Much of fantasy football in-season owner strategy centers around which players to pick up from the waiver wire or to target in the trade market. However, roster spots are a premium resource. Cutting a player - or adding them to a trade - opens a roster spot for a key waiver wire addition or flexibility to keep a currently injured player through a missed game or two. Here are the key players to cut or trade after Week 6:
*15-18 roster spots*
Last week the big recommendations included:
None were impactful enough to regret moving on in shallow formats where precious bench spots are for only the most attractive upside running back plays and ideal streamers through bye weeks.
On to Week 7...
Why: With Seattle in Week 7 and then a bye week, Manning is on the starting radar in shallow formats for at least two weeks. Not many waiver options are picked up heading into their bye, so observe Manning from the waiver wire pile for now. Also, without Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall, the Giants took to a run-heavy approach in Week 6, which limits Manning's appeal down the stretch.
Why: With Rob Kelley out in Week 6 (projected back in Week 7), Perine stalled to 9-23-0 rushing and fortunately had a rogue goal line receiving touchdown to save his fantasy day as Chris Thompson continued his strong 2017 season. Kelley back will limit Perine even more, making him a tough hold during bye weeks in shallow formats.
Why: After a good run of PPR performances in Weeks 3-6, Adrian Peterson introduction to the Arizona backfield limits Ellington to hurry-up and catch-up mode work (aka game flow dependent). With a single target in Week 6, Ellington is a luxury hold in shallow PPR formats where the roster spot is likely optimized elsewhere.
Why: Despite two touchdowns this season, Doctson has been minimally active in terms of snap counts and Washington is selective with where and when he sees time on the field. A full unveiling projects as far off, if at all, in 2017. With bye weeks in full swing, Doctson's fill-in upside is touchdown-centric and limited to WR3/4 zone, which is not ideal in shallow formats.
Why: Matthews is still not catching passes with his recovering right hand and was a limited upside option even before his injury. Matthews will miss the Week 7 matchup against Tampa Bay and possibly Oakland in Week 8 before the schedule turns more difficult the month following.
Why: James was already a touchdown-dependent option for this season, but Pittsburgh offense has focused on Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell (plus Juju Smith-Schuster is rising up the depth chart) to squeeze James in terms of targets. Also, Vance McDonald is creeping up in snaps and high-leverage targets by the week as the more dynamic tight end. Outside of dying for a floor of 3-4 targets as a streamer, James offers little shallow league juice.
*18-25 roster spots*
Last week the big recommendations were:
Perkins is the most notable here as Orleans Darkwa posted a highlight game as the Giants lead back. While the run game effectiveness is on the right track for the Giants offense, Perkins faces even more competition than when he started missing time with injury.
On to Week 7...
Why: Bortles has thrown more than one touchdown in a game once this season. The Colts are an optimistic matchup in Week 7, but a Week 8 bye looms and Bortles is not high-end enough to roster through the bye in typical start-1QB formats of moderate depth. The Bengals and Chargers are more difficult matchups after Jacksonville's bye week as well.
Why: Ty Montgomery is back and Aaron Jones flashed enough to consider him the heavy favorite over Williams for playing time the rest of the season whether Montgomery is active or not. Williams is a nice taxi squad stash, but in deeper redraft or shallow dynasty formats, Williams is a luxury roster spot reserved for rebuilding squads.
Why: Orleans Darkwa back (and Paul Perkins to follow) squeezes Shane Vereen for any upside beyond a glut of catch-up mode work and a bevy of targets. Vereen has more than 30 receiving yards in only one game this season and is a sub-optimal pass-centric bet at the running back position considering the committee backs even (or ahead of) Vereen for the Giants.
Laquon Treadwell (Shop)
Why: Treadwell is coming off the best game of his career (3-51-0) where Stefon Diggs was inactive. With Treadwell still struggling to separate from defenders and a blocked depth chart at full strength, this is the best window since the offseason to exit Treadwell something of value. In dynasty, seek Treadwell-2nd for 1st type deals or a 2nd and an upside player.
Why: With DeVante Parker, Carroo had a good opportunity to flash in some regard against Atlanta in Week 6. Instead, Kenny Stills was the uptick player and Carroo sits without a catch on five targets this season. Even the strongest of supporters need to move on in medium depth dynasty formats and deep redraft leagues.
Why: Miami's passing game has been a limited one (Jay Cutler QB34 in PPG), plus Thomas looks two steps slower than his Denver prime. Yet to see more than five targets in a game and not even sniffing the end zone to-date, Thomas is not even on the streamer radar.
*25+ roster spots, more dynasty-focused*
Last week the big recommendations were:
Adrian Peterson posted by far his best game of the season in his Arizona debut and Kerwynn Williams is back to No.3 duties with little short-term upside. Troy Niklas has boosted his presence in the Arizona offense as well with Jermaine Gresham continuing his pattern of penalties and drops. Rashard Higgins has been lost in the committee of the Browns wide receivers since his one noteworthy game earlier in the season.
On to Week 7...
Why: C.J. Beathard breathed life in the 49ers passing game in his relief appearance against Washington and is the starter going forward. Hoyer logged four touchdowns in more than five games of action this season, adding little on the ground and completing less than 60% of his passes.
Why: With Marlon Mack continuing to flash as the No.2 to Frank Gore's No.1, Turbin sags down in appeal as anything but a low-upside option even if Gore were to miss time. Turbin also sustained an elbow injury in Week 6, which looks like a multi-week absence.
Why: He may still be on deeper rosters, but Thompson was cut by Chicago last Wednesday. Back to the waiver wire.
Why: The Giants face Seattle in Week 7, followed by a bye week. The Giants also shifted to a run-centric offense, with success, which will be key to winning even a few games down the stretch.
Why: The Chargers passing game is more crowded than ever with rookie Mike Williams making his debut in Week 6 and bound to be a red zone impact as the season progresses. Hunter Henry has 80 yards or a touchdown in 4-of-5 recent weeks as the future (and present) of the tight end depth chart. Gates looks physically done and outside of a rogue touchdown in Week 2 has done little of relevance in 2017.