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7 Fantasy Football Draft Picks to Avoid (2024)

Every fantasy football player has their own tolerance for risk when drafting. Personally, I like to have a balance of high-ceiling players and high-floor players. Not everyone will agree, but I don’t tend to win in fantasy football leagues where I am too invested in one or the other. That being said, here are some fantasy football draft picks to avoid, players who feel risky to me based on their current ADP at their position and my thoughts about why I think that way.

Early Fantasy Football Draft Picks to Avoid

Jalen Hurts (QB – PHI) – ADP QB2

After finishing as QB2 overall and in points per game last year, I get why fantasy football drafters are in on Hurts again. His 21 points per game was a difference-maker for many teams. However, the team is going through a transition in 2024. They also lost veteran center Jason Kelce. I think this could be a tough year for Hurts and the Eagles offense at large.

Hurts was 14th in passing yards and 13th in passing touchdowns. On the flipside, he was 3rd in rushing yards and tied with Josh Allen for first with 15 rushing touchdowns. Second place was 6 TDs. The upside of Hurts was the tush push, and I’m just not sure if that will be as common this year. I’m not entirely out on Hurts, but I think QB2 is much less likely than QB5. Because of that, I’m fine letting someone else take that risk.

Jonathan Taylor (RB – IND) – ADP RB5

Running back is tougher than usual this year. The guys at the top all have potential question marks. That makes it tough for me to spend an early pick on them. Taylor specifically only played in 10 games last year. Because of that, he finished as RB33 overall in PPR scoring. However, he finished as RB12 in PPG when he was on the field. Granted, a lot of this was without QB Anthony Richardson, who should be back this year.

Like many NFL teams right now, the Colts need an identity. They have the talent; they just need everyone to stay healthy. Obviously, we can’t predict that, but I still think RB5 is too early for me. I’d rather wait at the RB position and take someone “cheaper” later on. I don’t like using early draft capital on someone with Taylor’s history and uncertain future.

Josh Jacobs (RB – GB) – ADP RB10

Much like Taylor, Jacobs missed time last year and underwhelmed overall. He finished RB28 overall in PPR scoring and RB18 in PPG. All of this was with the Las Vegas Raiders, who were a team trying to figure out who they were. Now Jacobs is on the Packers. Is that a step up or a lateral move, though?

I can see both sides here. On the one hand, Jacobs should see a similar kind of workload of almost 18 carries per game that he saw last year. On the other hand, Jacobs goes to a team where AJ Dillon was previously the heir apparent and could be more of a threat to the RB1 role. I’m not saying that Jacobs will struggle this year, but whenever a player changes teams, I hesitate to lock them into a similar workload. I’ll probably pass on Jacobs unless he falls to me a round or two later than his current ADP.

Davante Adams (WR – LVR) – ADP WR9

Jacobs’ former teammate is also on this for me. Adams played all 17 games in 2023 and finished as WR10 overall in PPR scoring. His points-per-game finish of WR15 was tied with Brandon Aiyuk and Michael Pitmann, Jr. To be honest, I would rather roster either of those two at their lower cost than Adams at his higher one. I don’t think Adams has that much upside this year.

The Raiders are looking down the barrel of a QB battle between Aidan O’Connell and Gardner Minshew. O’Connell wasn’t terrible last year, but he wasn’t exactly the team’s favorite choice. He really only played once Jimmy Garoppolo went down with an injury. The team even benched O’Connell for Brian Hoyer last year. All of this QB chaos makes me real nervous about Adams and the entire Raiders offense this year. Whether it’s redraft or dynasty, I have really low expectations for Adams, so taking him as a WR1 is a bad move for me.

Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR – ARI) – ADP WR10

Finally, we get a rookie on the list. Harrison got great draft capital to a team that definitely needs WR help in the Cardinals. He’s talented, and the offense matches his skillset well. All of that aside, he’s still a rookie and will still need to prove himself worthy before I risk an early pick on him. It just seems like we’ve told ourselves this story before with N’Keal Harry, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and many others.

Instead of believing the hype, I want to see it on the field. I’m fine missing on Harrison if he goes off. I’d rather see him go off on someone else’s team than absolutely tank mine. The wide receiver [position is so deep that I don’t mind waiting to see who falls or grabbing higher upside options later. I just don’t trust rookie wide receivers in redraft or dynasty to perform that year. It just rarely happens. Can Harrison break that mold? Sure, but I’m not willing to bet on it myself.

Nico Collins (WR – HOU) – ADP WR13

This one hurts me a little, but it’s just about his current value and not his talent. Collins was someone fantasy managers were trading away for peanuts prior to the 2023 season. I know this because I was one of them. Very few people expected this Texans team with rookie QB CJ Stroud and WR Tank Dell to really be as good as they were. Collins was the second option on a bottom-ten offense. But boy were we wrong.

Collins finished as WR12 in PPR scoring and WR7 in points per game. He stepped up in a huge way, and fantasy managers everywhere took notice. The real question is, can he do it again? Dell should return early in the season, and the team added Stefon Diggs to the WR corps. This makes me worried about the upside for all three. Drafting Collins at WR13 feels a little pricey to me. I love his talent, but I’d much rather wait and grab him at WR20-24 as my WR2 than spend this early of a pick on someone with a lot more downside than upside.

Trey McBride (TE – ARI) – ADP TE3

Harrison’s Arizona teammate makes this list for a few of the same reasons but also for a few unique ones. Obviously, McBride isn’t a rookie anymore, but he’s still a young TE. Many say tight ends take a little longer than most offensive positions to make their presence known. I’m not really so sure anymore. McBride finished as TE7 overall in PPR scoring and TE9 in PPG while playing in all 17 games. Now he goes into year two and should take a step up, but all the way to TE3? I’m not so sure.

Kyler Murray should be back with a vengeance. Even with the addition of Harrison to the passing offense, I fully expect McBride to be a big part of this offense as well. But there’s no way I’m taking McBride over Mark Andrews, who is TE4. I’m also more likely to select Dalton Kincaid over McBride this year because I think his role with the Bills should be bigger than McBride’s with the Cardinals. A lot of the reason I’m passing on McBride here is just because of the uncertainty at the position and my desire to be a little less risky at times. However, if you’re looking for risk, then these are the guys I’m targeting in all formats.

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Andrew Hall is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Andrew, check out his profile and follow him @AndrewHallFF.

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