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.
[Also See: This Week’s Fantasy Football Rankings]
Week 15 Recap
We started early this past week with two Saturday games. The Texans held off a young Jets team on the back of Deandre Hopkins’ huge game. He finished with two touchdowns, 170 receiving yards and 10 receptions. Houston’s kicker Kyle Fairbairn did more than his part as well, making five field goals in as many attempts, one of them from 53 yards.
On the other sideline, Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson finished with nice fantasy production. Elijah McGuire also made the best for his fantasy owners this week, scoring once, catching three for 29 yards and adding 42 rushing yards.
The Broncos versus the Browns headlined the second game Saturday evening, and this one was a low scoring affair. Nick Chubb was the bruiser we have come to know him as, but he left fantasy owners with more to desire. Chubb finished his 100-yard rushing day without a score, leaving him with just 10 fantasy points. His counterpart, Phillip Lindsay, turned in a rare dim performance as well, finishing with 24 rushing yards and catching four passes for 20 yards.
Joe Mixon came alive against the Raiders, taking 27 carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns. Tyler Boyd was on track to have a quality game, catching four passes for 38 yards and one touchdown. Boyd sadly left with an injury, prematurely. Jordy Nelson also had a respectable performance for the Raiders. Nelson would catch six passes and turn it into 88 yards.
The Colts and the Cowboys met up at Lucas Oil Stadium, but only the Colts came to play. This box score turned out a bit odd compared to most games that end 23-0. Andrew Luck had 192 passing yards and zero touchdowns and that was because Marlin Mack could not be tamed. Mack rushed the ball 27 times and churned out 139 rushing yards and two scores. T.Y. Hilton also came up big in the passing game, pulling in five receptions for 85 yards. As for the Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliot was the only player fantasy owners could write home about.
Aaron Rodgers led his Packers into Soldier Field against the Bears for an NFC-North showdown. Rodgers would finish with 274 passing yards – 119 of them being to Devante Adams. But the Bears fought off the pesky Packers in the end, winning 24-17. Mitchell Trubisky’s 235 passing yards and two touchdowns led the way, along with Tarik Cohen and Jordon Howard, who also found the end zone.
Matt Ryan came to play for the second week in a row, leading the Falcons past the Cardinals. Ryan finished with his second consecutive week of 20-plus fantasy points. Julio Jones continued to find the end zone at a ridiculous rate, after not recording one in the first seven weeks. But no one had a game like Tevin Coleman, who I am sure was benched by most fantasy owners. Coleman finished with a robust 145 rushing yards and one touchdown. On the Arizona side of the ball, it was a short list in terms of fantasy production. Larry Fitzgerald brought in seven catches for 82 yards and David Johnson bailed his owners out with a touchdown and 101 total yards from scrimmage.
The Minnesota Vikings’ offense took off this week against the Dolphins. It was all about Dalvin Cook in this contest; the second year running back took 19 carries for 136 yards, and two touchdowns. In a troubling trend, fantasy-stud Adam Thielen once again finished below 100 yards receiving. Thielen would only find two catches for 19 yards. For the visiting Dolphins, Kalen Ballage — owned in less than one percent of leagues — took off for 123 yards and one touchdown, on just 12 carries.
In the northwest, we had a classic barn-burner that ended with a 14-13 win for the Bills. Once again, Buffalo’s rookie quarterback Josh Allen found the end zone on the ground. Honestly, outside of Allen, only Kenny Golladay and Robert Foster had afternoons worth noting. If you were one of the three-percenters who owned Foster, you were rewarded with an eye opening four catch performance that ended with 108 receiving yards and one touchdown. His counterpart Golladay caught seven passes for 146 yards.
For fantasy owners playing any Giants players, it was nothing short of painful. New York was shut out against the Tennessee Titans in a cold and rainy afternoon. Both Sterling Shepard and Saquon Barkley disappointed their fantasy owners, combining for less than 16 fantasy points. For the Titans, Derrick Henry once again delivered a 30-plus fantasy point game, his second in as many weeks. The former Heisman winner ran the ball a staggering 33 times for 170 yards. What a complete turnaround for the running back: it took him 10 weeks to surpass 70 fantasy points and in just two weeks he has now scored a combined 78 PPR points.
Washington traveled to Jacksonville defending its playoff hopes. Washington would wind up on top of the struggling Jaguars. In terms of fantasy relevancy, there was little to be desired. Leonard Fournette and Adrian Peterson were the only players you should have started and they did not even combine for 100 rushing yards.
The rookies in Baltimore keep grinding out wins. This week, the Ravens were facing off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gus Edwards scored his first touchdown since Week 11 and added 104 rushing yards. For Tampa Bay, Peyton Barber continues to show his late-season improvement, going 85 yards on 19 carries and finding the end zone once. Mike Evans put on a vintage performance, catching 4 passes for 121 yards. Hopefully, you left Jameis Winston on the bench.
Matt Breida led the 49ers into a grueling matchup against the red-hot Seattle Seahawks. Breida finished with 96 all-purpose yards, five catches and picked up another injury. Dante Pettis kept his pace up with five receptions and 83 yards. For the Seahawks, Chris Carson and Doug Baldwin came to play. Carson had 119 yards on the ground with one touchdown, while Baldwin hauled in four catches, two of which were touchdowns, for 77 yards.
The Steelers finally bounced back after a three-game slide, taking down Tom Brady and the Patriots. The James Connor fill-in, Jaylen Samuels, took 19 carries for 142 yards. Receivers Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster both disappointed fantasy owners. On the Patriots’ side of the ball, Julian Edelman hauled in seven catches for just ninety yards. Frankly, all other Patriots underperformed in terms of fantasy.
Out in the valley of Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Eagles were once again propelled to victory by their ringer, Nick Foles, who did not find the end zone, but aired out 270 passing yards. Alshon Jeffrey was the biggest beneficiary, catching all eight of his targets for 160 yards. Breaking down their running back committee, it was a quiet evening for all not named Wendell Smallwood, who was the clear goal line back for the Eagles, pounding in two touchdowns. For Sean McVay’s Rams, they continue to slump and limp into the playoffs. Jared Goff aired out 339 passing yards but nothing in terms of touchdowns. Los Angeles ultimately turned to their star in Todd Gurley II. Gurley had nothing short of a “Gurley” day, but it left the Rams seven points shy of the Eagles.
On Monday, the Panthers took on the Saints in a divisional showdown. Christian McCaffrey started things off with a little razzle-dazzle and threw a 50-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter. McCaffrey would also add in 120 yards from scrimmage. For the Saints, Alvin Kamara was himself, scoring once on 21 touches and 116 total yards, which was enough to push the Saints past the Panthers.
Which finally brings us to the last cut list of this beautiful fantasy football season. If your league has a good commissioner, this is championship week and I wish you all of the luck. I can only hope that you have enjoyed this football season as much as I have. As always, do not go and immediately cut these players listed below. Make sure you have something of value to pick up in their place. Lastly, go and win your championship!
Fantasy Players to Drop
Dion Lewis (RB, TEN)
This seems to be in stark contrast to how I saw Lewis going in, and coming out of, Tennesse’s BYE week. Honestly, it is all about Derrick Henry now, and he is balling out in ways no one could have imagined. That leaves the short end of the stick to Lewis. And since the start of Week 10, Lewis has only recorded 8.8, 4.2, 11.1, 5.4, 10.2 and 7.4-PPR points. Sure, that can be flex consideration, but you cannot confidently play Lewis and expect more than 15 points. Lewis is a for-sure cut in standard leagues. Deeper leagues could use him, as he is still reaching double-digit fantasy points every other week.
Golden Tate (WR, PHI)
We are about to get into back-to-back Eagles players but let us start with Golden Tate first. Tate started the year off unbelievably well. Through the first eight weeks, Tate scored more than 10-PPR points in almost every week (he fell short just once). Then, just as Tate was emerging as a fringe-WR1 Detroit traded him away to the Eagles. Since getting to Philadelphia, he has only finished with more than 10-PPR points, once. That makes six weeks in the Eagles’ offense with little to show for. Mix in a quarterback change, and it makes for a recipe that results in cutting Tate. He should find relevancy again in 2019 but, this week, he should be cut.
Carson Wentz (QB, PHI)
An unfortunate injury to Carson Wentz has once again made the Eagles call upon Nick Foles. Is it too late? Will Foles lead an incomparable comeback to get the Eagles into the playoffs? Probably not, but what is easy to believe is that Foles looks to be the better quarterback in Philly right now. Maybe it is because of injury, maybe Wentz is still not up to game speed because of his ACL surgery last year – who knows.
As for the tangibles, Wentz’s ceiling seems to be 24.5 fantasy points when healthy. When you are playing the quarterback position, that is not going to blow fantasy owners away. In fact, I would say you could find better streaming options out there even if Wentz was healthy. In my own 10-team league, Wentz was a cut after the New Orleans game, back in Week 11 – there were better quarterbacks with higher upside. Not everyone could afford to cut Wentz back then, but now is the time. Wentz is already ruled out for Week 16 and if he does play in Week 17 it will be against Washington on the road. Wentz is a cut in all leagues.
James White (RB, NE)
Just to put things into perspective, James White’s value in PPR was once so high this season. He was the anchor in a two-player package I used to trade for Alvin Kamara (let that sink in!).
Over the course of the last five games, only once has White scored double-digit PPR points. His downfall could have been perfectly predicted, had you done your homework.
White emerged to the center of the Patriots’ backfield due to injuries: first it was Rex Burkhead to the IR and then it was Sony Michel missing a few games. White had an appetite for success during that span, finishing with no less than 14.2 PPR points. Michel eventually bounced back after a few weeks.
However, Burkhead getting mixed back into the rotation is where things became solidified with me. Since Burkhead has come off of the IR in Week 13, White is averaging 10-PPR points. That seems solid at first glance, but if you remove his great Week 13 game and add in Weeks 10 and 12 (New England had a BYE in Week 11), you see that White is averaging 7.5-PPR Points. He does not get handoffs or goal-line work and that makes him impossible to trust, certainly in standard formats and possibly 8 and 10-team leagues. But in this championship week I would look elsewhere in all formats if I could.