Week 9 is in the books. It is now time for fantasy owners to drop certain underperforming players or players who have seen their roles change drastically. With nine weeks of data, fantasy owners have a large enough sample size to make informed decisions about which rostered players belong on the waiver wire.
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 dominant fantasy owners understand the importance of foresight. Sometimes, you simply have to move on, just as NFL teams move on from players throughout the season. We have already seen a number of teams do this, including the Bengals making the switch from Andy Dalton to Ryan Finley. You do not want to overreact to one week of poor statistics, such as Sony Michel producing just 18 rushing yards, as we predicted last week.
However, 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 some players fantasy owners should not hesitate to drop after eight weeks of NFL action.
QB Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars
It appears the clock has officially struck midnight on ‘Minshew Mania’ after a disappointing performance across the pond against the Texans. The rookie quarterback, owned in more than 84% of leagues, has only thrown four touchdowns in his past four starts. It appears that after his first multi-interception game of the season versus Houston, the Jaguars will hand the reins back to veteran Nick Foles. The former Super Bowl-winning quarterback is expected to be activated off injured reserve for a Week 11 matchup with the Colts following Jacksonville’s bye week.
Owners in need of a signal-caller down the stretch can turn to Foles (currently available in more than 92% of leagues). Another option is adding Titans QB Ryan Tannehill (available in more than 78% of leagues). Tannehill has thrown for 300-plus yards twice, and has seven total touchdowns in three starts since taking over for Marcus Mariota in Week 7.
RB Frank Gore, Buffalo Bills
It appears the Bills have officially handed lead-back duties to the electrifying rookie Devin Singletary, who out-touched the 15-year veteran 23-to-11 in Buffalo’s Week 9 win over Washington. Gore, who had double-digit PPR fantasy performances in three of Buffalo’s first four games, has just 21.4 PPR points (5.35 FPPG) combined over the last four games. Owned in over 86% of leagues, Gore offers very little upside, as the promising Singletary is poised to handle the increased workload. Owners should try to acquire Washington RB Derrius Guice (available in more than 61% of leagues), who is set to return from his knee injury in Week 11 against the Jets.
RB Peyton Barber, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Barber, owned in 63% of leagues, has taken a firm back seat to Ronald Jones in the Tampa Bay backfield. The fourth-year back out of Auburn was out-touched 20-to-4 by Jones in Week 9 against Seattle. Barber has managed just 63 rushing yards combined in his last three games, and with such a low ceiling, all fantasy owners need to cut ties. Owners would be better served targeting Detroit’s J.D. McKissic (owned in just 13% of leagues) who makes for an intriguing speculative move with solid upside after outperforming Ty Johnson in Week 9.
WR Robby Anderson, New York Jets
Having scored 13 touchdowns over his previous two seasons, the hopes were very high for Anderson heading into 2019. However, like the rest of the New York Jets (outside of Le’Veon Bell), he has been a complete bust this season. The fourth-year wideout, who contributed to an abysmal loss to the winless Dolphins, has just 23 receptions and one touchdown on the year. Anderson, owned in more than 94% of leagues, is not a player fantasy owners should be trusting any longer. He has failed to top 33 yards receiving in five-of-eight games.
Owners should instead look to add Colts WR Zach Pascal, who caught five balls for 76 yards and a touchdown in Week 9 replacing the injured T.Y. Hilton. The second-year wideout, owned in less than 21% of leagues, has quietly posted double-digit PPR fantasy points in four of his last six games and is player with tremendous upside amidst reports that Hilton will miss extensive time.
WR Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams
Cooks is easily among the biggest busts in fantasy football so far in 2019. In Week 8 against the Bengals, the sixth-year playmaker suffered his second concussion of the season, leaving his availability in doubt going forward. Cooks, owned in more than 98% of leagues, has just 27 receptions and one touchdown in a prolific Rams’ offense through eight games. The Los Angeles passing attack runs through Cooper Kupp and Todd Gurley leaving Cooks with very little upside.
Even if Cooks is able to clear concussion protocol in Week 10 against Pittsburgh, the organization may look to take it slow and err on the side of caution. With many owners fighting for their fantasy lives, owners can’t afford to roster an injured player who has failed to find a role even when healthy. It would be prudent for owners to cut ties now and instead look to acquire Miami WR DeVante Parker. The fifth-year pro, who has sneakily posted double-digit PPR fantasy points in five straight games, will see an even larger target-share after Preston Williams suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 9 against the Jets.
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