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Cutting the Cord: Week 10

Breaking down the key players to drop or trade to optimize fantasy football rosters

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 9:

SHALLOW FORMATS

*15-18 roster spots*

Last week the big recommendations included:

Andy Dalton, Frank Gore, Martavis Bryant, Eric Ebron

Dalton put up a dud against Jacksonville and his remaining schedule is not promising. Frank Gore continued his touchdown-less streak, averaging three yards-per-carry against Houston. Marlon Mack is the upside option of the backfield. Martavis Bryant and Eric Ebron were on bye in Week 9.

On to Week 10...

Jameis Winston

Why: Winston is out for at least a couple weeks and in shallow leagues, Winston is a tough hold considering Tampa Bay looks to be packing it in for the season. On the flip side, Eli Manning is a streamer candidate with a strong short-term schedule.

LeGarrette Blount

Why: The acquistion of Jay Ajayi forms, at worst, a three-headed committee for the Eagles. Blount may end up as the 'finisher' of the group to salt away wins late, but Ajayi's three-down skillset and higher level talent is a tough hurdle for Blount to overcome for mid-RB2 or better upside. Plus, Corey Clement has continued to warrant touches as an underrated No.2/3 back, pushing past Wendell Smallwood for the Eagles.

Tyrell Williams

Why: Williams is still owned in more than 70% of MFL hosted leagues despite four straight dud performances, a Week 9 bye, and Mike Williams gaining snaps by the week. Tyrell Williams has one game of note all season and outside of a Keenan Allen injury, is in roster clogger mode for shallow leagues. Plus, Jacksonville's stingy pass defense is up in Week 10.

Julius Thomas

Why: Some may be buying a bouce-back second half of the season after Thomas' 6-84-1 outing in Week 9. However, the next three weeks are a brutal stretch by tight end points allowed opponents and generally favorable for wide receivers. Thomas has been silent in all but two games this season. Continue to stream in shallow leagues, which will not include Thomas over the next few weeks.

MEDIUM DEPTH

*18-25 roster spots*

Last week the big recommendations were:

Mike Gillislee, Taylor Gabriel

Gillislee was on bye, but losing snaps in a four-way committee backfield in New England, needing a goal line crack or two for even a passable fantasy day. Gabriel had his best fantasy performance since Week 3, but still was unstartable at 8.9 PPR points. Until Week 12 (Tampa Bay), the schedule is not overly good for Gabriel to be in the flex conversation.

On to Week 10...

Joe Flacco

Why: Flacco is coming off his best fantasy performance of the season, but it took 52 attempts to get up to 261 yards and a couple touchdowns (added to two interceptions). Baltimore is on bye in Week 10 and the following month is a rough stretch without a strong matchup on the slate. Unless using a committee approach and earmarking Flacco for Weeks 15-16 (Indianapolis, Cleveland), churn Flacco for better short-term options.

Theo Riddick

Why: It took a big play for Riddick to post 11 PPR points in Week 9 as his snaps are typically low and centered on the passing game. A catch-up mode game script is ideal for Riddick but Detroit has a promising schedule over the second half of the season. Outside of being a contender with thin options for RB2/3, Riddick has limited appeal even in moderate depth leagues.

Breshad Perriman

Why: Without pulling any punches, Perriman looks like a bust through two healthy seasons. Jeremy Maclin is back as the No.1 option for Baltimore and Mike Wallace is not going anyway. Perriman logs more negative notes than positive on a weekly basis and has only 4-of-8 games with a catch (seven total) this season.

Nick O'Leary

Why: Charles Clay is on track to return in Week 10 and O'Leary was pedestrian in his stint as the fill-in starter with zero touchdowns and seven receptions in three games. The next month of tight end matchups for the Bills are sub-optimal, another argument against O'Leary even if Clay misses more time.

DEEP FORMATS

*25+ roster spots, more dynasty-focused*

Last week the big recommendations were:

Jeremy Kerley, Ryan Griffin

Since last week's post, Kerley has been suspended for four games, taking him off the radar entirely. Griffin sustained a concussion in Week 9, plus C.J. Fiedorowicz's return looms in the coming week or two. Stephen Anderson also played well down the stretch as added competition for targets.

On to Week 10...

Drew Stanton

Why: The positive game script in Week 9 against San Francisco was an ideal situation for the Arizona offense. Stanton struggled with inaccuracy, but managed two touchdowns. The schedule turns rough for the next month, however, with the Seahawks, Texans, Jaguars, Rams. Outside of formats where any starting quarterback is an auto-start, Stanton is a tough hold.

Jamaal Williams

Why: Williams got into the Lions game in Week 9 to run out the clock in a blowout loss, but is clearing running a distant third behind Aaron Jones and Ty Montgomery. Plus, Randall Cobb is seeing situational backfield snaps as a third option ahead of Williams. The BYU rookie has looked plodding athletically, possessing a capped ceiling long-term. Shop to the owners of Aaron Jones and/or Ty Montgomery, but Williams offers little functionality for deeper rosters being more than one injury away.

Tyler Boyd

Why: The second-year receiver is on his way back from injury, but rookie Josh Malone has flashed in his absence and Brandon LaFell is a veteran with the No.2 spot locked down for now. The upside is low for Boyd as he logged 43 yards in four healthy games early this season, Boyd was a poor metric athlete as a prospect, and Cincinnati is a capped offense overall as well.

Maxx Williams

Why: The former second round pick is back on the field, but continues to look pedestrian in his movement and play-making upside. As a comparison, Stephen Anderson is owned in less leagues than Williams, who has flashed more upside as a situational player.