by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It’s easy to make a hasty decision when it comes to your fantasy football team, since the season feels more like a sprint than a marathon. How long do you stay patient? Is it time to cut bait and move on? Let’s take a look at a few of the standout players who you may be considering cutting:
Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders – Wide Receiver
Was there a more disappointing performance in Week 1? He wasn’t alone among Raiders’ wide receivers, as Derek Carr instead focused his attention on his tight end (Jared Cook) and running backs (Jalen Richard was targeted 11 times). That left few opportunities for the wide receivers, with the team’s trio totaling 9 targets:
- Jordy Nelson – 4 targets
- Seth Roberts – 2 targets
- Amari Cooper – 3 targets
Cooper turned his “opportunities” into 1 reception for 9 yards. It’s impossible to think that those types of numbers will continue, especially in a matchup against the Broncos (who allowed 2 TD to opposing wide receivers in Week 1)… Maybe, that is. While it’s impossible to use last year as a guideline for this season, in 2017 he totaled 3 receptions (9 targets) for 18 yards in two games against Denver.
At the same time, another subpar performance could create a better buying opportunity for fantasy owners. We all know the potential he brings, including an 83 catch, 1,153 yard performance in 2016 and scoring in four of his final five games of ’17. Things will get better, and now isn’t the time to lose hope.
Verdict – Don’t Ditch
Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals – Running Back
There’s no question who the lead back was for the Bengals in Week 1, though you can argue it was impossible for them to get Joe Mixon off the field with the way he was rolling:
- Joe Mixon -22 touches, 149 yards, 1 TD
- Giovani Bernard – 2 touches, 9 yards, 0 TD
Seeing Mixon dominate the carries is not a surprise, but how about being targeted 7 times (5 receptions for 54 yards) as compared to 1 target for Bernard? While we wouldn’t expect there to be this big of a discrepancy each and every week, it does indicate that Mixon could get an opportunity to be a true workhorse on a weekly basis.
Consider Bernard more of a 5-8 touch per game type player at this point, and one who doesn’t necessarily have a nose for the end zone. While he’s not a must ditch, in shallower formats fantasy owners can move on.
Verdict – Ditch ‘Em in shallower formats
Make sure to check out all of our Week 2 rankings: