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Week 6 Risers & Fallers Analysis for Fantasy Football

By Mike Morbeck (originally posted to Flickr as Eli Manning) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsThis weekly column examines ten fantasy football players – five guys that are on the up-and-up, or “risers,” and five guys that are struggling, or “fallers.”

You shouldn’t necessarily take these ten players as start/sit sleepers or waiver wire add/drop recommendations, as the analysis here is meant to be more of a gauge for how a fantasy football player is currently trending heading into Week 6 of NFL action.

With that being said, here are your Week 6 risers and fallers. Good luck with your fantasy football lineup and matchups in Week 6 RotoBallers!


Fantasy Football Risers - Stock Up

Branden Oliver, RB – San Diego Chargers

When Donald Brown became the third Charger running back to go down this young season due to an injury (Danny Woodhead and Ryan Matthews being the first two), the opportunity presented itself for rookie Branden Oliver, who made the most out of his unexpected playing time. After entering the game, he rushed for 114 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown, and added four catches for 68 yards and another score . The Week 6 waiver wire darling should stay extremely relevant for the next couple weeks or so, until starter Ryan Matthews returns from his knee injury. And even after that, Oliver should stay somewhat involved in the offense.  He is a must add in all leagues.


Eli Manning, QB – New York Giants

I’ll be the first to admit that I was down on the entire Giants offense at the start of the season, but I think they've finally convinced me otherwise. Manning looks very comfortable and has a plethora of targets to throw to, particularly in the red zone. He’s now thrown for at least two touchdowns in four straight weeks, and has a couple of juicy matchups against Philadelphia and Dallas going into his bye week. If you have Tom Brady or Cam Newton at QB and are unhappy with their performances so far, Manning is a great guy to fill in for the time being.


Golden Tate, WR – Detroit Lions

I was very high on Tate before the season started, serving as a true number two receiver in a high-powered passing offense. Now with a banged-up Calvin Johnson, Tate will be getting even more looks from quarterback Matthew Stafford, as evident in his seven-catch, 134-yard performance on Sunday, and eight catches for 116 yards the week before that. Tate is a solid WR2 even with a healthy Johnson on the lineup, but he's even more valuable as long as Johnson is hurt. He’s a must-start going forward.


Rob Gronkowski, TE – New England Patriots

There were some rumblings of concern regarding the entire Patriots offense, given their struggles prior to Sunday’s win. I’m still not completely sold on a resurgence from Tom Brady, but it was encouraging to see an active Gronk. His number of snaps has increased every game this season, and not only did he catch six balls for 100 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, but he just looked more like himself, really for the first time all season. If you had any doubts about Gronk as an every-week fantasy tight end, I think it’s safe to put them to rest.


Pierre Thomas, RB – New Orleans Saints

Talk about the definition of inconsistency. Good luck trying to figure out when to play Thomas, or any Saints running back, for that matter. A week after doing pretty much nothing against the Cowboys, Thomas exploded for two touchdowns and eight receptions for 77 yards out of the backfield, in addition to 35 yards rushing. Fortunately, the Saints are on a bye this week, so the headache can momentarily stop, but Thomas has the potential to be a very solid RB2 in PPR leagues and FLEX in standard formats if he simply sees consistent opportunities, like he did on Sunday.


Fantasy Football Fallers - Stock Down

Brandon Marshall, WR – Chicago Bears

I am starting to get a little concerned at this point. Three straight weeks with minimal production (six total receptions and just one touchdown over that span) tells me that Marshall is still not 100% healthy from his ankle injury. You have to start to wonder if this will be a lingering problem all season. You’re probably still playing him, unless there is a significant reaggravation of the injury, but there’s got to be some worried owners out there now.


C.J. Spiller, RB – Buffalo Bills

I really wanted to be a believer that Spiller could be a solid RB2, at the least. It’s not even a matter of volume-- he is getting a decent amount of opportunities, but he’s simply not producing. He rarely sees goal-line carries, and Fred Jackson is consistently on the field more in passing situations than is Spiller, mostly due to his pass-protection skill, which Spiller lacks. Aside from one return touchdown earlier this year, Spiller has yet to find the end zone. I’m sorry to say it, but C.J. Spiller is a FLEX play at best right now, barring a significant injury to Jackson.


Zach Ertz, TE – Philadelphia Eagles

Ertz came into the season with a lot of hype. But after a good Week 1, he’s yet to put together a solid game, and has really struggled the past three weeks. The Eagles, similarly to the Giants, seem to have a lot of options when they get inside the red zone, so it’s difficult for Ertz to get a lot of scoring targets with the production being spread around so much. Ertz is probably still a TE1 option most weeks, but it doesn’t seem as though he is going to enter the upper echelon of tight ends anytime soon.


Darren Sproles, RB – Philadelphia Eagles

Speaking of the Eagles, after an incredible first two weeks, Sproles has virtually been nonexistent over the past three games. Granted, the Eagles defense has been scoring a ton of points recently, which has put the offense in a bit of a weird spot, but Sproles’s production likely won’t ever get back to the level that it was over the first couple weeks, especially as LeSean McCoy eventually finds his groove and starts producing RB1 numbers. I hope you sold high on Sproles when you had the opportunity.


Lamar Miller, RB – Miami Dolphins

I’ve never been a big Lamar Miller believer, but he has been pretty good since Knowshon Moreno's elbow injury put him on the sideline.  Surprisingly, Moreno and the Dolphins seem confident that he’ll be able to return to action this week against the Packers, which would severely limit Miller’s upside. It’s obviously something to monitor as Sunday approaches, but even if it’s not this week, Miller will eventually be relegated back to timeshare status (at best) once the 2013 top-five fantasy running back Moreno returns to the lineup.


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