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Shuffle Up: Is the name brand dead on the Packers?

Is Aaron Rodgers still a set-and-forget fantasy quarterback?

Shuffle Up season is here, my friends. Here’s the idea — how would we rank fantasy players if the season were starting right now?

A few caveats up front. The prices are unscientific in nature, merely used as a way to compare players within their position. I do not compare prices outside of position — a price of a quarterback is only meant to be considered within his positional class. I am generally far less expectant with injury-returning players, so don’t be surprised when I like them less than you do.

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Every Shuffle Up is done from scratch. I think it’s counterproductive to justify an old, dated list. I want my current opinions. I considered a modified PPR scoring system for the field players.

And of course, you’ll disagree with plenty on this list — that’s why we have a game in the first place.

I’ll do quarterbacks and wide receivers in the even weeks, running backs and tight ends for the odd weeks. You can figure out kickers and defenses on your own (keep streaming, streamers; those positions are rarely worth holding for extended periods, and matchups are critical in those streaming decisions).

[Week 6 rankings: OverallFLEX | QB | RB | WR | TE | DEF | K]

I reserve the right to edit this list as the day goes along; win the debate, you might win the rank.

Catch me on Twitter: @scott_pianowski.


$30 Tom Brady
$29 Ben Roethlisberger
$28 Cam Newton
$27 Russell Wilson
$27 Drew Brees
$27 Andrew Luck
$25 Aaron Rodgers
$25 Philip Rivers
$24 Matt Ryan
$22 Derek Carr
$21 Matthew Stafford
$20 Blake Bortles

Although Jordy Nelson has five touchdowns, his return hasn’t magically fixed the Packers offense. For the first time in his career, Rodgers has a rating below the league average. His 5.9 YPA is an obvious problem, and even with Nelson back, this doesn’t look like a deep set of pass catchers. Mike McCarthy is part of the problem, too . . . The Chargers rank 11th in pass defense DVOA, per Football Outsiders, but with cover ace Jason Verrett out of the picture, that unit is likely to collapse. Bad news for San Diego fans, but good news for Rivers owners — this team is going to be a carnival all year.

Luck is also enjoying carnival life, even if it isn’t pretty all the time. I worry about Luck’s ability to stay healthy behind that patchwork offensive line, but so long as T.Y. Hilton stays in one piece, we should be happy with the usual numbers at the end of the day . . . The John Kuhn hat trick two weeks ago was annoying for fantasy purposes, but I’m not going to let it push me off Brees (or Mark Ingram, for that matter). Brees still leads the NFL in pass attempts inside the 10 (and inside the 5), and that’s despite a Week 5 bye. He’s also fourth in quarterback points per game. Sure, you’d like more balance between home and road production, but I can live with that.

$19 Kirk Cousins
$18 Jameis Winston
$16 Andy Dalton
$16 Carson Palmer
$15 Eli Manning
$13 Dak Prescott
$13 Carson Wentz
$12 Alex Smith
$11 Marcus Mariota
$11 Tyrod Taylor
$10 Brian Hoyer
$10 Ryan Tannehill
$9 Trevor Siemian
$8 Joe Flacco
$8 Sam Bradford
$8 Ryan Fitzpatrick
$6 Brock Osweiler
$6 Colin Kaepernick

Try to keep an open mind with Kaepernick — Chip Kelly’s quarterbacks are generally fantasy-friendly commodities, and even Blaine Gabbert had some moments this year . . . Take Prescott’s price down a few bucks if you’re in a Superflex league or a very large pool where floor is more important. In the standard type of league where just one starter is required, Prescott’s upside can steer the price to where it’s currently at . . . Your stance on Manning is directly tied to your level of confidence with Ben McAdoo. I might not be in the Chris Liss class of McAdoo skeptics, but I’m definitely on the same side of the fence . . . Cousins has turned into an “own, don’t watch” type of player, as he leaves big plays and big points on the field every week. The “don’t watch” edict is especially important if you have any shares of DeSean Jackson . . .The Bears might be one of those bad teams that’s surprisingly fantasy-friendly anyway. Hoyer has thrown for 300-plus yards in three straight games, and it’s all come despite Alshon Jeffery’s mini slump. You never think of John Fox as a proactive or forward-thinking coach — look how long it took the Bears to unearth some of their current offensive talent — but I can’t see how Chicago goes back to Jay Cutler now.

$5 Tony Romo
$3 Case Keenum
$3 Josh McCown
$3 Cody Kessler
$1 Blaine Gabbert
$1 Jay Cutler
$1 Paxton Lynch
$0 Jared Goff

Coates is running by people every week (AP)

Wide Receivers

$50 Antonio Brown
$46 Julio Jones
$44 A.J. Green
$44 Mike Evans
$42 Odell Beckham Jr.
$42 Allen Robinson
$40 T.Y. Hilton
$37 Brandon Marshall
$36 Doug Baldwin
$36 DeAndre Hopkins
$34 Amari Cooper
$33 Jordy Nelson
$31 Marvin Jones
$30 Alshon Jeffery

