Sunken Costs - How to Deal with Waiver Wire Busts

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Sunk costs sink seasons. No one likes to admit when they’re wrong, but in fantasy football obstinance leads to losses.  It’s okay to cast off those players that you once thought would bring you to the promise land, but have since only served to hold you back. Don’t fall prey to what are called “Sunk Costs”, this is the psychological principle that states that we continue to invest time, money, and energy into investments that have long been sour believing that if we just give a bit more it will finally pay off.

Be ahead of the curve!  Opportunities that were once golden have lost their luster, and with it the possibility of each of the following players paying off for you are lower than many who are on the waiver.  Take heed and act while you still can.

Below are some players that once looked like waiver wire bargains, but now can be considered nothing more than disappointments. Here is a look at some waiver saviors that didn't exactly pan out.

Editor's note: Purchase any NFL Lineup Optimizer pass (including daily DFS cheat sheets), and you also get access to NBA and NHL Optimizers and DFS cheat sheets.

 

Waiver Wire Letdowns

You were the chosen one!  You were to guide my team to the playoffs, not leave it in darkness!

Jordan Matthews (WR, BUF)

Snap rank: 42 380 total snaps, 47.5 per game,  28 targets, 21 receptions, 239 yards 1 TD.  Seven games played, 34.1 yards per game.

Although things were looking up for Matthews in Week 9 (eight targets, six receptions for 46 yards), his ceiling is likely to be capped by the addition of Kelvin Benjamin along with the likely return of Charles Clay to the lineup. There are far too many mouths to feed on that offense for Matthews to have any impact on the fantasy radar.  Matthews functions best as a slot receiver, but even his hold on that position is in question after Zay Jones finally had a solid outing against the Jets last week. The Bills didn’t spend a second round pick on Jones for him to sit around while Matthews plays poorly in his place. Throw in a recently acquired Deonte Thompson who has been more effective in three games than Matthews has all season, and you don't need to ask how to proceed here.

Allen Hurns (WR, JAX)

Rank: 26, 430 total snaps, 53.8 snaps per game.  42 targets, 29 receptions, 376 yards, 2 TDs.  47 yards and .25 TDs per game.

Hurns has been extremely spotty this year, and his situation is getting worse not better.  Dede Westbrook is about to come back from waivers and is likely to take a significant portion of his snaps from Hurns.  Hurns is another player that does just enough to make you hold onto him.  His best game of the year came in week seven when he racked up 5 receptions for over 100 yards.  Though if you were to take that game away from his overall production he’d be left with an average of less than 40 yards and just a bit more than .25 TDs per game.  Don’t fall for the mirage, pick up Westbrook if you can and don’t look back.

Donte Moncrief (WR, IND)

Snap rank: 18, 453 total snap, 50.3 snaps per game. 35 targets, 19 receptions, 278 yards, 1 TD. 30.9 yards and 1/9 TD per game.

Moncrief has always been known as a redzone guy, but he hasn’t even been able to haul in those opportunities this year. With no Andrew Luck in sights, you should have dropped Moncrief long ago. Moncrief won’t even get you a ham sandwich at this point.  Drop and never look back.

Tyler Lockett (WR, SEA)

Snap Rank: 45, 375 total snaps, 46.9 snaps per game. 47 targets, 28 receptions, 355 yards, 0 TDs. 44.4 yards and 0 TDs per game

Tyler Lockett has shown great potential in the past, but has lost his job to previous second-round pick Paul Richardson this year. Many players likely picked up Lockett off of waivers after his six-reception, 121-yard game against one of the most depleted defenses in the NFL. Without that game his production drops to 39 targets, 22 receptions for 234 yards, with only a 33.4 yard per game average. Lockett didn’t play well against the redskins even though there wasn’t anyone incredibly talented covering him.  The best you can expect out of Lockett going forward is a sporadic big play, which is not enough to keep him rostered.

Torrey Smith (WR, PHI)

Snap rank: 32, 406 total snaps, 45.1 snaps per game. 29 targets, 15 receptions, 221 yards, 1 TD. 24.6 yards and 1/9 TD per game.

Torrey Smith was told to expect a grip of attention in his new home with the Eagles. Unfortunately for Torrey and anyone that bothered to roster him, he’s been little more than a regrettable distraction in the game plan. Smith has been one of the worst starting wide receivers in the nation from a production standpoint. If you take away his best game this year which was only 70 yards and one TD in a game, Smith drops to 151 yards and 0 TDs in eight games. That equates to a pedestrian 18.9 yards and 0 TDs per game. Smith isn’t worth anything except in best-ball or dynasty formats.

Darren McFadden / Alfred Morris (RB, DAL)

Let’s be real, regardless of what you think about the Ezekiel Elliot situation, it seems that there is nothing the NFL can do to bring him and the Cowboys to heel. Try to trade these two to a needy team that’s in desperation mode or drop them for players that actually have potential of helping your team in the latter part of the season. If you’re in such a good position that you feel no need to drop them, then you probably won’t benefit much from this article.  There are legitimate opportunities on the waiver wire each week and these players offer you nothing, but the empty promise of a mixed backfield between McFadden, Morris, and Rod Smith.

Jamaal Charles (RB, DEN)

Snap rank: 60, Total Snaps 140, Snaps per game 17.5. 54 rushes for 236 yards, 4.4 YPC, 1 TD average, 16 targets, 13 receptions, 71 yards.

First of all, he hasn’t logged more than five carries since Week 3. With Devontae Booker and D’angelo Henderson chomping at the bit to get more attention it seems that Charles is the most talented back in a situation that doesn’t call for him. If Charles was traded to a RB-hungry team before the trade deadline, perhaps he’d be doing as well as Peterson is, but that’s not the case, and it’s unlikely for him to be expected to do any better with Brock Osweiler or Paxton Lynch under center.

D'Onta Foreman (RB, HOU)

Snap rank: 70, Total Snaps: 113, Snaps per game average: 14.1. 61 rushes, 244 yards, 4.0 YPC average, 0 TDs, 5 targets, 3 receptions, 68 yards.

Lamar Miller is the bell cow back and is currently ranked fourth overall in running back snap rank. Even if Foreman is talented, there’s nothing he can do to help your team if he’s never on the field. Without Watson in the game to alleviate box pressure on the RBs, along with the departure of LT Duane Brown, one would expect that Miller will revert to 2016 levels of production and Foreman likely wouldn’t fare much better. If you’re still holding out hope that Foreman will be your handcuff savior or take over after a couple frustrating weeks, fall back five and punt for another player.

Samaje Perine (RB, WAS)

Snap Rank: 76, Total Snaps: 99, Snaps per game: 12.4.  57 rush, 175 yards, 3.1 YPC average, 0 TDs, 5 targets, 5 receptions, 30 yards.

Perine has only logged THREE SNAPS over the last three games. If this doesn’t scream marooned, nothing does. After another fumble, Perine likely isn’t even the handcuff to Robert Kelley any more. Perine has separated himself from the rest of this team and is likely to be replaced next year at this rate. The Washington football team isn’t relying on the run much at all and haven’t been scoring the number of points that everyone expected them to in the offense. For some reason if you’re holding onto Perine at this point, drop him for literally anyone else.

 

Waiver Wire Pickup Options

Viable options that may be available on the wire currently:

Corey Clement, Devontae Booker, Terrance Williams, Dede Westbrook, Thomas Rawls, Robert Woods, Marqise Lee, Charles Clay, Josh Gordon, Julius Thomas

 

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