Players to Cut: Week 7 (2021 Fantasy Football)
This is a tough week to cut players because six teams will be on bye this week. That means there are only 13 games instead of 16 games and with so many players on bye, fantasy managers are going to need to go deeper on the waiver wire to field a competitive roster.
That does not mean everyone is fantasy viable in Week 7 or beyond, even with three fewer games on the schedule and more bye weeks ahead. Here is my list of NFL players you should consider cutting heading into Week 7.
12- and 14-Team Leagues
Nelson Agholor (WR – NE)
I think we can see where the New England offense is going after six weeks. Jakobi Meyers is the receiver for fantasy managers to roster. He has 52 targets in his six games this year. Hunter Henry is the red zone threat, he has 28 targets and three of the team’s seven receiving touchdowns. Kendrick Bourne is the big-play wide receiver with a high ceiling and a low floor. He is playable in favorable fantasy matchups. After that, it is a bunch of players with no consistent role.
Agholor is second on the team with 30 targets, but 18 of those targets came in the first three weeks of the season. Since Meyers has broken out in recent weeks and Bourne has become the deep threat, Agholor has 12 targets, seven receptions, 114 yards, receiving, no touchdowns, and 15.4 fantasy points over his last three games. He is the 74th ranked fantasy wide receiver for those three weeks.
There has been this hope that Agholor would emerge as the deep threat in the offense, similar to his role last year in Las Vegas when he averaged 18.7 yards per reception. He is averaging only 13.2 yards per reception and his longest pass play is 30-yards. There is not enough boom in Agholor’s game right now to tolerate the low floor. I would not roster him in any league, he is neither a deep threat, red-zone threat, or possession receiver. That makes it very hard for him to establish any reliable fantasy floor or fantasy upside.
2021 New England Patriots Targets Breakdown (More than 10 Targets)
Josh Gordon (WR - KC)
Let's even ignore his usage in the last two games with the Chiefs and just look at the production he has had in recent years. Gordon has not scored a touchdown in his last 12 games played with that last touchdown coming in Week 1 of the 2019 season. The last time he had a 100-yard game was in Week 8 of the 2018 season. He has recorded four 100-yard games and six touchdown receptions since his breakout 2013 season.
He is now a 30-year-old receiver that has played 20 snaps in his last two games and seen one target for 11 yards. Yet he is rostered in 28.3 percent of ESPN.com leagues. I am just not seeing the fantasy appeal based on one good season back in 2013 and a roster spot on an explosive Chiefs offense that has not been able to produce a consistent second receiver opposite of Tyreek Hill. Gordon is a great comeback story that needs to be on the waiver wire instead of a fantasy roster.
Jalen Reagor (WR - PHI)
I have written about Reagor on more than one occasion and he had three targets and no receptions against a Tampa Bay defense that is decimated by injuries in the secondary. Reagor is still on 45 percent of ESPN.com fantasy rosters, which makes no sense when you consider that he has not scored a touchdown since Week 1 and he has topped 25-yards receiving only once since Week 2. He needs to be off all fantasy rosters at this point.
Sammy Watkins (WR - BAL)
Watkins has not found the end zone yet this season and he has failed to top 50-yards receiving in three of his last four games. What has happened early in the season is Marquise Brown has emerged as the go-to wide receiver and Mark Andrews is also heavily involved in the passing game. Those two have combined for eight of the nine passing touchdowns scored by the Ravens this year.
Throw in a hamstring injury that caused Watkins to miss Week 6, Rashod Bateman playing his first game of the season in Week 6, and the Ravens having a bye in Week 8, and it seems to be pointing in one direction. Watkins is going to have more value to the Ravens as a veteran wide receiver than he is to fantasy managers looking to win fantasy games. Watkins did not have much fantasy value in the first six weeks of the season and his value should only continue to decrease.
Ty'Son Williams (RB - BAL)
He just does not have a role in this backfield anymore after two solid fantasy games to open the season. He was inactive in Week 4, had four carries for six yards in Week 5, and he was inactive in Week 6. It makes no sense to roster a player that is coin flip to be active and will not see more than five carries if he is active. Williams has not earned the trust of the coaching staff at this point to make it worthwhile for fantasy managers to roster him.
