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Players to Cut: Week 3 (2020 Fantasy Football)

Sep 22, 2020

This might be a hard week to cut healthy players because so many good players were lost due to injury. The most devastating injury was Saquon Barkley, who tore his ACL and will be lost for the year. He was a Top-3 fantasy pick and it is just devastating to lose that high of a draft pick this early in the season.

There is normally a high fantasy draft pick or two that suffers a significant injury every year, but the injuries kept piling on for fantasy owners in Week 2. Other players that are going to miss time are Christian McCaffrey (high ankle sprain), Drew Lock (sprained AC Joint), Courtland Sutton (torn ACL), Jimmy Garoppolo (high ankle sprain), Davante Adams (hamstring), Tyrod Taylor (chest), Parris Campbell (PCL injury), and Will Fuller (hamstring).

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Week 2 Fantasy Football Injuries

Player Position Team Injury Expected Missed Time
Saquon Barkley RB New York Giants ACL 2020 Season
Courtland Sutton WR Denver Broncos ACL 2020 Season
Christian McCaffrey RB Carolina Panthers High Ankle Sprain 4-6 Weeks
Drew Lock QB Denver Broncos Sprained AC Joint 4 Weeks
Jimmy Garoppolo QB San Francisco 49ers High Ankle Sprain 2-4 Weeks
Parris Campbell WR Indianapolis Colts PCL Injury Multiple Games
Davante Adams WR Green Bay Packers Hamstring 0-1 Games
Will Fuller WR Houston Texans Hamstring 0-1 Games
Tyrod Taylor QB Los Angeles Chargers Chest 0-1 Games

Some of those injuries are going to be season-ending, others will result in multi-week injuries, and others may just limit some of the players in practice. You will have to keep an eye on the injury reports to see who can come back from these injuries. Many of these players were high draft picks and their injuries are going to have major ramifications for fantasy owners.

As for roster decisions, if you owned multiple injured stars, you may be looking to cut them and hold onto whatever depth you have for the meantime. If you are looking to cut some underperforming players and find better options on the waiver wire, here are some options to consider cutting from your team.

Kirk Cousins (QB – MIN): Cousins had a horrible start to last year and rebounded, so it might be too early to cut him. In the first four games of 2020, he averaged 183.75 yards passing per game and he had just three touchdowns and two interceptions. He rebounded to finish the year with 3,603 yards passing and 26 touchdowns while throwing just six interceptions. It could be just another slow start to the 2020 season and he could quickly rebound, but there seem to be more problems this year that were not there last year. This team misses Stefon Diggs, without his ability to stretch the field this passing offense is stagnant. They have been terrible other than the second half against Green Bay when they were down 19 points and had to throw the ball to attempt a comeback. I am hopeful Cousins will turn it around at some point, but he is not a QB1 and you cannot confidently stream a quarterback that just posted 113 yards passing and three picks against the Colts. Until they start using Justin Jefferson more and until this passing offense has some pop, I do not think Cousins is worth streaming, and holding onto a non-streaming option at quarterback for any length of time is very problematic.

Daniel Jones (QB – NYG): This offense is falling apart before the season even starts. They already have lost Saquon Barkley for the season with an ACL tear and Sterling Shepard is probably going to miss multiple games with turf toe. I am not sure an offense with Dion LewisDarius SlaytonGolden Tate, and Evan Engram is going to scare many defensive coordinators. Jones also played three games without Barkley last year and he tallied 568 yards, three touchdown passes, and six interceptions. His QB ratings were 78.0, 65.9, and 35.2 in those three games. The Giants have the 49ers, at the Rams, at the Cowboys, and the Washington Football Team. I think Jones has lost a ton of upside with Barkley gone and he is going to struggle to put up big fantasy numbers with limited weapons in some tough matchups. Quarterback is such a deep position in fantasy, that there are probably numerous better options on your waiver wire to stream for the next month. I do not think Jones is good enough to occupy a dead roster spot for that long in most leagues.

Boston Scott (RB – PHI): Miles Sanders was back in action this week and Scott had only four rushing attempts for 19 yards and three receptions for 24 yards. Seven touches are not enough for a flex player, especially when the final score was 37-19 and the Eagles had to pass the ball a ton in this game. Scott has value to Sanders owners because he is a handcuff, but not standalone value for fantasy owners looking to stream running backs with good matchups. The Eagles have been awful out of the gate and Scott is not seeing enough touches through two weeks. Scott is someone I would confidently cut at this point, even with Cincinnati on deck. It is hard to justify playing Scott in that good matchup considering he had only seven touches last week and even if he does have a surprisingly high number of touches the next three opponents after that game is at San Francisco, at Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. I cannot imagine playing him in those matchups and Scott is not worth a dead roster spot for the next month, except for Sanders owners that have started the season well and can afford the wasted roster position as an insurance policy for Sanders.

