News & Analysis

Week 12 Fantasy football picks: It's time to drop these 7 players

Nov 26, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor (13) runs for a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re still reading fantasy football articles on adds and drops heading into Week 12, odds are that your squad is in the mix for a playoff berth with aspirations of a deep run.

Week 12 marks the end of bye weeks with the Chiefs and Rams taking a well-deserved break after Monday night’s blowup. At this point of the year, we no longer need cheap bye-week fillers taking up our benches. We want high-upside guys in case of emergency. This week’s edition will focus on dropping players that are most likely just occupying space on your bench and likely won’t ever see your lineup the remainder of the season.

Maurice Harris, WR, Washington Redskins

After playing 60-plus snaps in Weeks 8 and 9, Harris has dropped down to just 38 and 41 over the past two weeks. Most importantly, he lined up in the slot just nine times last week as the team opted to try out seventh-round draft pick Trey Quinn there (40 snaps). Quinn ended up leading all wide receivers in routes run last week, catching all four of his targets for 49 yards. Colt McCoy’s addition to this offense should continue to concentrate on high-percentage throws to his underneath options (Quinn, Jordan Reed). More than 69% of McCoy’s passes in the preseason were 10 yards or shorter. Harris is unfortunately trending in the wrong direction of earning routes at the slot position and can be dropped in favor of Quinn.

Ito Smith, RB, Atlanta Falcons

A touchdown-dependent bye-week filler at best, we can safely let Smith hit the waiver wire in most leagues. Smith had a pedestrian six carries for 10 yards last week with a pair of receptions for 12 yards. He isn’t seeing the volume to warrant rostering anymore with Tevin Coleman seeing 58% of the running back touches and the majority of red-zone looks (11 to 7) since Devonta Freeman’s Week 5 season-ending injury. With a rather tough remaining schedule, there likely won’t be many blowouts for Smith to see garbage time running opportunities. Drop him in favor of a back with more upside.

Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

It’s not exactly sunny in Philadelphia these days with the Eagles coming off a 48-7 defeat in New Orleans. We heard prior to the game that head coach Doug Pederson wanted to get Golden Tate more involved in the passing attack. Tate out-snapped Agholor in the slot 26-to-17, forcing Agholor to run the plurality of his routes on the perimeter (27 of 44). Agholor has historically struggled operating there (just look at his 2015 and 2016 stats) and saw a massive rebound in 2017 when he was shifted into the slot. It’s only a two-week sample, but the acquisition of Tate looks like it’s trending toward more outside work for Agholor the remainder of the year, which history tells us will subsequently take a hit to his fantasy value.

Mike Davis, RB, Seattle Seahawks

A recurring hip injury has kept Chris Carson on the injury report, but not necessarily off the field. It’s been tough as a Davis owner trying to pinpoint which weeks to play him — especially with most of their games starting in the afternoon. Add in first-round pick Rashaad Penny, who has rushed for 154 yards on 20 carries the last two weeks, and it’s a full-fledged committee in Seattle. Davis still remains the best bet for receiving work of the three backs, but Seattle has passed the ball a league-low 278 times this year. Working in a timeshare with a limited receiving ceiling, Davis likely won’t be hitting your starting lineup without a significant injury.

Keelan Cole, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

Cole was a summer favorite of many in both the redraft and dynasty community (not me). Things did not pan out for the young receiver this season, dealing with drops and fumbles on limited opportunities. He hasn’t reached the end zone since Week 2, nor seen a target since October. Cole can be safely dropped in all formats.

Nyheim Hines, RB, Indianapolis Colts

The return of a healthy Marlon Mack has forced the two Colts’ rookie running backs to take a back seat with Mack the clear lead in this committee. Since Mack’s return (Week 6), he’s seen 62% of the running back opportunities and 64% of the running back snaps. He has nearly twice as many red-zone touches (20) than Hines and Jordan Wilkins combined (11). Hines has had a tumultuous rookie year dating back to the preseason but is now unfortunately not seeing enough touches to make him a major fantasy contributor as we head into the fantasy playoffs. He’s scored double-digit fantasy points just once since Mack’s return to the lineup and likely has a limited ceiling for the remainder of the season.

Michael Crabtree, WR, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens were unsurprisingly a run-heavy team in Lamar Jackson’s NFL debut last weekend, running the ball on 74% of their plays. For some context, the league-leader in run play percentage — the Seattle Seahawks — run the ball on 51% of their plays. Make no mistake about it, this is going to be a run-heavy Baltimore offense as long as Joe Flacco’s hip injury keeps him sidelined. We have no idea how long that will be, but Crabtree wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire with his fantasy performances with Flacco under center. His last three games with Flacco (3-32-0, 3-31-0, 5-66-0) were hardly flex-worthy starts, and Crabtree will likely see even less volume with Jackson under center.

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