Ronald Jones II (RB - TB)
I have written about him on several occasions. He is still rostered in 40.2 percent of ESPN.com leagues. He is the 65th ranked running back with 20.6 fantasy points in six games. To put into perspective how poor that production is, Trey Sermon has 20.8 fantasy points on the season, despite being inactive for one game, having a bye week, and having two games where he saw one carry. There is no reason for Jones II to be on a fantasy roster. Leonard Fournette is their starting running back and Jones II sees no involvement in the passing game and only a handful of carries per game.
Sony Michel (RB - LAR)
The biggest issue for Michel is that Darrell Henderson took his opportunity to start in Week 1 and ran with it. He has scored a touchdown in four of his five games. He has also topped 70 yards rushing in four of his five games. Henderson has shown early in the season that he can handle 15-20 carries and 3-5 targets per game and that has left Sony Michel as a change of pace or garbage time back that has little to no involvement in the passing game.
He did see nine carries for 42 yards in Week 6 against the New York Giants, but five of those carries came at the end of the game in garbage time. Also, Michel now has a shoulder injury that is at least going to cut into his practice reps and may limit his usage on Sunday. I think unless Henderson goes down with an injury there isn't a point to rostering Michel. He only seems to see work when the game is out of hand or Henderson has an injury, which makes it hard to project him for any meaningful fantasy production. He does have value as a handcuff, but fantasy managers will need to see if that is enough reason to hold onto what amounts to a dead roster spot at this point. I cannot see starting Michel in any game this year if Henderson is active.
Samaje Perine (RB - CIN)
This is another player with handcuff value, but I think there are a couple of things working against Perine. The first issue is that Joe Mixon seems to have turned the corner in his recovery from an ankle injury. He had 18 carries and five receptions in the last game for 153 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. Mixon should be counted on to see 20 touches per game going forward, barring another injury. The other issue is that Chris Evans had four rushing attempts for 18 yards and three receptions for 49 yards filling in for Perine in Week 6, who was on the COVID 19 List.
Perine had only 9 rushing attempts and four targets, before his expanded role in Week 5 due to Mixon's ankle issue. Now that his ankle issue is resolved and Evans has shown well, Perine may become the third running back in the rotation. It does not make a lot of sense to hold onto Perine given what has developed in the Bengals backfield in Week 6 and what is very likely to happen going forward. Mixon being healthy makes Perine unplayable and if Mixon were to miss time, Evans would likely be the running back to roster, not Perine.
Justin Fields (QB - CHI)
I still do not understand why he is rostered in 27.4 percent of ESPN.com leagues. He has averaged a mere 8.82 fantasy points in his four starts this year. Taysom Hill is rostered in 1.4 percent of ESPN.com leagues because he is not the starter in New Orleans and it would not make sense to start a gadget player as your fantasy quarterback. Had you started Hill over Fields in the three games that Hill has played since Fields became the starter, Hill would have given you 9.2 fantasy points in Week 3, 16.8 fantasy points in Week 4, and 1.6 fantasy points in Week 5. Fields would have given you 3.9 fantasy points in Week 3, 8.3 fantasy points in Week 4, and 8.8 fantasy points in Week 5.
You can't roster a fantasy quarterback that is as reliable in fantasy as a gadget quarterback that does not start. Fields played his best game of the season against a Green Bay team that had a lot of injuries to their secondary and still managed only 14.3 fantasy points in Week 6. He has games at Tampa Bay, San Francisco, and at Pittsburgh before his Week 10 bye, so things are not likely to improve for him anytime soon.
Taylor Heinicke (QB - WAS)
Heinicke has tallied only 22.20 fantasy points over his last two games, which included a dream matchup at home against the Kansas City Chiefs defense. That is good for just 26th in the NFL. I was just complaining about bad Fields has been, he has tallied 23.10 fantasy points over the last two games. Ryan Fitzpatrick could be healthy enough to play this week and even if he is not healthy enough to play in Week 7, Heinicke has won only two of his five starts with those wins coming over the New York Giants and the Atlanta Falcons. Neither of those teams are playoff teams. I think it is time to consider other options, even in deeper leagues. Fitzpatrick nearing a return combined with Washington losing a lot of games makes it likely Fitzpatrick sees a start at some point.
