A wild Week 4, that saw one game postponed and one pushed back a day due to Covid-19, is officially in the books. It was the first time this season Covid-19 affected the NFL and fantasy lineups and unfortunately, it will probably not be the last time. To make things even more difficult going forward, bye weeks will now begin in Week 5 (Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions).
So with that, let’s dive into Sunday’s action along with Monday night’s doubleheader. We’ll share the best and worst performers of the week, key injuries and players to target on this week’s waiver wire.
Stud: Tom Brady (366 total yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT, 32.46 fantasy points)
Tompa Bay is officially in business. Brady tossed five touchdowns to five different receivers in his breakout game in Tampa. Being down 24-7 early, and without Chris Godwin (concussion), Brady constantly pushed the ball downfield to Mike Evans and Scotty Miller to complete the biggest comeback in Buccaneers franchise history. Throwing for 666 yards and eight touchdowns in his last two contests, Brady looks more than comfortable in Bruce Arians’ offense.
Dud: Jared Goff (197 total yards, 1 TD, 11.7 fantasy points)
Goff completed 25-of-32 passes (78.1 percent) but the Rams offense struggled to pull off many big plays. He tossed for 200 yards and one score as the Rams put up just 17 points against the Giants. Goff has a bounce back opportunity next weekend against the Washington Football Team.
Injuries: Cam Newton, Sam Darnold
Newton’s Friday night positive Coronavirus test sent the NFL into a frenzy. Newton was immediately placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 list, missing New England’s rescheduled game against Kansas City. He reportedly remains asymptomatic, so two negative tests after five days of isolation could allow him back in the facility late next week.
Darnold took a brutal shot in Thursday night’s loss to the Denver Broncos. He went to the locker room and was believed to be done for the night, but did end up returning. It was later revealed he suffered a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. Darnold hopes to play through it, but we’ll see if he can make it to practice first.
Waiver Wire: Justin Herbert (304 total yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 23.0 fantasy points)
Rostered: 11.7 percent
After throwing for back-to-back 300-plus yard games to open his career, the former Oregon Duck just missed out on his third in as many games. Herbert tossed for 290 yards, completed 80 percent of his passes, and added three touchdowns, including a 72-yard strike in the fourth quarter. He did throw his third interception of the season, but Herbert is looking more and more comfortable every week. He should be the starter even when Tyrod Taylor returns, but Anthony Lynn might have other plans.
Stud: Joe Mixon (181 total yards, 3 TDs, 42.1 fantasy points)
Mixon was listed as questionable with a chest injury entering Sunday, but that did not seem to bother him once he stepped on the turf. He carried the rock 25 times for 151 yards while adding six receptions for 30 yards. After being held scoreless for the first three weeks, he found pay dirt three different times (two rushing, one receiving). Mixon has had a heavy workload throughout the season and the increase usage in the passing game is a huge boost. The three touchdowns will not be a weekly occurrence, but expect much of the same for Mixon in terms of workload going forward.
Dud: Kenyan Drake (35 yards, 3.5 fantasy points)
As we mentioned in the Week 4 preview, Kenyan Drake doesn't care about our fantasy teams. But, we do and the early-draft pick has put up a measly 9.6 fantasy points per game despite getting double-digit touches every week. In yet another plus matchup, Drake was nowhere to be found carrying the ball 13 times for 35 yards. For the first time in the season he didn't get a target in the passing game as Chase Edmonds was favored. He did leave early with a chest injury, but stated he just had the wind knocked out of him. Going forward however, it’s officially panic time for Drake.
Injuries: Nick Chubb, Austin Ekeler
In a game where the Browns ran for over 300-yards, Chubb left early with a MCL injury. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported on Monday that Chubb is expected to miss roughly six weeks. The Browns placed the back on injured reserve on Monday.
Similar to Chubb, Ekeler is expected to miss the next several weeks with a hamstring injury and hyperextended knee. Schefter reported Ekeler’s time frame is four-to-six weeks as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport added the hamstring issue is a Grade 2 sprain. We’d expect Ekeler to also land on the injured reserve.
Waiver Wire: Damien Harris (100 yards, 10.0 fantasy points)
Rostered: 15.4 percent
There has been a lot of hype out of Foxboro for the second year running back. Sony Michel landing on I.R. allowed Harris to be activated and then immediately be put into action Monday night. Harris led New England with 17 carries for 100 yards, which included an impressive 41-yard dash. Harris was one of the lone bright spots of the Patriots offense and has earned another crack as the lead back next weekend against Denver.
