Sat Oct 12 9:29am ET
By CHARLIE WIEGERT
Four teams won’t be playing this week: Buffalo, Chicago, Indianapolis and Oakland.
Miami returns to play. Well, at least they have a game! And it is at home against the winless Redskins. As bad as these two teams are, a 0-0 tie would not surprise me. But if you’re streaming defenses, you could take the Redskins, mainly because they fired head coach Jay Gruden. There might be a sense of urgency from their players who might be playing to keep their jobs.
The big scoring game this week could come as Houston visits Kansas City. This game promises to be a track meet as both teams dash up and down the field. Houston has been given up 365 yards per game while putting up 380. And Kansas City has been given up 393 while getting 444. Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson both should top 300 passing yards, and all receivers are in play except injured Sammy Watkins.
As a rule, using your offensive players against the worst defenses makes common sense. And we have a couple of them going against each other this week in Atlanta at Arizona. Both defenses are at the NFL bottom in passing yards, touchdowns and rushing yards allowed. So both Kyler Murray and Matt Ryan should have big days as well as their top and secondary receivers. And the running backs should put up nice numbers, too, so load up.
Quarterbacks: Besides the above and the obvious, I have a sneaky pick this week. Miami quarterback Josh Rosen going against a Redskins team that just changed coaches. With an extra week to prepare because of a bye, Rosen should show why he was given a vote of confidence as their starting quarterback for the rest of the year.
Running Back: Staying with the two worst teams idea, I like Adrian Peterson to show up this week for the Redskins against the Dolphins. New coach Bill Callahan wants to establish a running game and what better team to do it against than Miami. Devonta Freeman gets the NFL’s 24th worst defense and the more he runs, the more the Falcons pitiful defense can stay off the field. Same goes for Houston. They’d like Carlos Hyde to exploit the Kansas City running defense that’s banged up right now at linebacker. I also like Seattle running back Chris Carson to have a huge day against a Browns rushing defense that hasn’t stopped anyone the last two weeks.
Wide Receivers: The Eagles passing defense is giving up 300 yards and two touchdowns a game. Hopefully, both touchdowns will go to Adam Theilen just like last week. He’s the top choice for a big day if Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins plays like last week again. As mentioned above, the Miami D is bad, so in addition to Peterson having a big day, look for Redskins wideout Terry McLaurin to torch the 31st worst NFL defense. Baltimore and Lamar Jackson should have their way with the Bengals defense. If healthy and playing, Marquise Brown should be huge as he burns their secondary at least a couple times for big plays. If he’s inactive, Willie Snead could be a nice sleeper.
Tight End: Staying with the above theme, Ravens tight end Mark Andrews should be a big red-zone target. Back to exploiting the Cardinals defense that can’t find a way to cover tight ends. Expect a big week from Falcons tight end Austin Hooper. He’s been averaging six catches a game and will be in double digits in this one. Plus, he’ll get in the end zone. Have you noticed what the Rams tight end Gerald Everett has been doing lately? He has 12 catches on 19 targets for 180 yards and a touchdown his last two games. Look for him to be a big part of the game plan against the 49er’s with Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks banged up.
Defense: If you’re not taking the Redskins against the Dolphins, the next best is the Cowboys at the New York Jets. The sixth best defense is going against the league’s worst offense.
Have a great Week 6. And if the Buffalo defense is available in your league, grab them now for the matchup with a Miami next week!
Charlie Wiegert was the sixth person to be inducted in the Fantasy Sports Hall Of Fame in 2001. He is a founder of CDM Fantasy Sports and Fantasy Sports Trade Association. He has been playing and winning fantasy baseball leagues since 1984. If you have any questions for Charlie, email them to email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GFFantasySports.
Waiver Wire Adds: Week 4
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is coming off his worst performance of the 2020 campaign. He completed 17 of 29 passing attempts for 168 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions in the loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Darnold has not looked sharp all season long, but it's not all his fault. The Jets are without star running back Le'Veon Bell (hamstring) and both their top receivers are banged up. Darnold does not have much upside right now and should be ignored in basically all formats for Thursday's game against the Denver Broncos.
