As if the barrage of injuries weren’t enough, fantasy managers are taking a hit with teams canceling practices and postponing games due to an uptick in positive COVID tests.

This takes away valuable players such as Patriots QB Cam Newton and CB Stephon Gilmore from their respective lineups, and the hotspot in Tennessee consisting of 22—and counting—players jeopardize future games for both the Titans and their opponents. Mix in some divisional (see: the overwhelmingly horrid NFC East) and some quarterback woes (ex: the Chicago Bears), and we have a wild ride in store for the coming weeks.


BYE: Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions


Trending Up

QB: Teddy Bridgewater // CAR

Bridgewater is coming off of a red-hot two-touchdown, 276-yard game against the Cardinals, which is his best fantasy performance to date. An upcoming matchup in Atlanta will open up another high-scoring week for Bridgewater to make up for his slow start, as the Falcons have conceded a whopping 30 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks at home.

RB: Kareem Hunt // CLE

The Nick Chubb train came to a screeching halt when the Browns’ favored running back exited with a knee injury against the Cowboys. This opens a golden opportunity for Hunt to compete with D’Ernest Johnson for touches while Chubb is on IR. The Colts’ defense will be tested without Darius Leonard and Bobby Okereke to defend against the Cleveland run game.

Honorable Mentions: Melvin Gordon (DEN), Todd Gurley (ATL), Jerick McKinnon (SF)

Photo: Getty Images

WR: CeeDee Lamb // DAL

Lamb has clearly established himself as the WR2 over teammate Michael Gallup with an impressive two-touchdown, 79-yard showing in the Cowboys’ valiant redemption effort that came up just short no thanks to a dreadful defense. He’ll continue to be a key offensive player against the Giants, who have conceded an average of 22.5 points to enemy receivers.

Honorable Mentions: D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett (SEA), Justin Jefferson (MIN)

TE: Evan Engram // NYG

It’s been an up and down season for Engram, who was supposed to be a centerpiece in a Giants offense missing Saquon Barkley. However, it is important to note that Engram ranks second in among all tight ends in targets and is heading into an advantageous matchup against the Cowboys, who have allowed an average of 11.2 fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

D/ST: Los Angeles Rams

The Rams’ defensive unit, led by Pro Bowl DT Aaron Donald, is faring well with just under 7 fantasy points per game. They’ll be up against Washington QB Kyle Allen this week, who is starting in his first game of the season with Dwayne Haskins on the bench. There’s no doubt the Rams will capitalize on an offense that has granted the fourth-most fantasy points.

K: Jason Myers // SEA

While Myers is a kicker for one of the most dynamic offenses in the league, the Seahawks are scoring more touchdowns over field goals because Russell Wilson is working to build his case for MVP. However, it’s helpful to know that their upcoming opponent in the Vikings are the worst team against fantasy kickers with an average of 15.8 points allowed.


Trending Down

QB: Baker Mayfield // CLE

The Browns outscored Dallas to the tune of 49-38 in their trip to the Jerry Dome last week, so it’s shocking to know that Mayfield has yet to score over 20 fantasy points in a game this season. He won’t fare well against the Colts, who are among the most stringent defenses having allowed less than 200 passing yards and 10 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

RB: Myles Gaskin // MIA

Well, the Dolphins’ Cinderella moment had to strike midnight at some point. While Gaskin is clearly the favored running back in Miami’s offense, he has yet to score 15 fantasy points with that workload. A breakout game surely won’t be coming against San Francisco, who just rendered Miles Sanders virtually invisible with the best-run defense in the league.

(Not-So) Honorable Mentions: Joshua Kelley (LAC), Darrell Henderson (LAR), Mark Ingram (BAL)

WR: A.J. Green // CIN

Green hasn’t lived up to the performance expected of a veteran player leading a deep receiving corps and it shows. He has yet to score this season since a 51-yard debut against the Chargers. With Joe Burrow is favoring Tyler Boyd and rookie Tee Higgins in the passing attack and a vicious Ravens pass defense, Green is starting to lose his value as a must-start.

(Not-So) Honorable Mentions: Jarvis Landry (CLE), T.Y. Hilton (IND), Jerry Jeudy (DEN)

TE: Mike Gesicki // MIA

Just like his teammate Myles Gaskin, Gesicki is coming off a disappointing one-reception game and into an ugly matchup against the 49ers, who have been brutal to opposing tight ends. Safeties Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt, who are among the leaders in this Niners defense, will make sure that Gesicki won’t have the big plays he wants in San Francisco.

Photo: Tom Fox/Dallas News

D/ST: Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia stunned the nation with their 18-point outing against the 49ers in primetime on Sunday night. That likely won’t be the case against the Steelers, who are among the thriftiest offenses, as they’ve only allowed 4.2 fantasy points with Ben Roethlisberger at the helm and JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner, and Benny Snell, Jr. supporting him.

K: Brandon McManus // DEN

McManus had a hell of a week with three field goals—one of which was from 54 yards out—totaling 18 fantasy points in part thanks to the winless Jets. He likely won’t be able to sustain this energy heading into a matchup against the Patriots, who are among the toughest defenses against kickers with less than 6 fantasy points allowed per game.


Waiver Claims

QB: Justin Herbert // LAC

If you find yourself in need of a replacement on short notice, consider Herbert, who just put up a three-touchdown, 290-yard performance against the Buccaneers. He hasn’t been perfect, as he’s thrown a pick in each of his three starts, but a game against a New Orleans defense that allowed an average of 23 points to opposing QBs makes Herbert a solid pickup.

RB: Damien Harris // NE

Davis made a splash in his season debut with 100 yards on 17 carries, including a 41-yard sprint downfield. He surely didn’t look like someone who had missed three games with a hand injury. It’s worth noting that New England has a deep backfield with Rex Burkhead and James White, but as long as Bill Belichick powers forward with the run, Harris is a good stash.

Honorable Mentions: Justin Jackson (LAC), D’Ernest Johnson (CLE), Chase Edmonds (ARI)

Photo: Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

WR: Laviska Shenault Jr. // JAX

Fantasy owners can breathe a collective sigh of relief knowing that Shenault did not end up on Jacksonville’s injury report after an aggressive game in Cincinnati. Though Shenault is still behind teammate D.J. Chark in targets, but he is consistently racking up targets in consecutive games and turning them into valuable yardage for a streamer option.

Honorable Mentions: Tee Higgins (CIN), Greg Ward and Alshon Jeffery (PHI)

TE: Robert Tonyan // GB

Tonyan won’t be playing in Week 5, but he is a must-add waiver wire for the long run. He’s tied for second with Chris Carson, Mike Evans, and Kareem Hunt for touchdowns scored with five even though he’s played in just three games so far. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers shows no signs of slowing down, so Tonyan will be a beneficiary, and even more so coming off a BYE.

D/ST: Dallas Cowboys

It may be surprising that the Cowboys is being listed as a waive wire option after they were blown out at home by the Browns, but maybe that’s the reason why they’re available in 32% of fantasy leagues. Dallas has a chance to redeem themselves against the winless Giants, who are dead last in points conceded to opposing defenses at 13.8 fantasy points per game.

K: Stephen Gostkowski // Tennessee Titans

Gostkowski has been an interesting player to watch this season. He missed not one, not two, but three kicks in the season opener at Denver. He’s since rallied back to become the second-highest scoring kicker with an average of over 13 points per game.

Gostkowski has to compete with the rest of the offense for points and the Titans’ games are in jeopardy due to a recent COVID outbreak, but hey, at least he’s not missing kicks.


Featured Image: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
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