Fantasy Football: 4 Players You Can Drop After Week 2
Week 2, also known as "Injury Week", has now (mercifully) ended.
It wasn’t just the number of injuries that left fantasy teams in shambles, but it was who got hurt. Drew Brees (six weeks out) and Ben Roethlisberger (done for the year) both exited early. David Johnson hurt his previously injured wrist, but he is expected to play in Week 3. Michael Gallup now requires a meniscus trim. Four different fantasy assets for the Philadelphia Eagles had to watch from the sidelines. Luckily, we know what their roles will be once they return assuming health. We can’t say the same about some other players two weeks into the season.
Let’s look at usage rates from the latest set of games and see who the new cut candidates are as we adjust to the shifting fantasy landscape.
Week 2 Review
Our previous drop candidates included:
Anthony Miller – Miller was up to 36% of the team’s snaps last week, but he is the fourth or fifth option, at best, on a team with the fifth-fewest passing yards per game. It’s time to look elsewhere.
Geronimo Allison – Don’t let the touchdown fool you. After Allison made a spectacular end zone grab, he proceeded to lose a fumble and get called for holding late in the game. His snaps were also down. Let him anchor someone else’s squad.
Week 3 Drop Candidates
Donte Moncrief, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Yahoo Ownership: 46%
Wide receiver drops are largely dismissed when the player’s talent is put into context. Donte Moncrief is not one of those cases. He had four drops in Week 1. His lone target in Week 2 bounced off of his face mask into the air and was intercepted by the Seattle Seahawks. After that play, Moncrief was nowhere to be found on the field.
The Pittsburgh Steelers already have to make offensive adjustments with Mason Rudolph now at the helm. In a likely condensed and simplified offense, Moncrief isn't worth rostering after his snap rate cratered from 90% in Week 1 to 32% in Week 2. With Moncrief becoming an afterthought in real football, he should hold the same status in fantasy football.
Dion Lewis, RB, Tennessee Titans
Yahoo Ownership: 39%
Dion Lewis had 30 rushing attempts and nine targets through Week 2 of the 2018 season. That’s been reduced to 11 total touches in 2019. Game flow is the general excuse. Through two games, the Tennessee Titans have run approximately 73% of their plays while either within one score or ahead of their opponent.
It’s assumed Lewis would see an uptick in usage if the Titans were trailing. That’s not necessarily true. Lewis saw only 26.8% of his targets come in negative game scripts last year. His problem isn’t game script -- it’s the amount of options Marcus Mariota has this year. Delanie Walker returning and the addition of A.J. Brown has dropped Lewis’ target share to 10% so far.
On a team that already has a bottom-10 passing rate, Lewis' role will have to be redefined in order for him to maintain any viable fantasy value moving forward.
Darrell Henderson, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Yahoo Ownership: 37%
The Los Angeles Rams’ rookie running back was already on our watch list after Week 1. It only got worse in Week 2. Despite the fact that LA had a two-score lead for the entire fourth quarter, Darrell Henderson never saw the field. Malcolm Brown’s snaps increased in order to spell Todd Gurley. There was action for the rookie.
The prevailing opinion out of Week 1 was that game script dictated usage. A close game against the Carolina Panthers forced the Rams into using personnel familiar with the offense. But in a game secured a full quarter before the end of regulation, Henderson was expected to be used. Without any insight into coach Sean McVay’s plans, it looks like Henderson’s value may not rise until later in the season barring an injury to Brown or Gurley.
Dante Pettis, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Yahoo Ownership: 64%
Issues with the head coach. An injury sustained during the preseason. However the media spins the narrative, Dante Pettis is off to a rocky start in his sophomore season. His snaps jumped to 49% in Week 2, indicating the injury concerns have passed. However, Jimmy Garoppolo threw passes to seven different pass catchers in their Week 2 blowout of the Cincinnati Bengals. Pettis was not one of them.
He was involved in a toss play back to Raheem Mostert in the second quarter, but the passing game largely took a back seat as the contest got out of hand. There’s some optimism that positive game script suppressed Pettis' usage in Week 2, but we’ll need to see more from Pettis in Week 3 to be sure.