Bench These Players Before It’s Too Late.
By Dominic Schatzan
Every year sleepers come in and wreak havoc in fantasy football and they get most of the attention from the media and fantasy managers. However, not a lot is said about the players who came into a fantasy season highly touted, but clearly underperforming. These are the players that were household names entering the season but are now looking at riding your bench, even when healthy.
These are The Rebel Feed’s 5 biggest fantasy disappointments in the NFL this season:
Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns
— That Blitz Guy (@ThatBlitzGuy) October 18, 2020
Season Totals: 39 targets, 21 receptions, 294 yards, 3 TDs, 3 carries, 72 yards, 1 TD
Without a gigantic 3 touchdown performance against Dallas in Week 4, OBJ would be towards the middle of the pack of Wide Receivers in fantasy. Versus the Cowboys, Beckham gathered 154 yards, but in his other 5 games, he has totaled 140 yards, good for about 48 yards per game. He has 1 touchdown in those 5 non-Dallas games and has not seen double digit pass targets since Week 1.
OBJ was the 10th highest drafted WR across all fantasy leagues and at that pick, Beckham should be a the WR1 in a lineup, but he has become a WR2 play, at best and worthy of the bench otherwise. The Browns have become a run-first team under Head Coach Kevin Stefanski and Beckham competes for limited targets with WR Jarvis Landry and TE Austin Hooper.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to find a better option than OBJ.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs
Clyde Edwards-Helaire on carries inside the five-yard line:
🔸 7 attempts
🔸 0 TDs pic.twitter.com/k78WHn9dlZ
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) October 15, 2020
Season Totals: 81 carries, 344 yards, 1 TD, 27 targets,17 receptions, 169 yards, 0 TD
Edwards-Helaire came into the fantasy season as the 7th highest drafted Running Back and 15th highest overall, despite having never played an NFL snap. That goes to show the kind of faith the fantasy community saw in Kansas City’s rookie RB. Unfortunately, Edwards-Helaire seems to be a clear reach as he is only the 12th best RB in fantasy through Week 5. He hasn’t scored since his Week 1 debut and is averaging a meager 103 total yards per game. These are not RB1 stats and things are looking to get worse for Clyde investors.
With former two-time All-Pro Le’Veon Bell signing on with the Chiefs, Edwards-Helaire managers should be selling stock. Bell doesn’t seem to be as elite as he once was after a tumultuous tenure with the New York Jets, but the reality is that Bell will cut into everything Edwards-Helaire does for the Chiefs offense.
Goal line plays and passing game opportunities will become a time share in the Chiefs backfield; it’s time to move on from Clyde for now.
Juju Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
JuJu Smith Schuster scored 2.6 fantasy points today, his second consecutive game in single digits. He’s been held under 50 yards in 4 straight and has 5 targets or fewer in the last 3 games.
He’s no longer someone you have to start each week
— Michael F. Florio (@MichaelFFlorio) October 18, 2020
Season Totals: 24 targets, 21 receptions, 188 yards, 3 TD
With the return of Ben Roethlisberger came anticipation for the return of Juju Smith-Schuster’s fantasy production. Smith-Schuster was the 11th highest drafted Wide Receiver across all leagues despite not even coming close to that level of production in the 2019 season. That trend has continued into the 2020 season as Smith-Schuster is just the 31st ranked WR through Week 6. Each passing week has seen a decrease in targets, receptions, and yards for Smith-Schuster, a clear trend downward.
The biggest reason for Smith-Schuster’s fall, both figuratively and literally? Rookie sensation Chase Claypool. Claypool is the type of WR1 that QBs dream of having long, fast, and explosive. With TE Eric Ebron earning the next most targets, Smith-Schuster has turned into a role player in the Steelers run-first offense.
Juju should only be considered for fringe Flex plays moving forward.
Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals
Kenyan Drake managers watching Chase Edmonds rumble 29 yards for a touchdown pic.twitter.com/XN0jrX9bLu
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) October 11, 2020
Season Totals: 85 carries, 314 yards, 2 TDs, 6 targets, 6 receptions, 22 yards, 0 TD
Kenyan Drake finished the 2019 season off with 363 yards and 7 TDs in the final 3 games and the expectations were that he would pick up where he left off in 2020. Drake was the 13th highest drafted RB across all leagues and 21st overall because of his great finish, but he has struggled to get going through Week 5.
Drake was expected to be the clear number 1 RB option but has seen his touches siphoned by RB Chase Edmonds. Drake is still getting more carries per game than Edmonds, but Edmonds is getting more time in the passing game and more scoring opportunities.
With Kyler Murray being the first running option on the Cardinals in a pass-first offense, Drake is unlikely to give you anything in fantasy outside of the random touchdown here or there. Cut ties.
Mark Ingram II, Baltimore Ravens
Over the last 3 weeks:
Mark Ingram 27 touches – 19.6 Fantasy Points
Gus Edwards 20 touches – 10.2 Fantasy Points
JK Dobbins 15 touches – 19.2 Fantasy Points
If you combined all their fantasy points over the last 3 weeks, it would still be less than: AK, Davis, Cook, Mixon, Zeke
— 𝐅𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐬𝐲 𝐅𝐨𝐨𝐭𝐛𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐆𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐭 (@FF_Guesspert) October 14, 2020
Season Totals: 45 carries, 205 yards, 2 TDs, 5 targets, 3 receptions, 25 yards, 0 TD
The former Heisman winner Mark Ingram II wasn’t expected to be a RB1 option in 2020, but he was supposed to be a solid RB2 in the Ravens run-heavy offense. Coming off a 1,018-yard, 10 TD season, Ingram was the 23rd highest drafted RB across all leagues, but he is just the 40th ranked RB in fantasy through Week 6 with only 230 total yards and 2 TDs.
The Ravens offense runs through QB Lamar Jackson, leaving all RBs on the team to play rock-paper-scissors on who plays second fiddle. With Gus Edwards and rookie JK Dobbins performing better in the short yardage and passing situations respectively, Ingram has found less and less opportunities to touch the ball in 2020.
Ingram has no clear role in the Ravens offense as the season moves forward and you should be leaving him off all your lineups.
Stats provided by Fantasy Pros.