Here are players our experts are avoiding in early fantasy football drafts. You can find our full fantasy football rankings below, along with those that the analysts are higher and lower on compared to the FantasyPros Expert Consensus and Best Ball ADP.
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Players to Avoid (2023 Fantasy Football)
It will be strange to see Aaron Rodgers wearing a different shade of green now that he’s moved from the Packers to the Jets. The 39-year-old Rodgers still makes some dazzling throws, but he experienced some statistical slippage in 2022. He threw only 26 TD passes, and his 12 interceptions were the most he’d thrown in a season since 2008. He averaged 6.8 yards per pass attempt, the second-lowest mark of his 15 years as a starter. Rodgers’ days as a QB1 may be over. He finished QB13 in fantasy scoring last season, but he was QB21 in fantasy points per game among QBs who played at least 10 games. Don’t make the mistake of buying Rodgers based solely on the name brand. It’s possible the change of venue will rekindle interest in Favre, but the Jets’ defense is one of the best in the league, so Rodgers isn’t going to be involved in a lot of shootouts and may end up being a glorified game manager in 2023.
- Pat Fitzmaurice
Alvin Kamara had a year to forget in 2022 with QB/TE Taysom Hill seeing an increased role as a backfield rusher in the Saints offense. Hill earned more touches inside the 10-yard line (8 vs. 12) which limited Kamara to just two rushing TDs. AK41’s receiving usage also fell off a cliff toward the end of the year. From Weeks 13-18, Kamara never caught more than two passes. His target share fell from 22% to 11%. The days of him being a game-breaker as a receiver seem to be long gone as he has seen his pass-catching numbers fall off drastically compared to his first four years in the NFL when he was averaging nearly 90 receptions per year. The overall lack of TDs and receiving was heightened more so when Kamara’s poor rushing efficiency failed to make up for his loss in other production. The Saints running back ended the year second-worst in the rushing EPA (-41). Before the schedule eased up over the last four games, Kamara had just two games with 65 rushing yards. He still managed to finish as the RB15 in points per game (12.8), which might need to be his new fantasy expectation when he plays in 2023. Because there are serious question marks about Kamara’s availability in regards to a potential suspension on events from last year’s Pro Bowl. The general ambiguity will make him very risky to draft in the early rounds.
- Andrew Erickson
Chris Godwin had a productive 2022 in the shadow of his late-season 2021 ACL/MCL tear. Godwin was the WR15 in fantasy points per game as the Buccaneers’ insane passing volume elevated him. Godwin was 31st in target share (21.8%) and tenth in raw target volume (142) while only playing 15 games. The volume covered up his efficiency ugliness in 2022. He was neutered into being a low aDOT (5.6, 99th) receiver who also ranked 38th in yards per route run. Godwin was 96th in deep targets and 18th in red zone targets. He was 68th among 82 qualifying wide receivers in open rate (per ESPN analytics). Entering his age 27 season with uncertainty at quarterback (Kyle Trask and Baker Mayfield…WOOF!) and in the passing volume department, Godwin is a scary WR3.
- Derek Brown
Evan Engram had a terrific rookie season for the Giants in 2017, then spent the next four years failing to live up to expectations. He signed a one-year deal with the Jaguars in 2022 and thrived in his new environment, catching 73 passes for 766 yards and four touchdowns. Engram also had 7-93-1 in the Jaguars epic come-from-behind playoff win vs. the Chargers. Back with the Jags after being franchise-tagged, Engram will likely be drafted as a midrange or low-end TE1 this summer. That might be a slight overpay now that the Jaguars have added WR Calvin Ridley and have ample pass-catching weaponry on the roster to make target competition fierce.
- Pat Fitzmaurice
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