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7 Players to Avoid at Their ADP (Fantasy Football)

Jul 30, 2020

Le’Veon Bell may burn fantasy managers yet again in 2020

Those who drafted towards the middle of the first round last year were left with a few less-than-appealing running back options in the form of David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, and James Conner, none of whom finished as a top-16 back in half-PPR leagues. Those who had the great misfortune of nabbing Johnson got burned in a very bad way. His 2018 campaign was marred by poor quarterback play and embarrassingly low usage, but the selection of Kyler Murray and the acquisition of Kliff Kingsbury along with his promise to increase the offense’s tempo and utilize Johnson in space heavily increased his stock. Multiple lower-body ailments that sidelined him for three games and nearly total ineffectiveness with the ball in his hands forced the team to acquire Kenyan Drake, further cratering his value en route to an RB38 finish. Even though the 28-year-old is now slated to be Houston’s workhorse back, many of Johnson’s fantasy managers from 2019 have already declared “never again.”

He is just one of many athletes over the years who have hurt drafters so much that they decide to avoid them at (almost) all costs. Our featured experts have weighed in on which guys have scarred them so badly that they would think thrice before taking another chance on them. Keep in mind that the players mentioned are only being avoided relative to their average draft position (ADP). These analysts may reconsider if the following athletes were to fall far enough in drafts.

2020 Draft Kit: View printable cheat sheets, sleepers & mistakes to avoid >>

Q1. Who is one RB that burned you so bad you can’t fathom taking them at or near their half-PPR ADP?

Le’Veon Bell (NYJ): ADP – 39th Overall | RB19
“I don’t see how anybody who drafted Bell last season is ready to get back on that train. He has been in a full-on decline for four straight seasons and really bottomed out for the Jets in 2019, averaging a pedestrian 3.5 yards per carry and ranking 51st out of 55 running backs with a 0.4% breakaway rate. Throw in the struggles of New York’s offensive line and the sagging relationship between the team and Adam Gase and you have a situation to avoid.”
– Jody Smith (FantasyData)

“It’s been two years, but the wound is still somewhat fresh from when I drafted Le’Veon Bell No. 2 overall. Fortunately, I was smart enough to grab James Conner with my last pick, but to have Bell rot on my bench for basically the entire season (yes, I foolishly held out hope he would show up) was not fun. Besides my distaste for Bell, the jury is still very much out on every other part of the Jets’ offense – Sam Darnold, the new-look offensive line, the unproven receiving corps – not to mention head coach/play-caller Adam Gase. Regardless of the questionable pieces around him, I simply won’t let Bell burn me twice.”
– Mark Ross (Athlon Sports)

Sony Michel (NE): ADP – 82nd Overall | RB31
“I wouldn’t necessarily assert that Michel has burned me personally, but I do not trust the man. He has underwhelmed in his first two seasons, just underwent foot surgery, and is fixing to be vultured at the goal line by at least Cam Newton. James White, Damien Harris, and Rex Burkhead are all vying for touches, too. I’m staying away from the third-year back.”
– Zach Greubel (Gridiron Experts)

Todd Gurley (ATL): ADP – 40th Overall | RB18
“I’m unlikely to have any shares of Gurley this season. While he’s shown that he can be an incredible running back for fantasy football, there have simply been too many question marks surrounding him the past couple of years and it’s led to some disappointment as a fantasy player.”
– Kyle Yates (FantasyPros)

Q2. Who is one WR that burned you so bad you can’t fathom taking them at or near their half-PPR ADP?

Keenan Allen (LAC): ADP – 46th Overall | WR19
“It’s a little harsh to blame getting burned on a serious injury, but Allen didn’t help my team at all when he tore his ACL in the first half of the 2016 season opener. Now my reticence with taking him this season doesn’t have to do with his injury history, as he’s posted three straight productive campaigns with a surgically repaired knee. Instead, it’s the fact that he won’t have Philip Rivers throwing to him. Those two clearly had a nice rapport and I just don’t see the same thing happening with Tyrod Taylor, at least not right away. That’s enough uncertainty for me to pass on Allen and look elsewhere for my WR2.”
– Mark Ross (Athlon Sports)

Stefon Diggs (BUF): ADP – 56th Overall | WR24
“I was all in on Diggs last season, but I don’t see Buffalo’s offense as a good fit for both he and John Brown, who has already established chemistry with quarterback Josh Allen. Diggs is currently being drafted as a WR2 with an ADP of WR24, but I feel like he’s going to be an inconsistent producer as a weekly head-to-head option. Undoubtedly there will be some solid performances, but in the case of Diggs, love the talent, not the fit.”
– Jody Smith (FantasyData)

Odell Beckham (CLE): ADP – 33rd Overall | WR12
“Some fantasy owners have had enough of Beckham Jr. after his disappointing start with the Cleveland Browns relative to his youthful days with the Giants. His numbers have dropped off significantly since moving west. While I won’t be surprised to see somewhat of a rebound in 2020, I’d prefer grabbing someone like D.J. Moore or Calvin Ridley instead of taking the risk on OBJ as a low-end WR1.”
– Zach Greubel (Gridiron Experts)

Amari Cooper (DAL): ADP – 26th Overall | WR10
“Cooper at WR10 is an easy answer for me here. He’s burned me so many times with zero-point performances that have cost me some matchups. While he does have the talent and potential to put up the ridiculous games here or there, he’s simply too unpredictable. When you consider in the fact that he’s being drafted at or above his ceiling, I’m out.”
– Kyle Yates (FantasyPros)

Thank you to the experts for sharing which players they’d never draft again. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and subscribe to our podcast below for advice all year round.

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