We’ve all been there. You hold a guy on your roster week after week, watching precious free agents land on other teams. You keep waiting for your player to break out.
Maybe you think he’s got too much talent and potential, or maybe it’s a tough schedule. Regardless of whether any of these things are true, the fact is sometimes we keep bad fantasy football players for way too long.
By the time you realize they’re not going to produce for your team, it may be way too late. You could end up out of playoff contention, and your season could be over.
It’s underperforming players like these, serious injuries, and negative off-the-field incidents that can drag a fantasy football team down. That’s why Bruno Boys will be with you all season long to give you advice on who to cut and the players you might want to start thinking about letting go.
Barring injuries and arrests, the very start of the season is never a good time to jump the gun on cutting players. Your assessment, as good as it may be, is based on only one or two weeks of performance.
A lot can change in the first few weeks. That’s why Bruno Boys suggests you monitor these players closely and keep your finger poised over the big red drop button.
While you are watching to see if these players can redeem themselves, you should be checking out Bruno Boys' "Waiver Wire: Pick Them Up" articles so you can start planning on whom to pick up to replace them.
And remember, you can always visit our forums to get your questions answered about waiver-wire candidates, players to drop, or anything at all related to fantasy football.
QUARTERBACKS—CUT THEM LOOSE
Jake Delhomme (Carolina Panthers)
After throwing a dreadful six interceptions in the playoffs last season, Delhomme was looking to redeem himself against a very solid Philadelphia Eagles defense in Week One. What ended up happening wasn’t quite what he or his fantasy football owners signed up for. Delhomme proceeded to throw for a miserable 73 yards and four interceptions.
Delhomme played so badly his own coach John Fox took him out of the game and replaced him with Josh McCown. For now it looks like he will remain the team’s starter, but he’ll likely be on a very short leash. If he continues to throw picks and underperform, you need to consider giving him the boot.
Chad Pennington (Miami Dolphins)
After being replaced on the New York Jets by Brett Favre, Chad Pennington went to Miami, where he was expected to take a nearly winless team as far as he could. As it turns out, it was pretty far. Pennington took the 2008 'Fins to the playoffs for the first time since 2001, throwing for 3,653 yards with 19 TDs and seven INTs.
Pennington is a smart QB with a limited arm, but what he lacks in strength he makes up for in savvy decision-making and leadership.
Though he had a decent game in Week One against the Falcons, throwing for 176 yards and one TD, the Dolphins offense did not look very good. During the offseason, rumors surfaced that QB Chad Henne could replace Pennington as soon as Week Five. On top of that, rookie QB Pat White was listed as his backup and has a lot of potential if the Dolphins decide to start preparing for the future with a younger QB.
You shouldn’t drop Pennington yet, especially if he continues with the success from last year. However, if Miami’s offense starts to look stale, don’t be surprised if one of the other quarterbacks takes over. So be forewarned.
RUNNING BACKS—CUT THEM LOOSE
Rashard Mendenhall (Pittsburgh Steelers)
After Rashard Mendenhall was kept out almost all season due to injuries, fantasy football owners were excited to see what the Steelers' 23rd overall pick in 2008 could do.
As it turned out, it wasn’t that much. There were mixed reports coming out of camp about Mendenhall’s progress. He did not look very sharp in preseason except for gaining 48 yards and a TD on 16 carries. However, he fumbled the ball on the Bills' 30, raising more questions about his ability to hold on to the ball.
In the Steelers’ first game of the season against a strong Tennessee Titans defense, he rushed only four times for six yards.
It’s pretty clear that the Steelers aren’t putting much trust in Mendenhall for now. That was evident by Mewelde Moore getting the ball for most of the second half of the Titans game.
There is no reason to panic just yet, though. Mendenhall was removed from his whole rookie season, and while it's true running backs usually acclimate more quickly to the NFL, there are some good backs that didn’t take to it so quickly. So for now, take a wait-and-see approach to see if his play improves a little down the stretch. All signs right now, though, are pointing to bust.
