MFL10: Players To Avoid
There’s a video game out right now called H1Z1, and in the game, there’s a massive multiplayer experience where 150 people are thrown into a virtual world where they start with nothing, just the clothes on their backs. Their goal is to find the resources in order to take out the other 149 players in the game. It’s last man standing. Kill or be killed. There is no prize for second place, so there’s no going half-in.
It’s very similar in MFL10s, as you are thrown into a virtual world with 11 other people and there is essentially no prize for second place (it’s a free entry next year). So in essence, it’s winner take all. We all loved this format, as it required aggressiveness and a killer mentality to take down. But somewhere along the line, we started settling for mediocrity.
The purpose of your visit today is to find the players who’ll help get you that fourth-place finish, as they may provide somewhat steady production, but again, that doesn’t win you an MFL10. Not only will you get the players to avoid, but I’ll also be giving you replacements who are being drafted after that particular player. I’ll also attempt at giving you players at all different draft points, starting with the earliest.
Demaryius Thomas (WR – DEN)
Not only has Thomas been falling down the rankings over the last few years (finished as the No. 19 WR in 2016), but he’s lost almost all of his upside. Would you still draft Thomas as the No. 18 wide receiver if I told you that he hasn’t scored 25 PPR points in a game since way back in Week 12 of 2014? Some players who had at least one of those games in 2016 include Travis Benjamin, Kendall Wright, Robert Woods, and J.J. Nelson. He can offer consistent mediocrity in season-long leagues, but avoid in best ball.
Replacement: Davante Adams (WR – GB)
Julian Edelman (WR – NE)
If you’ve somehow missed what’s been going on in New England this off-season, you need to listen up. Not only has Edelman been targeted nearly 10 times per game over the last four seasons, yet he’s failed to finish as anything better than the No. 14 wide receiver in PPR formats. In fact, he scored just three touchdowns in 2016 despite seeing 159 targets (third-most in the NFL). His one touchdown per 53 targets ranked as the eighth-worst among wide receivers with at least 40 targets. With the additions of Brandin Cooks, Dwayne Allen, Rex Burkhead, and Mike Gillislee, it’s all but certain Edelman won’t even reach the 110-target mark. From a guy who has required large target numbers to produce WR2 PPR numbers, avoid him.
Replacement: Kelvin Benjamin (WR – CAR)
Latavius Murray (RB – MIN)
Not only has Murray been one of the most inefficient running backs in football over the last two years, but he’s been that while playing behind a very talented Raiders offensive line. Upon signing with the Vikings, whose offensive line is among the worst in football, Murray needed surgery on his ankle to remove bone spurs. For a running back, foot/ankle injuries can be career-enders, especially when you weren’t playing well to begin with. Murray has totaled 15 or more carries 17 times over the last two seasons and has hit the 100-yard rushing mark just four times, while playing behind the Raiders offensive line. Don’t be surprised to see Murray take a backseat to Jerick McKinnon a few weeks into the season.
Replacement: Ty Montgomery (RB – GB)
Hunter Henry (TE – SD)
It’s official, the love for Henry has gone full-overboard. Not only is Antonio Gates still playing, but the Chargers offense will get Keenan Allen inserted back into the starting lineup. With the way Tyrell Williams played last year, he’s going to see targets, as will Dontrelle Inman and Travis Benjamin. So to expect Henry to see a significant increase in targets would be a long-shot. Most don’t realize that he saw just 53 targets last year, which ranked 27th among tight ends. If you want to continue betting on a touchdown every 6.6 targets, be my guest and continue drafting him as the seventh tight end off the board. It’s hard to make a big dent in MFL10s when you’re seeing just 3.5 targets per game.
Cameron Meredith (WR – CHI)
With the way the Bears handled the off-season, it’s difficult to have much confidence in Meredith. Not only did they go out and sign Kendall Wright, but they also paid a hefty salary to former Steelers wide receiver Markus Wheaton, and both are on one-year deals. Meredith did his best work out of the slot last year without Kevin White on the field, so there are red flags up everywhere. In this range, you want someone who is guaranteed to produce when on the field, and his replacement below does that.
Replacement: John Brown (WR – ARI)
Josh Gordon (WR – CLE)
Guys, it’s not going to happen. Not only has he not been reinstated, but he also doesn’t have a team. The Browns have said that they are essentially through with him, which not only means that he’s been out of the league for a few years, but he’d also have to learn a brand new offense. The upside is enticing, but I’m pretty sure the replacement listed below gave owners three games with 19.4 or more PPR points. Josh Gordon hasn’t done that since Week 12 of 2014.
Replacement: J.J. Nelson (WR – ARI)
Devontae Booker (RB – DEN)
When drafting running backs this late, you want someone who’ll make an impact if given the opportunity. Not only did Booker get an opportunity last year, but the Broncos felt he was so bad that they went out and signed the team-less Justin Forsett to close out the season as the starter. He’s best served as a third-down type running back, and that won’t win you any MFL10s. Instead, go for someone who has shown he can succeed if given a larger role.
Tajae Sharpe (WR – TEN)
Similar to the aforementioned Devontae Booker, Sharpe had plenty of opportunity to shine last year, but failed to do so. He saw 83 targets last year, but came away with just 522 yards and two touchdowns to show for it, leading the Titans to say that they’re willing to exhaust hefty capital in order to right their wide receiving corps. It’s all but guaranteed that they’ll be drafting a wide receiver with one of their two first round picks, sending Sharpe to the bench as a situational player. When you’re down in this range of MFL10s, you want to aim for guys who have two touchdowns in one game type potential, not two touchdowns in one year.