Week 6 NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus every team's top fantasy surprise

ByNFL Nation ESPN logo
Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Week 6 of the NFL Power Rankings is a good time to assess the fantasy football landscape. Odds are that your squad hasn't performed the way you expected it to, as some players have exceeded their preseason rankings while others, to be frank, haven't.

We're going to name names, as our NFL Nation reporters each picked a player from their team who has had a surprising fantasy season to date. So read up and figure out how to get these guys via trade or the waiver wire (or figure out if you need to trade or release the underperformers). How we rank: Our power panel -- a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities -- evaluates how teams stack up throughout the season.

Previous rankings: 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | Preseason

1. New England Patriots (5-0)

Week 5 ranking: 1

Surprise fantasy player: Sony Michel, RB

Sunday's performance represented a notable change for those patiently waiting for Michel to have some significant production. He finished with 91 rushing yards and a touchdown while adding three catches for 32 yards. The pass-catching production is a good sign that the coaching staff is trusting Michel more in the passing game. Last year when Michel was on the field, it was almost always a run. Look for Michel's production to increase going forward, now with some added potential in the passing game. -- Mike Reiss

2. New Orleans Saints (4-1)

Week 5 ranking: 3

Surprise fantasy player: Jared Cook, TE

The Saints' highest-profile free-agent addition hasn't delivered much yet as the Saints continue to search for a reliable third option behind Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. But Cook did catch a season-high four passes for 41 yards and his first TD in Week 5, and he is third on the team with 23 targets this season. So there still should be some better days to come, mixed with some quiet ones. -- Mike Triplett

3. Kansas City Chiefs (4-1)

Week 5 ranking: 2

Surprise fantasy player: Tyreek Hill, WR

Hill's impact should grow as early as this Sunday's game against the Texans. He returned to practice last week after missing four games with a collarbone and sternum injury and looked close to being ready for game action. If anyone's return from an extended absence should be seamless, it is Hill's. He missed offseason practice because of suspension but came back at camp like he hadn't missed a day. While the Chiefs have developed receiving threats in his absence, don't mistake who their No. 1 guy is. It's Hill. -- Adam Teicher

4. Green Bay Packers (4-1)

Week 5 ranking: 6

Surprise fantasy player: Aaron Jones, RB

Yes, everyone expected Jones to be the Packers' go-to guy on the ground, and he has a pair of 100-yard games so far. But did anyone expect him to match his 2018 touchdown total in five weeks? Of course, half of his eight rushing touchdowns came in one game -- on Sunday at Dallas. But if that game showed Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur anything, it's that Jones should be the first option when the Packers get near the goal line. -- Rob Demovsky

5. Seattle Seahawks (4-1)

Week 5 ranking: 7

Surprise fantasy player: Will Dissly, TE

The Seahawks coveted Dissly in the 2018 draft for his blocking, so even they might be surprised that he has emerged as one of Russell Wilson's go-to targets. His four touchdowns this season give him six in his career, which tied the record for most scores by a tight end in his first eight games since the merger. What makes it even more surprising: Dissly is coming off a torn patellar tendon that ended his rookie season after four games. That's a hard touchdown pace to sustain, but Dissly looks like he'll remain Seattle's first option at tight end, even when Ed Dickson comes off the injured reserve list. -- Brady Henderson

6. San Francisco 49ers (4-0)

Week 5 ranking: 8

Surprise fantasy player: Raheem Mostert, RB

Mostert was impressive enough in the preseason and in short bursts last year that the Niners wanted to get him more involved this season. That happened sooner than expected when Tevin Coleman suffered a sprained ankle in Week 1. Mostert rewarded San Francisco's belief in him by averaging nearly 6 yards per carry in the first three games, but with Coleman back, it's fair to wonder where Mostert fits in. Expect the Niners to keep getting Mostert opportunities, but it's hard to project consistent touches in a talented room that also includes Matt Breida. -- Nick Wagoner

7. Los Angeles Rams (3-2)

Week 5 ranking: 4

Surprise fantasy player: Cooper Kupp, WR

Kupp, the Rams' shifty and speedy slot receiver, is coming off season-ending ACL surgery, but that has not slowed him one bit. The third-year pro is the go-to target for quarterback Jared Goff. Kupp leads the team with 41 receptions on 63 targets. He has a team-high 505 receiving yards, and his five touchdowns are the most among a receiving corps that includes Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods. -- Lindsey Thiry

