“What's that? Ah… playoffs? Don't talk about, playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs?”
Thanks for the introduction, Jim Mora Sr. Yes, with eight games left in the NFL season, fantasy owners must start to think about their own playoffs. Because just like that, they’re around the corner. Look through your players’ remaining schedules. Are there weeks where byes take a toll? Is there a player with a tough schedule down the stretch? If your team is among the better ones in your league, it’s important to look ahead and get your team ready for the fantasy postseason. If your team is near the bottom, you can still do this, though you might want to make a few more moves than normal in the immediate sense. That could include getting rid of the following players, who have mostly underperformed.
Cam Akers (RB - LAR) | Rostered in 34% of leagues
Maybe Akers still has some upside, but that seems more like wishful thinking than reality. He’s been the odd man out in the Rams’ strange three-headed rushing attack. While he hasn’t been fully healthy this season, Akers hasn’t established himself enough to earn a roster spot. Even if Akers somehow becomes the teams’ feature back, the upcoming schedule isn’t particularly favorable to running backs: Bye, Seattle (16th-fewest points to running backs), at Tampa Bay (11th), San Francisco (2nd). Unless you play in a dynasty league, you can cut bait on Akers.
A.J. Green (WR - CIN) | Rostered in 82% of leagues
Green was on this list earlier in the season, but two solid weeks led to a resurgence in his ownership percentage. However, I have a few issues with Green. First, he’s being outplayed by Tyler Boyd and, possibly, Tee Higgins. Second, he really hasn’t looked like the Pro Bowl player he once was. Third—and maybe most importantly—he has a bye in Week 9 and matchups against Pittsburgh and Washington after. The Steelers’ secondary hasn’t been as good as the rest of the defense, but the Football Team has allowed the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. That could be three straight weeks where Green stays on the bench. With the fantasy playoffs looming, you need players you can start with confidence. Green doesn’t seem to be that guy.
Henry Ruggs III (WR - LV) | Rostered in 51% of leagues
There’s no denying Ruggs’ speed and playmaking ability. It just hasn’t translated to fantasy success. In the last month, Ruggs has been out-targeted by Darren Waller (of course), Hunter Renfrow (sure?) and Nelson Agholor (okay what?). He’s seen more than four targets just once, which only solidifies Ruggs’ status as a massive boom-or-bust player. His one good game—19.8 points—came off of three targets, one of which turned into a 72-yard touchdown. Perhaps Ruggs can make a dent down the line, but for now, there are better options available.
Julian Edelman (WR - NE) | Rostered in 58% of leagues
Edelman was a “Look Ahead” option in last week’s column, which was before the Patriots placed him on IR. There isn’t much else to say; his subpar play doesn’t warrant you even wasting an IR spot on him if your league has that option (it should).
Mike Gesicki (TE - MIA) | Rostered in 54% of leagues
The only reason Gesicki isn’t 100% droppable is that he’s a tight end. If there are better options available, pick one up and cut Gesicki immediately. But there probably isn’t. Trey Burton or Jordan Reed could be good streaming options, but they don’t carry the alleged upside that Gesicki does. The issue with Gesicki is he’s not a blocking tight end, which explains why Durham Smythe has out-snapped Gesicki in two of Smythe’s last four healthy weeks. Like in Sunday’s win over the Rams, Smythe tends to see more playing time in run-heavy games. This makes Gesicki very unreliable. He faces Arizona this week, so if he can’t flash the upside that got many fantasy owners excited about drafting him, then it’s time to move on.
Tyler Higbee (TE - LAR) | Rostered in 54% of leagues
Like Gesicki, Higbee has the luxury of playing a scarce position for fantasy. Excluding a 28-point explosion in Week 2, Higbee has averaged an abysmal 5.9 points this season. Yet, he’s still TE14 on the season, although that includes his big early-season performance. Higbee gets a slight benefit of the doubt because he was dealing with an injury in Week 8 that kept him sidelined the game before. Unfortunately for Higbee, he’s been the fifth-most targeted player on the Rams’ offense. That’s not going to cut it, and if he can’t separate himself from Gerald Everett next week, he should join Gesicki on the waiver wire.
- Dec 06, 2022
- Dec 05, 2022