8 Players to Avoid (2018 Fantasy Football)
The best way to gain a leg up on your opponents is by identifying which players have the most potential to disappoint. Predicting that Terrelle Pryor and Isaiah Crowell would fail to live up to their third-round billing in PPR leagues last year would have prevented you from experiencing plenty of heartache, as those two players may have single-handedly dashed the championship hopes for millions of fantasy owners around the globe. Before you draft, be sure to compare our Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) with our Average Draft Position (ADP) rankings to scope out which players you should stay away from at their current draft cost. To help you further, our featured experts are also here to share their thoughts on who you should avoid based on our PPR ADP.
Q. What non-QB is least likely to be on any of your fantasy teams and why based on current PPR ADP?
Mike Evans (WR – TB)
“LeSean McCoy is as close to a “do not draft” player as it gets for me, but I’ve outlined the reasons to avoid him many times over the offseason. One player I’m staying away from that some people may find shocking is Evans. His ADP puts him at the second-to-third round turn, which is too high for a wideout who saw his volume drop in 2017 and will face even more competition for targets this year as Chris Godwin breaks out. Evans will also have to catch passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick for the first three games of the season. In that range of fantasy drafts, I’d rather roll with the upside of Stefon Diggs or Doug Baldwin.”
– Justin Boone (theScore)
“Mike Evans is least likely to be on any of my fantasy teams with his current top-24 overall ADP. I’m wary of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s ability to get him the ball while Winston is suspended. Once Winston returns, I’m worried about the regression he’s seemed to have, as well as the targets O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate will steal from Evans.”
– Walton Spurlin (Pro Football Focus)
Tyreek Hill (WR – KC)
“There’s a John Blutarsky-like 0.0 percent chance that I’ll be walking away with Hill in any of my PPR drafts given his ADP of 28th overall and WR10. Hill is an outstanding talent and finished as the No. 9 wide receiver in PPR formats last year, but I’d expect some regression this season. I understand that Patrick Mahomes has a huge arm (and showed it with that bomb to Hill against the Falcons), but there’s little doubt in my mind that there is a dropoff from the 2017 version of Alex Smith to a quarterback with one career start who is playing behind what looks to be a truly awful offensive line.
Rather than the mash-up of retreads heading out there as the Chiefs’ second wide receiver that the team had last year, Hill will be paired with Sammy Watkins, who will take away some of the deep targets that Hill had a monopoly on last year. In addition, Hill had just four targets TOTAL in the red zone last year, so it’s hard to see him repeating on his seven touchdowns. In short, I can’t get behind taking a WR1 in PPR leagues who is almost entirely dependent on the “go route,” regardless of how much I enjoy watching him play.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)
Derrick Henry (RB – TEN)
“Henry has a ton of ability, and if he were the uncontested every-down back in Tennessee, I would be on board with his RB19 ADP in PPR, but with the acquisition of Dion Lewis this offseason, I just can’t. Last season, Lewis proved he is more than a scatback by finishing as the 13th ranked running back in standard leagues and 15th in PPR. He did catch 32 of 35 targets for 214 yards and three touchdowns, but he was used as a lead back instead of a receiving back more often than not. In Tennessee, his ability as a receiver will be expanded upon with Henry as the early down guy, but I also see Lewis getting work as an inside runner to keep teams off balance. But even if you see him as “just a third-down back.” his usage will make it difficult for Henry to see enough targets to keep his numbers high in PPR. Lewis is the more versatile of the two, and new OC Matt LaFleur will use that to his advantage more than Henry’s one-dimensional skill-set.”
– Chet Gresham (WalterFootball)
Kareem Hunt (RB – KC)
“There is no chance whatsoever that Hunt will end up on my teams this year. He is a great player, obviously, but his touches are going to drop off considerably from his 90% share of the backfield touches to 75%, at the very most, which would still be among the league leaders. Let’s not forget that if Spencer Ware is every bit as impressive in 2016 before the concussions, this may even end up more of a 1A/1B situation instead of a typical 70/30 split. Plus, the offense should take a big step backward under Pat Mahomes, and Hunt was extremely inconsistent last year, finishing as an RB1 just 37.5% of the time and an RB2 or higher just 62.5%. Sure, he is oozing with talent, but there is far too much risk here to take in the top 15, let alone top 10 picks where he is likely to be drafted.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)
Alshon Jeffery (WR – PHI)
“I think everyone needs to unhinge from the name value of Jeffery. The man had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff six months ago and yet he’s listed among players like Chris Hogan and Corey Davis. I’m all for planting your flag one time on risky upside and I don’t think he starts the season on the PUP list, but Jeffery has missed 11 games over his last three seasons (and could’ve used some time off in 2017), so starting at less than 100% terrifies me. Football players get banged up enough as it is and if his shoulder isn’t ready then his ugly 47.5% catch rate from 2017 could rear its head again, so I’ll be passing entirely on Jeffery in ’18.”
– Nick Mariano (RotoBaller)
Isaiah Crowell (RB – NYJ)
“This might be the easiest question I’ve answered all offseason. It’s Crowell, and it’s not all that close. His current ADP is inside the top-36 running backs selected, which means drafters are taking him as a starter on their fantasy team. I’m not sure how else to say this, but he’s not even the best running back on his team. I’d argue that Elijah McGuire is more talented than Crowell, though he’s dealing with a foot injury that will keep him out for some time. Crowell goes from playing behind one of the best interior offensive lines in football, to playing behind one of the worst lines in football. He’s just a guy. Even if he was announced as the starter, he’s the type of player who’d “win” you fourth place in your fantasy league. I don’t think I’d select him as a top-45 running back. His teammate Bilal Powell is much cheaper and much better.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)
Lamar Miller (RB – HOU)
“Miller won’t be on any of my fantasy football teams this year. Miller is being hyped up by some, and he’s being drafted as the 50th player in PPR as a result, but that seems insane to me. Miller was benched at the end of the 2017 season in favor of Alfred Blue because the Texans do not believe that he can handle a full workload throughout the year. Miller might have a couple of decent performances to start the season, but once D’Onta Foreman returns, Miller will see his usage decline greatly.”
– Walter Cherepinsky (WalterFootball)
Kenyan Drake (RB – MIA)
“Drake scares me. He is being drafted as a solid RB2 and a borderline third-rounder, but his role isn’t secure on an offense that does not have a ton of promise this season. If he winds up sharing time with Frank Gore and Kalen Ballage, Drake is going to bust like his predecessor, Jay Ajayi, did last season. In fact, I would much rather draft Ajayi a round later.”
– Alessandro Miglio (Footballguys)
Thank you to the experts for naming their players to avoid. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter for more great advice and check out our latest podcast below.