Well, this week is officially out of control. The Browns-Raiders game has been flexed to Monday and the Seahawks-Rams game and the WFT-Eagles game have both been pushed to Tuesday.
This dynamic is going to lead to some very difficult decisions for fantasy managers, considering some of the players currently on the COVID list could potentially play on Monday and Tuesday.
The best thing you can do right now is either a) have a bye or b) stay very flexible with your lineup decisions.
As usual, we have updated ranks from Waz, but his commentary on all of the situations and various various contingencies is the most valuable thing here in my opinion. If you get a chance, drop him a line on Twitter thanking him for sifting through this mess for us. Take it away, Waz…
* Myles Gaskin (RB16) and Salvon Ahmed were removed from the COVID-19 list yesterday, but Philip Lindsay was not. Gaskin should see most of the work against the Jets’ 31st ranked rush defense. It’s also no guarantee that Jaylen Waddle (WR73) is removed from the COVID-19 list, which would leave DeVante Parker (WR18), Mike Gesicki (TE6), and Albert Wilson (WR51) the primary passing game beneficiaries against the league’s softest pass defense.
* While the Lions defense has been plagued with positive COVID-19 tests this week, they will also be without D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson. In a game where they are 12.5-point home underdogs, Jared Goff (QB29) will need to lean heavily on Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR32) and Josh Reynolds (WR44) in the passing game. Reynolds is questionable with a thigh injury. If he were to miss the game, Kalif Raymond (WR68) could flirt with desperation flex upside in a week where the availability of starting players is slimming by the day. Jamaal Williams (RB32) is also waiting to be cleared from the COVID-19 list. If he doesn’t, look for Craig Reynolds (RB42) and Godwin Igwebuike to share the work on the ground.
* The Giants will be without Daniel Jones again this week and likely Kadarius Toney, who was added to the COVID-19 list with a positive test for the second time this season. Mike Glennon (QB32) should start this week but is on a short leash and could be benched for Jake Fromm (QB38). The only player I’d feel somewhat comfortable starting from the Giants this week is Saquon Barkley (RB21).
* Elijah Mitchell will miss his second game in a row, which will leave the 49ers rushing attack in the hands of Deebo Samuel (WR8) and Jeff Wilson Jr. (RB27). With the 49ers as 9.5-point home favorites, both Samuel and Wilson should benefit from a positive game script against a Falcons defense that ranks 29th against the pass and 23rd against the rush.
* With Lamar Jackson (QB25) still nursing an ankle sprain, I anticipate Tyler Huntley (QB22) to draw the start against the Packers tomorrow. Last week, Huntley completed 71.1% of his 38 pass attempts for 270 yards and a TD while adding 45 yards on six carries. He has an issue with securing the football (3 fumbles in two spot starts) but still likely gives the Ravens their best chance to win this week. Whether it’s Jackson or Huntley behind center, Marquise Brown (WR20), Mark Andrews (TE3), and Rashod Bateman (WR41) should all see plenty of work.
* The Browns currently have 33 players on the COVID-19 list with a positive test result. Some notable ones include QBs Baker Mayfield (QB35) and Case Keenum (QB36), running back Kareem Hunt, wide receiver Jarvis Landry, and tight end Austin Hooper. Hunt’s ankle injury will already keep him sidelined this week, but the rest of the Browns offense could be operating with Nick Mullens (QB31) behind center on Monday. Nick Chubb (RB3) will undoubtedly see a ton of work with some D’Ernest Johnson (RB38) sprinkled in. Donovan Peoples-Jones (WR35), David Njoku (TE15), and Rashard Higgins (WR78) wlll play cleanup in through the air.
* Allen Robinson was placed on the COVID-19 list on Thursday and is unlikely to clear it before the Bears MNF game against the Vikings. While Robinson has been a non-factor this season, the increased snap and target share for Darnell Mooney (WR22), Jakeem Grant (WR62), and Cole Kmet (TE17) could bode well for Justin Fields (QB10).
* Adam Thielen (WR61) is still recovering from a high-ankle sprain and is considered a GTD for the Vikings MNF game against the Bears. I’m pessimistic that he plays and am anticipating another big game for Justin Jefferson (WR03) and Dalvin Cook (RB02) with some K.J. Osborne (WR33) and Tyler Conklin (TE13) mixed in.
* The Washington Football Team currently has 23 players on the COVID-19 list. QBs Tyler Heinicke (QB39) and Kyle Allen (QB40) are the notable fantasy-relevant names on this list, which would leave Kyle Shurmur (QB37) to start if Heinicke or Allen don’t clear the list by Tuesday. Allen was added to the list on Wednesday (two days before Heinicke) and has a legitimate chance to clear it and start if Heinicke cannot.
* The Rams currently have 29 players on the COVID-19 list with positive tests with some of the notable names being wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (WR69) and Tyler Higbee (TE21). With the game moved to Tuesday, both players still have a chance to clear the list. If they don’t, look for Matthew Stafford (QB5) to feed Cooper Kupp (WR1) and Van Jefferson (WR19) increased looks against a Seahawks defense that ranks 28th in DVOA against the pass.
* Tyler Lockett (WR72) and Alex Collins were placed on the COVID-19 list with positive test results on Wednesday and will require two negative tests a day apart before Tuesday to play. If Lockett were to miss the game, D.K. Metcalf (WR13) and Gerald Everett (TE10) would be the primary beneficiaries in the passing games with extra snaps and targets headed to Freddie Swain (WR63) and D’Wayne Eskridge’s (WR74). After last week’s performance, Rashaad Penny (RB26) will be the lead back whether Collins suits up or not.
Full ranks listed below.
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🥇WAZ'S .5 PPR RANKS
Rob Waziak aka "Waz" is a fantasy football analyst who competes in draft and season-long expert rankings competitions. He's consistently been at or near the top of all industry-wide leaderboards since 2017.
We are very excited to now have the talented Jake Trowbridge contributing to the Fantasy Life Twitter account and Newsletter. Click the image for this week’s edition of Jake TV, which imagines the Joker giving Week 15 fantasy advice.