Stock Up, Stock Down: Apologize to Justin Fields now or else…

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The value of players is always changing in fantasy football. Players you may not have even heard of two weeks ago will find themselves in your lineups as you depend on the upside. It was nice to see Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase bounce back in a major way against the Cardinals. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ offense took a step back after the receivers’ hands went on a work strike in Week 5. Those aren’t the biggest movers though, but as we approach Week 6, here are some players you should look at differently.


QB – Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

The Fields’ haters are sick to their stomach these days as he currently sits as the QB3 in fantasy football. After back to back four-touchdown passing performances, it’s safe to say he’s back. It gets better as his upcoming schedule will provide him with an opportunity to score the most points in fantasy this season. Four of his next seven opponents (Vikings twice, Raiders and Chargers) came into Week 4 amongst the 10th-worst defenses in terms of surrendering fantasy points to quarterbacks. Fields has built a strong connection with D.J. Moore after throwing for a career-high 335 yards in Week 4 and Moore going for a career-high in Week 5 (230 receiving yards). If you held tight, congratulations.

WR – Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts

After catching 6-of-6 targets for 97 yards in a win over the Titans in Week 5, you’d think we could get more of Josh Downs. He put on his best performance yet and was vital in the Colts’ win. In any event, he should be seen as the clear WR2 in the Colts’ offense after Michael Pittman. Through five games, Alec Pierce has only eight receptions for 124 yards. While Anthony Richardson clearly gives the Colts a better chance to win football games, Downs should be able to make due even while Gardner Minshew is the team’s quarterback. Downs should be a target on your waivers ahead of Week 6.

RB – Jaleel McLaughlin, Denver Broncos

Despite the Broncos’ woes as a team, McLaughlin has been a bright spot for them on offense. A model of efficiency thus far, carrying the ball 16 times for 140 yards in his last two games. Furthermore, he’s scored twice on six receptions for 53 yards in those same two games. He’s undoubtedly the Broncos’ most explosive back and runs with a suddenness that neither Samaje Perine nor Javonte Williams possess. The Broncos have a short week on the road against the Chiefs in Week 6, so it’ll be interesting to see if Williams can make it back. Regardless, McLaughlin has earned a role and quite frankly they need him. He’s been their best offensive weapon over the last two games.

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QB – Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Jones came into the 2023 season with some hype after throwing for 15 touchdown passes last season. The year hasn’t gone as he and Giants’ fans had hoped coming into Week 5 as QB24 in fantasy. He and the Giants’ offensive line picked up right where they left off as they got rolled by the Dolphins (who didn’t even play well themselves). Jones also suffered a neck injury at the end of the game after he was harassed all game by the Dolphins’ defensive front. With Saquon Barkley still on the shelf as well, it’s fair to wonder where this Giants’ team is even headed. We’ll see the severity of Jones’ injury and go from there, but even when healthy, Jones is no longer an option as a fantasy starter at this point and it’s been that way.

WR – Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders

McLaurin is currently WR36 and that’s ok I guess, right? There’s been absolutely no consistency in his game this season as his numbers fluctuate week to week. He’s coming off a performance in which he went 4-49-0 on five targets which isn’t the worst thing when you look at it on the surface. However, when you realize Sam Howell completed 37-of-51 passes for 388 yards, then you see why that’s a problem. In that game McLaurin was tied for fourth on the team in targets. McLaurin has one game this season where he has more than 55 receiving yards or more than six targets. He is on pace for easily his worst season from a yardage standpoint. Is it quarterback play? Scheme? Players catching up with him? Who knows, but it’s tough.

RB – Miles Sanders, Carolina Panthers

Sanders is probably not making friends with people who drafted him in fantasy this season. He’s averaging 38.8 rushing yards per game and that’s not what you’d hope for a guy you wanted RB2 production from. Furthermore, Chuba Hubbard is starting to cut deep into those touches. In Week 5, Hubbard out-touched Sanders 10-7 as the Panthers desperately searched for the hot hand. They’ll have a touch matchup next week against the Dolphins in which you’ll likely bench him. He is a respectable RB24 this season, but after carrying the ball less than 10 times in two of his past three games, it’s fair to wonder what his value will be going forward.

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