October 4, 2023, 1:12 pm
Week 4 was an electrifying week for fantasy football, with points scored up and down the week’s slate of games. As we enter Week 5 of the 2023 season, performance trends are becoming apparent and bye weeks are here to stay for a while. Now, it’s time to scramble to the waiver wire to bid for this week’s hot talent and plug up holes on fantasy rosters. Inversely, it’s also time to cut players that disappointed in Week 4 to free up space for the next big thing. Sometimes an empty space on a fantasy team for waivers is more valuable than someone rostered in a majority of fantasy leagues. For this piece, I’m going to be referring to players rostered by at least 25 percent of teams in ESPN leagues, and I’ll list them in descending order of those ownership percentages.
Note: I will not be including any of the players I already mentioned in the previous week’s list. I suggest clicking the link below and making sure you don’t have some of those guys still hitching a ride on your roster.
QB Joe Burrow – Cincinnati Bengals (98% ESPN, 99% Yahoo!)
It has been an ugly stretch for Joe Burrow and the Bengals through the first four weeks of the season. Despite vanishing from the injury report ahead of Week 4’s matchup with the Titans, it’s very clear that Burrow is far from being able to perform at 100% of his abilities. WR Tee Higgins is dealing with fractured ribs and could be sidelined for some time himself. The Bengals could be another bad loss or two away from shutting down Joe Burrow to allow him to fully heal, and chalking up the season as a gap to return to contention next season. There have been a few surprisingly viable QB options like C.J. Stroud, Russell Wilson, and even Baker Mayfield have all significantly exceeded expectations through the first month of the season. I would take all of those guys over Burrow until he returns to form and full health. If you can afford to keep the 2023 fantasy QB31 on your bench, go for it. However, there is a real scenario where Burrow doesn’t turn in a top-15 fantasy QB performance for a long time. After their Week 7 bye, they have a dreadful schedule vs. the 49ers, Bills, Texans, then Ravens. All of those teams rank 8th or better vs. opposing fantasy QBs, including top-3 matchups with Buffalo and Baltimore.
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