Things look a lot more complicated in the NFL world Sunday morning they did at the start of the week. The Titans and Patriots both had additional positive tests Sunday morning after having their scheduled games moved back, and the Patriots-Broncos game has already been rescheduled for Week 6. The Bills game against the Titans is still scheduled for Tuesday night, but there is a real risk of postponement or even cancelation at this point.
Which means, among all the other tough decisions you have to make for Week 5, you have to account for one game getting pushed back to next week and another at serious risk of following suit. Add in the Lions and Packers bye weeks, and the player pool could be awfully shallow.
In the leagues where I am commissioner, I have already instituted a rule where, if you have players on the rosters potentially impacted by postponement, you can designate a replacement starter for them in case the game ends up not being played after lineups lock. So, for instance, you could start D.J. Moore or Myles Gaskin Sunday while designating them as your replacements for Stefon Diggs and Derrick Henry. If the Titans-Bills game gets played, you get the Diggs and Henry points, no matter what the other two did; if the game gets postponed, you get the Moore and Gaskin points, no matter what they scored.
It's not an ideal situation, but that's how I'm handling it. If you don't have that kind of flexibility, you're going to have to make some tough choices. And, with regards to the Bills and Titans game, the best option may be to avoid it entirely. Yes, that would mean potentially leaving Josh Allen, Derrick Henry, Diggs, Devin Singletary, Jonnu Smith and the rest of the big names on your bench, but with their game scheduled for Tuesday, it's probably the best option. If the game does get pushed back Tuesday morning, say, you'll be stuck with those zeroes in your lineup.
If you are going to roll with a wide receiver or running back from either of those two games, make sure you move them into your flex spot if you can. In the event the Bills-Titans game is postponed before Monday evening, having players in your flex spot gives you more options if you need to make a late swap or waiver add. And consider adding Justin Jackson (41% rostered), Jalen Guyton (1%), and Tre'Quan Smith (41%) to serve as your last-minute starts if needed. And, if you need a replacement for Allen, Justin Herbert (61%) is a fine option, too.
We're going to have to navigate these situations as they come up throughout the season, and as a league commissioner, you'll definitely want to have some protocols in place for how to deal with last-minute postponements. Hopefully at some point we'll be able to worry about our Fantasy teams for normal reasons — like all your players stink or are hurt.
There's no shortage of things to worry about at all times for Fantasy, and Week 5 is no different. The Fantasy Football Today Week 5 survey is focused on the COVID contingency plans, trade targets, streaming options and more. Here's what we're expecting for Week 5:
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Have the COVID scares in Week 4 changed how you are approaching the rest of the season?
- Dave Richard: I didn't need the Week 4 issues to alter how I build my bench. Normally I have a robust portfolio of running backs on my bench, but this year I've been carrying two quarterbacks and two tight ends in most of my leagues with at least one bench receiver. I'm sure the depth at every position will come in handy.
- Heath Cummings: Not really, because I was expecting that to happen at least once. It does highlight the need to keep some depth on your bench, specifically at quarterback where you may not generally carry a backup.
- Adam Aizer: Only as a commissioner. I am going to allow Fantasy managers to designate backup players from their bench in case we have a game that is not certain to be played. I instituted that policy in Week 4 and it went smoothly, and thankfully the Pats-Chiefs game was played and we didn't have to go to the backups!
- Chris Towers: Like Adam, I'm making the same changes to the leagues I'm commissioner for, but otherwise, it depends on the league's transaction policy. If I play in a league with no day-of-game pickups, then I'll make a point of adding a backup QB if i don't have one.
Who helped himself the most in Week 4?
- Jamey Eisenberg: Damien Harris. He made his season debut and looked the part based on strong training camp reports.
- Dave Richard: We called it: Joe Mixon roughed up the Jaguars for a monster game. Now what do we do with him? I think those who roster him are in a win-win situation. If they can trade him for exceedingly good value, that's cool. And if you can't find a great trade, just hang on to him and expect big games when the matchup is right while taking lumps in rough matchups (like in Week 5, for instance). Had Mixon stunk, he would have found his way to a lot of Fantasy benches.
- Heath Cummings: It was great to see D.J. Chark back in action and targeted like the No. 1 receiver that he is. If that happens again in Week 5 I'll view Chark as a borderline top-12 receiver rest of season. That's what he was for most of 2019.
- Adam Aizer: Chase Edmonds. How much longer before he sees enough work to be considered a PPR flex option? And is it so unrealistic to think he'll overtake Kenyan Drake?
