Fantasy Football: 3 Players You Can Drop After Week 15
Hopefully, this will be your last week to make significant roster moves. It’s Championship Week for most fantasy leagues and we still have news and adjustments to make throughout the week. Regardless, our rosters have to be perfect and it’s time to cut the dead weight. To help, I’ve identified a few non-essential holds should you need to pick up some necessary depth to push for your league’s title.
As always, this is the one column I write where I hope I’m wrong from time to time. Cutting a player is never an easy decision unless a definite reason presents itself (e.g. injury). I’ll always take a look back to either confirm my previous read on the situation or find some hope for a player to stay on your squad.
Jordan Wilkins – Wilkins didn’t have a single touch in Week 15. He didn’t even get on the field. Jonathan Taylor took over a 70% snap share with Nyheim Hines rotating in to back up Taylor. Wilkins would only be a viable option in the event of an injury to either Hines or Taylor.
Christian Kirk – Kirk’s ancillary role in the Arizona Cardinals’ offense provided yet another dud. The Cardinals' offense scored 33 points, Kyler Murray attempted 36 passes, and Kirk got just 4 targets. He did have a red-zone target, but it was intercepted. Regardless, his unstable workload makes him unreliable for Week 16.
Hayden Hurst – Without Julio Jones in the lineup, Hurst earned just a 10.2% target share in Week 15. Matt Ryan connected with 11 different pass catchers which decreased Hurst’s chances of seeing an uptick in work. He did get a touchdown (targeted from within the 10-yard line) but was otherwise unused despite him running 35 routes on 49 of Ryan’s attempts according to PFF. Without a more concerted effort by the Atlanta Falcons to feature Hurst, he can’t be reliably started.
Potential Drop Candidates
Zack Moss, RB, Bills
Yahoo! Roster Percentage: 51%
Zack Moss’ Week 15 boxscore shows 13 touches for 81 yards, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Devin Singletary out-touched Moss (5 to 3) through the first half while the game was still competitive. That lead held through the third quarter (8 to 6) as the Buffalo Bills scored another 17 points. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when Moss got 7 of his 13 touches to salt the game away. Similarly, Moss got 8 of his 13 touches in the fourth quarter of Week 14 once the Bills had secured their win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s had eight attempts from within the 10-yard over the last month and yet to score and he’s earned just four targets over the same span. The shift in workload removes Moss from the low-end RB2 conversation and into desperation-FLEX territory. Without a fantasy viable workload, Moss is a non-essential hold for Week 16.
D.J. Chark, WR, Jaguars
Yahoo! Roster Percentage: 84%
The whole Jacksonville Jaguars’ offense has been hard to trust (except for James Robinson), but D.J. Chark was the lone pass catcher with consistent fantasy value. Through the first nine weeks of the season, Chark led the team in target share (21.0%) and red-zone targets (8). Even with the change at quarterback, the third-year receiver seemed capable of maintaining his alpha status with a 12-target outing in Jake Luton’s first NFL start. But since then, he’s faded. His target share has dwindled to 17% over the last month and has had just two targets from within the 20-yard line. What’s worse is their competition over that span. Jacksonville’s schedule since Week 12 included Cleveland, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Baltimore. Three out of those four were in the bottom half of the league in adjusted fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks and Chark was held under 50 yards in each contest. His inconsistency makes him a high-risk asset and would be tough to trust in your fantasy championship match.
Michel Pittman Jr., WR, Colts
Yahoo! Roster Percentage: 49%
A quick look at Michael Pittman Jr.'s peripherals would give us some confidence in his future value. He’s had an 18% target share over the last month. His 147 air yards are second on the team and his 4 red-zone targets are first for the Indianapolis Colts’ pass-catchers in that same sample. But half of those high-value touches came in Week 14. Not one of his targets in this range has connected for a score. In addition, his usage has shifted which has resulted in a decrease in on-field production. From Weeks 9 to 11 (when he first became a consistent starter), he was consistently used downfield. He had a 9.9 Average Depth of Target (aDOT) and led the team in receptions and air yards. Since Week 13, his aDOT has dropped to 5.1 while T.Y. Hilton has worked farther downfield. The rookie has been held to less than 50 receiving yards in four consecutive games and hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 11. His targets dropped off even further in Week 15 (10.7% share) making him a high-risk asset heading into Week 16.