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 three lists at the top address players who have been listed in earlier weeks’ columns
Turn away and slam the door
These players should be dropped
Damien Williams, RB, Chiefs
Maybe we’ll reconsider Williams when Patrick Mahomes (knee) returns to action in a few weeks – maybe. But Williams is a distant second, behind LeSean McCoy, in three-way time-share. Williams played just 24 snaps over the past two games combined. There was some upside when McCoy was struggling through an injury and the Chiefs were running roughshod over the entire league. With McCoy healthy, Damien Williams was already close to the cut line due to his limited workload. Now that Mahomes is out, the entire Chiefs’ offense gets a significant downgrade. The Chiefs face top-10 defenses in their next three games, get one easier game and then go into their Week 12 bye. Unless something happens to McCoy, Williams will be stuck on your bench for at least four of the next five weeks – probably five out of five. In case that’s not enough, the Chiefs play the Patriots in Week 14, the Broncos in Week 15 and the Bears in Week 16, so you’re not going to want to use Williams in the fantasy playoffs, either.
Wayne Gallman, RB, Giants
This shouldn’t be news. Gallman’s roster rate is already falling fast, and it will probably fall below the threshold for inclusion soon after this article goes live. When healthy he is still the primary backup to Saquon Barkley. But Barkley is now healthy and back to his full workload. Gallman is a pure handcuff, but neither his talent nor the Giants’ offense are good enough to make him a particularly valuable handcuff.
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
Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs
I’m not trying to pick on the Chiefs, I promise. The Mahomes injury is simply the most important development in fantasy from Week 7, and it dramatically impacts the outlook of a number of other players. As mentioned in the Damien Williams section, the Chiefs schedule takes a turn for the brutal over the second half of the season. Over their next eight games — the remainder of the fantasy season — they face six of the top 10 defenses according to DVOA. Watkins has effectively missed three games in a row, and we still have no idea when he’ll return from this hamstring injury. While Watkins led all WRs in fantasy points in Week 1, his workload steady shrank from Weeks 2 to 4 and he caught less than 65 yards in each. We know Watkins has massive upside, but look at his schedule and ask yourself – how many times are you going to feel comfortable starting him? It’s worth asking around to see if you can trade him, but if no one is willing then 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
Ronald Jones, Buccaneers
Jones is coming off a bye week, but his roster rate is falling because of his two disappointing games before the bye. His snap count and carries fell in both weeks. In Week 6, a touchdown saved what was otherwise a disastrous four carries for ten yards. But Jones remains the most talented Buccaneers RB, and the shrinking workload is mostly game script related. The Bucs use Dare Ogubawale as their passing down back. They were down big for most of the second half in Week 5, and they trailed by double digits before the end of the first quarter in Week 6. As a result, Ogunbawale garnered an even workload split in Week 5 and he led all Bucs’ RBs in snaps in Week 6, playing more than Jones and Peyton Barber combined. The Week 8 matchup isn’t great, but the Bucs face generous defenses in three of the following four. It’s frustrating that the Bucs are still making Jones split the work with Barber, but Jones has looked so much better on tape that I expect he’ll eventually earn a larger portion of the rushing load. That said, even in a split backfield Jones can be used as a flex player in upcoming matchups against the Seahawks, Cardinals and Falcons.
Can’t hold ‘em back anymore
Players listed in previous weeks who are no longer drop candidates, and in some cases can be added back onto rosters
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
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
Nyheim Hines, RB, Colts
Derrius Guice, RB, Washington
Robby Anderson, WR, Jets
Antonio Brown, WR, free agent
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Bears
Corey Davis, WR, Titans
Latavius Murray, RB, Saints (rosterable only while Alvin Kamara is injured)
Peyton Barber, RB, Buccaneers
Nelson Agholor, WR, Eagles
Raheem Mostert, RB, 49ers
Darrel Williams, RB, Chiefs
Eric Ebron, TE, Colts
T.J. Hockenson, TE, Lions
Delanie Walker, TE, Titans