Fantasy Football 2019: Players You Can Drop Before Week 5

Here is a list of players you can safely cut ties with before Week 5 of the 2019 NFL season.
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With Week 4 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 who 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 on to a player just because you are afraid to let go. Of course, fantasy owners also have to manage injuries and drop players who may not return in time to contribute to a postseason run. So without further ado, here are a couple of players at each skill position with whom you can cut ties with after four weeks of the fantasy season.

Quarterbacks

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Cousins (owned in 64% of leagues) ranks among the worst in fantasy scoring among all QBs to start the season, and he should never be inserted into your starting lineup. The Vikings have become too predicated upon running the ball (54% of the time). Even when the matchup looks enticing, Cousins isn't likely going to offer any sort of fantasy upside. On Sunday, star WR Adam Thielen became critical of Cousins and fantasy owners should do the same. There's not much incentive to stash Cousins on your bench as a perpetual backup. Time to send the veteran to the wire.

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

As much as this pains me to admit, being a fan of the Auburn Tigers, Newton (owned in 65% of leagues) should no longer be rostered in fantasy football. Late last week, we learned via his video blog that he has been hiding the extent of his foot injury from the Panthers. Newton will not return to the field until he is 100% healed. Backup QB Kyle Allen has filled in admirably in Newton’s absence and has led the Panthers to road wins over Arizona and Houston. Even when healthy, Cam has not looked right and there is no fantasy upside to stashing him going forward. Move on.

Running Backs

Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins

When starting RB Derrius Guice was placed on injured reserve, Peterson (owned in 85% of leagues) seemed like a fantastic add off the waiver wire. However, the aging All-Pro who rushed for 1,042 yards and seven touchdowns last season has made a minimal impact since taking back the starting role. Peterson has just 90 yards on 33 carries for an abysmal 2.7 yards per rush in three games. Even though the volume is there with double-digit carries in every game, you just can't trust any Redskins offensive player in fantasy football outside of WR Terry McLaurin. With upcoming games against the Patriots, Vikings and Bills, Peterson will continue to struggle and needs to be dropped in all leagues.

Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers

Jackson (owned in 50% of leagues) was a great stash while starting RB Melvin Gordon was holding out due to his contract dispute. However, when Gordon returned to the team late last week, it was confirmation for fantasy owners to cut ties with the second-year back. In addition, Jackson missed Week 4 with a calf injury and that could sideline him for an additional few weeks. Austin Ekeler is the only Chargers running back besides Gordon who should be rostered on fantasy teams.

Wide Receivers

Kenny Stills, Houston Texans

Stills, who had posted double-digit PPR efforts in two of his first three weeks, was looking like a decent flex start when facing a favorable matchup or as a bye week replacement. However, Stills went down in Week 4 with a hamstring injury that could sideline him for the next several weeks. This could open the door for Keke Coutee to take back his slot role in the Texans offense. Houston’s offense, who many fantasy owners invested highly in, has not lived up to expectations. Fantasy owners should hit the waiver wire this week targeting Coutee, Mohamed Sanu or perhaps A.J. Brown as wide receivers with higher upside.

Adam Humphries, Tennessee Titans

Many fantasy owners invested mid-round draft capital this summer in Humphries as a WR3 with upside working as the new slot receiver for the Titans. Coming off a season in which he recorded 76 receptions and five touchdowns with the Buccaneers, owners envisioned Humphries taking the next step in 2019. However, Humphries has posted 15 receiving yards or fewer in three of his first four games with Tennessee. Things won’t get any easier with the Bills, Broncos and Panthers among his foes in the next several weeks. Fellow Titans rookie WR A.J. Brown or Miami’s rookie WR Preston Williams both offer more upside to roster than the veteran.

Tight Ends

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Howard, owned in more than 90% of leagues, is among the biggest busts in fantasy so far in 2019. With just 10 receptions for 131 yards, Howard is averaging only 5.5 PPR fantasy points through his first four games. Owners who invested solid draft capital in acquiring Howard among the first five tight ends off the board this summer are frustrated and disappointed. We are not endorsing a drop just yet with Howard. However, with tough matchups against the Saints and Panthers before the Week 7 bye, owners will be forced to make a critical decision. Fantasy owners looking to make a move could turn to Jets TE Chris Herndon, who will be returning from suspension in Week 6, just when New York should be welcoming back QB Sam Darnold from illness. Another option could be investing in Chargers TE Hunter Henry who could be ready to return from his knee injury in Week 7 and is currently available in more than 58% of leagues. 

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