It’s time. After 14 weeks of navigating injuries and waiver-wire additions, the fantasy playoffs are here (for most leagues). For those getting ready to make a championship push, it is time to make those last-minute roster tweaks to put together the strongest team possible. Part of that process is clearing out players who won’t be helpful at a point where every game matters.


This article will be published biweekly throughout the entire 2022 season. As always, consider your roster settings, lineup requirements and players remaining on the waiver wire.


Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons went into their Week 14 bye fading out of the playoff picture with a struggling offense. Atlanta used the week off to make a decision for the future, deciding to start rookie Desmond Ridder under center for the remainder of the season.

Ridder will have the rest of the season to grow as a quarterback and operate the offense in an attempt to claim a shot at the starting quarterback position for the 2023 season. He will likely have a long leash.

Mariota is droppable in all formats unless Ridder suffers an injury in the final four games of the season.

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers aren’t putting Jimmy Garoppolo on injured reserve after he suffered a foot injury, but his fantasy season is essentially over. There is a long-shot chance that Garoppolo can return to the starting lineup if San Francisco makes a deep playoff run, but the fantasy season will be long over by then.

Running Back

James Robinson, New York Jets

James Robinson had a chance to flash some fantasy relevance when Michael Carter was out with an injury during the Jets’ Week 13 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. Instead, Robinson logged just an 11% snap share and recorded four carries for 10 yards, while undrafted rookie Zonovan Knight paced the team in the backfield (15 carries for 90 yards).

Carter returned in Week 14, relegating Robinson to the “healthy scratch” category. The veteran running back is now firmly behind Knight and Carter in the backfield pecking order (and behind Ty Johnson as a pass-catcher), effectively ending any chance he would have for fantasy relevance this season.


Kyren Williams, Los Angeles Rams

There was hope that Kyren Williams would have a role for fantasy managers when the Rams surprisingly cut Darrell Henderson right before Thanksgiving. However, a consistent role just hasn’t materialized in the offense for the rookie out of Notre Dame.

Since Week 11, Williams has just 17 carries for 63 yards and four receptions (on six targets) for 35 yards. He saw a big role in the first game without Henderson (70% snap share) but has failed to be on the field for more than 30% of the team’s offensive snaps since. For the sake of comparison, Cam Akers has had 37 carries for 139 yards and three touchdowns in the same window of time.

The Rams are fully out of contention in the NFC, so Williams could get some more looks as the team assesses its roster heading into next season. But it’s hard to think he will have a ton of production in an offense with a bad offensive line that’s missing its starting quarterback and top two wide receivers.

Wide Receiver

Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans

Brandin Cooks wasn’t traded at the deadline this year despite his vocal discontent with the direction of the Houston Texans franchise. The veteran receiver continued to play and put up middling stats thanks to a musical chairs situation at the quarterback position. Cooks strained his calf in Week 12’s game against the Dolphins and hasn’t been seen since.

Not only do calf injuries tend to linger, but when you add that to a disgruntled player with impending free agency, you have a situation where Cooks seems unlikely to see the field again this season.

Fantasy managers likely drafted Cooks to serve as their WR2 this season, so it can be hard to cut bait on that idea. However, it is fantasy playoff season, which means it’s time to start optimizing rosters to make a championship run. Cooks is a player who can be cut.

DeAndre Carter, Los Angeles Chargers

DeAndre Carter has put up some boom performances for the Chargers this season thanks to a litany of injuries at the wide receiver position. As the Chargers have gotten healthy, his role in the offense has incrementally decreased. The Chargers got Mike Williams back in Week 14, relegating Carter to a role as a situational deep threat.

If you were counting on a combination of Carter’s big-play ability with a higher-than-expected snap share, it is officially time to start scouring the waiver wire for a more consistent, trustworthy option.

Tight End

Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams

The tight end position is generally tough to navigate unless you spend a premium draft pick on Travis Kelce. Fantasy managers who took a shot on Tyler Higbee probably felt like they nailed down a solid late-round tight end option to start the season after he caught 33-of-48 targets for 290 yards. Unfortunately, that production has not been sustainable.

Since Week 5, Higbee has just 19 receptions on 33 targets for 165 yards. He’s had two games with zero fantasy points since Week 9 and has just four receptions for 25 yards in his last two games combined. The Rams offense is a mess of injuries right now, making it highly unlikely that Higbee factors into the fantasy playoffs.