Chase Edmonds (40 total yards, 1 TD, 15.0 fantasy points)
Rostered: 25.3 percent
Edmonds ran just four times for 16 yards but he made his presence felt through the air. He caught five-of-six targets for 24 yards, running 15 routes compared to Kenyan Drake’s zero. Edmonds has been more effective this season than Drake and should be in line for more work going forward if Drake’s struggles continue.
Stud: Odell Beckham Jr. (5 catches, 154 total yards, 3 TDs, 38.4 fantasy points)
Odell was all over the field in his best game as a Cleveland Brown. It was his first multi-touchdown game as a Brown, as Beckham hauled in a 37-yard touchdown from Jarvis Landry, a four-yard pass from Baker Mayfield and completed the hat trick with a highlight reel 50-yard end around to seal the game. A tough task next weekend against the Colts defense, but Beckham’s eruption is encouraging.
Dud: Tyler Lockett (2 catches, 39 yards, 5.9 fantasy points)
Lockett’s red hot season came to a halt against the Miami Dolphins, securing just two receptions for 39 yards. Lockett saw just four targets despite Wilson throwing for a season high 360-yards, not catching a pass until the half-way through the fourth quarter. Expect a big bounce back next weekend against the Vikings.
Injuries: Mike Evans, Julio Jones
It was a big game for Evans, posting a season high 122 yards even when missing time in the first quarter. After getting his leg caught on an awkward tackle, he limped to then bench before heading to the locker room. He returned to the game and played through the suspected ankle sprain. With a short turnaround traveling to Chicago for Thursday night, Evans’ status could be up in the air.
Jones was battling through a hamstring injury all week (year) and was listed as questionable for this Monday night matchup. After catching four balls for 32 yards in the first half, he never made it back out of the locker room. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Jones out a few games to get back fully healthy.
Waiver Wire: Brandon Aiyuk (2 catches, 56 total yards, 1 TD, 13.6 fantasy points)
Rostered: 26.1 percent
Aiyuk saw just three total touches, but certainly made the most of them. He caught two-of-five targets for 18 yards and found the end zone after hurdling a defender on a swing pass that was counted as a rush. Aiyuk has proved through three games how electric of a playmaker he is and hopefully earned more consistent touches as the weeks go forward.
Tee Higgins (4 catches, 90 total yards, 13.0 fantasy points)
Rostered: 25.7 percent
Appearing on last week’s waiver wire targets, Higgins followed up his first multi-score game with another strong outing. For the second straight week, Higgins (four catches on seven targets outplayed A.J. Green (one catch on five targets). He’s emerging as a consistent player in the Bengals offense who is also a great red-zone threat.
Stud: George Kittle (15 catches, 183 yards, 1 TD, 40.1 fantasy points)
After missing the last two weeks, Kittle was unstoppable Sunday night. He caught all 15 of his targets, carving up the Eagles defense for 183 yards and a touchdown. The 49ers ran their passing attack through him, as Kittle looked more than healthy generating yards after the catch. He’s back as a top tight end going forward.
Dud: Mike Gesicki (1 catch, 15 yards, 2.5 fantasy points)
For the second straight week, Gesicki caught just one ball for 15 yards. To make matters worse, this week’s one catch did not even go for a touchdown like it did in Week 3. Besides his eight catch Week 2 performance, Gesicki has caught just five balls on the season. With the 49ers on deck for next week, Gesicki does not look like a quality option.
Injuries: O.J. Howard, Noah Fant
Howard was carted off with an Achilles’ injury that will end his season. It’s disappointing blow for the 25-year old, who was finally showing signs of promise with Tom Brady now under center. With Howard done, Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate should both see bumps in their production.
Fant suffered a “minor” ankle injury in the Broncos Thursday night victory. Despite leaving the game on a cart, Fant has been labeled week-to-week. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported he will be sidelined however for Week 5 against the Patriots.
Waiver Wire: Robert Tonyan (6 catches, 98 yards, 3 TDs, 33.8 fantasy points)
Rostered: 7.9 percent
With Davante Adams and Allen Lazard sidelined, it was Tonyan who led Green Bay in receiving yards (98) on Monday night. After scoring in back-to-back games, Tonyan hauled in three touchdowns from Aaron Rodgers. Adams should return after Green Bay’s Week 5 bye, but Tonyan has made his case to be a key part of Matt LaFleur’s offense going forward.
Patriots Play of the Week
While Damien Harris flashed on the ground and N’Keal Harry scored the Patriots only touchdown of the night, it was Byrd who had the most fantasy production. With Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham under center, Byrd was heavily involved. He saw a team, and season, high 10 targets, managing to haul in just half of those. He still lead the team in receiving yards (80) and will hope to build on this outing next week against the Broncos.
That is all for this week’s recap. Leave a comment below or reach out on Twitter @iambrianhines if you have any questions about your fantasy team!