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17 Players to Never Draft Again (2023 Fantasy Football)

17 Players to Never Draft Again (2023 Fantasy Football)

Every veteran fantasy manager has been burned by at least one player at some point – perhaps more than once. Or maybe you’re convinced that a particular player has gone over a cliff and is no longer worth rostering. Some fantasy managers have sworn never to draft a particular player again.

Our featured analysts are here to tell you which players they’ll never draft again.

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Running Backs to Never Draft Again

Which one RB burned you so badly that you can’t fathom taking him at or near his half-PPR ADP?

Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG)

“Saquon Barkley. Twice. Listen… I know he is coming off a season where he finally stayed on the field and wasn’t injured, but I forbid anyone to draft him at his current ADP. This guy won’t suit up when you need him in the playoffs.”
Matt Gaines (League Tycoon)

Alvin Kamara (RB – NO)

“After only playing 10 games in two years, many swore off the “injury prone” Christian McCaffrey in 2022, only to watch him finish second overall amongst running backs. McCaffrey’s bounce-back should be a cautionary tale against anyone fading a running back due to recent injuries. That said, injuries are not the only reason for a fantasy gamer to say “never again” about a player. In the case of Alvin Kamara, the “burned badly” does not come from injury concerns as much as it comes from an imperfect storm of age, decreased production (combined for only 4 rushing/receiving touchdowns last season), and the addition of backfield talent. Jamaal Williams is almost certain to carve out a role in the red zone, and t is only a matter of time before talented rookie Kendre Miller commands touches. Combine this with a three-game suspension, and I do not see me selecting Alvin Kamara at his current ADP.”
Matthew Hill (DataForce Fantasy Football)

“At an ADP of 74 (RB 29), Alvin Kamara isn’t a discount; he is a trap. Kamara is a 28-year-old RB on a team that signed the 2022 RB touchdown leader (Jamaal Williams), used a Day 2 draft pick on an explosive RB in Kendre Miller, and still has QB/TE Taysom Hill on the payroll. He floundered last year, averaging only 4.0 YPC and scoring only 4 total touchdowns. At his current ADP, his paths to pay off are sparse.”
Michael Bobal (The 33rd Team)

Editor’s Note: Alvin Kamara has been suspended for three games by the NFL.

J.K. Dobbins (RB – BAL)

“This isn’t much of a “this player burned me” situation, but the Baltimore Ravens team continues to pain me at RB. With the recent addition of Melvin Gordon, I don’t see Baltimore stopping their veteran RB signing streak, and that continues to muddy the waters on my outlook for Dobbins. Dobbins could be great, but Baltimore makes it hard for me to continue buying in.”
Kyle Krajewski (First Seed Sports)

D’Andre Swift (RB – PHI)

“The running back I am not touching at his ADP is D’Andre Swift. The Eagles are an RPO offense that rarely features passing work to the backfield. He must also share his work with Rashaad Penny, who beats him in almost every efficiency metric we could use.”
Joe Pepe (Beyond The Gridiron)

D’Andre Swift. He was a borderline first-round pick in most drafts last year, and he was such a headache that even his own team shipped him off as quickly as they could this offseason. Now, he’s on a team that rarely passes to the running back position, playing as possibly the THIRD rushing option on the team behind Jalen Hurts and Rashaad Penny. I’m sure that he’ll have some ‘boom’ weeks because of his big-play ability, but I don’t think that he’ll be a reliable week-to-week guy. I’m avoiding Swift at his current ADP (RB25) every time.”
Leo Sells (Couch Report Sports)

D’Andre Swift is a player that is highly talked about each and every year, but when it comes down to it, he disappoints and brings a negative return on investment from his draft capital. Of course, injuries and questionable usage have been culprits throughout his career, but at some point, you just own up to the fact that the player may not be able to live up to the hype. His career-high 16.1 FPPG in 2021 was largely due to his 62 receptions that season, but on the ground, he could only muster 617 rushing yards in 13 games played. Taking a look at his efficiency at the position, over the course of his career, he has a higher percentage of weekly RB3 or worse finishes (38%) than he does as an RB1 (30%). Now, even with the fresh start in Philadelphia, he will be battling a crowded backfield while also playing with a quarterback that rarely checks the ball down. I will officially be out on D’Andre Swift.”
Brandon Murchison (RotoBaller)

