Editor’s note: The players listed below are NFL stars who were drafted in virtually every Yahoo Fantasy league. That said, this column is not an endorsement to bench them in Week 6. You’re in control of your roster; every league size and shape is different. What we are trying to explain is that expectations should be lowered this week compared to usual for some of the NFL’s biggest stars. Aside from examining this week’s matchups, this can also serve as a reminder not to overreact if one of your high draft picks disappoints in Week 6.
Dalvin Cook @ Miami Dolphins
Dealing with a shoulder injury and a new coaching staff, Cook has seen a notable decrease in snap and target share over the past three games. Despite an easy schedule, Cook has reached 16 PPR points just once this season and now gets a matchup outdoors against a Miami team wanting to slow the game down while starting its third-string QB.
The Dolphins have allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to RBs this season, but that’s a bit misleading; they've bled most of that production to pass-catching backs. Miami has actually yielded the third-fewest rushing yards per game (69.4) to RBs and the sixth-lowest EPA/rush.
Cook will need to reemerge as a receiver (he’s seen just four targets over the last three games) if he’s going to reach his top-eight expert consensus RB rank this week.
CEH remains the No. 8 PPR back on the season even after last week’s dud, but the same concerns remain about his future fantasy value. Playing for KC’s offense helps his chances of scoring, but Edwards-Helaire has seen 10 carries just once this season. He’s encouragingly been more involved as a receiver, but the Chiefs schedule is about to get much tougher; five of their next seven opponents rank top-10 in RB fantasy points allowed after facing just one such defense so far.
Jerick McKinnon played more snaps and had just one fewer carry than Edwards-Helaire last week, and it sounds like the coaching staff is planning on a bigger role for rookie Isiah Pacheco moving forward. With an ECR still treating him as a top-20 RB, Edwards-Helaire is a major candidate to be a fantasy bust for the second week in a row.
James Robinson @ Indianapolis Colts
Travis Etienne has taken over Jacksonville’s backfield the last two games, and this week the Jaguars face a pass-funnel Colts defense that ranks No. 2 in DVOA against the run. Running backs have averaged 24.0 carries for just 79.2 yards (3.3 YPC) over five games against Indianapolis, including a 23-for-64 performance versus Robinson earlier this season.
On the wrong side of an uneven timeshare, struggling during his return from Achilles surgery and on a team with one of this week’s lowest implied totals, Robinson looks like a shaky FLEX option this week.
Hill is fully expected to play, but he’s dealing with a heel injury and a new rookie quarterback making the first start of his career. With Skylar Thompson under center, expect the Dolphins to play at a snail’s pace; they already rank 31st in average play-clock seconds remaining (Xavien Howard’s expected return should help keep this game lower scoring as well).
Hill is obviously one of the best receivers in the NFL, and Minnesota’s secondary is vulnerable, but his fantasy outlook should be tempered with a seventh-round, 25-year-old rookie who's never thrown more than 12 touchdowns during any college season as his quarterback this week. Expect Raheem Mostert to get 20+ touches in a slow-paced matchup Sunday.