Three weeks are in the books, and Waleed Ismail has you covered for the players you need to add this week. But, who can you drop? Now, I’m not saying the players on the week four cut list are drop candidates you need to go out of your way to remove from your rosters. What I am saying is that these are a shortlist of players who can happily make their way off your roster. If you need to add a player to your roster, and you have one of the guys below, you can do the needful. There’s nobody on this drop candidates list who is already rostered in fewer than 40% of leagues because it does no good to tell you to drop Trent Taylor or D’Ernest Johnson.
Quarterback Drop Candidates
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (78% rostered)
This is the third week where Wentz made the list, and I can’t think of a reason why I still have to plead with people over this. The easy part of their schedule is over. I’m writing this article during Monday Night Football, and if Lamar Jackson gets his act together, Wentz finishes as the week’s QB12. He needed five quarters, 65 rushing yards, and a literal last-second touchdown to make that happen. Now, he gets San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore in the next three weeks. You can snatch him back up off the wire before he plays the Giants, but then it’s Dallas and the Bye. If you’re in a roster crunch, you can move on from Carson Wentz.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (43% rostered)
I don’t think I need to do as much massaging on this one. Drop Daniel Jones, he has fewer touchdowns than Alvin Kamara has rushing touchdowns and receiving touchdowns. He has three of each; Daniel Jones has two passing touchdowns. Bye-bye.
Wide Receiver Drop Candidates
“Harley” Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns (89% rostered)
Odell Beckham Jr. sort of gave up the ghost with the Browns’ offensive plans this season. He said that he did not expect to have big numbers this year, as Head Coach Kevin Stefanski built the Browns’ offense around Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Makes sense, they’re the best one-two running back combo in the league, so it makes sense to rotate them all around and around to keep a fresh, strong running game going. Unfortunately, that means setting aside both Beckham and Jarvis Landry.
Through three games, this year, Landry has 13 targets, 12 catches, and 143 yards. That’s just roster glue in a deep league. In shallower leagues, say goodbye to Jarvis. It sucks to say that, but the offense just isn’t built for him or Odell Beckham.
Darius Slayton, New York Giants (84% rostered)
Daniel Jones is a dumpster fire, and he’s dragging the entire Giants offense down with him. Losing Saquon Barkley just buts the offense more squarely on Daniel Jones’ shoulders. Maybe that’s why he’s fumbling and misfiring all the time, he’s still used to having the weight of an entire franchise on his back. Anyway, Slayton had a huge week one but has just six catches for 88 yards over the last two games, combined. Sixteen guys outdid that in week three alone.
Jamison Crowder, New York Jets (72% rostered)
I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to remove Crowder from your roster. However, one thing has made itself abundantly clear in the last two weeks: the Jets are terrible. Just awful. A dumpster fire of unprecedented proportions. The Jets could and should still use Crowder well when he’s healthy, but he’s one of three Jets who won’t play for an unknown amount of time. Ideally, I’d hang onto Crowder, especially in a PPR league, but I don’t begrudge anyone cutting him loose.
Henry Ruggs III, Las Vegas Raiders (57% rostered)
Ruggs injured his hamstring early in week two, missed week three, and on Monday Jon Gruden said that he is “concerned” about both Ruggs’ and fellow rookie Bryan Edwards’ injuries. Ruggs hasn’t had a chance to prove himself yet in the NFL, and with a lingering hamstring issue, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to do that anytime soon. Go ahead and throw him back onto the wire.
Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (47% rostered)
Williams disappeared in both games with Justin “Herbz” Herbert. Williams has five targets and just three catches for 31 yards in the two contests, and he left week three early with a hamstring injury. He was always a speculative play, and with the offense coalescing around Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler, Williams is out in the cold.
