Home Latest News Week 6 NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus fantasy surprises

Week 6 NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus fantasy surprises

Week 6 NFL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus fantasy surprises


Welcome to Week 6 of the 2023 NFL season. Two teams — the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles — remain undefeated, while the Carolina Panthers still haven’t tracked down their first win.

After blowing out the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, the 49ers are the clear No. 1 team in this week’s NFL Power Rankings. And the 4-1 Detroit Lions are quietly approaching the top five. The New England Patriots are in real trouble and have sunk in the rankings, while Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals are trying to climb their way out of the bottom half after showing some life Sunday.

Below we’ve updated the rankings, 1-32, and our NFL Nation reporters are taking a look at every team’s fantasy football surprise (good or bad) so far this season. Which players — like Brock Purdy and De’Von Achane — have exceeded expectations on the field (and in fantasy)? And who is off to a rough start and should be sitting on a fantasy manager’s bench? Let’s find out.

Here are the updated rankings, starting with the aforementioned 49ers.

Our power panel of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities evaluates how NFL teams stack up against each other, then ranks them from 1 to 32.

Previous rankings: Preseason | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5

Jump to a team:
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF

Week 5 ranking: 1

Fantasy surprise: QB Brock Purdy

It’s hard to call this a surprise given how Purdy played down the stretch last season, but he has posted the fifth most fantasy points by a quarterback this season — ahead of Patrick Mahomes! He’s even scored a pair of rushing touchdowns. The only real knock on Purdy fantasywise is that he and the Niners have made such a habit of jumping all over their opponents that he hasn’t had many opportunities to compile big numbers for all four quarters. — Nick Wagoner



Should Brock Purdy consistently start in fantasy lineups?

The “Fantasy Focus” crew breaks down what Brock Purdy’s performance this season means for his fantasy stock.

Week 5 ranking: 2

Fantasy surprise: TE Dallas Goedert

Goedert had just 88 receiving yards and no touchdowns through the first four weeks. He was looking like a bust until he broke out against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, racking up 117 yards and a touchdown on eight catches. Working alongside A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith, a steady stream of targets can be hard to come by, but Sunday’s performance reinforced that Goedert is a playmaker who should be utilized, particularly in the red zone. — Tim McManus

Week 5 ranking: 4

Fantasy surprise: WR Rashee Rice

The rookie leads the Chiefs’ wide receivers in catches (17), targets (24) and touchdowns (2). He would be doing better had he not dropped several passes. Despite that, he’s been a more consistent producer than any of the team’s veteran wide receivers. He should only continue to become more a part of the passing game as he gains more experience. — Adam Teicher

Week 5 ranking: 6

Fantasy surprise: RB De’Von Achane

The rookie has been a revelation for the Dolphins on the field and for fantasy managers off it. He has recorded three-straight games of 100-plus rushing yards and at least one touchdown, despite splitting carries with Raheem Mostert. His game-breaking speed is reminiscent of Chris Johnson and he’s been good for at least one explosive run every week. On Monday, however, Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said Achane is dealing with a knee injury and will be further evaluated over the next couple of days. So his status is something for fantasy managers to keep an eye on. — Marcel Louis-Jacques



Are better fantasy football days ahead for Trevor Lawrence?

Daniel Dopp explains why he feels better about Trevor Lawrence in fantasy after his game vs. the Bills.

Week 5 ranking: 8

Fantasy surprise: WR Josh Reynolds

Reynolds has quietly been one of the steadiest offensive weapons for the Lions, with the second most receiving yards (291) and third-most targets (24) through the first five games. He also has three receiving touchdowns, and the connection with Lions QB Jared Goff dates back to their early years of playing together for the Rams. More notable names like Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jahmyr Gibbs — and even Goff — were top fantasy picks for Detroit entering the year, but Reynolds has certainly started strong. — Eric Woodyard

Week 5 ranking: 3

Fantasy surprise: Defense/Special teams

The Bills’ defense was set up to be good, but the second highest fantasy points through five weeks (60.0)? That’s better than good. Buffalo leads the league in sacks (21) and takeaways (13). This was a unit that was expected to be a productive defense, and while there are now a number of injuries to deal with, it’s been an impressive start with Von Miller now being integrated in and Sean McDermott calling plays for his first time as head coach. — Alaina Getzenberg

