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The Cut List – Who to Drop for Fantasy Football Week 7 Including Aaron Rodgers, Elijah Moore, Antonio Gibson, Terry McLaurin

Antonio Gibson - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

One of the most important aspects of being a good fantasy manager is constantly being active on the waiver wire. How you prioritize your bench is very important. It's crucial to have 1–2 players that on any given week you feel okay about them being in your starting lineup. No one likes going to their backups, but with bye weeks and injuries, it's important to have a couple of players you can depend on.

After that, fantasy managers want to be targeting high-upside players that may have a lower percentage of hitting, but if they do hit, you have someone that is going to go into your starting lineup. Don't be afraid to alter and adjust your plans for your roster.

Entering Week 7, we have several big-name players and a couple of young, up-and-coming players fantasy managers had high hopes for that just aren't getting it done. Let's get started.

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Quarterbacks to Drop for Fantasy Football

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers – 95% Rostered

If you’re still rostering Aaron Rodgers as your singular QB1, it’s time for a new approach. Rodgers is no longer a set-it-and-forget starter. This doesn’t mean he can’t be started in the right week, but his rostership number needs to start reflecting the kind of fantasy quarterback that he is – a streamer.

It’s hard to believe, but that’s all Rodgers is right now. He is a streamable quarterback in the right matchup and even that is a tough sell right now. He is just QB19 on the season and he’s averaging a disgusting 13.5 PPG. He has yet to score more than 17 points in a single game.

The entire Packers offense right now looks completely out of sync and that’s true at every level. Through the first six weeks of the season, the Packers offense is averaging 17.8 PPG – that’s the lowest six-game stretch for the Packers during Rodgers’ tenure. Something is very, very wrong in Green Bay.

Things aren’t going to get any easier with the loss of Randall Cobb. I cannot believe I’m typing that in the year 2022, but prior to Week 6, Cobb had been the leading receiver. Even after leaving this past weekend’s game early, he’s still second on the team in receiving yards with 257.

The Packers start a three-game road trip, facing off against the Commanders, Bills, and Lions. Fantasy managers can likely do better than Rodgers in Weeks 7 and 8 against the Commanders and Bills, but Rodgers could be an interesting streamer in Week 9 against the Lions. Still, he’s not worth holding onto until then.

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams – 82% Rostered

Matthew Stafford has got to go. These statistics speak for themselves…

  • Two games with less than 10 points.
  • Only one game with more than 12 points.
  • Just one game with two or more touchdowns
  • Only one game with zero turnovers.
  • 4 games with multiple turnovers.
  • Despite averaging 37.5 passes per game, Stafford has been held to fewer than 255 passing yards in four contests.
  • His second-leading receiver is Tyler Higbee, which is just about as gross as it sounds. And look, I know Higbee is having a good season volume-wise, but that’s kind of my point. How bad must the other weapons be if Higbee is your second-best pass-catcher?
  • He’s been sacked the third-most times in the NFL, evidence of one of the worst pass-blocking offensive lines in the NFL.

Stafford has a bye in Week 7 and returns to face two of the best defenses in the NFL – the 49ers and the Buccaneers. Stafford shouldn’t be anywhere near your starting lineup until Week 10 at home against the Arizona Cardinals. Until then, you can safely drop him and hope your competition picks him up and starts him against you in Week 8 or 9.

 

Running Backs to Drop for Fantasy Football

Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams – 69% Rostered

Cam Akers was a healthy inactive in Week 6 after being ruled out due to “personal reasons.” He didn’t practice leading up to their game against the Carolina Panthers and reports started to trickle out that Akers had played his last down with the Rams and would soon be requesting a trade.

Whenever this happens, there tend to be two lines of thinking. The first is that he’s done. It’s done. Game over. The second is that wherever he’s traded could actually be a good thing. He could get more work or wind up in a more fantasy-friendly environment. I’m here to tell the second line of thinking is more often than not, the wrong one. In Akers’ case, it most certainly will be.

The offensive line for the Los Angeles Rams has been one of the worst units in the NFL, so rattling off his yard-per-carry average seems kind of unfair. However, it’s so bad that it needs to be allowed. His yard-per-carry average this season is at just 3 YPC. Among qualifying RBs, that ranks 44th. Okay, the production has been bad.

He has broken just one tackle all year and has just two receptions on the season. If he is traded, which is far from a guarantee, it’s going to take some time before he learns their system. Even once he does that, it’s highly unlikely he’s going to be given a fantasy-relevant amount of work.