New York Jets RB Le'Veon Bell (hamstring) intends to play when he's eligible to come off the Reserve/Injured list in Week 5.
Fantasy Spin: Bell would be a midrange RB2, but his value is starting to plummet after a poor season last year and a rough start to '20.
Free-agent DT Timmy Jernigan (Jaguars) signed an undisclosed deal with the Denver Broncos Wednesday, Sept. 30.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said that he expects wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr. (back, chest) to be a limited participant in practice on Wednesday after he missed the team's Week 3 game last Thursday. Barring any setbacks this week, it looks like he'll return to action this Sunday against the Bengals. The Jags passing attack looked lost against Miami last week without Chark in the fold, so he should see a decent amount of targets from quarterback Gardner Minshew II this week. Rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. and Keelan Cole have had their moments in the first three weeks, but Chark remains the team's No. 1 passing option when he's healthy. Consider him on the WR3/flex radar for Week 4.
The Philadelphia Eagles placed rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor (thumb) on Injured Reserve on Wednesday, and the first-round pick is expected to be out for more than three weeks. The Eagles are hoping that Reagor can return after their Week 9 bye, so the speed demon can likely be dropped in shallow leagues if you don't have room to stash him. Philly's offense is really beat up with injuries to Alshon Jeffery (foot) and Dallas Goedert (ankle), while DeSean Jackson is also dealing with a nagging injury. Greg Ward Jr. is worth a waiver-wire pickup heading into Week 4 against the 49ers, but both he and D-Jax will be boom/bust WR4/flex options in deeper leagues. Zach Ertz has high-end TE1 potential.
Las Vegas Raiders rookie wide receiver Henry Ruggs III (hamstring) is considered a long shot to play in Week 4 against the Bills due to a lingering hamstring injury, according to a source. The first-rounder shouldn't be out for an extended amount of time, but it's a concern for a player that relies heavily on his speed. Ruggs is also dealing with a knee ailment, and both injuries are a concern to the team. The rookie also sat out last week, so you'll need to temper expectations for the speedster when he gets back on the field. With fellow rookie Bryan Edwards also out this Sunday, it should be Hunter Renfrow, Zay Jones and Nelson Agholor in three-wide sets against a tough Bills Defense. The only pass-catcher for Las Vegas that you should be starting is tight end Darren Waller.
Las Vegas Raiders rookie wide receiver Bryan Edwards (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 4 against the Bills as he battles an ankle sprain, according to a source. Edwards is considered week-to-week moving forward. There's a chance that the No. 81 overall pick in this year's draft misses additional games. Fellow rookie Henry Ruggs III missed last week with an injury, so the Raiders could be short-handed at the position in a tough matchup this Sunday. If both rookies are inactive, it would be Hunter Renfrow, Zay Jones and Nelson Agholor in three-wide sets. Tight end Darren Waller figures to dominate the passing-game targets yet again, and he's really the only pass-catcher of this group worth using in starting lineups for Las Vegas.
Washington Football Team rookie pass-rusher Chase Young (groin) suffered a moderate groin strain in the Week 3 loss to the Browns and is expected to be out in Week 4 against the Ravens, according to sources. The No. 2 overall pick already has 2.5 sacks in his first three games, but he's considered week-to-week at this point. The former Ohio State star has asserted himself at the next level right away and has become relevant in IDP leagues right off the bat, but you'll have to look elsewhere this week and possibly next. Against a high-powered Baltimore offense that is looking to bounce back after losing to the Chiefs on Monday night, Washington's defense shouldn't be in anyone's starting lineup this weekend, especially with Young on the sidelines.