Week 5 ranking: 5

Fantasy surprise: WR Brandin Cooks

With the way things went in training camp, Cooks looked like he was going to be a huge factor in the passing game. So far, it hasn’t happened. He has nine catches for 73 yards in four games and missed one game with a knee injury. The Cowboys have not gotten the deep passing game going yet, either, because of blowout wins when they scaled back the attack, questions about pass protection or just sheer ineffectiveness. His 8.1 yards per catch would be a career low since averaging 10.4 yards per catch as a rookie in 2014. — Todd Archer

Week 5 ranking: 10

Fantasy surprise: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba

As a rookie receiver playing behind Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf in a run-heavy offense, Smith-Njigba wasn’t expected to be a fantasy stud right away. But anyone who watched the 20th overall pick shine in practice over the offseason would have anticipated more than 12 catches for 62 yards over his first four games. He’s been targeted 20 times — only three fewer than Metcalf — so it hasn’t been as simple as the ball just not going his way. Part of the issue has been the trickle-down effect of the Seahawks’ O-line injuries. It has forced them to rely on formations with multiple tight ends in order to help out their backup tackles in pass protection, which has taken Smith-Njigba off the field. — Brady Henderson

Week 5 ranking: 9

Fantasy surprise: Defense/Special teams

The Buccaneers’ 10.5 defensive fantasy points per game mark is fourth best in the league. Last season, they averaged 5.76 defensive fantasy points per game (17th). They’ve been a stingy defense under Todd Bowles, but the takeaways have eluded them until now. They’re averaging 3.0 sacks a game (eighth). They’re also only giving up 17 points per game, a credit to their work in the red zone as opposing teams have just a 27.3% red zone efficiency against them — second best in the league. — Jenna Laine

Week 5 ranking: 13

Fantasy surprise: QB Trevor Lawrence

Lawrence hasn’t played badly, but he hasn’t gotten off to the hot start as expected, with only five touchdown passes despite the addition of WR Calvin Ridley to Jacksonville’s corps. Lawrence had his best game last Sunday against the Bills, throwing for 315 yards and a touchdown, but ranks behind C.J. Stroud, Jordan Love, Sam Howell and Joshua Dobbs in fantasy points among QBs. — Michael DiRocco



How should fantasy managers handle Moss with Taylor back?

Field Yates advises fantasy managers to hold Zack Moss after his big game in Week 5, even with Jonathan Taylor back for the Colts.

Week 5 ranking: 7

Fantasy surprise: WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Beckham missed two games with an ankle injury and hasn’t been productive when he’s been on the field. He is averaging a career-low 4.9 fantasy points per game this season. Beckham was a fantasy must-have from 2014 to 2020, when he averaged double digits per game in each of those seasons. His previous career low was 9.2 points per game, which was in 2021. Lamar Jackson‘s favorite target at wide receiver has been rookie Zay Flowers, and it doesn’t look like that will change. — Jamison Hensley

Week 5 ranking: 11

Fantasy surprise: Defense/Special teams

The Browns are No. 1 in defensive efficiency. They’re giving up just 15 points per game (No. 2 in the NFL) and they lead the league in third-down defense (22.6% opponent conversion rate). Curiously, the Browns have forced only three turnovers, with only one interception. But with coordinator Jim Schwartz’s aggressive style and Defensive Player of the Year candidate Myles Garrett leading the pass rush, the turnovers should come in time. The Browns have the 8th-easiest remaining schedule, which means they could feast on the opposition the rest of the year. — Jake Trotter

Week 5 ranking: 12

Fantasy surprise: WR Keenan Allen

Through the first five weeks — including a bye week for the Chargers — Allen has the seventh most fantasy points in PPR leagues of any receiver, ahead of other top receivers, including A.J. Brown of the Philadelphia Eagles and Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders. Allen’s best game came in Week 3, where he broke franchise and league records, catching 18 passes for 215 yards and throwing a 40-yard touchdown pass in a win over the Minnesota Vikings. — Kris Rhim

Week 5 ranking: 18

Fantasy surprise: TE Juwan Johnson

Johnson seemed like he was on the verge of a breakout fantasy season after finishing 15th in points in ESPN leagues for his position. His rapport with Derek Carr in training camp certainly indicated he could be a big part of the offense, but so far he has only seven receptions for 61 yards and has missed the last two games with an injury. He hasn’t been a “go-to” option for this team with Michael Thomas, Rashid Shaheed, Alvin Kamara and Chris Olave taking the majority of the targets. — Katherine Terrell

