Sometimes it takes just a little longer than expected for talented NFL players to find their comfort zone. Several shed the supporting roles they’ve had for a good chunk of the season and stepped into the spotlight this past week.
Whether it was stepping up in the wake of a teammate’s injury or breaking out of a mini-slump, fantasy football managers had to be pleased with the timing.
WEEK 6 WINNERS, LOSERS: Bills, Chiefs prove they’re the class of the AFC
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These players saw their fantasy values increase or decrease most based on their performances in Week 6:
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RB Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots: New England likes pound the ball on the ground, which fits Stevenson’s style perfectly. With Damien Harris out vs. Cleveland, Stevenson rumbled for 76 yards and two scores. When Harris returns, New England will have one of the top backfield tandems in the game.
RB Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks: The rookie has responded well in the wake of veteran Rashaad Penny’s injury. Against Arizona he managed 110 total yards and a rushing touchdown, cementing his spot as the unquestioned starter for not only this week but next season, too.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City Chiefs: Smith-Schuster and QB Patrick Mahomes finally found the same page. Up until hauling in 113 receiving yards and scoring his first touchdown, he was seeing plenty of targets, but just wasn’t doing much with them.
QB Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals: Burrow was terrific against a tough New Orleans defense, accounting for all four Bengals TDs (three passing and one rushing). Perhaps the week’s top fantasy performance by a quarterback will erase all talk of a Super Bowl hangover.
QB Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts: Ryan completed a team-record 42 passes on his way to one of the biggest statistical days of his long career. Without the services of star RB Jonathan Taylor, Ryan shredded the Jaguars for 389 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
QB Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders: While fracturing a finger on his throwing hand, Wentz managed to complete just 12 of 22 passes for 99 yards against Chicago. He had been averaging 42 attempts per game through the first five weeks but his status is now in question.
RB Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns: New England not only did a great job bottling up both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt but they may have shown the rest of the league how to stop them too. Hunt carried just four times for 12 yards.
RB Jeffery Wilson, San Francisco 49ers: Wilson has shown he isn’t the long-term solution for the Niners. Elijah Mitchell will be back and Tyrion Davis-Price is almost ready to roll.
RB J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens: Dobbins didn’t play in the second half after his surgically repaired knee tightened up. With Kenyan Drake’s impressive performance (10 carries, 109 yards, TD) and the potential return of Gus Edwards and Justice Hill to the lineup, the Baltimore backfield is about to become very crowded.
WR Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills: The slot receiver struggled in his return from the concussion protocol, catching just two passes for nine yards. With rookie Khalil Shakir playing well, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him siphoning snaps away from McKenzie.