There are 3 weeks left in the regular fantasy season and it seems like the injuries are at an all time high. The consensus top 3 picks of McCaffrey, Elliott and Barkley have all turned out to be fantasy disasters and the big-time risk taking owners are starting to see it cash out. In a year where Cam Newton has triple the rushing TDs as he does passing, and rookie WR Justin Jefferson has been the top rated PFF WR in 4 out of his first 9 career starts, there is nothing certain heading into the playoffs. Start/Sit decisions are as important as ever, as a couple extra points in your flex can bring you a victory or even a tie breaker. Make certain, even if you have locked down a playoff spot, that you are still working on those last-minute trades and waiver pickups…keep your depth! Injuries have dominated the headlines and if you have been lucky all year, count your blessings. Be prepared to replace a star at any second! Pickup that emerging young receiver whose target share has expanded. Take a chance a young back who could take over an injured backfield. As some NFL teams are battling for playoffs spots, many players who aren’t are battling for a job next year! Roster that extra quarterback you’ve been eying and drop the unnecessary 5th RB. It’s time to prove that you are a contender, so establish your risk appetite, target a few guys who can push you over the top and make your moves.
Key Waiver Pickups
Salvon Ahmed – RB, MIA (12.9% Rostered)
I wouldn’t say this is a diamond in the rough just yet, but we rarely see a running back who is rostered in less than 15% of leagues toting the ball 22 times 10 weeks into the season. With Gaskin sidelined it was anyone’s guess as to who would lead the team in touches, but nobody expected Salvon Ahmed to set the pace. He had an above average performance and finished with 90 total yards and a touchdown for 16 points. It is going to be a volatile week to week outlook for Ahmed, but if you are having drama in your RB room, Ahmed at least has shown that he can produce double digit fantasy points and should likely continue to get carries while Gaskin remains sidelined.
Michael Pittman Jr. – WR, IND (6.8% Rostered)
Pittman finally had his breakout performance on Thursday night where he posted 7 catches for 101 yards and added another rush for 21 yards. He finished with 19 points, which more than doubles his previous best. As dynasty owners have been patiently waiting for the 34th overall pick in the 2020 draft to catch up to other rookies like Jefferson, Higgins and Auiyuk, it seems that he is now 100% healthy and has emerged as the number one target for Rivers going forward.
Logan Thomas – TE, SF (30.1% Rostered)
The former college QB turned TE is emerging as one of the top receiving targets for the banged up 49ers. In a year full of TE injuries, Thomas has been a TD threat who has double digit points in 3 out of his last 4 games. If you are desperately searching for a TE with more upside than what you have, Thomas is available in 30% of leagues and is auditioning for a starting role in the future.
Allen Lazard – WR, GB (44.5% Rostered)
Lazard has been incredible this season and is the clear cut #2 in Green Bay when healthy. The Packers have been extremely cautious with his return, but it looks like he is trending towards a return this week. If you need WR depth he is a guy who can provide you with tremendous upside.
Jakobi Meyers – WR, NE (38.0% Rostered)
If you didn’t listen to my waiver advice last week, it is time to get serious and add Jakobi Meyers. Meyers is breaking out as the Patriots future #1 receiver and has done everything right since he has taken over in that role. Not only has he been a touchdown threat, but he is also becoming a high-volume receiver and one of Cam Newton’s only dependable targets. I have a feeling that Meyers has dethroned N’keal Harry as the Patriots future number one receiver and the offense will adjust as so.
Jalen Reagor – WR, PHI (37.4% Rostered)
Reagor is another young WR that is taking over as the #1 role. Fulgham held his own in the spotlight, but it appears as the team is now ready to have the highly drafted Reagor take over that role as he continues to be fed a large target share. As Reagor gets comfortable he is well worth the bench spot.
Fax or Fiction
Tua Will Lead the Dolphins to the Playoffs
Fiction. If anyone is leading the Dolphins to the playoffs it is going to be the defense, however, I still do not think the Dolphins eclipse 9 wins. Are they good? Are they bad? I can’t tell you either way, but they enter a 6-game stretch that will define this franchise for the next 5 years. To my point, Tua is doing his job extremely well, which is to eliminate turnovers and make the easy throws while letting the #7 defense help win ballgames. That is not a fantasy QB that you want in your lineup yet.
It’s Time to Drop Mostert
Fiction. Mostert, unlike the other 49ers stars, is looking like he is trending toward finally being healthy. The aging back will need to do everything in his power to return and produce if he wants any part in the 49ers future. Even though he has done nothing but exceed expectations, he is an old, banged up running back who is quickly approaching 30…the rest of 2020 should be seen as a Raheem Mostert tryout to prove he is worth keeping.
