The return of the NFL brought with it a sense of normalcy to a year that has been far from normal. Unfortunately, not even the NFL is immune to the unprecedented circumstances we are all dealing with in our day-to-day lives. With mere days until Week 4 kicks off, we need to examine options for fantasy football due to the postponement of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans game to a later date in the season.
Originally scheduled for Sunday, the Titans and Steelers game has been postponed to later in the season
Following the Week 3 matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans, reports surfaced that multiple players received a positive test. In total, four players have tested positive to this point. Instantly, the NFL acted accordingly, along with the franchise, and shut down their facility until at least Saturday.
The closure of the facility, along with a game on Sunday, raised several red flags about not only a competitive disadvantage for the Titans as well as health concerns for players with no time to get their bodies in the correct shape.
The decision was made to push the game back to allowing more time for both more testing and time for the team to get ready for the Steelers, even if just a couple of days.
ESPN’s Dianna Russini was the first to break the news on Wednesday that the Steelers and Titans game had been officially postponed to either Monday or Tuesday and that the NFL is “considering all options.” While it is looking as if Monday is the target, the Titans will be tested over the next couple of days before determining the next steps.
Then on Thursday, the situation became even worse as two more players received back a positive result, forcing the hand of the NFL.
The Steelers and Titans game will not be played during Week 4, the NFL announced Thursday.
According to a statement from the NFL, one additional Titans players and one personnel member have tested positive for COVID-19. That comes after four players and five team personnel members tested positive earlier this week.
“The decision to postpone the game was made to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel,” the NFL said in its statement. “The Titans facility will remain closed and the team will continue to have no in-person activities until further notice.”
For fantasy, this is a new challenge we have never had to deal with before. Anyone on your fantasy team who is on either the Steelers or Titans will now be listed as having their bye week for Week 4 as the NFL will need to move their schedules around to ensure this game is made up down the line.
If you have players like Derrick Henry, Jonnu Smith, James Conner, or JuJu Smith-Schuster, who would all be in starting lineups, you will need to find a replacement option for that player. Which is difficult as waivers just ran the other day. However, I think there are options out there still that might have fallen through the cracks that can still help you get a win and moving forward into Week 5 on the right track even though the Steelers and Titans game was postponed.
Who is a quarterback you can find to replace Roethlisberger or Tannehill in your fantasy lineups?
Ryan Fitzpatrick (at Seattle Seahawks) – 12.3% rostered
We don’t need a team to win their game to produce reliable fantasy options, and Fitzmagic is a solid replacement option. Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks should quickly pull out ahead in this game, forcing the Dolphins to focus on the pass to keep up. Having already allowed nearly 1,300 passing yards, league-worst, they will likely be missing Jamal Adams as well. PFN’s Chief Fantasy Analyst Anita Marks also hit on Fitzpatrick in her recent Week 4 waiver wire article. If you lost either Tannehill or Roethlisberger, Fitzpatrick is a fantasy quarterback I would be targeting.
Now that the game is moved, who can you find to replace James Conner and Derrick Henry?
Zack Moss (at Las Vegas Raiders) – 61.3%
Moss missed Week 3 while dealing with a toe injury but has already been practice this week and is going to be a factor in Week 4. I would not be surprised if, in some shallower leagues, someone got impatient and dropped Moss in your league. He was dropped in 21.1% of all fantasy leagues, according to ESPN. He gets a fantastic matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders, allowing the most fantasy points to backfields by a wide margin.
Is there a fantasy option available if either Smith-Schuster or Corey Davis cannot be played in Week 4?
Justin Jefferson (at Houston Texans) – 63.2%
While I have tried to keep this to players on less than 50% rosters, I can not do this and leave off Justin Jefferson, who just had his breakout game. I talked about him at length in a recent article and think we are just scratching the surface of the talent that Jefferson brings to the Vikings offense. He’s now led the Vikings in receiving for two straight weeks and has a beautiful upcoming schedule, with Houston, Seattle, and Atlanta on tap in Weeks 4-6.
Anthony Miller (vs. Indianapolis Colts) – 30.7%
I wanted to give another option in case Jefferson was snagged in your league already. I am looking at Anthony Miller and his matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. However, this is more to do with the change with Nick Foles under center. I recently covered if Foles brings value to the rest of the Bear’s depth chart, and Miller was a player who I think sees a massive boost in value. While he will be volatile in certain weeks, Foles revitalizes the Bears’ passing game, and Miller can be a great fantasy addition moving forward. I would be picking up Miller even if the Titans and Steelers game was not postponed.
Can we find a fantasy tight end to fill in for a potentially absent Jonnu Smith and Eric Ebron?
Jimmy Graham (vs. Indianapolis Colts) – 33.4%
It looks like I am zoning back in on the Bears offense with tight end Jimmy Graham. Graham has had a very productive under the radar season so far for the Bears offense. His 17 targets and ten catches are second-most on the team, and after Sunday’s two-touchdown performance, he leads the team with three touchdowns.
Dalton Schultz (vs. Cleveland Browns) – 26%
Dalton Schultz was relatively quiet Sunday but is coming off a huge game where he saw ten targets and had nine catches for 88 yards and a touchdown and is apart of a highly-efficient passing offense. Schultz could be headed for a productive day Week 4 against a Browns defense that’s already given up 22 catches and three TDs to tight ends through three weeks.
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