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 2:
*15-18 roster spots*
Why: In the top-15 of the position in Roster Rate (Myfantasyleague.com), Winston's weapons are notably lacking. Marquez Callaway continues to be underwhelming as the de facto WR1 and it is understandable Winston is forcing the ball resulting in two interceptions against Carolina. The Patriots are up next.
Why: Still in the top-60 for running back Roster Rate, Bernard has not been the new James White for Tom Brady, seeing just five targets in two games. The surrounding weapons are too strong for the hurry-up back and clear RB3 in the rotation to have standalone value.
Why: Two weeks in and Callaway has a mere six targets and 22 yards for the wide receiver-starved New Orleans offense. With the Patriots up next, three weeks of disappointment from the preseason star is a confident prediction.
Why: Hooper is on arguably the most contested tight end depth chart in the NFL. Harrison Bryant and David Njoku are legit starting options and the trio all posted between 50% and 70% of snaps for the wide receiver-starved Browns in Week 2. Hooper has just eight empty targets through two games (averaging 8.4 yards per reception) and the upside will be squeezed even more with Jarvis Landry's return (out 2-3 weeks) and Odell Beckham Jr's as well.
*18-22 roster spots*
Why: Wilson has offered just 19 yards of rushing over two games and the typical rookie quarterback growing pains were on full display in Week 2. Wilson had a point in the game with almost as many interceptions (4) as completions (6). The Broncos are another tough matchup in Week 3. There are better QB2 options with lesser name cache.
Why: Devonta Freeman was activated as the Baltimore RB3, all three backs are currently healthy, and Le'Veon Bell still mires on the practice squad. This for an offense where it revolves around Lamar Jackson, who is the team's actual RB1. Move on from Bell unless/until he rises to the RB3, or preferably RB2, spot in the hierarchy.
Why: Cordarrelle Patterson has seized the RB2 role as well as the "offensive weapon" of the Atlanta offense. Gallman has yet to see a sniff of the gameday roster and Davis and Patterson are both healthy.
Why: The Giants' Round 1 pick has been buried through two games (two targets, negative total yardage) with Sterling Shepard, Kenny Golladay, and Darius Slayton significant ahead of Toney in the rotation. This is with Evan Engram yet to play and Saquon Barkley still ramping up his involvement. Toney is an obvious redraft drop candidate.
*25+ roster spots, more dynasty-focused*
Why: Zack Moss was back to active status in Week 2 and Breida turned into a preseason relic as a result. There are also upside questions of even Devin Singletary and Moss within this Josh Allen-centric Buffalo offense even if Breida inhabits one of the top depth chart spots.
Why: After projecting as the RB2 heading into Week 2, Collins was clearly behind Travis Homer in the rotation, and Deejay Dallas (special teams ace for now) could challenge Collins for offensive touches even if the depth chart sees an injury or two. Rashaad Penny was out with injury (a common occurrence in his career) but should be back in the mix in future weeks as well. Collins' relevancy is an uphill climb.
Why: Williams returned to action in Week 2, but the depth chart, even without Will Fuller V currently, is a contested one for clarified opportunities with DeVante Parker, Jaylen Waddle, and Albert Wilson all clearly ahead of Williams, not to mention Mike Gesicki returning from his Week 1 invisibility showing. Also, the Miami passing game has underwhelmed through two games and could see time from Jacoby Brissett with Tua Tagovailoa sustaining a rib injury for future weeks.
Why: Kroft is being pushed by Ryan Griffin among the Jets' tight ends and the upside of the passing game, especially beyond Corey Davis and possibly Elijah Moore is squeezed due to Zach Wilson's range of outcomes for his rookie season. Kroft is a low-upside option from the outset, averaging 8.5 yards per reception, but his seven targets over two games is another buzzkill. Consider Kroft only viable for 2TE format roster spots.