- Chris Towers: DeVante Parker. That was the game I've been saying was going to happen all season, and it was a good reminder to anyone that he's a borderline elite Fantasy WR. He has 86 catches, 1,280 yards, and nine touchdowns over his last 16 games, and he's done well against pretty much every tough matchup he's faced. He's got the 49ers, Broncos, Chargers, and Rams in his next four games, so the matchups won't be easy, but that's not enough to scare me off: Since the start of 2019, Parker has faced the Ravens, Bills (three times), Patriots (three times), Chargers, and Steelers, averaging 13.7 PPR points per game against them — 15.4 if you take out his catch-less game back in Week 2 against the Patriots in 2019.
Who hurt himself the most in Week 4?
- Jamey Eisenberg: A.J. Green (again). Maybe he's washed up. Maybe Tee Higgins is just better. Maybe both.
- Dave Richard: Kenyan Drake has pretty much hurt himself every week. Defenses have adjusted to the Cardinals horizontal offense and one of the byproducts is seeing Drake not have room to run. His offensive line just isn't good enough to pop lanes for him consistently, plus he's not as fast as Chase Edmonds. I have a hard time recommending Drake in Week 5, even in what should be a big-time win against the Jets.
- Heath Cummings: I don't know if he hurt himself, but the way Darrell Henderson was used by the Rams put this situation back to a complete guessing game. It's remarkable that Henderson could have back-to-back 120 yard games and then see just nine touches to Malcolm Brown's 14. And Cam Akers isn't even back yet!
- Adam Aizer: Darrell Henderson. Unless we learn he was dealing with an injury at some point on Sunday, it's hard to feel much confidence in Henderson or any Rams running back going right now.
- Chris Towers: Leonard Fournette. Okay, Fournette didn't hurt himself, but he definitely was one of the big losers in Week 4. Many assumed he'd have taken this job for himself by now, but it sure didn't look like that was happening even before he missed Week 4 (and likely Week 5) with an ankle injury. With Ronald Jones rushing for 111 yards Sunday, Fournette's chances are even slimmer now. Sure, Jones' struggles catching the ball could still open the door, but we weren't excited about Fournette because he might be a pass-catching back by mid-season.
Who is your favorite buy-low target right now?
- Jamey Eisenberg: I'm going after McCaffrey and Michael Thomas in a big way if I have depth on my roster. They are close to returning, and those Fantasy managers could be hurting after not having those guys for several weeks.
- Dave Richard: I'm sorry, I cannot believe Zach Ertz has turned into Jason Witten. The targets aren't great and the production definitely hasn't been great. I expect the Eagles to get him going, especially once they start getting some receivers back to take coverage pressure off of him. Ertz can be had for peanuts from Fantasy managers who already have a better tight end in their lineups.
- Heath Cummings: David Montgomery saw six targets in his first full game without Tarik Cohen. While he's been miserable his past two games (and may be in Week 5 against Tampa Bay) I still expect Montgomery to be a top-20 running back rest of season.
- Adam Aizer: Michael Gallup is still on the field all the time for an explosive offense. He will be inconsistent, but he has several big games left.
- Chris Towers: I went with Joe Mixon for this question last week, so I'll go with Josh Jacobs now. Jacobs has had almost exactly the same season as Mixon, only in reverse: Jacobs' big game came in Week 1, followed by three disappointments. Another huge performance is coming for Jacobs, who I almost put in the No. 5 spot in my re-draft rankings.
Who is your top sell-high candidate?
- Jamey Eisenberg: Joe Mixon. Last week was awesome, but the schedule is brutal coming up (at BAL in Week 5 and at IND in Week 6). His value is sky high right now, and I would love to get McCaffrey in return if possible.
- Dave Richard: I have to see what I can get for Odell Beckham. He's not going to get three touchdowns every week. He's not going to get 73 yards rushing every week. But if someone in my league can't resist him, I'd be glad to turn him into two bona fide starters.
- Heath Cummings: If you could sell Joe Mixon or Odell Beckham off their Week 4 performances, I would. I expect both to be fine No. 2 options the rest of the season, so don't give them away, but try to capitalize on what was likely their best games of the season.
- Adam Aizer: Odell Beckham. Beckham proved he's still a star player, but the targets will be unreliable. The Browns will be one of the most run-heavy offenses in the NFL, and Beckham will have too many disappointing weeks.