Week 5 ranking: 19

Fantasy surprise: RB Najee Harris

The Steelers’ offense has underperformed on the field and on fantasy rosters, but fantasy managers are perhaps the most disappointed in Harris. Drafted as the RB11 in PPR and standard ESPN leagues, Harris is RB32 in standard and RB38 in PPR entering Monday night’s game. The Steelers are one of only two teams without a rushing touchdown, and Harris is averaging just 49 yards per game. After being the Steelers’ primary three-down back in his first two seasons, Harris is more evenly splitting the load with Jaylen Warren through five games. Warren was drafted as the RB45 in PPR and RB43 in standard but is RB23 in PPR and RB31 in standard through five games. — Brooke Pryor

Week 5 ranking: 22

Fantasy surprise: TE Kyle Pitts

Pitts was off to a rough start (as was the entire Atlanta offense not named Bijan Robinson) in fantasy, with fewer than five fantasy points in two of the first four weeks. So, that’s been a disappointment for those who manage Pitts. But a reason to believe might be on the horizon. Pitts had seven catches for 87 yards (on 11 targets) in Week 5 and looked more like his 2021 form, where he had over 1,000 yards receiving and was a Pro Bowler. — Michael Rothstein

Week 5 ranking: 17

Fantasy surprise: RB Zack Moss

His usage figured to be higher than expected once it became clear Jonathan Taylor would not be ready to start the season. But few could have predicted Moss would break out the way he has, averaging 111.3 rushing yards and scoring four total touchdowns. And because Moss has had such a hot start, he’ll likely continue to get his share of touches even though Taylor has now returned to the lineup. — Stephen Holder



Why Puka Nacua isn’t going away despite Cooper Kupp’s return

Field Yates, Liz Loza and Daniel Dopp are all in agreement that Puka Nacua will continue to produce for fantasy managers even with Cooper Kupp’s return from injury.

Week 5 ranking: 25

Fantasy surprise: WR Tee Higgins

Even before the Bengals’ wide receiver left the Week 4 loss with a fractured rib, Higgins’ production was not at his usual level. In four games he had just 12 catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns. And that was despite having 30 targets before he suffered the injury. Higgins racked up a combined 3,000 yards in his first three seasons and has produced at a WR1 level at times. Once healthy, he’ll be looking to bounce back to help the Bengals and show why he’s worth a long-term contract in the coming years. — Ben Baby

Week 5 ranking: 14

Fantasy surprise: RB AJ Dillon

This should’ve been Dillon’s time to shine, with Aaron Jones dealing with a hamstring injury that has significantly limited his playing time. But through the first month of the season, Dillon hasn’t delivered. He has averaged just 2.8 yards per carry in the first five games of the season. On Monday night, Dillon showed improvement, registering his first touchdown of the season. — Rob Demovsky

Week 5 ranking: 15

Fantasy surprise: WR Puka Nacua

This is an easy answer for the Rams, as Nacua may be one of the biggest fantasy surprises around the league. The fifth-round pick took advantage of Cooper Kupp‘s absence in the first four games and has averaged 23.9 fantasy points per game, which is tied for seventh in the NFL. Even better news for Nacua? In Kupp’s return, he still had six catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. — Sarah Barshop



Is it the right time to trade Alexander Mattison in fantasy?

Eric Moody gives his recommendation for fantasy managers looking to trade Alexander Mattison before Week 6.

Week 5 ranking: 16

Fantasy surprise: WR Terry McLaurin

McLaurin remains a very good receiver; the opportunities have changed, however. He’s averaging career lows in targets per game (6.5), yards per catch (10.4), yards after the catch (2.52) and also in percentage of catches for 20-plus yards (12). He is catching five passes per game, second best in his career, but McLaurin has now gone nine consecutive games without a 100-yard game, dating to last season. He averaged 13.5 fantasy points last season and that has fallen to 12.6, ranking 27th at receiver. One big game could change this direction, but Washington needs to get him more involved downfield to create big plays as he’s done in the past. — John Keim

Week 5 ranking: 20

Fantasy surprise: RB Dameon Pierce

Pierce hasn’t come close to his production from last year. In his rookie season, he averaged 72 yards rushing per game. This season, it’s at 49.4. He only has one game over 70 yards rushing with multiple outings of under 40. There have been a rash of injuries on the offensive line, but when left tackle Laremy Tunsil and right tackle Tytus Howard were available against the Atlanta Falcons, Pierce only averaged 3.3 yards per carry. — DJ Bien-Aime

