Our analysts are here to share a few of the running backs they are avoiding this fantasy football draft season. And be sure to check out their full list of players to avoid as part of our 2022 Fantasy Football Draft Kit.
- Matthew Freedman’s Players to Avoid
- Derek Brown’s Players to Avoid
- Andrew Erickson’s Players to Avoid
- Pat Fitzmaurice’s Players to Avoid
- Joe Pisapia’s Players to Avoid
Rankings noted using FantasyPros half-PPR Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) and Consensus ADP.
5 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers to Avoid
Keenan Allen (LAC)
ECR WR11 | ADP WR11
Allen’s route-running and ball skills are the work of a true artist, and he knows it.
Allen had a career-high 106 receptions for 1,138 yards last season, and he’s playing with one of the best young quarterbacks in the game. So, what’s the problem?
Well, Allen’s efficiency numbers have been tumbling. He’s averaged 11.7 yards per catch and 8.0 yards per target for his career, but those numbers slipped to 10.3 and 7.0 over the last two years combined. Allen isn’t a big-play guy — only 11.3% of his 2021 receptions covered 20 or more yards — and he’s exceeded six TD catches only once in the last eight years.
Now entering his age-30 season, Allen has also seen a year-over-year decline in yards per route run.
Allen is a trusted brand name, which is why he has a third-round ADP. But he hasn’t been a top-10 receiver in fantasy points per game (0.5 PPR) since 2017, and his numbers are trending in the wrong direction. You should want a higher ceiling from a third-round receiver.
– Pat Fitzmaurice
Chris Godwin (TB)
ECR WR29 | ADP WR20
Chris Godwin is a great talent on a desirable fantasy offense, but he may be starting the year on the PUP list. At WR24 right now, that’s an expensive cost for a guy missing games and working his way back from an injury. Russell Gage can be had at WR46 and is certainly the cheaper and safer early-season investment.
– Joe Pisapia
Adam Thielen (MIN)
ECR WR34 | ADP WR29
Adam Thielen finally started to show his age last year. Thielen’s yards per route run fell to 1.63, which ranked 48th among qualifying wide receivers (50 or more targets, per PFF). The Vikings consolidated passing attack, and Thielen’s red zone role could help him retain value in fantasy football, but if father time is nipping at his heels, the ceiling is capped. Even if Thielen posts another productive WR3 type season in 2022, the chances of reaching his WR14 and WR11 levels of the two previous seasons are slim. Give me better upside propositions near his ADP in drafts.
– Derek Brown
Deebo Samuel (SF)
ECR WR7 | ADP WR6
There’s no reason to believe that Deebo Samuel will be able to sustain that same elite production from last season. Natural regression is firmly in play considering that no WR earned more fantasy points above expectation than Samuel did in 2021. And that number doesn’t come as a surprise considering that nearly 30% of Samuel’s fantasy points came from rushing alone — 365 rushing yards, eight rushing touchdowns — and that Samuel scored three touchdowns of 75-plus yards.
Samuel’s usage in the San Francisco offense seems destined to change with him voicing displeasure over his RB/WR hybrid deployment. That’s also not factoring in the rushing attempts and short-to-intermediate targets that Samuel could lose with mobile second-year QB Trey Lance becoming the starter, or increased target competition from a fully healthy George Kittle and out-of-the-doghouse Brandon Aiyuk.
It’s forgotten that Samuel’s fantasy numbers and target share would have dipped during the second half of the season had it not been for the rushing, with Aiyuk and Kittle both fully installed in the offense.
There’s no guarantee that the planets align for Samuel — in fact, it’s very unlikely — that made him a fantasy revelation in 2021. His long injury track record dating back to college should also not be overlooked, nor should the overall run-heavy nature of the 49ers’ offense that can make targets scarce.
He’s just too expensive as the WR6, which assumes everything he did last season will happen again.
– Andrew Erickson
Allen Robinson (LAR)
ECR WR26 | ADP WR28
Robinson’s second NFL season (1,400 yards, 14 touchdowns) was transcendent. It was also seven years ago, and since then he has been more of an accumulator than a playmaker … and last year the accumulation stopped.
People seem to assume that Robinson will automatically see 120-plus targets in 2022 — but that’s what they assumed last year, and Robinson has a hard cap on his ceiling given that he will play behind Cooper Kupp and has averaged just 7.7 yards per target since his 2017 ACL tear.
– Matthew Freedman
FantasyPros Staff Consensus 2022 Redraft Fantasy Football Rankings
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