- There's no space for dead weight on fantasy rosters this time of year. Here are the players you can safely cut loose ahead of your stretch run to the playoffs.
With Week 10 behind us, the home stretch of the typical fantasy regular season has arrived. Bye weeks are nearly a thing of the past, but injuries have still left fantasy rosters thin. Depth is less important than it was a few weeks ago, but owners are still going to need to make moves to fine tune their teams. It’s easier to argue for someone being on your team than against it, but the fact is fantasy rosters aren’t infinite. Some players need to end up on the waiver wire.
Knowing who you can afford to drop can make the difference between a playoff berth and an early end to your season, or between a regular season championship and a third-place finish. In this space over the next few weeks, we’ll help you find the players you won’t miss if you cut ties. We call them The Droppables.
One quick note before we got going: If a player is droppable, that does not mean you should get rid of him at all costs, just that the player in question should not hold a priority spot on your roster. If you need to make a move, the players below can be on the chopping block.
Allen Hurns, WR, Jaguars
Hurns no-showed yet again on Sunday, catching two passes for 13 yards. We knew there would be touchdown regression from last year’s 10-score campaign, but Hurns has fallen from the must-start ranks to WR4/5 territory. He has topped 70 yards just three times on the year and has fewer than five fantasy points in the same number of games. Blake Bortles’s struggles have taken just as large a toll on Hurns as they have on Allen Robinson. With only six teams left to go on bye this season, your receiver cupboard is likely stocked for the rest of the year. Realistically, you aren’t going to turn to Hurns as a starter unless you’re truly desperate.
Ty Montgomery, WR/RB, Packers
With James Starks back for the Packers in Week 10, Montgomery got just three carries. As a receiver, he had a paltry two targets, catching both for a total of 11 yards. He’s unlikely to get enough carries to make a real impact as a runner, and with Randall Cobb, Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson entrenched in their spots in the Green Bay passing game, targets are going to be few and far between. Montgomery’s fantasy value was fun, but it was always fleeting. At this point, it appears to be nil.
Jerick McKinnon, RB, Vikings
McKinnon made the Droppables column last week, but he’s still owned in about half of all fantasy leagues. He likely serves as a depth back for those owners, but the chances any of them would ultimately put him in their lineups is incredibly slim. McKinnon had 16 yards on six carries in Minnesota’s loss to Washington in Week 10, once again getting out-carried by Matt Asiata. It was McKinnon’s fourth straight game with fewer than 50 yards. As I pointed out last week, the greatest concern is that he’s a total non-factor in the passing game. That reached a new low Sunday when he didn’t even have a target until late in the game, finishing with three catches for 17 yards. McKinnon is off the fantasy radar.
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Chiefs
Maclin missed the Chiefs’ Week 10 win over the Panthers because of a groin injury, and it isn’t clear when he’ll be back on the field. Remember, he was questionable for Week 9 because of the same issue, and it forced him out of that game early. The Chiefs are hopeful that they’ll get him back in Week 11, but the tea leaves suggest he’s going to be out at least a few more weeks. With the end of the fantasy regular season right around the corner, you need players who can help you right now, not ones who could return for the playoffs. If you’re safely in position for your league’s postseason, there is an argument for stashing Maclin on your bench. If you’re still fighting for a playoff berth, you can’t afford to waste the roster spot.
Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Buccaneers
Doug Martin returned for the Buccaneers in Week 10, and while his numbers don’t jump off the page, the fact that he’s back on the field is bad news for Rodgers’s value. Martin ran 16 times for 33 yards and a touchdown, adding 13 yards through the air on one catch. He handled nearly all the touches out of the Buccaneers’ backfield until they pulled away from the Bears and looked mostly like himself after a hamstring injury had sidelined him since Week 3. If and when Rodgers is able to return from his foot injury, he will be doing so as a backup. He may have value to Martin owners as a handcuff, especially with the playoffs approaching, but otherwise his fantasy value has completely disappeared.
Bilal Powell, RB, Jets
Yes, Powell had a touchdown in the Jets’ Week 10 loss to the Rams on one of the coolest plays of the season. He also got just four carries while starter Matt Forte ran 20 times. Powell did have a decent receiving day, catching seven passes for 52 yards and the score, but with Forte back in complete command of the Jets’ backfield, it’s hard to see Powell getting enough touches to register as anything more than a low-end RB3. The familiar refrain applies here, too. If you are a Forte owner, Powell could have some value as a handcuff. Insuring your surefire fantasy starters with their real-life backups is a smart move for the playoffs, but other owners cannot burn a roster spot on someone who isn’t likely to handle more than 10 touches in any game for the rest of the season.