Cam Newton is Still a Must Start QB
Fax. Unless you have a top 10 QB, Cam Newton is still salvaging a solid fantasy season. Besides missing a few games due to COVID and throwing for only 3 passing touchdowns, he still has 9 rushing touchdowns which are more than Derrick Henry, Todd Gurley II, Alvin Kamar, Ezekiel Elliot, James Robinson and many other bell cow backs. Newton should remain in lineups as the Patriots finally seem to have found their groove. For a more convincing fantasy stat, Newton has 9 rushing touchdowns in 8 games he has started and has scored in all but 2 of those games.
Cam Newton @ HOU
Ben Roethlisberger @ JAX
Jameis Winston vs ATL (benched) – Matthew Stafford @ CAR
D’Andre Swift @ CAR (Doubtful) – Salvon Ahmed @ DEN
Kareem Hunt @ PHI
Kalen Ballage vs NYJ
Michael Thomas vs ATL
Adam Thielen vs DAL
AJ Brown @ BAL
Tom Brady vs LAR
Tua Tagovailoa @ DEN
Jared Goff @ TB
Melvin Gordon III vs MIA
Miles Sanders @ CLE
Antonio Gibson vs CIN
Jarvis Landry vs PHI
Antonio Brown vs LAR
Marvin Jones Jr @ CAR
Christian McCaffrey – RB, CAR (Ankle)
McCaffrey is still listed as week to week, but early reports are saying he will likely miss at least one more game against the Lions. If you are a CMC owner watch his status closely but be prepared to have another option to start.
Chris Carson – RB, SEA (Foot)
The Seahawks desperately need Carson, but it seems like this injury is taking a lot longer than originally expected (day-to-day but has missed 3 games). Keep an eye on this one, but he missed practice on Monday and is now looking very unlikely to play after the short week.
Joe Mixon – RB, CIN (Foot)
Mixon is another RB facing a foot injury that has been extremely unpredictable. Mixon missed practice all last week, so it’ll be a telling sign if he practices any this week, Wednesday in particular. If Mixon isn’t practicing by Wednesday don’t expect to see him play this week.
Kenny Golladay – WR, DET (Hip)
Golladay is another guy still not practicing. Hip is a rather unpredictable injury for an every down WR. This week should be viewed as 50/50 for Golladay.
Deebo Samuel – WR, SF (Hamstring)
As mentioned last week, Samuel is in no hurry to return, but when he does he will have the volume to plug back into the flex if needed. The 49ers are on bye week 11, which makes week 12 a more than likely game to return.
Allen Lazard – WR, GB (Core)
Green Bay continues to play it safe, but it seems as this could finally be the week for Lazard to return. A healthy Lazard is a big boom or bust candidate in your lineup and should be treated as a flex option.
Raheem Mostert – RB, SF (Ankle)
The 49ers are on bye, but Mostert has now 4 weeks due to a sprained ankle. Week 12 against the Rams could be a possibility for a return, but week 13 would better match the 6-week timetable originally stated. Keep Mostert on your roster as he could return with a bang at the start of the fantasy playoffs.
Drew Brees – QB, NO (Ribs, Lung)
Brees reportedly has broken several ribs as well as punctured a lung. Brees should be viewed as week-to-week as the Saints are in a deeply contested NFC South, however, swept the Bucs and own the division tie breaker. Winston should be viewed as a high-end handcuff and could have fantasy relevance just as he did last year. Brees likely could miss up to 3 weeks as he recovers.
Tyler Lockett – WR, SEA (Knee)
Lockett suffered a knee sprain in the loss on Sunday, however, is still questionable for the quick Thursday night turnaround.
Teddy Bridgewater – QB, CAR (Knee)
Bridgewater left the game early Sunday with a right knee injury (not the knee he injured in 2017) but has had nothing but positive news since undergoing an MRI, which revealed no structural damage. Bridgewater will likely be back in action Sunday against Detroit.
Matt Stafford – QB, DET (Thumb)
Stafford also was a bit banged up on Sunday and got an X-Ray to check on his injured thumb. There seems to be little concern with Stafford, and he will likely play Sunday at Carolina.
How’d We Do Last Week?
Tom Brady @ CAR – 31 pts
Matthew Stafford vs WAS – 23 pts
Jared Goff vs SEA – 10 pts
Antonio Gibson @ DET – 22 pts
Melvin Gordon @ LV – 4 pts
Jonathan Taylor @ TEN – 5 pts
Cooper Kupp vs SEA – 10 pts
Will Fuller V @ CLE – 8 pts
Sterling Sheppard vs PHI – 10 pts
Teddy Bridgewater vs TB – 19 pts
Kirk Cousins @ CHI – 17 pts
Cam Newton vs BAL – 16 pts
David Johnson @ CLE – 0 pts (DNP)
Miles Sanders @ NYG – 13 pts
Chase Edmonds vs BUF – 10 pts
Tyler Boyd @ PIT – 10 pts
Kenny Golladay vs WAS – 0 pts (DNP)
Mark Andrews @ NE – 13 pts