7 Wide Receivers to Avoid at Current ADP (2019 Fantasy Football)

May 23, 2019

Thielen started strong in 2018, but his rough finish has our writers wary.

Average Draft Position, otherwise known as ADP, will continue to change as we approach the 2019 NFL season. Still, it’s good to get an early sense of where certain players stand, especially those that are deemed to be over and undervalued by the fantasy football community. This week, we’re checking in on wide receivers that our writers are going to avoid based on current ADP. We’re referencing our consensus PPR ADP.

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Which player is most overvalued based on our consensus ADP?

Adam Thielen (MIN): WR9
Let me make this clear up front: I’m a Thielen truther. The guy topped 70 receiving yards and/or scored a TD in 13 of Minnesota’s 16 games last season. That’s the rare consistency fantasy owners crave in the volatile week-to-week crusade of the season. But, much like Michael Thomas, Thielen is almost entirely reliant on volume despite his immense talent and, unfortunately, the Minnesota offense isn’t on the same level as New Orleans. Thielen’s stock took a major hit as the Vikings transitioned from offensive coordinator John DeFilippo to the more run-focused Kevin Stefanski. The well-rounded WR earned a 28 percent target share (11.0 targets per game) through Week 14 before handling a measly 15 percent and totaling just 12 targets from Weeks 15-17. During that span, he averaged a hope-crushing 4.63 fantasy points per game. Given Stefanski’s more balanced offensive game plan and the offseason investments into the line, Minnesota is poised to ride a healthy Dalvin Cook this year while prioritizing Stefon Diggs in the passing game. It’s only natural to assume Thielen’s targets will dip as a result, making him more of a high-end WR2 than a borderline WR1.
– Brandon Katz (@great_katzby)

There are a number of receivers that won’t be making any of my teams based on their current ADP. However, there is only one that I will be actively avoiding. Adam Thielen had an amazing start to the 2018 campaign but faded fast in the second half of the season. Thielen saw his receiving yardage cut in half over his final eight games, dropping from an incredible 115.6 to a mere 56.2. Granted he put almost a season’s worth of production over the first half, but 4.6 receptions for 56.2 yards per game is not what I expect from the ninth overall receiver based on ADP. Those are numbers most would be disappointed in from their WR3. Thielen should have some monster games this season, but I will not be buying any shares at a WR1 price tag. The Vikings have added talented wideout Dillon Mitchell, a strong receiving back in Alexander Mattison, and one of the top overall tight ends from this draft class in Irv Smith Jr. They also added an upside slot receiver in Olabisi Johnson. With all of these additions and Kirk Cousins finally clicking with Kyle Rudolph to close the season, Thielen is likely to see a reduction in his impressive 26 percent snap share, as well as see his slot snap share fall below the 40 percent mark.
– Raju Byfield (@FantasyContext)

Jarvis Landry (CLE): WR21
Over the last few years, you’ve been able to rely on somewhat steady, consistent production from Landry. You always knew what you were getting in a sense, though you also knew you were foregoing upside by selecting him over some others in his range. Now that Odell Beckham is in town, his targets are going to take a massive dip, and he’s going to lose a lot of what made him attractive in the first place — consistency. It’s also not as if he offers tremendous upside if Beckham were to go down with an injury, either, as we’ve already seen what that looks like — the WR19 in 2018. Being drafted as the WR21 makes little sense when you think about the risk/reward with him.
– Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)

Michael Thomas (NO): WR3
Let me preface this by making it clear that Michael Thomas is a very good wide receiver, both real life and fantasy. He is undoubtedly a fantasy WR1 and if he is the WR1 of your fantasy team, you can feel very good about that. However, there is absolutely no chance I am considering him as the third WR off the board in the first round. It’s a bit ironic how guys like Tyreek Hill, Mike Evans, and T.Y. Hilton are often considered inconsistent, volatile, or dependent upon splash plays. No one will accuse Thomas of being reliant on splash plays, but he is one of the most volatile WRs in football. No WR is more reliant on volume than Thomas. Now, to be fair, the volume has always been there, and over the course of the season, it will likely be there again. But fantasy football is a weekly game, and if Thomas does not reach 10 targets, he does not produce. I know what you’re thinking: every WR is better with 10+ targts. That is true. But most WRs, especially elite ones, can at least have a shot at producing a salvageable fantasy week on limited targets. That is not the case with Thomas. He needs that volume. I will gladly select Thomas as my WR1 in the middle of the second round. I will not take him in the late first ahead of Odell Beckham, Julio Jones, or JuJu Smith-Schuster.
– Jason Katz (@jasonkatz13)

