The waiver wire is a zero-sum game. For every exciting upside addition, there must be a disappointing release of a player you once gladly added to your roster. Yet, the entire fantasy football realm seems to focus only on the first half of the add-drop exchange.
Welcome back to “let it go”. The curmudgeonly counterpart to all your overly-enthusiastic waiver wire pickup columns. We’re here to kill your already-dying dreams, but in doing so help you cut loose the dead weight holding back your rosters.
And, since drops are often agonizing, all categories are named for lyrics from “Let It Go.” The pain of your difficult drop decision is nothing compared to the pain of getting that song stuck in your head.
The ground rules:
- A player must be rostered in at least 30 percent of Yahoo leagues to qualify for inclusion
- At least one player listed must be rostered in at least 60 percent of leagues
The two lists at the top address players who have been listed in earlier weeks’ columns
I’m never going back, the past is in the past
Players listed in previous weeks who should still be dropped
Dante Pettis, WR, 49ers
Darrell Henderson, RB, Rams
Nyheim Hines, RB, Colts
Derrius Guice, RB, Washington
Robbie Anderson, WR, Jets
Antonio Brown, WR, free agent
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Bears
Test the limits
Players listed in previous weeks who, if you’ve held on this long, it’s OK to hold another week – but are still safe to drop
Duke Johnson, RB, Texans
Turn away and slam the door
These players should be dropped
Corey Davis, WR, Titans
Davis was featured here last week, but I’ll highlight him again since he had the fourth-best game of his career Sunday. Don’t be fooled. Maybe Davis’ glow-up was enough to give him some trade value, in which case feel free to test the market, but I’d accept the worst player on most rosters as fair value. Davis is still attached to Marcus Mariota, who ranks 19th in passing yards and 30th in completion percentage. The Titans are still a run-first offense, and their primary strategy in the passing game appears to be “Marcus Mariota please don’t blow this for us.” Their Week 4 opponent was the Falcons, who are dealing with multiple defensive injuries, including to key players in their secondary. Despite his strong performance, Davis is still a distant second in targets, trailing Delanie Walker 23-to-18. Furthermore, he’s seen only one more target than rookie A.J. Brown, and Adam Humphries has more targets than Davis since Humphries entered the starting lineup. As if being a secondary (or tertiary, or worse) option on the Titans wasn’t enough reason to drop Davis, their next three opponents are the Bills, the Broncos, and the Chargers, all of whom have good-to-great secondaries. Drop Davis.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington
Derrius Guice is still listed in the “I’m never going back, the past is in the past” section above, but I’m giving up on Peterson now, too. The steady workload is great – three straight games of between 10 and 12 carries. Predictable running back usage is what the fantasy community craves. Peterson is not the talent he once was, but that’s not the issue here. The problem is Washington, who are like opposite world version of the 2015-16 Spurs (one of the best NBA teams in the past decade, but they got overshadowed by the unfortunate coincidence of playing in the same season as the best team of the past decade). In any other season, sports talk shows would be overwhelmed by “will Washington go 0-16” storylines. Only one team can lose their Week 6 matchup with the Dolphins, and the Dolphins are the worse team, but I’m not sure where Washington gets their second win. Washington’s offensive line is awful and their passing game is unthreatening. That’s not a recipe for RB success.
Latavius Murray, RB, Saints
Murray’s roster rate is already down to almost 50 percent, which is a mighty fall for someone with a sixth-round ADP, so I’m not exactly at the leading edge of this one. That said, it’s past time for all of us to acknowledge that any dreams of Murray inheriting “the Mark Ingram role” are dead, and Murray is now a pure handcuff to Alvin Kamara. There is still some value there – Kamara’s workload is one of the largest in the league, and RBs sometimes get hurt. But Murray is averaging just 4.3 carries and 1.3 targets per week, which is not even close to enough for flex consideration. Any time you’re considering a waiver wire drop, remember to ask yourself, “would I pick this player up, if he were on waivers and I had a free spot on my roster?” Managers who already roster Kamara should answer “yes”. For almost everyone else, the answer is probably “no”.
I don’t care what they’re going to say
This section is for a player rostered in almost every league, but should still be dropped
Peyton Barber, RB, Buccaneers
Ronald Jones now has a 3-1 lead over Barber in the “weeks as the Bucs’ main back” race. Barber has never been a particularly good player, he just benefitted from often being the least-bad player on a roster. But it is now clear that Jones is the better runner, and, more importantly, Bruce Arians and the Tampa Bay coaching staff seem to know that now, too. It’s unlikely the Bucs will ever top their Week 4 offensive output, scoring 55 points, yet Barber saw only nine carries for 19 yards on just 19 snaps. He received only one carry in the entire second half. It’s time to let him go.
Here they stay
This player is going to get dropped in many leagues, but is worth holding for at least one more week
Tarik Cohen, RB, Bears
Another repeat from last week, but I think a lot of managers might need the reassurance. The Week 4 touchdown was a bright spot, but 18 scrimmage yards can be discouraging. But Cohen still say five targets and got five carries in a brutal physical slog of a game. And don’t forget, the Vikings defense is excellent. They entered Week 4 as the fifth-best defense according to Football Outsider’s defensive DAVE, an early-season tool similar to their DVOA that aims to minimize the significance of early schedules. There are some concerning elements here – I’m more worried about the fact that David Montgomery has now passed Cohen in snap share than I am about Cohen’s paltry yardage totals – but Cohen is still one of the most talented weapons in an offense that can’t get itself going. Especially with a new QB likely to take over for a few weeks, and the uncertain changes that brings, Cohen should be held a little longer.