For the first time since week three, there are no byes to worry about on fantasy rosters. If nothing else, be thankful for that this week. That said, there are always players on the waiver wire to watch, especially due to some recent COVID news and specific matchups.
Gus Edwards- Ravens RB (14.0%)
Earlier this week, the Ravens announced that both Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins have both tested positive for COVID-19. The NFL has decided to go forward with the game, so that means the Ravens backfield is in a “next man up” situation.
Fortunately for them, Gus Edwards has been effective when called upon earlier this season. Edwards got a number of opportunities while Mark Ingram was out with injury, and that should happen again this week.
While it may seem daunting to pick up a backup running back against Pittsburgh’s defense, this is a different situation. We’ve seen this matchup before. In Baltimore’s matchup with Pittsburgh earlier this season, Edwards carried 16 times for 87 yards and a touchdown.
New York Giants D/ST (21.6%)
This defense has fallen off a ton of rosters over the past week; probably due to the fact that they were on bye for week 11. This is the perfect opportunity to snatch them up before someone else does.
They are still an ever-improving group with an effective pass-rush; they have still gotten multiple sacks in every game and have forced 15 turnovers. Considering they will be rested coming off their bye, and the fact that neither Joe Burrow or Joe Mixon will be available, this unit should have a great day.
James White- Patriots RB (34.8%)
James White was a very consistent fantasy option during the Tom Brady era, but those days have come and gone. However, Rex Burkhead went down with a torn ACL on Sunday which opened the door for White to jump back into the backfield.
He finished the game against Houston with 11 touches and 83 scrimmage yards. Those touches will more than likely go up now that he has to hold down the duties as utility-back for the foreseeable future.
Irv Smith Jr.- Vikings TE (4.5%)
The Vikings announced on Monday that Adam Thielen has gone on the COVID Reserve list. Should he miss Sunday’s game against Carolina, Minnesota will be forced to diversify their passing game.
While Kyle Rudolph will also get snaps at tight end, Smith is a more likely option to get targets at this point. Adam Thielen has been Kirk Cousins’ favorite red zone target this year, but just two weeks ago, we saw Smith catch two touchdown passes. If he gets these red zone targets again, Smith has boom potential this week.