The Sunk-Cost Fallacy:
“Reasoning that further investment is warranted on the fact that the resources already invested will be lost otherwise, not taking into consideration the overall losses involved in the further investment.”
This is a philosophical concept from the business world that applies perfectly to fantasy football. Being afraid to release a player that you invested a high pick in, even when they have not returned on that investment. Sometimes you tell yourself that it’s just a bad stretch of games, that things will get better and you have to hold on. Other times you know there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but are scared that he will suddenly become fantasy relevant as soon as you hit the drop button. Either way, you are holding onto a player that is not helping your team win.
Recognizing this tendency in people will help your fantasy career. If you are able to cut-bait on a player whose name holds more value than it should, this can lead to you making key moves to help your team get to the championship. Now that’s not to say this strategy is without flaw. Like anything, there’s a risk that you could wrong. That once you bid farewell to your struggling player, he will ascend to fantasy stardom. On the other hand, you could hold on to the player for far too long, and miss out on some juicy waiver wire pickups.
However, just like a business, you want to recoup some of your investment. Before you outright drop a player, you should try to trade him. There may be someone in your league who is willing to “buy-low” on a player that they had liked before the season started. This gets harder to do with every week that the player underwhelms. Eventually you will get to a point where his value is so low that nobody will touch him. That’s when you have to cut your losses and ship him off to waivers.
Here are five players that are I feel are guys you should try to “Sell-Low” on (in standard 12 team leagues) while you still can:
Tajae Sharpe, WR, Tennessee Titans
I have to eat some crow here. I wrote an article glowing about Sharpe’s value as a deep sleeper during preseason this year. It’s looking like I was wrong about him, at least for this year.
Sharpe has disappointed thus far, totaling just 14 points through three weeks. This isn’t so much a reflection on Sharpe, as it is on the Titans offense. The Titans are ranked 23rd in passing yardage, and are tied with Houston for last place in points-per-game. It’s hard for any receiver to be relevant when the team is struggling to score points.
Sharpe faced the Raider’s porous pass defense in week three. With Delanie Walker out of the lineup, expectations were high for the young receiver. He responding by catching three balls for 48 yards. This was about as good of an opportunity as Sharpe is going to get to succeed. Feel free to drop him if there is something better on waivers.
Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
Coming into the season, if you had told me that Tate would be droppable by week four of the season I would probably have laughed. However, Tate has totaled a meager 9 points over three weeks of football. This is alarming, since he has not been able to carve out a role on a passing offense that is currently ranked second in the league. He is currently ranked 5th on the Lions and receiving, behind Marvin Jones, Eric Ebron, Theo Riddick and Anquan Boldin. In fact, Boldin is looking like the better fantasy option on this team, and is likely sitting on your waivers.
Duke Johnson Jr, RB, Cleveland Browns
In a year that has seen the running back market brutalized early in the season, it’s hard to advocate getting rid of a player like Duke. However, Duke just doesn’t appear to be part of the game plan for the Browns. Through 3 weeks, he has averaged just 34 yards rushing and 28 yards receiving. He has not found the end zone either. Although he has been efficient so far, Isaiah Crowell has looked just as good. So far, the job is Crowell’s to lose, and doesn’t seem like he will be giving up much work to Duke. Feel free to look elsewhere for a running back. Duke may also hold enough of his value to use as part of a trade.
T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Coming into the season, Yeldon and Chris Ivory’s roles on this offense were uncertain. 3 weeks later, and it’s still uncertain. The only difference is that we are no longer sure we even want a part of this backfield. After a surprise hospital visit, Ivory was sidelined for the first couple weeks. During that time, Yeldon had a chance to show his value as a feature back, and has managed just 2.5 yards-per-carry. The only time he has eclipsed 3 yards per carry is against the porous rushing defense of San Diego. Even then, he was only able to touch the ball 7 times. Which brings up the other knock against Jag’s running backs: Gamescript.
Don’t expect much out of either of the Jags RB’s for the time being, as they have neither talent nor opportunity going their way. There are better lottery tickets to be had on waivers.
Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens
I feel insane for telling someone to drop a running back that is listed as first on the depth chart of his team. However, Forsett has not looked good, and has been splitting carries with equally ineffective Terrance West. At this point the Ravens have a full-blown running back committee in action, and the addition of rookie Kenneth Dixon later in the season will only make things worse. Forsett is almost certainly the safest drop of the players I have listed today.
Eli Manning, Bilal Powell, Kevin White, Tyler Lockett, Michael Floyd, Devin Funchess,
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