Fantasy News & Analysis

Fantasy risers and fallers from Week 5 of the season

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Will Fuller #15 of the Houston Texans runs after making a catch against the Kansas City Chiefs at NRG Stadium on October 8, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Just when you think the injury situation can’t get even worse, it does. Bye weeks are not showing any mercy on fantasy owners either.

Whether it is plucking a free agent off the waiver wire or striking a deal with another owner, getting a good read a player’s value is essential. Keeping that in mind here’s a look at some players on the rise, some sliding down and a couple to keep on the radar.

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Rising up

Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fresh off his three-game suspension, Martin looked stellar at times during Thursday night’s loss to the Patriots. He got 14 of the 24 backfield touches for the Bucs, carrying the ball 13 times for 74 yards, including a 17-yard scamper and a touchdown. He also had one reception on three targets for eight yards.

Last season he averaged a league-worst 2.9 YPC. However, he drew praise during most of the offseason and appears to be focused on righting the ship. He is just two years removed from a campaign where he registered 1,673 total yards and found the end zone seven times.

Jacquizz Rodgers was lackluster during the first three games and is not a threat to his carries. Charles Sims will continue to be the team’s passing-down back. The Bucs already had their bye in the opening week so Martin is a weekly starter the rest of the way. View him as a high-end RB2 with a fair amount of upside.

Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

Playing just 10 days after he left the field on a stretcher, Adams cleared concussion protocol and became one of the fantasy stars of Week 5. He pulled in seven of his 11 targets for 66 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Adams owned 40.7 percent of the target share, including a team-high three end-zone targets. He pulled in the game-winning catch from 12 yards out in the game’s final minute. The fourth-year wide receiver has now scored four times in five contests.

In a contract year, Adams is poised for huge second half. Jordy Nelson appears to be less than 100 percent and has clearly dropped a notch. It would not be shocking to see Adams overtake Nelson as the No. 1 wide receiver in Green Bay if he hasn’t already done so.

Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans

Fuller scored a pair of touchdowns for the second time in his two games back from a collarbone injury in Sunday night’s loss to the Chiefs. He went without a catch during the first half and was only targeted three times the entire game, but both his catches went for scores as he finished with 57 yards.

Rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson has breathed some life into the Texans’ offense and Fuller is a big-time playmaker. Through two games with Watson, Fuller has an 18.8-yard average depth of target and averages 10.2 YPT. The problem is he only has nine targets in that span.

With the season-ending injuries to both J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, the Houston defense took a big hit on Sunday. That could have a positive game-flow impact on Fuller in the long run. If he can get a higher rate of targets more consistently he could become a fantasy force.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, New York Jets

The Jets are one of the bigger surprises this season, sitting at 3-2 heading into Week 6. There continues to be value found in their passing attack.

Seferian-Jenkins is the latest contributor. He was targeted eight times and finished with six catches for 29 yards and a touchdown. That’s 10 catches on 12 targets over the last two games for ASJ.

Given how poor the production has been at the position, the veteran has appeal as low-end TE1 heading into Week 6 against the Patriots, who have allowed a tight end to reach the end zone if four of their five games in 2017.

Sliding down

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders

Lynch turned in his best fantasy day of the season in Week 5 against the Ravens and it still just netted him 42 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries to go along with a catch for 10 yards.

He only played 27 snaps, but he made the most of what he got. The Raiders’ offensive line didn’t open up many holes with 28 of his 44 yards coming after contact.

It could be a nice time to sell high on the veteran. He still is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry on the season and his play is nowhere Beast Mode. With questions looming around the health of Derek Carr and the playmaking ability of Amari Cooper the offense is a mess, so the concerns go beyond just the play of the aging Lynch.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Los Angeles Rams

For the first time in his three-year career in the NFL, Watkins failed to pull in a catch in a game in Sunday’s loss to Seattle. He was targeted four times, but came up empty. He now has one catch for 17 yards over the past two weeks.

Watkins now has failed to reach 6.0 points in four of his first five games in a Rams’ uniform. Even with the offense showing huge improvements under new head coach Sean McVay, the newly acquired receiver has struggled.

Things will not get any easier this week for Watkins with the Jaguars and the red-hot Jalen Ramsey on tap. His inconsistency makes Watkins a risky proposition anytime and he is a target to avoid in Week 6.

Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants

The Giants slipped to 0-5 and lost four wide receivers to injury, including a season-ending ankle injury to Odell Beckham Jr. That puts a nail in whatever small fantasy value that Manning was holding onto in 2017. He’s playing behind a subpar offensive line and has little help from the running game. Things are about to from bad to worse in New York.

After throwing just one TD over his first two games, the Giants’ signal-caller has seven TD strikes over his last three outings. Manning is ninth in fantasy points at quarterback through five games (17.8 ppg), but expect that number to drop ahead without many proven targets to throw to.

Eric Ebron, TE, Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford connected with a tight end for not one, but two touchdowns on Sunday. However, it wasn’t Ebron; rather, it was backup Darren Fells. You would have to go back to Week 1 of 2016 to start the span of Ebron’s last two touchdowns.

It’s the final kick in the mouth for his dwindling fantasy value. Ebron is currently outside the top 30 at the position in fantasy points and has managed to pull in just 12 of his 23 targets for 93 yards and a touchdown.

Only Jack Doyle of the Colts (3) has had more drops by a tight end this season. Speaking of drops, now’s a good time to cut bait with Ebron.

On the radar

Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Mack returned to action after missing the last two games due to a shoulder issue and made the most of his 10 touches against the 49ers. The rookie finished with 92 total yards and a touchdown. He clearly has a burst the Colts lack out of the backfield. Expect more snaps ahead.

Ed Dickson, TE, Carolina Panthers

The landscape has been so brutal at tight end that following his five-catch, 175-yard performance on Sunday at Detroit, Dickson is squarely on the fantasy radar. He checks in as TE9 in fantasy points through five games. If you remove Week 5 from the mix though, the Panther ranks as just the TE33 on the board.

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