Peyton Barber (RB – WAS): Barber is owned in 29 percent of leagues and it is time for him to be owned in zero percent. He was held to one carry for one yard in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Granted, he had 17 carries the previous week, but they only went for 29 yards. His only redeeming fantasy stat was two rushing touchdowns in Week 1. The problem is that his floor is one carry. It is becoming apparent that J.D. McKissic and Antonio Gibson are going to handle the workload and that Barber is an afterthought that would need an injury to have viability. Even if Barber has a bigger role next week, it is hard to plug a running back into a lineup that can be held to a single carry. That is an incredibly low floor for a rostered player, even if he has a good matchup for the week.

Chris Thompson (RB – JAC): I had Thompson on my list last week, for some reason he is still owned in 23 percent of leagues. He did score a touchdown this week, but he also had only two rushing attempts for seven yards and three receptions on four targets for 20 yards and that one touchdown. Thompson had only two targets the week before. It makes no sense to hold onto a player that averages 3-4 touches per game. If something changes, you can always reclaim Thompson later in the year. For now, he appears to be anything but fantasy viable. You basically are holding your breath that he finds the end zone on one of his four touches to salvage his fantasy day.

Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF): Jimmy Garoppolo has a high ankle sprain and he is week to week. There is talk that he could play against the Giants in Week 3, but that is probably just coaches talk to make the Giants prepare for both Jimmy G and Nick Mullens. Aiyuk was targeted just three times for two receptions and 21 yards with both George Kittle and Deebo Samuel inactive. There is not a lot of upside to keeping a wide receiver that does nothing with the top two targets injured playing with a backup quarterback. By the time Jimmy G is healthy again, Kittle and Samuel will likely be back, and there are just not enough plays for 49ers receivers to justify owning Aiyuk. The 49ers value the running back and tight end over the wide receiver, which makes it hard to trust Aiyuk in fantasy football.

Curtis Samuel (WR – CAR): Samuel posted two receptions on two targets for 13 yards, four rushing attempts for 26 yards, and no touchdowns in Week 2. He appears to be a player without a significant role at this point. D.J. Moore is the primary target in the passing game and Robby Anderson is seeing a lot of work as well. The Panthers offense is probably not going to support three fantasy receivers most weeks. Even with Christian McCaffrey injured, there just does not seem like enough plays that go toward Samuel. At this point, he just needs to be abandoned in fantasy football until his workload increases.

Anthony Miller (CHI): Miller put up a goose egg on just three targets as he played behind rookie Darnell Mooney. The Bears have an anemic passing game, thanks in large part to Mitchell Trubisky. It makes no sense to roster the third receiver on the Bears, especially if his floor is three targets and a goose egg. He’ll have games as he had in Week 1 with four receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown, but the more common game is going to be ones like we saw in Week 2. It makes it too risky to roll the dice with him in fantasy.

Austin Hooper (TE – CLE): Hooper is only rostered in 62 percent of leagues and that total should continue to decrease after Week 2. Hooper now has just four receptions for 37 yards and no touchdowns in two games. The problem in Week 2 is the Browns ran for 215 yards and averaged 6.1 yards per rushing attempt. That should have presented a huge opportunity for Hooper to be open in play-action passing. Instead, he saw just four targets. If the Browns are not going to use him when they are down by a ton of points and they are also not going to use him when they are dominating the running game, there just is not a significant role for him. This appears to be another bad Brown’s contract two games into the season. I said last week I would cut him and that is my advice again this week. An ownership rate of 62 percent is still too high for Hooper.

Chris Herndon (TE – NYJ): You would think when Le’Veon BellJamison Crowder, and Denzel Mims are all out with injuries, that would mean an increased role for Herndon. Instead, he had four targets, one reception, and five yards. You cannot play a streaming tight end with a floor of one reception for five yards, especially when all the other good players are hurt. I am sure he will score a touchdown or have a big game this year, but those few moments are not worth the floor of one reception for five yards.

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Derek Lofland is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Derek, check out his archive and follow him @DerekLofland.

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