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Published: Oct. 7, 2016 at 10:32 a.m.
Updated: Oct. 7, 2016 at 12:40 p.m.

Week 5 Fantasy Football Stockwatch

The first four weeks of the season have come and gone and we've gotten a good handle on plenty of NFL players' fantasy value. But for others, we're still in the dark. Then there's a third group of players that continues to be a moving target. That's what the Stockwatch is for. We're trying to pin down some of the more vexing fantasy options heading into Week 5.

10 Photos Total

  • We've been waiting for Gronk to look like, well ... Gronk. It was hoped that the return of Tom Brady would go a long way toward making the Patriots tight end great again. Instead, a balky hamstring has us staring at another week of watching Gronkowski act mostly as a decoy while Martellus Bennett and Julian Edelman absorb most of the targets. 10

    Kevin Terrell/Associated Press

    Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

    We've been waiting for Gronk to look like, well ... Gronk. It was hoped that the return of Tom Brady would go a long way toward making the Patriots tight end great again. Instead, a balky hamstring has us staring at another week of watching Gronkowski act mostly as a decoy while Martellus Bennett and Julian Edelman absorb most of the targets.

  • Speaking of Edelman ... with Brady back in action, his fantasy value gets a nice boost heading into Week 5. Last season he averaged nearly 10 targets per game with Tom Brady under center. That number held pretty steady with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback but dropped to five targets per game with Jacoby Brissett. Here's to a return to old times. 9

    Elise Amendola/Associated Press

    Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

    Speaking of Edelman ... with Brady back in action, his fantasy value gets a nice boost heading into Week 5. Last season he averaged nearly 10 targets per game with Tom Brady under center. That number held pretty steady with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback but dropped to five targets per game with Jacoby Brissett. Here's to a return to old times.

  • During the preseason we expected the Jets to operate a running back committee but that seemed to fly out the window with Matt Forte receiving heavy usage in the first two weeks. In the subsequent two weeks, Forte has seen his snap share diminish while Powell has gotten more work. Now that Forte is nursing multiple injuries, Powell is poised for an even larger role against the Steelers. 8

    Ed Mulholland/Associated Press

    Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets

    During the preseason we expected the Jets to operate a running back committee but that seemed to fly out the window with Matt Forte receiving heavy usage in the first two weeks. In the subsequent two weeks, Forte has seen his snap share diminish while Powell has gotten more work. Now that Forte is nursing multiple injuries, Powell is poised for an even larger role against the Steelers.

  • The fantasy end appears to be nigh for Murray ... and through no fault of his own. The Raiders rusher has been fairly efficient with his carries, averaging 4.3 yards per tote this season. Yet his snaps and touches have diminished each game and he's now battling turf toe. That's bad news on a team that's only running the ball on 38 percent of its plays. DeAndre Washington is getting closer in the rearview mirror and this is turning into a full-blown committee. 7

    Al Tielemans/Associated Press

    Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders

    The fantasy end appears to be nigh for Murray ... and through no fault of his own. The Raiders rusher has been fairly efficient with his carries, averaging 4.3 yards per tote this season. Yet his snaps and touches have diminished each game and he's now battling turf toe. That's bad news on a team that's only running the ball on 38 percent of its plays. DeAndre Washington is getting closer in the rearview mirror and this is turning into a full-blown committee.

  • I've been trying to ignore Royal for weeks but with Kevin White going on injured reserve, it's becoming impossible. The journeyman receiver has been a big part of the passing game ranking second on the team in receptions and receiving yards. With one less wideout in the mix in Chicago, Royal moves into position to see an elevated number of targets. I'm know I'm going to regret this but ... maybe it's time to believe. 6

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    Eddie Royal, WR, Chicago Bears

    I've been trying to ignore Royal for weeks but with Kevin White going on injured reserve, it's becoming impossible. The journeyman receiver has been a big part of the passing game ranking second on the team in receptions and receiving yards. With one less wideout in the mix in Chicago, Royal moves into position to see an elevated number of targets. I'm know I'm going to regret this but ... maybe it's time to believe.

