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5 Players to Never Draft Again (2020 Fantasy Football)

Jul 24, 2020

For all of his immense upside, Will Fuller can’t stay on the field.

“I am done with {insert player name here}.”

This is certainly a common statement among fantasy players. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, (or even more times in the case of Corey Davis) and we’re through!

But really, while there is often hyperbole in lists of players to never draft again — since most will certainly provide some value at reduced draft capital — there are a few players that our writers are avoiding in 2020 after being burned in previous years.

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Q: Which player will you never draft again?

Odell Beckham Jr. (WR – CLE)
The only reason Odell Beckham Jr. has an ADP of WR12 this year (half-PPR) is due to his incredible fantasy production with the Giants …between 2014 and 2016! In his first three NFL seasons, Beckham averaged a whopping 21.2 PPR fantasy points per game, finishing in the top-seven at his position each year. After battling injuries in 2017 and 2018, he was traded to the Browns, where he finished as the WR25 in PPR leagues. He went from seeing 10.6 targets per game from Eli Manning between 2014 and 2016 to just 8.3 targets per game from Baker Mayfield last season. He’s still drafted as if he’s the only game in town with Manning still throwing him the football. In Cleveland, Beckham has a ton of competition for targets.

The Browns brought in one of the top pass-catching tight ends in the league during the offseason in Austin Hooper, paying him $44M over four seasons. Between Hooper, Jarvis Landry, Kareem Hunt, and (for now) David Njoku, I just can’t ever see Beckham getting 10.6 targets per game. People still have high hopes for Mayfield as the number one overall pick in 2018, but I’m not one of those people. Now the Browns brought in new head coach Kevin Stefanski from Minnesota. As the offensive coordinator and primary play-caller for the Vikings last season, he clearly wanted to establish the run. Kirk Cousins attempted a career-low 29.6 passes per game. Mayfield attempted 33.4 passes per game last season. We could certainly see an even more balanced attack in Cleveland this season, leading to a stronger ground attack with fewer pass attempts. While this could mean a much-improved Browns team, it puts yet another damper on Beckham’s fantasy value. Unless his ADP somehow slips to a low-end WR2, you won’t find me drafting Beckham again, because he’s never going to see the massive target share he saw his first three seasons.
– Adam Koffler (@AdamKoffler)

Leonard Fournette (RB – JAC)
Never say never. In 2018, I took Leonard Fournette 10th overall in a high-stakes league to watch him struggle with a foot injury (also suspended the first game of the fantasy playoffs) and record 439 rushing yards across eight games. The 25-year-old had a solid 2019 campaign, logging 265 carries for 1,1,52 yards and three touchdowns across 15 games. The Jaguars reportedly are ready to move on from Fournette and were unable to retrieve even a seventh-round pick for him. They declined his fifth-year option and brought in Chris Thompson to compete for touches.

Between injuries and trade rumors, there are so many questions surrounding Fournette. It’s tough to get excited about drafting him. The LSU product could be with a new team, or even a diminished role once the Jaguars are out of contention in 2020. I am probably biased since Fournette burned me so badly in 2018, but he’s on my do-not-draft list. With a current dynasty ECR rank of 19 among all running backs, I’d rather take a chance on other RBs with upside. This could be Fournette’s last season as a featured back for any NFL franchise, so with all the surrounding question marks around him, fantasy managers should pass on the former NFL first-round pick.
– Brad Camara (@beerad30)

Le’Veon Bell (RB – NYJ)
This is not as much an indictment on Bell as it is on his head coach. In Adam Gase’s first year as a head coach, he managed the NFL’s 17th-highest-scoring offense. Since then, he has been in charge of offenses that finished 28th, 26th, and 31st in points scored. Teams do not score points when Adam Gase is coaching. During Gase’s first year as a head coach, Jay Ajayi managed an RB11 finish. Since then, no running back has finished higher than RB17 under Gase. Last season, 35 different running backs posted at least one top-five weekly finish. Bell, the RB17 for the season, was not one of them. In 2018, Kenyan Drake also finished as the RB17. That year, 30 running backs posted at least one top-five weekly fantasy finish. While Drake was among that group, he did so only once.