An MRI exam on Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (hamstring) on Tuesday confirmed a mild hamstring pull, according to a source. Godwin will be out for Week 4 against the Chargers and could also miss next Thursday's game against the Bears, but he shouldn't be out much more after that. You'll obviously need to sit Godwin on your bench if you roster him. In two games in 2020, the 24-year-old has been productive with 11 catches on 13 targets for 143 yards and a touchdown. His absence will mean more looks for both Mike Evans and Scotty Miller. Evans is a must-start each and every week, while Miller will become a flex sleeper in deeper PPR leagues.
Edwards is expected to be sidelined for the Raiders' Week 4 game against the Bills after spraining his ankle in Sunday's 36-20 loss to the Patriots, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) has a mild hamstring pull that will keep him out for Week 4.
Fantasy Spin: He could also miss Week 5 since it's on Thursday night. Justin Watson, who had two catches for 48 yards last week, figures to be a hot pickup on waivers. He'll be a flex option if Scotty Miller (hip, groin) continues to be ailed.
Detroit Lions running back Adrian Peterson had more snaps, carries and yards than the rest of the team's backfield in the Week 3 win over the Cardinals. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell made it sound as though Peterson could wind up being the lead back for the team in the immediate future. Detroit went with a committee approach the first two weeks, but AD played 40 snaps last Sunday and carried the ball 22 times for 75 yards while also catching a pass for 10 yards. Bevell was the future Hall of Famer's coach back when he was with the Vikings, so they have some history. Peterson has outperformed rookie D'Andre Swift and Kerryon Johnson, so the younger backs will continue to spell him in certain situations. Peterson doesn't have a ton of upside left towards the end of his career, but he'll be in the RB3/flex consideration because of his secure role as the leader (for now) of this backfield.
Los Angeles Chargers WR Keenan Allen has 20 receptions on 29 targets for 228 yards and a touchdown in the two games QB Justin Herbert has started.
Fantasy Spin: Allen's production was expected to dip a bit this season with the departure of Philip Rivers, but with Herbert looking his way early and often, Allen seems poised to stay in the low-end WR1, high-end WR2 mix.
Dallas Cowboys WR Cedrick Wilson caught five passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3, but Todd Archer of ESPN.com believes Wilson won't be 'anything more than a bit piece' of the offense going forward.
Fantasy Spin: Wilson didn't have a target coming into Week 3, and he is still the No. 4 or No. 5 option in the passing game, at best. Don't overreact and waste a waiver claim on Wilson after one big performance against a terrible Seattle secondary.
Detroit Lions RB Adrian Peterson will continue to see a heavy workload, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Tuesday, Sept. 29. 'He wants the ball, we want him to have it, and we'll just keep continuing to go there,' Bevell said.
Fantasy Spin: Peterson has 43 carries for 209 yards through three games, rushing 22 times in Week 3. Peterson is a volume-based flex play in his current role, but it would be a surprise if rookie D'Andre Swift doesn't see more touches as the year goes on.
Free-agent DT Myles Adams (Panthers, DB Damarious Randall (Raiders), DT Kobe Smith (Titans) and LB Tim Williams (Packers) tried out for the Seattle Seahawks Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Free-agent WR Ryan Switzer (Steelers) visited the Cleveland Browns Tuesday, Sept. 29.
The Pittsburgh Steelers defense was going to enter Week 4 as a premier unit no matter the circumstances. But after a COVID-19 outbreak within the Tennessee organization where multiple players and personnel tested positive (but were asymptomatic), Pittsburgh will face an offense that likely wont be able to practice for the entire week. Derrick Henry will be difficult to tackle no matter the prevailing circumstances, but the boost of facing off against a team that may be out of sync should make the Steelers a highly valuable defensive fantasy asset. The league may opt to push the contest to Monday, which would take Pittsburghs defense out of DFS consideration come Sunday, so fantasy managers will want to check back for the latest updates.
Free-agent WR Gary Jennings (Dolphins), QB Kyle Lauletta (Falcons) and WR Damion Willis (Browns) tried out for the Detroit Lions Tuesday, Sept. 29.