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Every year, certain players are highly drafted in drafts by fantasy owners due to the belief that they will vastly outperform expectations throughout the season. Oftentimes, these players carry a significant amount of hype due to breakout potential, elite status, or lack of alternative options on their teams.

However, with every player that does meet the threshold for good performance, there seem to be several similar players that fail to live up to the lofty expectations placed on them by fantasy owners. Whether the players are drafted at the beginning, middle, or end of drafts, not living up to the draft capital spent on them is one of the weekly dilemmas for fantasy owners.

Because fantasy owners tend to hold on to players that they believe in for too long, it is important to recognize warning signals from players early on so that the players can be removed from lineups and the damage of their poor performances can be mitigated. Let's take a look at some players at each of the skill positions who have shown some worrying signs this week. Fantasy owners should proceed with caution with the following players.

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Players With Warning Signals

Mark Ingram (RB, NO)

Outside of his comeback performance, Mark Ingram has been extremely disappointing since coming back from his PED suspension in Week 5. Ingram has only eclipsed 50 total yards once in his last three games and has failed to score a touchdown in any of the aforementioned contests. Losing valuable goal-line and reception work to fellow Saints running back Alvin Kamara, Ingram has looked like a shell of his former self. In his Week 9 performance, Ingram was only able to accumulate 36 yards while playing a complementary role to Kamara. In addition, a fumble took almost all of his fantasy points away and made the evening difficult to watch for fantasy owners. Ingram looks like he is clearly the second back on the team's depth chart and therefore does not have the same weekly value that he had last year when Kamara split touches with the veteran back.

Austin Ekeler (RB, SD)

Chargers backup running back Austin Ekeler started the season on fire, with three touchdowns in his first five weeks and a healthy amount of touches each week. Ekeler had big-play and reception upside while playing behind running back Melvin Gordon and was a solid fantasy contributor over the first few weeks of the season. However, Ekeler has seen his rushing yards go down in each of the past three weeks, culminating in a disappointing Week 9 performance that saw him only put up 21 yards on the ground and 13 yards through the air. Ekeler looks to have been past the best stretch of his season and is firmly behind Melvin Gordon, who is having quite the season and is the main weapon for the Chargers offense. Although the scat-back still has PPR upside, perhaps it is best to move on from Ekeler at this point.

John Brown (WR, BAL)

Former Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown started the season as a big-play threat who capitalized on defensive mismatches and ended up with four fantastic performances in a row. With three touchdowns in his first four weeks and at least 86 receiving yards in three out of the four games, Brown looked like a top fantasy receiver who was available in the majority of leagues. However, since then, defenses have begun keying in on the speedy deep threat, mitigating his fantasy upside and limiting his overall output over the past few weeks. Although Brown had 134 yards and a touchdown against the Saints in Week 7, he has not crossed the 60-yard threshold in four out of his last five games and looks like he is being shut down each week by opposing defenses. At this point, Brown will likely have a few more big games - however, these may be few and far between as the season continues, making it difficult to justify starting the deep threat from Baltimore outside of deeper leagues.

Kenny Stills (WR, MIA)

Dealing with injuries for the entire season, Kenny Stills looks like a shell of his former self through the first nine weeks of the season. Stills had a fantastic Week 1 performance, with 106 yards and two touchdowns for a surprisingly adept Dolphins offense. However, it has pretty much downhill from there. Although Stills has four touchdowns on the season, injuries and a lack of consistent targets have threatened the fantasy upside of Stills as a weekly option. Stills is made to play like a deep threat, but the lack of deep throws to the former Saints wide receiver has really hurt his overall output. With the continuing injuries and lack of consistent targets, Stills is probably best left on the bench for the coming weeks.

Jordan Reed (TE, WAS)

Jordan Reed looked like a fantastic high-upside pick at the end of fantasy drafts entering the 2018 season. However, with just one touchdown on the season, quarterback Alex Smith's incompetence, and the fact that the Redskins are a run-heavy team now that tailback Adrian Peterson is having a career resurgence, Reed has found it difficult to be a meaningful fantasy contributor. The veteran tight end has not crossed the 50-yard threshold since Week 3 and has failed to score since Week 1. It is clear that the Redskins offense no longer revolves around Jordan Reed. Reed's days as a dominant fantasy tight end are over, and he should be dropped for options with more upside that should hopefully still be available on waivers.

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