Fantasy Football: 4 Players You Can Drop After Week 7

I have to admit something. I made a mistake.

I did my final roster sweep around noon on Sunday like I normally do and saw I had Marquez Valdes-Scantling in my lineup. He had missed multiple practices. He was a game-time decision with the hope he could give it a go against the Oakland Raiders. I was 4-2 going up against the first-place team in my league, and I couldn’t handle the risk. I scoured the waiver wire for any player with a viable projected workload and found the perfect gem still sitting out on the wire with an hour to go before kickoff.

Dante. Pettis.

I locked and loaded that roster move without a second thought after seeing Pettis’ snaps and targets rise, Deebo Samuel ruled out, and their defensive matchup against Washington.

Narrator: It did not go well.

Luckily, my opponent started Patrick Mahomes, Will Fuller, Alshon Jeffery, and Delanie Walker, but Week 7 was a season’s worth of fantasy football experienced in a few hours. You can plan, (hastily) research, and create the right logic train, but, in the end, chaos ensues. However, despite poor decisions resulting in positive outcomes, evidence-based decisions are typically more fruitful.

We now turn to Week 8. The Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys are on bye. Injuries have shifted the expectations of multiple teams. Even with the constant stream of information, we can still rely on the same process of looking at targets and snaps to determine who we can drop to conserve roster space as the fantasy playoffs marches closer and closer.

Week 7 Review

Our previous drop candidates included:

Tyler Eifert – Only two targets yet again in a game in which Andy Dalton had 43 pass attempts. He’s been asked to block on just 33 of his 199 snaps (per Sports Info Solutions), indicating he’s still running routes on the majority of his time on the field. He’s now been passed up in targets by an undrafted veteran and the Cincinnati Bengals remain winless. In a position where 8.2 points per game could get you in the TE1 ranks, Eifert sits at TE29. Not worth a spot on your roster.

Peyton Barber/Jaylen Samuels – Both were on bye in Week 7.

Drop Candidates

Josh Gordon, WR, New England Patriots

Yahoo! Ownership: 83%

We all love a comeback story, and Josh Gordon’s return to football from substance addiction is one of the few positive stories coming from the NFL. But his situation hasn’t translated into fantasy production. He’s currently dealing with multiple injuries, but that doesn’t excuse the weeks leading up to his early exit against the New York Giants.

Gordon was third in total targets and red zone targets on his own team. His 5 red zone targets are still tied with Antonio Brown. who played just one game with the team. He’s 70th in intermediate targets (10 air yards or more). Without a timetable for his return and Patriots trading for Mohamed Sanu, Gordon should be dropped in favor of ascending assets with a greater share in their respective offense.

Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans

Yahoo! Ownership: 78%

The 35-year-old tight end has seen his targets fluctuate week to week along with his snaps as he’s dealt with an ankle injury. Walker was questionable heading into Week 7 and quickly left after playing five snaps. He’s 15th in red zone targets (5) at the position.

In an offense that entered Week 7 passing at the sixth-lowest rate, Walker isn’t seeing the volume to justify starting him on a weekly basis. While it’s still to be determined if it’s the same ankle he injured in 2018, Walker has not finished in the top 24 of tight ends since Week 3. With other streaming options emerging, it’s time to cut the veteran in favor of better plays ahead of Week 8.

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers

Yahoo! Ownership: 62%

Gardner Minshew, Jacoby Brissett, and Andy Dalton have more QB1 (top-12) performances. Ryan Tannehill, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Sam Darnold have an equal amount of QB1 performances. But, somehow, Jimmy Garoppolo maintains a high ownership despite sitting below Joe Flacco as the QB24 on the season.

He’s yet to throw over 300 passing yards in a single game and has averaged an interception per outing. While the fantasy community likes to roster the individual pieces from San Francisco, Garoppolo presents himself as one of the few cases where the syrup isn’t greater than the pancakes.

Each week we’re presented with greater plays at a position with multiple options typically available on the waiver wire. With a stout Carolina D/ST coming to town off of their bye, his upcoming matchup is the perfect opportunity to drop Garoppolo in favor of a streaming option.

Chris Thompson, RB, Washington

Yahoo! Ownership: 41%

There’s not much justification to roster anyone from Washington aside from Terry McLaurin. The offense has generated 9.0 points per game in their last three outings. That’s not a typo.

Case Keenum has spent 53.5% of his drop backs passing in negative game scripts (fifth-worst), but that hasn’t helped Thompson’s targets. He sat out Week 7 with a case of turf toe, and the team has a quick turnaround as they head to Minnesota for Thursday Night Football. While providing a safe PPR floor of 10.4 points per game, his injury and team situation aren’t conducive to continued fantasy production for the rest of the season.

Concerning Trend

Brandin Cooks, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Yahoo! Ownership: 97%

Brandin Cooks’ usage really extends to the entire offense. This is not the Los Angeles Rams we enjoyed watching in 2018. But it all comes down to the quarterback. Jared Goff has been pressured more than any other quarterback this season.

Cooks’ average depth of target has increased on the season, but his target share has severely dropped from 22% to 15%. He’s operated as only a deep threat instead of an intermediate receiver with a diverse route tree. The offense has had to adjust to their weakened offensive line, and the result may suit Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp more than it does Cooks. He may be pushed to being a matchup-based starter if the opposing defense projects to have a weaker defensive front.