The news that the New England Patriots have added QB/WR Malik Cunningham to their roster has got the NFL and fantasy football world excited. Will we see former Louisville QB getting significant time, and what does that mean for fantasy? Let’s examine whether Cunningham is a player that fantasy managers should consider adding or starting in Week 6.
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What Is Malik Cunningham’s Fantasy Value in Week 6?
The problem with Cunningham is that we have no idea what role he will have for the Patriots. Cunningham’s skill set could see him being an option to replace Mac Jones, who is reportedly on a short leash in Week 6. However, Cunningham could also play that offensive utility role that we saw the likes of Lamar Jackson play as a rookie.
From a fantasy perspective, that makes Cunningham hard to judge in Week 6. If Jones throws an early interception and is benched, we could see a significant amount of Cunningham this week. However, we could also see either Bailey Zappe or Will Grier replacing Jones at QB.
During his Friday media ability, Belichick did not give much away about Cunningham, complementing his performance in a number of roles.
“He never really played in the kicking game at Louisville, so he’s started to show up there, never played receiver – didn’t look very good either, in the spring, but he’s really improved there. He can catch the ball, but just route running and finding zones and things like that.
“But, it’s come pretty naturally to him. He plays a good amount of quarterback. He’s competent there. He’s a smart kid, works hard, and the opportunities he’s had, he’s shown a lot of improvement. It’s a little too early for an induction ceremony here, but definitely a lot of improvement.”
That uncertainty makes it hard to pin down Cunningham’s fantasy value in Week 6. Most likely, we aren’t about to see him turned loose at QB straight after being activated, but then again, we have seen coaches do stranger things. In a deep league, you may want to consider Cunningham as a gamble play if you’re short on solid options.
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Currently, Cunningham is unranked in PFN’s Consensus Rankings, which represents the uncertainty right now. If he is eligible at WR and could play as a Flex option in a 16+ team league, you might consider it. However, if he is a QB only, we are talking about a 16-team Superflex option. Even then, it would have to be on a roster lacking other viable options this week.
Should You Stash Cunningham in Fantasy?
If you have a bench spot available, Cunningham is absolutely a player you could roster. We have seen the potential fantasy value of QBs who have dual-threat ability. Look at the likes of Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, Cam Newton, Tim Tebow, Justin Fields, and even early-career Josh Allen. When their passing ability was questioned, they could still provide value with their legs.
You are certainly not going to be investing a lot, or dropping a player that you feel can contribute. But if you have that spot available, Cunningham is a high-upside consideration in a Superflex league. Even in one-QB format, Cunningham could be a stash if you do not have a locked-in stud as a starter.
Running QBs are the potential ultimate “cheat code” in fantasy football, and Cunningham has the ability to be the next one. We saw the Patriots flirt with the idea of Cam Newton a few years ago. Head coach Bill O’Brien has experience with a mobile QB from his time with Deshaun Watson.
Stranger things have happened than New England hitting their former OC with a completely different look to what they have scouted. That could turn Cunningham into the hottest waiver wire name in the league next week if he posts a double-digit performance in a part-time role.
Fantasy Start/Sit: Every Game, Every Player
Looking to get more advice for this week’s action? PFN Fantasy Analyst Kyle Soppe has analyzed every fantasy-relevant player in every game this week. Use the table below to find the matchup you’re looking for.
Prefer to read every matchup all at once? Check out our Week 5 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet.