What a weekend of football it was. From a drama-filled Saturday of college ball to a wild and wacky Sunday that has left many of us scratching our heads, who knows what to expect as we enter the final turn into the homestretch of the season. With both conferences seemingly up for grabs as teams jostle for divisional seeding, a slew of individual performances headlined an eccentric Week 9 in the NFL.
With just a handful of weeks left until you enter the playoffs in your respective leagues, here are five players you can comfortably move on from as you look to make your way atop the totem pole, and earn an offseason's worth of bragging rights.
Ricky Seals-Jones, TE, Washington Football Team
With Logan Thomas out since Week 3, if you were wise enough to take a swing on Seals-Jones, props to you. TE21 in fantasy points accumulated, Seals-Jones should remain active for Washington, but with Thomas back, don’t expect him to replicate his multiple double-digit outputs. While his production with Thomas on the shelf should earn him a few more snaps and potential targets, he’s not worth rostering at this point in time.
Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
With an obvious notion to get him the ball through the first five weeks, the Eagles have opted to move forward with Jordan Howard and Boston Scott to carry the ground game, leaving Gainwell in no man's land in his first season in Philadelphia. A versatile talent who reached paydirt on one of his two carries against the Los Angeles Chargers, Gainwell’s workload hasn’t increased (34% of offensive snaps) since the loss of Miles Sanders. Moving forward, Howard and Scott look to provide the 1-2 punch in head coach Nick Sirianni’s offense.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
An uber-talented pass-catcher with a handful of 1,000-yard seasons in his back pocket, Hilton has failed to remain healthy over the last couple seasons—and nothing has changed in 2021, appearing in just two of the Colts’ first nine games. Currently in the hunt for an AFC South crown, the Colts need all the bodies they can muster up in the passing game, and it starts with Hilton. A non-factor against the New York Jets last Thursday night due to a concussion, you could stand pat with Hilton on your bench in hopes for future health. Or, you can drop him and add teammate Zach Pascal, who’s amassed 30 receptions on the year, three touchdowns, starts opposite Michael Pittman Jr., and is rostered in just 4.9% of all formats.
Eric Ebron, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
Even in spite of dealing with a nagging hamstring injury, Ebron’s time in Pittsburgh as Ben Roethlisberger’s top tight end target looks to be long over. With the emergence of first-year talent Pat Freiermuth, Ebron, when healthy, will remain on the field, but his target share has been gifted to Friermuth, who has become the far and away clear TE1 for the Steelers. Currently TE58 with just seven receptions on the season, Ebron is safe to move on from and never look back.
Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
One of the league’s most dynamic boundary threats, injuries have taken over Thomas’ career the last two seasons. Despite surrounding optimism towards a potential return this fall, an ankle injury initially suffered in Week 1 of 2020 has ultimately ended his 2021 campaign before it ever got started. With surgery looming on the same ankle that has hampered his ability to play at 100% since the 2019 season, you are free to drop Thomas and scour the waiver wire for production. Don't hold out hope for some miracle or tie up an IR spot.