By Jennifer Eakins, 4for4
Special to Yahoo Sports
With so many injuries this 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, or at least keep in mind as drop candidates moving forward. If you're looking for players to stash, I've got you covered there as well.
Laviska Shenault, WR – Jaguars (64% rostered on Yahoo)
This could be a bitter pill to swallow for many in the fantasy football community, but it doesn’t appear this is the year for Shenault’s coming-out party. After a WR46 finish in half-PPR points per game last season, Shenault is currently WR71 in that category, with outings of 9.4, 0.7, and 6.8, respectively, so far in 2021.
The sophomore wideout has yet to eclipse 50 yards in a contest and did not even see an uptick in volume with James O'Shaughnessy out this past week. Shenault is the third option in an offense that has shown it can’t be trusted for fantasy purposes. Things won’t get much easier for this squad as four of their next six opponents rank 16th or better in WR schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA). It may hurt for just a second — a la ripping off a band-aid — but your roster will be better off without having to decide what to do with the 22-year-old receiver each week.
Ronald Jones, RB – Buccaneers (69% rostered)
Pour another one out for an industry favorite, but Jones is a non-factor and it’s time to make room on your roster for an RB who’s not constrained by the walls of a dog house. After a few errors in both Week 1 and Week 2, it’s apparent the coaching staff’s faith in Jones has waned. He’s now the third choice behind both Leonard Fournette and Giovani Bernard in this Tampa Bay backfield.
With a paltry 4.6 total half-PPR points through three contests, it’s time to cut ties with RoJo in favor of an RB in a much better situation, like his teammate Bernard, Zack Moss, or Cordarrelle Patterson. Of course, Chuba Hubbard is a great pickup temporarily, but everyone will be chasing him this week.
Jonnu Smith, TE – Patriots (61% rostered)
We knew heading into this season that the tight end duo of Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry could either cannibalize each other or perhaps pull off the elusive two-fantasy-relevant-tight-ends-on-the-same-team thing. It appears the former is happening, but Henry may still be worth keeping for now. Smith leads both in targets 16-13. However, in negative game script last week, it was Henry who ran 39 pass routes to Smith’s 15, which could be a more consistent issue moving forward with this struggling Patriots offense most likely playing from behind.
I know it’s pretty ugly out there in the tight-end streets, but there are some guys on the waiver wire outproducing Smith like Gerald Everett, Tyler Conklin, and Dawson Knox.
Elijah Moore, WR – Jets (28% rostered)
It’s been a rough NFL debut for Moore, and sadly, what we thought was going to be a much improved Jets offense in 2021 looks a lot like last year’s version in terms of production. Moore is averaging just 5.3 half-PPR points per tilt and things don’t look more fruitful in the coming weeks, as Moore suffered a concussion in the third quarter of Week 3, plus Jamison Crowder will return at some point to muddle up this already inefficient offense.
With the WR position so deep, admit Moore was a miss in his rookie season and replace him with some waiver wire goodness in the form of Emmanuel Sanders or Henry Ruggs.
Mark Ingram, RB – Texans (50% rostered)
I get it, you spent FAB or a good waiver wire priority spot on Ingram after Week 1 and don’t want to let him go, but life was different then. Tyrod Taylor was at the helm of the Houston offense, and the unit was able to sustain drives and appear somewhat multi-dimensional. Since Davis Mills took over, Ingram’s carries went from 26 to 14 to just six in Week 3, which does not bode well for any type of fantasy relevancy moving forward.
It’s looking like Ingram is someone who’ll be touchdown dependent this season in an offense that will be playing from behind more often than not. Send the 31-year-old back packing and grab someone in a better spot to add consistent points to your roster.
A Week away from Dropsville
Kyle Pitts, TE – Falcons: I really wanted to include Pitts this week but figured I’d avoid the pitchforks directed towards me for one more game.
Robby Anderson, WR – Panthers: Anderson gets one more outing to make something happen, but it’s not looking good for a fantasy-relevant role despite Carolina’s success and his reunion with Sam Darnold.
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.
More from 4for4.com: Stash candidates ahead of Week 4