Bell’s volume will ensure his floor remains safe. History suggests, however, that weekly upside is limited for running backs in a Gase-led offense. Factoring in Gase’s open displeasure with Bell’s presence on the Jets’ roster, and you have a recipe for fantasy disappointment. Although no one anticipates Frank Gore posing a real threat to Bell’s workload, Gase actually gave Gore 35 more carries than Kenyan Drake in 2018, even with Gore playing in two fewer games. There is potentially more cause for concern with Gase’s love for Gore than meets the eye. At the very least, it merits consideration. Gore has 312 carries to his credit over the past two seasons and has not toted the rock fewer than 156 times since his rookie year. Assuming Le’Veon does remain a Bell-cow, optimism exists with the expectation of improved efficiency. Bell ran for only 3.2 yards per carry last season. The Jets improved their offensive line this offseason, especially with the addition of first-round behemoth Mekhi Becton. Improved quarterback play and a less dysfunctional offense should result in a less predictable game plan, which could open up running lanes for Bell. If the workload remains secure, Bell has the opportunity to produce as a steady RB2. At his current ADP of RB19, however, drafters should target running backs with a more realistic chance of top-tier production.
– Mark McWhirter (@mmcw19)

James White (RB – NE)
This is less about White and more about a personal change in approach. Every year, I pounce on New England’s versatile running back at his accessible ADP. After all, his final-season tallies always justify the low cost. Every year, however, I only end up using him two or three times as a bye-week or injury replacement. Having finished as the RB22 in half-PPR leagues last year, White once again looks like a steal at his RB31 ADP. He’s a steady hand to keep around when desiring 9-10 points from your flex spot to stay afloat. Unfortunately, that doesn’t cut it in a shallower 10- or 12-team league (excluding full PPR), where such streaming options are readily available. White topped 16 half-PPR points just once last season. Throw in the uncertainty of losing Tom Brady, and I’m going to forgo the solid White in shallower 2020 drafts to instead swing for the fences with Damien Williams or J.K. Dobbins.

With all that said, I’ll probably still end up drafting White if he falls too far. Everyone has their price, so “Never again” doesn’t exist in my drafting vocabulary.
– Andrew Gould (@AndrewGould4)

Will Fuller (WR – HOU)
Fuller was one of my favorite players in the 2016 NFL Draft. He had 138 receptions for 2,352 yards and 29 touchdowns in the 2014 and 2015 seasons at Notre Dame. He was one of the most elite deep threats we had seen in recent years, and he also showed elite speed at the 2016 NFL Combine with a 4.32-second 40-yard dash. His career started with a bang, as he opened his rookie season with consecutive 100-yard games. Since that rookie season, when Fuller posted 47 receptions for 635 yards and two touchdowns, it has been nothing but injury-shortened campaigns. Fuller has started only 28 of 48 possible regular-season games the last three seasons, and he underwent a sports hernia procedure this offseason to deal with multiple groin injuries he suffered last season. A torn ACL cut short his 2018 season, and he missed six games in 2017 after breaking his collarbone in training camp.

Fuller ranked 54th among wide receivers in fantasy points last year, 67th in 2018, 54th in 2017, and 65th in 2016. Yet his overall ADP this year is 80th, and he’s the 35th-ranked fantasy wide receiver. I feel bad for Fuller. He’s one of the most gifted deep threats in the league. If he played a full season, he could dominate in fantasy leagues. However, he just does not play a full season; he is either injured, recovering from an injury, or waiting to be injured. While he will give you a few big games of 30-40 fantasy points, he will also miss a ton of time and contribute nothing. Fuller’s physical gifts always keep him in the fantasy discussion, but he never plays enough to live up to that potential. In daily fantasy, where I am not tied to him for the season, I would happily select him in a good matchup. I just don’t want to invest in him for an entire season anymore because he is not built for the long haul of 16 games.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)

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