We have finally made it to the dreaded bye weeks as we head into Week 6. The Lions, Texans, Raiders, and Titans all have the week off, which leaves managers in a pickle on who should have their confidence and which players they should fade.
Remember, this article is about player fades, which does not mean you must automatically sit them. Stack your roster with high-upside options if you are worried about a player’s ceiling.
Rashod Bateman - WR Baltimore Ravens
This option may go without saying if he is not able to go. However, if Rashod Bateman can suit up against the Giants, managers may want to avoid the situation entirely.
The Giants have allowed the third-fewest yards to wide receivers over five weeks with 670 on 96 targets and only 53 receptions. That includes just one touchdown allowed in the last two weeks.
QB Lamar Jackson ranks 18th in passing yards with 1067 and 22nd in passing attempts with 149. For context, Geno Smith has 157 attempts with over 1300 yards. Jackson is known for his mobility, not only as a quarterback but in rushing totals where he is in the top-10 in rushing yards.
When in doubt, the Ravens will run with Jackson or funnel passes to Mark Andrews. The fade can also be extended to Devin Duvernay who will be the de facto WR1 if Bateman is unable to suit up in Week 6.
Drake London - WR Atlanta Falcons
Drake London is exciting, there is no doubt about that aspect of his game. However, he has to rely on the player throwing him the football to dazzle us with fantasy points.
The Falcons showed their weakness against a leading defense in their loss against the Buccaneers. London only logged 35 yards on just four of his seven targets. That makes two straight weeks of single-digit scoring for the rookie who looked electric for the first three weeks.
This week, the Falcons travel to San Francisco who are in the top-10 of defenses against wide receivers. They have allowed only two touchdowns to the position so far this season on 740 yards, 90 attempts, and 60 receptions.
London is trended toward boom or bust against staunch defenses.
Kareem Hunt - RB Cleveland Browns
Kareem Hunt came out of the gate in a big way in Week 1, scoring nearly 20 fantasy points with a rushing and receiving touchdown against the Panthers. Since then, he has been either disappointing or serviceable. The Browns are leaning on their ground-and-pound back in Nick Chubb instead.
Even against the Chargers last week, Hunt was unable to do more than make managers sweat after just barely eclipsing ten points thanks to a touchdown.
Cleveland will host the New England Patriots whose defense has come back to life this season. They have yet to allow a single touchdown to running backs, either rushing or receiving. Chubb is an auto-start, but Hunt doesn’t have that luxury. While already on the bubble for the flex position, Hunt has a steep uphill battle this week.
Tony Pollard/Ezekiel Elliott - RBs Dallas Cowboys
Admittedly, you may have no choice but to start Tony Pollard or Ezekiel Elliott with the litany of injuries and bye weeks. However, Pollard has a terrible matchup this week against the Philadelphia Eagles.
These two teams hate each other with the fire of a thousand suns, so the outcome can be unpredictable. Still, Pollard and Elliott have to face their undefeated division rivals in Week 6. Pollard has been the more explosive back breaking tackles and making big plays. He has nearly 250 yards on 44 attempts and two rushing touchdowns with 71 yards on 13 targets and seven receptions. Elliot has rushed 81 times for 305 yards and a touchdown with five receptions on seven targets for just 27 yards.
The Eagles are tied with the Texans with five rushing touchdowns to running backs (behind only the Lions and the Browns). However they have allowed only the ninth-most yards (399). Both backs will be touchdown-dependent.
If you do have to start either of these backs, fill in your roster with high-upside players who have better matchups to help make up for the deficit.
Chase Edmonds - RB Miami Dolphins
It appears to be Raheem Mostert season in Miami, which leaves Chase Edmonds as an afterthought. Even with the possibility that Skylar Thompson has to suit up with both Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater in concussion protocol, Edmonds is a fade against the 13th-best defense against RBs in the Vikings.
This is another situation where you may have to start him, but be aware that he is touchdown dependent. Over five weeks, Edmonds has rushed for only 86 yards and has eight receptions on 13 targets for just 68 yards. His fantasy weeks have been saved with three touchdowns. Two of those came in Week 3 against Buffalo on six attempts for 21 yards and his receiving touchdown was in Week 4 on two receptions for 14 yards.