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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 8:
*Roster Rate references data collected from myfantasyleague.com leagues*
*15-18 roster spots*
QB Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons
Why: QB23 in Roster Rate. Ridder was benched for Taylor Heinicke for the second half of Atlanta's Week 8 comeback effort against Tennessee. Over 7.5 games this season, Ridder had just six touchdowns against six interceptions and survived, to some extent, fantasy-wise with his three rushing touchdowns. The Vikings and Cardinals are promising matchups the next two weeks for Atlanta, but Heinicke is at least a threat to replace Ridder in-game any given week and, at maximum, the new starter for the Falcons and not relinquishing the job.
RB Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans
Why: RB25 in Roster Rate. Pierce had a golden opportunity to bounce back from a clunky start to the season in Week 8. The Carolina matchup was an ideal one for opposing running backs in aSOS, and Pierce had an empty-calorie stat line of 12-46-0 rushing with zero targets. Pierce has yet to post even 15 PPR points in a game, and the matchups in Weeks 9-10 (Tampa Bay, Cincinnati) are lackluster. Pierce also shares routes with Devin Singletary and Mike Boone, making projecting any upside beyond finding the end zone (and likely needing multiple scores) a difficult weekly venture.
RB Dalvin Cook, New York Jets
Why: RB42 in Roster Rate. Cook's only saving grace is a potential trade this week, but even a team change requires him to look like a younger version of himself with an expanded opportunity (plus an RB1 role). Cook has drifted down in importance for the Jets as Breece Hall has gotten up to speed, and Michael Carter has been the secondary receiving option. Cook's Roster Rate of RB42 is based on name value alone instead of his probabilities of positively contributing to fantasy teams this season.
WR Kadarius Toney, Kansas City Chiefs
Why: WR62 in Roster Rate. Despite being healthy this season, which was a fantasy concern with Toney entering 2023, Toney has yet to approach a fantasy lineup-viable game. His best game was finding the end zone but accruing four total yards on six targets combined with two rushes. On an open Kansas City wide receiver depth chart, the former Round 1 pick has made zero headway towards the WR1, or even WR2 role, despite having the most pedigree of the bunch and Skyy Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scantling offering little on a per-route basis. The team even traded for team-retread Mecole Hardman instead of expanding the role of Toney midway through the season.
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