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9 Must-Avoid Players (Fantasy Football)

Jul 2, 2020

It may be difficult for Devin Singletary to produce above his RB25 ranking

Hardcore fantasy football managers have already started to strategize for the upcoming season. The most successful gameplans are the ones that can correctly identify which guys (particularly later in drafts) are going to produce above their draft cost. However, what is arguably even more important is recognizing the players with early- or mid-round prices that could end up being weekly disappointments. There’s nothing that can crush your championship hopes like spending high draft capital on a bust. Just ask the people who selected Melvin Gordon or Antonio Brown last year. Our featured analysts have each listed one player they’re avoiding the most in drafts relative to their cost and explain why they are likely to return negative value on your investment.

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Q. What one player inside the top 100 in the half-PPR expert consensus do you plan on avoiding in all your drafts relative to their price and why?

Devin Singletary (RB – BUF): Consensus Rank – 56th Overall | RB25
“While his RB25 ranking feels about right, it’s hard to envision a realistic scenario in which Singletary turns a profit — or possesses much upside barring multiple injuries — as the 56th player off the board. Zack Moss and Josh Allen should handle almost all of the work near the goal line and it’s not unthinkable that Moss turns this into a split backfield. The addition of Stefon Diggs shrinks the target pie in the passing game even more — a pie that hasn’t been particularly favorable to running backs with Allen (15.9 percent target share in 2019, 17.4 in 2018). Last but not least, Buffalo does not have an overly favorable schedule and things get really challenging after the Week 11 bye (LAC, SF, PIT, DEN, NE).”
– Doug Orth (FFToday)

“It’s very likely that I’ll have zero shares of Devin Singletary this year. Experts are nine spots lower than ADP on him and for good reason. He is third in line for goal-line carries, as he was last year, which led to him getting just two carries inside the five-yard line. He also wasn’t particularly efficient in the passing game, leaving a lot to be desired. The addition of Zack Moss in the third round highlights the fact that they want to utilize a timeshare and Moss is the perfect thunder to Singletary’s lightning. The Bills GM already came forward and said Moss will take over the Frank Gore role, which means there just isn’t enough upside to select him close to his ADP.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Raheem Mostert (RB – SF): Consensus Rank – 60th Overall | RB26
“Seems as though everyone is hyped on Mostert, but I feel like we’ve seen this before. He was super-hot from Week 12 through the playoffs, but a closer look reveals that his surge was touchdown fueled (12 touchdowns in nine games) and hyper-efficient (over six yards per attempt). In the 18 games he played last year, he had two games over 85 yards rushing. They were also the two games he had over 14 carries. He feasted in a playoff game (220 yards, four touchdowns) we all watched against a weak Green Bay defense. He’s an undrafted, 28-year-old, 205-pound, journeyman back who doesn’t catch passes and flashed in a moment. Recency bias is strong here.”
– Kevin Wheeler (Draftwize)

“It’s understandable that some people would be enchanted by the big numbers Raheem Mostert rolled up in December and January — 715 yards and 12 touchdowns in his last eight games, playoffs included — but the overall profile suggests he could be in the Dexys Midnight Runners class of one-hit wonders. He’s 28, he’s only 205 pounds, he doesn’t catch many passes, he was basically a nonfactor on offense in four college seasons at Purdue and in his first four NFL seasons, and he’s destined to share work with Tevin Coleman and perhaps others. You’re going to draft him at or above his ECR of RB26 and No. 60 overall? Come on, Eileen.”
– Pat Fitzmaurice (The Football Girl)

A.J. Brown (WR – TEN): Consensus Rank – 38th Overall | WR16
“I really want to like Brown, but I can’t get behind him near WR16. Everything about his debut screams fantasy regression: tying for just 46th among wideouts in targets, racking up 20.2 yards per catch, and scoring on 15.4% of his catches. His quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, is also bound for regression from his 7.7% touchdown rate and league-leading 9.6 yards per attempt. Brown saw just 10% of the Titans’ targets inside the 10-yard line, tying for 119th in the league in that category. Is he likely to see some role growth in year two? Sure. But everything broke right to push Brown to his WR15 half-PPR finish last season. You don’t get that kind of luck two years in a row in the NFL. Plus, Tennessee’s run-heavy offense doesn’t sport the target upside to make up for his impending regression. I prefer other wide receivers in his range.”
– Matt Schauf (Draft Sharks)

