Spin’s Fantasy Factory: Two wide receivers to drop after Week 5 

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Welcome back to another edition of Spin’s Fantasy Factory! I’m Spin, UConn’s self-proclaimed “fantasy football expert.” This week, I wanted to focus on two players that are no longer worth holding onto your roster and are droppable for better options on the waiver wire. 

Though we fantasy football managers don’t always like to admit it, we can never put together the perfect draft. We’re bound to over- or under-value players at certain points throughout our drafts, which means we’re bound to end up with a few who simply haven’t been utilized in real life as we hoped. As a result, these players’ values have decreased and some are no longer considered necessary for your fantasy roster: 

Allen Robinson II, WR, Los Angeles Rams 

Oct 9, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws a pass in the second half against the Dallas Cowboys at SoFi Stadium. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

Robinson’s best game came in Week 2, when he reeled in four catches for 53 yards. Other than that, his second-highest single-game receiving yards tally is the measly 23 yards he managed in Week 3. In all of his other games, the wideout has recorded single game receiving yard totals of 12 yards (twice) and seven yards. If you’re keeping a tally, that means that Robinson has amassed a puny 12 catches for 107 yards and one touchdown in five games. There was optimism as training camp ended this fall that Robinson would take on the old role left vacated by Robert Woods, who managed to find fantasy success last season under new quarterback Matthew Stafford. Alas, Robinson’s performance so far this year has been the polar opposite of “fantasy success.” 

In Week 5, Robinson was targeted on only 12% of his routes (seeing five targets against 43 routes run), near the bottom of the list of wide receivers that recorded a catch. His 10.6% targets per route run is the fourth-lowest rate this season for those with at least 100 routes run. The Rams’ offense is out of sync, with Stafford playing inconsistently and injuries decimating the team’s offensive line; if the offensive line and quarterback play improves, Robinson could bounce back. However, with third-year wideout Van Jefferson nearing his return from the injured reserve list, Robinson could see his number of opportunities decrease even more. Before this season, there was discussion that Robinson could feature weekly top 12 potential at the position. But now, he doesn’t look worthy of a roster spot even in the deepest of fantasy leagues. 

Darnell Mooney, WR, Chicago Bears 

Mooney is a bit of an odd player to analyze because a vast majority of his fantasy production comes on deep passes and scores. He’s never been known as a conservative player — Mooney is at his best when he’s being fed 15plus yards downfield. The only issue with that has been the performance of Chicago’s quarterback, Justin Fields, who himself is one of the most conservative players at his position and helms the most run-heavy offense in the NFL. In his second season, Fields has yet to make the sophomore leap as a passer that many anticipated would be in store. As a result, Mooney’s fantasy value has diminished.  

Through five games, Mooney has been targeted by Fields only 21 times. Only 10 of those targets have resulted in completion, tied for the 129th most receptions in the league. While his 173 receiving yards certainly isn’t ignorable (though it’s not particularly encouraging, either), 146 of those yards have come in Chicago’s previous two games. In fact, he had one game where he recorded negative receiving yards (one catch, -4 yards in Week 2). He’s managed to haul in more than two catches in a game just once and has yet to find the end zone. It seems the number of offensive statistics lists where Mooney and Fields find themselves near the bottom of is never-ending. As long as Fields continues to show that he’s not a capable passer (he has more interceptions thrown than touchdowns thrown this season), Mooney is best left on the waiver wire — a major disappointment for a player with such big-play potential. 

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