Sean McVay gave him a chance the past few weeks as he’s received the most carries in each of his last four active games. He rewarded McVay’s confidence with three games with a YPC average under 2.95 each game.

 

Wide Receivers to Drop for Fantasy Football

Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills – 55% Rostered

Isaiah McKenzie squandered a big opportunity to carve out a bigger role for himself in Week 6 with several mishaps. He seemed to fall down or trip in the end zone, dropping what would've been an easy touchdown. He also received a pitch play from Josh Allen that he wasn't able to handle and ended up in the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs defense. It certainly wasn't a strong showing for fantasy managers.

McKenzie missed Week 5 due to a concussion and rookie Khalil Shakir received the start and racked up 3 receptions, 75 yards, and 1 touchdown. There were some concerns that his performance could result in a decrease in playing time for McKenzie. That certainly seemed to happen in Week 6, but it wasn't Shakir who benefited either.

McKenzie played just 37 of the team's 73 snaps, while Shakir played 15, but McKenzie's 51% snap share certainly leaves a lot to be desired. Even more problematic was his route run percentage. McKenzie ran just 26 of the team's 44 dropbacks according to PFF. That was just 59% of the available routes and that will make him incredibly difficult for McKenzie to be a viable fantasy producer.

McKenzie seems to be a TD-dependent WR3. He's scored 41.5% of his half-PPR points on touchdowns alone. In his two games where he didn't find the end zone, he scored 4.7 and 1.9 half-PPR points. If we eliminate his three touchdowns from his other three performances, he's left with 2.9, 4.1, and 11.1 points. While a lot of people will say, "come on, we can't just play the let's take his touchdowns away..." and it's true, I understand that, but it's interesting to see what kind of point total you're looking at if he doesn't find the end zone.

What's even more troubling is when you look at his snap share and routes run percentage in Week 6, it becomes even more difficult to trust in those touchdowns continuing to happen. His 13.5% target share doesn't bode much confidence for fantasy managers. Since he's attached to the Bills' offense and MVP candidate, Josh Allen, McKenzie isn't a must-cut, but his underlining utilization metrics don't show a player that needs to be rostered.

Elijah Moore, New York Jets – 60% Rostered

Elijah Moore was a favorite of many fantasy analysts after an explosive rookie season. Despite the Jets drafting Garrett Wilson, the hype surrounding Moore really didn't seem to slow down. Hindsight is always 20/20, but with Corey Davis and Wilson in the mix, it looks like we should've foreseen some of these issues.

Moore was struggling even with Joe Flacco under center through the first three weeks of the season, despite the Jets throwing it over 50 times per game. While he averaged 7 targets per game those first three weeks, the target share lagged behind at just 14.3%. The peripherals gave fantasy managers plenty to be concerned about, even then. Now with Zach Wilson under center, Moore's target share has stayed mostly the same (14.8%), but the drastic decline in passing volume has led to Moore's targets per game dropping to 2.67. As if that wasn't bad enough...

The Jets have leaned on their running game, with good reason. Wilson has mostly struggled in his return from his preseason knee injury and Breece Hall has been borderline unstoppable. Because of that, the Jets are using more two tight end sets to strengthen the run game and it's been working so fantasy managers shouldn't expect it to stop anytime soon. That shift in offensive philosophy, however, has led to Elijah Moore being taken off the field.

The nail in the coffin though – is exactly zero targets in Week 6 against the Packers. The floor is obviously zero when you're not even earning a single target, but the upside is significantly capped on a team that just doesn't seem very interested in throwing the ball right now. The Jets are averaging just 25 pass attempts per game with Wilson, which makes it incredibly difficult for any receiver to provide any consistent fantasy value.

 

On the Hot Seat

Antonio Gibson, Washington Commanders – 79% Rostered

Based on all the offseason chatter and how head coach Ron Rivera talked about rookie running back Brian Robinson, the number of red flags in regard to Antonio Gibson was everywhere. They were using him on special teams for crying out loud. In Robinson's return to the football field, fantasy managers have plenty to be concerned about.

26% snap share is incredibly concerning and he was almost third among running backs in routes run. There's not much value in a fantasy running back with that kind of utilization, but Robinson largely struggled. Granted, it was his first game in the NFL and he had been shot this offseason, but he averaged just 3.5 YPC. Gibson averaged 7 YPC and there were reports after the game that the coaching staff wanted more snaps for Gibson.

