- The Ravens defense leads our look at players who no longer have meaningful fantasy value.
Early in the week, the fantasy football community is focused on the waiver wire. Of course, to pick up one player, you must drop another. This column covers the other side of that transaction. Get acquainted with our Week 14 Droppables.
As always, remember that these are not players you must drop. Specific league parameters, such as starting lineup requirements, roster size, and number of teams, will go a long way toward determining who should be dropped, and who should be kept. Droppables, then, can still be roster-worthy, but no longer deserve a guaranteed spot on a roster in most leagues.
Baltimore Ravens Defense
This one might come as a surprise. The Ravens rank first in the NFL in total defense, scoring defense, and yards per pass attempt allowed, as well as second in passing defense and third in rushing defense. That hasn’t translated to gaudy fantasy numbers, but they’re ninth in the league with 35 sacks, and are one of 12 defenses with multiple touchdowns. So why are they on the chopping block in fantasy leagues. Well, typically when we pick a fantasy defense, what we’re really doing is picking against the offense it is playing. The Ravens have one of the toughest remaining schedules from that standpoint. In Week 14, they travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. In Week 15, they return home for a matchup with the Buccaneers. In Week 16, they go back out on the road, this time to Los Angeles for a meeting with the Chargers. That’s two terrible matchups, and while the Buccaneers give any defense turnover-based upside, the passing game has clicked all season. It’s hard to have any confidence in a defense facing that schedule in the fantasy playoffs.
Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants
Shepard’s ugly year has mostly flown under the radar, but he has been among the greatest fantasy disappointments this season. He caught four passes for 28 yards in the Giants’ 30-27 win over the Bears in Week 13, marking his fifth straight game with fewer than 40 yards. He has had six such games this season, and has hit the 80-yard mark just twice. He’s the No. 29 receiver in half-PPR leagues, though that owes to the fact that he has stayed healthy as much as anything. He ranks 42nd in points per game, just ahead of David Moore, Tyrell Williams and John Brown.
Devin Funchess, WR, Panthers
Funchess turned in another dud Sunday, catching one pass for 10 yards in the Panthers’ 24-17 loss to the Buccaneers. His lone reception was a touchdown, taking some of the stink off an otherwise worthless day, but there’s no masking the fact that Funchess has been one of this season’s biggest letdowns. In 11 games, he has 42 catches for 526 yards and four touchdowns. He’s the No. 42 receiver in half-PPR leagues, rubbing elbows with Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel, and yet he’s still owned in about 75% of leagues across the fantasy industry. Speaking of Sanu…
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Falcons
Sanu is what he is—a clear WR3 on his own team who needs to make the absolute most of every target to show up from a fantasy perspective. He’s going to pop every now and again, but there just isn’t enough of a reliable target share to make him trustworthy as a regular starter. He has plenty of fantasy value as a depth receiver when byes are still active, but that point of the season has passed. Sanu hasn’t topped 80 yards since Week 4, and he hasn’t found the end zone since Week 6. If you need to start Sanu at this point of the season, you’re either desperate or wracked by injury.
Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
Henry scored a touchdown in the Titans’ 26-22 win over the Jets in Week 13, giving him his first double-digit fantasy scoring day since Week 10. Still, he remains entirely touchdown dependent, as he has now gone 16 straight games, dating back to last year, rushing for fewer than 60 yards. The only thing that could make him relevant is an injury to Dion Lewis. Otherwise, he shouldn’t be anywhere near a fantasy starting lineup in the playoffs.