Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
David Dorey

Six points with David Dorey

The regular season for fantasy football has hit the one-third mark, and almost to the halfway mark if you are in a contest that starts their playoffs in Week 14. By this point, we should feel confident in which teams are bad or good. But 22 teams are either 2-3 or 3-2 and we’re starting to confront the fact that some players are just not going to get better.

There are still depth chart changes that will happen weekly for varying reasons. Within a week or two, many teams will reach the “well, let’s try something else” and shift around their fantasy-relevant players. We just saw our first NFL coach get fired, which will change up teams.

Here are six items worth thinking about heading into Week 6 of the NFL season.


1.) COOPER RUSH!!! vs. Dak Prescott – This is one of the more jaw-dropping conclusions that I’ve seen batted about the Twitterverse. Cooper Rush was merely there won four games in a row and is now apparently a Cowboys legend. He deserves to start even when Prescott is healthy. It is just like Prescott did to Tony Romo. No. Just no.

And that doesn’t touch what Prescott does as a runner. Rush hasn’t made mistakes which was critical, but the 100 passing yards he had at the Rams won’t likely do as much this week at the Eagles.

2.) QB Desmond Ridder (ATL) – The Falcons used their 1.10 pick in the NFL draft to grab Ridder as the next franchise quarterback. Matt Ryan worked out for 14 years, and now Ridder is the heir apparent whenever they decide to switch from Marcus Mariota to the rookie. Though Mariota hasn’t made a winning difference for Atlanta, HC Arthur Smith still backs him as the best choice for now, despite his completion percentage and QB rating both in the Bottom-5 among starting quarterbacks.  Smith was Mariota’s offensive coordinator in Tennessee when he was benched for Ryan Tannehill, so he’s done it before.

It usually happens when the pile of losses gets too high. Ridder is one to keep in mind even later in the year when he does play. The ex-Cincinnati star started four years and already has experience. He was a strong passer and also ran for up to 650 yards and 12 touchdowns in a season. He runs a QB-fast 4.5 40-time at 6-3 and 211 pounds. The sophomore slump has crushed Kyle Pitts’ stats, and perhaps a switch to an elite rookie quarterback could jump-start his season. Atlanta has a lighter schedule for the second half of the year. Dropping to 2-4 after playing the 49ers this week might make Arthur Smith start to think.

3.) The NFL Trade Deadline – Watch the stats for the next two weeks because if a player is suddenly getting more work, it may be related to him being trade bait. The deadline is Tuesday, November 1, right after Week 8 games. Teams that lose this week and already know their season likely will not hold post-season play, will start thinking about 2023 and getting draft picks or players for next year. The current names that are currently bounced around include:

Running backs – Christian McCaffrey, Kareem Hunt, Josh Jacobs, D’Ernest Johnson, Antonio Gibson.

Wide Receivers – Kenny Golladay, Robbie Anderson, Denzel Mims, Terrace Marshall, Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, D.J. Moore, Michael Thomas, Darius Slayton.

The important thing to remember is that when a player is traded away, his value may increase on the new team and where he left will have their depth charts reshuffled.

4.) TE Greg Dulcich (DEN) – The Broncos used their 3.16 pick on the UCLA product as the third tight end selected in the 2022 NFL draft. He injured his hamstring and missed the first five games. Albert Okwuegbunam and Eric Saubert only total a combined 24 targets and Denver ranks lowly in tight-end categories. Saubert was intended to primarily a blocking tight end. Okwuegbunam was supposed to be the receiving tight end but only totals seven catches over five games – same as Saubert. Dulcich is 6-4 and 243 pounds and not a blocker. He averaged 17.6 yards per catch in college and caught 42 passes for 725 yards and five scores last year.

The Broncos need all the receiving help they can get. Dulcich is more of a dynasty watch as a rookie, but the opportunity is there this season if he can step up and take advantage.

5.)  RB Kenneth Walker (SEA) – The 2.09 pick this year went to this Michigan State star. The Seahawks signed Rashaad Penny to a one-year deal and sadly for him, he broke his fibula and is lost for the season. There’s a good chance that he’s on a different team in 2023. Walker steps into a starting role and while he shared with Penny, the workload will likely be higher for Walker. DeeJay Dallas is the current No. 2 back though Travis Homer is due back from injured reserve soon. But both are just running back depth. Walker already showed some of his talents on his 69-yard touchdown run last week. The Seahawks need a reliable running back and if Walker can reach his potential in short order, the rest of the offense will benefit.

6.) RB Travis Etienne (JAC) – The Jaguars’ backfield was dominated by James Robinson to start the year – almost shockingly so considering he was coming off an Achilles tear. But he and Travis Etienne split the work in Week4 when they lost to Philly. Robinson (8-29) and Etienne (8-32) both struggled versus the unbeaten Eagles. In Week 5, they again split the work down the middle but Robinson ran ten times for 27 yards and caught two passes for 12 yards. Etienne ran ten times for 71 yards and added three receptions for 43 yards. 39 yards vs. 114 yards.

According to HC Doug Pedersen, “It’s a boost. It helped us Sunday as we moved the football early in the game. He got some big runs. That’s a spark sometimes you need. He has been able to do that for us.” The difference that Etienne is offering is mostly speed. What he needs now is to continue to be comfortable and start offering more as a receiver since that boosts the offense and helps Trevor Lawrence.  After this matchup, the Jaguars host three straight home games.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.