Austin Hooper (TE - CLE)
Hooper cannot find any footing in this offense, even in a league where tight end production is mediocre, he is the 54th ranked fantasy tight end the last three weeks with 4.5 fantasy points in three games. Even with the injuries piling up in Cleveland, it makes little sense to stream Hooper, much less roster him.
Cameron Brate (TE - TB)
Rob Gronkowski has now missed three games and Cameron Brate has tallied 9.7 fantasy points in those three games, making him the 38th ranked fantasy tight end. I would look to roster other options in all leagues.
Trevor Lawrence (QB - JAC)
In deeper leagues, he may continue to progress and be worth playing later in the year. In a shallow league, I think this is the question fantasy managers have to ask themselves. Miami has been mostly terrible this year on defense. They were without their two starting cornerbacks this week. That is a game that Trevor Lawrence should have dominated in fantasy. He finished the game with 15.86 fantasy points and he was the 16th ranked fantasy quarterback.
If you cannot trust him for more production than that against a team that Tom Brady shredded for 37.74 fantasy points the week before, why are you going to hang onto him in a shallower league? I would rather stream matchups in a shallower league than hold onto Lawrence and waste the roster spot.
Nyheim Hines (RB - IND)
Hines was fine to start the season, but then the Colts started trying to create a trade market for Marlon Mack, and Hines has 4.6 fantasy points over his last three games, and he is the 74th ranked fantasy back in that timespan. C.J. Ham is the Minnesota Vikings fullback and he has more fantasy points in that time with 5.1 fantasy points.
In a shallower league, I would find it hard to hang out to Hines until the Colts trade Mack. The trade deadline is not until November 2, which means you could be waiting for another two games before this is over, and that may be hard for managers in shallower leagues to do with six teams on bye this week. Even if Mack is traded, Hines is going to take a backseat to Jonathan Taylor and likely have low-end boom/bust flex value. That is tougher to roster in a shallow league and makes Hines expendable for fantasy managers that need productive players now.
Allen Robinson II (WR - CHI)
It seems impossible that a fantasy manager could think about cutting someone with Robinson's talent, but let's consider a few things. Robinson has played six games this year and he has tallied 39.9 fantasy points or 6.7 fantasy points per game. That makes him the 58th ranked fantasy wide receiver by total points scored. That has happened with both Andy Dalton and Justin Fields starting games. Robinson has topped 40-yards receiving only twice this year with his season-high being 63 yards. He has found the end zone once.
It becomes a problem trading a player like Robinson when the waiver wire possibilities are producing significantly more fantasy points. T.Y. Hilton is rostered in just 23.7 percent of ESPN.com leagues, and he just had 10 fantasy points in his season debut. Tim Patrick is rostered in only 40.7 percent of ESPN.com leagues, and he is averaging 10.8 fantasy points per game on the season. It makes no sense to trade for Robinson when there are better options on the waiver wire.
You definitely should try to sell Robinson low in a trade before waiving him, but I feel like if he is still on your roster, you have either already traded for him and are having buyer's remorse or you have tried to trade him and not been successful. You could keep him on your bench and hope for a T.Y. Hilton situation from 2020. Last year Hilton was the 90th ranked wide receiver with 42.1 points through Week 10 and from Week 11 to Week 17 he had 94.1 fantasy points, good for 10th in the league. The difference is that team had Philip Rivers and did not have Matt Nagy as the head coach. In shallower leagues, the answer may be to cut losses and move on at this point. Each week Robinson has a poor game makes it harder to justify having him on your fantasy roster.
Robert Tonyan (TE - GB)
I remember a point in the season last year where Tonyan went five games without finding the end zone and he had 24.4 fantasy points from Week 6 to Week 10 and I thought he was just going to fade into the background after his early season success was being propped up by three touchdowns against the Atlanta Falcons. He went on to score a touchdown in five straight games and six of his last seven games to finish as the third-ranked fantasy tight end. It's a long year and he could start finding the end zone, but so far, he has 20.7 fantasy points through six games and he is the 35th ranked fantasy tight end. I think managers in shallower leagues can do better than hope Aaron Rodgers starts finding him in the end zone.
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