Fantasy Football 2019: Players You Can Drop Before Week 6

It can be tough to part ways with the guys you drafted, but at some point you have to pull the plug.
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With Week 5 in the books, fantasy owners have enough data to make informed decisions about which rostered players deserve to be on the waiver wire. It can be easy to get attached to a player, especially if you targeted him during your draft, but if that player should be dropped, 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 (such as Mike Evans producing 0 points in Week 5), but at the same time, don’t hold onto 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 players at each skill position that I would cut ties with after five weeks of the fantasy season.

Quarterback

QB Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders

It continues to amaze me that Carr is owned in more than 54% of leagues, considering he has failed to surpass 259 yards passing in any game this season. With the Raiders on bye in Week 6, it’s hard to even support carrying the NFL’s overall QB21 as a bye week replacement in Weeks 7-10 with road games against the Packers and Texans and home tilts with the Lions and Chargers. My model has Carr underperforming in all of those contests and owners would be better served by adding Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew (owned in less than 28% of leagues) or Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater (owned in less than 10% of leagues). Send the veteran to the wire.

Running Backs

RB Darrell Williams, Kansas City Chiefs

With the return of starting RB Damien Williams to the Kansas City backfield, there is simply no room for Darrell Williams to get enough touches to be fantasy relevant. Williams, owned in more than 80% of leagues, was solid for two weeks with consecutive 15-plus PRR fantasy point showings during Damien’s absence with a knee injury. However, with Damien back and LeSean McCoy as the clear RB2 on the Chiefs depth chart, Darrell was only on the field for 13 snaps in Sunday night’s loss to the Colts. He also failed to touch the ball even once. Barring another injury, Williams will not receive enough work to be fantasy relevant and should be sent to waivers. Roster spots are needed for depth with bye weeks ramping up in the next several weeks.

RB Wayne Gallman, New York Giants

Those owners who spent significant FAAB money to acquire Gallman two weeks ago thinking Saquon Barkley would miss considerable time with a high ankle sprain will not want to read this. It appears Barkley has superhuman healing abilities, beating the doctor’s original diagnosis of one-to-two months. It appears he is set to return soon, possibly even in time for Thursday night’s matchup against the Patriots. Gallman (owned in more than 98% of leagues) rewarded owners with 28.8 PPR fantasy points in Week 4 against Washington, but burned them in Week 5 with just 1.4 PPR points before exiting early with a concussion. It’s prudent for fantasy owners to cut bait with Gallman this week and use his roster spot for bye week depth in areas of need.

Wide Receivers

WR Robby Anderson, New York Jets

Anderson, owned in more than 65% of leagues, has disappointed fantasy owners who invested solid mid-round draft capital this summer as their WR2/WR3. He has failed to surpass 23 yards receiving in three of his four games, with zero touchdowns. To be fair, the Jets entire offense has been a mess since losing starting QB Sam Darnold after Week 1 to mononucleosis. However, even if Darnold returns in Week 6, the schedule does not do Anderson any favors with matchups against the Cowboys, Patriots and Jaguars secondaries in the next three weeks. The only fantasy rosterable member of the Jets is RB Le’Veon Bell, who despite New York’s ineptitude, has still posted a very respectable average of 17.8 PPR fantasy points through four games.

WR James Washington, Pittsburgh Steelers

It wasn’t that long ago that Washington was the darling of many fantasy drafts as a sleeper ready to break out in 2019. It has now become clear that rookie third-round pick Diontae Johnson is the “other” wideout to own in Pittsburgh alongside JuJu Smith-Schuster. For the second straight week, Johnson led all Steelers wide receivers in targets, and is undoubtedly the player fantasy owners should add off waivers. Owned in less than 40% of leagues, this is the week to make the switch and swap Washington for Johnson. Owners may not want to trust any Pittsburgh wideout other than Smith-Schuster in Week 6 against the Chargers with QB Mason Rudolph’s uncertain status. However, coming out of Pittsburgh’s bye in Week 8, fantasy owners should be ready to employ Johnson against a poor Dolphins secondary.

Tight End

TE O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

We highlighted this was a possibility last week and now the time has come. We are now endorsing the bold decision to drop Howard. After producing just one catch for 10 yards in Week 5 against the Saints, Howard (owned in more than 90% of leagues) is clearly among the biggest busts in fantasy football this season. Howard is averaging just 4.8 PPR fantasy points through his first five games, only topping 33 receiving yards once all season. Things will not get any easier for Howard, with games against the Panthers, Titans, Saints, and Jaguars on the horizon. Owners, who may be struggling to save their fantasy season, need to make this critical decision sooner rather than later. Fantasy owners could look to add Jets TE Chris Herndon, who will be returning from suspension this week. Another solid option could be Rams TE Gerald Everett, who is owned in less than 3% of leagues, but quietly ranks as the overall TE9 after five weeks. Everett has become heavily involved in the Rams passing attack over the past two weeks with 20 targets. His volume share could grow even higher should WR Brandin Cooks be forced to miss any time after sustaining a shoulder injury in Week 5.

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