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The Cut List – Who to Drop for Week 4?

Rashaad Penny - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

We've all heard the, "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" statement, but no fantasy football roster is ever perfect. Fantasy managers should constantly be tinkering with the bottom of their roster. Don't be afraid of making moves and part of that is figuring out who is cuttable. All of these start/sit and who to cut articles are all relative. It's all based on your individual roster. The biggest piece of advice I can give is don't settle. With the backend of your roster, you should be doing one thing – chasing upside.

Your roster construction is just as important as which players you fill your roster with. It's important to have 1–2 players that are quality bench players that you can start in a pinch, whether due to an injury or a bye week. The rest of the guys should be upside plays. You'll hear about a player beating their ADP, but a projected WR63 finishing at WR41 doesn't really impact your bottom line. Don't be afraid to swing and miss.

The players on this list have seen their potential upside drop to the point where if the right player is on the waiver wire, they're currently cuttable, even the players on the hot seat. Ideally, you'd like to hang onto these guys another week or two, but sometimes you just can't and that's okay. It's better to make moves than be stagnant.

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Quarterbacks to Drop for Week 4?

Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Rostered at 94.6% ESPN & 97% Yahoo!

This may seem crazy, but Tom Brady and the Buccaneers' offense has been embarrassingly bad in the young season. They're 22nd in points scored and 26th in yards. They also rank 17th in pass attempts, 22nd in passing yards, and 20th in passing touchdowns. There are plenty of reasons for this. Mike Evans was suspended in Week 3. Chris Godwin and Julio Jones missed Weeks 2 and 3, but how much of that is going to change? Evans will be back next week, but we have no idea when Godwin and Jones will be back.

Through three weeks, Brady has games of 11.4, 9.4, and 14.7 fantasy points. Will Brady be better moving forward? Of course he will. Will that improvement mean he needs to be rostered in a 1 QB league? I'm not convinced. Their offense right now looks lost and we know Brady offers nothing in terms of rushing the football. All of his fantasy production comes entirely from passing the football.

Their offensive line is banged up. Their receivers are banged up and Brady is struggling because of it. Cutting Brady may be difficult to do, but his name value doesn't give any points on Sundays.


Running Backs to Drop for Week 4?

Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles – Rostered at 22.2% ESPN & 40% Yahoo!

Kenneth Gainwell was an analyst favorite coming into the 2022 NFL season. Miles Sanders had missed four games each of the past two seasons and Gainwell seemed like he was going to take over as the primary pass-catching back for the Eagles.

In Weeks 1 and 2, Gainwell received just seven total carries and six targets. Most fantasy analysts knew this was going to start as Miles Sanders' backfield, but believed Gainwell would have a role where he could at least provide standalone value in a similar fashion as J.D. McKissic. That hasn't been true whatsoever. During the first two weeks of the season, he had just 10 total touches. Surprisingly, Week 3 actually got worse.

In Week 3, the so-called "pass-catching" back for the Eagles didn't earn a single target. He's sitting at just 13 total touches through three weeks. He's playing between 25% and 35% of the team's snaps and he's just not an integral part of their offense. With pass-catchers such as A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert, quarterback Jalen Hurts hasn't had a need to target his running backs at a high rate.

It's hard to even believe Gainwell is the ideal handcuff to Sanders. Even Sanders has not been involved in the passing game and last year when Sanders was hurt, it was Boston Scott who handled the majority of the rushing work, which is where Sanders has derived almost all of his fantasy value from. In the event of a Sanders injury, Gainwell's role may not change enough to the point that he'd become a must-start fantasy asset.

If he doesn't hold standalone value right now and he's not even guaranteed a starting role in the event of an injury, why is he someone we're holding? He really doesn't need to be. That upside we should be chasing is hard to find here.


Wide Receivers to Drop for Week 4?

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears – Rostered at 83.2% ESPN & 70% Yahoo!

His inclusion here is not his fault. Darnell Mooney has done nothing to deserve this and that's part of the issue. He's been given absolutely no chance to change our minds. He has just 11 targets and 4 catches through three games. It isn't his fault either. The Bears have attempted just 45 passes through three games. Chicago is simply unwilling to throw the football right now.

This kind of offense is going to kill any fantasy value for all of their pass-catchers. Receivers can be fantasy-relevant even with poor quarterback play. We've seen it before. We saw it just last year with Darnell Mooney in Chicago. The difference between 2021 and 2022 is the volume. It simply does not exist right now in Chicago.

