Week twelve of the NFL season is in the books, and it’s time to shed blood to prove that we are alive in our fantasy football leagues. It’s the stretch run, and there’s no time for worrying about what you paid for a player at the draft, just whether or not they’re useful to your fantasy team as currently constituted. This one is brutal, and includes some names that you probably don’t want to cut, and that’s fine. This list is just more of a guide to some guys who should be in consideration. To make this list, a player must be on at least 50% of rosters. It does me no good to tell you to cut Adam Trautman or James Proche, you took care of that already. Waleed Ismail has you covered for who to add, so it’s time to get our fantasy grim reaper on.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (80% rostered)
At this point, if you have Rodgers on your roster, it’s because of his name, and not his production. Rodgers finished in week twelve with just 140 yards and two scores thanks to exiting the game early with a ribs injury. He also has an avulsion fracture to the thumb on his throwing hand, the Packers are 4-8, and looking up at the Lions, his top receivers are an MVS clone, Allen Lazard, and literally Randall Cobb, and he turns 39 next week. There’s just so much stacked up against Rodgers and the Packers at this point that they likely just pack it in. If they don’t, then you can hang onto Rodgers for his matchups in weeks fifteen (L.A. Rams) and sixteen (Dolphins). But next week proves to be an ownership stress test as he travels to Chicago to take on the Bears.
Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos (61% rostered)
It’s rare that I get legitimately angry at players for not living up to expectations, but it feels like Wilson isn’t even trying. Latavius Murray is the same player he’s been since the beginning of time, and he is the best part of the Broncos’ offense, by far. Russell Wilson is bad, I don’t know how else to put it, and I’m at a loss for words to explain my anger at how much he’s let everyone down. There’s no statistic to support it any more than this one: Wilson has been a top-twelve quarterback once this year, top-fifteen three times, and outside the top 20 six times. There’s no help coming, there’s no hope on the horizon. Just cut bait and move on.
Allen Robinson, L.A. Rams (78% rostered)
Allen Robinson will be out for the rest of the season as he will undergo foot surgery, per Sean McVay.
Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans (75% rostered)
Different quarterback, and the same story for Brandin Cooks. While the Texans moved from Davis Mills to Kyle Allen under center, Cooks once again barely crossed double-digit fantasy points and did it thanks to a late-game deep reception. Ever since sitting after the Texans failed to trade him, Cooks has 6 targets, 4 catches, and 55 yards per game, but half of his production (80 of 166 yards) came on deep balls with the game well out of hand. You can’t rely on Cooks for much of anything, and because of that, I must respectfully implore you to cut bait on the erstwhile Texans’ star receiver.
Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears (73% rostered)
Darnell Mooney will be out for the rest of the season after suffering ligament damage to his ankle on Sunday.
Devin Duvernay, Baltimore Ravens (51% rostered)
Duvernay finished week twelve with 3 catches for 23 yards. This marked the sixth-straight game without either five catches or 50 yards. The early-season hot addition has averaged 2 catches for 20 yards per game over the last six weeks. This better be his last week on this list, as he has been dreadful since starting the year averaging 3.4 receptions for 45 yards per game… with 3 touchdowns in five contests. He hasn’t scored in two months (September 25), so the touchdown upside is gone, as well.
Michael Carter, N.Y. Jets (84% rostered)
Michael Carter suffered a multiweek ankle injury that might be season-ending. Even before then, he wasn’t a superlative option at running back since Breece Hall went down; he’s averaged 8 carries, 2 catches, and 50 yards since the Jets lost Hall. Carter had a nice rookie year, but that is probably well behind him at this point.
Kareem Hunt, Cleveland (83% rostered)
For weeks, I resisted putting him on this list because he would be an incredible handcuff should something happen to Nick Chubb. But, I don’t want to wait around and see when or if that might happen any longer. Starting in week six, the Browns cut his snaps by about 10% and dropped his touches to six rushes and two targets per game, which Hunt turns into 31 yards. On the season, he ranks inside the bottom ten in yards per touch to running backs (among backs with at least 110 touches). He might have hit the wall, or he might be dealing with an injury, but he might be able to figure all that out on someone else’s roster. If you want to wait and see what happens with Deshaun Watson’s return, fine. But I’m not bullish on Hunt’s prospects.
Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco (71% rostered)
The 49ers demoted Elijah Mitchell to change-of-pace back after they acquired the best all-around running back in the NFL. Mitchell left week 12 with an MCL sprain… an MCL sprain landed Kyle Pitts on IR just last week. Tread lightly around this injury due to McCaffrey’s mystery knee ailment. Mitchell could be fine and the 49ers’ RB1 next week, or we might be done with Mitchell for the year.
Kenyan Drake, Baltimore Ravens (61% rostered)
Drake is nothing but a 60%+ rostered handcuff at this point, likely languishing away at the bottoms of rosters of fantasy players who have given up on the season. Drake has 14 touches for 55 yards in his last two games, combined.
Cam Akers, L.A. Rams (55% rostered)
Well, the Rams cut Darrell Henderson, so it’s time for Cam Akers’ big breakout game that all the Cam Akers heads said was coming when they took him in the fourth round of their fantasy drafts: 8 carries for 37 yards, on 30% of snaps. Rookie Kyren Williams had 70% of snaps, outsnapping him more than two-to-one. You can move on from Akers.
Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons (54% rostered)
Kyle Pitts is likely done for the season after the Falcons put him on IR with an MCL sprain.
Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints (53% rostered)
Since we all convinced ourselves that Taysom Hill was good now, he’s been awful. Since his big four-touchdown game against Seattle back in week five, he’s averaged 30 receiving + rushing yards, 13.3 passing yards, and 0.6 receptions per contest. Hill has just one touchdown in that span and has finished outside the top-ten tight ends in five-of-seven contests. You’re risking zero or one fantasy points for the upside of a backend top-12 tight end week. It’s just not worth it.
Greg Dulcich, Denver Broncos (52% rostered)
We’ll always have the first three games of Dulcich’s career, where he finished with three-straight top-twelve TE weeks while averaging 4 catches for 70 yards per game. Unfortunately, he has 7 catches for 52 yards in the three games since then… total. Back to the drawing board for Dulcich managers, at least until week seventeen, and the Arizona Cardinals.