani Bernard combined for nine. The good news is he still had five targets, and if that's going to remain consistent, Fournette is going to be a reliable option. However, Bernard had run every route by a Buccaneers running back in two-minute offense situations, so if that role goes back to him, Fournette is going to be much tougher to trust for Fantasy. Right now, I'm treating Fournette like a starting-caliber Fantasy option, but the risk that things revert back to how they were in Weeks 1 through 3 make him a sell-high -- remember, he had just 28.9 points combined over those three games.
Sometimes, getting off a sinking ship is better than hoping they'll be able to fix the breach in the hull. I'm willing to sell these two on name value I don't think they'll live up to:
- Adam Thielen -- Amazingly, Thielen still has a 10.8% touchdown rate despite being held without a score in his past two games. I think you probably can assume he'll have a higher touchdown rate than most wide receivers, however even that might not be enough to make him a must-start Fantasy option unless he starts playing better moving forward. He's at a career-low 7.2 yards per target, continuing a multi-year trend, and both his average depth of target and average yards after catch are moving in the wrong direction, which is precisely the opposite of what you want to see from a 31-year-old wide receiver. Thielen appears to be in full decline at this point, and while I don't want to write him off entirely, I would be looking to move him before the bottom potentially falls out -- if it hasn't already, with just 175 yards over his last four games.
- Trey Sermon -- I mean … you can drop Sermon at this point if you really need to. With Elijah Mitchell back from his shoulder injury, Mitchell played just two snaps in Week 5 and is now on his bye. I'm not saying you should drop Sermon -- Jeff Wilson probably won't be back until mid-to-late November and we still don't have a timetable for JaMycal Hasty, so Sermon is still next in line if anything happens to Mitchell. However, if someone in your league still values Sermon, you're more likely to get something out of him from using him as a trade chip than holding him. As it turns out, the 49ers were trying to tell us something when they left him inactive in Week 1.
🔍Week 6 position previews
Every Tuesday, Heath Cummings previews each position, providing injury insights, key stats to know, the best waiver-wire adds, DFS targets, and more for quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end. Here's a brief rundown of each position, along with some key details you need to know about and our expert consensus top-12 rankings before you go read Heath's full breakdowns:
- Injuries: Russell Wilson (finger), Tom Brady (thumb), Joe Burrow (neck), Daniel Jones (concussion), Tua Tagovailoa (ribs), Trey Lance (knee), Jimmy Garoppolo (calf), Ryan Fitzpatrick (hip), Tyrod Taylor (hamstring), Jacoby Brissett (hamstring) and Taysom Hill (concussion)
- On a bye: Jameis Winston, Matt Ryan, Trey Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo and Zach Wilson
- Number to know: 23.2% -- Nearly a quarter of Baker Mayfield's throws have been graded 'bad' by Pro Football Reference, the highest rate among quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts.
- Matchup that matters: Josh Allen vs. Titans (first in points allowed to QB)
- Top streamer: "Taylor Heinicke. Each of the last four quarterbacks to suit up against the Chiefs has scored at least 31 Fantasy points. Heinicke may not get to that level, but he should get to the mid-20s as he has three times this season. Start him over Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr, and Ryan Tannehill this week."
Consensus Expert Top 12
- Josh Allen
- Patrick Mahomes
- Tom Brady
- Matthew Stafford
- Jalen Hurts
- Kyler Murray
- Lamar Jackson
- Dak Prescott
- Justin Herbert
- Joe Burrow
- Aaron Rodgers
- Kirk Cousins
- Injuries: Najee Harris (cramping), Saquon Barkley (ankle), Christian McCaffrey (hamstring), Chris Carson (neck), Dalvin Cook (ankle), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (knee), Ezekiel Elliott (back), David Montgomery (knee), Damien Harris (ribs), Samaje Perine (illness), Peyton Barber (foot), Tony Jones (ankle), JaMycal Hasty (ankle), Justin Jackson (groin) and Rashaad Penny (calf).
