Most leagues should be beyond the trading deadline by now. So now is the time to decide if you want to cut players on your roster bubble, or spend a keeper slot on them and carry them over to the next season.
Also, there may still be a few players on your waiver wire, who will have no relevance this season anymore, but may still be a good dynasty addition now, as they may be a lot more expensive once you can add them in 2022.
This list is by no means supposed to be conclusive, so please do add more players to this thread.
I had recently post a thread on 2022 Dynasty QB Stashes, so I won’t address the potential stashes here once again. As for the cut candidates:
Ben Roethlisberger - CUT
There is little doubt that Big Ben will retire after this season. If you don’t need him this season anymore, now is a perfect time to cut him and add a QB prospect in his stead. Contrary to what I stated in my QB Stashes thread, I am not high on Dwayne Haskins anymore, who reportedly underwhelmed staff in Pittsburgh. The Steelers will likely look for an entirely new QB, so do not back Big Ben up with either Mason or Haskins.
Teddy Bridgewater - CUT
The 2022 starting QB for the Broncos will be named neither Teddy B. nor Drew Lock. There is a chance Teddy may land another starting gig elsewhere, but personally, I wouldn’t bet on it. He’s more likely to become a high-end backup, or a mentor for a rookie QB development project. In 2 QB leagues, I may consider holding on to him, but in all other leagues, he can be dropped.
Cam Newton - CUT
A lot of fantasy owners struggle to accept the fact that Newton’s career as an NFL QB is long over. Don’t be one of these owners and cut Cam now. There won’t be a week ever again where you’d want to start him with confidence.
Finally, a list of QBs you shouldn’t cut yet (at least not in 2 QB leagues), but that you may want to back up as you should not be sure you can still start them in 2022:
Matt Ryan will still be around in 2022, but the Falcons urgently need to address the QB position. I’d expect them to draft a top rookie QB, which means Matty Ice’s job security would start to become shaky.
Baker Mayfield is entering a contract year, which means the Browns need to make a decision. I’d expect this decision to be pro-Baker, but I wouldn’t bet the future of my fantasy team on it.
Matt Stafford has all the job security in the world, but his back is still a concern. Of course, you keep him, but make sure to roster a startable backup if he’s your QB1.
Jared Goff will remain the Lions’ QB for the foreseeable future, but don’t expect things to get a lot prettier from a fantasy point of view. If he’s a starter for your fantasy team, you need to address the QB position.
Dontrell Hilliard - CUT
It was fun while it lasted, but it won’t carry over to next season. I don’t blame you for keeping him if you can spare the bench/keeper slot, but don’t hesitate to move on from Hilliard if you can roster a better prospect in his stead.
Mark Ingram - CUT
Ingram was an emergency solution. He’ll be 32 next year. That would be old even for a WR. For an RB, it’s the time when you should definitely consider moving on from him. And no, Tony Jones Jr. isn’t the answer for the Saints’ backfield, either.
Mike Davis - CUT
Obviously, you will cut him only if your fantasy season is over. But I do not see a reason to carry him over to 2022. He had a huge opportunity and didn’t capitalize on it.
Alex Collins - CUT
He was useful for a few weeks, but that is unlikely to repeat in 2022. You can stash him and play the landing spot lottery, but that would be a wide shot.
Ronald Jones - STASH
Jones will be a free agent after this season. He has a much better chance to find a decent landing spot. If he’s available, stash him.
Emmanuel Sanders - CUT
The Bills only gave him a 1 year contract, and I don’t see them bringing him back for another one. I don’t blame you if you still keep him, just in case. But while he certainly did have his moments in 2021, he was still not startable. Do you expect that to change with him being 35 next year? Time to move on. I’d say the same about Cole Beasley, but at least he has another year left on his contract.
Antonio Brown - CUT
He had 5 starts this season, and yes, in 3 of them, he was a WR1. But then, the old AB flared up. His contract expires. He’ll be 34 next year. He’ll want a lot of money. The Bucs need to rejuvenate their roster. I don’t see him coming back in 2022.
Mecole Hardman - CUT
I drafted him as a rookie, and am holding on to him ever since. Not any longer. With Watkins out of town, he was in the perfect spot this year, and got outperformed by Byron Pringle. Mahomes doesn’t trust him. He doesn’t seem to have a ton of support in the locker room. So why keep him?
KJ Osborn - STASH
Thielen has another 3 years to his contract. But he’ll be 32 next year, and the age is beginning to show. Justin Jefferson is the clear #1 target for the Vikings, but Osborn performed admirably whenever his number was called. I’d expect it to be called a lot more often next year.
DJ Chark & Laviska Shenault - STASH
Here’s betting on the Jaguars giving Urban Meyer the well-deserved boot. If the Jags move on to a competent head coach and use their high draft picks on the desolate o-line, they might actually have a very potent passing attack in 2022. Chark and Shenault will probably not be on your waiver wire, but make for good offseason trade targets.
Gabriel Davis - STASH
I predicted a 2021 breakout, but that did not happen. But he’s only a sophomore. If the Bills indeed won’t bring back Sanders and/or Beasley, Davis could have a fantastic 2022 season.
Josh Palmer - STASH
This advice may come a little late, as he had a breakout game yesterday. But if you still have a chance to stash Palmer, do it. That performance was no fluke. Keenan Allen was out, and Palmer showed that he was capable of filling that gap. Mike Williams’ contract expires after the season, and the Chargers still need to decide if they want to bring him back. If not, Palmer would be the #2 target (or more) on a Justin-Herbert-powered offense next year.
I don’t even want to talk about TEs here. So how about ending this post with a question: what do we do with Jonnu Smith? I have him in 1 league, where I also have Pat Freiermuth and Dalton Schultz. So I don’t really need him. Do I cut him? Do I try to trade him during the offseason? Or do I keep him, as he may actually be better than Schultz next year?