Fantasy Football continues to skyrocket in popularity. That means the same chumps you used to take advantage of in your leagues are now savvy. You have to continue upping your game to stay ahead. And that means knowing which NFL players to avoid in your fantasy football drafts, even if they’re a big name or have that fairy-tale “upside.”
Let’s breakdown those players you should avoid drafting over the next few weeks.
12-Team PPR SuperFlex Mock Draft
Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons
Although Todd Gurley was once a premier running back in the league, he has quickly become a borderline starter due to a plethora of injuries. Gurley has missed a ton of games due to several knee and leg injuries. Plus, he has arthritis in his knee so he will most likely never regain the explosiveness that made him an elite running back several years ago. Last season, Gurley had 857 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns while averaging 3.8 yards per carry. While those statistics might look decent at first glance, I am expecting even more regression in 2020.
After agreeing to a contract extension several years ago, the Los Angeles Rams decided to cut ties with Gurley and he ended up signing a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons. Although Atlanta does possess a quality offense, I still question if Gurley can remain healthy for a whole season. Some people are viewing Gurley as a value pick in the fourth round due to the amount of projected snaps but there are way too many questions involving his durability for me to select him on draft night. Plus, there are no preseason games and he has to learn a new playbook so there might also be a bit of an adjustment period. As a result, I would suggest avoiding him entirely.
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
Adam Thielen had been a very productive wide receiver over the last few seasons but 2019 was a bit of an exception. Last season, Thielen had just 30 receptions along with just 418 receiving yards as he battled injuries all season long which caused him to miss six games. Now, Thielen is healthy once again and people expect him to return to his usual level of production. However, I have a much more pessimistic outlook on his upcoming 2020 season.
Part of Adam Thielen’s success in recent years can be credited to the fact that he was never going up against number one cornerbacks due to the presence of Stefon Diggs. However, Diggs was dealt during the offseason which means that Thielen is now the number one receiver on the depth chart and I think that his production will take a bit of a dip due to the much more talented cornerbacks being lined up against him in the future. Plus, Thielen might be healthy for the start of the season but I do not feel comfortable risking a third-round pick on someone who is an unproven number one receiver on a depth chart while also possessing a bit of an injury history.
J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens
Although J.K. Dobbins possesses a ton of talent who could become a quality starting running back at some point in his career, I think that it is very premature to expect him to become the starter during his rookie season. Mark Ingram is still on the roster and he had 1,018 rushing yards last season along with ten rushing touchdowns so I expect Dobbins to be the backup for at least the first few weeks of the regular season.
Dobbins might live up to that projected eighth-round pick value if Ingram gets injured, which is definitely possible, but I would rather draft players who will contribute immediately instead of wasting a roster spot on someone who has the potential to become a good fantasy player if a lot of factors go his way. As a result, I would rather place my faith into alternative options such as Devin Singletary who has already proven that he is capable of being a starting running back in the NFL.
Henry Ruggs III, Las Vegas Raiders
While some rookies can possess some value in fantasy football leagues, others can be complete busts if they are unable to properly adjust to the speed and talent present within the NFL. Henry Ruggs III might possess the physical attributes to become a potential success but I expect a ton of growing pains during his rookie season.
Ruggs III is projected to go in the tenth-round of most fantasy drafts but I think that is bit too high due to his playing style. Ruggs III is not the type of guy to catch seven passes in a game. He is the kind of player to catch three passes in a game and hope that he takes one 70 yards to the crib for a touchdown. As a result, his ceiling should look similar to DeSean Jackson’s which is interesting since Jackson is projected to be selected about two rounds later.
Ruggs III was never known for his route running in college as he is a bit of a streak specialist so it is tough to select a “one-trick pony” when there are more reliable options in the tenth round. Plus, he was a bit injury prone in college so I would not be surprised to see him miss a few games which should lower his draft value even more.
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
While most people already know why they should not be selecting Tua Tagovailoa in fantasy drafts, he is still projected to go in the 14th round and I simply that he is a waste of a selection. Tagovailoa has the talent to become an elite quarterback in the future but there are a lot of question marks that need addressing before I would ever consider taking him for my fantasy team.
First of all, Miami still has Ryan Fitzpatrick who was great last season as he had 3,529 passing yards along with 20 passing touchdowns so I expect to see him starting for at least the start of the regular season. According to early reports, Fitzpatrick is expected to remain the starter so I do not see the point in selecting an NFL backup quarterback in a fantasy draft. Miami is starting to develop into a decent team but it is at least a year away in my opinion so I expect the Dolphins to use their veteran quarterback all season long before he tests free agency during the offseason while Tagovailoa gets some extra time to learn the playbook before starting next season.
Second of all, Tua Tagovailoa has had a ton of injury issues over his career as he suffered a dislocated hip last season that required surgery. Although he has been granted a clean bill of health from doctors, it simply is not worth the risk to throw him behind center into an offense that he is not experienced with following an offseason with no preseason games. Miami knows that potential that Tagovailoa possesses and I expect the Dolphins to be very cautious before giving him some meaningful playing time.