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Avoid These 13 Players at Their Draft Price (Fantasy Football)

Sep 1, 2020

Josh Allen’s poor deep-ball accuracy hurts Stefon Diggs’ value

Statistics and prudence are the primary tools fantasy managers wield when predicting player performance. These are especially helpful when it comes to recognizing which higher-ranked athletes are due for a huge plummet in production. Examining depth charts, taking a hard look at the data, and using sound judgment are all effective at providing foresight on who you should steer clear of. As such, our featured fantasy analysts have used their knowledge and expertise to provide you with a little extra clarity on which players it may be wise to fade as we head into the NFL regular season.

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Q1. Who is one WR that you are fading hard at or near their current half-PPR ranking?

A.J. Brown (TEN): ECR – 39th Overall | WR16
“I’ve been pumping the brakes on Brown all offseason and will continue to do so while he remains on the cusp of WR1 territory. His yards per reception (Y/R) on the season would’ve been the league-high Y/R in each of the last five years and in seven of the last nine years. Yards per reception is among the most volatile statistics for wide receivers, meaning that it’s the least likely to be sustainable in this scenario. While Brown may see a slight uptick in targets, it is also reasonable to expect slight regression in touchdown rate and yards per reception. With him seemingly being the only real threat of the Titans’ WR group, opposing defenses will definitely be shadowing/doubling him more often while he draws the No. 1 corner every game. Brown will be a boom or bust-type WR this year where he might go for 140 and two touchdowns, or he’ll go for 35 yards and no scores. This makes it very difficult to trust him as a low-end WR1/high-end WR2.”
– Justin Dodds (Locked In Football)

A.J. Brown is an immense talent, but I want volume with my wide receivers. Sure, he should dominate the targets in Tennessee, but the Titans once again project to be one of the league’s run-heaviest offenses. For him to reach his absolute ceiling, the offensive philosophy in Tennessee will have to change and I don’t see that happening.”
– Adam Pfeifer (FTN)

Stefon Diggs (BUF): ECR – 66th Overall | WR27
“Last season, Diggs picked up 51 percent of his fantasy points on targets 20 or more yards downfield. That speaks to his talent as a deep threat, but we also know deep ball production is volatile from year to year. We also have to factor in his quarterback to that equation. According to Sports Info Solutions, Diggs saw a 77 percent catchable target rate on the deep ball in 2019. Meanwhile in Buffalo, Josh Allen’s on-target rate on the deep ball sat at 42.4 percent. It’s possible Diggs can make up for that dropoff in overall volume, but that’s not a risk I’m taking at his current ADP.”
– Ryan McCrystal (Draft Ace)

Darius Slayton (NYG): ECR – 109th Overall | WR42
“Slayton had a solid rookie season headlined by eight receiving touchdowns, but six of those touchdowns came in just three games. Outside of those three contests, he had more than four receptions in a game just once. While he has certainly flashed playmaking ability, I feel that his targets and consistency will be way down this year with a fully healthy Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram. I’d much rather draft Sterling Shepard or Golden Tate ahead of Slayton and I’m fading the second-year WR in 2020.”
– Bart Wheeler (Hail to Fantasy Football)

Cooper Kupp (LAR): ECR – 43rd Overall | WR18
“The Rams shifted to more two-TE sets over the second half of last season. For Kupp, that meant more snaps lining up outside the numbers — and a drop in both volume and efficiency. He ranked just 22nd among WRs in half-PPR points over the final eight games. That was despite tying for the lead among WRs with five touchdowns. If the Rams stick with those two-TE sets in 2020 (and I think they will), Kupp will disappoint fantasy owners.”
– Jared Smola (Draft Sharks)

Courtland Sutton (DEN): ECR – 51st Overall | WR23
“I don’t find myself drafting any Sutton. Not because he’s not a good football player — he certainly is. It’s due to the fact that this offense is suddenly littered with options and there aren’t likely to be enough attempts to go around to support him as a consistent WR2. If we knew Drew Lock was the real deal, sure, I’d buy in with slightly limited targets, but we don’t. There’s just too much uncertainty to draft him over some of the other options in that area of the draft.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

T.Y. Hilton (IND): ECR – 64th Overall | WR26
“Hilton still being up at WR26 in half-PPR ECR confuses me. While he’s a great talent, he’s been inconsistent over the past couple of seasons and has been in and out of the lineup. With no guarantee that Hilton plays all 16 games this year, it’s hard to get on board with drafting him as a borderline WR2. I’d prefer to have Jarvis Landry, Tyler Boyd, or even Diontae Johnson over Hilton this season and they’re all being drafted behind him.”
– Kyle Yates (FantasyPros)

Q2. Who is one RB that you are fading hard at or near their current half-PPR ranking?

