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The Cut List – Who To Drop for Week 7?

We're going to get this out of the way right away. No, Kenny Golladay, Allen Robinson II, A.J. Brown, Robby Anderson and Odell Beckham Jr. are not included in this article. They should not be dropped in traditional 10 and 12-team leagues. Have they been disappointing? Absolutely! Undeniably! I get it, if you roster any of these guys you're past frustrated. So in real life, if you have a friend who is supposed to help you out on a Sunday and they fail to show up for three weeks – yeah, you might stop being friends with them. But fantasy football isn't real life. What we need to do is change our expectations. It's not fun, no one said it would be fun, but let's go over a couple of these guys.

Prior to getting hurt, Golladay put up his best game of the season, catching six out of seven targets for 116 yards. The Giants are top-10 in pass attempts in the league. I want to roster the wide receiver they gave a butt-ton of money to in the offseason in an offense that is throwing the ball 40 times per game. Fantasy managers should have been expecting Golladay to start off slow because of the injuries and that's what happened, but that shouldn't mean we give up. Moving on to A-Rob. Since Justin Fields became the starter in Week 3, Robinson has a 24.6% target share. What player is on the waiver wire who is getting that much opportunity? In the last three weeks, Robby Anderson is top-20 in targets. I get that he hasn't been super productive, but who are you dropping that is getting nine targets per game? OBJ is still working his way back, but he's averaging 104 air yards per game and 6.5 targets per game. Who on the waiver wire in a 12-team league is better than that?

One of the biggest mistakes fantasy managers make - and it happens every single year - is chasing points. Do not chase points. Yesterday's points are not indicative of points scored tomorrow. What is indicative is usage, volume and opportunity. All of the players listed above have disappointed so far. But, I promise they're more talented than 99.9% of the players on the waiver wire. They're also receiving more volume than most of the players on the waiver wire. What I'm saying is this – don't drop Allen Robinson for Donovan Peoples-Jones. Don't drop A.J. Brown or OBJ for K.J. Osborn.

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Quarterbacks to Drop for Week 7?

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

49.5% Rostership

Being a good real-life quarterback doesn't always translate to being a good fantasy quarterback. Mayfield is the best example of that. The fact that he won the Heisman Trophy and was selected No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft likely inflates what he actually brings to your fantasy football lineup. He's averaging just 15.3 points per game, which is behind Teddy Bridgewater and Taylor Heinicke.

The Browns have the highest number of rush attempts in the league. He only has six passing touchdowns on the season, which is less than Jared Goff. The volume isn't here. The efficiency isn't here. The upside isn't here. The fact that he has a torn shoulder labrum in his non-throwing shoulder is just icing on the cake. He's made the Cut List multiple times, but there's no reason he's still close to being rostered in close to 50% of leagues.

Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars

45.5% Rostership

I'll admit, I had high hopes for Lawrence despite being a rookie. The offensive arsenal of D.J. Chark, Marvin Jones Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr. gave fantasy managers reason to be excited. The selection of Travis Etienne only added to it. Etienne and Chark are now on IR and Shenault is having a disappointing sophomore campaign. Lawrence has eight interceptions on the year, which is second to only fellow rookie, Zach Wilson. He's averaging just 14.8 points per game, which is just 0.2 points more than Jared Goff. The Jaguars have only scored 116 points this season, which is the eighth fewest in the NFL. With the Jaguars on bye in Week 7, there's no reason for fantasy managers to hold onto him.

 

Running Backs to Drop for Week 7?

Sony Michel, Los Angeles Rams

44.2% Rostership

When Darrell Henderson has been healthy, he has been the unquestioned workhorse. Since Week 4 when Henderson came back from his injury, he has played 78% of the snaps – Michel is at 21%. Over the past three weeks, Henderson is averaging 20 touches per game and Michel is at just eight. There was some thought that Michel's addition would make this a committee backfield, but that is the furthest thing from the truth. Henderson has a stranglehold on this backfield. The hope for fantasy managers rostering Michel was that he'd be able to carve out a role big enough where he'd be a viable option during bye weeks and as an injury replacement, but the fact of the matter is that Michel is nothing more than a handcuff. So if you're rostering Henderson, he might be worth holding onto since he's struggled with injuries in the past. While Michel has been effective with his limited touches, it doesn't matter if he doesn't actually get touches. The limited playing time and the lack of opportunity has relegated Michel to nothing more than a Henderson insurance policy.

Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

38.5% Rostership

What are we doing here people?! Seriously! He has played more than 20% of the snaps for Tampa Bay once in six weeks. He is averaging just 5.7 touches per game. He's averaging 3.7 points per game. He isn't playing. He isn't getting touches. He's not scoring points. Like Sony Michel, RoJo is nothing more than an insurance policy for Leonard Fournette. That is all he is, he is strictly a handcuff. And here's the thing, with the way Bruce Arians clearly feels about Jones, I'm not entirely convinced he's even a handcuff. Remember in the beginning when I advocated for keeping A-Rob because, at the end of the day, he's getting a 25% target share – there's nothing here to hang your hat on with RoJo. Fantasy managers need to move on. They need to move on yesterday.

Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles

33.8% Rostership

Miles Sanders is another player that fits in with Allen Robinson and company. Yes, he's disappointed, but his usage and snap counts are great and that alone is worth holding onto – especially at running back. Unfortunately for Gainwell, his playing time is going the wrong way. There was a lot of excitement for Gainwell after the first four weeks of the season. There was even speculation he would take over the backfield in Philadelphia and become the 1A. And so, of course, the last two weeks Gainwell has only played 23% of the snaps. In the last two weeks, Sanders is averaging 13.5 touches per game and Gainwell is at just two. We've seen Sanders play more on third down and in the two-minute drill. Sanders is running a lot more routes than Gainwell, so the dream of him becoming Nyheim Hines 2.0 looks far-fetched right now. This is Miles Sanders' backfield. Much like the other two running backs above him, Gainwell is nothing more than a handcuff and we're not even sure if he's a good one. If anything happens to Sanders, Jordan Howard likely would get the early-downs role. It's at the very least, a possibility.

 

Wide Receivers to Drop for Week 7?

Curtis Samuel, Washington Football Team

40.3% Rostership

Samuel has played 30 snaps all season as he's been hampered by a groin injury. There was a lot of hype for Samuel entering his first season with Washington. They had signed Ryan Fitzpatrick and the former Panther was going to get a crack at being a true No. 2 receiver for what was expected to be a solid offense. Well, just about everything we hoped would happen has not happened. Samuel is hurt. Fitzpatrick is hurt. The Washington offense is not very good. The groin injury he suffered in the preseason has nagged him all season and he might be making his second stint on the IR soon. Fantasy managers know how difficult it is for receivers to make a sizable impact in their first season with a team and when you factor in the injuries Samuel is dealing with himself and the injuries at quarterback, any hope that Samuel could become a solid WR3 are all but dashed. Fantasy managers can safely move on from Samuel.

Sammy Watkins, Baltimore Ravens

21.6% Rostership

Through the first five weeks of the seasons, Watkins had at least been a decent bench stash. Prior to Week 5, he had caught four balls in every matchup and the Ravens were passing more than they had ever done before with Jackson under center. In Week 5, Watkins hurt his hamstring and he went on to miss Week 6. Rashod Bateman, the Ravens' first-round draft pick returned to the lineup in Week 6 and saw a 22% target share, which was tied with team leader, Mark Andrews. While this team is passing a lot more than fantasy managers have become accustomed to, there's still not enough volume for three and maybe four players to be fantasy relevant. Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews are not going anywhere and Bateman is going to get every chance to be that No. 3 weapon in the passing. His first game audition was a good one. Watkins can safely be dropped, especially since he is likely to miss Week 7 and the Ravens have their bye in Week 8.

 

Tight Ends to Drop for Week 7?

Jonnu Smith, New England Patriots

53.8% Rostership

I fell into the Jonnu Smith trap too and it was a mistake. The only thing worse than a mistake is being too damn stubborn to admit a mistake has been made. There were a lot of reasons to like Smith. For starters, he's an uber-impressive athlete, especially at tight end. He received a gigantic contract, which usually says "we got big plans for you".

