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Week 6 Fantasy Football Stock Watch

Bryan Armetta takes a look at fantasy football players who are on the rise or moving down after Week 5.

Bryan Armetta takes a look at fantasy football players who are on the rise or moving down after Week 5.

If you’re reading this, chances are you might be feeling comfortable or concerned about your fantasy football team. At the one-third mark of the season, wins and losses are beginning to pile up as the playoff picture begins to take shape. For managers sitting at 4-1 or 5-0, a trade for a struggling star might be in order. Teams that are below the .500 mark might need to sacrifice long-term potential for win-now players. It’s all part of the delicate balancing act that is roster-building. Here’s who’s struggling and who’s surging heading into a pivotal Week 6:

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Stock Up: RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

Finally, a first-round running back is producing as we expected. It took some time, but Dalvin Cook is delivering; over the past three weeks, Minnesota’s RB1 has scored an average of 16.8 PPR points per game. This shouldn’t be a shock; Cook was still being fed touches outside of an all-around nightmarish game for the Minnesota offense in Philadelphia. As one of the best dual-threat ‘backs in the game, he also remains relatively game-script-neutral.

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Can Dalvin make a run at a top-five spot by the end of the year? Currently the RB14, he has more rest-of-season upside than several names above him, such as Miles Sanders and Jamaal Williams. More involvement in the passing game is still needed before we can safely say Cook is “back”; he has a total of just 11 receptions on the year. Facing off against a soft Dolphins defense, look for Dalvin to keep cooking on Sunday.

Stock Down: RB Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

I waited as long as I could, but it is time to worry about the number one pick (for most leagues). After a spectacular Week 1 performance, it’s been all downhill for Taylor, who has been the PPR RB53 since Week 2. For those that were expecting more production than Joshua Kelley and Craig Reynolds, know that you aren’t alone. To make matters worse, JT was forced to miss Indianapolis’ most recent game in Denver due to an ankle injury, raising doubts about his health going forward.

The big question, as it normally is with struggling running backs, is how much of this is Taylor’s fault? The Colts have been a mess, failing to score more than 20 points once through five weeks. The veteran leadership of Matt Ryan at quarterback has yet to translate into yardage, while a once-great offensive line has begun to crumble. Things should get better, but it’s hard to see this as a group that can flirt with being even an average offense. Ultimately, this is still Jonathan Taylor; unless someone is willing to offer a top-five ‘back, managers have to ride this slump out. Big games are sure to come, but there may be more clunkers than we expected entering the season.

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Stock Up: WR Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals

While the Greg Dortch era was fun while it lasted, it’s clear that Rondale Moore is a crucial part of the Cardinals’ plans on offense. Kyler Murray has peppered the second-year receiver with 13 targets over the course of two games. Kliff Kingsbury makes an attempt to scheme up scenarios where the speedster can make plays in open space; Moore’s steady diet of screen passes makes him an enticing option in PPR leagues.

The looming question for both Moore and Marquise Brown is the return of DeAndre Hopkins in Week 7. However, that shouldn’t eat into Moore’s workload too much since most of his work comes in the short and intermediate passing game; Hopkins excels mainly on deep routes. The Cardinals currently lead the league in pass attempts, and that isn’t likely to change given Arizona’s struggles running the ball. Moore is a legitimate buy-low; grab him before a tantalizing matchup against the Seahawks this weekend.

Stock Down: WR Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans

Brandin Cooks was supposed to be ol’ reliable, as he has been just about every year of his career. Prior to 2022, the veteran wide receiver had reached over 1,000 receiving yards in six of his eight seasons as a professional. It’s been a struggle so far; Cooks has a total of 235 yards receiving, averaging a paltry 47 per game. Cooks has still commanded a decent amount of targets (averaging over eight per game), but Davis Mills hasn’t been able to get him the ball on a consistent basis.

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Will the Texans’ passing game get Cooks more involved? With Dameon Pierce rushing the ball at a high level, there might not be much of a need to air it out. Even in the passing game, the solid play of Nico Collins gives Houston the number two wideout they lacked last season. With that being said, Cooks has a prime opportunity to break out against the Raiders and Titans following the team’s bye this week. We’ll have a better idea of Cooks’ ability to be start-worthy, let alone WR2-level, at the season’s halfway point.