Alshon Jeffery (PHI): WR24
A wideout that I will easily be dodging in every fantasy draft this season is Alshon Jeffery. There are so many red flags with him I’m not even sure where to begin. First off, he may be considered the team’s WR1, but Zach Ertz is the biggest dog at the bowl here when it comes to the overall production. Not only does Ertz pose a huge threat, but the team welcomed back prodigal son DeSean Jackson this offseason and spent a second-round pick on J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Jeffery has only managed a full 16 games in three of the last six seasons, and he doesn’t offer a high ceiling considering he hasn’t hit the coveted 1,000-yard mark since back in 2014. Lastly, you’re really banking on a full, healthy season and a bounce-back of sorts from Carson Wentz for Jeffery to even truly realize what little potential he does have. There are just too many negative factors and not enough upside for me to consider Jeffery anywhere near a top-20 WR pick, where he’s sitting as WR24 in half-PPR leagues.
– John Ferguson (@FantasyFerguson)

Julian Edelman (NE): WR18
As much as I like Edelman’s tenacity and grit, I think age is finally going to catch up with him. He is currently ranked as the WR18, and I don’t think he will give back that in return. I am not necessarily a huge fan of N’Keal Harry but think that he will assert himself along with his draft capital to be the defacto number one receiver. There are so many slot receiver mouths to feed in New England right now. Edelman will start as the favorite, but I fear it will not end that way. Right now he is ahead of these players: D.J. Moore, Tyler Lockett, Corey Davis, and Robby Anderson. They are all number ones on their team and are significantly younger — most are 6+ years younger. It has been a great ride for Edelman, but it might be time to hang up the cleats and let someone else shine as an NFL fantasy WR2, even if he has just signed a new two-year deal recently.
Marc Mathyk (@masterjune70)

A.J. Green (CIN): WR14
Green has been one of the best receivers in the NFL since being drafted fourth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. Green has been selected to play in seven Pro Bowls and he averaged 5.4 receptions, 80.2 receiving yards, and 0.57 receiving touchdowns per game. He is usually among the Top-10 fantasy receivers when he plays 16 games. That is the problem in recent years, though. He missed six games with a torn hamstring in 2016, and he missed seven games with torn ligaments in his toe in 2018. Green is now on the wrong side of 30 years old, he is playing with QB Andy Dalton, and the Bengals will be running a new offense under first-year head coach, Zac Taylor. If Green plays 16 games, I have no doubt he will be a great fantasy player in 2019. A player of his ability should be able to learn a new offense and thrive in their new system. The bigger problem is that his injury history and age suggest he is an injury risk and that is not baked into his ADP of 32 in PPR Leagues. As a late third round or early fourth-round pick, he is going to need to play 16 games and be his usual dominant self to justify that ranking. Green has not finished two of his last three seasons, and while I woud be happy to have him on my fantasy roster, I do not think I will be drafting him in the first four rounds. I would prefer to take him in the late fifth or early sixth round, but his ADP and past success will probably not allow me to take him that late.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)

Antonio Brown (OAK): WR7
Getting AB as a late second-round pick is potentially a steal, but anyone with a Twitter account must have some serious reservations about this dude. Once known for his ascending talent and incredible work ethic, he’s been regressing emotionally at an alarming rate for the past few seasons and now finds himself in an entirely new situation. Few would argue that Derek Carr is a significant downgrade from Big Ben at QB, and the Raiders may again be one of the league’s worst teams this season. While he turns 31 before the season begins, I have no reservations about his talent level fading this year. I also think he will start the season in a dominant fashion (as the Raiders force the ball to him), but what happens if/when JuJu or Amari overtake him statistically? Speaking of statistics, in 2018 Ben was the No. 3 QB, while Carr was No. 17. The Steelers were the second best passing offense while Oakland was 18th. Those facts alone would cause me to fade Brown somewhat, but consider this — within the past year he’s apparently missed a practice with the Steelers, a court date for a charge of reckless driving, and the first day of OTAs with the Raiders. If I want to see someone breaking bad, I’ll watch AMC.
– Sheldon Curtis  (@sheldon_curtis)

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