The coaching staff has made it plenty clear that Robinson is going to get every chance to be successful, but the efficiency metrics and the eye test both favored Gibson from their Thursday night contest against the Bears. If fantasy managers are in a pinch or need a roster spot, Gibson is a cuttable player. His role from their Week 6 contest doesn't indicate that he has much upside without an injury to Robinson or J.D. McKissic. However, if you're able to hang onto him for another week to see if Gibson earned more touches after a productive showing, it could be beneficial. If you're unable to, it's something I'd lose too much sleep over.

Garrett Wilson, New York Jets – 65% Rostered

For all the reasons Elijah Moore is on the Cut List, Garrett Wilson is on the hot seat. The passing volume decreasing to 25 pass attempts per game is on the same level as the Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears. Go ask a fantasy manager who is rostering Kyle Pitts or Darnell Mooney how they're feeling about those two guys. Mind you, those two offenses only have two pass-catchers (Pitts and Drake London in Atlanta and Mooney and Cole Kmet in Chicago), but in New York, there's Corey Davis, Wilson, and Moore. That's not even mentioning Breece Hall.

Wilson's fantasy stats are largely being propped up by a 26-point Week 2 performance against the Browns. However, Wilson has scored just 26.8 points in the five remaining games. Since Zach Wilson has been the quarterback, the rookie receiver has games of 5.1, 4.2, and 1.3 half-PPR points. In the first three weeks of the season, with Flacco under center and the Jets passing it 52 times per game, Wilson earned 33 targets. In Weeks 4–6, Wilson has just 15 targets total. He had 14 targets in Week 2 alone.

The drastic decline in passing volume has cratered Wilson's ceiling and has brought his floor down to almost nothing. While he's been one of the more productive receivers for the Jets, overcoming this limited passing volume is incredibly difficult. Fantasy managers may try to hold out hope that eventually the Jets will have to start passing the ball more and if that were to happen, Wilson would be one of the first beneficiaries,

 

Hold On Longer

Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders – 96% Rostered

Let me preface this by saying if you're in an 8 or 10-team league, Terry McLaurin is more than cuttable. In 12-team leagues and larger, fantasy managers should try and hold onto McLaurin a little bit longer. Carson Wentz has been diagnosed with a broken finger on his throwing hand and could be out for the next 4–6 weeks. Why is that important? Because Taylor Heinicke is scheduled to start under center. Many fantasy managers expected Wentz to be an upgrade for McLaurin, but that hasn't been the case thus far.

The reason McLaurin is struggling is that his target share is dropped significantly from his 2021 season. The positive is Heinicke was the quarterback when McLaurin had his 23.6% target share. Will his return under center increase McLaurin's target share? It's unknown, but with Jahan Dotson and Logan Thomas struggling with injuries, there is reason for some optimism that McLaurin could establish some of his glory days from last season.

McLaurin shouldn't be cut because of his name value, but if he's able to put together one decent outing, fantasy managers should attempt to flip him for as much as they can get. Using Heinicke's return to quarterback as the reason McLaurin is producing could help sell him to fantasy managers desperate for a WR upgrade.

 

Fantasy Football Players to Sell

James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars – 91% Rostered

James Robinson has been a big surprise this season and he's almost out-scoring Travis Etienne by three points per game. Here's the thing though; Etienne has played more snaps than Robinson. Not only that, but Etienne has out-gained Robinson in each of the last three games. While Robinson's overall stats may look good at first glance, a bit of a deeper look tells us a different story.

Robinson has 340 rushing yards on 81 carries with three touchdowns. However, he has 87 yards and two touchdowns on just two carries. If you eliminate those two touches, he has 253 rushing yards on 79 carries and just one touchdown. His seasonal YPC average is 4.2, but eliminating those two carries, it drops down to 3.2. It's always a hard argument when taking away a player's biggest plays, but at this time, they appear to be more outliers than the norm.

That lack of consistency carry to carry could be what is resulting in Etienne getting more touches and snaps. Simply put, he's been more effective on a per-touch basis. Etienne is averaging 6.7 yards per touch to Robinson's 4.3. Etienne also has 18 targets to Robinson's 10. The last three weeks have looked like a changing of the guard. Fantasy managers should be looking to move Robinson now before other league-mates really start panicking about Robinson's lack of production.

 

Reddit Requests

Each week moving forward I'll be focusing on some of the biggest names y'all are talking about on Reddit once this article gets posted. So if there's a player you're interested in hearing about, a big name you're not sure what to do with, post it on Reddit and it'll be something I cover in next week's edition.

This is one way where the readers can have a little bit more influence over the article and what players you are reading about. If there are a few players that I failed to touch on in the week's article prior, I'll be sure to hit on them the following week to talk about what makes them a hold, cut, or sell.



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