The Fantasy Football gods must be fans of Game of Thrones, The Wire and The Walking Dead because they seem insistent on copying the format: killing off a main character every week (Joe Flacco). People we’ve come to care about (Charcandrick West) and people we’re invested in (Devonta Freeman and Justin Forsett) suddenly disappear without warning. The only positive? Minor characters we once thought were irrelevant have an opportunity to become the next fan favorite (Spencer Ware?). As we look forward to Week 12’s “Which players to drop” column, we’re also presented with the challenge of trying to predict the next Prince Oberyn, Lester Freeman and Hershel.
Last week’s players to drop column hurt. I put it out there for my readers that Eddie Lacy was a potential drop and he immediately throws 100 rushing yards right in my face. For those who dropped Lacy based on my suggestion, I assure you, just like a Lois Einhorn gun to the hip, I felt it.
This week we learned the island from Lost is more intimidating than Revis Island and while death and taxes are supposed to be the only two guarantees in life, a late game Ryan Fitzpatrick interception is pretty close to a sure thing. We learned being a running back on the Kansas City Chiefs is a lot like being Liam instead of Chris Hemsworth: you might be the backup with less talent, but life is still pretty good.
This is the home stretch for the 2015 Fantasy Football season and if there’s a player on your roster who you aren’t comfortable starting, doesn’t have a pristine matchup or isn’t a handcuff to one of your stars, then he has no business being there. Go ahead and introduce him to Mr. Mayhem.
(Struggling with who to add this week? Check out Christian Losciale’s Week 12 Waiver Wire Targets here.)
Week 12 Players to Drop
As always, we’re playing by Talladega Nights rules here folks. If you ain’t first, you’re last!
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Remaining Opponents: @ Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos, @ Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, @ Oakland Raiders
I’ll start by giving you the argument as to why my suggestion to drop Philip Rivers is Brick Tamland level stupid (I love lamp), then I’ll give you the argument as to why it’s a potential great move and then you can make your own decision.
Argument for keeping Philip Rivers:
The remaining schedule for Rivers is fantastic. The Jaguars, Dolphins and Raiders are all plus matchups. The main receiving target for Rivers is Antonio Gates and the Jaguars, Dolphins and Raiders are all in the Top 15 of most fantasy points per game allowed to tight ends and are all in the Top 9 of most fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks.
Argument for dropping Philip Rivers:
This isn’t because Philip Rivers proudly wears a bolo tie and this isn’t because his current Justin Bieber creeper mustache and Howie Mandel soul patch combination is simply unacceptable. Listing Philip Rivers as a player to drop is simply about making the playoffs, winning your division and most importantly, a Fantasy Football championship.
Keenan Allen was lost for the season in Week 8. Malcom Floyd tore his labrum in Week 9. Dynasty league favorite, Ladarius Green has been slowed with an ankle injury and Antonio Gates is now playing through both a hip and knee injury. The running game is dreadful, as the team ranks 30th in the NFL in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.
Philip Rivers is averaging a mere 15.1 fantasy points per game in standard leagues since Week 8, ranking 24th amongst QBs. The Chargers have a total of one touchdown in their last two contests and when looking at the box score, you can see why. Names such as Stevie Johnson, Dontrelle Inman and Javontee Herndon are now prominent targets for Rivers and this offense. Antonio Gates hasn’t had a receiving touchdown since Week 5, and if you want to see how well that seems to being going over, click here.
While the Chargers seemingly have some advantageous matchups, it’s important to point out they face the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs in Weeks 13 and 14, most likely the final game of your regular season and the first round of your playoffs. Through the first 10 weeks of the season, the Broncos and Chiefs were both ranked in the top 10 for fewest fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks. The Broncos ranked No. 1 overall. Week 11 gave us more of the same as there were more wardrobe malfunctions at the AMA Awards Sunday than passing touchdowns against the Broncos and Chiefs, as Jay Cutler and Rivers combined for zero.
We’ve seen this second half swoon from Rivers before. Last season Rivers averaged 14.3 points per game over the final eight weeks of the season. Unfortunately, I think we might have a sequel on our hands but not something memorable like Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan. Without a healthy Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd, Antonio Gates or Ladarius Green, this could end up more along the lines of Deuce Bigalow 2, European Gigolo.
(Disclaimer: Video is close enough to being NSFW that you shouldn’t risk letting your boss listen)
Side note: I’m all for Movember and frankly, I’m all for using facial hair to express one’s self but unless you’re Freddie Mercury, Tom Selek, Burt Reynolds, Ron Burgandy, Steve Harvey or Borat, chances are you need to expand your facial hair selection to include something other than just the mustache
Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers
Melvin Gordon currently ranks 52nd in standard league scoring and has zero touchdowns on the season. Your friend who tells you to hang onto Gordon for just a few more weeks because the breakout might be coming is the same friend who sings along to Lincoln Park. Yeah, we’re just not doing that anymore…
Playing football for West Canaan for Mox is to starting Melvin Gordon for me.
Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins
Remaining Opponents: New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, @ Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, @ Philadelphia Eagles
Pierre Garcon has been serviceable in PPR leagues this season, as he’s tied for 32nd in the NFL with 46 receptions thus far. Unfortunately, that also comes along with just three touchdowns and a ranking of 46th in receiving yards, with only 473. If I were interested in something that was ranked the 46th best of it’s class then I’d watch Mean Girls, currently rated as the 46th best movie on Netflix.
Much like David Spade, Garcon has failed to meet expectations repeatedly but somehow clings to the outskirts of relevancy. Garcon has yet to exceed 75 receiving yards even once this season yet unlike David Spade, he hasn’t scored since Week 6. His season high in targets was back in Week 4 with just seven and he hasn’t exceeded five targets since.
Getting knocked out of playoff contention because you relied on the wrong guy one too many weeks hurts, like a 2×4 to the face. Don’t let it happen to you.
Head Coach Jay Gruden preaches quick throws, solid fundamentals and taking the field with a competitive edge, seemingly describing both Cousins and Garcon. However, instead of cultivating a successful Fantasy Football relationship between the two, Gruden seems to have developed more of a bond with receiver DeSean Jackson, as you can see in the video below.
Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams
Remaining Opponents: @ Cincinnati Bengals, Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, @ Seattle Seahawks
Starting Tavon Austin in Fantasy Football is like being in a deteriorating relationship when the other person tells you they’re going out for the evening. It’s a miserable way to spend three hours. There’s no trust whatsoever, there’s a 50 percent chance it will all work out and there’s a 50 percent chance whatever takes place during those three hours will be relationship-ending. If you’re truly honest with yourself, you’re secretly hoping for the worst so you have a reason to break it off and move on with your life.
Allow me to be that friend that explains how dysfunctional your relationship is. Austin only has 31 receptions for 310 yards, both outside the Top 70 in the NFL. Because of this, Austin’s fantasy value is touchdown-dependent but unfortunately, the chance of Austin scoring a touchdown is extremely limited. The Rams currently rank 31st in the NFL with only 15 red zone touchdowns. Just 47 percent of their red zone touchdowns come via the pass, as Todd Gurley owners can attest. Austin is reliant on breaking a big play himself or on his quarterback creating that opportunity for him. The Rams are last in the NFL in passing yards per game and potentially just downgraded their starting quarterback from Nick Foles to Case Keenum.
Solidifying our analysis of Austin’s inconsistency, his game by game receiving yardage are as follows: -2, 6, 38, 96, 6, 43, 98, 15, 5, 5.
Get out of this relationship. I hate seeing you like this. You’re just not at your best when you’re with him.
Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions
Remaining Opponents: Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers, @ St. Louis Rams, @ New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers
The Oakland Raiders are last in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to the tight end. The Raiders are the door knob (or, your mom) of the NFL, everybody gets a turn. Eric Ebron, in the best matchup of his life, scored zero points this week, wasting one of the nine accurate passes Matthew Stafford has thrown this season by dropping a touchdown in the end zone.
Eric Ebron is one of the most athletically gifted tight ends in the NFL and plays in an offense that’s Top 6 in the NFL in pass attempts. Too bad he sucks at playing catch.
Honorable Mention: I’m giving these guys another week or so:
- Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
- Jordan Matthews, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
- Rishard Matthews, WR, Miami Dolphins
- Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts
- Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills
Still not sold? Below is a quick rundown of players I’ve recommended to be dropped along with the link to the full column in that week’s headline.
- Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens
- Alfred Blue, RB, Houston Texans
- Andre Williams, RB, New York Giants
- DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
- Markus Wheaton, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers
- Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
- Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals
- Eddie Royal, WR, Chicago Bears
- Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants
- Coby Fleener, TE, Indianapolis Colts
- Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions
- Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee Titans
- Andre Johnson, WR, Indianapolis Colts
- Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
- Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons
- Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers
- Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
- Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants
- Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers
- Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
- Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
- Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
- Percy Harvin, WR, Buffalo Bills
- Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
- Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans
- C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos
- C.J. Spiller, RB, New Orleans Saints
- Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins
- Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
- Sam Bradford, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
- Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers
- Knile Davis, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
- Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns
- Leonard Hankerson, WR, Atlanta Falcons
- Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
- Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions
- Mike Wallace, WR, Minnesota Vikings
- Jordan Cameron, TE, Miami Dolphins
- Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
- Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings
- Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants
- James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers
- Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers
- Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
- Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers
- Brandon Bolden, RB, New England Patriots
- James White, RB, New England Patriots
- Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
- Ted Ginn, WR, Carolina Panthers
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