Roster management is the single most crucial in-season task for fantasy football managers. Knowing which players to let go is just as important as adding the right guys, but which players find themselves on our Week 1 fantasy football cut list?
Is it a little early for a cut list? Perhaps. But it’s never too soon to improve your roster. Maybe you drafted early and haven’t looked at your team in a few weeks. The fantasy landscape is constantly changing, so here are some players you can feel free to cut from your roster. Exercise extra caution prior to Week 1.
Behind in research? Get a trade offer in your dynasty or redraft league? Not sure who to start or sit this week? Leverage PFN’s FREE fantasy tools — our Fantasy Football Draft Kit, Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer and Calculator, and Start/Sit Optimizer! Put the finishing touch on your A+ draft with 1 of our 525+ fantasy football team names.
Who Should You Cut in Fantasy Football in Week 1?
Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals (26% Rostered)
There are many quarterbacks outside the top group that are worth rostering, so it’s difficult to say that any of them are cuts this early. Kyler Murray is the only name really worth mentioning ahead of Week 1.
This only applies to leagues that play without IR spots. If you play in a league without an IR spot, you should change that. If you can’t, and you roster Murray, there’s no reason to burn the roster spot.
The earliest Murray is likely to return is around Week 8. By that point, the Cardinals may very well be winless and on their way to drafting Caleb Williams first overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. They will be looking to trade Murray and have no reason to put his health at risk in a lost season.
I would consider Murray more likely than not to miss the entire 2023 season. That roster spot is too important, so you can cut him.
Jeff Wilson Jr., RB, Miami Dolphins (31% Rostered)
Just like with Murray, this only applies to fantasy managers in leagues without IR spots. Jeff Wilson has been out for multiple weeks already. The Dolphins placed him on the IR, which will guarantee he misses at least the first four weeks.
The issue isn’t the time Wilson will miss — it’s the fact that head coach Mike McDaniel said he thinks Wilson should be able to return this season. Should? Might? That isn’t what you want to hear. It sounds like there’s a non-zero chance Wilson won’t play a down this year.
Raheem Mostert will have the first crack at the feature-back role. Rookie De’Von Achane will also have his chance to work his way into the rotation. By the time Wilson returns, there may not be a fantasy-relevant role for him.
Plus, he simply doesn’t move the needle enough to justify rostering for an indeterminate amount of time when roster spots are the most valuable, given that we have no idea when or if he will return. If he’s costing you a roster spot, let him go.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (20% Rostered)
It’s not as if Clyde Edwards-Helaire is on many rosters — 20% is not a high number. This is purely for those of you who might be debating between stashing Edwards-Helaire or another dart. I would consider throwing that other dart.
We know who this back is. He’s the same guy who lost his job to a seventh-round rookie. Some of the renewed interest in him stems from Isiah Pacheco missing a chunk of training camp, which thrust Edwards-Helaire into a starting role in preseason games. I do not expect that to carry into the regular season.
MORE: Start/Sit Optimizer
Pacheco is healthy and will be the early-down and goal-line back. Jerick McKinnon will be the passing down back. This means Edwards-Helaire is looking at a 15-20% snap share role, at best. He would need an injury to Pacheco or McKinnon to merely be part of a committee, which would give him RB3 upside. That’s just not enough of a ceiling to justify rostering the former LSU star.
Jameson Williams, WR, Detroit Lions (36% Rostered)
I’m simultaneously surprised and impressed that the fantasy community has not been over-drafting Jameson Williams. In general, it’s not exactly fun to roster suspended players, or anyone who is guaranteed to miss games to start the season.
Last year, we had to do it with DeAndre Hopkins. But for a guy like Hopkins, you know he’s returning to a large role and that he’s good at football. With Williams, we know neither of those things.
Williams played six games last year and generated one reception in nine targets. That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. He followed that up by getting himself suspended, as well as having some off-the-field issues.
I could not be more out on Williams. Based on historical rookie WR yardage thresholds, Williams’ chances of success are sub-5%. He had an awful rookie year and is already missing the first six games of his sophomore season. I don’t believe the upside is actually there.
Burning a roster spot for six weeks on a purely speculative player seems unwise. You want to use those roster spots on players that have a chance to hit early in the season. And if not, you can drop them and grab someone else that might hit. There is exactly a 0% chance Williams can be a hit over the first six weeks — drop him.
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast
Listen to the PFN Fantasy Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Fantasy Podcast on our Fantasy YouTube channel.