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9 Biggest Trap Picks (Fantasy Football)

Jun 18, 2020

Low TD output and the potential for poor QB play sink Keenan Allen’s value

Fantasy football can be a cruel game. For every surprise stud who pushes teams to new heights, there is a bust that will send your squad screaming down the standings. These guys are traps. They look like attractive options at first, but then you see the red flags once you dig a little deeper. Issues like a player’s ADP being at his ceiling, being on the wrong side of 30 when their team spent high draft capital on their replacement, unsustainable efficiency, bad offensive situations, and a spotty injury history are just a few indicators that should push you away. Today our featured experts take a look at which running backs and wide receivers they believe have the highest chance to leave unsuspecting fantasy owners disappointed.

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Q1. What WR in our consensus top 40 is most likely to produce far below expectations?

Keenan Allen (LAC): Consensus Rank – WR20
“I hate betting against good football players, but I just can’t get into Allen this year. The situation in Los Angeles is far worse than most realize. Tyrod Taylor has never thrown the ball more than 437 times in a single season. Meanwhile, there’s no one in their right mind that would throw rookie Justin Herbert back to pass 35-plus times per game with Trey Pipkins as his left tackle. I currently have them projected for 75 fewer pass attempts than they had last year, which will impact all skill-position players. Allen isn’t someone who’ll score touchdowns to make up for the lack of targets, either. He hasn’t scored more than six touchdowns in each of the last six years.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

“It’s hard to see a path for Keenan Allen returning WR20 value this upcoming season. The Chargers are going to move to a run-first team and Tyrod Taylor has never thrown more than 20 passing touchdowns in a season where he was the starter. Even if Justin Herbert comes in as the starter, he’s not going to instantly elevate this offense as a raw rookie quarterback. I’m likely to have zero shares of Keenan Allen this upcoming season.”
– Kyle Yates (FantasyPros)

Mike Evans (TB): Consensus Rank – WR8
“My top-40 wide receiver who I believe will underperform is Evans. Tom Brady isn’t a quarterback who is going to air it out and has a career 7.5 yards per attempt, per Pro Football Reference. Evans’ career yards per target is 8.7 and his yards per catch is 15.7. The Bucs added Brady’s safety blanket Rob Gronkowski too. Bucs head coach Bruce Arians wants to utilize 12 personnel more often this season, which means more targets closer to the line with two tight ends on the field. Rookie running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn should also see targets out of the backfield. Evans will remain a red zone target (second-most in NFL last season), but touchdown volatility is a concern with a wideout ranked in the top 10 on FantasyPros. I would draft lower-ranked receivers such as Adam Thielen, JuJu Smith-Schuster, D.J. Moore, Amari Cooper, and Odell Beckham Jr. before Evans. I see him as a mid-WR2 and tiered well below his current ranking.”
– Jeff Hicks (Expand The Boxscore)

Odell Beckham Jr. (CLE): Consensus Rank – WR11
“The move to Cleveland last year didn’t provide a large highlight reel of spectacular Mayfield-to-Beckham passes. A 55% completion rate from 130+ targets isn’t chemistry. The chemistry set easily goes to Jarvis Landry instead. OBJ has the diva bug and whenever you see that in a player, especially coming off a mediocre season, you’d do best to avoid that.”
– Richard Savill (Fantasy Six Pack)

Terry McLaurin (WAS): Consensus Rank – WR25
“You were really happy if you had McLaurin on your team for the first five weeks of last season, even though chances are he most likely wasn’t in your lineup for the first couple of them. There’s no questioning his talent and he certainly has the ability to improve in his sophomore season, but unfortunately, he can’t throw the ball to himself. McLaurin is being drafted as a borderline WR2, which is where he was for those aforementioned first five weeks (AKA pre-Haskins). For the nine games Haskins was in at quarterback, McLaurin was a WR4 and now we’re also dealing with a new run-oriented scheme. We’re banking a lot on Haskins significantly improving in order for McLaurin to warrant his current expectations.”
– Rich Piazza (Fantasy Shed)

Q2. What RB in our consensus top 30 is most likely to produce far below expectations?

Austin Ekeler (LAC): Consensus Rank – RB13
“Ekeler isn’t going to bust to the point where we will regret having him on our team, but we may regret using a third-round pick on him. Melvin Gordon may not be there any longer, but Joshua Kelley and to a lesser extent, Justin Jackson, are. Kelley has the capability to be a three-down back, though Ekeler will see the majority of the pass-catching duties. The problem with that is he will most likely not see the same 108 targets with Tyrod Taylor and/or Justin Herbert at quarterback. More than half of his total touchdowns last season came during Gordon’s holdout. In fact, Ekeler didn’t have a single rushing touchdown once Gordon returned. His primary value is obviously in the passing game, and with a decrease in targets and touchdowns, comes a decrease in production.”
– Rich Piazza (Fantasy Shed)

Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC): Consensus Rank – RB15
“Edwards-Helaire is currently ranked as the RB15 in ECR. However, Andy Reid has a proven track record of leaning on his veteran running backs even when bringing in young talent. Most notably, Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy finished outside the top-35 running backs in their rookie seasons as both were stuck behind proven veterans under Reid. Even when we take a look at Kareem Hunt’s breakout 2017 rookie campaign, it took a preseason injury to Spencer Ware for Hunt to move to the top of the depth chart as the full-time starter. Currently going ahead of many proven veteran running backs, Edwards-Helaire will most likely fail to return top-15 value unless an injury occurs to Damien Williams.”
Bobby LaMarco (Expand The Boxscore)

Leonard Fournette (JAC): Consensus Rank – RB14
“I’ve been an advocate of Fournette in the past, but he’s likely to disappoint in 2020. The arrival of Jay Gruden isn’t what you’d call great for his usage in the passing game as he brought a familiar face in Chris Thompson along with him. Not many realize Fournette saw 100 targets in 2019, third among running backs, right behind Christian McCaffrey and Austin Ekeler. Those were a big source of fantasy points for a running back who’s generated just 3.95 yards per carry over his three-year career.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Le’Veon Bell (NYJ): Consensus Rank – RB19
“Bell is certainly being valued far less than what he was a year ago, but it’s still going to be hard to envision him returning RB19 value. This Jets coaching staff seems intent on utilizing multiple backs and Adam Gase has been clear that he didn’t want Bell on this roster from the beginning. Frank Gore and Lamical Perine are now both in town and there’s the possibility that they eat into Bell’s workload. This isn’t going to be a high-powered offense, so Bell would have to stay afloat from a fantasy perspective on the back of a large workload. With that potentially disappearing, it’s tough to pull the trigger and draft him even at his lowered price tag.”
– Kyle Yates (FantasyPros)

Chris Carson (SEA): Consensus Rank – RB17
“Carson is a danger pick for several reasons. His injury record remains an issue and the Seahawks may look to remedy that by easing his workload. The signing of Carlos Hyde is an indication. Beyond this, Seattle is also holding Rashaad Penny and Travis Homer close at hand. If we see four running backs in the final 53, Carson may not hold lead duties throughout 2020.”
– Richard Savill (Fantasy Six Pack)

Thank you to the experts for giving us their biggest trap picks. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and subscribe to our podcast below for advice all year round.

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