By Jennifer Eakins, 4for4
Special to Yahoo Sports
This is the last week of the fantasy regular season in most Yahoo leagues and close to the end in others. Either way, you want the tightest squad possible moving forward.
Assessing players who are no longer producing for your team is not the easiest of tasks, especially when feelings and nostalgia tend to get in the way. However, I’m here to help you rip off that proverbial band-aid and decide who’s no longer serving your fantasy team the way fresh blood has the potential to.
These moves may not be for everyone as each roster is different and so are your records and point totals, but here are a handful of players who may be underperforming or underutilized, or possibly have difficult matchups down the stretch.
[Editor's Note: Don’t miss Jen's tips on gearing up for the fantasy playoffs]
Derek Carr, QB – Raiders (rostered in 57% of leagues)
Just when you think Derek Carr can be trusted for fantasy or even real-life purposes, he goes ahead and has a disastrous performance in Week 12 against the Falcons. Carr completed 22-of-34 passes for 215 scoreless yards, turning the ball over four times in the process (three fumbles and an interception).
A get-right game against the Jets is on tap for Week 13, but the remainder of his schedule includes bouts with the Colts and Dolphins, who rank third and sixth, respectively, in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to quarterbacks this season. In single-QB leagues, set Carr and your worries free in favor of a signal-caller with a better fantasy playoff schedule.
Giovani Bernard, RB – Bengals (rostered in 74% of leagues)
I know there are many of you out there in the fantasy football space who really wanted Joe Mixon to be a thing this season, and subsequently, Giovani Bernard in his place. However, the Bengals' offensive line is not good, and Joe Burrow was just very impressive in his cover-up job disguising how bad they actually are.
Bernard had a few good fantasy weeks in the middle of the season, but since the Bengals' bye in Week 9, the eight-year veteran has averaged just 6.7 half-PPR points per tilt. With this new-look offense unable to sustain drives through the air, it doesn’t appear Bernard will get enough volume for the final push. A couple of worthy replacements are Latavius Murray and James White.
Travis Fulgham, WR – Eagles (rostered in 66% of leagues)
The second-year wideout was a pleasant surprise for those who managed to snag him off the waiver wire in Week 5 or Week 6, but his time helping your roster has come to an end. Fulgham has posted 32 total yards on just four receptions since the Eagles' bye in Week 9, for a whopping 5.2 half-PPR points.
Philadelphia’s offense is clearly not functioning as it should and with now-healthy players returning to the lineup, Fulgham has lost any fantasy relevance moving forward. There are receivers in much better offenses and situations on your waiver wire, so look out for guys like Deebo Samuel, Michael Pittman Jr. or Allen Lazard.
All Jacksonville Jaguars Pass-Catchers (led by D.J. Chark at 88% percent rostered)
D.J. Chark is a player who most probably can’t bring themselves to drop and he is the Jaguars’ only real downfield option, but things are not looking good for this receiving corps for the remainder of 2020. Injuries are slaying this squad weekly as it is, but the rest of Jacksonville’s schedule is as ugly as it gets for the wideout position.
In Weeks 15 and 16 for the height of the fantasy playoffs, the Jags face Baltimore and Chicago, who rank fifth and second in fantasy points allowed to receivers, respectively. Even if you’re in a league with a Week 17 championship, there’s no break, as Jacksonville heads to Indy for a meeting with the ninth-ranked defensive unit in WR aFPA. Chark is fine to hang onto if you really can’t part with him, but dropping Laviska Shenault and Keelan Cole could do your roster right.
Brian Hill, RB – Falcons (rostered in 46% of leagues)
I know you’re supposed to load up on running back insurance heading into the fantasy playoffs, but keeping Brian Hill may just be bad for your psyche moving forward. As the starter in Atlanta last week, Hill managed only 55 yards on 13 carries, and eventually lost work to Ito Smith in the second half. Smith posted 65 yards and a touchdown along with four receptions for another 10 yards, while Hill dropped his only target.
I seem to recall a very similar chain of events last season when Hill was given the reins of the Falcons backfield, but somehow we all believed in him for Week 12, and we got burnt. Todd Gurley’s status for Week 13 is still unknown, but Atlanta gets the Saints' No. 1 defense in aFPA to running backs this week, plus two tilts with the Bucs on the horizon, who sit fourth in that same category, so between the two units, they allow an average of just 14.75 half-PPR points to opposing backfields weekly.
Hill just can’t be trusted as it is, and couple that with his difficult schedule, it’s time for him to become someone else’s headache down the stretch.
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.