Well, it’s official. Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books. We saw several first round picks flounder, as well as some surprising players, post massive point totals. Now is when many owners choose to overreact. A player under or over-performs and this warps perception because hey, it’s all we have to go off of this season. But now is not the time to brashly cut players you invested significant draft capital on. So, let’s look at some fairly commonly owned players who are probably better off left on waivers, without being too crazy.
Also, remember to keep context in mind. A player you can drop in a 10 team league with short benches is very different than a player you can drop in a 14 team league with deep benches.
Owned in 96.5% of ESPN Leagues
This sucks. Regardless of fantasy football, Allen just can’t catch a break. The kidney last year, the knee this year, it’s awful seeing a young, talented player lose seasons this way. With the announcement that he’s heading to the IR, Allen is safe to drop in all redraft leagues. Hopefully, his recovery goes well, and he gives us plenty to talk about in the future.
Owned in 79.9% of ESPN Leagues
How awful was that LA offense? This team couldn’t muster a single red zone snap against a team projected to win 4 or 5 games. That is downright baffling. I don’t remember the last time I saw a team not viewed as very good completely whip another team this badly. Yes, Austin had 12 targets. But that became 13 yards. Yes, 13 yards on 12 targets. Austin will definitely have a few good weeks here and there. But in an offense that might not even be able to sustain Todd Gurley’s value, Austin should be a fantasy afterthought. Unless one of Sean Mannion or Jared Goff comes in and looks semi-competent, Austin will be more of a headache than an asset. He’s safe to drop in 10 team leagues, and 12 team leagues depending on settings.
The “Not-Quite-Yet” Player
Owned in 88.7% of ESPN Leagues
I’ll admit it, I was very low on Jones to begin the season. And if you took him, it likely was with a pick you aren’t comfortable throwing out quite yet. But Jones is definitely a player you should be evaluating closely in the next week or two. Kirk Cousins didn’t look up to par against a mediocre Steelers pass defense. If he can’t produce, that will hurt this entire offense. Jones only got 7 carries, so it’s hard to tell for certain, but he wasn’t efficient and lost 4 carries to Chris Thompson. While this is likely a bit of my preseason ideas showing themselves, Jones is a player you shouldn’t feel compelled to hold on to if he continues to underwhelm.
Keep in mind, this is following one week of football. Anything we THINK we know is likely pure conjecture. But in order to hit the jackpot on waivers, sometimes you have to be willing to drop a player, even if he’s highly owned. The sunken cost fallacy will continue to come in to play the farther we get into the season, as we must eventually move on from players who simply aren’t getting it done. Keep an eye out next week, to take a look at more players who aren’t pulling their weight.