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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 15:
This is the final installment of the 2021 Cutting the Cord series. Here are the key players of whom to be skeptical over the final two weeks of the fantasy season, plus highlights of all the projections since September. Thanks for reading and good luck in the semifinal and championship rounds!
Tua Tagovailoa: Just 88 rushing yards over 10 games, only one game of at least 300 passing yards, draws the Saints and Titans on the road to close the fantasy playoffs.
Derek Carr: Another quarterback offering little as a rusher, averaging fewer than 10 yards per game. Broncos and Colts are more difficult matchups remaining as well, still without Darren Waller as of Week 15.
Myles Gaskin: Duke Johnson Jr's career game in Week 15 came with Gaskin back in the lineup. At a minimum, Gaskin is a dicey Week 16 start. At a maximum, Gaskin is a complete avoid for at least the semifinals and reassess for Week 17.
Chase Edmonds: Not only did Edmonds have James Conner active in Week 15 from his high-ankle injury to reform a committee in Arizona, Edmonds saw a meager six rushes and a single target. Conner nearly doubled Edmonds' opportunities. Like Myles Gaskin, Edmonds is a tough-to-trust option for Week 16 against the Colts.
Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy: The Broncos are highly unlikely to have Teddy Bridgewater under center for Week 16, pointing to Drew Lock as the starter. The schedule is also one of the most difficult in the NFL for wide receiver aSOS for the Broncos with the Raiders and Chargers remaining. Both are in the top-40 of Roster Rate despite Sutton not having a 50-yard game, or catching more than two passes, since Week 7 and Jeudy only marginally better with a season-high of 13 points in a game (back in Week 1).
Kalif Raymond: Raymond has faded in prominence for the Lions passing game. Josh Reynolds and Amon-Ra St.Brown have been clear preferred options and this was with T.J. Hockenson out for the season and DAndre Swift still working back to the lineup.
Jared Cook: The veteran tight end has largely been a disappointment this season from his possibilities as an impact option. This is despite a lack of WR3 presence in the Chargers' passing game. Cook's clunky play has included dropped passes and no games of at least 50 yards since Week 4.
Jonnu Smith: A tough Bills matchup awaits in Week 16, but Smith is a tough-to-trust option regardless of the matchup. Smith has one game of at least 10 PPR points all season, a still-tempered 3-14-1 stat line back in Week 4.
The Highlights of 2021
Tevin Coleman, Week 2: Coleman swooned in the four weeks after (8.6 PPR points total) and his season-high of 10.7 points was all the way in Week 13.
Devin Singletary, Week 5: After the recommendation, Singletary did not have any lineup clarity until late in the fantasy regular season and has had two total touchdowns since.
Trey Sermon, Week 8: Sermon plummeted down the depth chart after an early-season surge of 31 touches over two games as the best back still healthy. Sermon had just 11 touches the rest of the season before landing on injured reserve after Week 12.
Alex Collins, Week 9: The recommendation was entering Seattle's bye. Collins has produced only 13.9 PPR points total since, spanning four games, as a fantasy non-factor.
Zack Moss, Week 12: Moss has been inactive more than on the gameday roster since the recommendation.
Tyrell Williams, Week 2: After having sleeper buzz leading up to Week 1, Williams was a fragment of the Lions' offense, his last one seeing targets this season.
Robby Anderson, Week 7: Anderson has logged two touchdowns since, but only one game of note (7-84-1 in Week 14) as Carolina's offense has eroded and Anderson has been a severe disappointment considering his 89 targets.
Julio Jones, Week 11: Jones returned for two games, totaling seven targets and 33 yards before exiting with yet another hamstring setback.
Austin Hooper, Week 3: Hooper was mired in a three-headed Browns tight end committee most of the season and has yet to hit even 50 yards in any game. The Week 3 recommendation was followed by a string of forgettable games until at least Week 10.
The Lowlights of 2021
Devontae Booker, Week 4: The very next game Saquon Barkley was injured and Booker put up a string of five straight games of 10-20 PPR points. The recommendation was based on Booker sagging behind rookie Gary Brightwell for a week. Cream rises to the top and Booker was the injury-away option all along.
Melvin Gordon, Week 6: Javonte Williams' impact on Gordon was overstated too early in the season (and overall). Gordon followed the recommendation with four straight games of more than 10 PPR points and a season-high 23 points in Week 14.
Marquise Brown, Week 7 (Trade): Brown's decline with Rashod Bateman entering the depth chart did not occur. In fact, Brown saw 14, 12, 13, and 10 targets in his four games played following the article inclusion.
Dan Arnold, Week 2: Arnold was on Carolina at the time and, while he did struggle to sustain his streaming label in the three weeks following the recommendation, Arnold's ultimate trade to Jacksonville fueled a string of mid-season games of 10-15 PPR points.