[sc name=”Author Tom Bellucco”]
Hey all, Tom Bellucco here. I’m stepping in for Chris Moore this week as he welcomes a new baby to the world. Congrats to Chris! I hope I can at least provide decent advice out of the bullpen.
This week I figured it would be helpful to start looking ahead. As Chris mentioned last week, we pretty much know who’s real and who’s fake by now. I mean come on; it’s Week 10. Even still, the last thing you want to do is drop a guy now and have him come back to bite you in the playoffs, when it really matters.
So, I’ll take a look at some recently dropped or likely-to-be dropped names that might just be worth keeping around incase they can make a splash in the fantasy playoffs (typically weeks 14-16). A lot of this will be based on their matchups this week, but we can also think about possible role changes between now and then. Let’s get to it.
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Do Not Cut – Running Backs
Latavius Murray (RB, MIN)
I’ll start with Latavius Murray since he’s rolling over from last week’s article. Simply put, you shouldn’t be cutting running backs with usage in most leagues. I understand that this number was inflated by the recent bye week, but this a guy that received 52 carries in the last three weeks prior to the Vikings’ week off.
Sure, the matchups aren’t ideal against Carolina, Cincinnati, and Green Bay in the playoffs, but two of those games are ones in which Minnesota should be leading. If that’s the case, Murray will have game flow and goalline work in his favor. Don’t drop him for the latest flavor on waivers just yet.
Tarik Cohen (RB, CHI)
Here’s a pure upside mention. You are probably safe cutting Tarik Cohen in most leagues (especially Standard leagues) thanks to Jordan Howard‘s recent revival. However, be aware that there probably isn’t more upside on your waiver wire than what this guy provides. Without even considering what would happen if Howard were to get injured, think about how explosive Cohen is in the open field.
The Bears play against Cincinnati, Detroit, and Cleveland in the fantasy playoffs, so that take for whatever it’s worth. We can all agree that Cohen’s floor is impeccably low, but he came out of nowhere thanks to his crazy athleticism, and he certainly could do it again, especially if Howard were to get banged up.
Do Not Cut – Wide Receivers
Martavis Bryant (WR, PIT)
My money is certainly on Martavis Bryant never having a good fantasy game in a Steelers uniform ever again. I would guess the majority of football fans feel the same way. However, there’s no denying his skill and Cohen-like upside. Take this into account too: his fantasy matchups include the Patriots and the newly-embarrasing Texans secondaries. If something were to happen to Antonio Brown (knock on wood) or JuJu Smith-Schuster, Bryant could become a huge upside play in the money-making weeks.
I understand cutting Bryant if you need the room or if there is more plausible upside on the waiver wire. But I guess I’m saying I wouldn’t cut him for no reason just incase he and Mike Tomlin put this feud behind them sooner rather than later.
Aldrick Robinson (WR, SF)
Some of you may have picked up Lord Aldrick Robinson after the Pierre Garcon news late last week. I was one of you! Robinson has shown flashes of superb talent in the past, and this is the biggest opportunity he’s had yet in his career. The problem this past week was a unavoidable cloud of awfulness spewing from his quarterback and the rest of the 49ers. But wait… Good news may be on the way.
San Francisco traded for Jimmy Garoppolo last week as well, and the word on the street is they want him to be their QB of the future. If that’s the case, they’ll likely insert him as the starter sometime in the next couple of weeks. If that happens, I have much more faith in Robinson and the eight targets that he got last week. Juicy matchups against the Texans and Titans in weeks 14 and 15 help my optimism as well.
Do Not Cut – Tight End
Jordan Reed (TE, WAS)
This one should be obvious, but I’ll mention it anyway: Please don’t drop Jordan Reed.
Listen, I get it; I’m a Redskins fan. Reed is constantly hurt, even when he’s not. And even if he’s REALLY not, he’s probably going to get hurt in the next 10 plays. However, if he somehow gets healthy for the fantasy playoffs, his value in this offense will be too high to leave on the waiver wire.
Reed showed his upside with two garbage time touchdowns against Philidelphia two weeks ago. The touchdowns could very well happen in the fantasy playoffs against teams like the Chargers, Cardinals, and Broncos. All three teams have plus cornerbacks, naturally funneling targets to the tight end. Don’t be that guy that drops Reed now just to get beat by him in four weeks.
Do Not Cut – Quarterback
Philip Rivers (QB, LAC)
Phillip Rivers has been frustrating this season to say the least. Now that he’s struggled against the woeful Patriots, sat through a bye week, and has dangerous matchups next against Jacksonville and Buffalo, you may be tempted to send him packing. Be careful, though.
Rivers gets some juicy matchups in the playoffs against Kansas City and the New York Jets. Mike Williams is just starting to become a factor, giving Rivers yet another weapon, and we know how much Melvin Gordon is used in the passing game. Rivers is not afraid to air it out, and those two matchups could provide a nice spot for him in the most important time of the year. If you can afford to roster two QBs, keep Rivers on your bench.