- On a bye: Alvin Kamara, Elijah Mitchell, Trey Sermon, Cordarrelle Patterson, Mike Davis and Michael Carter.
- Number to know: 2 -- Damien Harris has two fumbles on the year. There's a low degree of certainty who will lead the Patriots backfield in Week 6.
- Matchup that matters: Antonio Gibson @KC (23rd in points allowed to RB)
- Stash: "Khalil Herbert was the fourth-quarter hammer for the Bears in Week 5 and actually had more carries than Damien Williams. He probably needs an injury to Williams to be a Fantasy starter, but Williams has never held up to a 15-touch workload for very long."
- Top DFS play: Darrel Williams -- "The pricing this week doesn't reflect Clyde Edwards-Helaire's injury, which should make Williams pretty chalky. In cash games, I'll play him anyway, but whether I do in tournaments will likely depend on who comes back from injury this week. I expect 15-plus touches in a positive game script against a Washington defense that has been pretty terrible."
Consensus Expert Top 12
- Derrick Henry
- Austin Ekeler
- Alexander Mattison
- Najee Harris
- Ezekiel Elliott
- James Robinson
- D'Andre Swift
- Jonathan Taylor
- Aaron Jones
- Nick Chubb
- Kareem Hunt
- Darrell Henderson
- Injuries: Tyreek Hill (knee), Chris Godwin (knee), Julio Jones (hamstring), Kenny Golladay (knee), JuJu Smith-Schuster (shoulder), Sterling Shepard (hamstring), Sammy Watkins (hamstring), Jarvis Landry (knee), DeVante Parker (shoulder), Will Fuller (finger), Curtis Samuel (groin), Michael Gallup (calf), Rashod Bateman (groin), Kadarius Toney (ankle), Quintez Cephus (collarbone), Russell Gage (ankle), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (hamstring), James Washington (groin) and Darius Slayton (hamstring).
- On a bye: Marquez Callaway, Corey Davis, Jamison Crowder, Elijah Moore, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage
- Number to know: 37.9% -- Davante Adams leads the NFL with a 37.9% target share.
- Matchup that matters: Mecole Hardman vs. WAS (29th in points allowed to WR)
- Stash: "I don't want to use Rondale Moore this week against Cleveland, but I would expect his role grows in the second half. And he's one injury away from approaching must-start status in a three-receiver league."
- Top DFS play: "Courtland Sutton has been boom or bust this season, but his price actually went down after his most recent boom. The Raiders have been pretty good against the pass, but their secondary is beat up and Sutton has shown he can take advantage of that."
Consensus Expert Top 12
- Davante Adams
- Tyreek Hill
- Cooper Kupp
- Justin Jefferson
- D.J. Moore
- Stefon Diggs
- Diontae Johnson
- Mike Williams
- Terry McLaurin
- Keenan Allen
- Chris Godwin
- Mike Evans
- Injuries to know: Travis Kelce (neck), George Kittle (calf), Rob Gronkowski (ribs), Dallas Goedert (illness), Logan Thomas (hamstring) and Maxx Williams (knee).
- Number to know: 18.6% -- That was Robert Tonyan's crazy touchdown rate from 2020. Dawson Knox's is two points higher than that.
- Matchup that matters: Zach Ertz vs. TB (27th in points allowed to TE)
- Streamer: "Dan Arnold. The Jaguars specifically targeted Arnold in their trade with the Panthers and then gave him a quarter of the team's targets in his second game with the team. He may just have one of the biggest roles at tight end in the coming weeks."
- Top DFS play: "Mark Andrews' Monday night boom is not factored into the pricing, which is fine, because he isn't going to repeat that. But the savings from Kelce and Waller is worth it in what should be one of the highest-scoring games of the weekend."
Consensus Expert Top 12
- Travis Kelce
- Mark Andrews
- Darren Waller
- Dalton Schultz
- T.J. Hockenson
- Mike Gesicki
- Dawson Knox
- Noah Fant
- Hunter Henry
- Dallas Goedert
- Jared Cook
- Tyler Higbee