Fantasy Football: 4 Players You Can Drop After Week 14
Congratulations if you survived Week 14, one that was marred by multiple injuries. With the sheer number of health concerns headed into Week 15, it’s hard to imagine dropping players with unknown offensive situations. However, those situations may be limited given the upcoming matchups or projected lack of output given the losses sustained on either side of the ball.
Let’s review some of our previous drop recommendations and get into the Week 15 drop candidates.
Week 14 Review
Our previous drop candidates included:
Tevin Coleman -- In a close game in which 94 points were scored, Coleman saw 16% of the running back snaps as Raheem Mostert led the San Francisco 49ers' backfield once again. Coleman received just six touches (no targets) and didn’t get any looks until the second half of the game. Kyle Shanahan commented on using the hot-hand approach to justify leaving Coleman the odd man out. He’s now totaled 70 scrimmage yards combined over the last three games as his workload has steadily decreased. Unless another injury occurs, Coleman holds little value, even on a great offense.
Jonathan Williams -- Marlon Mack returned in Week 14 and Williams saw zero snaps as a result. The third-string running back who was thrust into the spotlight was immediately shoved out of the it the moment the starter was medically cleared to play. Not to say Mack immediately provided a spark (see below), but Williams relegation to the bench puts him back on the shelf as the Indianapolis Colts continue to struggle on both sides of the ball.
Sammy Watkins -- Watkins popped up in the box score in Week 14 with eigh targets against the New England Patriots as the primary defensive focus was on Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. The forced diversification on offense resulted in his highest output in nearly a month, but Watkins received zero work within the red zone. While just six of his eight targets were catchable (via Sports Info Solutions), he’s been used only marginally more than LeSean McCoy over the last four games. Without any indication of a shift or additional injuries to the receiving group, Watkins’ upside is limited moving forward.
Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Yahoo! Ownership: 95%
Marlon Mack had several reasons to push for being medically cleared from his fractured hand ahead of the Indianapolis Colts’ Week 14 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as he was playing near his hometown. But the results were less than ideal.
Mack handled (pun intended) 59.1% of the running back carries for a grand total of 38 yards. His Success Rate (or percentage of plays resulting in a positive net expected point) was 0% in his limited return to action. His short touchdown run did salvage his fantasy day, but the low yardage total and continued lack of work in the passing game is a concern.
Part of his poor performance could be chalked up to health and his multi-week absence while another part may have been due to matchup. The Tampa Bay D entered Week 14 as the league' top run defense, per our schedule-adjusted numbers. Week 15 doesn’t inspire much confidence, either. The Colts travel to the Superdome to face the New Orleans Saints, who rank eighth in run defense.
With another tough and limiting matchup ahead, Mack becomes a non-essential hold despite the primary workload projected in Week 15, especially with the Colts a big underdog.
Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
Yahoo! Ownership: 80%
Josh Allen had been providing QB1 and high-QB2 performances for most of the season, but he was the QB27 in Week 14. That’s his lowest finish since Week 4, when the Buffalo Bills hosted the New England Patriots.
Allen came across a similar defense in Week 14. Since Week 10, the Baltimore Ravens had allowed only one quarterback to crest 200 yards passing. They’d recorded two or more sacks in every game, and opposing offenses were limited to 12 points per game. Allen was able to mount one successful touchdown drive but wound up posting his worst completion percentage and yards per attempt on the season against Baltimore while rushing just twice.
Allen’s final stretch of games during the fantasy playoffs include traveling to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 15 and the Patriots in Week 16. With little optimism for a bounce-back performance on the road in two tough environments, fantasy mangers are encouraged to look for streaming options at the quarterback position for the remainder of the fantasy playoffs.
Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers
Yahoo! Ownership: 72%
Greg Olsen was held out of Week 14 due to a concussion sustained in Week 13. The injury allowed backup Ian Thomas to take the field, and he immediately saw 24% of the team’s targets. Olsen hadn’t seen a similar target share since Week 10 (23%) and hadn’t seen a larger target share since Week 3 (27%). Thomas also get work in the red zone and was able to convert for a short score.
Practice reports will need to be monitored this week, but Olsen also becomes a non-essential hold in the event he’s unable to suit up in Week 15. Olsen’s been key for Kyle Allen this season, but both have struggled as the Carolina Panthers have lost five consecutive games. Fantasy managers are encouraged to scour the waiver wire for alternatives as the Panthers gear up for a visit from the Seattle Seahawks in the playoff semifinals.
Darwin Thompson, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Yahoo! Ownership: 19%
Darwin Thompson was a popular waiver add ahead of Week 14 as it was announced that Darrel Williams was placed on Injured Reserve and Damien Williams was unlikely to play. These key absences left LeSean McCoy, who had been benched earlier in the season for ‘"load management" and the fresh legs of Thompson to face New England.
A seemingly legitimate piece of the Kansas City offense appeared to be a viable pick up until the Chiefs resigned Spencer Ware. But Ware had been a free agent for weeks up until that point in the season. The likelihood of Ware playing meaningful snaps, even for his old team, was hard to fathom as the fantasy community watched Jay Ajayi receive less than 15% of the snaps for the Philadelphia Eagles after being signed as a free agent.
Then Spencer Ware led the backfield in snaps while seeing 23.1% of the touches. The now three-man committee on a team that passed the ball 59.7% of its offensive plays isn’t much to get excited about. Headed home to face the Denver Broncos, who sit 12th versus the run by our metrics, Thompson’s value lessens. With higher priority options out on the waiver wire, Thompson can dropped to secure assets with greater upside ahead of Week 15.