Fantasy Droppables: Cut Kaepernick, Gordon loose after Week 8
Drew Brees and Eli Manning starred in Week 8, combining for 13 touchdowns in the Saints’ 52–49 win over the Giants. It’s not often a quarterback scores 38 points in standard-scoring leagues and isn’t the highest scorer at the position, let alone in his own game. Manning, who put up those 38 points, was bested by Brees’s ridiculous 46.54 point day, and unfortunately for a lot of owners, both quarterbacks were on the bench due to their recent play. Fortunately, though, neither had played poorly enough to fall to the waiver wire. The guys below have.
Allow us to present the Week 8 Droppables. And remember, as always, when we deem a player ‘droppable,’ we are simply saying that player is safe to drop if you need to make a move.
Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers
Gordon’s problem on Sunday was not touches, as it has been at various points of the season. He got 18 carries, a new career high, and also caught five passes. Unfortunately, he turned those 23 touches into just 61 yards. Gordon has yet to top 100 total yards in a game and is still looking for his first career touchdown. Gordon’s pedigree earned him a long leash in his rookie year, but he’s reached the end of that. He is averaging fewer than four yards per carry and just isn’t a threat as a receiver, despite his five receptions against the Ravens. He is still an attractive depth back, but if you’re thinking of making a claim for, say, DeAngelo Williams, Gordon can be put on the chopping block.
Antonio Andrews, RB, Titans
Andrews has been the primary runner for the Titans over the last month or so, but that hasn’t led to much fantasy relevance. He had a season-high 16 carries on Sunday, running for 64 yards. Still, you already have to squint to figure out a way to talk yourself into playing Andrews, and his role may be on the decline. Rookie David Cobb is eligible to come off the IR-designated-to-return list this week, and all signs point to him making his NFL debut in Week 9. Cobb, the rookie out of Minnesota, suffered a calf injury in training camp, but he was on track to compete for the starting gig before landing on the IR boomerang. Cobb’s return is disheartening for any Andrews partisans, but the real problem is that Tennessee’s run game isn’t producing as a whole. Tennessee’s offense is no better than league average, and they’re getting more done by way of Marcus Mariota’s arm than with any one back’s legs. Andrews is no more than an RB4/5.
Alfred Blue, RB, Texans
When we talked about Blue in last week’s waiver wire column, we recommended not spending too much on him, despite Arian Foster’s Achilles injury, because he’s just not that good. Even though Blue was graduating to a starting gig, chances were strong he wouldn’t do much more than make himself an RB3, at best. Which is essentially what we saw on Sunday. Blue had 14 carries for 39 yards in the win over the Titans, the third time he’s had fewer than 50 yards in four starts on the season. He did have five catches for 33 yards, but that was just the second time in all of his spot starts over the last two years with more than three receptions. Blue is going to remain the starter in Houston for the rest of the season, and that does make him a worthy depth back in many formats. Still, if you need to make a move this week, Blue can definitely be a drop candidate.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers
After a glimmer of hope in Weeks 5 and 6, Kaepernick had a second consecutive terrible game on Sunday, throwing for 162 yards and 3.95 yards per attempt (seriously) in the loss to the Rams. That now makes five games for Kaepernick this year with fewer than 12 points in standard-scoring formats. Sure, Kaepernick can still succeed in the right matchup. But that’s not the sort of player you hold onto, especially if you have a reliable quarterback on your roster.
Travis Benjamin, WR, Browns
Benjamin had been quietly effective this season, going for at least 79 yards or a touchdown in the first six weeks of the season. That’s why his ownership rate climbed to over 80% heading into Week 8. But even when everything was going well for Benjamin, it seemed clear that he was playing over his head. Benjamin has come back to earth the last two weeks, catching a total of seven passes for 73 yards. He also lost a fumble in the Week 7 loss to the Rams, so he has scored fewer than three fantasy points in standard-scoring formats in consecutive games. After racking up at least 10 targets in four straight games, he has totaled 13 in the last two weeks, bottoming out at five on Sunday. When Benjamin scored three touchdowns in the first two games of the year, he did so on just seven targets. In sum, we have a player who was outperforming his talent level at the beginning of the season, had an unsustainable touchdown rate, and is part of an offense that isn’t any better than league average. You’re looking at a WR4 for the rest of the season.