8. Dallas Cowboys (3-2)

Week 5 ranking: 5

Surprise fantasy player: Michael Gallup, WR

Gallup missed two games because of arthroscopic knee surgery, but he remains on pace for a 1,000-yard season. The Cowboys' passing game is led by Amari Cooper, but Gallup has seen a jump in his production because of the trust Dak Prescott has in him. Gallup has two 100-yard performances in the three games he has played, putting him on pace for 64 receptions and 1,085 yards. He has hit the end zone just once, but if teams do more to take away Cooper, then Gallup is showing he can hurt defenses, too. There's no reason to think he can't continue this type of play. -- Todd Archer

9. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)

Week 5 ranking: 11

Surprise fantasy player: Zach Ertz, TE

Coming off a record-breaking season in which he had 116 catches and eight touchdowns, Ertz has had a quieter start to his 2019 campaign. His first touchdown came on Sunday against the Jets. Among tight ends, he ranks fourth in catches (29) and fifth in yards (312). Expect his production to pick up in the coming weeks, especially once field-stretcher DeSean Jackson returns from injury. -- Tim McManus

10. Buffalo Bills (4-1)

Week 5 ranking: 12

Surprise fantasy player: Frank Gore, RB

We probably shouldn't be surprised at this point, but Gore continues to produce in his 15th season. In the three games Devin Singletary has missed with a hamstring injury, Gore has averaged 81.7 rushing yards and 5.4 yards per carry. That being said, his touches likely will decrease once Singletary returns, so Gore isn't likely to hit the 1,066 rushing yards that he is on pace for. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques

11. Baltimore Ravens (3-2)

Week 5 ranking: 10

Surprise fantasy player: Marquise Brown, WR

It was unknown what kind of impact Brown would make -- if any at all -- after the rookie missed a chunk of training camp and half the preseason games while recovering from offseason foot surgery. But Brown, who is nicknamed "Hollywood," ranks in the top 20 in fantasy points after catching three touchdown passes in his first five games. This will be a challenging pace to keep up for Brown. Over his next four games, he'll play three defenses (Bengals twice and Patriots) that rank in the top 10 in fewest yards allowed to wide receivers this season. -- Jamison Hensley

12. Houston Texans (3-2)

Week 5 ranking: 13

Surprise fantasy player: DeAndre Hopkins, WR

Texans tight endDarren Fells has more touchdowns (three) than Hopkins (two) through five games. Hopkins opened the season with a big performance against the Saints, but he hasn't had 100 yards receiving in game since. Teams have been doubling Hopkins, and when the Falcons did that on Sunday, it allowed Will Fuller V to take advantage, with 14 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns. "As long as the scoreboard says W, I'm happy," Hopkins said. "I know I can't go out there and beat a team by myself. The little things you don't see on fantasy football. It's real football." -- Sarah Barshop

13. Chicago Bears (3-2)

Week 5 ranking: 9

Surprise fantasy player: David Montgomery, RB

Montgomery's fantasy value has decreased because the Bears can't do much right on offense. Eventually, though, Montgomery is expected to break through and become a focal point. As head coach Matt Nagy feels more pressure to turn Chicago's quarterbacks into game managers, the Bears' focus will turn more to the run game, for which Montgomery is the only true three-down back on the roster. Montgomery is too talented not to have a serious fantasy impact. -- Jeff Dickerson

14. Minnesota Vikings (3-2)

Week 5 ranking: 14

Surprise fantasy player: Kyle Rudolph, TE

The nine-year veteran tight end didn't think his main responsibility would be blocking when he signed a lucrative contract extension in June, but that has been Rudolph's primary role, as his targets have shrunk significantly in 2019. He has had exactly one pass thrown his way in each of the past three games, and he doesn't possess value as a red zone threat to fantasy owners as he once did. We expected Rudolph's role in the passing game to decrease with a shift to a more run-oriented attack, but where it is right now is somewhat staggering. -- Courtney Cronin

15. Indianapolis Colts (3-2)

Week 5 ranking: 19

Surprise fantasy player: Marlon Mack, RB

The Colts are leaning heavy on Mack to lighten quarterback Jacoby Brissett's workload. Mack hasn't disappointed so far, as two of his six career 100-yard rushing games have come this season. Mack is coming off a game in which he had a career-high 29 carries for 132 yards against Kansas City to bring his season rushing total to 470 yards. He is on pace to be the 1,500-yard rusher owner Jim Irsay envisioned he would be a couple of years ago. -- Mike Wells

16. Detroit Lions (2-1-1)

Week 5 ranking: 15

Surprise fantasy player: Kerryon Johnson, RB

Johnson would be the first one to tell you he doesn't care about his fantasy production, just what his teammates and coaches are asking of him. But it hasn't been the most productive fantasy year for him, topping 50 yards just once and scoring twice in four weeks. However, Johnson looks like he found something in his most recent contest against Kansas City in which he rushed for 125 yards. The schedule doesn't get much easier, with Green Bay and Minnesota next, but Johnson appears to have found some rhythm, which should bode well the rest of the season. -- Michael Rothstein

