Fantasy owners need to swallow their pride by dropping underperforming players. This also pertains to star players who have suddenly seen their roles change, thus adversely affecting their value. With eleven weeks of player statistics, fantasy owners have now seen enough to make informed decisions about which rostered players belong on the waiver wire.
The difference between winning a fantasy football championship or not could come down to simply dropping a player that you invested draft capital in but has failed to meet expectations. The most successful fantasy owners understand the importance of moving on, just as NFL teams make transactions throughout the season. You do not want to overreact to one week of poor statistics, such as Julio Jones only hauling in two receptions for 39 yards against New Orleans.
However, at the same time, don't hold onto a player just because you do not want to admit a draft day or in-season trade blunder. Of course, fantasy owners also have to manage injuries and drop players who may not return in time to contribute to a postseason run. Here are several players fantasy owners should not hesitate to drop as we head into Week 12.
QB Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
The rookie signal-caller struggled immensely in his second career road start at Denver. The lackluster performance was enough for head coach Brian Flores to bench his franchise quarterback of the future midway through the second half. Also, we now know that the talented quarterback is dealing with a toe injury as well. Expect Miami to have a quick hook going forward as they battle for a playoff spot in the AFC and perhaps make a move back to veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. In two of his four starts, the former Alabama standout has thrown for fewer than 93 yards and is not much of a factor in the rushing game as he appears to be playing protective of his surgically repaired hip. For a player currently rostered in over 84% of leagues, a move needs to be made.
Injury Drop: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
RB Joshua Kelly, Los Angeles Chargers
Fantasy owners believed they had struck gold earlier this season with the late-round selection of the Chargers rookie running back out of UCLA. Kelley, owned in 59% of leagues, had posted 10-plus PPR fantasy points in Week 7 and 9 after star RB Austin Ekeler (hamstring) went down. However, since that span, he has posted fewer than 2.4 PPR points in consecutive games after veteran Kalen Ballage was signed. Despite the expectation that he would flourish while Ekeler was sidelined, we now know that the star running back is expected to return this week against Buffalo. The rookie has a bright future, but he does not offer any fantasy value for fantasy owners heading into the playoffs.
RB Adrian Peterson, Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions are too banged up on the offensive side of the ball, starting with QB Matthew Stafford and star WR Kenny Golladay, and that is having a trickle down effect on the rest of the position players. Despite getting the start this past week against Carolina, as D'Andre Swift was forced to sit with a concussion, the 13-year veteran continued his run of terrible production in a favorable matchup. Fantasy owners can longer hold out "hope" that the veteran can offer even RB3/flex value down the stretch. Still owned in more than 73% of leagues shows that way too many people hold on too long for a player with fewer than four fantasy points in four of his last five games.
WR Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens
Hold on fantasy owners, because I know many of you will not want to hear this, but the time has come to part ways with Ravens star WR "Hollywood" Brown. The second-year speedster has endured a massive sophomore slump after posting single-digit PPR fantasy points in five consecutive games. Rock bottom finally struck in Week 11 when he posted the dreaded goose-egg after failing to haul in any of his three targets. The electrifying talent has made only six receptions for 55 yards combined over his last four games. I would look to move on and replace him with Colts WR Michael Pittman, who has become heavily involved in the offensive attack with 18 targets over his last three games resulting in 14 receptions for 223 yards and a touchdown. He is still currently available in over 58% of leagues. Also, the rookie wideout has favorable upcoming matchups against Tennessee, Houston twice, and Las Vegas.
WR T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
We recommended dropping Hilton weeks ago, but the numbers indicate that too many owners are still holding on. Despite the Indianapolis Colts' overall success, the veteran has failed to make the impact many owners were expecting. The declining nine-year veteran has posted single-digit PPR production in eight of nine games and has yet to find the endzone in 2020. It would be prudent for owners to cut ties now with a player still owned in 64% of leagues and instead look to acquire Las Vegas WR Nelson Agholor (37%), who has posted 13-plus PPR fantasy points in five of his last seven games. Now is the time to beat your opponents to the waiver wire.
WR Travis Fulgham, Philadelphia Eagles
Many fantasy owners were bullish on adding Fulgham while the Eagles struggled to find reliable options in the passing game after WR Desean Jackson and star TE Zach Ertz went down with injuries. However, Fulgham (owned in 95% of leagues) has failed to produce in back-to-back games by tallying just one reception for eight yards. The second-year talent's production has fallen off a cliff following a span of 12-plus PPR fantasy from Weeks 4 through 8 with a touchdown reception in four of those five games. With Ertz's return looming, the regression could continue immensely as we all know Wentz's affinity to target his tight ends in the passing game - now is the time to throw him to the waiver wire. Owners should replace him with Giants WR Sterling Shepard, who has 32 targets resulting in 26 receptions for 219 receiving yards and a touchdown over his past four games. Still available in over 49% of leagues, I would look to swap out the two NFC East wideouts.
TE Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns
Since returning to the field off his appendix surgery, the veteran has become too unreliable to trust. Since Week 7, the veteran tight end has posted only 8.4-PPR fantasy points combined. Hooper has under 34 receiving yards in six of eight games this season, and that is not going to cut it for any fantasy owner with championship aspirations. With only one touchdown on the season, fantasy owners need to explore the waiver wire.
TE Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints
Cook has seen sharp regression in his production after fantasy owners witnessed solid production of 12-plus PPR fantasy points in Weeks 5 through 8. However, since that span, he has only seen six targets resulting in 3 receptions for 36 yards over the last three games- combined. With Drew Brees (ribs) no longer under center and the return of star WR Michael Thomas, the target share is no longer present enough for Cook to continue to be rostered in any league.
MORE FANTASY FOOTBALL: Week 12 Waiver Wire