With four touchdowns in one game, fantasy owners need to keep their eye on Claypool
Fantasy owners are likely having a hard time with the NFL season in 2020. For example, instead of the week getting wrapped up on Monday, there's still one game left to be played. The Buffalo-Tennessee game has been up in the air and everyone is hoping it happens on Tuesday night, but that's still in question.
On Sunday morning, fantasy owners had to scramble as the Denver-New England game, which was supposed to on Monday night, was rescheduled for Week 6 (resulting in a cascade of other schedule changes). The teams on bye seem to switch each week, and fantasy owners just have to do what they can to prepare for the unexpected. After all, isn't that what 2020 is all about?
Teams on bye in Week 6: Las Vegas, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans, Seattle
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (32 percent owned)
Cousins has had a couple of decent games so far this year, but he's more of a QB2 than anything else. However, in Week 6 the Vikings face the Falcons. Atlanta's defense is not very good and has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Cousins will likely not have Dalvin Cook in Week 6, and he might be forced to throw the ball more than usual. He's a solid QB2 for a bye-week fill-in for Week 6.
Andy Dalton, Dallas Cowboys (3 percent owned)
The "Red Rifle" took over when Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 5 (if you have a weak stomach, don't watch the replay). He led the team to a win, but he is certainly not going to replace Prescott. Dalton is capable and he seemed to really like Michael Gallup (which could be good news if you have been a frustrated Gallup owner this season) but he's a QB2 at best. Dalton faces the Cardinals at home on "Monday Night Football" in Week 6. With four teams on bye (no Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Justin Herbert or Derek Carr), he's worth picking up and starting as a fill-in quarterback.
Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (41 percent owned)
Dalvin Cook left Sunday's night game against Seattle early and Mattison took over, finishing with 112 yards on 20 carries. The extent of Cook's groin injury is unknown at this point, but if he has to miss a game, Mattison would be an RB2. Fantasy owners that have Cook on their roster should be sure to add Mattison, if he's still available. Those just looking to add some bench depth can do a lot worse than picking him, but his value is directly connected to Cook's injury. The Vikings are scheduled to have a bye in Week 7, so it seems likely that Cook will miss Week 6 but could be back in Week 8.
J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team (6 percent owned)
Alex Smith seemed to like throwing to McKissic, which boosted his Week 5 fantasy numbers (six receptions for 46 yards, three rushing yards). The rub is that if Kyle Allen is healthy, Washington head coach Ron Rivera has already said he will remain the starter over Smith. That could change McKissic's role, but it also depends on how the game is going. Antonio Gibson hasn't been treated as the clear-cut backfield option just yet, so there should still be opportunities for McKissic. He's worth considering in PPR formats.
Devontae Booker, Las Vegas Raiders (0 percent owned)
With many of the top running backs in the league getting injured, it's more important than ever to grab your stud's backup. For those that have Josh Jacobs on their roster, Booker has emerged as the handcuff. On Sunday, he had seven carries for 62 yards (Jalen Richard had one carry). Booker isn't as involved in the passing game as Richard, but fantasy owners with Jacobs on their roster may want to grab his handcuff – just in case.
Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans (44 percent owned)
Sigh. In Week 4, Cooks gave fantasy owners zero points. He had three targets but didn't catch a single pass. He was dropped in a bunch of leagues (including one by yours truly, in the spirit of full disclosure) only to go off on Sunday. He had eight receptions on 12 targets for 161 yards and a touchdown. In the previous four games, he had a total of 10 receptions for 138 yards. Can he be trusted? No. Will he have big games like this? Yes. And with the bye weeks just getting started and games getting moved around, there are worse players to have on your bench.
Mecole Hardman (40 percent owned) and Demarcus Robinson (1 percent owned), Kansas City Chiefs
Sammy Watkins suffered a hamstring injury in Week 5 and left the game. As someone who has missed time with soft tissue injuries in the past, this is something to be a bit concerned about. Although there's been no definitive timeline given by the time, the general expectation is that we will miss a couple of weeks. He certainly seems a long shot to play this week. Hardman is available in more than half of leagues and should be a priority over Robinson. Hardman had two receptions for 50 yards in Week 5, and he's someone who may not catch many passes but can post decent yardage totals. Robinson had two receptions for two yards on four targets. Both guys will likely have a bigger role against the Bills in Week 6.
Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers (17 percent owned)
Anyone who watched any football on Sunday likely saw or heard about Claypool scoring FOUR touchdowns. While it is highly unlikely he has another four-touchdown game, he has proven that he is worth owning in fantasy football. He was Ben Roethlisberger's favorite target in Week 5 and while that won't always be the case, he is certainly someone fantasy owners should prioritize when looking at the waiver wire.
Travis Fulgham, Philadelphia Eagles (3 percent owned)
The Eagles are looking for someone to step up at receiver and for Week 5, it was Fulgham. He had two receptions for 57 yards in Week 4, and he followed that up with 10 receptions for 152 yards and a touchdown in Week 5. Carson Wentz was clearly looking for him (13 targets) and as long as the rest of the Eagles receiving corps remain sidelined, Fulgham should be added to fantasy teams.
Trey Burton, Indianapolis Colts (1 percent owned)
Burton isn't a recommended pickup, but the waiver wire is pretty bare when it comes to the tight end position. The Colts tight ends are all hard to trust, but in the past two weeks, Burton has been the one to start (if you had to start one). He's had five and six targets in the past two weeks, respectively. He's caught seven of those for 49 yards. Burton isn't going to give you a lot of yards, but he is someone to fill in if you are desperate. And there's no Darren Waller, Hunter Henry, Jared Cook or Greg Olsen/Will Dissly this week either.
Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Miami Dolphins (2 percent owned)
The Dolphins face the Jets in Week 6. This is the result of a schedule change (thanks to the Broncos-Patriots game being rescheduled from Week 5 to Week 6). The Jets are 0-5 and show no sign of getting a win. Every year, fantasy owners who stream defenses look for the team who cannot seem to score points or get a win. This year it's the J-E-T-S.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.
(Top photo by Karl Roser/Pittsburgh Steelers, courtesy of steelers.com)