It's hard to envision this game plan changing anytime soon. While they were playing in a monsoon in Week 1 and played in a close game against the Texans, which they ended up winning, they attempted just 11 passes in Week 2 despite trailing most of the evening against the Packers. Oftentimes, playing from behind will increase a team's pass attempts, but that didn't even help. In fact, they attempted the fewest passes of the season in Week 2, in what should have theoretically been the best game script for their passing attack.

It's clear, the Bears don't want to pass the football. Even if the volume does increase, which it most likely will, the question becomes how much will it increase, and does it even matter? They can pass more and still be the lowest passing team by a fair margin. It's just hard to see anything more than a boom or bust WR3 for Mooney this year and he's still a far shot from that even.

Jarvis Landry, New Orleans Saints – Rostered at 58.8% & 44% Yahoo!

There was some hope that he could continue to be a PPR asset because well, he's almost always been a PPR asset. If there's one thing Jarvis Landry can do, it's get open. He's been doing that for years. However, unlike his previous destinations, he has some very real target competition. Rookie Chris Olave looks like the real deal and YOLO quarterback, Jameis Winston has never been shy about pushing the ball downfield. On top of Chris Olave, there's Michael Thomas to worry about.

In Week 1, Landry had a 27.3% target share and it looked like it was going to be more of the same. His target share in Week 2 dropped to 12.5%, while Olave's went from 12.1% to 32.5%. Some of that can be attributed to Landry and Thomas both getting dinged up, but Olave is only going to continue to get better.

In the end, what fantasy managers are left with is low floor, low ceiling PPR receiver with Landry, which is to say nothing of the foot injury he suffered in Week 3. Even though initial reports are indicating it isn't serious, it's just one more factor he needs to overcome. His non-existent upside doesn't need to be on your fantasy benches.

Robbie Anderson, Carolina Panthers – Rostered at 51.3% ESPN & 28% Yahoo!

Big plays are a part of the game and truth be told, it's what we're looking for. It's what I've been talking about this whole time, chasing upside. So with that said, what I'm about to say is going to seem somewhat unfair, and admittedly, it is, but it must be said. Robbie Anderson has 148 yards and 1 touchdown on the season. Over half of his yards and his lone touchdown came on a singular play. The big play was awesome, but with him offering absolutely zero value outside of that one catch, what fantasy managers are left with is essentially Marquez Valdes-Scantling, but on a far worse offense and an immensely less talented quarterback.

The Panthers' offense is a mess right now and Baker Mayfield is playing terribly. Is there any reason that it gets better? Not really and if it does get better, it's most likely to benefit the real stars of their offense, Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore. Marquez Valdes-Scantling has already made The Cut List and if you want a player just like him, but on a much worse offense with inferior quarterback play, Anderson is probably the guy for you. If that doesn't sound like someone you want on your bench, you can safely cut Robbie Anderson.


Tight Ends to Drop for Week 4?

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins – Rostered at 57.3% ESPN & 29% Yahoo!

Mike Gesicki has been absolutely dreadful. It's hard to put into words just how bad he's been. He has target shares of 3.2% (Week 1), 8.2% (Week 2), and 5.5% (Week 3). It's led to six total targets. He's lucky to have found the end zone last week because it's the only reason his rostership percentages are where they are. In Weeks 1 and 3, he has a combined two catches for seven yards. This past week, against the Buffalo Bills who were dealing with incredible injury issues on their backend, Gesick was still unable to get anything going.

The Miami passing offense runs through Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill and after Waddle and Hill, Tua Tagovailoa looks for Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill. They are the first, second, third, and fourth options in Miami's passing game. His snap share has been poor, and his route participation rate as indicated in the tweet above has greatly limited the number of opportunities he has been given. Put it all together and Gesicki needs to be on your waiver wire.

Hunter Henry, New England Patriots – Rostered at 57.2% EPSN % 42% Yahoo!

Hunter Henry made his fantasy living last year in the red zone. He had just 75 targets and somehow managed to score 9 touchdowns. Fantasy managers should have known the number of touchdowns was going to decrease, but it wasn't all good luck. The Patriots featured him in the red zone and he was one of the most heavily targeted tight ends in that area of the field. Based on that, there was some optimism that the good touchdown vibes could continue.

That hasn't been true thus far and he's hardly been used otherwise. He has 5 total targets through three weeks and just 3 receptions. He has not generated a single red zone target thus far. The Patriots offense has been poor and it's likely to get even worse now with Mac Jones dealing with a significant high ankle sprain.

Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears – Rostered at 47.7% ESPN % 44% Yahoo!

