Fantasy football stock watch: Vikings rookie forced to step forward

How teams and players respond to adversity is often an excellent indicator of the success they’ll have in the long run. We’ll know the extent of some important players’ injuries over the course of the next few days, but if the news is less than encouraging, those in supporting roles will have to be prepared to take on more responsibility.

We got a glimpse of that to some degree this past week − particularly in the NFC North.

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These players saw their fantasy values increase or decrease most based on the developments in Week 5:.


WR Jordan Addison, Minnesota Vikings: Star wideout Justin Jefferson exited Sunday’s tilt with Kansas City with a hamstring injury. Addison filled in admirably in the second half, finding the end zone. The rookie has jelled nicely with QB Kirk Cousins, and should see the lion’s share of targets if Jefferson is limited or out this week in Chicago. The Bears have been very giving through the air, so Addison could post a solid stat line.

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WR Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions: Amon-Ra St. Brown and rookie Sam LaPorta get most of the attention, but Reynolds has been very consistent in the receiving game − and he’s still available in most fantasy leagues. The seven-year vet has at least four grabs in three of his four games, and he has logged at least 66 receiving yards in all four outings, with three TDs in the past three weeks.

RB D’Onta Foreman, Chicago Bears: Foreman was signed for depth in the offseason, but he is likely to be front and center in the offensive game plan Sunday. Khalil Herbert is likely to miss several weeks with a high ankle sprain, while backup Roschon Johnson suffered a concussion in Week 5 against Washington. That leaves Foreman as the next man up, and capable of RB2 production.

TE Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders: After sitting out Week 3 with a concussion, Thomas looked more like himself Thursday night against Chicago, racking up nine catches for 77 yards and a score on 11 targets. He has low-end TE1 ability in leagues of 12 or more teams.

QB Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bake Show was cooking in New Orleans prior to the bye week, completing 78.1% of his passes for 246 yards and three scores. He has seven touchdown strikes with just two picks, and the Bucs offensive line is keeping him upright. Mayfield has re-emerged as a top-notch QB2, perfect for pivoting when bye weeks or tough matchups arise.

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RB Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens: The Gus Bus was mostly stuck in neutral the past two games, with just 96 rushing yards on 27 carries, and he hasn’t scored since his lone touchdown back in Week 2. Edwards is worth hanging onto for depth, but he hasn’t seized the opportunity with J.K. Dobbins out for the season.

WR Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos: Sutton’s first catch on Sunday didn’t come until the fourth quarter. He just hasn’t caught the eye of Russell Wilson over the past two weeks, with only four receptions, 40 yards and a touchdown during that span.

WR Robert Woods, Houston Texans: Woods started off his Texans tenure with a bang, going for 12 catches, 131 yards and 19 targets in the first two games. However, he has just three receptions for 90 yards since then, and has yet to score. Even after Tank Dell left early Sunday with concussion symptoms, Woods didn’t see an increase in production.

TE Hayden Hurst, Carolina Panthers: Hurst had a giant Week 1 game, and it appeared he was going to be a nice safety valve for rookie Bryce Young. But the first-year quarterback and the Carolina offense have struggled mightily, while Hurst has just 12 targets over the past four weeks.

QB Mac Jones, New England Patriots: Jones was benched again on Sunday against the Saints after tossing two interceptions, including a pick-six, and losing a fumble in another bad loss. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Bailey Zappe get the start this week in an effort to energize the offense.

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