Fantasy Football: 3 Players You Can Drop After Week 7
Week 7 featured injuries to multiple starters that have shifted the fantasy landscape yet again. Fantasy managers will be rushing to the waiver wire in search of players like Chase Edmonds, Rashard Higgins, or Carlos Hyde to fill the gaps left by their starters. Regardless, those pickups come at a cost, and we need to clear space to churn our roster. I took a look at some of the latest trends and identified a few players to consider dropping as you make your waiver claims ahead of Week 8.
Again, this is the one column I write where I hope I’m wrong from time to time. Cutting a player is never an easy decision unless a definite reason presents itself (e.g., injury). I’ll always take a look back to either confirm my previous read on the situation or find some hope for the player to stay on your squad.
Marvin Jones – Jones finally had a game where his yardage reflected his usage. He earned a 16.7% target share and turned it into 80 receiving yards. Unfortunately, it was a season-high for Jones, and he only received a single target while the team was in scoring position. The Lions have added D'Andre Swift as an option in the passing game, splitting the Detroit Lions’ target share even further for Jones. Without an appreciable ceiling, Jones should remain out on the wire.
Jarvis Landry – Landry’s situation has changed with Odell Beckham being out for the season with an ACL injury. Regardless, his Week 7 workload still couldn’t be translated to fantasy relevance despite the back-and-forth nature of the Cleveland Browns’ contest against the Cincinnati Bengals. His 7 touches (21.4% target share) became just 67 scrimmage yards, as Landry’s health continues to hamper his production.
Eric Ebron – Ebron saw a similar target share, but Ben Roethlisberger had a season-high 49 attempts in Week 7. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 67.1% passing rate indicates that they needed an opposing offense to force the issue. If the assumption holds, Ebron is viable against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8. Tight end volatility can swing in both positive and negative directions, so Ebron may have some viability next week.
Potential Drop Candidates
Cam Newton, QB, Patriots
Yahoo! Roster Percentage: 85%
Something’s not right with Cam Newton. Reports started to surface that he injured his throwing hand against the Denver Broncos in Week 6. Admittedly, the idea retroactively explained his two interceptions and the New England Patriots falling to 29th in Adjusted Passing NEP per Play. But, it didn’t get any better in Week 7. Newton threw three more interceptions against the San Francisco 49ers and wound up getting benched early in the fourth quarter. The former NFL MVP hasn’t said otherwise, but we’re left wondering if he’s experiencing any lasting effects of COVID-19 after such a drop in production. Regardless, fantasy managers need to make other plans. Even if Cam is healthy, his receiving options aren’t. N'Keal Harry suffered a concussion, and Julian Edelman has been a mainstay on the injury report since Week 1. The Patriots do have the New York Jets ahead of them in Week 9 after a matchup with the Buffalo Bills in Week 8, but streaming options need to be considered for the foreseeable future as Cam is not a must-start at quarterback.
Cam Akers, RB, Rams
Yahoo! Roster Percentage: 45%
Cam Akers’ second-round draft capital with an organization like the Los Angeles Rams vaulted him up our draft boards to start the season. Darrell Henderson had a disappointing rookie season and didn’t appear ready for the workload. Malcolm Brown was a hindrance, but Akers’ talent should have overtaken the backfield given his college production. Since his return from injury, the Rams’ latest running back addition has seen fewer snaps and touches the past three weeks. From a 19% snap share in Week 5 to just 2 snaps in Week 7, it appears the rookie has been relegated to emergency-only situations. He only saw playing time against the Chicago Bears after Henderson was injured partway through the second half. In addition, Akers hasn’t been involved in the passing game since Week 1 when he earned a single target. His primary value lies in being a valuable backup should Henderson or Brown get injured. The Rams entered Week 7 below the league average for both neutral passing and red-zone passing (54.2% and 40.6%, respectively). The opportunity would be there for Akers in a smaller committee, but fantasy managers should look at other options if bench space is at a premium.
Michael Gallup, WR, Cowboys
Yahoo! Roster Percentage: 77%
Michael Gallup has maintained a 12% target share on the season, which has given him the WR4 label for most of the campaign. Even when Dak Prescott was active, players like Cedrick Wilson would pop up for long gains or crossing routes that turned into touchdowns while Gallup would streak down the sideline. But the Dallas Cowboys’ offense clearly isn’t the same. Without Prescott, the Cowboys offense has fallen from 509.5 yards of total offense per game to 243 total yards over their last two contests. Andy Dalton has 306 passing yards in his two starts for Dallas. Prescott passed for 312 yards in the second half of their Week 2 game against Atlanta. The shortage of yards has brought all of the ancillary players’ value down as Gallup didn’t record a single catch for the second time in his career. We were all hopeful for Gallup and the entire Dallas offense in 2020, but injuries have proven to be too much to overcome, and Gallup becomes a non-essential hold as their offense is in complete disarray.
Trend to Note
Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
Yahoo Roster Percentage: 99%
Bruce Arians noted Mike Evans is playing through an ankle injury over the last few weeks. His availability has drawn primary defensive coverage, but we don’t get points for drawn penalties or playing as a decoy. Evans totaled 17 targets, 163 yards, and 2 touchdowns in Weeks 4 and 5 with Chris Godwin out of the lineup. He’s seen 4 targets since Godwin returned to the active lineup in Week 6. In addition, Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson have ascended, Rob Gronkowski has shaken off the dust, Leonard Fournette is healthy again, and the team just signed Antonio Brown. It’s not a question of talent at this point with Evans, as he’s clearly surrounded by similar or better talent that will see lighter coverage. With his target share dwindling to just 6% over the last two weeks, fantasy managers should be looking at other options or discussing trade opportunities to avoid being forced into starting Evans moving forward.