Never Again Team (2021 Fantasy Football)
We’ve all been burned before in our fantasy football drafts. You take one guy too early who fails to deliver or you draft a player that completely busts, and you feel like you’ll never trust that player again. However, most of the time you will get over your anger by the upcoming season and draft them again when you are on the clock.
This is not one of those times. There are players who you seriously cannot trust again and should avoid drafting at all costs. I am going to construct a roster with a group of players who I personally will never draft again. Now, I usually don’t advise holding a bias against any player, because circumstances often change that make them a value and worth drafting. In this case, though, feel free to avoid these players at all costs.
Here is my “Never Again” Team.
I am not talking solely about redraft leagues with this one. I will not draft Goff in any format, including dynasty, SuperFlex, and 2QB leagues. Goff has almost no upside, as he’s not a high-volume passer and is one of the more immobile quarterbacks in the league. In the past, I had convinced myself that Goff could continue to thrive as Sean McVay’s scheme made up for his unremarkable talents. Now that he’s in Detroit, he has no safety net.
Think about it this way. What is the best stat-line you can envision from Jared Goff? Personally, I can’t see him throwing for more than 250 yards or two touchdowns per game. A quarterback whose ceiling is 18 fantasy points is not one I want on my roster. This position necessitates upside, as you are tasked with facing elite options like Patrick Mahomes (QB – KC) or Kyler Murray (QB- AZ) nearly every week. I’d rather take my chances with Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB- WFT) or Taysom Hill (QB – NO) than even glance in Goff’s direction.
This isn’t signaling out Raheem Mostert. This is more of a precautionary warning to the most ambiguous of backfields, which mainly derive from Santa Clara and Foxborough. Despite how promising a running back looks in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, it’s almost always a mirage. After the 2019 season, where Mostert came out of nowhere with an RB25 finish off of 137 carries for 772 yards and eight touchdowns, many thought he’d claim the role as the 49ers workhorse running back moving forward. Heck, they even gave him more money to keep him on board.
However, as history has shown us, you can’t trust a running back from Shanahan’s 49ers. Every year, people fool themselves into drafting a 49ers running back in the hopes that he will set the fantasy world ablaze in one of the most prolific rushing offenses in the NFL. And every year, those same people are disappointed to find out that Shanahan does not care about your fantasy team and will choose any random running back to give the bulk of the carries. Maybe Trey Sermon (RB – SF) breaks the mold, but until someone in Santa Clara does, I am avoiding 49ers running backs.
I think we just need to admit that Ronald Jones will never garner Bruce Arians’ favor to see a lead role in the Buccaneers’ backfield. Despite having a second-round pedigree, Jones has never seen more than 200 carries in a single season. He’s been benched multiple times by Arians for missing blocking assignments or fumbling, and he’s always had to split work with other runners.
This year, he’ll have more competition than ever before, as Leonard Fournette (RB – TB), Ke’Shawn Vaughn (RB – TB), and Gio Bernard (RB – TB) all look to play a role in the 2021 Buccaneers’ game plan. I can’t imagine the frustration of spending a mid-round pick on Jones, only to watch him sit on the sidelines as the bevy of other backs take handoffs at the goal-line or get targets out of the backfield. I am out on Jones so long as he’s in Tampa Bay.
I am sure much of the public is with me on this one. My critique of Brown’s fantasy value isn’t so much that I distrust Lamar Jackson (QB – BAL) as a passer, but more so that I distrust Greg Roman as a play-caller. Greg Roman has had several stints as an offensive coordinator in the NFL, and it has rarely worked out for the passing prospects of his quarterbacks. Whether it be Colin Kaepernick, Tyrod Taylor (QB – HOU), or Lamar Jackson, each quarterback saw a greater focus placed on their rushing prowess than their deep ball acumen. While many are saying that this will finally be the year we see the Ravens go heavier on the passing attack, I am not buying it.
Aside from Roman, Brown has even greater competition for targets in this offense, with Sammy Watkins (WR – BAL), Rashod Bateman (WR – BAL), and Tylan Wallace (WR – BAL) joining the fold. Jackson’s worst trait as a passer is hitting his receivers on the perimeter, and that’s where Brown is most likely to line up. Brown’s boom-or-bust fantasy value is bound to disappoint, so I am avoiding him at all costs.
If I didn’t hammer home my low expectations for the Ravens’ pass-catchers in my last blurb about Marquise Brown, let me drive it home by discussing why Sammy Watkins should never be drafted. Forget the fact that he will be wearing a Ravens uniform this fall; that’s moot. Watkins may be the most inconsistent fantasy player we have ever seen. Despite spending one year with Sean McVay’s super offense in L.A. and three years with Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City, Watkins has never finished as a top-36 wide receiver for fantasy.
Watkins also hasn’t played a full season since his rookie campaign, averaging over four missed contests per year since 2015. His injuries are also unpredictable, as all of the reports will say that he’s good to go for the game right up until kickoff; then, suddenly, he will be a late scratch and you need to scramble to find a replacement off of the waiver wire. I don’t care if he puts up 200 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1. I DO NOT want Watkins on my roster.
Evan Engram shouldn’t even be eligible to draft on fantasy platforms this upcoming season; he has been that much of a disappointment. Despite being the most talented receiver in New York for the past two seasons, Engram continually “drops the ball” for his fantasy managers. After playing the first full season of his career in 2020, Engram converted his 109 targets into just 63 catches for 654 yards and one touchdown. Surprisingly, that’s been his best stat-line since his rookie year.
The Giants brought in a host of other pass-catchers this offseason to steal targets away from Engram, including former Lion Kenny Golladay (WR – NYG), first-round pick Kadarius Toney (WR- NYG), and reliable veteran Kyle Rudolph (TE – NYG). Engram cannot be trusted in what is an already questionable passing offense; I would draft 30 other tight ends before I put Engram on one of my rosters.
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