- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
There are plenty of storylines involving quarterbacks this week, with Ben Roethlisberger returning, Brett Favre hurting and Aaron Rodgers yearning to play, but when you get right down to it you need the running backs and wide receivers to come through. It's Thursday, and thus time for the flex rankings, where we go through the best of the best, and for those who need it, even some of the not-so-best at the latter end of the top 100.
As always, use these rankings as a guide, but ultimately make your own decisions for active rosters. These are, after all, your teams. And please keep up with the news right up to game time on Sunday. Things are sure to change in the coming days.
Enjoy, and best of luck with your decisions in Week 6.
1. Chris Johnson, RB, Titans: You should feel better now after he ripped up the Cowboys.
2. Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
3. Frank Gore, RB, 49ers: A quarterback change, if it must happen, shouldn't affect his value.
4. Ray Rice, RB, Ravens: Looks like himself again, and he was getting looks at the goal line, too.
5. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars
6. Michael Turner, RB, Falcons: Those who wanted to sell a few weeks ago but didn't have to be pleased that they didn't do it. There are a lot more yards coming.
7. Miles Austin, WR, Cowboys: The Cowboys' record hasn't hurt his production.
8. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Steelers: The only other top-10 running back that has already had his bye week is Peterson. Now, Mendenhall gets his quarterback, um, back.
9. Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts
11. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants: Love the matchup.
12. Andre Johnson, WR, Texans
13. Arian Foster, RB, Texans: Will be interesting to see if his owners panic, if he has another bad game this week.
14. Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants: I'm on board with him being a top-10 wide receiver.
15. LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles: I can't name too many running backs I would expect to thrive with a fractured rib.
16. Roddy White, WR, Falcons
17. Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers: We keep hearing that his time is coming. Why not this week?
19. Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints: I'm starting to wonder when he'll play again, but I have to respect the talent and matchup if he does.
20. Anquan Boldin, WR, Ravens
21. Brandon Marshall, WR, Dolphins
22. Matt Forte, RB, Bears: Well, anyone wondering whether he could carry a ground game got their answer in Week 5.
24. Michael Bush, RB, Raiders: I have a feeling he gets the start again, and thrives.
25. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Jets
27. Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions
28. Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs: Let's not assume he'll get a ton of carries, because this remains a timeshare.
29. Wes Welker, WR, Patriots: Loss of Moss shouldn't affect him as much as people think.
30. Jahvid Best, RB, Lions: I'd like to see him start scoring touchdowns again.
31. Hines Ward, WR, Steelers: Big Ben is back!
32. Peyton Hillis, RB, Browns: Keep an eye on his health, but if he plays, how can you question him?
33. Steve Smith, WR, Giants
34. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks: I could certainly see 20-plus touches in his debut. You traded for him, so use him!
35. Joseph Addai, RB, Colts
36. Marques Colston, WR, Saints
38. Thomas Jones, RB, Chiefs: Don't give up on him yet. He's still going to play quite a bit.
39. Santana Moss, WR, Redskins
40. Shonn Greene, RB, Jets
41. Donald Driver, WR, Packers: It's Thursday, and I still think it's doubtful Aaron Rodgers suits up. If he does, move the Packers wide receivers up some.
42. Ryan Torain, RB, Redskins: Not that he was supposed to be Foster or anything, but do you feel different about him now after seeing him play in Week 5?
43. Pierre Garcon, WR, Colts: He's certainly on the cusp of big things.
44. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Patriots
45. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos: The Denver running game is desperate for him to return. Fantasy owners should be a bit more guarded.
46. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles
47. Felix Jones, RB, Cowboys: The team made it clear that Jones isn't starting, but if he runs well, that won't matter.
48. Austin Collie, WR, Colts: The injuries have to be affecting him some.
49. Ronnie Brown, RB, Dolphins
50. Mike Wallace, WR, Steelers: Not a top-20 wide receiver no matter the quarterback, but certainly his stock goes up with Roethlisberger returning.
51. Brandon Jackson, RB, Packers: He has to play, because there is nobody else. Or is there?
52. Nate Washington, WR, Titans
53. Greg Jennings, WR, Packers
54. Percy Harvin, WR, Vikings
55. Marion Barber, RB, Cowboys
56. Mike Tolbert, RB, Chargers: Should see fewer touches but could remain valuable in touchdown-heavy formats.
58. Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers: Hope you didn't cut him before Week 5.
59. Ricky Williams, RB, Dolphins
60. Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs: Wait, while you were reading this, Bowe just dropped another pass.
61. Jabar Gaffney, WR, Broncos
62. Justin Forsett, RB, Seahawks
63. Braylon Edwards, WR, Jets
64. Kenny Britt, WR, Titans: He's quietly on the verge of becoming a top-25 wide receiver.
65. Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders: Even if he plays, he probably won't be 100 percent.
67. Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants: The matchup is so good that Jacobs should get some run, too.
68. Santonio Holmes, WR, Jets
69. Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys
70. Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Jaguars
71. Cadillac Williams, RB, Buccaneers: Hmm, maybe the team isn't ready to strip his carries after all.
72. Ladell Betts, RB, Saints
73. Lance Moore, WR, Saints
74. Jason Snelling, RB, Falcons
75. Brandon Tate, WR, Patriots: This is kind of a big game for him since he should start and everyone is watching him in the post-Moss era.
77. Eddie Royal, WR, Broncos
79. Willis McGahee, RB, Ravens
80. Roy E. Williams, WR, Cowboys: I admit I expected rookie Bryant to have a larger role at this point.
81. Derrick Ward, RB, Texans: He's looming, in case something happens to Foster.
82. Mike Thomas, WR, Jaguars: Looming in case Sims-Walker remains inconsistent.
83. John Kuhn, RB, Packers: Looming, but not sure it matters.
84. Nate Burleson, WR, Lions
85. Danny Amendola, WR, Rams: Let's assume he won't get another 19 targets again, OK?
86. Chester Taylor, RB, Bears
87. Robert Meachem, WR, Saints
88. Javon Ringer, RB, Titans
89. Derrick Mason, WR, Ravens
90. Danny Woodhead, RB/WR, Patriots: Hope you noticed he is eligible at running back and wide receiver. Not sure I'd use him as more than a flex option, but every advantage helps.
91. Mario Manningham, WR, Giants
92. Legedu Naanee, WR, Chargers
93. Deion Branch, WR, Patriots: Not exactly a great ranking for him, but I think it's accurate.
94. Laurence Maroney, RB, Broncos: This ranking stands, whether Moreno plays or not. How sad is that?
95. Mike Williams, WR, Seahawks
96. Anthony Armstrong, WR, Redskins: Won't catch many passes, but he's turning into a home run threat.
97. Leon Washington, RB, Seahawks
98. Jerome Harrison, RB, Eagles
100. Donald Brown, RB, Colts: If we knew he'd play this week and Addai wouldn't, he'd move way up.