Bill Belichick and I must differ on what "we got big plans for you" truly means. Smith has been solidly outplayed by fellow tight end signee, Hunter Henry. Smith has largely been used as a blocker, while Henry is the preferred pass-catching option at tight end. His average depth of target is only 4.2 yards, which limits his upside. The former Titan has only played 58% of the snaps, while Henry is at 71%. Henry has run 154 routes and Smith has run just 81. Fantasy managers shouldn't want to roster a blocking tight end and right now, that's all Jonnu Smith is.

 

On the Hot Seat...

Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts

57.6% Rostership

In the first three weeks, Hines played on 46% of the snaps. In the last three weeks, his snap share has dropped to 22%. In those first three weeks, he averaged 9.3 targets, but that's dropped to 4.3 in the last three weeks. It's unknown if the Colts are showcasing Marlon Mack a bit for a possible trade, but it's clear his emergence has negatively affected Hines' role. The thing about Hines is that Frank Reich's running back usage is inconsistent. Fantasy managers will likely never understand why Jonathan Taylor doesn't touch the ball more, but he doesn't, which will always leave the door open for Hines to be a valuable commodity. In standard scoring leagues, Hines is a droppable player. In PPR-leagues, fantasy managers should try to hold on to Hines if they can. If Mack is traded, Hines will likely become a usable running back once again. That said, his decrease in playing time and touches is a major concern for fantasy managers. If push comes to shove – especially with the mounting injuries and the worst bye week of the season coming up – Hines can be dropped, but if I can, I'm trying to hold.

 

Hold On for One More Week

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears

27.4% Rostership

The Bears' defense played a great game against the Packers and it allowed the game to stay close and relatively low-scoring. That allowed the Bears' offense to continue to play it safe. However, there were some signs of optimism. For example, in his previous three starts, he combined for only nine rush attempts for 25 yards. In Week 6, he had six carries for 43 yards. That's what fantasy managers are holding onto for dear life for. That rushing upside among quarterbacks is so valuable and Fields has that upside. Fantasy managers also saw Fields throw the ball 27 times in last week's game, which was also a career-high for him. The increasing passing volume and rushing totals were exactly what fantasy managers needed to see to hold onto some hope. And here's what we're holding on for – Minnesota, Seattle and the New York Giants. That is the Bears' playoff schedule. The Vikings are smack dab in the middle of the NFL in points allowed. The Seahawks are bottom-10 in that category and the Giants are bottom-three. The Seahawks and Giants are both bottom-10 in passing yards allowed and the Vikings are again, right in the middle.

Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals

84.1% Rostership

Boyd has been a disappointment thus far. He's had two solid games, both coming when Tee Higgins was out of the lineup and that hasn't gone unnoticed by fantasy managers. This leaves the question of what can Boyd really provide when Higgins and Chase are both healthy? Well, we need to re-evaluate a bit. He's unlikely to be that WR3 fantasy managers were hoping for when they drafted him, but he's still on the WR4 radar. The targets haven't been there like we would like – he has only 21 targets in games with Higgins and Chase both available. However, over the first six weeks of the season, the Bengals haven't played too many good football teams. Their opposition's collective record is 15-21. With games against the Ravens (2x), Browns, Raiders, Chargers, 49ers, Broncos, Steelers and Chiefs, the Bengals are likely going to need to throw the ball a lot more than they've had to do thus far. Six of those teams are in the top-12 for the fewest rushing yards allowed. While the Chiefs don't make seven teams, their offense generally makes their opponents throw more as they're often chasing points. That makes seven games, eight if you include the Chargers and their explosive offense where the Bengals are likely going to have to throw the ball a lot more. The way defenses attack the Bengals will likely begin to shift too. They'll likely start playing more double-high safeties to protect the sidelines and the deep balls that Chase and Higgins are known for and that will open the underneath stuff for Tyler Boyd. Fantasy managers shouldn't be moving on from Boyd yet, there are better days ahead.



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