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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 13:
*15-18 roster spots*
Why: In leagues where a team's backup fantasy quarterback can be the waiver wire itself in a start-1QB format, Wentz is a cut consideration this week. Wentz has a Week 14 followed by an avoid matchup with the Patriots in Week 15. Arizona in Week 16 is not a target matchup either for Wentz and the Colts' passing game. Assess your quarterback roadmap carefully if Wentz fits or not depending on if fighting for a playoff spot (must win in Week 14) or closer to securing, or already having, a bye week where Week 16 is your next important game.
Why: Tevin Coleman has been the clear lead option in the Jets' backfield with Michael Carter out the past two games. Johnson is in injury-away status and getting squeezed on a potential window to see a clarified start. Michael Carter is eligible to return in Week 15 and Coleman is healthy to begin Week 14 preparation. Finally, the Jets have two tough aSOS matchups for running backs (Saints, Dolphins) the next two weeks. Week 16 is the lone target matchup left for the Jets (Jacksonville), but Carter is likely back by then to benefit.
Why: Moss is still rostered in 77% of MFL leagues, a lofty mark considering being passed by Matt Breida on the Bills depth chart and also being behind Devin Singletary. The Bills are not a target rushing offense anyway. Moss' season-high is 16 touches way back in Week 3 despite a lackluster depth chart in competition level. The next strong matchup for the Bills in aSOS for running backs is Week 17 (Atlanta) and Moss would need at least one injury to Breida or Singletary to be a lineup considering for championship week.
Why: Collins should be one of the big drops in Roster Rate for Week 14. Adrian Peterson made his Seattle debut, Rashaad Penny is healthy (for now), and DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer also populate the crowded depth chart. Collins was an inactive and even in moments as the clear starter earlier in the season, Collins was not an optimized-use player with sparse passing game involvement.
*18-22 roster spots*
Why: Taylor had a quality start in Week 1 against Jacksonville, but that is where the impact ended for Taylor this season. Taylor has a known wrist injury but was also horrible in Week 13 with a 5-for-13, 45 yards, and an interception passing stat line in the blowout to the Colts. Taylor is not a lock to start Week 14 or any of the remaining games and has been a deeper Superflex option only based on performance.
Why: Bolden has been behind Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson in snaps each of the past three games (pending Monday Night Football to close Week 13) and would be the pass-centric option even if one of Harris or Stevenson misses time. The Patriots also have a sub-optimal schedule to hold Bolden, an NFL RB3, with a bye, Colts, and Bills the next three weeks.
Why: Edwards, a breakout candidate for 2021, has done anything but breakout. Edwards has also seen no uptick in usage since Henry Ruggs exited the depth chart. Hunter Renfrow has tightened his grip on the WR1 role on the depth chart since the team's Week 8 bye and Edwards has a high-water mark of just 14% over those five games. Edwards is a 'hold your nose' desperation play at WR3/4 if dealing with byes and injuries, otherwise, Edwards is a strong cut consideration in non-dynasty leagues.
Why: Previously a quality waiver wire pickup this season at points, Doyle has the signs of a drop player in Week 14. Entering a bye with his streamer-at-best status, Doyle also faces the most difficult combination of matchups in Weeks 15-16 (Patriots, Cardinals). The past month has seen Kylen Granson running more routes and seeing more snaps than earlier in the season to make the Colts' depth chart a three-headed committee. Also, T.Y. Hilton healthy has a great WR2/3 presence than earlier in the season. Doyle is not on the shortlist for streaming candidates until Week 17, but fantasy teams locked into a bye likely have better tight end options to optimize the roster spot on a strong defensive matchup or injury-away running back than Doyle.
*25+ roster spots, more dynasty-focused*
Why: J.D. McKissic's absence in Week 13 did not lead to more work for Patterson. Instead, Patterson played just 6% of snaps and Antonio Gibson received his highest snap rate since the team's bye week. Patterson is a sub-sized option but has not been featured in the passing game, which is a worrisome sign if Patterson is to carve an optimized role for 2022.
Why: A healthy scratch in Week 13, Gallman has the Atlanta depth chart working against him now just a few weeks after his 76-yard effort in mop-up duty in Week 10. Cordarrelle Patterson is back healthy, Mike Davis looked explosive in Week 13 for the first consistent stretch in a while, and Qadree Ollison was the RB3. Gallman is very close to the NFL fringe and unlikely to be a quality offseason stash either.
Why: Carter is coming off a functional stretch, including games of 51 and 56 receiving yards. Curtis Samuel is back and Carter's targets dropped in favor of Adam Humphries as well. Carter is an older veteran with a WR3 NFL ceiling, one of the weakest arguments as an offseason stash dynasty option as well.
Injured players for drop consideration (redraft)
- Daniel Jones: Week 15+ return by Jene Bramel, potential to be done in fantasy utility this season.
- Trey Sermon: Week 16 is the earliest return
- Antonio Brown: Week 16 is the earliest return, if fighting for a playoff spot or without a bye week, could be squeezed for the roster spot.
- Corey Davis: Doubtful for Week 14, aggravated his groin strain, fringe lineup-worthy even if healthy.
- Julio Jones: Could return Week 14, but has largely been irrelevant this season, shallow roster consideration if fighting for a playoff spot.
- Dan Arnold: Eligible Week 16, but could need-use the spot earlier.
- Adam Trautman: Week 15 eligible return from IR, fringe streamer at best.