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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 4:
*15-18 roster spots*
Why: Ingram has yet to see more than 11 touches in a game this season and is on pace for fewer than 600 rushing yards this season. Despite a full-fledged committee backfield in Baltimore, Ingram is still on 95% of rosters and holds some semblance of name cache for potential trading. The ceiling is minimal for Ingram outside of a rogue multiple touchdown performance.
Why: Peterson has logged at least 50% of the Lions' offensive snaps in only one game this season. DAndre Swift is squeezing the passing game usage from the committee and Peterson has four receptions in four games. Peterson is on bye in Week 5 and, at a minimum, float him on the waiver wire and reassess heading into Week 6. Peterson needs high volume to be on even the RB2 lineup radar and Detroit's questionable-at-best defense (and Kenny Golladay back) will make it difficult for Peterson to have such a predictable week.
Why: Green has been an afterthought through four games with the youth movement in full effect for Cincinnati. Tee Higgins' early rookie season role has been pronounced, Tyler Boyd is the team's WR1, and Auden Tate and Drew Sample have been ancillary targets. Green has struggled to separate and has averaged more than 10 yards-per-catch in only one game. The Ravens and Colts up next offer stingy matchups as if 119 yards and zero touchdowns in the opening month was not enough of a warning shot to abandon ship.
Why: The 2020 swoon for Herndon continued in Week 4, posting an anemic 2.1 PPR points. His season high of 7.7 points was still middling and he is averaging 6.7 yards per reception. Herndon, a trendy 2020 breakout candidate, is third on the team in targets, but with Jamison Crowder returning from injury (and LeVeon Bell and Breshad Perriman shortly to follow), Herndon's volume - his lone perk at this point - will wither. Herndon is a top-25 tight end in roster rate, but should easily be 5-10 spots lower.
*18-22 roster spots*
Why: Foles was lightning in a bottle against the Falcons' porous defense in a comeback (and relief appearance) win in Week 3. This week was a different story as he was muted until pure comeback-garbage time mode against the Colts. The schedule stays tough with the Buccaneers, Panthers, Rams, and Saints up next. Unless Foles is your go-to streamer for now or needed for a bye week start, shift the roster spot elsewhere.
Why: Lewis went from potential waiver wire darling post-Saquon Barkley injury to irrelevant in two weeks. Devonta Freeman was signed and both Freeman and Gallman saw more work than expected in Week 3. Add another week as the clear third wheel and Lewis has seen a mere five touches in two games without Barkley. Lewis is a flimsy hold in deep leagues (30+ roster spots, dynasty-centric) only and is still on 51% of fantasy rosters after Week 4.
Why: Earlier in the season, Booker was one of the most underrated injury-away running backs in fantasy. However, the situation continues to get murkier for Booker behind Joshua Jacobs. Jalen Richard has a weekly role plus Theo Riddick saw his activation and debut in Week 4. Both are superior receiving options to Booker. Even if Jacobs were to miss time, look for a tempered ceiling for Booker, who would be likely to see the most carries of the remaining trio but limited to a touchdown-or-bust upside profile. Seek greener backup running back pastures this week.
Why: Williams is still in the top-60 for rostered rate on myfantasyleague.com despite a 6-89-1 stat line over four games. Williams has yet to surpass 41 yards in a game and Williams is a distant fifth on the Dolphins in targets. Williams needs an injury to DeVante Parker to get on the WR3/4 fantasy landscape, but this roster depth is not for essentially wide receiver injury-away options.
*25+ roster spots, more dynasty-focused*
Why: Mullens was yanked in Week 4, a surprising loss to the struggling Eagles for C.J. Beathard. Mullens was jittery in the pocket and eroded from his ball-control approach in Week 3, a comfortable win over the Giants. Mullens offers next to nothing as a runner and the schedule (Dolphins, Rams, Patriots) turns dicey even if he gets another spot start or two. Plus, Mullens is a bench risk for Beathard even if he gets a start before Jimmy Garoppolo returns. Mullens is a questionable roster hold in all but deeper superflex formats.
Why: After Barber's goal line-centric multiple touchdown performance in Week 1, the Washington backfield has shifted swiftly to Antonio Gibson and J.K. McKissic as the strongly preferred options. Barber has a single target on the season and is, at best, a best ball type flyer hoping for rogue touchdowns.
Why: Berrios was a trendy deeper league pickup over the past two weeks with the Jets' passing game vacancies. However, Berrios turned back into a pumpkin in Week 4 with Jamison Crowder back (10 targets) and Jeff Smith active for his first game this season. Berrios' 12 targets over the previous two weeks shrunk to a mere three and Breshad Perriman returning soon (plus LeVeon Bell) will be another hurdle for Berrios to climb on the target ladder.
Why: Cephus, like Berrios, saw volume on a filtered depth chart earlier in the season. However, the Lions are getting healthier with Kenny Golladay back (15 targets over the past two games). Cephus is, at best, fifth in the pecking order for Detroit targets and is reserved for deep (think closer to 35+ roster spots) dynasty league stashes only.