Fantasy Football: 4 Players You Can Drop After Week 4
The silver lining is that dips in production create buying windows if the opportunity is still there. For players like the aforementioned trio, that should never be in question. But the ancillary options are subject to review. The fantasy landscape is an ever-changing one, and we’ll need to continue adjusting as more information becomes available.
That’s what we do here each week. Snaps, targets, touches, and injury news are the primary inputs to our expectations and whether or not we should continue to roster players. Without a logical path to opportunity, our weekly and seasonal prospects would be better served with increasing our leverage against our immediate opponent (and the league) with strong starters and depth on the bench.
Let’s get into who we can potentially drop in order to make room for viable pickup candidates ahead of Week 5.
Week 4 Review
Our previous drop candidates included:
Justice Hill – Even in a game where Baltimore trailed throughout the majority of the contest, Hill still played behind both Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards. The rookie only handled 16.67% of the running back touches while his backfield competition (and quarterback) took most of the work. After a brutal divisional loss, there may be some changes on the way for the Baltimore Ravens, but current trends indicate Hill should be on the waiver wire as opposed to clogging up your bench.
Kyle Rudolph – Rudolph entered Week 4 ranked 41st in targets, 50th in red zone targets, and 60th in total yards among all tight ends. He was battling in the ranks against Mo Alie-Cox and Jonnu Smith and exited Week 4 with a single target. In a game in which Kirk Cousins posted a season-high attempt total of 36, Rudolph’s blocking has been more valuable to the Minnesota Vikings than his ability to run routes. Adam Thielen is already questioning the team’s offensive plan, but Rudolph needs to see increased usage before we can bring him back on to our rosters.
Keke Coutee – Coutee and Kenny Stills had seen similar snap shares (45% and 37%, respectively) entering Week 4. However, Stills’ average depth of target (13.3) and total air yards (127) were greater indicators of fantasy success when compared to Coutee. But Stills left Week 4 early due to a hamstring injury. His absence opened the door to Coutee, who saw three targets in relief of Stills. Stills' status must be monitored heading into Week 5 as Houston has a prime matchup against the ailing Atlanta secondary.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington
61% Yahoo Ownership
Volume is king, but not all touches are created equal. Since Derrius Guice went down, Adrian Peterson has absorbed 54.5% of the running back touches at a clip of 12 touches per game. But Washington has struggled to do…everything.
As a team, Washington is fifth-worst in points per game, and their offensive line is in the bottom-10 for Adjusted Line Yards. We can see all of this play out in Peterson’s production. He’s 35th in carries within the 20-yard line and 33rd in attempts within the 10-yard line. For context, Lamar Jackson has one fewer carry. Peterson also only has five red zone targets. He’s tied with Frank Gore.
Washington just benched Case Keenum in Week 4. Dwayne Haskins entered and threw three picks, and coach Jay Gruden is yet to name their starter in Week 5. Their next four opponents include the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers and Vikings. Three of those four foes have limited teams to less than 100 rushing yards per game, and Washington will likely be an underdog in three of them, with Miami the lone exception (and they could be 'dogs there, too). Peterson's limitations in the passing game, and Washington’s inability to move the ball downfield make him tough to carry on fantasy rosters in 2019.
Trey Burton, TE, Chicago Bears
35% Yahoo Ownership
After finishing 2018 as the TE8, Trey Burton slid into the tight end middle class with a 11th-round draft cost. However, his sports-hernia surgery kept him from OTAs and much of training camp. This translated into him missing Week 1, and he’s essentially shared the workload with Adam Shaheen.
The Chicago Bears have used tight ends on just 15% of its total targets, which is bottom 10 in the league. Burton’s not even getting the money touches. He’s 31st in red zone targets, tied with Michael Gesicki and Nick Boyle. Burton’s been the fourth option from inside the 10-yard line for the Bears. Chicago’s only averaged 16.5 points per game and now need to reform their offense around Chase Daniel. That should be less opportunity for Burton and lesser potential for scoring, too. It’s time to look elsewhere for a tight end option.
Justin Jackson, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
18% Yahoo Ownership
We all thought we had more time, but it was inevitable. Melvin Gordon ended his holdout just three weeks into the season. Coach Anthony Lynn confirmed Gordon as the starter, moving everyone else back down the depth chart.
That’s a death knell for Justin Jackson.
Prior to Week 4, Jackson had a 28.2% share of running back touches with a steady increase in snaps each week. Week 4 set up as a potential heavy-workload situation for him against Miami. However, that was not to be. Jackson turned up on the injury report with a calf injury and sat out.
Unless Jackson can play wide receiver, his injury and Gordon’s return relegates the sophomore to third on the depth chart. For a glimpse into what his touch share might be, take a look at the first half of 2018. He didn’t eclipse 10 touches in a game until Week 9. He’ll be on speed dial should another shake up occur, but for now, his time as a contributor is over.
Jalen Richard, RB, Oakland Raiders
8% Yahoo Ownership
DeAndre Washington Washington has out touched Jalen Richard 21 to 15. Richard saw his lowest snap share (28%) in Week 4 while both Josh Jacobs and Alec Ingold saw the field more often. He’s 17th in running back targets while his team is in negative situations, and he has a single target while ahead.
Richard’s skills in the passing game are his greatest asset, but the emergence of Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow has put Richard seventh on team in team targets. This spread offense has limited Richard’s opportunity, making him an easy drop candidate as we enter Week 5.