Cole Kmet has just five targets this season and like Darnell Mooney, it's not all his fault. The Chicago Bears are simply not willing to throw the football and it's killing the value of all of their pass-catchers. When it comes to tight ends, fantasy managers need to be chasing volume or high touchdown upside. Right now, Kmet does not offer fantasy managers either. The worst part is there's little reason to expect anything to change anytime soon.

Right now, if you're considering rostering Kmet, you need to believe the Bears are going to vastly increase their passing volume. Based on what we've seen through the first three weeks of the season, there's very little reason to believe that's going to happen. Fields has just two passing touchdowns, both of which came in Week 1. While his snap share and route participation rates look like a tight end that could be on the verge of being fantasy relevant, the passing volume and atrocious offense in Chicago eliminates just about all hope of that.


On the Hot Seat

Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks – Rostered at 82.5% ESPN & 85% Yahoo!

Rashaad Penny received 70% of the running back rush attempts in Week 3. It was a positive matchup against the Falcons. He played 49 out of the 71 snaps. He ran 27 routes, which was the most among all Seattle running backs. The utilization numbers were excellent. The matchup was good. All of that netted fantasy managers 7.9 full-PPR points.

Fantasy managers might've been worried about Kenneth Walker stealing work, but that didn't happen this past weekend. Penny was in a near-perfect role and was given the responsibility of a bellcow. All of it resulted in 7.9 points. The week before, when the matchup was awful, fantasy managers were left holding the bag with just 1.5 points.

In Week 1, he gave fantasy managers 8.7 points. This was the free all off-season. Since Penny is not involved in the passing game, which has been true through three weeks, he needed to either offer Nick Chubb efficiency running the football or offer Derrick Henry touchdown upside. That was the bet. It was a bet on elite efficiency. Those kinds of bets almost always end poorly.

Through three weeks Penny has 4 targets, 3 receptions, and just 10 receiving yards. This is incredibly troublesome because the Seahawks are a bad football team, which means they're often going to be playing from behind. They have zero rushing touchdowns. Their offense ranks 28th in points and 27th in yards.

The future fantasy season for Penny includes a whole heck of a lot of 5–8 point performances when he doesn't happen to fall into the end zone and how many times do you anticipate the Seahawks' scoring touchdowns? The other concern is Walker is only going to continue to get more work. I'd rather roster Rachaad White than Rashaad Penny. If Fournette goes down, White is a league winner. Penny's upside just isn't there.

Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers – Rostered at 80.0% ESPN & 61% Yahoo!

In Week 1, Chase Claypool was fourth on his own team in air yard share and third in target share. In Week 2, he was fourth on his own team in air yard share and third in target share. In Week 3, he was third in air yard share and third in target share. Noticing a trend? It ain't pretty.

A receiver can get by on a low air yard share if the target share is there or vice versa. Low air yards and a high number of targets often equal a quality PPR asset. A high number of air yards and a lower target share often equals a boom or bust, high upside type of player. Right now, Claypool is neither. He's been playing in the slot this year, which typically comes with a lower average depth of target.

Through three weeks, he has 9.4, 6.6, and 7.6 full-PPR points. He's averaging just 7.2 yards per reception, which means he needs a lot of targets to be a viable option. Right now, he's not getting there and with target hog, Diontae Johnson in Pittsburgh, there's absolutely no reason, short of an injury, to believe that will change.

The Pittsburgh passing offense has been putrid and Claypool is just the third or fourth option in it. There's no upside in that role.


Hold On

Allen Robinson – Rostered at 90.5% ESPN & 95% Yahoo!

Allen Robinson is off to a disappointing start in Los Angeles with games of just 2.2, 15.3, and 4.3 full-PPR points. After his 2021 season, I can understand fantasy managers thinking Robinson is washed. He might be, but I'd advise holding for one reason – his end zone target share.

In Week 1, his end zone target share was 50%. He followed that up with a 28.6% end zone target share in Week 2 and a 100% end zone target share in Week 3. That's a whole lot of high-value targets and in an offense that projects as good as the Rams, I want that kind of usage on my bench. Fantasy managers may not be comfortable starting him right now, but that touchdown upside in an explosive offense gives fantasy managers a solid bye week or injury replacement option.

It's just Week 3 and the Rams offense hasn't clicked yet. Matthew Stafford hasn't played up to his potential, so there's some untapped potential yet once the offense improves. Fantasy managers should be encouraged by his end zone utilization and as long as that continues, Robinson will be a player that should be rostered, even if that doesn't mean an every-week starter.


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