By Jennifer Eakins, 4for4
Special to Yahoo Sports
It’s now or never for your fantasy rosters, as we’re one week from all systems go for the postseason. Our squads need to be trimmed of all the fat and what-ifs so they are streamlined for success.
Those already bound for postseason play can also use this week to drop players who are unlikely to get off the bench in favor of those with greater potential in their vital win-or-go-home matchups ahead.
Below is a look at a handful of players who are drop-zone-worthy as we head down the stretch of the NFL and fantasy seasons. Some of these may be too aggressive for larger leagues or teams who have bye week issues, but these are the guys I think cut be dropped.
Brandin Cooks, WR - Texans (69 percent rostered on Yahoo)
Pour a few out for what could have been for Brandin Cooks this season, coming in as the clear WR1 for the Texans with a juicy sixth-round ADP. He was fresh off back-to-back fantasy WR2 seasons and was set up with a young, promising QB in Davis Mills. Fast forward to Week 14, and we have a disgruntled wideout with a calf injury, not catching balls from Kyle Allen.
We don’t know if Cooks will be back this week, but it really doesn’t matter since the Houston passing game is anemic, and the 29-year-old has already checked out on the franchise. There are 69% of Yahoo managers rostering Cooks right now, and you’re all better off with a WR on a better offense with more motivation for success down the stretch.
Kadarius Toney, WR - Chiefs (42% rostered)
The medal for the most unfulfilled potential this season has to go to Kadarius Toney, or at least he’s on the podium. First in New York and then even more so on his new team in Kansas City, the sophomore WR was full of promise but has been nothing but a letdown for those still keeping him on their rosters.
Toney has played in just five contests in 2022 and has only scored more than 2.3 points in a game once. The 23-year-old’s best outing came in Week 10, where he caught four balls for 57 yards and a score, with an additional two carries for 33 yards. He’s since re-aggravated his hamstring for the eleventeeth time this season and just can’t be trusted with everything on the line in the fantasy playoffs.
James Robinson, RB - Jets (48% rostered)
It was unclear what to make of the New York backfield once Michael Carter was declared out in Week 13, but the picture is coming more into focus, and James Robinson will be nothing more than a background figure moving forward. Zonovan Knight saw 20 touches in Week 13, followed by Ty Johnson’s seven, with Robinson carrying the ball just four times for a meager 10 yards with no targets in the passing game.
Robinson's impact has been minimal since being traded to the Jets, and the nearly 50% of managers waiting for his fantasy relevancy should move on to more impactful options like James Cook or Knight.
Van Jefferson, WR - Rams (29% rostered)
As the default WR1 for LA with both Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson on the shelf, one would think Van Jefferson would be a serviceable option for fantasy football purposes. However, Jefferson hasn’t cracked 41 yards this season and has only found the end zone once since Kupp sustained his ankle injury in Week 10.
Having to catch balls from the backup duo of John Wolford and Bryce Perkins isn’t exactly helping his cause, and with byes wrapping up this week, there are better options out there at wideout to elevate your respective fantasy squads like Michael Gallup, Corey Davis, or D.J. Chark.
DeAndre Carter, WR - Chargers (28% rostered)
The WR has had his moments in 2022, but is still relegated to the boom-or-bust fantasy category, even with key members of the Chargers offense sidelined this season. He seems to alternate between double-digit outputs and true duds, which is not what we need heading into the fantasy postseason.
Keenan Allen has been back for several weeks, and Mike Williams is on track to return, leaving Carter as likely the sixth option after Allen, Austin Ekeler, Williams, Josh Palmer, and Gerald Everett.
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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.