by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Not every cut is created equal, and it’s going to depend on your league size/format in many cases. That said there have been some obviously disappointing starts to the season and in the right circumstance three weeks is enough information to formulate a decision, cut bait and move on. Let’s take a look at a few candidates that you should consider dropping:
Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tight End
After Brate “erupted” for 2 TD in Week 13 people wanted to point towards Jameis Winston’s return as a reason to believe that Brate would once again be the lead tight end. That outlook changed real quick after Week 14:
- O.J. Howard – 4 receptions, 54 yards, 1 TD (6 targets)
- Cameron Brate – 1 reception, 11 yards (1 target)
There is no question that Howard is the team’s future at the position, and at 4-9 the team has every reason to give him an opportunity to develop over the final few weeks (so he’s ready to hit the ground running as a TE1 from Week 1 of 2018). While Brate was a nice story at times in ’17, it’s easy to cut bait and move on now.
Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – Running Back
The thought had been that after playing a bit role in Week 13 Jones would see more opportunities and move more into a timeshare with Jamaal Williams. Well, think again:
- Jamaal Williams – 15 carries, 49 yards, 1 TD
- Aaron Jones – 4 carries, -2 yards
Williams also added 7 receptions for 69 yards and a TD. In other words he’s the clear leader of the backfield and should continue dominating the opportunities. With Aaron Rodgers potentially returning in Week 15, the offense could move more pass heavy and that would further limit the chances for Jones. Either way, move on.
Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans – Quarterback
It was another terrible performance for Mariota, who has been a pretty big disaster this season. Just look at the numbers over the past three weeks:
- Week 12 – 184 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
- Week 13 – 150 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
- Week 14 – 159 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT
He’s thrown for more than 1 TD in a game twice all year and now has 8 INT over his past four games. You would think the matchup with the 49ers next week would represent an opportunity, and while the opponents haven’t been elite their secondary has been playing better of late.
It seems impossible to trust Mariota at this point, regardless of the opponent, so why clog up a roster spot?
Sources – NFL.com, ESPN, CBS Sports