Here are ten players whose stock is trending up or down through the first six weeks of the season. This will be a weekly article since we all know how quickly things can change from game to game.
Riser: Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans
Mariota battled through a hamstring injury to lead the Titans to victory in a game they had to win. Against the Colts, Mariota went 23 of 32 for 306 yards and a touchdown. This is a good player in a good offense, and although he clearly couldn’t move around the way we’re used to, he’s back in the weekly starter saddle starting next week. His rushing upside will probably come back in time as he gets further away from the injury.
Also Rising: Carson Wentz
Faller: Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons
This Atlanta offense is just not the same as what we saw last season. They broke all sorts of passing and offensive records, but that was under offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan who has moved onto San Francisco. The offense just isn’t the same, and Ryan was a product of Shanahan’s system, and we can’t expect the gaudy numbers from him every week. Ryan is not a top 12 option as of right now and should be benched based on matchup. I could eat those words as early as Sunday night when they take on the Patriots.
Also Falling: Derek Carr
Riser: Jerrick McKinnon – Minnesota Vikings
I wrote up McKinnon in this spot last week, and he came through with 99 total yards and a touchdown against the Packers. He is a superb athlete, and is the better option for Minnesota over Latavius Murray who looks like his slow and plodding self. Keep an eye on this, as McKinnon has had fumbling issues in the past, including a lost fumble last week.
Also Rising: Adrian Peterson, Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara
Faller: Mike Gillislee – New England Patriots
Technically he’s been falling out of grace every week, but a fumble on what was a looking like a positive drive last week against the Jets caused him to be benched for Dion Lewis. It seemed like Gillislee was going to just slide in and replace LeGarrette Blount as the early down back for the Patriots, but he seems to be squandering his opportunity. Look for Lewis to see the field more, and Rex Burkhead to get a shot at Gillisee’s role once he returns from injury this week against the Falcons.
Also Falling: Ty Montgomery, CJ Anderson, Amber Abdullah
Riser: Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos
Thomas saw 14 targets last week against the Giants, despite seeing coverage from star cornerback Janoris Jenkins and churned out 10 catches for 133 yards. Emmanuel Sanders went down with an ankle injury that is sure to sideline him for sometime, so Thomas is going to be leaned on heavily in the coming weeks. He’s a WR1 from here on out.
Also Rising: Kelvin Benjamin, Josh Doctson
Faller: Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons
A first round pick was spent on Jones in every single fantasy draft and he has yet to find the end zone. This has nothing to do with talent, but Julio is always banged up, and as I said with Matt Ryan, this offense is not nearly as explosive as years past. Not only is he not getting the red zone work, his normally reliable volume of targets is way down from what he usually sees.
Also Falling: Martavis Bryant, Amari Cooper, All Packers Wide Receivers
Riser: Evan Engram – New York Giants
A repeat from last week’s rising tight end, Evan Engram is on pace to set records for rookies. He had a monster performance against the Broncos in week 6 posting 5 catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. This is a product of the Giants losing their entire starting wide receiver core to injury over the past few weeks, and Eli Manning is locking in on Engram on a high percentage of passing plays. He is an every week starter at the position.
Also Rising: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Hunter Henry
Faller: Eric Ebron – Detroit Lions
There was no real dud at the position that changed from weeks prior, but i was right about Ebron. Darren Fells got into the endzone again for the Lions, so it’s clear that Ebron has fallen out of favor in this offense.
Also Falling: Martellus Bennett