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The Week 5 Do Not Cut List

Last week I took the time to explain why there was no need to give in to the panic surrounding Leonard Fournette, Davante Adams, and Stefon Diggs.  These three combined for 533 yards, and yes, zero touchdowns. It is easy to forget that the season is long and we are only a quarter of the way through the season. Players will regress to their mean, and while it can be difficult to predict when it will occur, we can trust that it will in fact happen.

Things to Remember

  • No quarterbacks are on this list because the position is deep and there are likely many streamable options, or if you are in a Superflex league you likely don’t have many options available. 
  • Do feel free to drop kickers to make your waiver wire moves, they are also streamable (look for my article to see which ones you should target)
  • Use your IR spots if available.

Take Lock

People often talk about “take lock,” refusing to change your mind when presented with new, or more information. I certainly do not want this column to fall in that category, so while many names are carryovers from the previous renditions of the article, here is  player that you can now feel free to cut: 

Kenyon Drake

Dammit, I didn’t want to do this, but in 10-12 team leagues with limited bench space there is no reason to hold Drake any longer. He will likely have one or two nice games throughout the season, but they will be unpredictable, and the production beyond those is well below average. 

Even as the Miami Dolphins main running back, with 52% of the carries and a 15% team target share, he has done very little. He has yet to perform as an RB2 and offers little season-long upside. The thought process behind keeping him was that he would see volume. Unfortunately, the volume is of little value. With a Bye week coming up, feel free to drop Drake for immediate help. 

Upshot: Droppable in shallow leagues, although I am forced to keep him in a 12-team PPR league where I lost Saquon Barkley and Tevin Coleman. He might get you 9-14 PPR points per week, though his season-long scoring average is below that range, with zero games even reaching 11 PPR points.

Carryovers

Miles Sanders

It looks like people are freaking out again after watching Jordan Howard dominate the Packers on Thursday night. It was not a fun night for me, a Sanders truther. I assumed the Eagles would feature more Sanders. I thought we would begin to see the decline of Howard’s usage. However, Sanders looked explosive and still saw 11 carries — 41% of the teams RB total. Sanders provides standalone value, and would be a beast if Howard got hurt.

Upshot: Of all the backup RBs, Sanders has potential to take over the role and be a league winner.

O.J. Howard

Hmmm, it’s starting to feel mighty lonely on this island. In all seriousness, what options do you have? If you can find a waiver wire tight end that will get you 8-12 PPR points per game, feel free to move on. I will still ride with Howard over Kyle Rudolph, Vernon Davis, Jordan Akins, and the other names I see on the list.

Upshot: The floor is low, but the ceiling for Howard still exists.

New Listees

Austin Ekeler

Let me start by saying I am shocked and shook to see people contemplating this, yet here we are. Ekeler is currently the RB2 on the season in PPR and is No. 1 in fantasy points over expectation (FPOE) with 33.5. He has been crushing this year — the RotoViz Stat Explorer shows just how dominant he has been.

Yes, I know Melvin Gordon is back with the team, but I do not know what that means for Ekeler. It could be a 50/50 split, and at worse it could revert to what we saw last year. Ekeler has played seven games in his career with Gordon. Using the RotoViz Game Splits App we can see that his performances, while not elite, are still usable as a flex option in most leagues. 

Upshot: Hold or buy Ekeler if his owner is worried about the Gordon return. It is not as if Gordon has been a beacon of health in his career.

Calvin Ridley

The last two weeks were ugly — super gross in fact — but they were both against difficult matchups. Ridley does not see a two-game stretch like Indiananoplis and Tennessee again until … gulp … Weeks 15 and 16 against the 49ers and Jaguars. Nine of his next 10 matchups are favorable or at worst neutral for the wide receiver position. In order for Ridley to return the value you invested on draft day his targets need to increase to closer to the double-digit range. But even with his five to six targets he remains a strong WR3 or flex consideration. Matt Ryan is targeting him deep (21-plus yards down the field) 1.5 times per game. Converting one of those can make a week. Ridley continues to see downfield targets and the big plays are coming.

 

Upshot: Patience, start as a WR3 or flex this week in a favorable matchup versus Houston

Image Credit: Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Calvin Ridley.

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