17. Carolina Panthers (3-2)

Week 5 ranking: 20

Surprise fantasy player: Curtis Samuel, WR

Samuel looked set to have a breakout year in training camp. However, with the injury to QB Cam Newton and the heavy workload Christian McCaffrey has received since, Samuel has only 19 catches and one touchdown through five games. Samuel hasn't developed the rapport on the field with Kyle Allen that he had with Newton. Again, the Panthers have simplified things and have leaned heavily on the running game to take the pressure off Allen. -- David Newton

18. Cleveland Browns (2-3)

Week 5 ranking: 17

Surprise fantasy player: Ricky Seals-Jones, TE

With David Njoku on injured reserve with a wrist injury, Seals-Jones has emerged as Baker Mayfield's favorite tight end target. Coach Freddie Kitchens loves using TEs, which means Seals-Jones will continue to be on the field, at least until Njoku returns, which won't be until late November at the earliest. -- Jake Trotter

19. Los Angeles Chargers (2-3)

Week 5 ranking: 16

Surprise fantasy player: Hunter Henry, TE

Expected to be one of the more productive tight ends in the NFL, Henry has just four catches for 60 yards. He suffered a tibia plateau fracture to his left knee in Week 1 against the Colts and was projected to miss four to six weeks, so a lack of production is mainly due to injury. Henry has been working with trainers on the field over the past week and appears close to returning to the field. Once healthy, Henry should be an impact player for the Chargers; the Bolts could use help from the athletic tight end to solve their issues scoring in the red zone. -- Eric D. Williams

20. Tennessee Titans (2-3)

Week 5 ranking: 18

Surprise fantasy player: A.J. Brown, WR

After missing extended time during training camp, Brown didn't figure to play a significant role in the Titans' offense early in the season. However, he has become Tennessee's most dangerous pass-catcher. Brown has caught 12 of the 19 targets that have come his way. Entering Week 5, Brown's 22.3 yards per catch was among the NFL leaders. The rookie wideout already has three receptions of 40 yards or more on the season, and Brown's two touchdowns lead all Titans receivers. Brown eventually will overtake Tajae Sharpe as the starter opposite Corey Davis, which will lead to more opportunities. Unfortunately, Brown's value will be limited by the Titans'erratic offense. -- Turron Davenport

21. Oakland Raiders (3-2)

Week 5 ranking: 24

Surprise fantasy player: Josh Jacobs, RB

The rookie first-rounder had a phenomenal day in the Raiders' 24-21 defeat of the Bears on Sunday, rushing for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries and catching three passes for 20 yards -- with wideouts Tyrell Williams and J.J. Nelson injured and inactive. Jacobs' 430 rushing yards are the most by a Raiders rookie through his first five games, eclipsing Marcus Allen's 415 yards in 1982. Given the success Jacobs had running behind an active offensive line against a vaunted Chicago run defense, expect Oakland to continue riding its rookie phenom going forward. -- Paul Gutierrez

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3)

Week 5 ranking: 21

Surprise fantasy player: The defense

Most notably, the lack of success that opposing running backs have had against the Bucs. They are allowing running backs an average of 5.8 fantasy points (standard scoring) -- seventh fewest this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, and vitally important in a division that features Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara and Devonta Freeman. Last season in standard scoring, the Bucs gave up 10.5 fantasy points to RBs on average. Their effectiveness against the run has helped make the Tampa Bay defense a better fantasy option than originally projected. -- Jenna Laine

23. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)

Week 5 ranking: 22

Surprise fantasy player: DJ Chark Jr., WR

The Jaguars expected Chark to make significant improvement from his rookie season, but nobody thought he would be leading the AFC in receiving yards (485, No. 5 overall) and TD catches (five, tied for No. 2 overall) after five games. This isn't a fluke, either. Chark put in the work during the offseason, and he says he is so much more comfortable because he knows what to expect in every aspect, including meetings, practice and recovery. He had issues catching the ball last season, but that's not the case in 2019. He has zero drops on 37 targets, after two drops on 38 last season. Chark is on pace for 86 catches, 1,552 yards and 16 TDs. -- Mike DiRocco

24. New York Giants (2-3)

Week 5 ranking: 25

Surprise fantasy player: Evan Engram, TE

The hype has been matched with production. It's one thing to project Engram would have a breakout year. It's another for it to happen. Engram is second among tight ends in average points per week. Now he just needs to stay healthy and keep it up for 16 games. -- Jordan Raanan

25. Atlanta Falcons (1-4)

Week 5 ranking: 23

Surprise fantasy player: Austin Hooper, TE

Hooper might not be that much of a surprise because of the potential he has shown every year, but he now leads the team in receptions and has two TDs. He should continue to benefit from the attention given to Julio JonesandCalvin Ridley. -- Vaughn McClure

26. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-4)

Week 5 ranking: 26

Surprise fantasy player: Diontae Johnson, WR

While JuJu Smith-Schuster has been mostly quiet as the primary focus of opposing defenses, Johnson -- a rookie -- is slowly breaking out. In Mason Rudolph's first two starts, Johnson was targeted six times in each game and had a touchdown in both contests. When Devlin Hodges came in Sunday, he hit Johnson for a monster third-down conversion, but Johnson's downfall will be his trouble holding on to the ball. He fumbled the third-down pass out of bounds, though it still was ruled a completion, and fumbled his first catch a week ago. -- Brooke Pryor

27. Denver Broncos (1-4)

Week 5 ranking: 27

Surprise fantasy player: Courtland Sutton, WR

Given his role as a starter who has played as much as expected (his 303 snaps in the first five games leads the team's wide receivers and tight ends), Sutton was expected to have some fantasy impact. But it has been more than expected. After the first five games, Sutton leads the team in receptions, receiving yards, average yards per catch and touchdowns. The Broncos have had a heavy run presence and lean that way at times on offense, but Sutton has improved week to week in how he handles the man coverage he sees. He also has earned quarterback Joe Flacco's trust in a crowd, and his routes are improving. Sutton still has to be more consistent in how he works at the top of his routes, but he is an ascending player. -- Jeff Legwold

28. Arizona Cardinals (1-3-1)

Week 5 ranking: 28

Surprise fantasy player: Chase Edmonds, RB

Edmonds has been playing in the shadow of fellow running back David Johnson since he was drafted last year, but Edmonds' big game on Sunday -- 68 rushing yards and a touchdown, along with three catches for 18 yards for 17.6 fantasy points -- proved he can be an impact fantasy player, especially when the Cardinals commit to the run. I think he'll maintain that level. With Edmonds being used more as the season goes on -- his carries have increased from one to three to six to eight -- he'll likely be on the field along with Johnson, especially as a complement when Johnson is lined up as a receiver. -- Josh Weinfuss

29. Cincinnati Bengals (0-5)

Week 5 ranking: 29

Surprise fantasy player: Joe Mixon, RB

Those who drafted Mixon early expected him to live up to his early-round projections. However, after five games, Mixon has no rushing touchdowns and is 24th in total rushing yards. But his latest outings suggest he could be finding his form on a bad offense. He has averaged at least 4 yards per carry for three straight weeks. -- Ben Baby

30. New York Jets (0-4)

Week 5 ranking: 30

Surprise fantasy player: Le'Veon Bell, RB

Bell has been a surprise in a negative way, tallying only one TD. Because of quarterback and offensive-line issues, he has been a total nonfactor. He is getting chances (98 touches, tied for eighth in the league) but has nowhere to run. His efficiency will improve when QB Sam Darnold returns to the lineup, but don't expect a dramatic increase. The Jets have serious blocking issues, and those will prevent Bell from being Bell. Oh, how he wishes he still had that Pittsburgh offensive line. -- Rich Cimini

31. Washington Redskins (0-5)

Week 5 ranking: 31

Surprise fantasy player: Terry McLaurin, WR

McLaurin has been the one bright spot on offense, as he now has 19 catches for 308 yards and three touchdowns. While he will continue to be a focal point, will the Redskins find him consistently? Even though coach Jay Gruden was fired Monday, there's no guarantee that rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskinswill take over. If Haskins does, however, he and McLaurin obviously connected at Ohio State, but this will be a far more difficult task, so it could take a while to rebuild their chemistry. It also would help McLaurin for another skill player to emerge to take pressure off him, but he is legit and remains the Redskins' best weapon. -- John Keim

32. Miami Dolphins (0-4)

Week 5 ranking: 32

Surprise fantasy player: Preston Williams, WR

Williams has gone from a rookie undrafted free agent trying to make the roster to the Dolphins' leading receiver through four games, with 15 catches for 201 yards and a touchdown. Williams began the season as a part-time player, but he quickly has become a full-time contributor and Josh Rosen's favorite weapon. Williams has a team-leading 30 targets, including 19 over the past two weeks with Rosen as the starter. Williams' role as a top target should remain consistent, and it might even increase a tick if Rosen becomes more comfortable in the offense. Williams is the most reliable fantasy receiver on a bad Dolphins offense. -- Cameron Wolfe

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