Fantasy Football 5 to avoid
The Father explores the dark side of the rankings
Yesterday, I fired off a list of 5 players to seek out in the later rounds of your fantasy football draft (and reviewed the deep mediocrity of last seasons efforts). On the plus side, while last years rankings weren’t great, I did quite well on my players to avoid list, and we are back at it here. You would be wise to heed this list. The rules were noted yesterday, but a brief refresher, I will pick a player from each position and a flex. I will choose from players taken in the top 8 rounds typically, and this is for a standard PPR league.
QB: Dak Prescott - Dallas Cowboys
I actually like Dak Prescott a great deal. He is a person who has avoided most negative controversy, has shown great resilience, is honest about mental health issues and has been a great fantasy players. Still, I sense something is up. He is struggling with a shoulder strain. He is recovering from a catastrophic ankle injury. His line is aging and injury prone. Amari Cooper is banged up right now. It just feels like things are off. Would I avoid drafting him altogether? No. But he is going with a pack that includes Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen. I would take all of them over Prescott, even Jackson who I still don’t love (after accurately predicting his drop off last year). I just wonder if he is going to make it through the year. I suspect his rushing attempts will drop off after the injury. I think he is going to finish outside the top 5, and has the risk of missing significant games with injury.
RB: Saquon Barkley - New York Giants
I do not understand the fixation year after year with this guy. He plays for a bad offense, behind a terrible offensive line, with a bad QB. He has never put up great numbers. He cannot stay healthy. I see absolutely no reason why he is a first round pick. Rumors abound that they are not going to start the season giving him a full workload. If they ever do start giving him a full load, why do we think he is going to be a top 5 RB? Pictures of his quads lol? Do yourself a favor and pass on this guy. He will be outside the top 5 RBs for sure, and I doubt he makes it into the final top 10. He is more likely to miss a quarter of the games or more.
WR: Courtland Sutton - Denver Broncos
Sutton is currently a top 25 WR going out in drafts. Most of this is based on his 2019 season. But… why? That season wasn’t as great as you remember. It was a full 16 games, it was just 72 receptions, for 1100 + yards and 6 TDs. That’s it. Since then, the Broncos have added Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, developed Noah Fant and Tim Patrick and decided to roll with a QB combo in Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater that is one of the worst in the league. There are way too many mouths to feed, and the Broncos are using the QB equivalent of a baby spoon. Plus they seem destined to be a run first team. I am not even sure Sutton is better than Jerry Jeudy who is going about 10 WR spots later. I got through all of this without even mentioning… he had a season cancelling injury last year. Don’t do this.
TE: Mark Andrews - Baltimore Ravens
Mark Andrews is fine. Barring injury, he is a safe bet to go for 800 yards and 6 or so TDs. He will have 65 catches. These are acceptable numbers for your TE. But he is going TE 4. That is just way too soon for a player with very little upside. His hands simply don’t warrant any sort of massive target volume increase. The Ravens don’t throw a lot to begin with. He is who he is at this point, and that player isn’t significantly better than TJ Hockenson, Logan Thomas or exploring the upside of Kyle Pitts. Hell, by the end of the season, there are half a dozen guys who will get in this ball park points wise. It just isn’t a good investment of draft capital. I am willing to buy that he is a top 5 tight end. I am just not willing to take a player at pick 40, who won’t be much better than a player like Mike Gesicki at pick 100. It’s not worth it. I predict the difference between what Andrews gets and TE 10 will be around a point a game.
Flex: Jonathan Taylor - Indianapolis Colts
Jonathan Taylor seems like a pretty good running back to me. He was explosive in college. My issue is the problems that seem to be surrounding him, and his fit in PPR. Taylor is not really known as a pass catching back, and the team has Nyheim Hines for that role. The Colts offensive line is great, but bedrock piece Quentin Nelson is going to start the season on the PUP list, and could miss as much as half of the year. Plus, his foot injury is much more significant than it is for Carson Wentz (who has the same injury), a player who’s foot isn’t stepped on all the time or carrying 300 plus pounds of his own weight and whatever force another 300 pounder is putting on it. As noted, Wentz is also out, which will allow teams to key on Taylor early on. After stumbling into the perfect opportunity last season, he was merely ok, not the top 5 player some experts predicted. All in all, I think Taylor can still be a top 20 RB, but he is currently going top 10, and often in the first round. You can allot your resources better there, especially when you factor in the injury risk for the position. I predict he ends up outside the top 10 RBs.