By Jennifer Eakins, 4for4
Special to Yahoo Sports
How we approach drops on our rosters takes a slight or not so slight shift in Week 16. It’s time to get rid of anyone who doesn’t have the potential to start, but you certainly don’t want to let anyone go who can be used against you, either.
Check out your opponent’s roster and load up on anyone you think they might want to add, sending bench riders to the waiver wire for good. Let’s look at some players who may have made it this far on your squads, but can be let go before that sweet, sweet championship game.
Russell Wilson, QB – Seahawks (rostered in 100% of leagues)
I know dropping Russell Wilson may be too tough for some of you to stomach. I implore you to at least consider it, however. Over the past three weeks, the Seattle quarterback sits at QB18 in fantasy points, averaging just 16.4 per contest. The Seahawks have returned to a conservative run-heavy approach, demolishing Wilson’s ceiling.
If you made it past the semifinals last week with Wilson as your starter, a hearty congrats are in order, because his 12 fantasy points ranked 27th among QBs, and he would have been dead last without an added 52 rushing yards. This week, Seattle gets a Rams defense that sits second in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to the quarterback position, so grabbing Jalen Hurts, Baker Mayfield or, dare I say, Mitch Trubisky, is probably giving your team a better shot at hoisting that trophy.
If, by chance, your opponent is hurting at quarterback, then benching the 32-year-old Wilson may be the better call, but either way, using Wilson in your lineups this week is not advisable.
Cooper Kupp, WR – Rams (rostered in 98% of leagues)
The Rams lost to the Jets last week. I’m sure as a fantasy football manager you are aware of this, but I just needed to type it out for it to actually feel real. In the astonishing loss, Cooper Kupp caught four balls for 44 yards, translating to 6.4 half-PPR points. The 27-year-old receiver has not eclipsed 41 yards in three of the last four contests. He only has one touchdown in his last 10 games.
While the Seahawks have been pretty soft against wideouts at times this season, the last meeting of these two teams in Week 10 produced a line of 5-50-0 for Kupp. With everything on the line, it may be beneficial to get rid of the fourth-year receiver and ride with a more reliable pass-catcher this week.
D.J. Chark, WR – Jaguars (rostered in 84% of leagues)
The frustration and inconsistencies with D.J. Chark have been plaguing fantasy managers all season. The weekly stress around whether to start him or not ends now. Even down 26-0 at the half last week, the Jaguars’ garbage time game script didn’t help Chark’s production, as he only put up 7.3 half-PPR points.
This offense can’t support any fantasy player beyond James Robinson, and this week’s matchup doesn’t help. Chicago yields the sixth-fewest aFPA to wide receivers this season, and just held Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen to a measly 22.5 half-PPR points between them last week.
Chark falls into WR4/WR5 territory in Week 16, so there have to be better options for you either currently on your roster or on the waiver wire. Think Keke Coutee, Emmanuel Sanders or Rashard Higgins.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB – Steelers (rostered in 90% of leagues)
I assume you may be mad enough after Monday night’s game to be eagerly awaiting clicking that drop button, but if you need some encouragement, read on. Ben Roethlisberger does not look like a quarterback capable of leading anything right now, especially your fantasy team to a championship title.
He’s wildly inconsistent in his throws (his receivers’ mass case of the drops don’t help), and he’s posted under 20 fantasy points five straight weeks. And this is all before we get to this week’s opponent, the Colts. Indy plays tough against quarterbacks (10th in QB aFPA) and the defense could have a field day with Roethlisberger's erratic throwing and lack of mobility. Like Wilson above, there are most likely better Week 16 options out there for you, so please drop Big Ben in favor of a signal-caller who’s playing better football right now.
Taysom Hill, QB – Saints (rostered in 44% of leagues)
You blew most of your remaining FAB on Taysom Hill in Week 11 and it paid off, but with Drew Brees back under center, it’s not worth hanging onto Hill in the hopes of a fruitful gadget play or two. Especially not with a championship on the line.
Brees had a productive return in Week 15 and his matchup against the Vikings is favorable enough to keep Hill off the fantasy radar. For the near 50% of Yahoo managers still hanging onto Hill, there have to be better options at quarterback out there if you’re in need this week. It’ll probably behoove your squad to load up on depth or snag a positional player you think your opponent may need.
Say Goodbye to These Injured Players
Here are a handful of drop-worthy guys most likely not suiting up during the regular reason, or if they do, aren’t worth hanging onto anymore:
This list could go on for pages and pages, but it’s kind of tough to gauge all of your unique rosters heading into this final week. The drops column was once again a blast to write this season and it was my pleasure to have assisted you all in any way along your fantasy football journey in 2020.
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.