Fantasy football: Four players to be wary of next season

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Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan sacks Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan on Sunday in New Orleans. | Curtis Compton/AP

Have you ever seen the movie “My Cousin Vinny”?

I’m dating myself here (it was released in 1992), but there’s a scene that runs through my head every time I’ve given up on a player in fantasy football.

Joe Pesci, who plays eccentric attorney Vinny Gambini, concludes questioning someone on the stand and says, “I’m finished with this guy.” He gets all the use out of the person that he can, then dismissively discards him.

That’s how I feel about these players.

Whereas last week I opined on players on the rise for next season, these players are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Be wary of them on draft day.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan: Many figured 2016 would be his career year, but to see him throw half as many touchdown passes (19) as he did last season (38) has been surprising. This will be his least productive year since 2009, his second season in the league. Even with a top receiver (Julio Jones) and running back (Devonta Freeman) at his disposal, Ryan has fallen from QB3 last season to QB15. Next season, he’ll be playing for a new contract. It’ll be interesting to see what the Falcons think of him.

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Titans RB DeMarco Murray: Since his career year in 2014, when he finished as RB2 in a PPR format, Murray has yo-yoed from RB15 to RB5 to RB17. And you can’t expect him to bounce back again next season, when he’ll be 30. Though he has been a starting option this year because of his receiving, his 2.9 yards per carry since Week 9 hasn’t merited confidence. Now has a knee injury. His contract with the Titans runs through 2019, but the team can cut him without penalty this offseason.

Cowboys WR Dez Bryant: From 2012 to 2014, Bryant averaged 1,311.7 yards and 13.7 touchdowns. In the last three seasons, he has averaged 670.7 yards and 5.7 touchdowns. Granted, he missed 10 games in 2015-16 because of injuries, but he has played in every game this season and is averaging the fewest yards per catch of his career. Bryant also has a team-high 12 drops. He’s due $12.5 million next season, and there’s speculation he’ll be asked to take a pay cut. How do you think he’ll react to that?

Raiders TE Jared Cook: Before the last two seasons, we heard about Cook’s promise with a new team. He joined the Packers in 2016 and was expected to thrive with Aaron Rodgers. He finished as TE36. He joined the Raiders this season and was expected to produce in an up-and-coming offense. He’s TE12. That’s the highest he has finished in his nine-year career. Cook is a fine tight end, but he’s an average fantasy tight end. He’s under contract for next season but can be cut without penalty.

Follow me on Twitter @JeffreyA22.

Email: jagrest@suntimes.com

WEEK 17 OUTLOOK

STUDS

Chargers QB Philip Rivers: The Raiders have the third-highest completion percentage against (67.5) and are tied for the fewest interceptions (four).

Dolphins RB Kenyan Drake: The Bills have allowed the most points to RBs, and since Week 8, they’ve allowed a whopping five more per game than the next team (Bengals).

Colts WR T.Y. Hilton: He has a history of success against the Texans, who have allowed the fifth-most PPR points to WRs. He has 290 yards and three TDs in his last two meetings.

DUDS

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo: Take out Carson Wentz’s big game in Week 14, and the Rams have held QBs to 231 yards and one TD pass per game since Week 10.

Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette: QB Blake Bortles didn’t help create room for him last week, and the Titans had allowed the sixth-fewest points to RBs before Todd Gurley went off.

Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin: Since Week 12, the Cardinals have allowed the fifth-fewest PPR points to WRs. In that same span, Baldwin ranks 37th in WR scoring.

WEEK 16 PICKS

STUDS

Matthew Stafford: 203 passing, TD, INT

Dion Lewis: 24-129, TD rushing; 5-24, TD receiving

Josh Gordon: 2-19 receiving

DUDS

Kirk Cousins: 299 passing, 3 TDs, INT

Marshawn Lynch: 25-95 rushing

Marquise Goodwin: 3-37 receiving

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