Justin Fargas (Oakland Raiders)
Darren McFadden has been named Oakland’s starting running back, and considering the Raiders spent an early first round pick on him in 2008, he will most likely be the future of Oakland’s offense.
Fargas rushed for 853 yards and a TD last season, and though he's a highly respected player on the team, it looks like he may be on his way to becoming the No. 3 back behind McFadden and Michael Bush.
On top of McFadden and Bush taking carries, Fargas is also recovering from a hamstring injury that could hinder his production should he play Monday night in Oakland. Look to see how successful McFadden and Bush are against the San Diego Chargers defense. If Oakland succeeds without Fargas, his value may drop even lower.
Unless you can snag both McFadden and Bush, Fargas may be only worth keeping if one of those backs goes down with injury or fails to impress. That being said, it’s early and at this point no one really knows what the Raiders are doing. Right now it looks like his fantasy football value will be limited, but keep an eye on the running game.
Laurence Maroney (New England Patriots)
People with high hopes for Maroney last season were let down big time. A shoulder injury kept Maroney off the field and then kept him from producing altogether. The truth is, it looks like Maroney has bust written all over him.
Reports have Maroney buried at the bottom of New England’s depth chart, and unless it’s another one of the Patriots' ploys to relay absolutely no information, he may not be worth a roster spot at all.
Watch to see what he does against the Buffalo Bills in Week One. If he doesn’t have an impact right away, you may want to think about using that roster spot for someone else.
WIDE RECEIVERS—CUT THEM LOOSE
All Lions Receivers Except for Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions)
It’s not that Detroit’s receivers did all that badly. It’s that Matthew Stafford didn’t look so hot. That’s to be expected considering he’s a rookie in his first start of his career. He completed 16-of-37 passes for 205 yards and three interceptions.
Calvin Johnson is an elite receiver who can make a big play despite the QB, though his value may drop a bit after Stafford’s ugly performance. However, expect Stafford’s growing pains to continue to affect the rest of the receivers negatively. Unless Stafford starts to show significant improvement during the beginning of the season, the other Lions receivers will suffer along with his performance.
Hakeem Nicks (New York Giants)
The New York Giants rookie wideout was carted off the field Sunday, and though X-rays were negative, he was seen on crutches later in the game. Nicks was already a little questionable considering he’s a first-year receiver, despite high expectations from the team and its fans.
Monitor his injury, but as of now, it looks like Nicks won’t be worth holding on to for this season unless he returns early on. Take the wait and see approach with Nicks, but unless you are in a league with a deep bench, you are probably going to have to cut bait.
TIGHT ENDS—CUT THEM LOOSE
Anthony Fasano (Miami Dolphins)
Last season, Fasano made his way to the fantasy football scene with 454 yards and seven TDs. Owners looking for that success to continue into the new season couldn’t have liked what they saw in Week One. The Dolphins offense did not look sharp against the Atlanta Falcons, and perhaps the worst performance was by Fasano, who fumbled twice and had two catches for only 10 yards.
Hopefully the Dolphins offense can bounce back in Week Two. If they do and Fasano can redeem himself, he could still be a solid tight end to have on your roster. If the trend continues, though, look to replace him with a more reliable option.
Alge Crumpler (Tennessee Titans)
Crumpler used to be a viable fantasy football option at tight end with his size and strength. Unfortunately it looks like that ship sailed when Michael Vick went to jail. Last season he caught only 24 passes for 257 yards and one TD.
Tennessee’s other tight end, Bo Scaife, looked good in their first game against a tough Pittsburgh Steelers defense despite getting nicked up. It’s likely he will continue to be a major part of the offense going forward.
Crumpler, on the other hand, only had two catches for five yards. Right now, it looks like Crumpler is going to be used more for blocking than as a red-zone target for QB Kerry Collins. If that remains the case over the next few weeks, you might want to replace him with a better option.
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*THIS ARTICLE WRITTEN BY BRUNO BOY DOMINIC BROWN.*
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