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15 Players to Avoid Based on ADP: Picks for Each Round (Fantasy Football)

15 Players to Avoid Based on ADP: Picks for Each Round (Fantasy Football)

The NFL season is quickly approaching, and many players are going to fluctuate in value between now and the season starting, but right now, these are the fifteen players who stand out as players to avoid in the first 15 rounds of single quarterback leagues.

ADP Players to Avoid for Each Round (Fantasy Football 2023)

Here are players to avoid in each round of fantasy football drafts based on ADP.

Round 1 – Austin Ekeler (RB – LAC)

In 2022 Austin Ekeler thrived, setting a career-best 6.5 targets per game, a dramatic increase from his 2019-21 average of 5.0 per game. This was in part because Justin Herbert struggled through a rib injury that affected his throwing. Also, Mike Williams and Keenan Allen both missed plenty of time, meaning Ekeler was the most experienced and best player available for Herbert to lean upon in an offense that suffered from poor playcalling.

Only 16 wide receivers had more targets than Ekeler’s 124, but 28 other running backs averaged more rush attempts per game than Ekelers’ 12.1. Ekeler has talked consistently about not wanting to do the dirty work between the tackles so that he can be more explosive for the high-value situations he is called upon for. Ekeler has scored 18 touchdowns in back-to-back seasons, and as much as the Chargers have no other option at RB, if the touchdowns and targets regress, will his fantasy production go off a cliff?

Round 2 – Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND)

Jonathan Taylor’s fantasy value cratered in 2022, regressing from being the RB2 in points per game in 2021 all the way down to RB19 last year. Taylor struggled to look anywhere close to his former self with a particularly dry spell between Weeks 3-8 when he had 76 attempts and zero touchdowns to show for it, along with only averaging 13 receiving yards per game. Now with the Colts having Anthony Richardson at quarterback, we should expect Taylor to be more efficient, but it likely comes at the cost of some goal-line work and a dip in targets. For a round-two pick, that’s a dangerous choice to make.

Round 3 – DK Metcalf (WR – SEA)

In 2022 DK Metcalf finished the season as the fantasy WR25 in half PPR points per game, and since then, the team has added a potentially elite option in Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and although their styles of play are drastically different, it feels entirely possible that another strong option in the passing game eats into Metcalf’s fantasy production, which was already on a knife’s edge. In 2022 Metcalf delivered only five top 15 weekly finishes in half PPR formats, and for a round-three player, that’s not incredible.

Round 4 – Christian Watson (WR – GB)

If Aaron Rodgers was still in Green Bay, it would be much harder to argue against Christian Watson’s fourth-round cost, but with Jordan Love set to finally become the Packers starter, there is much we simply don’t know. Watson was incredibly efficient for a spell between Between Weeks 10 and 13, putting up 99 PPR points, which was good enough to be the WR3 in that period but then had just one more performance over 12 points for the rest of the season.

For all we know, Romeo Doubs could end up being Love’s primary target, and with Doubs available almost 100 picks later, that feels like a more palatable bet to make in an uncertain situation.

Round 5 – George Kittle (TE – SF)

It seems likely at this point that Brock Purdy should be available for much of the season, and it’s hard to imagine that he’s not the likely starter for the Niners, barring the usual injuries that seem to occur in that quarterback room. George Kittle had a fantastic year in 2022 with eleven touchdowns, which was almost double his previous career-high of six, but it’s impossible to ignore a few of the circumstances surrounding those touchdowns.

Kittle had the second-highest touchdown rate of any tight end who saw over 50 targets, but in the eight games with no touchdowns, he averaged a woefully disappointing 4.9 half PPR points, which is not helping anyone who has paid a fourth-round pick. Kittle dominated against opponents who struggled to defend against tight ends, dominating the Seahawks and Cardinals in particular, with six touchdowns against them across three games.

Round 6 – Mike Evans (WR – TB)

Year after year, Mike Evans has found a way to hit the 1,000 receiving yards line, but it feels like that test will be taller in 2023 than ever before. While Chris Godwin might be able to feast near the line of scrimmage regardless of quarterback, Evans relies on higher-difficulty throws to the boundary or deeper downfield, and neither Baker Mayfield nor Kyle Trask feels like a good bet for that to happen routinely.

Round 7 – Kadarius Toney (WR – KC)

The believers will point towards Kadarius Toney’s insanely high targets per routes run figures, which enhances that the team does enjoy looking towards him when he’s on the field. But the fact remains that in the conference championship and the Super Bowl combined, Toney ran just eight routes.

All the talk out of Kansas City is that the Chiefs view Toney as their WR1, but they also remain linked to DeAndre Hopkins consistently and were routinely linked to Odell Beckham Jr. before he signed with the Ravens. The only consistency in Toney’s career has been missing time, and for a seventh-round pick, the downside is plenty.

