6 Third-Year Players to Avoid at ADP (2022 Fantasy Football)
While NFL seems to stand for ‘Not For Long’ more and more every year, players entering the league with decent draft capital tend to get at least three years to show their ability. Of course, some break out earlier, while others don’t get even a third year to prove themselves. Let’s take a look at third-year players you should avoid in your 2022 fantasy football drafts.
Rankings noted using FantasyPros half-PPR Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) and Consensus ADP.
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Third-Year Players to Avoid
Joe Burrow (CIN)
Joe Burrow finished the regular season as PFF’s highest-graded passer (91.2) while also ranking first in super sticky stats like passing grade from a clean pocket (94.6) and passing grade throwing at the intermediate level (95.6). He finished the season as the QB8 averaging just north of 20.5 fantasy points per game.
The Bengals quarterback has undoubtedly entered the conversation as one of the league’s best real-life NFL passers, but might be slightly overvalued based on early best ball ADP with impending regression. He’s the QB6 in our ADP consensus despite finishing as a top-6 fantasy quarterback just thrice in 2021.
No quarterback scored more fantasy points over expectation, which hints that regression will hit Burrow in 2022. The LSU product also rushed for just 118 yards and two TDs. He rushed for fewer yards than Mac Jones, who is notorious for being ranked low across consensus due to his lack of upside as a rusher.
Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)
Somebody on the Miami Dolphins is in for a rude awakening come September. Mike Gesicki, Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill are all being pushed up the rankings/draft boards with hopes that Tua Tagovailoa takes a massive step forward in Year 3 under first-year head coach Mike McDaniel.
I am not as optimistic that Tagovailoa can be the vehicle to deliver fantasy goodness to all these pieces in South Beach because this offense is going to be run-heavy. McDaniel made his way up the coaching ranks under Kyle Shanahan as a standout run-game coordinator. And should he follow in the footsteps of Shanahan as the offensive mastermind in Miami, fantasy managers should expect a lot of rushing and YAC schemes.
49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo ranked 29th in aDOT in 2021 (7.6) after ranking 39th and 35th in the category the two years prior. Tagovailoa’s aDOT was 34th in the league (7.6) in 2021.
Jimmy G’s most productive seasons have seen him average just north of 16 fantasy points per game – good for QB17 in 2021. Tagovailoa has yet to eclipse 14 fantasy points per game two years into his career. He also ranked 31st in throwing at the intermediate level (62.5 PFF grade) among 37 qualifying passers last season.
So although Tua is viewed as a popular late-round quarterback among fantasy circles, I have to admit I won’t be pulling the trigger on him in 1QB redraft formats. Especially with his brutal early schedule. New England, Baltimore and Buffalo are hardly the stream-worthy spots you will be confident in starting the southpaw QB. In the Dolphins quarterback’s four combined starts versus those teams in 2021, his fantasy finishes were QB23, QB24, QB18 and QB16.
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Antonio Gibson (WAS)
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.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC)
When you have four running backs, you really have none. The problem with the Chiefs is they don’t have a “commitment” to running the football to begin with, and now CEH has Ronald Jones II, Jerick McKinnon and Derrick Gore to compete with for carries. It’s still possible that CEH is the best of this group and wins out the lion’s share, but is that lion’s share worthy of a top-60 ADP? I don’t think so. The Chiefs ranked 20th in rush attempts last year and 23rd in 2020. Too many options, too many outcomes and not enough upside for the investment cost in my opinion.
James Robinson (JAC)
Robinson tore his Achilles at the end of the 2021 season. Assuming he stays on track, he may be back at training camp. However, looking at the Cam Akers archetype, Robinson may start inefficiently or not at all — which is not good given his UDFA pedigree and that he was originally signed under a different regime. Additionally, Travis Etienne looks to be making a full recovery from his own foot injury. Just because Robinson returns to play, he may not get much useful or fantasy-relevant work at the start of the season with Snoop Conner and Ryquell Armstead also hungry for touches.
Albert Okwuegbunam (TE – DEN)
The TE13 ranking has some precedent, but it’s simply too high. Recently in his career, Wilson hasn’t really targeted the TE position. Yet, at one point, he played with a peak Jimmy Graham, who had two TE4 finishes in a row. Some might take that as evidence that Wilson is able to sustain a top TE talent, but recent TEs haven’t found as much love from Wilson. Arguably, Okwuegbunam may find even less attention than previous TEs. He’ll have to compete for targets against Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick and backfield pass-catchers Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon. I’d love to be wrong, but you’re better off letting someone else reach for Albert O.
FantasyPros Staff Consensus 2022 Redraft Fantasy Football Rankings
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