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15 Players to Avoid at ADP (2022 Fantasy Football)

Jun 19, 2022
Patrick Mahomes

While it’s always important to identify the next big sleeper and breakout candidates, it’s equally important to avoid those fantasy football draft-day landmines. You know what I’m talking about. Those picks that torpedo your draft and have you behind the eight ball before the season begins. Don’t worry, we have you covered. Andrew Erickson and Derek Brown have shared their early players to avoid based on their average draft position (ADP).

Patrick Mahomes (QB – KC): QB2
Despite the ups-and-downs of the KC Chiefs offense as a response to the Cover 2 defense, Patrick Mahomes was as stellar as ever from a fantasy perspective. The former MVP ranked fourth in fantasy points per game (22.0) tying Justin Herbert with 12 weekly top-12 QB finishes. Still, Mahomes averaged fewer fantasy points per game than in 2020 (25.2).

Additionally, the loss of Tyreek Hill cannot be ignored heading into 2022. The duo ranks second in combined passing touchdowns (41) since 2016 – despite Mahomes not becoming the starter until 2018. Mahomes can’t totally be written off as a top-five fantasy option – QB4 without Hill through the first five weeks of 2019 averaging 25 fantasy points per game – but there’s real concern about his top-tier weekly ceiling without Hill.

Especially coming off a season where he posted a career-low PFF passing grade (77.5) and a career-high in interceptions (16). He’s likely being overvalued as the QB2 in early best ball drafts on name recognition alone.
– Andrew Erickson

Kyler Murray (QB – ARI): QB5
Last season was another tale of two halves for Kyler Murray. In Weeks 1-8, with DeAndre Hopkins healthy, he was on fire as the QB6 completing 72.6% of his passes with 8.8 yards per attempt while averaging 284.5 passing yards per game. After Week 9, with Hopkins banged up and in and out of the lineup, Murray was the QB16 with a 65.3% completion rate, 6.7 yards per attempt, and 251.8 passing yards per game. Fast forward to this season, and Hopkins is now slated to miss the first six games of the season. The trade to acquire Marquise Brown‘s services and drafting Trey McBride will help, but it’s understandable to tread carefully with Kyler Murray exposure this season.
– Derek Brown

Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT): WR14
The ADP market believes that Mitchell Trubisky or Kenny Pickett can take the Steelers to the fantasy promised land. I am not as optimistic.

The best-case scenario for the Steelers’ No. 1 wide receiver is seeing a boatload of targets – albeit inefficient like last season when he ranked second in that category – to deliver for fantasy.

Whether it’s Trubisky or the rookie under center, that is the reality with DJ. Let’s not forget that last year’s heavily-coveted rookie quarterback class produced almost zero reliable options outside of Brandin Cooks (WR20), Jakobi Meyers (WR33) and Kendrick Bourne (WR30).

So with a top-15 early best ball ADP in an offense with more competition for targets between Chase Claypool, Pat Freiermuth, George Pickens and Calvin Austin III, I would need Johnson to fall significantly in drafts before selecting him.
– Andrew Erickson

Tyreek Hill (WR – MIA): WR8
Heading into 2021, Tyreek Hill was a consensus top-three receiver option. But he came in slightly under expectations. The ‘Cheetah’ wrapped a bow on the year as the WR6 overall and in points per game (14.2).

It’s worth noting that Hill posted a career-low in yards after the catch per reception (4.3, 42nd) and yards per route run (2.14, 11th). Hill’s aDOT also dipped dramatically to 10.6, which was the lowest it’s been since his rookie season.

And It’s undeniable that going from Patrick Mahomes to Tua Tagovailoa is a massive downgrade for Hill. Tagovailoa has yet to show that he can properly fuel a fantasy WR1, so it’s hard to expect Hill to deliver a top-5 season with a lesser passer. Especially with Tagovailoa’s lack of a confident deep ball, a prominent running game, and Jaylen Waddle also heavily involved in the offensive game plan. Sure, Hill will have his weeks when he is peppered with low-value targets in PPR formats, but the massive downfield touchdowns will happen much less frequently.
– Andrew Erickson

DeAndre Hopkins (WR – ARI): WR35
DeAndre Hopkins wasn’t completely washed last season, but his days as an elite alpha wide receiver could be over. Last season he was the WR21 in fantasy points per game as he logged his first season since 2017 outside the top 20 in targets per snap. Hopkins only commanded a 20.5% target share which was good for 35th among wideouts. While the suspension should ensure that Hopkins will return fully healthy, it’s not a sure thing that we don’t see his numbers decline further in 2022. He ranked 31st in yards per route run last season (minimum 50 targets, per PFF).
– Derek Brown

D.K. Metcalf (WR – SEA): WR15
The difference between having Geno Smith/Drew Lock at quarterback versus Russell Wilson cannot be overstated enough. It’s a horrible situation to be in and puts D.K. Metcalf in a tough spot.Although the alpha wideout did rise to the occasion under a small sample size last season, averaging 14.9 fantasy points per game (15th – same as his final season-long standing) without Wilson at quarterback for three games. But I am suspect that removing their quarterback that led the NFL in yards per attempt (10.4), passer rating (133.6), and passer rating from a clean pocket (130.9) before his finger injury is going to create a much larger impact over a 17-game sample size.
– Andrew Erickson

Chris Godwin (WR – TB): WR20
Chris Godwin posted another stellar season last year as the WR7 in fantasy football. He set opposing defenses on fire as Tom Brady‘s underneath weapon, ranking eighth in YAC per reception and fifth in overall YAC yardage. The biggest question for Godwin in 2022 isn’t talent but his recovery from an ACL and MCL tear sustained in Week 15 of last season. If Godwin is good to go, he’s a top 15 fantasy wideout, but tempering expectations early on if he’s limited or starts on the PUP pushes him into WR2/WR3 territory based on possible time missed.
– Derek Brown