  • It's been an up-and-down ride for Ajayi this season. He's been a potential lead back, a backup, inactive, and part of a four-man committee. But now he could be entering a new phase -- No. 1 running back in a two-back rotation. It comes against a Titans defense that's giving up more than four yards per carry but has been tough around the goal line with just one rushing score allowed. So it's not the greatest matchup, but hey ... it's better than Ajayi's had in a while. 5

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins

    It's been an up-and-down ride for Ajayi this season. He's been a potential lead back, a backup, inactive, and part of a four-man committee. But now he could be entering a new phase -- No. 1 running back in a two-back rotation. It comes against a Titans defense that's giving up more than four yards per carry but has been tough around the goal line with just one rushing score allowed. So it's not the greatest matchup, but hey ... it's better than Ajayi's had in a while.

  • Are we looking at <em>The Awakening 2: Fully Woke</em> in Baltimore? The preseason buzz around Terrance West was that he was ready to take a big step forward in production. However, he was stuck sputtering behind Justin Forsett for the first three weeks. Last week with Forsett inactive West ran wild against the Raiders. Now that Forsett isn't on the roster, West moves up to become the Ravens' No. 1 running back with another favorable matchup against Washington this week. 4

    Damian Strohmeyer/Associated Press

    Terrance West, RB, Baltimore Ravens

    Are we looking at The Awakening 2: Fully Woke in Baltimore? The preseason buzz around Terrance West was that he was ready to take a big step forward in production. However, he was stuck sputtering behind Justin Forsett for the first three weeks. Last week with Forsett inactive West ran wild against the Raiders. Now that Forsett isn't on the roster, West moves up to become the Ravens' No. 1 running back with another favorable matchup against Washington this week.

  • Consider this a temporary stock down on a talented and productive running back. Coleman has the sickle cell trait and while he's expected to play in Denver this week, there is talk that he could be ticketed for a smaller role than what we've seen so far this season. Oh, and there's also the fact that he's going against arguably the league's best defense. Hopefully next week things will return to normal. 3

    Aaron M. Sprecher/Associated Press

    Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

    Consider this a temporary stock down on a talented and productive running back. Coleman has the sickle cell trait and while he's expected to play in Denver this week, there is talk that he could be ticketed for a smaller role than what we've seen so far this season. Oh, and there's also the fact that he's going against arguably the league's best defense. Hopefully next week things will return to normal.

  • Things haven't worked out for Sims the way we would have hoped. Sims had one nice game against the Rams but followed it up with a dud against the Broncos. With the Panthers up next on the schedule, Sims could see fewer touches ... provided his injured knee allows him to play at all. Martin is expected to return after Tampa's bye in Week 6, which means Sims will once again be relegated to a secondary role in the offense. 2

    Al Messerschmidt/Associated Press

    Charles Sims, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Things haven't worked out for Sims the way we would have hoped. Sims had one nice game against the Rams but followed it up with a dud against the Broncos. With the Panthers up next on the schedule, Sims could see fewer touches ... provided his injured knee allows him to play at all. Martin is expected to return after Tampa's bye in Week 6, which means Sims will once again be relegated to a secondary role in the offense.

  • Washington was poised to have a nice day last week against the Bears but an injury early in the game derailed any hope of that. Now that the Lions are openly talking about Zach Zenner getting more carries this week, it signals that Washington is unlikely to play. What happens with this rotation going forward is anyone's guess but at least for this week, we have a good idea of how things will look. 1

    Detroit Lions/Associated Press

    Dwayne Washington, RB, Detroit Lions

    Washington was poised to have a nice day last week against the Bears but an injury early in the game derailed any hope of that. Now that the Lions are openly talking about Zach Zenner getting more carries this week, it signals that Washington is unlikely to play. What happens with this rotation going forward is anyone's guess but at least for this week, we have a good idea of how things will look.