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The part of the Fantasy Football season that separates the pretenders from the contenders is upon us. The bye weeks begin! The Tennessee Titans and defending Super Bowl Champion, New England Patriots, are off this week, complicating things a bit for us Fantasy Football folk.

Big-name injuries seem to be as prevalent as ever this season. Add the variable of the bye week and we’re heading into the part of the season where roster flexibility and waiver wire maneuvers are arguably just as important as the draft itself.

There’s undoubtedly a Tyrod Taylor, Andy Dalton, Marvin Jones or rejuvenated Chris Johnson worth adding from your waiver wire. You’re about to outsmart your competition by picking up the guy who’s going to help you coast through the bye weeks without skipping a beat. But before that happens, you first have to do one of the most difficult things any self respecting Fantasy Football owner must do: admit you were wrong about someone and send them packing.

Let’s take a quick look at the recommendations from the last two weeks:

Week 2: Alfred Blue, RB, Houston Texans; Andre Williams, RB, New York Giants; DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins; Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers; Markus Wheaton, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers; Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens

Week 3: Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears; Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals; Coby Fleener, TE, Indianapolis Colts; Eddie Royal, WR, Chicago Bears; Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants

I’m getting a little tired of eating crow (Raven) so whoever keeps insisting on sending my column to Joe Flacco every week, stop… please. Rueben Randle did his best NFL wide receiver impersonation this week but I expect he’ll soon return to his old, droppable self this week against the Buffalo Bills.

Let’s get to it. Rip the band-aid off and take a look at who to cut in this week’s Reaper Report.

 Week 4 Players to Drop

As always, we’re playing by Talladega Nights rules here folks. If you ain’t first, you’re last!

Andre Johnson, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Some of you might think this this is an overreaction. It’s Andre Johnson! Maybe he just needs some time with Andrew Luck and things will even themselves out. Personally, I’m not in favor of giving any more of my precious roster space to the 34-year-old former Fantasy stud.

Let’s use some corporate America speak and take a “deep dive” to determine if this is indeed just a slump or the beginning of the end for Johnson. In his last 11 games, Johnson is averaging less than five yards per target (Gross). Now, let’s pretend for a moment the Indianapolis Colts don’t also have T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Phillip Dorsett, Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener.

In the event those five players decide to continue the San Francisco 49ers defense’s trend and retire simultaneously it would then be fair to project roughly 100 targets going Johnson’s way this season. Using the efficiency and productivity data from Johnson’s last 11 games, his yardage stat line is comparable to that of Wes Welker’s in 2014. (Roughly 500 yards for you non-mathematicians out there). If you’re wondering how well that worked out for Welker, you can check in on Wes by clicking here: https://twitter.com/WesWelker/status/643599384198938624

Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee Titans

Who is the starting running back for the Tennessee Titans? Opinions seem to vary between Bishop Sankey, Antonio Andrews and Dexter McClu……. sorry, I blacked out from the utter disbelief of having to discuss the fantasy viability of Dexter McCluster (thanks, Bishop Sankey).

Sankey lured us (some of you) in with his 20-point Week 1 performance. The Bishop Sankey fan club rose from the ashes and shouted from the rooftops. As my pretentious ex-girlfriend used to say, “Spare me!” Sankey truthers are like zombies on The Walking Dead. The slightest bit of movement, sound or productivity and suddenly they’re everywhere and now what was your quiet and simple life is infinitely more difficult, complicated and annoying.

Fast forward to Week 4 and the Sankey truthers are now having their own personal Brokeback Mountain, “I wish I knew how to quit you” moment with the over-hyped Titans running back. Sankey’s yards per carry over the past three weeks has steadily declined, dropping from 6.2 in Week 1, 3.5 in Week 2 and down to 2.0 this past Sunday against a less-than-stellar Colts run defense.

Listen up Sankey supporters, here’s the hard truth: look around at the points scored by teams in your league this week. I can buy the argument that Sankey is rosterable in deep leagues, but if you’re in a 10 or 12 team league, you’re not putting up enough points to win consistently with Sankey as your RB2.

Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

As mentioned in my Week 2 column, not all rookie wide receivers are Odell Beckham. There has been a bit of a learning curve for the struggling Agholor. Fellow Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews plays primarily in the slot while Agholor has been playing the more traditional outside role early on in his rookie season.

This clearly benefits Matthews as he can use his above average size (unusual for a slot receiver) and speed to create mismatches against opposing corners and safeties. Unfortunately for Agholor and Fantasy Football owners, this can leave him matched up against the opposition’s top corner. Sunday’s game was a perfect example as Agholor was often matched up with Fantasy Football nightmare, Darrelle Revis.

Agholor predictably came away from the game with less than a handful of targets and without a single reception on the stat sheet. Unless we see Chip Kelly make a noticeable adjustment to his offensive sets, think about it like this: “Hi, I’m Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews and I have DirecTV. And I’m Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor and I have cable.”

Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions

Joique Bell is the Jim Caldwell of running backs (and that’s not a compliment to either Bell or Caldwell). In line with the rest of the Detroit Lions offense, season 2 of True Detective, the last eight years of Will Smith’s movie career and James Franco, Bell has been a major disappointment.

Averaging a mere 1.1 yards per carry to go along with his five receptions in three games this season, Bell has been rendered unusable. Historically, Bell has at least offered versatility in the passing game, but with Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick, the Detroit Lions have two members of the backfield that are far more effective in that role.

Bell underwent surgery on both his knee and Achilles tendon this offseason and whether his slow start has to do with conditioning, age, injury or a combination of the three, one thing is clear: Bell’s ineffectiveness jumps off the screen.   The Lions are currently ranked 25th in net total yards, 32nd in rushing yards and 22nd in points scored. If you’re thinking to yourself, maybe this is an aberration and Bell simply needs time to round back into form after a difficult offseason, then you’re ignoring the fact we’ve seen this before.

This appears to be a repeat of last season in which the Lions finished 28th in rushing yards per game. This Lions offense is in need of a spark, unfortunately neither Caldwell nor Bell could be described as electric. (Random side note: Jim Caldwell is the most boring person in professional sports. You could substitute him for the dead guy in Weekend at Bernie’s and the plot barely changes.)

Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Roddy White is coming off back-to-back games without a catch. In the same two-week stretch, we’ve witnessed Julio Jones become the new Calvin Johnson, the New York Mets become the New York Yankees and quarterback Matt Ryan complete 54 passes to people other than Roddy White. The Atlanta Falcons are 3-0 thanks in part to the introduction of a more balanced and less predictable offense than in year’s past.

The running game appears to be vastly improved and is now fantasy relevant for the first time since Michael Turner last channeled his inner Chris Farley and tried to “fat guy in a little coat” his way into an NFL jersey. Devonta Freeman (hopefully you started him Sunday), rookie Tevin Coleman, along with the emergence of Leonard Hankerson (I can’t believe I just typed that) have seemingly changed the Falcons offense from run straight, throw left to Julio, throw right to Roddy, into a NFL caliber play sheet.

White is a professional wide receiver. He’s been extremely productive on a Fantasy level for years now so it would not surprise me in the least if he has a big game or two left in the tank. The problem is, predicting when those vintage Roddy games are coming is much like a grandfather’s opinion on controversial issues: completely unpredictable with potentially jaw-dropping and devastating results.

Honorable Mention Torrey Smith, Matthew Stafford, Doug Martin, Philip Rivers
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