- Here is a list of players you can safely cut ties with before Week 4 of the 2019 NFL season.
With Week 3 in the books, fantasy owners have enough data to make informed decisions. It can be easy to get attached to a player, especially if you targeted him during your draft, but if that player belongs on the waiver wire, fantasy owners need to adapt. The difference between winning a championship or not could be as small as a decision to drop a player that you thought was a sleeper, but turned out to be a bust. It’s been proven that the most successful fantasy players understand that the foresight to move on is pivotal to winning championships. You do not want to overreact to one week of poor statistics, but at the same time, don’t hold onto a player just because you are afraid to let go. Rams rookie running back Darrell Henderson is the perfect example of a player who many had his or her eye on during the draft, but after just a couple weeks, it’s obvious that Malcolm Brown is the true handcuff to Todd Gurley. So without further ado, here are a couple players at each skill position that I would cut ties with after three weeks of the fantasy season.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
Here is a perfect case of the difference between fantasy and reality. Garoppolo, who is owned in more than 80% of leagues, has San Francisco off to a 3-0 start heading into the club’s Week 4 bye. However, Garoppolo is just not getting the job done for fantasy owners. In a favorable Week 3 matchup at home against Pittsburgh, Garoppolo turned the ball over three times. In fact, he has displayed poor ball security skills in his 12 career games with the 49ers, with 17 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. It’s always prudent for the best fantasy owners to make sure they also are paying attention to the schedule ahead for their star players. Coming out of the bye week, Garoppolo has brutal matchups with the Browns, Rams and Panthers. Since he can not be trusted in any of those games, owners are better served cutting ties now and moving in a different direction.
Joe Flacco, Denver Broncos
Flacco has just two touchdown passes through three games, and Sunday’s loss to Green Bay was his worst outing yet this season. Flacco turned the ball over twice and simply offers no upside even being stashed as a QB2 on rosters. With Jacksonville on deck this week, owners in two-QB leagues can be better served with high-ceiling players such as Daniel Jones or Kyle Allen in Week 4. It’s clear the former Super Bowl champion quarterback is not the player to take Denver’s offense to the next level. Once again, John Elway will be searching for a signal caller to pilot the Broncos next offseason.
Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints
Many fantasy owners envisioned Murray offering a solid return on investment in his first season with the Saints. However, after a respectable Week 1 against a stout Houston Texans’ defense, the wheels have fallen off for the veteran running back. Murray has just nine rushing yards in his last two games, and with QB Drew Brees sidelined, Murray should be dropped. Posting a paltry 3.5 PPR points in the last two weeks combined does not justify rostering a player owned in over 80% of leagues. With games against the Cowboys, Jaguars and Bears over the next several weeks, owners are better served hitting the waiver wire for an area of need rather than holding onto a handcuff that offers no current upside.
Darwin Thompson, Kansas City Chiefs
As we have highlighted several times, Thompson was a sleeper targeted by many high-stakes players this summer drafting in the SI Fantasy Football World Championships. After the addition of LeSean McCoy just days before the start of the season, Thompson’s value plummeted. Nevertheless, with starting RB Damien Williams ruled out of Week 3’s date with the Baltimore Ravens due to a knee injury and McCoy questionable all week with an ankle injury, some thought Thompson’s time to shine was just around the corner. Those reports sent many fantasy owners back to the waiver wire looking to add both Thompson and Darrel Williams. Andy Reid employed Williams to the tune of 15.9 PPR points after McCoy was forced out with his ailing knee in the second half against the Ravens. With only four touches last week, it’s once again safe to send Thompson, whose ownership climbed to over 60% of leagues, back to the waiver wire.
Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns
I understand many fantasy owners may not want to hear this, as Landry is owned in over 90% of leagues. However, the Browns wide receiver has failed to score a touchdown so far this season and has just 10 receptions on 23 targets. Baker Mayfield continues to struggle behind a bad offensive line and thus far Landry’s reunion with LSU buddy Odell Beckham has been a huge disappointment both in fantasy and in reality. With so much hype coming into the season, Browns skill position players now pose significant risk being inserting into starting lineups going forward. Make the move to drop Landry and look to replace him with wideouts with greater upside such as D.J. Chark, Terry McLaurin or Mecole Hardman. All three of those players are currently owned in less than 57% of leagues.
Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers
The recipe for fantasy success at the wide receiver position has often been to draft Green Bay players on the receiving end of passes from Aaron Rodgers. Many fantasy owners subscribed to that theory this summer investing in Davante Adams, Marques Valdes-Scantling and Allison. After being shut out from the stat sheet in Week 1 against the Bears, Allison grabbed four receptions and found the endzone in Week 2 versus the Vikings. However, Allison once again bombed in Week 3 against the Broncos, hauling in one reception for minus-one yard. Allison was only on the field for 26-of-57 offensive snaps, well behind Adams (52) and Valdes-Scantling (50). Even as the clear WR3 playing on the high-powered, undefeated Packers’ offense, Allison, who is owned in nearly 50% of leagues, simply cannot be trusted.
TJ Hockenson, Detroit Lions
It appears that the rookie’s superb performance in Week 1 (6/131/1 TD) was more a by-product of playing against an Arizona Cardinals’ secondary that can’t stop opposing tight ends than anything else. Since that great opening game, Hockenson has only caught two of his seven targets for a total of eight yards. The rookie’s upside is severely limited by his weekly low floor, and should be dropped by all owners.
Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints
Cook’s fantasy production went from bad in the first two weeks to non-existent in Week 3 against Seattle. Many fantasy owners drafted Cook among the first six tight ends in drafts this summer, expecting his career-year in 2018 with Oakland to continue down in the Big Easy. It’s not hard to wonder why when he was expected to be catching passes from Hall of Fame-bound QB Drew Brees. Owned in nearly 90% of leagues, it’s time for owners to cut bait with the veteran TE who has just five receptions in three games. As we highlighted above, the Saints have rough matchups ahead facing the Cowboys, Jaguars and Bears defenses before their Week 9 bye. You can find a better option on the waiver wire.
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