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:
Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – Running Back
Remember when there was optimism about the Titans’ Derrick Henry, when we knew DeMarco Murray was going to be heading elsewhere in the offseason? It didn’t last too long, as the team imported Dion Lewis to complement him (instead of giving him the opportunity to carry the load). Through six weeks that’s exactly what it’s been, as the two have seen a relatively even split in terms of touches:
- Dion Lewis – 83 touches (60 carries/23 receptions), 321 yards, 1 TD
- Derrick Henry – 76 touches (72 carries/4 receptions), 257 yards, 0 TD
Neither of the running backs have thrived running the football, with Henry averaging just 3.3 yards/carry. He’s yet to break a run of more than 14 yards and obviously he hasn’t found the end zone. Over the past three weeks the touches have slowly diminished, averaging just 8.7 carries/game. It’s easy to at least put some blame on an offensive line that just allowed 11 sacks to the Ravens, and that’s fair and something that we can’t expect to change any time soon.
A non-factor in the passing game and averaging 3.2 yards/carry or worse in five of six games, it’s obviously been a disappointing season. He needs to find the end zone in order to have value, because he’s not going to be the true “lead” back barring an injury, and he hasn’t proven capable (his career high is 5 rushing TD in a season). That should tell you all you need to know.
Outlook – Handcuff/Deep League Stash Only (Cuttable in shallower formats)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals – Wide Receiver
Long considered one of the premier wide receivers in the game, the fact that we are looking for a silver lining after he posted 5 receptions and 39 yards is extremely concerning. Over the past five weeks he’s now averaged 27.8 yards/game and he’s yet to find the end zone in 2018. Now let’s compare the numbers to that of rookie Christian Kirk in the three games where Josh Rosen has been under center:
- Christian Kirk – 13 receptions (16 targets), 190 yards, 1 TD
- Larry Fitzgerald – 10 receptions (18 targets), 102 yards, 0 TD
It’s interesting that Fitzgerald actually has had more targets, but he’s lacked the explosive plays. Kirk has been the man to make the big plays, and while you can argue that he’s been a bit boom or bust at least he’s shown “boom” potential. No one is about to dub the 35-year old Fitzgerald as “done”, but it’s getting harder and harder to believe that he’s suddenly going to turn things around.
Outlook – Deep League Stash Only (in two-receiver formats, getting easier to cut bait)
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com