Week 12 has finally ended and honestly, it felt a little boring not constantly being interrupted by Patrick Mahomes’ fifth touchdown or Todd Gurley taking a screen pass 60-yards for a score. While the two offensive juggernauts were on BYE, the rest of the NFL gave us an exciting week. For some fantasy owners, Week 12 was a punch in the gut – for Leonard Fournette, quite literally. However, Baker Mayfield said it best after Week 11, “I woke up feeling dangerous,” and my first cut of the week is not for the faint of heart.
Jordan Howard (RB, CHI)
Let me place a disclaimer upfront: if you are someone who solely believes that volume interprets value, go ahead and skip to the next person on this cut list. But for those who have had their heart broken time-after-time and are ready to make an emotional decision, this is for you.
Jordan Howard is trending towards irrelevancy with the Bears and the numbers show it. Of all the games Chicago could use a running back like Howard, especially with Mitchell Trubisky injured, they gave him the ball seven times. If Chicago valued Howard as much as fantasy owners do, he would have gotten 20 touches. It would be one thing if Howard’s seven touches turned into a marginal stat-line, but he is unable to do that because he averages 3.3 yards per-rushing attempt.
He was not in the game plan on Thanksgiving. He has not gained over 100 yards in a game this season. He is touchdown dependent, on a team that has become pass first. He has not had a carry longer than 24 yards in 2018. He is not a dependent starter. He should no longer be on your team this season. There I said it. Cut him and let someone else take the risk.
Blake Bortles (QB, JAX)
On Monday, the Jaguars announced several dramatic changes to the offense. The first announcement was that Blake Bortles has been benched for Cody Kessler – yikes. If that did not make the Jags’ fanbase feel better, the team also cut ties with their offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. All of this coming on the heels of a seven-game losing streak, most recently to the Buffalo Bills.
With this in mind, dropping Bortles does not warrant any analytical proof, you just need to do it as soon as possible. Frankly, the entire Jacksonville team cannot function unless Leonard Fournette controls the game. All Jacksonville players are droppable this week, with the exception being Fournette.
Evan Engram (TE, NYG)
If you are reading this, you are probably still mad – I am too. Evan Engram was downgraded to “out” on Sunday, due to a pregame warmup injury to his hamstring. The thing that hurt fantasy owners the most is that the Giants did not announce this injury until the game had already started, which denied fantasy players the chance to pivot.
The Giants do not have a timetable for Engram’s return, but that should not discourage you from dropping him. You drafted Engram for his success in 2017, and rightly so, since he averaged 7.6 targets per-games played. It has not worked out for Engram and his new coaching staff in 2018 as he is averaging 4.7 targets per game. Engram is not the fantasy stud we saw last year, plus, this is the second time he has been limited by his hamstring, this year. With Engram’s floor, even when healthy, he is a streamable tight end, at best.
John Brown (WR, BAL)
It has been a tale of two halves for John Brown. In Weeks 1 – 7, Brown had 558 receiving yards and four touchdowns. While those are not elite numbers, they certainly have fantasy relevancy for owners. But from Weeks 8 – 12, Brown has 91 receiving yards and zero touchdowns, which are results worthy of the waiver wire.
Another important detail is that head coach John Harbaugh happens to be coaching for his job. I say this only to ask, why would Harbaugh look anywhere else other than Lamar Jackson for the rest of the year? We know what you will get out of Joe Flacco: an average, overpaid quarterback that won a Super Bowl during his contract year. Baltimore fans have been done with Flacco for years. Not to mention, the combination of Jackson and Gus Edwards is working and the Ravens need to keep winning if they are going to make the playoffs. The outlook for John Brown is abysmal with Jackson at the helm and you should not wait any longer to drop all pass catchers from the Ravens.
Jack Doyle (TE, IND) – Injured Reserve
The tight end landscape has been a dark place for fantasy owners this year. Because of this, Jack Doyle immediately became one of the best mid-season pickups once he returned from injury. While his fantasy owners were under the impression they had finally solved their tight end woes, Doyle suffered an unfortunate season-ending injury on Sunday. Sadly, Doyle has been placed on IR, confirming the end of his season.
Marvin Jones Jr. (WR, DET) – Injured Reserve
Like Jack Doyle, Marvin Jones Jr. also found himself placed on IR following Week 12. Fantasy owners will be greatly disappointed that they never got to see what the Lions would do with him, post Golden Tate. With Kerryon Johnson still banged up, Kenny Golladay and Theo Riddick should continue to see a high volume in targets. Deeper leagues can look to pick up Bruce Ellington, as well.