Week 5 ranking: 21

Fantasy surprise: WR Treylon Burks

Burks looked like a much-improved version of himself when he reported to training camp this summer. The second-year receiver exuded confidence and it was clear that he committed to refining his physique during the offseason. The way Burks was catching everything during training camp made it seem like a big season was on the horizon. Then he suffered a sprained LCL that kept him out for 12 days. But he managed to start the first two games of the season before missing Weeks 4 and 5. Burks has six receptions for 99 yards and no touchdowns in two games this season. — Turron Davenport

Week 5 ranking: 28

Fantasy surprise: RB Dalvin Cook

Not a good surprise. Cook has been ineffective in the running game, with no touchdowns and only 97 yards in five games. The Jets’ plan was to lean on Cook in the early portion of the season, giving Breece Hall more time to recover from last year’s knee surgery. Cook didn’t maximize his chances and now Hall’s clearly the RB. Cook has only 44 touches and it would be surprising if that rate increases. — Rich Cimini

Week 5 ranking: 24

Fantasy surprise: RB Alexander Mattison

Mattison himself has been decent when called upon, and a pair of touchdown receptions has boosted his fantasy point total. But in building their offense around receiver Justin Jefferson, and in attempting to come back from early deficits, the Vikings simply haven’t run the ball much. They lead the NFL in passing attempts (204) and have fewer carries by running backs than all but one team. The biggest surprise is that Mattison, a powerful inside runner, hasn’t been able to punch it into the end zone on any of his 11 red zone carries. The Vikings are one of two teams that don’t have a rushing touchdown. — Kevin Seifert

Week 5 ranking: 29

Fantasy surprise: WR Hunter Renfrow

The former Pro Bowler caught 103 passes two years ago, and after suffering through an injury-plagued season in 2022, he was expected to be a major part of the Raiders’ offense this year. Instead, the slot man has been more the forgotten man with just 6 catches on 9 targets for 59 yards and without a score. Renfrow’s relative absence has been one of the bigger mysteries through the first quarter of the season. — Paul Gutierrez

Week 5 ranking: 23

Fantasy surprise: WR Michael Wilson

The rookie out of Stanford has 15 catches for 255 yards and two touchdowns in his first five games, quickly becoming one of Joshua Dobbs‘ favorite targets. He started from Day 1 and showed quickly he has what it takes to not just make plays but make big plays, and that’s expected to continue. — Josh Weinfuss

Week 5 ranking: 26

Fantasy surprise: Nobody

Really, you just don’t want to play anybody on the Giants for fantasy right now. This is a group that is averaging 12.4 points per game and can’t run consistent offense because of their offensive line. It has rendered basically all their weapons useless. Tight end Darren Waller has been the only player who has even been (somewhat) productive with 23 receptions for 239 yards, yet fantasy football players have likely been disappointed if he’s on their roster. — Jordan Raanan

Week 5 ranking: 32

Fantasy surprise: WR DJ Moore

In theory, this shouldn’t be a surprise. The Bears brought Moore in to elevate Chicago’s offense. He should be getting double-digit targets a game, but the fact that he’s second in fantasy points scored after the struggles this passing game went through in three of its first five games is the best outcome any fantasy owner could have hoped for. Moore exploded for 230 receiving yards and three touchdowns against Washington and has a chance for another big outing against Minnesota’s 22nd-ranked pass defense. — Courtney Cronin

Week 5 ranking: 27

Fantasy surprise: TE Hunter Henry

Not many choices from a team that has scored just 55 points all season, but Henry ranks 10th among tight ends in fantasy points scored with 17 receptions for 176 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s been one of the few bright spots and is a consistent presence on the field, having played 83% of the offensive snaps. — Mike Reiss

Week 5 ranking: 30

Fantasy surprise: RB Jaleel McLaughlin

The undrafted rookie continues to be a big play waiting to happen. He is tied for the team lead in touchdowns with three — one rushing, two receiving — is the team’s leading rusher, is averaging 7.3 yards per carry and has four rushing attempts of at least 12 yards in the last two games alone. The Broncos say he’s going to get more touches because he’s earned them. — Jeff Legwold

Week 5 ranking: 31

Fantasy surprise: RB Miles Sanders

Sanders was signed during the offseason to be the every-down back and a dual-threat player. He’s been anything but. Sunday’s loss at Detroit was a sign his role is being diminished after he had one fewer snap than backup Chuba Hubbard. In five games, Sanders has only 191 yards rushing and is averaging a career-low 3.1 yards per carry. He has only 15 catches for 81 yards. He’s definitely trending downward. — David Newton



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