- Chris Towers: If he makes me look stupid for it, so be it, but I'm going with Mike Evans. He's been pretty good so far — 13th in PPR scoring, seventh in non — but the league-high five touchdowns are carrying much of the load. Among wide receivers, he's tied for 20th in catches, 29th in yards, and 26th in targets. Tom Brady was willing to take some shots down the field to him in Week 4, but his average depth of target is still way down, and he's had just one game with a target share over 20%.
Who are the top streaming QB, TE, DST, and K for Week 5?
- Jamey Eisenberg: Teddy Bridgewater (hello Falcons) at quarterback, Schultz or Eric Ebron at tight end, the Texans DST (yuck) if the Cardinals are unavailable and Rodrigo Blankenship at kicker. Blankenship should not be a streaming kicker much longer because he's been great all year.
- Dave Richard: I think Justin Herbert has more upside against a depleted Saints defense than Teddy Bridgewater does. It's a hunch. He's had 23-plus Fantasy points in two of his past three, Bridgewater just had his first game over 20 Fantasy points this season and his second with more than 23 Fantasy points in his past nine starts including the five from 2019 with the Saints. Eric Ebron is my favorite tight end streamer, Rodrigo Blankenship is still my favorite stream-to-start kicker and I guess I'll take the bait with the Browns DST against the Colts.
- Heath Cummings: Teddy Bridgewater is my favorite choice at quarterback, and he's actually inside my top 12 at the start of the week. Dalton Schultz is rostered in less than 65% of leagues. If you can't get him, the choices are pretty awful but Eric Ebron would be my preference. There isn't a streaming DST in my top 12, but the Browns against Philip Rivers would be my top choice. Go with Rodrigo Blankenship at kicker.
- Adam Aizer: Teddy Bridgewater, Dalton Schultz (or Eric Ebron if you can't get Schultz), Chiefs (or the Browns if you need a deeper option).
- Chris Towers: I'll go with Bridgewate and Ebron.
If we were re-drafting today, who would be your top-five picks?
- Jamey Eisenberg: Alvin Kamara, Aaron Jones, Dalvin Cook, Ezekiel Elliott and Christian McCaffrey. I'm still expecting a great finish from McCaffrey, and it's been great to see Jones be as dominant in 2020 as he was in 2019.
- Dave Richard: Alvin Kamara, Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones and Jonnu Smith. KIDDING! It would be Harris. KIDDING AGAIN! Derrick Henry would be fifth. Not kidding this time.
- Heath Cummings: Alvin Kamara, Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook, DeAndre Hopkins, Christian McCaffrey. I may be too low on McCaffrey but if he's back in the next three weeks he deserves to be a top-five pick.
- Adam Aizer: Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones, Clyde Edwards-Helaire. I know CEH has been slightly disappointing, but I'm still going to take the workhorse back on one of the top offenses in the NFL. The touchdowns will come.
- Chris Towers: Alvin Kamara, Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones, and Derrick Henry. I'm not a Derrick Henry guy, but I look at it this way: Henry's got an extra game on every other RB in the league. If you are in talks for any Steelers or Titans players in a trade, keep that in mind.
Who is your top waiver-wire target?
- Jamey Eisenberg: This comes down to need, and most people need running backs, which is why I'll answer Damien Harris. But if we're talking the best player available of the guys rostered in 65% of leagues or less on CBS Sports, then give me Dalton Schultz. He should be a top-five Fantasy tight end for the rest of the season.
- Dave Richard: You mean in the leagues I already have Damien Harris in? That would be Dalton Schultz (if he's available), and D'Ernest Johnson (if Schultz isn't). It sure seems like the Browns will stick with a multi-back approach even without Nick Chubb, and Johnson looked pretty good to me against the Cowboys. Naturally, Harris should be everyone's top waiver add if he's out there.
- Heath Cummings: After Monday night I think it has to be Damien Harris. the Patriots backfield is still a mess, but Harris ran for 100 yards in his season debut, you can't leave that on the waiver wire.
- Adam Aizer: Dalton Schultz if available, otherwise it's Damien Harris. I don't think he's a must-start option, but Harris is certainly must-add.
- Chris Towers: It'll be Harris wherever I can find him, with Schultz as the second option. But I also want to make Tee Higgins a priority if I have the roster spot available for him. Joe Burrow trusts him in the red zone and he's getting a lot of valuable deep targets. He could be a Marquise Brown-type boom-or-bust receiver in his role.
So who should you start and sit this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 5 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big-time last season.