Dead Weight Report: Week 12 Droppables
As we move closer to the fantasy playoffs, the choice to drop or hang onto a player becomes increasingly more difficult. However, getting rid of underperforming guys is essential to achieving maximum roster points each and every week, and now is not the time to keep someone for nostalgia purposes or the thought that their breakout is coming after 11 weeks of mediocrity.
These moves may not be for everyone as each roster is different and so are your records and point totals. However, I am here to help you rip off that proverbial band-aid and help decide who’s no longer serving your fantasy team the way fresh blood has the potential to.
Editor's Note: Read Jen's tips on gearing up for the fantasy playoffs.
Matthew Stafford, QB – Lions
The Lions quarterback is coming off a single-digit fantasy point performance in Week 11, where he threw for just 178 yards and no scores. He was already on the chopping block prior, due to a lack of healthy weapons (and himself banged up), along with his coach’s innate way to not use his personnel properly. Oh, and the choice to punt instead of going for it multiple times when his team is down with nothing to lose.
Stafford is currently the fantasy QB23 in fantasy points per tilt (16.5). There are better options out there for you, especially in single-quarterback formats. While the thought of starting some of these players may be cringy, your outcome is actually brighter with Jared Goff, Derek Carr or even Daniel Jones, whose schedules during the fantasy playoffs are softer. Stafford’s opponents during Weeks 14-16 boast an average schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) of 14.7, while Goff, Carr and Jones face defenses with an average aFPA rank of 18.
Mark Ingram, RB – Ravens
I decided to write up Mark Ingram as droppable before his COVID news, but him sitting out this week just adds to the process. He missed a few games with an ankle injury, but since returning, Ingram is non-existent in this Baltimore offense. In Week 11, he served as the No. 3 back and was on the field for six total snaps, resulting in two carries—bringing his two-game total since coming back to nine touches.
Unless J.K. Dobbins misses an extended period of time with COVID and Gus Edwards sustains an injury, Ingram’s fantasy relevance is not in the cards for the remainder of 2020. There are running backs emerging in much better spots for success down the stretch to fill in for the middling Ingram.
Jared Cook, TE – Saints
I know tight end is pretty ugly this season (and every season, if we’re being totally honest), but Jared Cook is just not living up to his part of the deal in 2020. Drafted as the fantasy TE8 with an early eighth-round ADP, the NFL journeyman sits at TE22 in half-PPR points per contest with a measly 6.8, and his usage is trending in the wrong direction.
Cook didn't seem to be a part of the game plan with Taysom Hill at quarterback last week, as Michael Thomas got the bulk of the targets, with Emmanuel Sanders taking on the deep-threat role. Fellow tight end Adam Trautman and Cook were both targeted just once in Week 11, which is not going to win anyone a fantasy championship.
For the 84% of Yahoo! managers who are still relying on the 33-year-old Cook, it may be time to let him go in favor of a tight end seeing more volume with a softer schedule moving forward, like Jordan Reed or Dalton Schultz.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR – Packers
Many of the players we draft in fantasy football can be torture for our psyches—MVS falls into this category. He is inconsistency personified and it’s time to finally let him be someone else’s problem or for him to carry out the rest of 2020 on the wire. Week 11 was a prime example as he made an insane 47-yard grab setting up overtime football, then fumbled to lose the contest minutes later.
With Davante Adams and Allen Lazard both healthy, MVS is no more than a desperate WR5 as we head into fantasy playoff time. There are other wideouts chilling on your waiver wires with greater potential like Michael Pittman Jr., Corey Davis or even Tim Patrick.
Mecole Hardman, WR – Chiefs
Similar to MVS above, Hardman just can’t be trusted for fantasy purposes anymore. I’m not sure what he’s done to Andy Reid or any other member of the Kansas City coaching staff, but the speedster is being passed by Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson in usage, who saw 46 and 63 snaps, respectively, last week to Hardman’s 17.
Even with Sammy Watkins sidelined, Hardman isn’t attaining fantasy relevance outside of a Week 8 performance of 98 yards and a score against the Jets. It appears every other pass-catcher in the Chiefs organization would need to be sidelined in order for the 22-year-old receiver to get his shot. The fantasy playoffs won’t wait for anyone.