Only four weeks remain in the fantasy regular season, and if you’re on the outside looking in at a playoff spot, now is the time to win. Of course, if you’re an unlucky soul who saw a few of your first picks (David Johnson/Aaron Rodgers) go down, then your clutch waiver wire pickups turn to ash in your hands (Will Fuller/Wendell Smallwood), things are terrible right now, and nothing can be done to make you feel better.
But each week is a special little grind, and there’s still time to make your way into the playoffs. Things are just too whacky this year, and as we know, the outlook of a team can change in an instant. This week, the last real nasty byes are up, and we move forward dealing with some high-scoring offenses (Packers/Texans) looking mediocre with new leadership throwing the ball.
Four teams are on bye: Baltimore, Kansas City, Oakland, Philadelphia.
Jared Goff: The Houston Texans are in the bottom-5 in points allowed against opposing quarterbacks, and Jared Goff is on a roll coming off the best game of his career. If you weren’t able to pick up Tyrod Taylor a week or two ago for the byes, Goff will fill in well for Carr, Smith, and Wentz. A solid top ten QB this week.
Josh McCown: Another Daily Fantasy/bye week replacement is McCown, who’s quietly nearing a top-ten year simply by default. That’s what happens when Aaron Rodgers, Carson Palmer, Andrew Luck, and Deshaun Watson go down. What a year. Still, that’s not to take away from McCown’s strong stretch of games over the last five weeks. His basement is hovering around 20 points per game, now he’s facing the Bucs who are having trouble stopping anyone. If only Austin Seferian-Jenkins didn’t have another TD wiped out by the refs.
Matthew Stafford: The most expensive man in the league has been playing some solid real-life QB, but as far as fantasy goes, his games when he doesn’t have a TD are sinking his chances to be a top ten QB at the end of the season. Over the last four weeks, Stafford ranks as the 11th best QB, but he could crack the top 5 going against the Browns because it’s the Browns.
Philip Rivers: The Sacksonville Sit™ rears its head once again. Rivers will probably get some garbage time action going, but there’s a good chance he spends at least a few minutes lying on the turf when the Chargers fly to Jacksonville on Sunday. The Jaguars are a terrifying beast of a defense that should qualify almost every QB as a sit from here on out. Jalen Ramsey won’t be suspended (for being choked by AJ Green), so they are still a complete unit to be feared accordingly.
Kirk Cousins: Normally, We Like That, but Minnesota is playing too well against opposing QBs (they are giving up under 6.5 yards per completion and are top 8 in sacks) and there are plenty of options out there. If the byes have killed you and you absolutely must start Cousins, fine. But McCown is up there, waiting.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: You want to be sneaky sneaky and maybe change your name to Fitzpatrick’s Follicle’s in honor of your bearded, new bye week upside play, but Mike Evans is suspended and the TB offense is unpredictable. Also, FITZ HAS NO BEARD. Avoid him at all cost, despite the Revenge Game possibilities.