3. Eli Manning QB/New York Giants (57% Owned)
After posting a dismal 3:4 touchdown to interception ratio in the first two weeks of the season, Manning has looked like a completely different quarterback during the last three weeks. Manning has thrown for at least 200 yards and two touchdowns in each of the past three weeks, and finally looks comfortable in Ben McAdoo’s west coast offense.
The Giants offense is finally starting to produce like I thought they would at the start of season. With rookie wide receiver O’dell Beckham finally healthy after battling hamstring issues most of the offseason, the Giants suddenly have one of the deeper groups of receiver in the league. With Victor Cruz drawing double teams on a regular basis there will be opportunities for Beckham, Donell, and the rest of the Giants receivers to make plays against single-coverage.
Manning draws another friendly matchup against an Eagles secondary that is allowing the fourth-most passing yards per game, as well as giving up a league-high 13 passing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. If you're an owner dealing with a bye week, or you stream quarterbacks based on the matchups, I highly recommend adding Manning for this owner-friendly matchup.
4. Dwayne Allen TE/Indianapolis Colts (72% Owned)
After producing double-digit fantasy points in four of the first five weeks of the season, the time is now to finally take Dwayne Allen as a legitimate TE1 in fantasy football. Aside from the dud performance in week two, Allen has had at least three receptions and a touchdown in every game.
When the Colts drafted college teammates Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener in the same draft class, many thought their chemistry from college would carry over to the pro game. However, it is Allen that has been the more reliable target thus far, totaling more catches (15-11), and touchdowns (4-2).
While Allen has yet to top 60 receiving yards in a game is a little bit concerning, with the lack of depth at the tight end position this season, and quarterback Andrew Luck coming into his own as one of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL, I will take my chances with Allen on a weekly basis.
Recommendation: Add Immediately
Value: Lower TE1
5. Andre Williams RB/New York Giants (56% Owned)
With Rashad Jennings possibly out for week 6, rookie Andre Williams has a chance to build a role for himself within the Giants offense. Williams did not show much big play ability on Sunday after finishing with a mediocre 65 yards on 20 carries (3.1 YPC) and one touchdown.
If Williams is going to make an impact for the Giants it will have to be running the football as he offers nothing in the passing game. It will be interesting to see how the Giants will split up snaps with Williams and third-string running back Peyton Hillis when it gets to obvious passing situations.
If Jennings is forced to miss week 6, Williams has a chance to explode against an Eagles rush defense that is giving up the seventh most rushing yards per game so far this season. Even though Williams will likely return to a reserve role once Jennings is healthy, he should be able to carve out a productive afternoon is Jennings is ruled out.
Recommendation: Stash and See
Value: RB4 with Potential
6. Brian Quick WR/St. Louis Rams (66% Owned)
I have to admit I have been late to the Brian Quick party this year, not because I was not aware of his production, but because I wanted to see if Austin Davis would be able to handle the pressure of being an NFL quarterback.
Quick has been a stud so far this season, having at least 7 catches or a touchdown in every game this season. The trend did not change this weekend against he putrid Eagles secondary, as Quick reeled in 5 of his team-high 9 targets for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
Going forward Quick is going to have a chance to prove if his early-season success is a trend or mirage, having some tough matchups in the coming weeks. In a five-week span, the Rams to play San Francisco twice, Seattle once, and Arizona once. Quick has shown a great rapport with quarterback Austin Davis so far this season, which is makes him an intriguing fantasy option going forward since Davis will be the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season.
Recommendation: Add Immediately
Value: Low WR2/High WR3
Players to Monitor
1. Justin Hunter WR/Tennessee Titans
Hunter finally showed a pulse in week 5, connecting on a 76-yard touchdown from Charlie Whitehurst. Hunter finished the day with three receptions for 99 yards and the previously mentioned touchdown. Hunter has the most potential of any of the Titans receivers, but with Charlie Whitehurst under center Hunter’s potential will be limited.
2. Antone Smith RB/Atlanta Falcons
In limited time this season, third-year running back Antone Smith has given some much-needed big play ability to the Falcons running game. Scoring in double-digits in three of the first five weeks of the season, Smith is making a case to become more involved in the offense. However with veteran Steven Jackson still around it will take an injury for Smith to be a reliable fantasy option, but he should be on the radar of all fantasy owners going forward.
3. Bobby Rainey RB/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rainey continues to show why some believe he will ultimately replace Doug Martin as the teams starting running back. It will take an injury, or the common sense of the Bucs coaching staff to get Rainey more involved in the offense. Keep him on your radar, as I have a feeling he will be called upon sooner rather than later to carry a heavier workload.
4. Benny Cunningham RB/St. Louis Rams
Zac Stacy was forced from Sunday’s game with a calf injury, giving Cunningham an opportunity to take hold of the starting running back job in St. Louis. Stacy’s availability for this weekend is still cloudy, so monitor this situation as the week progresses.
5. Tim Wright TE/New England Patriots
Finally the Patriots offense looked like what most people expected it to when they acquired Timothy Wright in a trade this offseason. Using two tight end sets most of the night, Wright was a total mismatch for Bengals linebackers in coverage, finishing with 5 receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown. While I am not ready to say the Patriots found their new Aaron Hernandez quite yet, he is worth putting on your radar as he has some favorable matchups with the Jets, Bears, and Colts in the near future.