On Tuesday, the NFL announced the long-rumored playoff contingency plan, should the remaining regular season be impacted due to COVID-19. With reported cases of the virus increasing rapidly, there will almost certainly be some impact felt in the coming weeks. The league also reported that 56 new COVID cases over the first full week of November, with 15 of those involving players.
The highlight of the new playoff plan would send 16 teams to the postseason instead of 14, though teams would not be re-seeded under this system. Teams could conceivably qualify for the playoffs without playing a full 16 game schedule.
The top story of the day was Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger landing on the COVID list. The team had placed TE Vance McDonald on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday after he reportedly tested positive for the virus. McDonald played in the team’s game on Sunday and sat next to Big Ben on the team’s flight home from Dallas. Roethlisberger’s locker also neighbors the tight end.
Roethlisberger will not be allowed to practice for the next five days, though he is able to continue to rehab his knee injury. Big Ben exited the game before halftime, headed to the locker room to check on his banged-up knee but was able to return after the half. Placed on the list due to close contact with McDonald, Roethlisberger will be eligible to come off the list on Saturday and good to go on Sunday against the Bengals, assuming he does not test positive.
The Packers activated rookie QB Jordan Love from the reserve/COVID-19 list. … The Eagles announced that a staff member had tested positive. … The Giants activated G Will Hernandez from the COVID-19 list, getting back a valuable member of the offensive line. … Browns QB Baker Mayfield is participating in team activities virtually after he was placed on the COVID-19 list on Sunday. Mayfield reportedly does not have the virus, suggesting he should still be able to suit up this weekend.
Browns WR Odell Beckham underwent successful surgery to repair his torn ACL yesterday. Beckham is expected to be fully healthy in time for Week One of the 2021 season. It remains to be seen if he’ll be suiting up for the Browns or another team. … The Patriots placed rookie TE Dalton Keene on the injured reserve list with a knee injury. He joins fellow rookie TE Devin Asiasi on the IR. In a related move, New England claimed TE Jordan Thomas off waivers. … Colts WR T.Y. Hilton suggested he was very close to returning from a groin injury, though he did not make any promises regarding the team’s Thursday night matchup against the Titans. Hilton did get in a full practice, suggesting we could see him on the field this week. … Jets QB Sam Darnold, who missed the team’s Monday night game with a shoulder injury, is reportedly feeling better and hopes to return to the starting lineup following the team’s Week 10 bye.
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A Spin on Rankings
Each week, I track the performance of individual players as well as team defenses against those players. I use this data to help make lineup decisions and break ties. As I was looking through my updated spreadsheet, attempting to identify some matchups to take advantage of in Week 10, I realized a concept so simple, yet one I had not seen implemented before.
I took some of the information I collect each week, including how many QB1 (top-12) games a player has posted, along with how many such games each team defense has allowed, and I combined them on a player by player basis. What resulted was a new way to look at weekly rankings.
Ideally, these rankings would be similar to the ones you’ll find here at Rotoworld, as our team factors in not only player performance but their individual matchup, as well.
Here’s a look at the rankings I came up with for Week 10, combining QB1 games with QB1 games allowed by the opposing defense.
You don’t need me to tell you to use Kyler Murray or Aaron Rodgers in your fantasy lineups this week but the numbers also suggest that Derek Carr, Teddy Bridgewater and even Daniel Jones could be streaming options in Week 10, while we might want to avoid Joe Burrow and Lamar Jackson in difficult matchups.