By Kyle Bennett
Following an unprecedented Week 4 Monday Night Football doubleheader, we’ve officially put one quarter of the 2020 NFL season in the books. Now begins the strategy of the fantasy football season as the Bye Weeks start to kick in. Pairing the Bye Weeks with the slew of injuries we’ve seen to start the year, the Waiver Wire is where winning is done.
BYE WEEKS: Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions
Jimmy Garoppolo (SF)
With the unraveling of Nick Mullens against Philadelphia, the 49ers seem ready for their franchise Quarterback to make his return to the lineup. Many fantasy managers dropped Jimmy G during his weeks off with an ankle injury, so if he’s available to be rostered grab him as your Aaron Rodgers or Matthew Stafford Bye Week QB for his matchup against the Dolphins.
Justin Herbert (LAC)
Justin Herbert is the real deal. He went toe for toe with Tom Brady in Week 4 and looks every bit of being an NFL starting QB. He gets a Monday Night matchup with Drew Brees in New Orleans which will be another test on his “welcome to the league” tour.
Kirk Cousins (MIN)
Kirk (Coupons) Cousins has started to get in a groove with the passing game as Justin Jefferson has started to be a viable option for the Vikings offense. Minnesota matches up with a Swiss cheese Seahawks defense in Week 5 which should have Cousins racking up yards and potential for touchdowns.
Justin Jackson (LAC)
Unfortunately, the injury bug caught up to Austin Ekeler in Week 5 and he’ll be sidelined for the next month or two. Joshua Kelley has been the RB in Los Angeles getting all the hype, but with Justin Jackson returning from his own injury this past week, he’s in line for a bunch of the pass catching duties for the Chargers. And if Kelley continues to struggle, Jackson could develop an even bigger role in Ekeler’s absence.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn (TB)
The Buccaneers have a quick turnaround with a Thursday Night Football showdown with the Chicago Bears. Head Coach Bruce Arians has been on the record saying he doesn’t believe Leonard Fournette will be ready to play, and LeSean McCoy is dealing with an injury of his own. Usually I don’t like chasing points (Vaughn scored the game-winning touchdown on Sunday), but Vaughn could be a worthy add this week if you manage Aaron Jones.
Damien Harris (NE)
The Patriots preseason darling made his debut on Monday Night Football and left a lot to be desired. He did rush 17 times for 100 yards but as the Patriots always do, it was still a committee backfield. Harris provides the most overall upside and should be rostered over Rex Burkhead and should contend with James White for touches.
Brandin Cooks (HOU)
Ding Dong, Bill O’Brien is GONE! Romeo Crennel is now the interim coach in Houston which means we could see the offense get a little more creative and open up as a whole. With players like Davante Adams, Kenny Golladay, and Allen Lazard on their Bye Weeks and/or injured, Cooks is worth a speculative add with a new coach in the fold.
Cole Beasley (BUF)
Josh Allen is on an MVP tear and he’s continuing to get his slot receiver involved in the offense. Beasley has had three straight weeks of at least 12 full-point PPR performances. The Bills’ next four games are against the Titans, Chiefs, Jets, and Patriots, which should continue to see Allen sling the rock and allow Beasley to put up solid WR3 PPR points with lots of upside.
Mecole Hardman (KC)
Mecole Hardman has found the end zone two weeks in a row and while he’s a volatile option when it comes to production, Patrick Mahomes has gotten him more involved in the offense and it seems as though Hardman has usurped Demarcus Robinson on the depth chart. Go scoop Hardman for the short and longterm.
Greg Olsen (SEA)
Greg Olsen continues to get looks from Russell Wilson and is chilling on waivers across a plethora of leagues. T.J. Hockenson managers should add the greatest jawline in NFL history to their rosters this week as the Seahawks take on a porous Vikings defense.
Rob Gronkowski (TB)
Rob Gronkowski has been an absolute disappointment for fantasy football this season. With the Buccaneers on a short week and O.J. Howard now out for the season with an Achilles injury, Gronk might just get an opportunity to prove if he can be a TE2. Approach with caution.
Robert Tonyan (GB)
Yes the Green Bay Packers are on a Bye Week, but seeing what Robert Tonyan did on Monday Night Football had to excite some of you. The Packers will be without Allen Lazard for quite some time and while Davante Adams is on his way back from a hamstring injury, Tonyan may not have three touchdown games every week, but it’s good to know the Packers have a legit weapon at the TE position moving forward.
As we always say, may the Waiver Wire be ever in your favor and allow you to get the players you need to survive the Bye Weeks, injuries, and underperformances the NFL season tends to offer us.