The five touchdowns are a great deodorant for Nelson right now, but his catch rate is an eyelash over 50 percent, and he’s averaging 11.6 YPC. This isn’t vintage Nelson yet, not even close . . . Jeffery doesn’t have a touchdown yet, but he’s around 18 yards a catch and on pace for 1,261 yards. Here’s an instance where I’ll try to be patient . . .Cooper has become the Almost Touchdown king of the world, but if you watched Week 5’s win over San Diego, you can see how badly the Raiders want to establish Cooper as a scoring threat. This is very close to a dam breaking; I’m betting on the talent, and the work ethic. And remember, he’s on pace for 1,459 yards. The touchdowns are going to come . . .The Regression Police blew it on Baldwin, not recognizing that he could give back some of last year’s monster season and still be a fantasy star. Heck, little has gone right for Baldwin thus far, given some physical aches and pains along with Russell Wilson’s troubling season, and yet No. 89 is on pace for a 96-1320-8 campaign. Baldwin sure looks like a right answer from the summer’s fourth round.

$29 Brandin Cooks
$29 Larry Fitzgerald
$29 Kelvin Benjamin
$27 Demaryius Thomas
$26 Michael Crabtree
$25 Emmanuel Sanders
$23 Julian Edelman
$22 Jarvis Landry
$22 Stefon Diggs
$21 Jeremy Maclin
$21 Will Fuller
$21 Sammie Coates
$20 Willie Snead
$19 Randall Cobb
$18 Terrelle Pryor
$18 Travis Benjamin
$18 Jordan Matthews

Yes, Coates has been a drop machine, but he’s also running past defenses on a weekly basis (already, six catches over 40 yards) and he’s well-hidden on an offense that features Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. Upside: maybe he turns into the player we were hoping Martavis Bryant would be . . .

Say whatever you want about Thomas and Sanders, but they’re buoyed nicely by Denver’s very narrow passing tree. Here’s the rundown of targets: Sanders has 51, Thomas 34, C.J. Anderson 19, Jordan Norwood 12, and no one else has double-digits. Good fantasy work if you can get it . . .

Many others will be higher on Edelman than I am, but he’s played just one full season in seven, this offense is mostly about featuring the two tight ends, and even Chris Hogan has emerged as a mouth to feed. We jump all over Jarvis Landry for his lack of touchdowns, but consider Edelman’s TD count since becoming a regular: 0, 7, 4, 6. Edelman isn’t a bad player, but he’s a little overrated.

$17 Tyrell Williams
$16 Sterling Shepard
$15 *Dez Bryant
$14 John Brown
$13 Allen Hurns
$12 Tavon Austin
$12 DeVante Parker
$12 Quincy Enunwa
$11 Steve Smith
$11 Michael Thomas
$11 Mike Wallace
$10 DeSean Jackson
$10 Brandon LaFell
$9 Davante Adams
$8 Michael Floyd
$8 Kenny Britt
$8 Golden Tate
$7 Chris Hogan
$7 Tyler Lockett
$7 Victor Cruz
$7 Cameron Meredith
$7 Corey Coleman
$7 Jeremy Kerley

I’m shocked at how optimistically Bryant is ranked in the eyes of some other pundits. My advice to the Bryant owners: get your opponents to drink that Kool-Aid, and sell, sell, sell . . . No one wants to say anything good about the Rams passing game, but kudos to Britt for posting a quick 356 yards on a modest 32 targets . . . Kerley’s getting 30 percent of the target share in San Francisco, which makes him a realistic PPR helper. And I dare Kaepernick to play worse than Gabbert was playing . . . Lockett’s washout year is partially tied to injury, but remember the Seahawks were using him as a No. 3 receiver in the preseason. It’s important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, with respect to preseason analysis. There are vital clues to likely usage, if you know what to look for.

$6 Cole Beasley
$5 Donte Moncrief
$5 Eddie Royal
$5 Dontrelle Inman
$4 Mohamed Sanu
$4 Anquan Boldin
$4 Nelson Agholor
$4 Robert Woods
$3 Jamison Crowder
$3 Adam Thielen
$3 Dorial Green-Beckham
$3 Tajae Sharpe
$3 Phillip Dorsett
$2 Brian Quick
$2 Breshad Perriman
$2 Brice Butler
$1 Pierre Garcon
$1 Kenny Stills
$1 Adam Humphries
$1 Marqise Lee
$1 Ted Ginn
$1 Terrance Williams
$1 Chris Conley
$1 Markus Wheaton
$1 Seth Roberts
$1 Torrey Smith
$0 Vincent Jackson
$0 Jermaine Kearse
$0 Tyler Boyd

I’d bump Thielen up to the $8-10 range if Diggs winds up being hurt long-term . . . If you can still cash in on the name value of Moncrief and Decker, I’ll sign off. That’s the Play for Today move. Plus, it mobilizes your roster, frees you up a dead spot. (Wednesday update: Decker’s now on IR) . . . I thought Dorsett was ready for a step forward in class, but he’s been a major disappointment through five weeks. The Colts don’t trust him with a full route tree, which tells you much of what you need to know . . . Woods is the obvious No. 1 in Buffalo, but I’m not sure this offense can support an outside receiver. Plus, TE Charles Clay has started to produce in recent weeks.