By Jennifer Eakins, 4for4
Special to Yahoo Sports
The fantasy regular season is now past the halfway point and it’s time to get more serious about the contents of your roster. If you’ve cruised through the first seven weeks with a winning squad, there’s more leeway for keeping players who are underperforming. However, if you need wins now to have any chance for postseason glory, getting rid of disappointing players is a must.
I’m here to help you rip off that proverbial band-aid and help decide who’s no longer serving your fantasy team the way fresh blood has the potential to.
In this weekly article, I comb through the underwhelming performances to see who’s droppable in favor of some waiver wire magic. There are many variables in determining a player’s rest-of-season fantasy value, including their own production, offense and health, to name a few. All will be taken into consideration when determining each week’s drops.
Cam Newton, QB – Patriots (rostered in 84% of leagues)
The high hopes for Cam Newton to thrive in Bill Belichick’s system were present as soon as the contract ink was put to paper in June. After the signing, Newton was coming off draft boards in the late-eighth round (QB11) and was even considered a solid value at that ADP.
Eight weeks in and two games removed from the COVID-19/reserve list, Newton sits as the fantasy QB20 in points per game, averaging 17.9 points per contest. He’s been responsible for the same number of scores as interceptions in 2020 (7) and has also fumbled the ball twice. While his rushing ability is an advantage for fantasy purposes, his lack of arm accuracy and weapons around him make Newton droppable in regular single-QB leagues. The depth at quarterback is there, so say adios to the quarterback formerly known as Superman, and grab a signal-caller in a better situation like Teddy Bridgewater, Jimmy Garoppolo, or dare I say, Derek Carr.
Michael Gallup, WR – Cowboys (rostered in 76% of leagues)
As WR29 during draft season, Michael Gallup was a player with so much promise in a Dallas offense that was projected to be one of the big powerhouses in 2020. Fast forward to Week 8, and most Cowboys offensive players can be considered droppable. The current state of the offense just can’t support many fantasy players, and Gallup is the one on the outside looking in.
He’s averaging just 7.5 half-PPR points per game and has only seen one contest in 2020 above six targets. Pour one out for the third-year wideout with a ton of promise. Chalk it up to a bad-luck season and send Gallup to the waiver wire this week.
Julian Edelman, WR – Patriots (rostered in 69% of leagues)
The Patriots are unrecognizable as an offense, but I’m not referring to the actual names, it’s their lack of production that is unlike any New England unit we’ve seen in the recent past. Julian Edelman is usually immune to any offensive struggles and finds a way to produce season after season, especially in PPR formats.
This year with Newton at the helm, Edelman’s output has suffered and sadly there’s nothing to indicate a rise in performance level anytime soon. The 34-year-old pass-catcher is averaging just 6.5 targets per contest, compared to the 9.7 he saw through the first seven weeks of 2019, and is only posting 7.6 half-PPR points a tilt versus the 12.6 from his time last year. It may not be too hard for some to let go of Edelman as he’s not the most loved NFL player out there, but it is time in 10- or 12-team leagues.
John Brown, WR – Bills (rostered in 59% of leagues)
Waiting for John Brown to get healthy and produce is no longer fun. He’s missed two games and put up goose eggs in another two, and has only posted a total of 38.4 half-PPR points in 2020. Gabriel Davis has been a worthy replacement and with Brown having so much trouble returning from a knee injury, the 30-year-old receiver may not be fantasy relevant at all this season.
Do your roster a favor and let Brown be someone else’s problem moving forward unless you’re in a smaller league with a deep bench. Hit the waiver wire for someone like Travis Fulgham, Rashard Higgins, or Brown’s teammate, Cole Beasley.
Adrian Peterson, RB – Lions (rostered in 64% of leagues)
For some reason, the Lions seem to be insistent on giving Adrian Peterson the ball, despite the fact he doesn’t do much with it. D'Andre Swift has proved to be worthy of lead-back duties and has the pass-catching prowess to handle the bulk of the backfield work. Peterson rushed 11 times for a measly 29 yards in Week 7, and was denied on a fourth-and-short attempt inside the five-yard line.
At this point, Peterson is a touchdown-dependent back with the tiniest of floors. He’s still rostered by 64% of Yahoo fantasy managers, so those of you living in 2015 might want to swap him out for a rusher with more left in the tank, like Chase Edmonds, Joshua Kelley or JaMycal Hasty.
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.