Fantasy Football: 3 Players You Can Drop After Week 5

After taking a step back and looking at the games, Week 5 made sense. Somewhat. Games that we thought would go over their points totals, like the Atlanta Falcons at the Houston Texans, met expectations. Teddy Bridgewater took a step forward as a quarterback and had the Superdome chanting his name. All positive outcomes, but even the negatives, were brought to bear as the Browns’ weakened offensive line couldn’t withstand the Nick Bosa and San Francisco 49ers. The analytically-minded Indianapolis Colts used the Detroit Lions defensive blueprint and utilized man coverage to topple the then-undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. Week 5, mostly, made sense.

Week 6 brings about the bye-week gauntlet. We’ll have at least four teams out each week (except Week 8) until the fantasy playoffs. Here is where bench size becomes a key factor. Drop candidates, and the process for determining the candidates, will remain the same -- but dropping players can depend on your league. Short-bench leagues will require constant roster churning while deeper ones can assume more risk. The decision comes down to each fantasy manager, but we’ll walk through each candidate as more news and data become available.

Week 5 Review

Our previous drop candidates included:

Adrian Peterson – The 34-year old vet handled only 40.9% of the running back touches in Week 4. While this matches his previous week’s workload, Peterson finds himself in one of the worst situations. Washington is the third-worst scoring offense in the league. They’ve switched starting quarterback three times in 5 weeks. Their head coach was called into the team facility at 5 am only to be fired. Disarray would be a kind descriptor. The only silver lining is that interim head coach Bill Callahan was noted for his desire to run the ball. Regardless, Peterson is part of a three-way committee on a winless team. His volume isn’t worth the trouble.

Trey Burton – Even in a game the Chicago Bears trailed, Burton earned only 3 targets. On the plus side, each target was in the red zone, but he couldn’t convert on his meager opportunities. Chicago entered Week 4 in the bottom-12 in tight end targets. Tarik Cohen and Anthony Miller earned more targets in the same area of the field. At such a fickle position, streaming becomes a more viable option, especially with Chicago entering their bye in Week 6.

Justin Jackson – The calf injury has kept Jackson sidelined the past two weeks, and Melvin Gordon officially returned to action in Week 5. Austin Ekeler out-touched Gordon 19 to 18 with Gordon essentially playing Jackson’s would-be role had Gordon continued his holdout. Injuries continue to mount for the Los Angeles Chargers, but unless Jackson can play wide receiver or center, his role will be limited upon his return.

Jalen Richard – Game script certainly didn’t help Richard in Week 5. The Oakland Raiders held on to their lead for most of the game, and Richard didn’t even receive a touch when Oakland trailed in the 4th quarter. He had the lowest snap percentage of his running back teammates. Even DeAndre Washington got a rushing touchdown, to make matters worse. With Oakland also entering their bye, if he wasn’t cut already, this week is an easy excuse to put him on the waiver wire.

Drop Candidates

Darrell Williams and Darwin Thompson, RBs, Kansas City Chiefs

43% and 11% Yahoo Ownership

Damien Williams returned to the field, and his role on Sunday Night Football removed any doubts as to how Coach Andy Reid felt about Williams’ health. He saw more snaps (35) than the rest of the running backs combined. His role reduced Darrel Williams’ opportunity to only spelling the other Williams (0 touches). Plus, with the two Williamses and LeSean McCoy, there was no room for Darwin Thompson to see the field. Both now become ancillary pieces to a seemingly healthy backfield. Unless the two have skills at wide receiver, their path to touches for Kansas City becomes very cloudy.

Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants

80% Yahoo Ownership

Wayne Gallman has already been declared out for Week 6 after suffering a concussion in the first quarter of their Week 5 contest against the Minnesota Vikings. After quickly being ruled out in Week 5, his Week 6 availability was in doubt with the team’s short turnaround to face the Patriots on Thursday. Saquon Barkley is already back to practicing on a limited basis suggesting a Week 7 return is possible. There’s some logic to holding Gallman to confirm Barkley’s status, but all signs point to Gallman returning to his backup role by the time he clears the concussion protocol.

Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers

28% Yahoo Ownership

On October 5th, only two days before their Monday night matchup, Coach Kyle Shanahan was unsure, but optimistic, about Tevin Coleman’s return. His comments left the door open to Raheem Mostert having a significant role in the offense, but that was laid to rest on Monday night. Coleman returned to the tune of 16 carries, 97 yards, and a touchdown against Cleveland. In his wake, Mostert’s touch rate was reduced to 17.9%, after earning a 30.8 and 39% touch rate the two weeks prior, respectively. Mostert should always maintain an active role given his special teams usage, but his value plummets to a deep flex play at best with the San Francisco committee back at full strength.

Concerning Trend

Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans

88% Yahoo Ownership

Weeks 4 and 5 saw Jonnu Smith play ahead of Walker in snaps. They also have nearly the same number of targets over the same span. The Tennessee Titans entered Week 5 targeting the tight end position at the sixth-highest rate. Delanie Walker received Marcus Mariota’s first target of the game -- a 26-yard pass negated by penalty -- but wasn’t seen again until the fourth quarter. The Titans are in the bottom half of the league for offensive scoring and 31st in pass attempts per game. There was some worry that the third-year tight end would dig into Walker’s workload, and the past two weeks gives life to those fears. The Titans travel to face the Denver Broncos, who have allowed 11.1 fantasy points per game to tight ends. While it’s possible Walker gets things back on track, fantasy managers should already be looking at other options.