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: Mayfield, in the top-20 of Roster Rate out of Week 4, has been fantasy irrelevant through the opening month. Mayfield has a single game of >250 passing yards and one game of >15 rushing yards. Add one game of multiple touchdowns and Mayfield is a redraft placeholder. The DNA of the Browns is their two running backs and the schedule is not kind for the passing game coming up (Chargers, Cardinals, Broncos).
Why: Carson has been touchdown-dependent this season (six targets in four games) and Week 4 saw a rise by Alex Collins who was running hot. The schedule is not ideal in the short term (Rams, Steelers, Saints), and pivoting Carson to a wide receiver or 'downgrade' to say, Kareem Hunt, James Robinson, or even Chase Edmonds is investing is more prudent PPR plays.
Why: In the top-35 of Roster Rate, Singletary has Zack Moss back and a serious red zone threat for snaps and the optimal touchdown opportunities for the potent Bills offense. Singletary's fantasy viability resides with passing game volume, but Moss is running a sturdy number of routes and Singletary's targets have been down every week since Week 1 (11 total on the season).
Why: This one hurts my soul. Fuller is one of my favorite wide receivers. However, the profile is a dicey one for holding, with bye weeks approaching, in shallow redraft leagues. Fuller will miss some time with a broken finger. Even returning has a questionable quarterback and passing game situation where it is likely only a clarified WR1 on the depth chart will matter for fantasy purposes. Will that be Fuller? DeVante Parker and Jaylen Waddle are entrenched with their route and target shares and Mike Gesicki has improved since his sluggish season start. Seek a clarified WR2 in a better passing game (A.J. Green as one example) or pivot to an injury-away running back with the roster spot.
*18-22 roster spots*
Why: One of the more quizzical Roster Rates is Lindsay in the RB50-60 zone. Lindsay has been invisible on a Houston depth chart which has been generally nonproductive as a whole. Linsday has two rogue touchdowns (one in Week 1 when Houston actually had a positive game script and the other on Lindsay's lone reception of the season in Week 2) but has been abysmal otherwise. If there's a positive game script, Mark Ingram II is the Houston running back you want, if negative game script then it's David Johnson. Lindsay should be a deep league spec play (and frankly more towards 2022) if anything.
Why: Campbell has been a non-factor on a non-descript Colts passing game. There is significant competition for targets where Campbell has been clearly the WR3 the past two weeks since his return to the lineup (Michael Pittman Jr, Zach Pascal), plus behind Nyheim Hines and even with Mo Alie-Cox over the span. This is on a limited passing game with a hobbled quarterback (Carson Wentz) with the replacement options only downgrades. Campbell is far more name cache than utility or worth the fantasy roster spot as just another wide receiver taking up space.
Why: Mims was back in Week 4! But did it matter? Mims saw 16% of the snaps and was the distant WR4 with Keelan Cole, Corey Davis, and Jamison Crowder ahead of Mims. This was with Elijah Moore out of the lineup. Mims is a deep league play (and dynasty one) only.
Why: Engram has not been able to carve out a productive role even with the Giants' litany of wide receiver injuries in recent weeks. Engram's usage and reliance on short routes, despite being of the more athletic tight ends in the entire NFL has been quizzical during his career as well on the macro. Engram is a firm hold in dynasty circles with a possible (likely?) team change in the offseason, but in redraft, he is a speculative depth play more than even a streaming candidate at present despite a TE17 Roster Rate.
*25+ roster spots, more dynasty-focused*
Why: Miami is running a full-on committee in its backfield and Ahmed is firmly RB3 of the trio. Malcolm Brown is a savvy veteran who is difficult to unseat and Myles Gaskin is a similar (but better) profile in the same non-prototypical mold as Ahmed. Add in this is a stunted offense and Ahmed seeing just four touches a week in the opening month and Ahmed requires 30-35+ roster spots to validate a current spot (assuming non-Superflex and non-2TE).
Why: Like Denzel Mims above, Harry was back in action Week 4, but did it matter? With a pass-centric (pass-only?) approach against Tampa Bay where the team threw 42 passes, Harry saw a single target. Harry's biggest impact was a mid-range defensive pass interference penalty. Harry has been on the bust track for multiple years with minimal chance, even with an injury or two on this Patriots passing game, of righting the course.
Why: Doyle has moved firmly off the streaming radar with one game of >25 yards this season and Mo Alie-Cox and Kylen Granson both rising in recent weeks. This, like mentioned with Parris Campbell above, is on a limited passing-game attached to a middling quarterback.
Why: Like Evan Engram, Firkser has shown minimal progression in fantasy appeal despite a myriad of passing game injuries around him. Tennessee had their top-two wide receivers out in Week 4 and Firkser accrued 23 yards in a competitive game with the Jets where Ryan Tannehill threw 49 passes. Firkser was fifth on the team in targets and both ancillary tight ends made more notable plays in the game than Firkser.