“Looking at DeAndre Swift sitting at ADP 62, he feels like a player I don’t want to be burned by again. While Swift is a talent, his role in the NFL is cloudly. Swift isn’t going to be a workhorse running back, and I don’t believe he can handle that opportunity without missing the game. The Eagles aren’t tied to Swift, so they will try using Rasheed Penny and Kenny Gainwell in the backfield. Penny is a better pure rusher than Swift too. Swift will have to see targets to be successful, and Jalen Hurts threw to his primary back last year only 26 targets. Swift is someone worth skipping in that round five to six range. ”
Steven Pintado (The Fantasy Coaches)

Dalvin Cook (RB – FA)

“He is always let down for you in the fantasy playoffs due to injury or fatigue. This year he doesn’t even have a team. For context, these are Dalvin Cook’s fantasy playoff finishes in half pt PPR… ’22: RB12 ’21:RB57 ’20:RB15 ’19:RB39 ’18:RB5 ’17:RB100. With him going into his age 28 season, he is hard to take at current ADP given the injuries and history of lack of production in the playoffs.”
Adam Murfet (5 Yard Rush)

Cam Akers (RB – LAR)

“Managers will never forget the 2022 season opener when “Where is Cam Akers?” filled the Twitterverse during the game. No one knew at the time that Akers was in the doghouse for reasons that were never quite clear. He was an instant bust out of the gate. It was only much later in the season that we finally saw Akers regain some snap count regularity – even then, his results weren’t that impressive. An RB22-ranked ADP is still no bargain. A better plan is to keep an eye on Kyren Williams or Zach Evans in later rounds.”
Richard Savill (Fantasy Six Pack)

David Montgomery (RB – DET)

“David Montgomery is in a role ripe for great volume, considering he’s the No. 2 running back with the Lions. However, he needs tremendous volume just to be mediocre. When he was at his best in 2020, he was a replacement-level player who just so happened to see 300 touches.”
Matt De Lima (The Game Day)

Beyond our fantasy football content, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you prepare for your draft this season. From our free mock Draft Simulator – which allows you to mock draft against realistic opponents – to our Draft Assistant – which optimizes your picks with expert advice – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football draft season.

Wide Receivers to Never Draft Again

Which one WR burned you so badly that you can’t fathom taking him at or near his half-PPR ADP?

Keenan Allen (WR – LAC)

“His ADP is too high for me with Quentin Johnston and Mike Williams there. We also have an extremely high ADP on their running back which makes me fade the aging, coming off an injury-filled season Keenan Allen.”
Joe Pepe (Beyond The Gridiron)

Michael Thomas (WR – NO)

“Between the frustrating “will he or won’t he” narratives regarding the nature of Michael Thomas’ injuries the past two seasons (limiting him to a combined 10 games) as well as the ascension of young star receiver Chris Olave, I am on Michael Thomas. Not only is Chris Olave expected to have the Saints WR1 duties locked in, a talented trio of tight ends, including the recently unretired Jimmy Graham, along with Rashid Shaheed, who experienced a late season, mini-breakout, will all be battling for the targets. Combine that with a strong defense and ground game, and I have trouble seeing Thomas getting the volume or touchdowns needed to justify his ADP.”
Matthew Hill (DataForce Fantasy Football)

Christian Watson (WR – GB)

“I was slow to buy in to Watson for a good chunk of the season last year, and his Week 10-13 run was fun. So when I finally got on board with the Watson intrigue, he went on by week and returned to for the fantasy playoffs to put up an incredible 10.6 points TOTAL in weeks 15-17. Hard to get my trust after burning myself and many in the playoffs after a hot stretch.”
Kyle Krajewski (First Seed Sports)

