Next Stop – Dumpsville – Players you can cut ties with

Paul Kurywchak @DrPaulFF

We’re past the halfway mark of the season and it’s time to make some decisions about who to keep on your roster going into the home stretch. Regardless of your record, there comes a time when you need to cut ties with those fringe players that may have put up some numbers for a few weeks or last year, but have been wildly unpredictable from week to week, or their situation has changed. I’ll briefly make my case for why these five guys shouldn’t be on your rosters anymore, so you can make room for handcuffs that would be instant game-changers (i.e. Alexander Mattison, Tony Pollard, Gus Edwards, etc.) if the RB in front of them goes down.

  1. O.J. Howard

This seemed like an obvious #1 for this list. Maybe you cut ties with him already, or you’ve been holding on for dear life because of the 5th round draft pick you spent on him. Either way, he’s not worth a roster spot. As of now, even in the TE wasteland, he’s the #39 TE. He hasn’t had more than 5 targets in a game (all the way back in week one), hasn’t caught a single TD, and has only eclipsed 50 yards receiving in one game. However, I’ll add the disclaimer that you should be ready to snatch him back off waivers the second he gets traded, especially if it’s to a team like the Patriots.

  1. Sammy Watkins

This is a more difficult candidate for this list and maybe only applicable for shallower leagues, but I think it needs to happen. Even before Pat Mahomes went down, Watkins has been burning fantasy owners since his week one explosion, and I’m sure a lot of people have held on to him through his injury because the targets were there before it happened. The problem is, there’s no guarantee those targets will still be there when both Watkins and Mahomes are back, and even then, Watkins was unable to do much when he was getting them, outside of his performance in week one. For example, in week 2 he had 13 (13!) targets, but that resulted in 6 catches for 49 yards. Similarly, in week 3 he saw 8 targets for 5 receptions and 64 yards. Obviously, the upside for a TD is always there, but with Tyreek Hill back, Kelce getting volume, and other receivers like Hardman, Robinson, and Pringle getting involved, do you really want the headache of getting burned by Watkins again, hoping it’ll be another blow-up week? Maybe you can find a Chiefs fan that thinks they have the same offense as last year and you can trade him for something, but at this point I think it’s time to move on.

  1. Ronald Jones/Payton Barber

Sitting at RB #38 and #39 right now, respectively, each one has had a few decent games, but both are almost impossible to predict week-to-week. You don’t want that toxicity on your team or in your lineup. The Bucs are 19th in the league in rushing right now, but in this timeshare, neither has much value. Even if there’s an injury to one, the upside of the other isn’t very high, but I’d reconsider rostering them in that situation. Especially at this point of the season where we’ve had a sufficient sample size to evaluate opportunity and talent, it’s time to start stockpiling potential league winners, and I highly doubt either one of these guys will be one. On tape, Jones has looked better, but give me one of the handcuffs I mentioned above before either one of these guys for the rest of the season.

  1. Corey Davis/AJ Brown

Here is another messy situation with inconsistent QB play and too much dependence on game script. Davis has seen an uptick in targets the past few weeks (5 in week 6 and 7 in week 7) but has only gone over 50 yards and 5 receptions twice in 7 games. AJ Brown’s year has been even more unpredictable. With Tannehill taking over in Week 7 and Brown seeing 8 targets, it’s encouraging for the future, but I’d like to see that target share for at least one more week because I trust him in my lineups. Tannehill isn’t exactly much of an upgrade over Mariota. Therefore, dump these guys and don’t look back until there’s an injury.

  1. Mike Williams

Mike Williams had 4 TDs this time last year and ultimately ended the season with 10. That is nowhere near the case this year because he has a total of 0 TDs. On top of that, he’s had more than 5 catches only twice. Even with Melvin Gordon being back, the Chargers are not nearly as efficient offensively as they were last season, as they rank 23rd in points scored. Especially with Hunter Henry being back, Williams has become more of a boom or bust WR week-to-week without an injury. Now, regression was likely to hit Williams this year, but not this hard, so I expect Williams will be able to find the endzone 3-5 times by the end of the season, but I also wouldn’t want to guess which weeks those will be and would be looking to roster someone with a more stable floor.

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