Fantasy Football: 3 Players You Can Drop After Week 13
The fantasy playoffs are finally here. We’ve made it through 13 weeks of iconic performances, season-ending injuries, personnel losses due to COVID-19, and the latest rookie class making their presence known to the league. It all comes down to the next few weeks. Our starting rosters need to be perfect, but our benches need depth in order to get us over the top. To help, here are three players you can drop after Week 13’s slate of games.
As always, 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 player to stay on your squad.
Cam Newton – The New England Patriots shut out the Los Angeles Chargers, and Cam Newton scored 23.6 fantasy points. He put himself back into the QB1 discussion, but Newton had just 69 yards passing on 19 attempts. His two short touchdowns were set up by long drives consisting primarily of runs by Damien Harris and Sony Michel. Newton attempted just four deep passes and was unable to convert any of them. With the Patriots set to face the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14, Newton should be left out on the wire.
Chase Edmonds – Edmonds had a small resurgence in Week 13 with 12 touches to Kenyan Drake’s 13 against the Rams. Edmonds six targets were surprisingly second on the team, but the Arizona Cardinals were trailing for three quarters of the game. Despite the usage, he had just one touch from within the 20-yard line while Drake had four such touches, including a short-yardage touchdown run. Without the high-value touches, Edmonds remains a high-priority backup at best with limited standalone value.
A.J. Green – Another disaster for the Cincinnati Bengals. Cincinnati attempted 26 passes, but the lethal combination of Brandon Allen and Ryan Finley generated only 193 passing yards. To make matters worse, five players were ejected during the game after personal foul penalties, and Allen was knocked out of the game with a chest injury -- further limiting the Bengals’ offense. A.J. Green, in all of the chaos, had just one target and didn’t record a catch. With the Bengals continuing to spiral out of control, Green should be on all waiver wires.
Potential Drop Candidates
Todd Gurley, RB, Falcons
Yahoo! Roster Percentage: 97%
Todd Gurley has been on the decline since the Atlanta Falcons’ bye back in Week 10. Prior to the bye, Gurley was the team’s primary workhorse with a 62% snap rate and an average 64.5% touch share. In addition, he had 83.3% of the running back rushes inside the red zone, which fueled most of his value.
However, his usage has tailed off over the last few weeks. He missed Week 12 with a knee injury and fell to just a 47.4% touch share in Weeks 11 and 13. Gurley’s also had just three touches from inside the 20-yard line in that time. Meanwhile, Ito Smith and Brian Hill have rotated with Gurley, who Atlanta's coaches have said still isn't 100%.
Gurley has totaled 142.2 PPR points this season, and 54 of those points (38.0%) have come from touchdowns (9). With his role declining combined with a tough upcoming schedule, Gurley can’t be reliably started and is a non-essential hold during the playoffs.
James White, RB, Patriots
Yahoo! Roster Percentage: 68%
Every fantasy manager rushed to the waiver wire to pick up James White after Rex Burkhead was injured in Week 11. Cam Newton was averaging more than 250 yards passing, the Patriots’ offense had been averaging 47.2 yards per drive over their last three games, and the backfield had condensed to just two.
Managers who rostered White were instantly rewarded with two touchdowns in Week 12, but his usage raised some flags. Both scored came on the ground, giving White his first game of two rushing scores since Week 9 of 2018. But in that game, Damien Harris took over the lead-back role, and White’s touches actually dropped. The touchdowns covered up the decreased workload.
Then, Sony Michel returned last week, and Michel soaked up 35.5% of the touches. White still had 4 targets, but his snaps dropped just 28% in the blowout victory over the Chargers. White lost any remaining value with Michel and Harris also mixing into the passing game (each had a target) and both taking over the red-zone work. He should be dropped in favor of higher-priority targets as we head into the playoffs.
Travis Fulgham, WR, Eagles
Yahoo! Roster Percentage: 44%
Travis Fulgham held a 26.0% target share from Weeks 4 to 8. He scored a touchdown in three consecutive games and had double-digit targets in three of those five starts. Fulgham had 435 receiving yards over that stretch. The next closest pass-catcher on the Philadelphia Eagles was Richard Rodgers at 169 yards.
Since then Philadelphia has seen Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, and Jalen Reagor all return to the active roster. Despite Fulgham’s production, his usage has trailed off as each made their way back onto the field. His target share plummeted to 13.0% from Weeks 9 to 12, and he dropped to just a 7.4% target share in Week 13.
The Philadelphia Eagles are in complete disarray as Carson Wentz has taken three or more sacks in every game since Week 3 and hasn’t throw for more than 250 yards since Week 7. Wentz was effectively benched last week for Jalen Hurts, and Doug Pederson hasn’t committed to a starting quarterback in Week 14. Fulgham’s decreased workload and the possible change at quarterback aren’t conducive to future fantasy value.
There's always a chance Hurts taking over gives Fulgham's value a shot in the arm, but the wideout certainly isn't someone you have to keep hold of.
Trend to Note
Kareem Hunt, RB, Browns
Yahoo! Roster Percentage: 98%
There was some hope Kareem Hunt would maintain some standalone value once Nick Chubb returned to the active roster. However, Hunt's usage hasn’t amounted to much over the last month. From Weeks 10 to 13, Hunt returned to his normal allotment of snaps and touches with 14.0 rushing attempts per game and a 9.6% target share. The main issue is his red-zone opportunities.
Hunt averaged 4.3 red-zone touches per game with Chubb active early in the season and 3.8 per game while Chubb was injured. Since Chubb's return, Hunt has dropped to just 3.3 touches per game from inside the 20-yard line, including just two in Week 13. He’s averaged just 10.1 fantasy points per over his last four games as a result. Meanwhile, Chubb has now finished as an RB1 in two consecutive games and has cracked 100 scrimmage yards in each since he was activated from IR.
Hunt may be the most-coveted handcuff in fantasy, but his week-to-week value continues to decline. He's well worth a spot on the bench, but Hunt's standalone value has taken a big hit.