N’Keal Harry, New England Patriots (44% rostered)
I’m probably the biggest N’Keal Harry Stan on this here Planet Earth, but the New England offense just isn’t built around getting Harry the ball. He had twelve targets in week two but had just four last week. That sucks. N’Keal Harry doesn’t, but that does. I’m hoping there are brighter days ahead for the second WR taken in 2019, but I’m not overwhelmingly hopeful.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Green Bay Packers (43% rostered)
MVS’s targets have been a rough affair in the last couple of weeks. Well, that’s not exactly true. MVS’s ability to catch a dang football is rough. According to playerprofiler.com, MVS has both the best targets in the league and also the most drops. That 4/96/1 game might have bought him some goodwill among fantasy football managers, but it’s been a rough go since then.
Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals (42% rostered)
Christian Kirk went for 3 catches and 57 yards on nine targets in weeks one and two. He missed game three with a groin injury, and will likely miss game four. There’s no major reason to keep Kirk kicking around the end of your bench with DeAndre Hopkins hoovering up more than a third of all the Cardinals’ targets.
Running Back Drop Candidates
Devonta Freeman, New York Giants (75% rostered)
Well, that was a fun diversion. Freeman had five carries and ten yards in his Giants’ debut, and it was part of a greater problem where the Giants’ offensive line showed a complete inability to do anything of value at all on Sunday. The Giants get the Rams, who have lots of fantasy points scored against them this season due to volume. The Giants stink, Freeman looked as cooked as he did toward the end of his time in Atlanta, and the Giants gave three different running backs between 15 and 20 snaps on Sunday.
Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears (57% rostered)
Tarik Cohen tore his ACL and is out for the season.
Jordan Howard, Miami Dolphins (55% rostered)
Jordan Howard is a true goal-line back. He has 21 snaps and 16 carries on the season. Eight of these carries are within the five-yard line, and he has just 12 yards and three touchdowns on the season. If you’re in a deep league and need a touchdown-dependent flex, hang onto Howard. He seems to have the designated “score when Mike Gesicki gets pass interference in the end zone” role locked up in Miami. I don’t know how long that will go, but Howard is three-for-three on falling into the end zone this season.
Dion Lewis, New York Giants (51% rostered)
Lewis is the passing downs back in New York and saw just one target in a game where the Giants were trying to play catchup all game long. There’s literally no more Dion Lewis game script than what the Giants had, and he played just 20-of-52 snaps.
Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (40% rostered)
At this point, unless you need to hang onto him as Dalvin Cook insurance, he’s pointless. It’s likely he pops this week (the Texans’ run defense is terrible), so hold off on dropping him if you can help it. You can trade him to the Cook owner after a potentially big game, but with twelve touches over the last two games, the promise of standalone value from Mattison is waning.
Tight End Drop Candidates
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (80% rostered)
Goedert caught his only target in six snaps on Sunday, finishing with seven yards. Unfortunately for Evan Hoovler’s TE5, he missed the rest of week three with an ankle injury. The latest reports out of the city of brotherly love are that the potential breakout tight end will miss “some time” with that injury.
[09/29 UPDATE: The ankle injury is a fracture. You can safely drop Dallas Goedert as it sounds like Halloween is a best-case scenario for the tight end]
Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (57% rostered)
If you’re oohing and aahing at Gronkowski getting six catches and 48 yards on seven targets, then I think you might just be in for a world of hurt going forward. Six catches for 48 yards isn’t even all that special. Gronkowski doesn’t appear to be very special anymore, but if you think this is the beginning of a turnaround, then hang onto him.
Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns (52% rostered)
I warned against drafting him. I begged and pleaded and pointed out the lack of targets. This is his third week on this, and things haven’t gotten anymore any better for Hooper. Through three games, he has seven catches for 62 yards on ten targets. At least he’s getting paid.
Keep in mind that all of these drop candidates are recommended drops, they are merely candidates to clear out space on your roster. Second quarterbacks and second tight ends should be the first to go to make room for the hot new running backs or tight ends you want to get on your roster. Good luck with all your waiver wire moves in week four!