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Do Not Draft List: WR (Fantasy Football)

by Jason Katz | @jasonkatz13 | Featured Writer
Jul 18, 2018

Amari Cooper’s body of work doesn’t justify his draft cost

When people think “do not draft,” the immediate reaction is “I’ll never draft this player, ever.” That’s not really what “do not draft” means. Sure, there are certain players that do not warrant being drafted even in the final round of a deep league, but let’s not argue semantics. The focus here will be on wide receivers that you absolutely cannot draft at their current price. Before we get into the “do not draft” portion, here are a couple “should not draft” players.

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Mike Evans (TB): ADP 2.09, WR9 and Josh Gordon (CLE): ADP 3.11, WR15
The reason Evans and Gordon didn’t quite make the “do not draft” section is because we have seen their ceilings and we know that if everything breaks right, they both have legitimate top-five upside. But you still probably shouldn’t draft either of them at their current prices because of how low their floors are. Evans had very few boom weeks and not a single multi-touchdown game last season. Gordon has played just 10 games football in the last four years. I understand if you are enticed by their upside, but you should probably make safer picks.

Do Not Draft

Amari Cooper (OAK): ADP 4.02, WR17
Let’s play a little game. Since Cooper’s debut in 2015, how many times has he provided a positive return on investment for fantasy owners, which is defined as a positional finish higher than where he was drafted? I’ll give you a second to think. Got it? That’s correct! Zero!

Even more baffling is that after he posted a WR23 finish in 2015, he was drafted as the WR12 in 2016. I get it. He was a rookie, mega talent, and a boom in production was to be reasonably expected. It didn’t happen in 2016 when he finished as the WR17, but in 2017, he was drafted as the WR10! Why? What did he do to deserve that lofty ranking?

Well, as we all know, Cooper was one of the biggest busts of 2017, finishing as the WR38. I see a lot of bad information out there where people hate on Tyreek Hill and talk about how is he being drafted “at his ceiling,” which confuses me, since he’s being drafted as the WR10-14, while he finished as the WR6 last year. Objectively, he is not being drafted at his ceiling.

Cooper is being drafted as the WR17, which is the highest seasonal finish he’s ever had. You can do a lot better with your fourth-round pick. Currently, Allen Robinson (although I have no faith in his ADP to hold), Brandin Cooks, and Golden Tate look like far better buys.

Will Fuller (HOU): ADP 6.12, WR31
All he’s got is speed. Fuller is super fast, but has average agility and burst with a 40th-percentile catch radius. He’s nothing more than a situational deep threat. He did not play well in 2017. I know what you’re thinking — he was great with Deshaun Watson, and all his bad performances can be attributed to Tom Savage.

Fuller had 28 receptions in 10 games last season. That extrapolates to 44.8 receptions over a full season. No wide receiver with fewer than 50 catches has had any fantasy value in standard-size leagues.

But what about Watson? Fuller caught 13 passes in his four games with Watson. That extrapolates to 52 receptions over a full season. The difference is negligible. Sure, he caught seven of them for touchdowns, but no one can honestly believe any player is capable of maintaining anywhere near that level of efficiency.

Fuller will produce splash plays because that’s what he does, but predicting them will be a near impossibility, and when he doesn’t splash, he will be a black hole in your lineup. Chris Hogan, Robert Woods, Randall Cobb, Marquise Goodwin, and Allen Hurns are all superior options at similar or cheaper cost.

Jordy Nelson (OAK): ADP 9.02, WR40
Even after acknowledging that your ninth-round pick will probably not be of much use, please do not just flush it down the toilet because that’s what any selection of Nelson amounts to. Nelson is done. He’s 33 years old and his torn ACL cost him a step or two that he will never regain. Davante Adams was even better with Brett Hundley than he was in his limited time with Aaron Rodgers. Nelson, on the other hand, didn’t belong on fantasy rosters.

Was Rodgers the catalyst behind Nelson’s entire career? Maybe. The answer didn’t matter as long as Rodgers was his quarterback. That’s no longer the case.

Nelson is now in Oakland with a far worse QB and a head coach that has talked about bringing the game back to 1998 and feeding Amari Cooper, neither of which benefits Nelson. After Week 6 last season, Nelson did not eclipse 35 receiving yards in each of the remaining nine games. I won’t bother listing the players that you’re better off targeting because there are dozens of them.

Do Not Draft List: QB
Do Not Draft List: RB

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Jason Katz is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Jason, check out his archive follow him @jasonkatz13, and listen to him on the Fantasy Forensics Podcast.

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