Players to Drop in Fantasy Football After Week 8


Week 8 has nearly finished, and the bye weeks keep on coming. Fantasy managers were missing some big names from the Chiefs and Chargers this week but will be forced to navigate Week 9 with players from six different teams getting a week off. That could lead to some difficult bench decisions during this upcoming waiver wire period.


This article will be published bi-weekly throughout the 2022 season. As always, recommendations in this article should be looked at through the lens of the fantasy manager’s starting lineup requirements, scoring settings and roster size.

Leagues with deeper benches may want to hold onto some players listed in this article since those leagues won’t have the waiver wire depth of others.


Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts

This one speaks for itself. Not only is Matt Ryan injured, but head coach Frank Reich came out this week declaring that Sam Ehlinger will be taking over the quarterback position for the foreseeable future regardless of Ryan’s health. It would take an Ehlinger injury to get Ryan on the field again, making him droppable in all formats.

Davis Mills, Houston Texans

Davis Mills shocked plenty of people when he took over for the Texans last season and looked like an NFL-caliber quarterback. Unfortunately, that hasn’t translated well to his second season in the league.

Mills has eclipsed 250 passing yards just once this season and could potentially lose his best receiving weapon (Brandin Cooks) to the trade deadline. If that happens, the Texans will likely become even more run-heavy with his loss. Mills was already struggling to throw for more touchdowns than interceptions this season, so the loss of his top receiving option can only make things worse.

Jacoby Brissett, Cleveland Browns

Jacoby Brissett has had some serviceable games as a fantasy starter throughout his temporary campaign as Cleveland’s starting quarterback (four games with at least 14.0 fantasy points). However, his time as the Browns quarterback is quickly coming to an end.

The Browns will have a bye week in Week 9 followed by difficult matchups against Miami, Buffalo and Tampa Bay before Deshaun Watson takes back over. Fantasy managers can opt to keep Brissett as a bye-week filler in negative game script games, but those are difficult defenses for any quarterback, much less one who is known as a game manager.


Running Back

J.D. McKissic, Washington Commanders

There was a belief that the Commanders would utilize a three-headed backfield once Brian Robinson was healthy enough to hit the field. Through two games, it looks like the team will use Robinson on early downs while mainly utilizing Antonio Gibson on passing downs. That has led to a severe downtick in production from J.D. McKissic the last four weeks.

Since Week 4, McKissic has just five carries for 30 yards and eight receptions for 51 yards. There is no reason to believe things will change since Gibson has been playing so well, which makes McKissic unusable even in PPR scoring settings. 

AJ Dillon, Green Bay Packers

Fantasy managers used a top-100 pick to draft AJ Dillon in the summer before the 2022 season. Things have gone poorly ever since.

Dillon is getting plenty of opportunities in the run game, but a bad offensive line has minimized his running lanes and made it difficult for the running back to justify his early-season ADP. The Packers offense as a whole has struggled, which has led to fewer positive game scripts and red-zone opportunities.

Dillon just doesn’t get high-value touches as long as Aaron Jones is healthy, which makes it very hard to use him in fantasy football. I can’t blame anyone for holding out hope and keeping him on the bench (he remains one of the highest-value handcuffs in football), but those that are in a bind due to bye weeks can justifiably let the running back go.

Wide Receiver

Skyy Moore, Kansas City Chiefs

It is looking like a developmental year for Skyy Moore in Kansas City. The rookie second-round pick has just six receptions on 12 targets for 100 yards this season. Additionally, Moore has just two games this season with at least a 30% snap share as he tries to find his way onto the field. At this point, it looks like his only true path to playing time is an injury to JuJu Smith-Schuster, since Justin Watson seems to handle the snaps when Mecole Hardman and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are off the field.

The Chiefs also made a move during the 2022 trade deadline, sending picks to the New York Giants to take on explosive wide receiver Kadarius Toney. Toney will likely be an upgrade over Watson (and could very well take Hardman’s role outright) but shouldn’t eat too much into Moore’s already limited role.

Moore can safely be dropped in all formats unless Smith-Schuster suffers a bye-week injury between now and the next waiver cycle.

Elijah Moore, New York Jets

It’s probably best to hold onto Elijah Moore through the trade deadline in case the Jets change their mind and decide the second-year receiver is worth moving. If the receiver stays with the Jets, then it is probably time to make a move to get a player who can be more productive.

Moore played limited snaps in Week 8 after missing last week’s game after a surprise trade request. Even when he was on the field, Zach Wilson kept delivering the ball to Garrett Wilson and Tyler Conklin (six receptions apiece) over the wide receiver. Wilson himself has struggled to move the ball through the air since returning from an injury, putting together a 54.9% completion percentage in the last five weeks.

The Jets passing attack is struggling and Moore isn’t earning targets. That is a perfect storm for him to hit the waiver wire (assuming he remains on the team through the trade deadline).

Tight End

Noah Fant, Seattle Seahawks

Geno Smith has shocked fantasy managers (and probably a lot of people in the NFL) with his success to start the 2022 season. Smith is efficient and taking deep shots down the field, which, unfortunately, is not the area where you’ll find Noah Fant.

Fant has just one game with more than five targets and has only produced one touchdown this season. The veteran tight end has yet to have a game with more than 50 receiving yards as well and has just three receptions for 26 yards in the last two weeks.

Tight end is usually a barren wasteland, but fantasy managers might have a better chance of taking a shot on an upside player on waivers for the next few weeks (like Harrison Bryant while David Njoku is out) than burning a lineup spot on Fant.

Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings

Everything I wrote above is true for Irv Smith on the Minnesota Vikings as well. Minnesota continues to run its offense through Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson, pushing Smith to the wayside. Smith has just two games this season with double-digit fantasy points, and both of them came largely on the back of a touchdown.

Week 8 represented Smith’s best opportunity to have a big game, facing off against the worst defense in fantasy against tight ends (the Arizona Cardinals). He rewarded optimistic fantasy managers with just four receptions on four targets for 28 yards and another sub-10.0 fantasy point performance. The veteran tight end is just not commanding the targets necessary to be a reliable fantasy option.

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