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Pivot Plays and Post-Waiver Pickups - Week 5


Welcome to the newest weekly column here at RotoBaller! It is not easy these days being a fantasy football manager. Injuries are ravaging rosters throughout the NFL and fantasy worlds. Then fantasy managers must navigate last-minute COVID cancellations and the dreaded bye weeks. It is enough to make many think that coin collecting or bird watching would be better hobbies to invest time into than fantasy football.

The dreaded “questionable” tag that banged-up players are labeled with causes more ulcers for fantasy managers than fast food and annoying in-laws combined. You wait and wait until Saturday night or Sunday morning to find out if your “questionable” player is going to suit up, and sometimes he doesn’t. Then you are left scrambling like Lamar Jackson for a last-minute backup plan, but your league’s waiver wire is bare because that week’s free-agent picks have already been made and all the decent available players are gone. That’s where I and this column comes in.

Without further ado, here are my pivot plays and post-waiver pickups for Week 5 --- and the questionable superstars who you might need to replace:

Editor's Note: Love the strategy of season-long fantasy sports? Live for the short term gratification of DFS? Try Weekly Fantasy Sports on OwnersBox - a new weekly DFS platform. Sign up today for a FREE $50 Deposit Match. Sign Up Now!

 

Week 5 Pivot Plays and Post-Waiver Pickups

 If Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans (ankle) does not play Thursday night, you could go with…

 Cameron Brate (TB, TE) at CHI

If you are participating in a showdown DFS contest on Thursday night, Brate is the perfect bargain-basement option. He is already going to get more time and targets due to O.J. Howard’s season-ending injury and will get more attention from Tom Brady than Giselle gets if Evans misses the game (along with WR Chris Godwin).

Brate has been a fantasy zero this year due to other talented tight ends being ahead of him on the depth chart, but this is a guy who scored 20 touchdowns between 2016 and 2018. Brate will have to split targets at TE with Rob Gronkowski, but Gronk’s presence did not hurt Howard this season and should not affect Brate, either. Brate is a touchdown-dependent player, but he could certainly get a TD against a Chicago Bears Defense that has allowed three tight ends to find the end zone over their first four games.     

If New Orleans’ Michael Thomas (ankle) or Los Angeles’ Mike Williams (hamstring) does not play Monday night, you could go with…

Jalen Guyton (LAC, WR) at NOR

There is nothing worse than having a key cog in your fantasy squad listed as questionable heading into a Monday night game because there is no safety net. New Orleans wideouts Emmanuel Sanders and Tre’Quan Smith are probably rostered already in most leagues, so grabbing Guyton and praying rookie signal-caller Justin Herbert can put the ball into his hands seems like your best option.

Guyton is an undrafted rookie who is a distant third on L.A.’s WR totem pole behind Keenan Allen and Williams. The good news for Guyton, though, is that Williams is always injured, and that is the case again this week. Guyton only has seven targets in four games this year, yet he has two touchdowns including a 72-yarder last week. Allen eats up all the targets, so do not expect Guyton to have a seven-catch game on Monday night. But with New Orleans’ cornerbacks hurting, Guyton will have a chance to make a big play or two that could result in major fantasy points.

If San Francisco’s Raheem Mostert (knee) does not suit up on Sunday, you could go with…

Rex Burkhead (NE, RB) vs. DEN

Burkhead just had a three-TD performance two games ago, yet he is available in more than half of leagues because New England’s running-back-by-committee never allows him to have more than a dozen touches in a game, especially now that Damien Harris returned from injury and ran for 100 yards in his opening game of the season.

Burkhead is still the best all-around back in New England’s backfield. Harris a better pure runner, James White is a better pure receiver, but Burkhead can play on all downs and has the best nose for the end zone out of the trio. Denver has a middle-of-the-road run defense and has an offense that will gift the Patriots offense field position all game long. Burkhead is no long-term solution in fantasy football, but he is a solid stopgap option, especially this week.

If Atlanta’s Julio Jones (hamstring) cannot limp out onto the field on Sunday, you could go with…

Zach Pascal (IND, WR) at CLE

Pascal is no pipsqueak (6’2”, 214) and is also not a speedster (12.9 career YPC). He is also not Aaron Jones when it comes to getting his body into the end zone (eight touchdowns in 36 career contests). What Pascal is, however, thanks to untimely injuries to others, is the No. 2 WR in Indy --- if not the No. 1 WR.

Philip Rivers has had an interesting way of distributing the football this season. Most notably he has not been solely focused on longtime top target T.Y. Hilton and has aimed for Pascal the second-most of any of the Colts pass catchers. Pascal will run routes this week against a Cleveland pass defense that is ranked 30th in the NFL and just allowed Dallas gunslinger Dak Prescott to throw for about 1,000 yards last weekend. Pascal is not going to blow the fantasy doors off this week, but he could catch 6-to-8 passes for 75 yards and a score.



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Be sure to also check out all of our other daily fantasy football articles and analysis to help you set those winning lineups, including this new RotoBaller YouTube video:

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RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 14th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


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Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More