Week four is in the books, and Waleed Ismail has you covered for the players to add to your teams. But what about the players you have to jettison into the cold, uncaring depths of space? This week five cut list gives you the guys that you should think about dropping from your rosters. I’m not necessarily advocating throwing all these guys out the airlock, I’m just giving you an idea of some players who should be on your short cut list if you’re especially dire. And calm down, no, Calvin Ridley is not on here. To make this list, a player must be on a roster in at least 40% of leagues. I don’t need to tell you to drop Josiah Deguara or Devin Duvernay.
Week Five Quarterback Cut List (1QB leagues only)
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (69% rostered)
I’m going to keep hammering Carson Wentz, despite his very nice roster percentage. He’s averaging more interceptions than touchdowns per game this year, and his only functional play is scrambling for his life (and for two touchdowns in two games). It took the 49ers getting down to one of the cardboard cutouts of E-40 in the stands at cornerback for Carson Wentz to uncork a bomb to Travis Fulgham on Sunday. He’s scraped and clawed his way to fantasy relevance, but now he gets a buzz saw AFCN two-step: at Pittsburgh and versus Baltimore.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (44% rostered)
Baker made my streamers list last week because he fits in that little sweet spot, but it’s time to let Baker free, at least for now. He averages just 182.25 passing yards and 1.75 touchdowns on the year, and his 14.17 fantasy points per game are unusable. His upcoming schedule is Indianapolis and at Pittsburgh, so there’s no reason to hang onto him for the time being.
Week Five Wide Receiver Cut List (strap in, this is a long one)
Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys (94% rostered)
Now I started off with Michael Gallup because he had a truly dreadful game this week, and fantasy football players have short memories. Don’t drop Gallup, he has the team high in air yards by a mile (well, not literally) and currently rocks a crazy 21.2 yards per catch. Better days are coming for Gallup, like, uh, week four.
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (91% rostered)
This feels haram, but the Colts offense hasn’t done a great job of putting it all together yet. They’re jamming a lot of new pieces together, so starting slow makes a ton of sense, but I’m not sure what Hilton can do with this offense that’s built around giving the ball the running backs as much as humanly possible. After his 9 targets in week one, Philip Rivers tossed him five passes, three passes, and five passes in the last three games. On the season, he averages just 40.5 points per game and is on pace for just 88 targets. The people who drafted T.Y. Hilton likely did it based on the name. If you don’t want to cut bait yet (and I don’t blame you, really), he gets the Browns, Bengals, and Lions in the next three weeks. There are definitely worse stretches to have.
Jarvis Landry, Cleveland Browns (87% rostered)
It felt hot-takey to put Landry on my drop list last week, but I feel more emboldened this week. He’s WR24 on the week with a 39-yard touchdown pass trick play accounting for 38% of his fantasy points this week. He had just 5 catches on 48 yards, making three straight games with fewer than 50 yards and the fourth game with five or fewer catches out of four. He could turn it around, with Nick Chubb’s absence potentially causing the Browns to air it out more. So you could hang on unless you’re exceptionally desperate.
A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (84% rostered)
Cue the taps. Press F to pay respects. Hit him with the requiescat in pace. A.J. Green is done being a reliable fantasy football asset. Through four games, he has fourteen catches for 119 yards. I groused about Tyler Boyd’s ADP this offseason, saying that rookie QB Joe Burrow couldn’t sustain two fantasy football wide receivers. Turns out I was right about one thing, I just missed wildly on who would get damaged by it.
Marvin Jones Jr, Detroit Lions (81% rostered)
MJJ goes into his week five bye on the back of a nine-yard effort against the Saints. He’s been exceptionally disappointing this year, both with and without Kenny Golladay in the lineup. He’s on pace for 48 catches and 552 yards. If you are in a roster crunch, ditching an underperformer on a bye gives you a chance to scoop him back up to stash after week five.
Darius Slayton, New York Giants (80% rostered)
This one feels like it will have a reckoning this week. After his 6 catch, 102 yards, 2 touchdown effort in week one, Slayton has 9 catches for 134 yards across the next three games. The Giants offense looks less and less like an NFL-quality squad as the weeks progress, and Slayton might not be worth the roster spot if you’re getting desperate for running back space (and who isn’t). His opportunity isn’t there right now, but that could change on a (Danny) Dime(s) if this offense pulls itself out of its tailspin.
Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans (56% rostered)
I love you Brandin, but there are too many cooks in the Texans wide receiver corps. He put up a goose egg on Sunday and has three weeks of 25 or fewer yards out of four. This squad is a discombobulated mess but will have a new head coach (Romeo Crennel) and perhaps a new outlook on the season. If you can hold on for just one more week, maybe this will be worth it. Maybe. Maybe not. Okay, probably not.
Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears (47% rostered)
On last week’s episode of the Football Absurdity Podcast, Mike Valverde and I argued about who the #2 wide receiver in Chicago is this season. It turns out, the answer is nobody! 127 lineups across four games are just too many, and it turns out that Nick Foles isn’t appreciably better than Mitchell Trubisky (whodathunkit right?). That probably explains why Miller averages just 33.3 yards per game this season. Sever.
Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers (40% rostered)
Lazard underwent core-muscle surgery and will be out indefinitely. Anyone without an IR slot can drop him in a roster crunch situation.
Week Five Running Back Cut List
Off the top: Austin Ekeler and Nick Chubb will each likely miss at least a month with injuries. They are both too high end to hit the eject button on them. Things might change quickly for Ekeler, so keep an eye on his status to see if they shelve him for the year.
J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens (82% rostered)
Dobbins was always a stash-and-hold, but two touchdowns in week one convinced us that the hold might pay off sooner rather than later. He has just 22 touches through four games, which isn’t going to help you if you need help right now. With Mark Ingram as the lead back and Gus Edwards as the clock killer, there just isn’t much space left for Dobbins right now. If you can hold on, then hold on. But if you’re desperate, Dobbins and his 36 yards from scrimmage per game might need to go to the waiver wire.
Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (81% rostered)
I don’t want to do it. In a PPR league you can trick yourself into not doing it, but ditching Nyheim Hines might be the right call. He kicked the door down in week one, which was a Colts loss. Since then, he’s taking a back seat to (relatively) disappointing rookie Jonathan Taylor and clock killer Jordan Wilkins. He’s in a similar situation to Dobbins: his role is getting squeezed out by other running backs on the roster. Like Dobbins, I’d rather hang on if I could, but maybe I can’t.
Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills (66% rostered)
If you’ve held onto him through is toe injury, you might have gotten through the worst part. Like Dobbins, Moss was always a draft-and-stash. Unlike Dobbins, the RB he was supposed to supplant (Devin Singletary) has smashed in his absence. Singletary is currently on pace for 1,300 yards and might have squeezed out Zack Moss. I still want to hold on, but I’m losing faith.
Jordan Howard, Miami Dolphins (42% rostered)
What happens to a goal-line back when the offense implodes? Ask Jordan Howard in week four and his three touches for -1 yard. He’s a desperation flex play in disastrous bye weeks, and we aren’t there… yet.
Jeff Wilson Jr, San Francisco 49ers (41% rostered)
After doing his best Rod Beck impression in week three (being a sensational San Francisco closer), he logged just six snaps in week four. The Niners likely get Raheem Mostert back next week, rendering the part-time player to an even more part-time role going forward.
Week Five Tight End Cut List
Noah Fant, Denver Broncos (88% rostered)
If you’re in a shallow bench league, you have almost no choice here as Fant will miss week five. Monitor his ankle injury closely and see if he has more good days than bad coming up. I love Fant’s talent, but you might be stuck into a corner here.
Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (87% rostered)
My big, beautiful adult son has done relatively nothing in the last two weeks outside of a touchdown. He has two catches for thirty yards on six targets in the last couple of contests. It’s bleak and it makes me upset, but it is what it is. He gets the Niners and the Broncos in the next couple of weeks, so things don’t look like they’ll turn around soon.
Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns (53% rostered)
Hooper ended up with a 22.5% target share in a week where the Browns threw the ball just 31 times. If it weren’t for his touchdown, even that would not have mattered. He still hasn’t passed 34 yards in a week or five catches in a game. The upside doesn’t exist for a shallow league right now and you should cut bait in shallower leagues with difficult matchups on the horizon.
Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears (50% rostered)
Turns out the 4 catches for 43 yards on 8 targets in weeks one and two were more his reality than the ten targets, six catches, 60 yards, and two touchdowns in week three. The Bears are a team in flux and I can’t trust anyone on that team not named Allen Robinson (or maybe even David Montgomery???).
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 five!
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