Now that we are in the midst of the bye weeks, many Fantasy owners are wondering who they should drop in order to pick up other players to complete their lineups each week. There are some players that were drafted that can safely be dropped from rosters by this point. Whether it was one of the rookies that I wrote about over the past two weeks or just someone that hasn’t panned out, there is no need to carry dead weight on your team at this point of the season. This list doesn’t include players that are injured, as some leagues have an IR spot, and it doesn’t hurt to carry an injured player there if there is hope of them coming back at some point. This list also is directed at re-draft leagues, especially those that have 10 or 12 owners. Obviously deeper leagues would require you to hold on to some of these players and keeper/dynasty leagues are different as well.
Here is a list of players who are droppable in redraft leagues:
DeAngelo Williams (RB, CAR)
In the past two games, Williams has eight carries for 10 yards. Clearly there is a shift from the timeshare between Williams and Jonathan Stewart to just having Stewart handle the carries. While there was a stretch where Williams was seeing double-digit carries, unless something changes with the Panthers game plan, he is not someone you should consider starting, even with the bye weeks. Mike Tolbert is seeing the goal-line work, and Stewart looks to be the primary back.
James Starks (RB, GB)
Once Cedric Benson was injured, the thought was that Alex Green and Starks would share carries. Well, that plan didn’t exactly come to fruition as Green had 20 carries last week and Starks had none. The week before, Green had 22 carries and Starks had five. While it is possible that Green Bay decides to include Starks in the game plan, until there is more of an even split, Starks can be dropped in favor of a running back that actually sees the field (or a handcuff for your studs… if you’re going to have a RB on your team that doesn’t play, it ought to be of some value to you).
Knowshon Moreno (RB, DEN)
I’m not sure why anyone in any league, no matter how deep, is hanging on to Moreno. He hasn’t seen the field since Week 2. He has eight carries on the year – for 15 yards. Sure, he has one touchdown and one reception for 12 yards, but that’s the extent of his stat line. Ronnie Hillman is the second running back to own in Denver (behind Willis McGahee). Even Lance Ball is ahead of Moreno on the depth chart. At 25, Moreno still has some life left, possibly on another team, if he can stay injury free.
Mark Ingram (RB, NO)
A promising rookie last year, Ingram fell short of expectations because of injuries. Heading into this season, some owners took a gamble on him again. However, he’s being outplayed by Pierre Thomas. Thomas isn’t being very productive either (and has barely escaped being on this list himself). In reality, the Saints running game is struggling, but Darren Sproles and Thomas are going to be the backs that will carry the load. Ingram has double-digit carries in one game this season and odds are that will be the only one.
Bilal Powell (RB, NYJ)
In deep leagues, owners may want to hang on to Powell in case Shonn Greene struggles to the point where Powell becomes the feature back. However, in smaller leagues, he’s droppable. Greene has put together two good games, and while that doesn’t solidify his position as the top back for the Jets, it gives him a stronger hold on it than owners thought three weeks ago. Add in a shoulder injury and Powell should be on the waiver wire.
Ronnie Brown (RB, SD) and Jackie Battle (RB, SD)
There was a time when it was thought that Ryan Mathews was in the doghouse and that Battle would start and have a significant role. That time has since passed and it is clear that Mathews is the back to own in San Diego. In the past two games, Battle has six carries for 13 yards. Brown has five carries for 40 yards and eight receptions for 70 yards. However, a lot of that work was in garbage time. If Mathews were to get hurt, these two would likely split carries. However, neither is even worth holding onto as a handcuff to Mathews.
Kevin Ogletree (WR, DAL)
The must-have waiver wire pickup after Week 1 is now not worthy of a start in Fantasy leagues. Since Week 1, he’s had 13 receptions for 134 yards and no touchdowns. As long as Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten are healthy, Ogletree is an afterthought in the Cowboys passing game. Thoughts of him turning into this year’s Laurent Robinson have gone by the wayside, and he should be dropped in most leagues.
Jerome Simpson (WR, MIN)
Between the four game suspension to start the season, the back injury that forced him to be inactive in Week 6, and the struggles of Christian Ponder, Simpson is a risky start to say the least. There may be some argument as to keeping Simpson on your roster, but until he proves himself, you’re not starting him. He’s played in three games and has five receptions for 58 yards (split with one game with no receptions, one with one reception for eight yards and the remaining four receptions for 50 yards in Week 4). Reports say Simpson is healthy now, but if you need a receiver during the bye weeks, feel free to drop him.
Pierre Garcon (WR, WAS)
Owners keep waiting for Garcon to be healthy enough to play again, yet the news keeps coming out that he is dealing with a torn tendon in his foot. He is having pain pushing off and isn’t going to return until he is healthy. The Redskins have a bye in Week 10, and it would be a surprise to see Garcon on the field anytime before that bye. He had a spectacular Week 1 before the injury, however, he has since been unproductive. Again, if you have an IR spot, leave him there, but if you don’t, feel free to safely drop him.
Doug Baldwin (WR, SEA)
Baldwin looked like he might have a promising season, especially after Week 6’s 2/74/1 stat line. However, he now is suffering from a high ankle sprain and is week-to-week. If you can use an IR spot on him, it won’t hurt. However, even if he does come back in a few weeks, Sidney Rice, Ben Obomanu and Golden Tate are going to fill in fine. Also, Russell Wilson doesn’t excel at the long pass (one controversial Hail Mary aside), and when he does, it’s usually Rice that is at the other end. Baldwin can be dropped.
Robert Meachem (WR, SD)
Touted as a potential sleeper, Meachem was drafted in the middle to late rounds of many drafts. However, he’s been a disappointment so far this year. Aside from a two-touchdown performance in Week 5, Meachem hasn’t found the end zone. He’s played in six games and posted a donut for Fantasy owners in two of them. He’ll likely have another multi-touchdown game, but it is a guess when that will be. The targets aren’t there for Meachem, and unless there is an injury to Malcom Floyd, Meachem doesn’t have enough Fantasy value to start in standard leagues.
Brandon LaFell (WR, CAR)
For the first two games of the season, LaFell looked like he was going to be a promising Fantasy wide receiver. However, after one reception in Week 3 and none in Week 4, it was clear that he wasn’t going to be the Fantasy stud that owners hoped for. In the past two games, he has posted 3/44/0 and 4/53/1 lines. While it may seem promising, LaFell is too inconsistent to rely on. You may end up with four or five Fantasy points, but unless he finds the end zone (done twice this season), he’s not going to be of a lot of value.
Greg Little (WR, CLE)
When the coach threatens to bench you because you have a problem with drops, you shouldn’t be on Fantasy rosters. Little may be listed as the No. 1 receiver for Cleveland, but Josh Gordon looks to have more potential value. Through seven games, he has 20 receptions for 221 yards and two touchdowns. There are plenty of almost touchdowns to add to that list, but those don’t count for Fantasy purposes. In the past six games, Little and Gordon are almost tied for targets (39 and 36, respectively). However, in the past three games, the targets are split 14 for Little, 22 for Gordon. Keep Gordon; drop Little if there is a better receiver available.