By: Rich Pallarino @rpallarino_
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all one time and especially for fantasy owners. He’s thrown for over 5,000 yards five times in his career, 30 plus touchdowns nine times in his career, and has thrown more than 20 interceptions in a season just once in his career. Normally in fantasy drafts, Brees is one of the first five quarterbacks taken, but this season has proved that the former Boilermaker doesn’t need to put up monstrous statistics for his team to be successful. The Saints are currently 10-4 and are looking to win the NFC South. With the addition of Alvin Kamara, Sean Payton has created a dynamic backfield. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are averaging 5.1 and 6.6 yards per attempt, respectively. With averages like those, Drew Brees does not need to throw the ball 600 times in a season. This post is not to make you feel that Drew Brees is done, rather, it’s to make you understand that from now on his numbers should be above average instead of elite.
Blake Bortles has more passing TDs than Matt Ryan, fewer INTs than Russell Wilson, a better QBR than Cam Newton, more rushing yards than Marcus Mariota, more passing yards than Derek Carr and a higher completion percentage than Carson Wentz. Conclusion: 2017 is insane. #Jaguars
— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) December 21, 2017
Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee Titans – I have been saying it for just over a year, Marcus Mariota has peaked. There have been reports that Mariota has battled injuries this season, but excuses don’t matter to me. This guy has a phenomenal offensive line, above averages weapons at the running back position, and solid wide receivers. This was the year that many predicted Mariota would take the next step and become a top player at his position. He’s played in 13 games this season and has compiled a stat-line that includes: 2,823 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. Those aren’t numbers you want to see out of your fantasy quarterback.
Conclusion: Trade Mariota if you own him in your dynasty league.
Shane Vereen, RB, New York Giants – In most leagues, Shane Vereen is owned by one team. If you own him, change that and cut him immediately. He has done absolutely nothing to help your fantasy team since the end of the 2015 season. Vereen is averaging a total of 28.8 yards per game between rushing and receiving and only one touchdown between this season and last season. He may be a talented player, but the Giants don’t know how to utilize him. Make sure that your fantasy roster does not include Shane Vereen on it next season.
Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans – Lamar Miller is becoming one of the most overrated players at the running back position. I’ll admit, I was hyped when Houston signed him at the end of the 2015 season. He immediately shot up my draft board! But, he’s been a clear disappointment for everyone who drafted him. Since the 2014 season, Miller has been trending down in the yards from scrimmage statistic. He had 1,374 yards from scrimmage in 2014, 1,269 yards from scrimmage in 2015, 1,261 yards from scrimmage in 2016, and he’s accumulated 1,113 yards from scrimmage this season. Miller’s average of 79.5 total yards per game between rushing and receiving is not what you want to see from your RB1 in fantasy.
While it is highly unlikely the Texans cut Miller at the end of this season, his dead cap decreases significantly heading into the 2018 season. If you’re an owner of the former Hurricane, get rid of him for some picks in your dynasty league.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers – Yes, yes, yes…I get it. Jordy Nelson didn’t have his number one quarterback for a number of games this season, but he didn’t produce much when Rodgers was tossing him the ball. While he did have six touchdowns in five games where Rodgers was fully healthy this season, Nelson did not break the 100 yard receiving mark in any of his 14 games played this season. To me, a good wide receiver isn’t one who it dependent on touchdowns. The Kansas native is averaging 9.4 yards per reception to go along with his 471 total receiving yards for the season. Next season is Nelson’s last season under contract with the Packers. He’ll be 33 by the start of next season and then that should be it for him producing and drumming up hype as a WR1 in fantasy. Get rid of him if you can.
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Baltimore Ravens – Is there anything more sad in sports than watching an ultra-talented player underachieve? Jeremy Maclin is one of those players. When you’re watching him, you see flashes of top receiver potential and your hopes shoot up… and then, your hopes go down immediately when watching him fail. His stat-line this year is as follows: 40 receptions, 440 yards, three touchdowns, and a catch percentage of 55.6%. While Maclin wasn’t projected to have huge numbers this season, he was predicted to be a solid player and a sleeper by most analysts. He’s on a two year deal with the Baltimore Ravens and will be back next year, if he isn’t cut. Make sure you cut him for a bag of balls if you own him in fantasy.
Austin Hooper, TE, Atlanta Falcons – This season has been a weird one and especially for the Atlanta Falcons and their offense. Austin Hooper was hyped up all offseason and he has done nothing to prove as to why analysts believed in him so much. Hooper has 43 receptions totaling 473 yards and he’s scored four times. Those are just average numbers for a tight-end. It’s important to note that his yards are inflated, because in the first game of the regular season, Hooper had 128 yards, one of which was an 88 yard reception. Austin has averaged 33.8 yards per game this season and just disappointed everyone.
Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars – There’s not much to write about on Marcedes Lewis. That’s because he hasn’t done much this season. Lewis has 21 receptions, 283 receiving yards, and five touchdowns. It’s clear that Blake Bortles likes Lewis in the red-zone, but nowhere else. He’s 33 years old and may not be with the Jacksonville Jaguars next season.