Nick Chubb (CLE): ECR – 14th Overall | RB10
“Chubb is a concerning pick for me at his current ADP and ECR. From Weeks 1-9 last season (the weeks before Hunt joined the team), Chubb had an average snap share of about 74% and an average FP/G of 17.4 (RB5). Once Kareem Hunt arrived in Week 10, Chubb’s snap share fell to 64% and his average FP/G fell to 12.3 (RB21). With Chubb sneaking into the first round of drafts, or at least being taken within the first round and a half, his price tag is just too high for me.”
– Justin Dodds (Locked In Football)

Jonathan Taylor (IND): ECR – 38th Overall | RB19
“While I like Taylor in dynasty leagues, he makes me nervous in re-drafts. He averaged a fumble once every 53 touches at Wisconsin, which averages out to roughly one every other game. Additionally, he generated a drop rate of 18 percent, according to Sports Info Solutions. Those types of mistakes by rookies frustrate coaching staffs and often lead to a spot on the bench. Based on this track record of mistakes and the talented running back depth chart in Indy, it seems unlikely Taylor maintains a stranglehold on the starting job throughout the year.”
– Ryan McCrystal (Draft Ace)

Mark Ingram (BAL): ECR – 45th Overall | RB22
“Ingram was already a massive regression candidate after scoring 15 times on 228 touches last year. Then Baltimore went out and added stud rookie RB J.K. Dobbins, who is tailor-made for Baltimore’s RPO-heavy offense. Ingram also turned 30 this past December, which is always a scary age for RBs. There are multiple ways he can bust this season.”
– Jared Smola (Draft Sharks)

Aaron Jones (GB): ECR – 21st Overall | RB14
“Jones is an avoid for me. In his draft range, I’m usually picking receivers. Plus, I worry about touchdown regression, on top of the fact that 45 percent of his receptions from 2019 came with Davante Adams out of the lineup. Adams is healthy and the team brought in A.J. Dillon to add to an already crowded backfield.”
– Adam Pfeifer (FTN)

Le’Veon Bell (NYJ): ECR – 42nd Overall | RB21
“For me personally, I don’t want any part of Bell this season. Even though he may end up as a top-24 RB by the time everything’s all said and done, there’s too much volatility surrounding him for me to get on board. Adam Gase seems intent on essentially splitting Bell’s workload with Frank Gore and this offense isn’t going to be anything special in 2020. With very little scoring opportunities and no guarantee for max touches, I’m fine letting someone else deal with the potential rollercoaster of rostering Bell.”
– Kyle Yates (FantasyPros)

James White (NE): ECR – 79th Overall | RB30
“I’ve always been a proponent of drafting White as an unsexy value pick, but not this year. The offense will likely lose somewhere in the range of 50-100 pass attempts, which will drag his value down quite a bit. The Patriots’ backfield is as crowded as ever and Cam Newton hasn’t traditionally targeted his running backs very much. He’s more of a low-upside RB4 than the middling RB3 he’s being ranked as. There’s just no upside to drafting him there.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

J.K. Dobbins (BAL): ECR – 84th Overall | RB32
“It’s always tempting to draft shiny new rookies at the RB position, but I’m not sure that’s wise this season with Dobbins. Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram are likely to lead this strong rushing attack, but don’t forget about Gus Edwards and Justice Hill, who will still be in the mix. I’m finding it hard to see Dobbins carving out a significant role even by midseason, so his ranking near the top-30 running backs is too rich for my blood.”
– Bart Wheeler (Hail to Fantasy Football)

Thank you to the experts above for naming which players they’re avoiding. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and check out our latest podcast below for more fantasy advice.

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