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PF Daily: Fantasy Football Tutorial Series: Intermediate

When to cut a player from roster

Back to Tutorial Series Index page

We like to believe we are infallible and that every decision we make will be perfect but that simply is never going to happen. You weight the odds every time you make a decision and some times those odds will bite you in the ass. That will almost certainly happen in your fantasy draft. Through injuries, a hotshot taking over a job or just uninspiring play, you are going to have players on your roster that simply are not getting the job done. Here are some things to consider when deciding if it is time to cut loose a player


This one is easy, if it is a non-Dynasty or non-keeper league, if a player is lost for the year he should be immediately dumped from your roster for a serviceable player. Sure you drafted this stud first overall and he was dominating the league for you but the injury removed him from the equation. If the injury is supposed to take him out through your fantasy playoffs, simply cut him loose and forget him.


This one is not as easy of a decision. There are many things to consider here before cutting loose the player on your roster.

* Is the new player a one week wonder?
* Does the player on your roster have a chance to redeem himself?
* Will your player share time with this player?
* Is it worth sitting on him for another week or two?

Each of these questions are important to answer prior to cutting loose a player you thought highly enough to draft onto your squad. If it has only been a week or two that your player has taken a back seat, analyse the situation closely and determine if the NFL team is simply riding a hot hand or if your guy's job is truly lost. Even if it lost, is there another player out there with better upside than your own guy? If there isn't, it is better to hang on to him and see if he gets his job back via injury or poor play

Perhaps he has lost touches to a player but he still is getting some work during the game. Despite fewer touches, he still may be getting enough stats to warrent a roster spot.

If you feel this player has been replaced and you see a better option out there on the waiver wire then it is certainly time to dump him for the better option. It all comes down to what is available on the waiver wire and how sure you are that your own player is unlikely to regain his spot.


In this case, your player is still getting the playing time but he is not performing well. Himself or perhaps the entire time is struggling and he has been a disappointment on your roster. First of all, never give up on a player for two poor weeks. A player can struggle in a game or two only to explode in the third week. Football is a tough sport to shine every single week. So let's say it has been four games and your stud running back has only averaged 35 rushing yards per game and has not scored.

The question that much be asked is why is he struggling? Is their a reason that is fixable going forward? Is it a scheme issue? Is it poor blocking? Questionable play calling? Are other players performing on the team while he isn't? Can it be turned around? After answering the questions, it will be clear whether he is worth a roster spot still or he is chopped liver that should be disposed of. If you determine your player just is not performing at a satisfactory level and you don't see him turning around his fortunes in the weeks ahead, it will be time to let him go as long as their is a viable option on the free agent wire.


So you have a player on your roster that is doing fine in a position you are deep in but due to injuries, poor play or poor drafting you have a weakness at another spot. An owner may decide to dump this player to pick up a player in a spot you are weak in. This is certainly doable but really before this is even considered, trading the player away or in a package would be a much shrewder move. If you dump this player who is performing fine to the waiver wire, one of your league mates is going to pick him up. Instead of dumping him, work hard to move him to a fellow owner and get a player back where you have weakness. This is how you stay successful throughout the season. However if an elite player is sitting on the waiver wire, then it is definitely fine to dump a player you have plenty of depth to cover in exchange for the star on the wire. It really depends on the situation as every situation is different.

So in summary, before you ever drop a player that is not injured for the year, take the time to analyse his situation and determine if he has possible upside and promise worth keeping him on the roster for. Once you have done your diligence, if you determine your player is crap it will be time to drop him to the wire.