It is a tale of two halves. I may have heard that phrase somewhere before. But as we head into Week 6, on one hand, I feel there's a return to normalcy. Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy and Demaryius Thomas are among the guys who rise to the top of the ranks and it's based in some part on matchups, this year's production, as well as what we feel they can do based on their history.
On the other hand, more than ever, there are surprising names up high and some random names you wouldn't have expected to show up here a week ago. Is Eli Manning really in the top 10 this week? Is Brian Hoyer really ahead of Tony Romo? Did I rank Juwan Thompson and Storm Johnson this week? Branden Oliver a top-15 player?
Yes to all of the above.
With the emergence of some of these players, and with only two teams on a bye this week (New Orleans and Kansas City), there's lots to choose from. And because we only rank 50 at each position (25 for QB and TE), I found myself with decent choices (nothing amazing, but not terrible, either) that I had to leave out of the top 50 this week. They'll likely be back.
Some assumptions are being made with these ranks as they are being done on Tuesday. Keep checking back; I will update them throughout the week. But among the initial assumptions? That Donald Brown and Ryan Mathews won't play this week, and neither will Calvin Johnson. That both Detroit running backs (Bush and Bell) play, that Carson Palmer is back under center for Arizona, that Jake Locker will be a go for the Titans, and that no player has three touchdowns called back this week.
As always, these are based on ESPN standard scoring. As in, no PPR. Let's get to it.
Last update: Saturday, 11:25 p.m. ET