Every year when draft season rolls around, I do my fair share of mock drafts to get some reps in and, invariably, there are always guys that I can’t seem to pull the trigger on. Fantasy football drafts are really all about value, and any player can be a good pick if you can get them for the right price. Some guys, however, just aren’t good values depending on where you have to draft them. Here’s my list of guys that are going too high in the draft for my tastes and will NOT be on any of my rosters this year:
Aaron Rodgers: Have I gone mad? I’m putting arguably the best QB in the league on my ‘do not draft’ list?? Allow me to explain. Rodgers is usually the first QB off the board, and rightfully so, but it’s when he comes off the board that makes me stay away. You’ll typically have to spend a 3rd or 4th round pick to get him and I’m just not willing to spend such a valuable pick on a QB when there’s so much RB and WR talent on the board in these rounds.
Let me give you some numbers to back up my point. In 2016, the last time Rodgers played all 16 games, he finished as the highest scoring QB with an average of 23.8 points per game. The 10th highest scoring QB that year, Blake Bortles, finished with an average of 17.6 points per game. So on average, you’re looking at a difference of about 5 points per game between Rodgers and a guy who went undrafted. Let’s compare that gap to the RBs from last year. The highest scoring RB, Todd Gurley, put up 23.9 points per game. The 10th Highest scoring RB, Christian McCaffrey, scored 13.4 per contest, for a difference of over 10 points per game. See what I’m sayin’? The difference between the top QBs and the guys you can draft late or even grab off waivers just isn’t big enough to justify the early pick. Just wait on QB and load up elsewhere. (I tried to teach our girl Murt this lesson before her draft but she didn’t listen. Don’t be like Murt.)
LeSean McCoy: I’m calling it now: this year will be the fall of the once great Shady McCoy. The Bills are going to be so bad this year that they’re going to make the Browns look respectable. McCoy’s average draft position (ADP) is 24.5, meaning he’s still coming off the boards in the late 2nd-early 3rd round range. That’s too high for a guy who’s probably going to be running against stacked boxes the entire year (if he even makes it through the season). There will be volume there for McCoy as long as he’s healthy, but his efficiency is sure to take a dive.
Mark Ingram: I’m not avoiding Ingram because of his 4 game suspension, I’m avoiding him because he’s still being drafted in the 6th round in some leagues. Too expensive for my blood. Ingram was great last year, but what are you really hoping for here? He’s suspended through week 4, eligible to return week 5 and then goes on Bye week 6. You’re basically not going to be able to use him until week 7, which is past the halfway point of the fantasy season. If you want to tie up a bench spot for a month and a half and hope Ingram is in game shape when he returns, be my guest. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya though. I’ll be spending my 6th rounder on someone I can actually start week 1.
T.Y. Hilton: I just can’t get myself to like this guy. He’s drafted in the WR1 range, but performs like a borderline decoy player some weeks. He’s fast, sure, but he’s small so he can’t go up and get the ball in traffic like the dominant receivers that are drafted in the same range as him. His ADP shows him being drafted before guys like Doug Baldwin, Larry Fitzgerald, and Demaryius Thomas. Give me any of those 3 over Hilton, who only managed to crack double digits in fantasy points 5 times last year and averaged about 1 TD per month.
Adam Thielen: I might have to go watch this guy’s highlights again. Maybe I’m missing something. When I look at Thielen I see a possession receiver type who’s good for a handful of catches and yards per week (which is nice!) but not a dominant force in the NFL. Yet here we are, seeing Thielen going off the board in the 4th round over guys who do what he does best better than him, like Jarvis Landry and Golden Tate for example. With Dalvin Cook back, the Vikings should be a run-first team this year, and Stefon Diggs will be the main target in the passing game, so there shouldn’t be as many targets available for Thielen as last year.
Rob Gronkowski: First Rodgers, and now Gronk?? No, I’m not trying to sabotage your season. But let’s do a little exercise. Try to think back to what you were doing on this date in 2011…Difficult, right? Because that was such a long time ago. Well that’s also the last time Gronk played a full 16 game season. Maybe I’m nit-picking, but you can wait a round and get similar production from Travis Kelce, or wait two rounds and grab Zach Ertz, two guys who are younger and healthier and just as much a part of their offenses as Gronk.
– The Elder