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Much of fantasy football in-season owner strategy centers around which players to pick up from the waiver wire or to target in the trade market. However, roster spots are a premium resource. Cutting a player - or adding them to a trade - opens a roster spot for a key waiver wire addition or flexibility to keep a currently injured player through a missed game or two. Here are the key players to cut or trade after Week 8:
*15-18 roster spots*
Why: Edmonds was a waiver wire darling a week ago after posting a career game against the Giants. Edmonds is noted to be out a few weeks with a hamstring injury and Arizona swiftly added Kenyan Drake to a recovering David Johnson as roadblocks to Edmonds providing impact the rest of the season. Week 15 is also the first adjusted strength of schedule (aSOS) running back matchup where Arizona gets a positive matchup with a brutal four-game slate upcoming surrounding Arizona's Week 11 bye.
Why: McCoy has not had an impactful game since Week 4, which was on a mere 13 touches as McCoy found the end zone. The Chiefs are a three-headed committee in the backfield with Damien and Darrel Williams seeing meaningful time. Add the low volume and heavy rotation for McCoy the Chiefs' aSOS with only one relatively strong matchup for running backs (Chargers, Week 11) before Week 16 and McCoy is a tough hold for shallow leagues.
Why: With roster spots at a premium, a fringe lineup option is firmly on the cut line for stock redraft formats. Fitzgerald was a shadow with Christian Kirk back in the lineup in Week 8, the tight ends have been more relevant in the Cardinals passing game of late, and Kenyan Drake adds a new viable pass-catcher into the mix for the rest of the season. Arizona sees San Francisco twice over the next three weeks as more cold water for a substantial Fitzgerald turnaround.
Why: The mid-30s veteran has made a sparse impact since his two-touchdown outburst in Week 1, including nursing an ankle injury to miss Week 8. Jonnu Smith posted a quality game in Walker's absence and the schedule is not kind for Walker even if healthy with no strong matchups until Oakland in Week 14 with Tennessee's bye upcoming (Week 11). Walker is not worth the wait in shallow formats with a single game of 8.0 PPR points or more since Week 1.
*18-22 roster spots*
Why: Flacco is out for Week 9 with a neck injury and follows is Denver's bye. Flacco has thrown for more than one touchdown in just a single game this season and the schedule is rough following their bye week with one positive matchup until Week 15. Flacco is a fringe streamer at best in superflex formats let alone worth a roster spot in most start-1QB formats.
Why: Brown missed a golden opportunity in 2018 with his own injury as he could have been the benefactor to Todd Gurley's injury instead of C.J. Anderson. 2019 has seen a similar injury to fuel Darrell Henderson's role expansion midseason and Brown may not get his foothold back in the rotation. Brown has a Week 9 bye plus Henderson playing well enough to project Brown as two injuries away to be a sturdy start rather than the early-season one (Gurley).
Why: Pettis' snaps took a nosedive in Week 8 with the addition of Emmanuel Sanders. Pettis was already a rough hold this season with a mere 9-83-1 stat line on 17 targets entering the week. Add to this uphill climb for any relevance the 49ers' wide receiver aSOS with a month of tough matchups up next and Pettis is a tough roster spot outside of at least one, if not two, injuries on the depth chart and greener schedule pastures.
Why: Fells has been a streaming special this season, centering around three games where he has totaled five touchdowns. The aSOS takes a turn downward, however, for the low-volume maven with no plus matchups until Week 16 (Tampa Bay) and Houston's bye around the corner in Week 10.
*25+ roster spots, more dynasty-focused*
Why: Rosen has floundered this season albeit on a horrible Miami team as he auditions for future opportunities in the NFL. Miami is locked into a top draft position to have options for a foundational quarterback selection and Rosen posting an anemic audition in 2019 does not help his cause as anything more than a backup in 2020. Deeper Superflex dynasty leagues are the lone residence for Rosen to be worth a roster spot.
Why: Ollison has yet to be active for the Falcons and Brian Hill, Kenjon Barner, and Ito Smith have all been ahead of the mid-Day 3 rookie to fight for Devonta Freeman injury-away production through half the season. Ollison is a tough hold outside of being on a dynasty taxi squad or pushing towards 35+ roster spots with deeper lineups and/or running back premium scoring. Even on a taxi squad Ollison is unlikely to survive the 2020 offseason dynasty roster churn.
Why: Latimer is already a fringe dynasty roster spot player even in deeper formats, but the rise of Darius Slayton is troublesome for Latimer carving streamer potential down the stretch. The Giants will be getting Sterling Shepard back and Evan Engram, Golden Tate, and Saquon Barkley were already well ahead of Latimer in the passing game pecking order. The Giants also have Dallas in Week 9 (tough matchup) and a bye over the next three weeks to reduce Latimer's short-term roster spot utility.
Why: Day 2 rookie Josh Oliver is healthy and made his debut in Week 8. DeValve had a small window to make an impact with James O'Shaughnessy hitting injured reserve but now the upside is minimal without yet another injury on the depth as Oliver will get every opportunity for and expanded role. Jacksonville also goes a month without a strong streaming matchup for DeValve to exploit in even a best-case scenario.