The following fantasy players to drop likely won’t do your fantasy football team any good for the rest of this season. Follow Garrett on Twitter @GarettThomas.
Let me tell you, Week 14 was just as crazy as Week 13. There were many playoff-like games this week and it made for a great Sunday of football.
In sunny Miami, the sleeping giant in Tom Brady woke up ready to down the Dolphins. Brady was a QB1 in Week 14, scoring 26 points. Brady made sure Rob Gronkowski would not let his fantasy owners down either. The tight end finished with eight receptions, one touchdown and 107 receiving yards — and one terrible tackling angle. Of course, I am referring to the “three lateral miracle” that the Dolphins were gifted Sunday afternoon. The Dolphins somehow managed to score the game-winning touchdown just as time expired. Miami was propelled to victory on the backs of Kenny Stills, Ryan Tannehill and the newcomer of the week, Brandon Bolden.
Andrew Luck and the Colts bounced back against a tough Texans team, who came in defending a nine-game winning streak. It took Luck a quarter to get settled in, but once he did, he never looked back. Marlon Mack even saved his fantasy owners when he punched in a goal line touchdown. Mack would finish the game with just 33 rushing yards. T.Y. Hilton also put on a clinic for the Colts, catching nine passes for 199 yards. Hilton is still struggling to find the end zone consistently, despite his recent hot streak.
Down in Jerry’s World, I was in attendance for the Dallas and Philly game — what an experience that was. In typical Cowboys’ fashion, Dallas could not turn drives into points and allowed the Eagles to hang around. Then, out of nowhere, the game turned into a slugfest accompanied by flags all over the field. Dallas ultimately prevailed on the back of a reborn fantasy-stud, Amari Cooper, despite Dak Prescott making costly mistakes. Who knew Cooper would go from “bum” to potential “Fantasy-Playoff Ringer.”
In the nation’s capital, we learned whichever defense is playing against Washington, they should be a favorable streaming option. New York embarrassed Washington on their home field and they did not even need their star, Odell Beckham Jr. It was all about the rookie Saquon Barkley, and he went off for 29-PPR points.
In their first game post McCarthy-era, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers made sure to take down the struggling Falcons. Still, Rodgers has not finished with over 22-plus fantasy points since Week 6. Continue to view Rodgers as a week-to-week play. Devante Adams was his normal self. The receiver caught seven passes, one of which was a touchdown. Aaron Jones also scored in his fifth straight game; he has now scored seven touchdowns in as many weeks. What a great midseason running back pickup, if you had the pleasure of swiping him up first.
From Kansas City, we learned the true toughness of the Chiefs. Kansas City found themselves in the toughest defensive battle of the year, against the Ravens. Kansas City ultimately prevailed despite the heroic effort from the Ravens, led by two rookies. Gus Edwards has now proved that his ceiling is limited because of his inability to score. Kenneth Dixon, in typical Ravens running back fashion, stole Edwards’ touchdown. We have now made it full circle from the Alex Collins versus Javorius Allen dilemma to the new and improved, Edwards versus Dixon dilemma.
Todd Gurley and the Rams felt the blunt force of Khalil Mack and co. Chicago made a statement in their huge win against the Rams on Sunday evening. The Bears proved that even in the modern NFL, defense can always win championships. Gurley was limited to only 8.8-PPR points for the day. While his stud teammate, Jared Goff, finished with negative fantasy points.
How about the Broncos? This was a game that many fantasy playoff teams counted as a “lock” on the defensive side of the ball. The 49ers, decimated by injuries, road the coattails of George Kittle, who turned in the best tight end performance in Week 14 — period. The Broncos had no answer to Kittle until it was too late, and wound up falling to San Francisco.
Moving on to our cut list, do not feel that you have to cut these players. I am merely suggesting that these players should be cut. If you cut these players, make sure you pick someone up that you are going to play. Or, since it’s the playoffs, you can steal your opponent’s handcuff by signing them to your bench. Another option would be to stash the teams playing Washington. If you are looking for more immediate help, check out 5th Down’s Waiver Wire column!
Fantasy Players to Cut
DeSean Jackson (WR, TB)
What started out as a monster year for DeSean Jackson has all but ended for him. Jackson has found himself inactive the past two weeks due to a thumb injury. Coincidentally, this comes after Jackson demanded to be traded at the NFL Trade Deadline. Against Jackson’s demands, Tampa Bay ultimately decided to hold the veteran receiver and now, it seems as if he does not want to play for the Buccaneers any longer.
Then, if you put numbers into perspective, Jackson has not eclipsed a 20-plus PPR week since Week 2. Further, he has only put up one double-digit week since Week 10. Even if Jackson is, or is not, holding out for the remainder of the season, the emergence of Chris Godwin has further spoiled his fantasy floor. At this point of the season, Jackson should be let go. Even if he returns to fantasy lineups, he still has to travel and play Baltimore and Dallas — two suffocating defenses. Either way you look at it, Jackson is a drop.
T.J. Yeldon (RB, JAX)
T.J. Yeldon has often held a unique and valuable role for fantasy owners. However, with the trouble the Jaguars’ offense is in, both his role on the team and his fantasy value have diminished. Since Fournette has returned, Yeldon has scored 11.3, 5.2, 5.3, 13.5* and 2.7-PPR points. I also labeled his 13.5-game with an asterisk just so you understand, that is what he did when Fournette was suspended. Inept fantasy scoring, compiled with his remaining schedule (@TEN, WAS, @MIA, @HOU) and I see Yeldon as a drop in all standard leagues, and most PPR leagues.
Duke Johnson Jr. (RB, CLE)
The prototypical scat-back Duke Johnson Jr. has finally solidified himself on this column. After the Browns flirted with cutting Johnson earlier in the year, the running back seemed like he was going to be frequently utilized in Greg Williams’ system.
Naturally, we all saw the 44-PPR points he scored during the first two weeks of Williams’ tenure. What experts did not see was Nick Chubb taking over in the way he did. Do not get me wrong, we heard rumblings of how good Chubb was all year. Once Chubb was unleashed, the experts may have been too right, as Chubb’s success has all but eliminated Johnson’s fantasy relevancy. If you are fighting in a deep PPR-league, maybe you hold him another week – I am talking 14-team leagues. Outside of that, move on to the next.
Jordan Reed (TE, WAS)
Let me begin with this: cut all pass catchers from Washington. As for Jordan Reed, the tight end has been disappointing from Week 2 on. Reed only scored double-digit PPR-totals twice between Week 2 and Week 10. The highest PPR-total he scored in that time frame was an unimpressive 10.8-points.
Insert Colt McCoy. McCoy found himself under center following the loss of veteran quarter back, Alex Smith, which ignited Reed’s role. And to Reed’s credit, the veteran suddenly looked to be impossible to bench. That is, until McCoy went down with a season-ending injury as well. From that moment on, Reed has looked useless. In his defense, so have his offensive peers. Lastly, we may have seen the last of Reed this year. He left Sunday’s game with a toe sprain and with his history of toe injuries, combined with Washington’s all-but-gone playoff hopes, he might not be back. Leave Reed out on the chopping block this week.
Danny Amendola (WR, MIA)
This one is simple once you break the numbers down. Danny Amendola is not getting the volume that he accrued at the peak of his season. In Weeks 6 – 10, leading up to Miami’s BYE week, Amendola was targeted 11, 7, 6, 7 and 10 times. Since their BYE week, Amendola has been targeted a total of two times over three games. You have to get volume in order to make fantasy owners confident. Amendola is a player you cannot trust.