9 Players to Cut (2022 Fantasy Football)
Making last-minute waiver claims and need to drop a player? I’ve got nine players you can cut to make room on your roster.
Players to Cut in Deep Leagues of 12 teams or More
Between Kenyan Drake, Justice Hill and Mike Davis, Ravens running backs saw 14 carries for 28 yards. The running game simply doesn’t exist beyond Lamar Jackson. And we continue to wait for the return of JK Dobbins. There’s just absolutely no point in rostering Kenyan Drake. The Ravens are choosing to run the offense through Lamar Jackson and judging from the statistics, it’s probably the better choice. Drake has no value currently and will somehow have even less value when Dobbins does return to the field.
In past years, the Buffalo slot receiver role has been a very roster-worthy option for fantasy managers. And out of Bills receivers, McKenzie is technically seeing the most snaps in the slot. But not by a significant margin in a way that he can make an actual fantasy impact. He’s seen two receptions on three targets for less than 50% snap count in each game this year. Even with Gabe Davis out in Week 2, increased opportunities just seem to flow to Stefon Diggs. Diggs’ early season usage is leading the NFL for all receivers and if this continues, there just won’t be consistent usage for the lower-end receivers and McKenzie will never be a player you feel comfortable starting or streaming.
With Hunter Henry, the stats speak for themselves. Mac Jones in 19th in total pass attempts through two weeks with 65 attempts. Jakobi Meyers is currently 17th in total targets in the NFL with 19 targets. Meyers is seeing nearly 30% of team targets. Hunter Henry, who has to split the workload with Jonnu Smith, has seen four. This offense just isn’t set up to provide Henry with any opportunity to be successful. And I don’t see it changing unless there was an injury to Jonnu Smith. But even then, Meyers is the clear target hog in this offense. You just need to cut your losses and find streaming options on high-powered offenses like Hayden Hurst or guys commanding a solid target share, like Tyler Conklin.
Isaiah Spiller had a time period in draft season where many thought he was the handcuff and heir apparent to Austin Ekeler. But it’s time to take a hard look at reality. The Chargers signed Sony Michel after he was cut from the Dolphins. They also gave third-year back Joshua Kelley another try as the backup as well. And for some very strange reason, they also tend to be very fond of giving rookie fullback Zander Horvath goal-line looks. And Isaiah Spiller is nowhere to be found. I think the Chargers are fine with the options they have at running back and Spiller may not even be active. An odd amount of fantasy managers are holding onto Spiller and at this point, you’re just wasting a roster spot. It’s time to let him go.
I do read and appreciate comments from all of you on this list. And with last week’s list, a lot of you said you weren’t ready to move on from Kadarius Toney. And I can understand that. He’s very talented and it’s tough to let go. But are you ready to move on now? In Week 2, Toney played 38% of snaps, catching two of his three targets for zero yards and he’s dealing with a hamstring injury. Toney has a bad combination of terrible injury luck and a clear dislike from the current Giants regime, who didn’t draft him. And the Giants will likely want to work in Wan’Dale Robinson more when he’s healthy. I just don’t see Toney finding consistent looks in this Giants offense.
Players to Cut in Shallow Leagues
It was so much fun watching Romeo Doubs put on a show during training camp and preseason. And it was definitely worth it to take a late-round stab in drafts to see if he could pay off. But at some point, you have to cut your losses. Doubs is a promising talent. But when I spoke about the Green Bay offense heading into the season, we talked about the reality that this offense will just flow through the running backs who are trustworthy, are solid on the ground and are proven pass-catching options. Aaron Rodgers just typically doesn’t trust or lean on rookie receivers. In Week 1 with Allen Lazard out, Doubs had four receptions on five targets for 37 yards on a 57% snap count. And with Lazard back in Week 2, that count with down to 37% and two receptions on three targets for 27 yards. Doubs needs time to grow in the offense. If you’re in a deep league and can afford to wait to see if this pans out, I can understand that. But shallow leagues can just move on.
While I love Pacheco and think he certainly has potential and will continue to have a role in this offense, I just don’t think his role will give strong fantasy production. And I don’t think he’s the direct handcuff in fantasy production to Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Let’s break down why. The work on the ground for CEH hasn’t exactly been significant. He’s seen less than 10 carries per game. It’s his receiving work that carries him through. And this is working extremely well for Kansas City and should continue. In the event that CEH gets hurt, the pass-catching benefit that he sees would go to McKinnon, making McKinnon the back to roster over Pacheco. We may not like it. But that’s the reality here. Pacheco’s upside is capped and in shallow leagues isn’t worthy of a roster.
The main reason why I would cut Parker in shallow leagues is similar to what we talked about for Hunter Henry. Jakobi Meyers has nearly a 30% target share on a team that just doesn’t pass for high volume. The end result is pass catchers outside of Meyers are just inconsistent and unreliable. For the second week in a row, Parker has seen only two targets. This week he had zero receptions. I get that he has a high snap count and you want to roster guys who are on the field enough to have a legitimate chance at targets. But Parker’s usage is concerning and unless New England makes significant changes to their offense, Parker will never be someone you want in your starting lineup.
It wasn’t wrong to take a stab at Skyy Moore in drafts. Moore was a talented prospect, drafted in the second round and landed on a team with no actual WR1. But I don’t think this is a situation where you hold him and wait out for the back half of the season production as he gets acclimated to the NFL. I wouldn’t count on this being an Amon-Ra St. Brown situation. In Week 1, Moore saw a 19% snap count and caught his only target for 30 yards. In Week 2, that snap count was reduced to 4% with no targets. In Amon-Ra St. Brown’s first two games last season, St. Brown was above a 60% snap count and a minimum of four targets. It’s a very different situation. On top of that, the Chiefs have been very clear that they are spreading targets around the receiving corps and the running backs and are committed to not having one player be “the guy.” If that’s the case and Moore still can’t see the field, it’s not an indication that this is heading in a positive direction.
George Pickens is another rookie struggling to make an impact. The difference between Pickens and Skyy Moore is that Pickens has ample opportunity. He’s seen above a 70% snap count in both games and there’s no reason that should change. The problem for Pickens is that his quarterback situation doesn’t really allow him the opportunity to have the breakout other rookies are enjoying. Mitch Trubisky has thrown for a total of 362 yards this season. Aside from Justin Fields, Trubisky is essentially dead last in quarterbacks who have played a full two games. Maybe a midseason switch to Kenny Pickens could breathe life into Pickens. And for that reason, I’m willing to hold in deeper leagues. But in leagues of 10 teams or less, there’s no point in holding him and hoping that Pittsburgh makes a switch at quarterback.
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