It’s Not You, It’s Him: Lessons Learned from Week 5 in Fantasy Football

Every relationship has its breaking point. That moment when you have to decide whether its real and you stick it out no matter what. Or you decide that person is not the one and cut ties. The same is true in fantasy football.

Each August, you pour your little fantasy football heart into 15 or so NFL players. You constantly look at that roster with admiration and imagine all the success and good times it can bring you. Then, the season starts.

Every year brings forth sleepers who sometimes lead teams to championships. It also elicits busts who can make the football season miserable. The question you have to ask is when is it time to move on.

Here are a few players where it’s time to decide is it real? Or is time to break up?

Jay Ajayi

We highlighted him here in the preseason as a possible bust. While his final 2016 numbers were noteworthy, there were some warning signs. Nevertheless we moved forward expecting Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase to lean on the run after Ryan Tannehill went down. Gase has done the exact opposite. Look at the run/pass ratio from Gase-led teams since he took over as offensive coordinator for Denver in 2013.

2013 – Denver – 40/60

2014 – Denver – 42/58

2015 – Chicago – 47/53

2016 – Miami –  45/55

2017 – Miami  41/59

So far this season, the Dolphins run/pass ratio is similar to the year Peyton Manning threw for 55 touchdowns with a bionic neck and shoulder. Despite Cutler signing late due to injury, Gase has actually thrown more this year. And it hasn’t been due to the opposition. They’ve played one of the easiest schedules to date.

The reason this is mentioned is because not all of this is on Ajayi, although the third year back is averaging 3.4 yards per carry.

You need to ask yourself, will Ajayi turn it around like he did last year? Will Gase lean more on the run? Or is it time to move on?

Isaiah Crowell

There was high hopes for Crowell going into this season. Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson had publicly supported the running back. He also said the Browns were going to lean heavily on Crowell this year as well. Crowell has done nothing. The Browns have done nothing. Duke Johnson, Jr. is the better running back at this point and has score three touchdowns to Crowell’s donut. See what you can get for Crowell or drop him. This relationship should be over. Move on.

Doug Baldwin

The Seattle Seahawks wide receiver was a projected second or third round pick on most draft boards, but is right now the 24th ranked point scorer. Russell Wilson and Seattle stumbled out of the gates, and struggled to find a consistent offensive tempo. What is troublesome for Baldwin owners is even when the Seahawks have moved the ball, Wilson hasn’t looked Baldwin’s way with any frequency. Baldwin ranks second in targets and has only scored one touchdown so far this year. The Seahawks face some softer defenses after the upcoming bye so don’t give up hope yet. There’s still better days ahead.

Amari Cooper

Cooper has all the talent in the world. He also has all the help in the world; a good quarterback, offensive line, running game and other wide outs. What has plagued Cooper this year is the dropsies. Cooper has been targeted 31 times this season but has only 13 catches. That is abysmal. Bad play calling or quarterback is one thing, but leading the league in drops is all Cooper, and it’s all mental.

It won’t get any easier for the Raiders or Cooper’s headspace anytime soon. The team has matchups against the Chiefs and Bills who have stellar defensive backfield play. You might have to wait until after Oakland’s week 10 bye before any improvement. Are you willing to wait that long?

Ben Roethlisberger

Coming into this year, Roethlisberger mentioned he had seriously contemplated retirement. Some might wonder if he made up his mind after Sunday’s performance against Jacksonville. Over 50 passes thrown with five interceptions was bad enough for one of the worse performances in fantasy football history. The Steelers got trounced by the Jags and all is not well in Pittsburgh.

Fact is, there are plenty of players you can throw out there instead of Roethlisberger at this point. You should be able to trade him instead of dropping him. There are many who still fell Ben has some TDs left in him, especially with so much talent around him.  Do you want to take that chance?

Matt Ryan

Ryan is another player we discussed having a significant drop-off in the preseason. Matt Ryan shouldered a lot of the offensive load last year, finishing with the best offensive output of his career. This year the Falcons have committed to the run with a pair of running backs that have yet to be contained. Ryan isn’t being asked to throw a ton, and while his stats have suffered, the Falcons are winning. Atlanta has no reason to change what has worked. Time to find yourself a new quarterback, and just know, it wasn’t you, it was him.