We have five weeks in the books, and it’s time to start making some tough decisions in your fantasy football leagues. Waleed Ismail has you covered for the players you should add to your rosters this week, but who needs to get out of the way? The Week Six Cut List has you covered. These guys aren’t all recommended drops (I’ll note when that is the case). Instead, consider this a shortlist to help you take a long, hard look at your rosters. To make the cut list, managers must roster a player in at least 40% of Yahoo! leagues. Anything deeper and you’re probably not reading this article. You don’t need me to tell you that the ride is over for Kyle Rudolph or DeeJay Dallas.
Quarterback Cut List (1QB Leagues Only):
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (100% rostered)
Dak Prescott suffered a gruesome ankle injury in Sunday’s game and is out for the season.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (95% rostered)
Since peaking at 28.5 fantasy points in week two against the Cowboys, Matt Ryan has had a slow and steady descent into irrelevancy. Since he posted four touchdowns in week two, he has one touchdown and two interceptions, averaging just about 250 yards per game. His fantasy points have dropped each of the last three weeks, and he posted just 7..94 fantasy points in week five. Matt Ryan went off the board as a backend starter in 1QB leagues, and he hasn’t done anything since September 20 to reward those who took him in their drafts. Coincidentally, Julio Jones mustered just 74 snaps across the last four weeks, which says a lot about how his availability drives Ryan. I understand hanging onto Matty Ice for one more week, but if there’s no Julio, there’s no Matt Ryan.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (78% rostered)
Burrow is an interesting case, because he collapsed hard against a bad opponent this week, going 19/30 for 183 yards, no touchdowns, and a pick against the Baltimore Ravens. What’s worse? He gets the Colts next week, who allow the fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs. Since Minshew knocked in three against them in week one, the Ravens yielded four QB touchdowns in as many weeks, with Nick Foles’ 249 passing yards as the high watermark for QBs. You can’t possibly feel good about starting Burrow next week, which makes him a bench, at best. He has a great Browns matchup, then the Titans (middling), then his bye after that. I would want to hold onto Burrow and just bench him this week if I can. If I can’t, he gone.
Wide Receiver Cut List
Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers (88% rostered)
Diontae Johnson has now managed just 1.2 fantasy points combined in his last two games played. He left September 27 against the Texans after two targets and a concussion, then left after one target with a back injury against the Eagles. Diontae showed that he has a spot on rosters with a 13-target, 8/92/1 line in week two. In week one, he had six catches for 57 yards on ten targets. But, it looks like Johnson might be usurped. He’s a drop only in very shallow leagues, and I’m hanging onto him if I can in any league with double-digit managers. Still, get that drop finger stretched out and ready to go, just in case.
Sammy Watkins, Kansas City Chiefs (77% rostered)
After a huge week one, Watkins fell off the map. Then, he injured his hamstring in a non-contact play this weekend against the Raiders. That’s bad. Now, fantasy managers are in a position to drop him after a huge blowup week one, once again. That’s the fun of having Sammy Watkins on your roster. While the non-contact hamstring didn’t look nearly as bad as Austin Ekeler’s, Watkins’ hammy still looked like it’s likely to keep him out of the lineup until at least November.
Deebo Samuel (77% rostered) and Brandon Aiyuk (67% rostered)
The easy part of the schedule is over for the 49ers, and Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t look right before getting stashed on the bench in week five. Over the next seven weeks, they play the Rams twice, the Patriots, Seahawks, Packers, and Saints. Also, their bye is jammed in there. That makes for two top-ten matchups (Patriots & Seattle) for wide receivers between now and Thanksgiving. Deebo Samuel had eight targets in a weird blowout on Sunday but traditionally struggles to find looks with George Kittle in the lineup.
With Deebo & Aiyuk eating at each other’s production and Kittle putting a lid on the top of everything, it’s hard to keep hanging onto these guys. We saw on Sunday Night Football why it’s hard to drop them, too, as Aiyuk took a carry 38 yards to the house. I understand hanging on, but it might be time to start looking at what the 49ers offense is, not what the 49ers offense could be.
A.J. Green (69% rostered—Nice.)
Green had one target after leaving with a hamstring injury. The one target was a completely overthrown pass that sailed for an interception. He now has twelve targets, six catches, and 39 yards in the last three games since the “he has 13 targets hang onto him!” game. Cincinnati changed the guard, and the old guard is dealing with a hamstring injury. He doesn’t need to be on your fantasy football rosters anymore.
Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (41% rostered)
Get out from under the Falcons passing game while you can. Gage has eleven targets, six catches, and 64 yards in the last three games. They get Minnesota next week.
Running Back Cut List
Mark Ingram, Baltimore Ravens (94% rostered)
Every possible bad thing that could happen for Mark Ingram in 2020 has happened to Mark Ingram in 2020. The offense added J.K. Dobbins, gave Gus Edwards more run, and also took a big step backward. It’s hard to keep a guy who only rushes the football, and who is getting just 9 rush attempts per game (for 41 yards) around if you end up in a roster crunch. He has two touchdowns on the year, but in HPPR or PPR leagues, he offers little more than 4-6 fantasy points most weeks. The Ravens are 4-1 despite the slight reduction in offensive prowess, so they’re unlikely to change anything about how they’re operating anytime soon.
Jerick McKinnon, San Francisco (86% rostered)
The 49ers went down big in this game, and it should have been McKinnon time. It wasn’t McKinnon time. He had just 25% of snaps with Raheem Mostert back, and Jeff Wilson Jr. played just one fewer snap than him. You probably want to hold McKinnon, since Mostert hasn’t been a paragon of health in his career. But, if you’re in a crunch, it seems as though Kyle Shanahan wants to lean on Raheem Mostert for the time being. It’s hard to drop a running back, so this probably isn’t ideal, but if you’re stuck, it is an option.
Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts (54% rostered)
I kept staring at the week one performance to keep him off of this list. But, unfortunately, it’s time. Over the last four weeks, Hines averages 32 yards per game on eight touches, and he hasn’t scored since week one. His catches (his calling card) also dried up. Hines has thirteen targets across the last four games after getting eight in week one. The Colts offense is (a) dysfunctional and (b) entirely Jonathan Taylor’s. Godspeed, Nyheim. We’ll always have week one.
Malcolm Brown, Los Angeles Rams (40% rostered)
Malcolm Brown is Runningbackese for Sammy Watkins. After his 110-yard, 2-touchdown week one effort, Malcolm Brown has 147 yards and zero scores in the last four games. He averages ten touches per game in a rapidly Balkanizing backfield.
Tight End Cut List
Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams (95% rostered)
I wrote a whole piece saying the opposite of this last week, but I don’t know what we can do now. It’s been one even vaguely usable game out of five so far in the young season. Goff still isn’t throwing the football nearly enough, and Higbee’s targets are just abysmal. He has ten targets in the last three games and just nineteen on the season. That’s not enough to do anything outside of being a boom-bust tight end option. It hasn’t been matchups, either: Gerald Everett has the same number of touches and 44 more yards than Higbee over the last three weeks.
Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers (54% rostered)
I actually don’t mind hanging onto Ebron if you’re in a serious bind. He’s averaged six targets over the last four weeks and has a 72% catch rate in those games. If you need a PPR play, go ahead and hang onto Ebron. If you have better options available to you, there’s no reason to hang onto him.
Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (53% rostered)
Rob Gronkowski set a new season-high in yards on Thursday Night Football: 52. He has two targets inside of the ten-yard line this year. What point, exactly, are more than half of you trying to prove?
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!