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NFL Draft

5 Fantasy Football Players You Must Avoid At Current ADP

  • The Draft Network
  • August 9, 2021
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Last week, I broke down five players I would draft at their current ADP. Well, guess what I’m doing now? Funny how that works, isn’t it? Before you read any further, you should never completely avoid a player in your fantasy drafts. I’d gladly take these five guys at some point in a draft, just not at their current price. 

Disagree with me? Let me know how you feel on Twitter @ZachCohenFB. I’ll be happy to have a conversation about it!

Julio Jones (WR - TEN)

Underdog ADP: 36 (WR16)

I’ve been beating this drum for a while now, so I figured I’d expand on it here. Whether you think Jones is still an elite talent may be beside the point. The truth is, Jones didn’t get traded to the Titans to become Ryan Tannehill’s new favorite target. That should still be A.J. Brown, whose career trajectory is clearly pointing upward. That tends to happen after a young receiver posts two 1,000-yard seasons to start his career. Despite any concerns about Jones’ ability, we know he won’t be getting the same volume in Tennessee as he did in Atlanta. The Falcons were in the top five in pass attempts in each of the last three seasons, while the Titans were in the bottom three during those years. Let’s say Jones takes over Corey Davis’ role, who had a career year. Davis saw 23.8% of the Titans’ targets—second-most on the team. In comparison, Jones saw 20.4% of the Falcons’ targets. However, Jones still saw one target more per game than Davis. Even if Jones inherits Davis’ target share plus a little extra, Tennessee just won’t be throwing the ball as much as Atlanta did. I can’t see Jones getting enough opportunities to validate his current ADP. 

Joe Burrow (QB - CIN)

Underdog ADP: 110 (QB11)

It disappoints me to include Burrow on here because he looked fantastic in his rookie season. Okay, he wasn’t perfect, but he looked good enough to give a much-needed glimmer of hope to Cincinnati. Burrow’s ACL injury in Week 11 complicated some things. I’m not going to put on my doctor hat here and predict whether he’ll bounce back from the devastating injury. I just think Burrow’s ADP is too high when considering the risk he has. We just don’t know how he’ll respond to the injury, so it’s risky to bet on a seamless transition into his second season. Reports out of Bengals’ camp have been far from glowing, by the way. Couple that with an underwhelming offensive line (to put it nicely) and I have real concerns about Burrow. He’s currently being drafted as a QB1, so if you take him, you’d better hope to pair him with a steady, reliable veteran such as Ryan Tannehill or Kirk Cousins. In the 10 weeks Burrow fully played, he averaged only the 16th-most points per game. He also posted just four QB1 performances—meaning a top-12 finish in that week. Meanwhile, Cousins averaged the sixth-most points in his final 10 games, which included six QB1 finishes. Look, we’ve all seen what Burrow can do. While his ceiling is higher than QB11, his floor is too low for me to select him at that price.

Mike Williams (WR - LAC)

Underdog ADP: 74 (WR37)

I was a big fan of Williams coming out of college. It was great seeing him eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in 2019, but his 2020 season left a lot to be desired. While Williams missed just one game, he dealt with lingering injuries all season. It sucks when you have to factor in a player’s injury history, but that’s the case with Williams. Looking at other players in his range, I see some guys with high ceilings who may give you fewer headaches, like Tyler Boyd, Michael Gallup, DeVonta Smith, and Curtis Samuel. It doesn’t help that Los Angeles spent a third-round pick on Josh Palmer, whom I happen to like. 

Williams has talent, don’t get me wrong. But I’d rather take a shot on someone in Williams’ range with less of an injury history and higher upside. We may not know exactly how the Chargers’ offense will operate this season, but we can expect the Bengals (Boyd) and Cowboys (Gallup) to throw the ball more. I’d draft one of those guys before I take another chance on Williams.

Ronald Jones (RB - TB)

Underdog ADP: 101 (RB34)

I went into this article with a simple idea: Include the earliest Buccaneers running back. Sorry, Ronald, that’s you. Leonard Fournette is being drafted roughly two rounds later, and considering both have similar upside, I’d prefer Fournette. Full transparency, I don’t like either of them in fantasy, but Jones has a higher ADP, which hurts his value even more. When you draft running backs this late, you should look for two things: An immediate contributor or a high-upside player. Jones is neither. He’ll likely be splitting carries with Fournette again, and the addition of Giovani Bernard doesn’t help, either. All signs point to a split backfield with Bernard as the primary receiving back. Yuck. As for Jones’ upside, you’d be banking on Fournette fading out of the picture via injury or poor performance. However, let’s say Jones does win the starting job and gets the full bulk of Tampa Bay’s carries. Only three teams ran the ball fewer times than the Buccaneers last season, and only two teams had a lower percentage of run plays. I’d rather take my chances with Tony Pollard or Latavius Murray, both of whom could see consistently high volume if given the chance. In case you didn’t realize, this applies to Fournette, too.

Travis Etienne (RB - JAC)

Underdog ADP: 55 (RB21)

For all the data and numbers I’ve injected into this column, there’s none of it for Jacksonville’s backfield. It’s a hot mess. After James Robinson burst onto the scene as the team’s bell-cow running back, owner Shahid Khan brought in a new coaching staff, a new general manager, and with them, two new running backs. After they signed 31-year-old Carlos Hyde to a two-year contract, the Jaguars drafted Etienne with the 25th overall pick. Here’s the catch: Almost every report out of Duval County—including some comments from Urban Meyer himself—indicate Etienne will be the pass-catching back in the offense. Uh, sure? Don’t get me wrong, Etienne is a very talented player. There’s a reason he was our No. 1 running back, after all. If that’s the case, then he may be getting drafted way too high. Jacksonville’s offensive line isn’t exactly great, either. This roster also seems a while away from being competitive, which could lead to less usage of their running backs. Of course, that would help Etienne’s case in the passing game, but would it be enough to justify a selection over Mike Davis, Myles Gaskin, or Kareem Hunt? If Etienne does earn a bell-cow role akin to Robinson last year, then he does become a good value in drafts. There are just too many moving parts for that to happen, hence making me wary about drafting Etienne at his current price.

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