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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 10:
*15-18 roster spots*
Why: The Rams have exploited good matchups for their best games this season, namely Tampa Bay, Seattle, Atlanta, and Cincinnati for strong numbers for Jared Goff. However, they have struggled otherwise in less optimal matchups. Only Arizona remains as a positive matchup for opposing quarterbacks by Footballguys aSOS (Adjusted Strength of Schedule) for Goff. Add in the absence, with no timetable of return, for Brandin Cooks and Goff is a tough hold in shallow formats for teams fighting for, or positioning themselves, in the playoff race.
Why: Even with James Conner out the past two weeks, Samuels has struggled mightily to carve any success as a runner to the tune of 22-39-0 rushing, only propped up by a 13-reception game in Week 9. Trey Edmunds and Tony Brooks-James have been more involved than most/any projected, and Samuels is more disproving his upside potential and utility as a traditional running back than helping his cause. Conner will be back, along with Benny Snell, in short order as additional reasons to fade Samuels in all but deeper leagues for lineup potential.
Why: Davis missed Week 10 and Tennessee also sports a Week 11 bye. Davis has only two games of 10+ PPR points on the season when healthy and the schedule sports only one strong matchup for wide receivers by aSOS left for the Titans (Oakland in Week 14) on the off chance shallow roster teams can hold out until then through two more bye weeks and other injury and streaming mandates for precious roster spots.
Why: After his best game of the season in Week 9 with 95 yards, Gesicki fell flat against the Colts with a more typical 3-28-0 stat line. With a limited ceiling by nature of Miami's offense and yet to find the end zone, Gesicki is off the streaming radar when adding a poor closing aSOS stretch without a strong matchup left on the Dolphins schedule for tight ends.
*18-22 roster spots*
Why: The veteran was a healthy scratch this week for the Chiefs as they sided with Damien Williams as the workhorse and Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson as ancillary backs. McCoy has one game of import this season - a two-touchdown game back in Week 3 on just 11 touches - and has otherwise been a flex or depth option for fantasy teams. McCoy is - at best - an injury-away option but did not see a strong uptick even when Damien Williams missed time this season.
Why: While technically an injury-away option, Barber would still be squeezed for PPR upside if Ronald Jones II is out as Dare Ogunbowale will siphon most of the passing game potential. Barber found the end zone in Week 10, but still logged a marginal fantasy day due to a single reception and has 8-37-0 on the season through the air. Tampa Bay's struggling pass defense means more shootouts than grind-it-out slugfests and Barber fits the latter more than the former in a perfect storm.
Why: Allison was the potential veteran leader in the clubhouse for the WR2 job in Green Bay this season but through nine games Allison has a high-game of 52 yards and yet to catch five passes in a game. Allen Lazard has worked into a consistent role of late, Davante Adams is back, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling sees regular work. Outside of deep leagues and/or best ball, Allison is an easy cut heading into their bye week.
Why: Burton has completely fallen off the fantasy map this season with a running back-like 14-84-0 stat line. A calf injury in Week 10 clouds his status even more than his marginal role (yet to see five targets in a game this season) and quarterback questions as he averages six yards per catch on the season. Burton is still TE28 in MFL ownership heading into Week 11.
*25+ roster spots, more dynasty-focused*
Why: Gaskin was a trendy pickup since Kenyan Drake was traded, but Gaskin was a shadow in Week 10 as Kalen Ballage was the feature back and Patrick Laird was the clear RB2. Gaskin sparsely saw the field and was stuffed on his lone touch. Even if Gaskin emerges through injury or poor play to the 1A role in the coming weeks, two limitations are present with the lackluster Miami offense in general and Mark Walton slated to return from a four-game suspension in three more weeks. Return Gaskin to the waiver wire for greener (or green-ish) pastures instead of locking into Gaskin.
Why: The window is closing for Smallwood to benefit from an Adrian Peterson injury. Derrius Guice has been designated to return and Chris Thompson is week-to-week with Week 12 looking possible. Smallwood also is a ho-hum talent on an offense lacking the punch to produce many positive game scripts or touchdown opportunities.
Why: Hamilton has a single game of more than 25 yards this season and has seen a combined one target over the past two games despite the departure of Emmanuel Sanders. Hamilton is at best a middling slot option on a close-to-the-vest passing with Brandon Allen under center. Hamilton is still owned in 30% of myfantasyleague.com leagues.
Why: The former Day 2 pick and metric marvel from the small school ranks has eroded all the way to healthy scratch status as Chicago favored Ben Braunecker in Week 10. Shaheen may resurface on another depth chart by Week 1 of 2020, but is only a speculation hold in the deepest of start-1TE formats for dynasty and/or 2TE leagues on the off chance of a deluge of injuries to the Bears underwhelming depth chart.