By Jennifer Eakins, 4for4
Special to Yahoo Sports
With so many injuries this fantasy season, it’s not the easiest to evaluate who to drop and when to actually do it. However, we need to evolve and make roster improvements, especially after some of the soul-crushing performances of Week 3.
Here are my recommendations for some players to cut loose ahead of Week 4, or at least keep a short leash on moving forward. If you're looking for players to stash, I've got you covered there as well.
Russell Wilson, QB, Broncos
While this one may induce some minor mental and possible physical pain, dropping Russell Wilson is something that could also be freeing for the soul. After three similarly bad performances riddled with poor accuracy, lots of scrambling and check-downs, Wilson sits at QB24 in fantasy points per game with 12.8.
In single-QB leagues, the former Seahawk is being outproduced by 11 non-starters, plus, of course, the 12 above those guys. Despite only being 33 years old, Wilson looks washed and a shell of his former self. The lack of production on the Broncos' offense can’t be solely blamed on Wilson, but the woes are certainly there and look far from an easy fix. You can try to trade him to a QB-needy team, but at this point, Wilson’s a tough sell, and the 95 percent of you who drafted him should consider moving on to greener pastures.
Darnell Mooney, WR, Bears
This is a tough one because we could give Darnell Mooney one more week to see if the Bears offense will finally decide to throw more, but it’s looking grim for the air game in 2022. Chicago has attempted a league-low 45 passes so far this season, which, to put into perspective, is just ten more than Cooper Kupp and Ja’Marr Chase have both seen themselves, and 111 fewer than the Jets through three games.
Mooney has a total of 4.7 half-PPR points through three contests and is killing any roster he’s currently parked on. If the 69% of you who roster him on Yahoo are in a larger league and need the depth, you can hang on and pray for more time, but in smaller formats, there are better options out there on teams who are actually throwing the ball like Josh Palmer, Romeo Doubs or Zay Jones.
Kenneth Gainwell & Boston Scott, RBs, Eagles
This is a two-for-one drop situation, so let go of whichever one is on your roster. More Yahoo managers have Kenneth Gainwell (39%) than Boston Scott (3%), but it appears Miles Sanders is the only RB in Philly who is worth a spot. This drop is not for everyone, but if you need victories now, neither of these guys is going to help you score the points needed to win.
Coming into this season, the perception was that Gainwell would take on the passing-down role that he was drafted for, but that hasn’t exactly come to fruition through three contests. The NFL sophomore has just six balls thrown his way thus far, placing him 40th among RBs in targets, and on top of that, Gainwell has only rushed 10 times for 33 measly yards. Scott boasts 10 total carries on the season for 29 yards, with one catch for an additional two yards. The Eagles are rolling right now without these backs having any type of meaningful role, so there’s little reason to think anything will change outside of an injury to Miles Sanders.
Rex Burkhead, RB, Texans
Sexy Rexy was in my thin-ice section in Week 3, and we’ve seen enough to send him packing for someone else to get frustrated with from week to week. The Houston backfield is clearly Dameon Pierce’s, with 50 touches for the rookie to Burkhead’s 28 (22 came in Week 1) through three games.
The Texans have yet to score more than 20 points and will most likely be playing from behind for most of the season. Burkhead does have a role, but his 4-39-0 lines may drive managers mad as the season progresses.
Austin Hooper, TE, Tennessee Titans
The TE position is perennially gross, and this season is shaping up to fall in line. Austin Hooper was someone I was excited about on this Titans’ team and thought he made for a great late-round target if you didn’t want to pay up in 2022. As I sit here with a large bowl of crow, it’s time to move on from the seven-year veteran and seek out a serviceable weekly guy, or live that streaming life.
Hooper has four receptions through three games, which have totaled a paltry 44 yards and zero scores. Tennessee has been inconsistent on the offensive side of the ball, but Hooper’s involvement remains steadily nonexistent. There are options out there for the 28% of you still rocking with Hooper, so do your roster a favor and let him go for Tyler Conklin or David Njoku.
On Very Thin Ice
DJ Moore, WR - Panthers: I know managers who drafted Moore want to throw things (and potentially already have) but you spent too much on the Carolina WR to give up this quickly. Try to trade him this week on his 25% target share and hope to get a bite or a change in QB, perhaps.
Allen Robinson, WR - Rams: At least we’ve seen one double-digit output from ARob through three games, and there’s volume, just a disconnect with Matthew Stafford. Don’t hit the panic button yet; he’s still in WR3 territory and hopefully gels with his QB moving forward.
DJ Chark, WR - Lions: After a decent Week 1 where he found the end zone, Chark found himself behind Josh Reynolds in targets, even after Amon-Ra St. Brown dealt with an ankle injury. It’s not looking great for the Detroit WR in this offense, but the jury is still out for now.
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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.