Fantasy Football: 4 Players You Can Drop After Week 15
Welcome to fantasy football championship week. With only one game left (for most people), let’s review some of our previous drop recommendations and get into the Week 16 drop candidates.
Week 15 Review
Our previous drop candidates included:
Marlon Mack – Mack has shared nearly half of the running back snaps with Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins since returning, but has handled over 65% of the backfield touches in each game. The result has been 57 rushing yards and 11.7 fantasy points over the two weeks since he returned from injury. The Indianapolis Colts have been in negative game scripts in both contests, likely affecting his workload, and the timeshare has clearly limited Mack’s snaps and production -- (hopefully) keeping him off starting rosters in fantasy.
Josh Allen – Allen finished with 16.4 fantasy points (QB16) in Week 15 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He got both a rushing and passing touchdown but was unable to put up much passing yards against the Steelers’ secondary (-0.03 Adjusted Defensive Net Expected Points (NE) per play). His efficiency has plummeted against three different teams with a top-10 pass defense, giving the fantasy community rational expectations for his Week 16 rematch against the New England Patriots.
Darwin Thompson – The snow in Arrowhead Stadium put the focus on the backfield, with the assumption that Kansas City would lean on the run in the adverse conditions. Patrick Mahomes disagreed with the weather narratives and threw for his best yardage total in a month. Meanwhile, Darwin Thompson split the backfield with a 37.5% share to the tune of 38 yards (39 total yards with a single catch). With neither running back separating themselves from the committee, starting any of them in the fantasy championship becomes a desperate move at best, even with a positive matchup against the Chicago Bears likely without Akiem Hicks.
Tyrell Williams, WR, Oakland Raiders
Yahoo! Ownership: 65%
Tyrell Williams started off the season with 105 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Denver Broncos. He hasn’t seen 100 yards since that day. In addition, his target share rapidly dwindled from 27% in Week 1 to 19% by Week 5 as Derek Carr slowly remembered he’s not a downfield passer (7.72 Yards Per Attempt). Plus, other options emerged from within the offense that were unknown to the fantasy community at the time. Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow quickly became primary targets, overtaking Williams in targets, with Foster Moreau being used in the red zone. Williams has been at a 13% target share over the last five weeks, and Renfrow is expected back in Week 16. With the Los Angeles Chargers’ secondary playing well, Williams becomes a risky start in the finals with likely other options on the waiver wire.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Yahoo! Ownership: 61%
The snow in Kansas City had the fantasy community reflecting on the 2013 Snow Bowl that LeSean McCoy coincidentally played in while he was with the Philadelphia Eagles. However, the results weren’t nearly the same. McCoy only had 6 rushing attempts and didn’t receive a target as Mahomes passed 34 times against Denver. It marked a three-game declining trend for McCoy in snaps, as his workload was cut to 25% of the backfield snaps. He was listed as the starter in Week 15, but received half of his work in the first quarter (3 carries, 11 yards) and didn’t see the field again until the second half. Spencer Ware and Darwin Thompson saw all of the red zone work, and Ware closed out the game with six consecutive runs to drain the clock. Whether it’s load management, injury, or Andy Reid taking the hot-hand approach, McCoy doesn’t have any consistent or trustable value headed into the finals. Now a part of a three-man committee, McCoy should be considered droppable for assets with a quicker path to touches, despite being on a less potent offense than the Kansas City Chiefs.
Benny Snell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Yahoo! Ownership: 34%
James Conner returned from injury, and Benny Snell Jr.’s snaps and touches plummeted to backup status. Despite the Pittsburgh Steelers’ run-heavy approach (51.2% passing over their last three games), Snell received three touches and was part of a backup committee featuring Jaylen Samuels and Kerrith Whyte Jr. The Steelers are traveling to face the New York Jets, who allowed over 200 rushing yards to the Baltimore Ravens and 113 rushing yards to the combination of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Patrick Laird over the last two weeks. But, with Conner picking up 63.2% of the backfield touches in Week 15, Snell becomes a backup/non-essential hold in the final roster churn before the fantasy finals.
Randall Cobb, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Yahoo! Ownership: 32%
From Weeks 9 through 12, Randall Cobb Cobb saw 30 targets, was second on the team with a 19% target share, and racked up 342 yards and 2 touchdowns. Two of those games were against tough defenses (Week 10 against the Minnesota Vikings, Week 12 at the New England Patriots), indicating Cobb had a legitimate role within the offense. Dak Prescott was forced to use other options than just Amari Cooper, and Cobb was capitalizing on the opportunity. Since Week 12, Cobb has fallen to sixth in targets behind Jason Witten, Ezekiel Elliott, and Blake Jarwin. Cobb has two more targets than Tavon Austin over the last three weeks. Dallas’ Week 16 matchup against Philadelphia sets up well for the entire passing offense, but Cobb’s reduced and inconsistent usage makes him a desperation FLEX play at best. Even if your starting wide receivers were one of those injured in Week 15, better options are likely available on the wire.