By Jennifer Eakins, 4for4
Special to Yahoo Sports
Drops aren’t the easiest to evaluate after only four games, but they are a necessary evil to ensure we get the maximum output moving forward.
Here are my recommendations for some players to cut loose ahead of Week 5, or at least keep in mind as drop candidates moving forward. If you're looking for players to stash, I've got you covered there as well.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR – Steelers (88% rostered on Yahoo)
There are 88% of Yahoo fantasy managers struggling with JuJu Smith-Schuster on a weekly basis. I’m here to give you permission to release him as someone else’s problem. The 24-year-old receiver has just 15 catches on 27 targets for 129 scoreless yards through four weeks, with one rushing touchdown.
Even with Chase Claypool on the shelf last week, Smith-Schuster only saw eight targets, which he turned into two measly catches for 11 yards. Ben Roethlisberger is struggling to move the ball downfield and Diontae Johnson seems to be the only startable WR on this offense. Smith-Schuster is nothing more than a WR5/WR6 at this point. There are wideouts in better spots to replace him with like Emmanuel Sanders or Curtis Samuel.
Ty'Son Williams, RB – Ravens (59% rostered on Yahoo)
You blew lots of your FAB money or a choice waiver spot on Ty'Son Williams after the Gus Edwards injury and thought you were in a great place, right? Well, the fantasy gods giveth and taketh away as Williams is no longer fantasy relevant after just a few weeks. He was a healthy scratch this past week after being phased out in Week 3, and the Ravens, at least for now, appear to be going with Latavius Murray as their lead back.
The good news is that there are some emerging attrition and injury replacement RBs on the waiver wire this week such as Michael Carter, Kenneth Gainwell and Damien Williams.
Mecole Hardman, WR – Chiefs (49% rostered on Yahoo)
It’s tough to think about dropping the on-paper No. 2 WR in a high-scoring offense, but Mecole Hardman just isn’t producing the numbers we expect from someone in that position. He’s averaging a paltry 6.9 half-PPR points per game so far and has seen under five targets in three of four contests in 2021.
We also have the addition of Josh Gordon, which could be nothing, but it could also be something when he’s cleared to play. Hardman’s floor is basically nothing at this point, so he remains a risky WR5.
Evan Engram, TE – Giants (34% rostered on Yahoo)
The days of Engram as a fantasy TE1 seem to be a thing of the past, at least with this current offense. He’s seeing the volume of a fantasy starter, with 6.0 targets per game, but his output is TE37 with a shocking 3.0 half-PPR points per tilt. Even in an offense where the WR corps is decimated by injuries, Engram isn’t finding a way to produce.
I know the TE landscape isn’t the most abundant, but there are guys like Dalton Schultz and Dawson Knox who seem to be in better situations to add to your roster now. Feel free to wait on Engram as his floor and ceiling may increase weekly, but if you need points now, he can be sacrificed without any guilt.
Terrace Marshall Jr., WR – Panthers (13% rostered on Yahoo)
Another training camp darling bites the dust. Terrace Marshall Jr. had so much promise, but just can’t seem to find a consistent role in the Carolina offense, even with Christian McCaffrey sidelined and Dan Arnold shipped out of town.
The rookie is behind Brandon Zylstra in half-PPR points per game through four contests and the passing game clearly goes through D.J. Moore, with Robby Anderson seeing an uptick last week (11 targets). Marshall could be worth hanging onto in larger leagues or ones with deeper benches in the event of an injury, but in a traditional 12-teamer, he can be sent packing in favor of a more productive wideout.
Writer's Note: I really wanted to include Kyle Pitts after I threatened to do it last week, but the reality is you're stuck with him. He was a high draft pick and the waiver wire is most likely devoid of starting TEs. You could certainly drop him for Dawson Knox or Ricky Seals-Jones, but it may be way too painful and only be a temporary fix. Here's to hoping he improves.
A proud alumna of the UGA Grady College of Journalism, Jennifer Eakins has been working in the sports industry for well over a decade. She has had stints with CNN Sports, the Atlanta Hawks and the Colorado Rockies. Her first fantasy football draft took place in 1996 where she selected Ricky Watters with the first overall pick, and she has been a fantasy degenerate ever since.
More from 4for4.com: Players to stash ahead of Week 5