Derrius Guice (RB – WAS): Consensus Rank – 79th Overall | RB30
“After missing his entire rookie season with a torn ACL in 2018, Guice then suffered another injury in Week 1 of the 2019 season. He managed to come back in Week 11, played four games, then suffered an MCL sprain, and missed the final three matchups of the year. In two seasons, he has just 42 carries for 245 yards. Fantasy football players should not only question Guice’s health, but also if he’s worthy of being drafted as the No. 27 running back, which is where he’s going in half-PPR drafts, according to the latest FantasyPros Average Draft Position data. With Adrian Peterson still in the mix, a new offense in Washington, and gadget rookie Antonio Gibson, Guice’s price point is just too costly considering the negative variables.”
– Bill Enright (Sports Illustrated)

Odell Beckham Jr. (WR – CLE): Consensus Rank – 28th Overall | WR11
“It is terrifying to be avoiding Beckham given his upside, but that’s what I’m doing at his current draft cost. He has already missed 21 games in his six-year career and he really should have missed several last year dealing with a core injury. Kevin Stefanski is going to institute a run-heavy attack like he did in Minnesota (48% run rate, fourth-most in the league) and Beckham won’t see the same 24.9% target share he did last year with the addition of Austin Hooper and with Kareem Hunt involved for the full season. Considering the injury history, the reduced targets, and the fact that he hasn’t topped seven touchdowns since 2016, I’m fading him at his current price.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

DeVante Parker (WR – MIA): Consensus Rank – 48th Overall | WR22
“On the surface, it appears Parker finally broke out in his fifth NFL year, but the confluence of circumstances that conspired to result in his first 1,000-yard season won’t be replicated in 2020. The Dolphins had the worst running game in the league, the second-worst defense, and no other capable receivers. From Weeks 1-9 when Preston Williams was on the field, Parker averaged 3.5 receptions and 50 yards per game in eight games. From Week 10 on, Parker racked up 100.3 yards per game with Williams shelved and the Fins constantly playing from behind. The return of Williams, the additions of Jordan Howard and Matt Breida at running back, and insertion of a rookie quarterback will revert Parker to a boom-or-bust flex play each week.”
– Pierre Camus (RotoBaller)

Melvin Gordon (RB – DEN): Consensus Rank – 37th Overall | RB18
“I will not be having any Gordon on any of my teams at the price he is going at now. There are a few reasons. One, he is on a new team and has to learn a new offense in online meetings. Two, he has had only one season where he has rushed for more than four yards per carry. His volume, touchdowns, and receiving work have really carried his value thus far in his career. Three, I know we all like the Denver offense and their new pretty toys, but do we really think it’s going to get Gordon the amount of work he got in the prime Chargers offense days? Don’t forget they still have Phillip Lindsay, who I don’t think is going to just let Gordon take 70% of the backfield touches.”
– Joe Bond (Fantasy Six Pack)

Evan Engram (TE – NYG): Consensus Rank – 72nd Overall | TE7
“Engram is the easy answer for me here. He’s had issues staying healthy over the past couple of seasons. Plus, this is a loaded receiving corps, the targets will be split pretty evenly, and he’s coming off of a foot surgery that he had in December. Engram’s certainly talented, and I like him as a player, but everything has to go his way this season for him to return value on his current ADP. I’m staying far away in 2020.”
– Kyle Yates (FantasyPros)

Todd Gurley (RB – ATL): Consensus Rank – 30th Overall | RB14
“Could Gurley have a bounce-back season and prove his former team wrong? Sure. Could he see little-to-no goal line touches and see his knees wear down throughout the season? That’s also a possibility. I find the latter to be slightly more likely, given what we already know about his knees, and I am not willing to spend a third-round pick on a player with documented knee issues.”
– Zach Brunner (FantasyPros)

Thank you to the experts for giving us their must-avoid players. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and subscribe to our podcast below for advice all year round.

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