2023 Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Advice

Round 8 – Javonte Williams (RB – DEN)

The Broncos have said plenty of positive things about the health and status of Javonte Williams, but their actions perhaps speak louder than their words with Samaje Perine recruited as a priority free agent, and now they are reportedly interested in free agent Dalvin Cook. JK Dobbins‘s return from a similarly serious knee injury likely gave the Broncos plenty of reasons to slow-play Williams’s return from this injury. With the Broncos unlikely to compete this year, they would be best served to bring Williams along slowly. Even when Williams is healthy, with Perine on the roster, it’s entirely possible that this backfield operates as a running back by committee approach.

Round 9 – Jameson Williams (WR – DET)

When the Lions drafted Jameson Williams, they knew he would likely miss the majority of his rookie season due to an ACL injury. When he was healthy, they took a conservative approach with him, never playing him on more than 25% of snaps in a game. The plan was clear that Year 1 would be a write-off, but in Year 2, Williams could hit the ground running.

That was until Williams was suspended for six games due to a violation of the NFL’s gambling policy. Williams could be available from Week 7, but will have missed valuable time already this season and will again have to try and hit the ground running during the middle of a season. Williams profiles as a better option as a best ball player until we see otherwise.

Round 10 – Odell Beckham Jr. (WR – BAL)

There’s no doubt that the Ravens overpaid Odell Beckham Jr. in part to placate Lamar Jackson and in part to make sure that they delivered on their offseason talk of rebuilding their receiver room. Beckham Jr. will be fully healthy to start the season and wins on the field in a lot of ways that Lamar Jackson will like. But at age 30 and having lacked playing time over the last two years, it feels more likely that OBJ will be used situationally and perhaps turn into another red zone target for Jackson — something he’s lacked since Marquise Brown left Baltimore, meaning it was far easier for teams to dedicate coverage to Mark Andrews.

Round 11 – Jamaal Williams (RB – NO)

It wasn’t too long ago that Jamaal Williams was absolute money for the Detroit Lions inside the five-yard line, with their goal-line package as efficient as almost any in the league. Williams rushed for over 1000 yards and had 17 touchdowns before finding himself a free agent and making his way to New Orleans.

It’s possible that Williams has a nice start to the season if Alvin Kamara is suspended for ongoing legal issues, but Kamara isn’t the only threat to Williams’s value, with rookie Kendre Miller getting rave reports from the team and “tight end” Taysom Hill still on the roster a year after leading the team with 11 carries inside the 10-yard line.

Round 12 – Adam Thielen (WR – CAR)

The cliff edge can come quickly for wide receivers, and the Vikings seemed fairly sure that Adam Thielen wasn’t approaching it but had already fallen over the edge. In 2022 Thielen’s 1.08 yards per route run was dead-last amongst wide receivers with 100 or more targets, and his 10.4 yards per reception ranked 67th of 84 receivers to have 30 or more catches. It can be entirely true that Thielen is the savvy veteran type of player that Bryce Young may need this year, but it can also be true that he may provide little to no fantasy value more often than not.

Round 13 – Jordan Love (QB – GB)

After being confined to the bench for the first three years of his career, Jordan Love finally gets a chance to prove he is a starting-caliber quarterback in the NFL. Love signed a contract in place of playing out the last year of his contract, that on the surface of it, shows he didn’t want to gamble on himself and also suggests the team also doesn’t see him as the guy for now at least.

Love has fewer career pass attempts than Trey Lance, who was drafted the year after him. In what limited action Love has had in the last two years, he’s averaged a 60% completion rate, throwing three touchdowns and three interceptions. Love’s 3.5% Big Time Throw Rate over the last two years would have ranked the equivalent of QB37 in 2022, which makes it hard to envision his upside.

Round 14 – Sam LaPorta (TE – DET)

The Lions have been crying out for a pass-catching tight end to take over the role that TJ Hockenson used to have. While it’s easy to forecast that onto Sam Laporta, who was the TE2 in this year’s draft class, we have to remember how big an adjustment it can be for tight ends coming into the NFL — 87.8% of rookie tight ends drafted since the turn of the millennium have failed to average more than 5.99 half PPR points per game, a number that 22 different tight ends exceeded in 2022. Laporta is an exciting player, but for now, accept that drafting a veteran tight end is a better choice.

Round 15 – Chase Claypool (WR – CHI)

The Bears gave up what ended up being the 32nd overall pick to trade for Chase Claypool at the 2022 trade deadline, Claypool went on to total 13 catches for 115 yards for the Bears, and it never became clear what they wanted to do with him. Now the Bears have brought it better competition in the shape of DJ Moore, and they will still be a run-heavy team, even if they do pass slightly more than last year. Claypool’s floor is nonexistent, and his ceiling feels very low.

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