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Much of fantasy football's in-season team 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 (and finite) resource. Cutting a player - or adding them to a trade - opens a roster spot for a key waiver wire addition or the flexibility to keep a currently injured player through a missed game or two. Here are the key players to cut or trade after Week 9:
*Roster Rate references data collected from myfantasyleague.com leagues*
*15-18 roster spots*
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs
Why: Edwards-Helaire has been in a swoon over the past four games going over nine touches in one game (12 touches, 35 yards in week 5), and the Chiefs morphing into a committee. Edwards-Helaire is considering an auto-roster player with an RB16 Roster Rate, but in shallow leagues should be treated more as a committee back or primary backup as his situation needs to change to be lineup viable.
RB Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins
Why: Jeff Wilson was targeted by Miami in a trade. By the second half of his first game with the team, Wilson pushed Mostert into the clear RB2 role of the rotation. The snap, route, and carry splits were all close to even for the game in total, but Wilson gained steam as the game progressed and clearly finished as the preferred option. Mostert's reign of the backfield, after pushing Chase Edmonds aside earlier in the season, is over.
RB Nyheim Hines, Buffalo Bills
Why: Still RB43 in Roster Rate, Hines played mostly on special teams in his Bills debut and, even more importantly, saw fewer than a third of the snaps of RB2 James Cook. Hines is, at best, a preemptive pickup candidate if Devin Singletary or James Cook were to miss time and, otherwise, a fantasy roster-clogging player who is waiting for a bus not scheduled to stop.
WR Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills
Why: McKenzie's WR55 Roster Rate is overtly high, considering his nine targets over the past three games. He is still living off his 7-76-1 performance back in Week 3 and has only one game of more than 40 receiving yards (the same Week 3).
*18-22 roster spots*
RB Sony Michel, Los Angeles Chargers
Why: Michel ceded to rookie Isaiah Spiller in Week 9 to the tune of seven carries to one edge and 13 snaps to 11 advantage for the first-year running back. Michel already was a shorter-term hold with Joshua Kelley slated to return from injury and previously inhabiting the RB2 role, but Spiller is now also crashing Michel's primary backup moniker for role clarity.
RB Ronnie Rivers, Los Angeles Rams
Why: Rivers turned from a timely weekend pickup before Week 8 to a relic of our memories in Week 9. Cam Akers returned to the backfield, Darrell Henderson populated the de facto lead role, and Malcolm Brown mixed in as the RB3, a world as if Rivers had never existed. This is on a Rams' backfield where their high-leverage opportunities point to minimal upside, even if Rivers had the lead job to himself.
WR Robbie Anderson, Arizona Cardinals
Why: Anderson continues to soak up production-less snaps in Arizona after previously doing it in Carolina. Since joining the Cardinals, without Marquise Brown, Anderson has a mere seven targets over three games and an even more poor stat line of negative four yards on one reception. All this and Anderson is still the 71st-most rostered wide receiver, meaning if every team in the fantasy league had six receivers rostered Anderson would be one of them.
TE Logan Thomas, Washington Commanders
Why: Thomas has returned for the past two games for Washington and has collected just three empty targets. Washington has a deep pool of younger tight ends who have developed during Thomas' extended absence like John Bates, Armani Rogers, and Cole Turner. Plus, Washington does not even have Jahan Dotson back in the lineup for more target competition.
*25+ roster spots, more dynasty-focused*
This, not that...
Instead of rostering options like:
- RB Brandon Bolden, Las Vegas Raiders (RB94)
- RB Jordan Mason, San Francisco 49ers (RB106)
- WR Greg Dortch, Arizona Cardinals (WR105)
- WR Bryan Edwards, Atlanta Falcons (WR109)
...pivot to similar or lesser-rostered players like:
- RB Snoop Conner, Jacksonville Jaguars (RB93)
- RB Travis Homer, Seattle Seahawks (RB97)
- WR Denzel Mims, New York Jets (WR110)
- WR Samori Toure, Green Bay Packers (WR135)