Earlier in the summer, I wrote an article touting 5 players I am targeting in drafts this year. Simply put, this is the exact opposite and while I don’t play in more than 5 leagues per year, none of these 5 players will be on any of my rosters. Let’s get down to business.
ADP numbers are from the NFFC – A PPR format with 1 QB, 2RB, 3 WR, 1 TE and a FLEX as starters.
David Johnson – ADP of 6
Johnson’s talents are immense and there really is no doubting his true upside in a great situation down in Arizona. Winning team with weapons around him, you really couldn’t ask for anything more. Even the unknown of whether or not he can carry a full load isn’t really scaring me away. But, two main reasons are:
(1) The Cardinals are a playoff team, with Super Bowl aspirations and Bruce Arians knows that. Translation, there is no reason at all to give David Johnson a 350-touch workload, even 300 for that matter. Having your most explosive asset locked and loaded for a Super Bowl run is top priority for the Cards’ staff. Chris Johnson and yes, Andre Ellington, have a role to play, and they will both definitely play it. Johnson will get his, but not quite enough to make it worth the risk of reason number two.
(2) You are drafting David Johnson over an elite WR. And that’s the part I can’t swallow. The lowest David Johnson has gone in an NFFC draft is 11 overall over the past couple weeks (50+ drafts). Which tells me the Big 3 WRs (Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham and Julio Jones) were off the board as well as the next five of Dez Bryant, Allen Robinson, DeAndre Hopkins, Brandon Marshall and A.J. Green. If that truly is the case, and you prefer Johnson over every RB not named Todd Gurley, so be it. But drafting Johnson over an elite WR is a mistake in any format where three receivers are in the starting lineup.
Kelvin Benjamin – ADP of 34
Benjamin will remain a red zone threat for the Panthers. As will Greg Olsen, Devin Funchess, Mike Tolbert, Jonathan Stewart and Cam Newton. When they are not in the red zone, rest assured Ted Ginn will be on the field plenty to stretch defenses. Am I suggesting Kelvin Benjamin won’t be on the field in 2-WR sets? No, but I am suggesting it would be foolish to project 145 targets again for KB. As a rookie, the Panthers were trailing in games more often than they will ever trail in 2016, and Cam’s receiving options were more limited. In fact, when the Panthers were behind by 7+ points in 2014, Benjamin accounted for 49 targets, 400 yards and 6 TDs. All signs point to his impact in terms of yards and receptions being hard pressed to match his rookie season.
Furthermore, which WRs are you passing to land Benjamin? The next five off the board read Jeremy Maclin, Doug Baldwin, Donte Moncrief, Eric Decker and Larry Fitzgerald. That’s a very consistent, reliable group with the upside player being Moncrief. Kelvin is being drafted off the allure of possibly matching his 1,000-yard, 9-TD season, whereas that is the floor for WRs like Maclin and Decker. I’d gladly draft any of those five over Benjamin at this point and simply will not be paying the price it costs to land KB, especially in PPR leagues.
DeVante Parker – ADP of 52
The lowest Parker has gone in any NFFC draft over the last two weeks is 65 overall. I’m not certain I’d even consider him at that point either. Possibly the most overpriced commodity in fantasy football this season, Parker is clearly part of all 3-WR sets in which he is a lock to be out-targeted by Jarvis Landry and will likely only have a slight edge in targets over deep threat Kenny Stills. You may be wondering why Stills is playing so much and it’s because he has a clear role with basically two routes. The first being the fade/deep post and the second being the comeback/fade-stop. He obviously has the deep speed and he has always been very skilled at the latter. This is important because Adam Gase will move the pocket for Tannehill often and the comeback by Stills on the sideline will become a staple of their offense.
Why else will Gase try to move the pocket for Tannehill? Because the Dolphins offensive line is in the bottom ten of all NFL teams. Landry will be peppered with targets to get the ball out of the QB’s hands quickly. Where does Parker fit into all of this? The certainty of other players’ roles around him leave me very uneasy. His talent has never been in question – I raved about him coming out of Louisville, but his current fit on this current roster has me scratching my head when I see him consistently going in the 5th round in PPR leagues.
Carlos Hyde – ADP of 48
Shocking development for Hyde really considering his talent level; but considering all angles of his situation there are just so many other options that I’d rather invest in, in the 4th round. I have seen Hyde go as high as the mid-3rd round because of his featured RB tag. First, let’s consider that the 49ers are going to be underdogs in more game in 2016 than any other team in the NFL. Hyde will be playing from behind more often then not, which absolutely limits his upside despite being a solid receiving options out of the backfield.
Second, let’s consider Hyde (a player diagnosed with a concussion already this preseason) and his past workloads. After being a backup at Ohio State for a couple years he broke out with 970 yards rushing but still missed two games that year with an ankle injury. His senior season at Ohio State he missed 3 games to suspension, so he was not tested for a full season in college.
Career carries year by year:
2011 at OSU – 106 carries
2012 at OSU – 185 carries
2013 at OSU – 208 carries
2014 in San Fran – 83 carries
2015 in San Fran – 115 carries
And now suddenly, some are predicting him to hold up for a full season and break out on a losing team? I will pass ten out of ten times here. Let somebody else draft him, folks.
Matt Jones – ADP of 61
Another 2-down RB who has never carried a full load for an offense that doesn’t really fit the team’s philosophy. The Redskins have gone all-in… on their passing game. DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, Jordan Reed and the underrated perfect fit Chris Thompson. I wanted zero shares of Matt Jones even before he banged his shoulder up. The two-down back for the Skins, AT BEST, will turn in a 2015 Jeremy Hill-type season, and that is the absolute ceiling. And of course, that is assuming Jones stays healthy, which he isn’t off to a great start at accomplishing.
Around the same time you see Matt Jones come off the board, you will also see underrated PPR commodities Emmanuel Sanders, Duke Johnson Gio Bernard and Allen Hurns be drafted. And standard league upside of Melvin Gordon, Jeremy Hill and Ryan Mathews. I’m not taking Jones over any of those guys. The Redskins are a pass first team and 3.1 yards per carry during the 2nd half of 2015 when the Redskins passing game was hitting on all cylinders does not give me confidence that he will simply have a great season by association.
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @JohnnyLFootball and feel free to ask me any questions you have leading up to your draft. You can also catch me on the radio Thursday Mornings 945ET/845 Cental time as I will be talking fantasy football every week on the Scotty Mac Sports Ticket radio show – 93.5 FM Panama City, 100.3 FM Destin and 97.1 Pensacola. Listen in with the Tune In radio app on your phone or tablet and thanks again for reading. Have a great week and happy football season!