Michael Pittman Jr. (WR – IND)

“Last year, his top-ten ADP at the WR position was the result of a full offseason’s worth of hype about a third-year breakout for him, but he completely folded and burned any fantasy managers who took a shot on his talent. He barely finished as a top 30 WR in fantasy points per game, and now his situation for this season may have gotten even worse than it was last year. He will presumably be playing with rookie QB Anthony Richardson for the majority of the season, who won’t be great as a passer and will scramble instead of dumping it off to Pittman when in trouble. Players like Diontae Johnson, Mike Evans, and Marquise Brown are somehow going behind him in ADP right now, and I’d easily rather have any of those players than Pittman at his current ADP.”
Leo Sells (Couch Report Sports)

Tee Higgins (WR – CIN)

“It boggles my mind that Higgins continues to be valued as a fringe WR1 in consensus ADP while his production numbers largely go against warranting such lofty praise. This comes down to a case of drafting a player based on the bias of the offense as opposed to the production they bring back in return. The argument that is made for Higgins is that some of the production that Ja’Marr Chase does not take has to go somewhere, but the fact is that things are more spread to other receiving options once the reads go away from Chase. Looking at in-game splits, whether Chase is in the game or not, Higgins’ numbers are nearly identical. Add in a career weekly finish of WR3 or worse of 57%, and you have a player that you may be drafting high, and he will lose more weeks for you than he wins. ”
Brandon Murchison (RotoBaller)

Treylon Burks (WR – TEN)

“Remember when the Titans traded AJ Brown away for a first-rounder, then subsequently used that pick to draft a similar, hyped-up replacement? Burks was a summertime fantasy darling based on size, college stats, and presumed role. I erroneously thought he could come in and nearly replace Brown’s production. That did not happen, and now that the Titans have signed DeAndre Hopkins, Burks finds himself facing a lower target share, on a low passing volume offense, with a bad offensive line. The risk is not worth the potential reward at his current ADP of 86 (WR35).”
Michael Bobal (The 33rd Team)

Deebo Samuel (WR – SF)

“Deebo Samuel is a receiver I don’t want to be burned by after only one great season. Samuel, outside of his 2021 season, has been decent at best. We all loved the rushing opportunity he offered, but since CMC arrived, that opportunity has been minimal. Brandin Aiyuk is a better overall receiver than Samuel, and he should take that next step to prove it in 2023. Samuel struggled with Purdy averaging four receptions for 57 all-purpose yards. Samuel is being taken at ADP 39. I don’t see a consistent target share or overall opportunity for me to trust Samuel again. ”
Steven Pintado (The Fantasy Coaches)

Mike Williams (WR – LAC)

“Williams enters his seventh season in the NFL, and so much of the early promise he had as a rookie evaporated quickly. Only once has he finished in the top 20 in fantasy. His injury history is quite well-known, and it doesn’t get better with age. Passing on Keenan Allen’s rather lofty ADP WR18 isn’t a bad idea, either. It might be time to turn our fantasy attention toward the younger receivers on the Chargers. Quentin Johnson (ADP WR49) is the choice option, and Joshua Palmer (ADP WR96) is an immense bargain.”
Richard Savill (Fantasy Six Pack)

Rashod Bateman (WR – BAL)

“There’s no doubt in my mind that Rashod Bateman could be a superstar-caliber receiver. Unfortunately, he plays in an offense that too often takes big shots downfield. There’s not enough target volume in Baltimore for anybody except Mark Andrews. Add Bateman’s recurring injuries to the mix and he’s just not worth the roster spot.”
Matt De Lima (The Game Day)

Cooper Kupp (WR – LAR)

“Look me in the eyes. DO NOT DRAFT Cooper Kupp in the top 5 of your draft! I get it. You want to believe that he will be back from injury, and it will be like two years ago. No, the Rams offense is done. Those days aren’t coming back.”
Matt Gaines (League Tycoon)

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