Allen Robinson (WR – LAR): WR34
Allen Robinson slots in alongside Cooper Kupp as the Rams’ number two receiving option after a down year with the Bears in 2021. In his final season in the Windy City, Robinson’s yards per route dipped to a career-low of 1.13, which ranked 79th out of 90 qualifying wide receivers with 50 or more targets. Even pigeonholing Robinson in the Odell Beckham role from last season isn’t as lucrative as it seems. In Weeks 12-18 last year, Beckham saw an 18.7% target share which would have ranked 44th among wide receivers. He also averaged 12.0 fantasy points per game which placed him as the WR31 in weekly fantasy production among wide receivers that started three or more games in that span. If his efficiency bounces back to previous levels, Robinson is a WR3 with WR2 upside.
– Derek Brown

Javonte Williams (RB – DEN): RB8
Running back Melvin Gordon signed a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos, ultimately halting the Javonte Williams 2022 breakout season. The idea of Williams playing a three-down role was salivating, but Gordon’s return should not be overlooked after a seriously underrated 2021 campaign.

MG3’s return definitely hurts Williams’ top-tier fantasy ceiling. He’s going to split work with another capable back in Gordon which is exactly what new head coach Nathaniel Hackett desires and spoke on at the NFL owners’ meeting in March.

However, keep in mind that Williams finished 13th in touches last season (246, 14.6 per game) and would be the favorite to take another step forward in the passing game – Aaron Jones-esque – after finishing as one of two rookie RBs inside the top-15 in route participation in 2021: Najee Harris (first) and Javonte Williams (13th).
– Andrew Erickson

Antonio Gibson (RB – WAS): RB12
Antonio Gibson has been a solid option over the last two seasons as the RB16 and RB17 in fantasy points per game. He also ranked tenth in yards per route run, fifth in evaded tackles, and 14th in juke rate. He was tied for seventh in carries inside the five-yard line and eighth in weighted opportunities. We already know the pass game usage is capped with J.D. McKissic resigned, but now the goalline could be in jeopardy with Brian Robinson on the depth chart. The team has talked about lightening Gibson’s load, so the threat of Robinson is real, especially if Gibson keeps putting the ball on the turf. Since 2020 he’s tied with Ezekiel Elliott for the most fumbles (six) in the NFL among running backs.
– Derek Brown

Elijah Mitchell (RB – SF): RB21
Elijah Mitchell ran away with the job last season en route to finishing as the RB14 in fantasy points per game. He was third in opportunity share, but his underlying rushing metrics were a lackluster ball of meh. He was 36th in juke rate, 30th in breakaway run rate, and 34th in yards created per touch. With his 7.0% target share and 25th ranking in route participation, he doesn’t have the pass game usage to save him if the rushing volume and efficiency aren’t there. It’s still possible that the 49ers roll it back in 2022 with him as the primary rusher, though, as long as he doesn’t face plant in camp.
– Derek Brown

Ezekiel Elliott (RB – DAL): RB18
Ezekiel Elliott is coming off a down season where some of this could be related to the fact he dealt with a partially torn PCL for much of the season (since Week 4). The spliced-up workload and his declining effectiveness could result from the injury or his advancing age and the toll that the NFL has taken on him. Elliott has amassed 1,938 touches (22 per game) over his six-year career, never handling less than 268 touches in any season. Elliott should be viewed as an RB2 in many formats that could slowly dissolve into a high-end RB3 if Tony Pollard gets more run in 2022.
– Derek Brown

Mark Andrews (TE – BAL): TE2
Last year, Mark Andrews was the early-round tight end who drove rosters to fantasy championships. The Baltimore Ravens’ fourth-year TE led the position with a 25% target share, 28% air yards share, and 17.5 fantasy points per game. He ran a route on 84% of offensive dropbacks, which also ranked first.

With Marquise Brown traded to the Cardinals, Andrews has solidified himself as clear TE1 with a still unproven second-year wideout as his main competition for targets.

However, be aware that even if Andrews does repeat his efforts as TE1 it may not be to the extent that it was in 2021. His 623 routes run were 209 more than he had in 2020 and fueled the career year. Andrews’ increase in route running was tied to the Ravens’ boosted pass-play rate (56%).

From 2019 to 2020, Baltimore passed on fewer than 46% of their plays. Because Baltimore’s increase in passing was due out of necessity in 2021, I’d project it to regress closer to the 2019-2020 rate for this upcoming season.
– Andrew Erickson

Dawson Knox (TE – BUF): TE9
Dawson Knox has major red flags on his profile from his impending touchdown regression to super-low target rate per route run (14%), so any role that O.J. Howard potential earns
coming in is a massive problem.

Considering Knox is being drafted in the middle-range of TEs (TE9) that typically have poor ROIs compared to guys going later, the Bills tight end remains hands-off.
– Andrew Erickson

T.J. Hockenson (TE – DET): TE6
We have likely seen the ceiling already for T.J. Hockenson, but that shouldn’t be construed as shade. Hockenson has now logged back-to-back TE7 finishes in fantasy points per game which is still extremely good, but it’s doubtful he ever reaches the heights of top 3-5 status. He’s also ranked 11th in each of the last two seasons in yards per route run (minimum 50 targets per PFF). With added target competition with the additions of Jameson Williams and D.J. Chark, Hockenson remains a top ten option at the position. Still, his ceiling is likely capped, keeping him outside the top five.
– Derek Brown

FantasyPros Staff Consensus 2022 Redraft Fantasy Football Rankings

2022 Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

 

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