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NFL Draft

Fantasy Football Players You Can Drop: Week 14

  • The Draft Network
  • December 8, 2020
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By Zach Cohen

Raise your hand if your fantasy team is hanging on by a thread. Actually, that may have not been a good way to open this because, in all likelihood, the best teams remaining are probably the healthiest. Either way, that’s not stopping my weekly Players to Drop column. And this week’s is a doozy. As the clock ticks down on the 2020 NFL season, underperforming players should be given shorter and shorter leashes. These players are no exception...

Gio Bernard (RB - CIN) | Rostered in 71% of leagues

Once anointed as the heir to Joe Mixon‘s throne, Bernard has been severely ineffective since the Bengals’ bye in Week 9. Sure, he’s faced very good rushing defenses, but it doesn’t change that he’s yet to rush for more than 32 yards in each of those four games. He’s also failed to top double-digit points, including a 4.9-point dud against Miami. Of course, Bernard still holds some value because he is the lead back in Cincinnati... until Mixon comes back. Mixon is eligible to return in Week 14 and would get a good-looking matchup against the Cowboys. If he isn’t activated from IR in time for the game, I would consider holding onto Bernard for a little bit longer. But the second Mixon returns, Bernard’s value plummets.

Darius Slayton (WR - NYG) | Rostered in 55% of leagues

Slayton was a “Look Ahead” candidate last week, so here’s what I said then: “If you look up “inconsistent” in the dictionary, you may find a picture of Slayton. Over the last six games, he’s rotated between double-digit performances and near-duds... I’ll cut Slayton a little slack because Jones wasn’t exactly Patrick Mahomes when throwing to him, but I don’t expect Colt McCoy to be an upgrade, either. Maybe Slayton can bounce back again versus a suspect Seattle secondary this week, though I’m doubtful he can provide consistently good value for the rest of the season.” And how did Slayton respond following my criticism? With 2.4 points courtesy of one 14-yard catch. Maybe he was hindered by a foot injury, but it doesn’t change that he’s lost nearly all fantasy relevancy.

Christian Kirk (WR - ARI) | Rostered in 59% of leagues

Where have the good times gone? Kirk had a fantastic stretch of games through the middle of the season, and he looked like he finally reached the potential we’ve seen him flash over his first few seasons. Since then, he’s averaging nearly 5.5 points over the last four games. Some of his dropping production could be attributed to the Cardinals’ recent struggles on offense. However, I have more faith in other available options on waivers. Nothing suggests that Kirk can be a fantasy starter moving forward, especially with Arizona’s upcoming matchup against a surprisingly competitive Giants defense. It’s time to ship Kirk back to waivers.

Jimmy Graham (TE - CHI) | Rostered in 45% of leagues

A big reason for Graham’s inclusion this week is the inclusion of Cole Kmet on my waiver wire article yesterday. The Bears’ rookie tight end has been trending upward, which doesn’t bode well for the 34-year-old veteran. He was TE15, though he’s dropped two goose eggs in his last three games. Graham is just not worthy of a roster spot anymore, especially with Chicago’s painstaking quarterback situation.

Look Ahead

Miles Sanders (RB - PHI) | Rostered in 98% of leagues

Has anyone seen Miles Sanders lately? I checked the lost-and-found box but he wasn’t there. Once billed as a promising, up-and-coming running back, Sanders has fallen off a cliff recently. He has 18.4 points combined in the last three weeks, as his weekly point totals have dropped nearly three points each game. I get it, this may not be entirely Sanders‘s fault. The Eagles’ offensive line has been decimated by the injury bug and Carson Wentz is just not good. Still, Sanders has become another sinking vessel swallowed up in the treacherous Philadelphia offense. It doesn’t help that Boston Scott appears to the preferred receiving back, either. Sanders is being cast farther and farther away from the center of Doug Pederson‘s offense. Simply put, Sanders just hasn’t looked good. I’d be very wary of starting him, and if he puts up one more bad week, you shouldn’t feel bad cutting him loose. 

Todd Gurley  (RB - ATL) | Rostered in 96% of leagues

Gurley is coming back from an injury, so I’ll cut him a little bit of slack. Either way, Ito Smith’s role in Atlanta’s offense has been growing and Gurley scored a measly three points against the Saints while splitting work with Smith. Again, the poor performance may be a product of potential limitations following Gurley’s recovery. Although, I’m a bit worried about his upcoming schedule. After he faces the Chargers next week, Gurley gets the Buccaneers and Chiefs. Those defensive lines aren’t walks in the park. He hasn’t done poorly enough to be dropped yet, but if you’re not going to start him, then why keep Gurley? Name value has no value in the fantasy playoffs. The only thing that matters is a player’s performance. Don’t be afraid to cut a big-name player in favor of a hotter, trendier option. Make sure your bench spots are being used for players who you could start. 

Jerry Jeudy (WR - DEN) | Rostered in 71% of leagues

Jeudy has had a rough three weeks as he’s been hindered by an ankle injury. His quarterback situation has also been less than ideal. Therefore, his lack of recent production isn’t entirely his fault; he still has enough upside to warrant a roster spot. Denver’s weak quarterback situation isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, though. Keep an eye on him, though there are better options available for fantasy, like Keke Coutee and Denzel Mims.

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