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DRAFT DAY: Five Players to Avoid

With 32 teams in the NFL, there are plenty of players available to fill out your fantasy roster. Depending on your league size, you may only need one quarterback, tight end and defense. And, in a 12-team league, that leaves 20 others left on the draft board. With just 13 or 14 weeks of the fantasy football regular season, every draft pick matters.

You don’t want to be sifting through the waiver wire early because your early picks were a bust. The players listed below had great 2018 seasons but whether it’s personnel or location changes, the odds of them repeating their numbers this season are not very likely.

Tom Brady, QB, New England

Looking at the current crop of quarterbacks, it’s difficult to consider Brady a bust, but I can see myself passing on Brady in a lot of drafts. He won’t have Rob Gronkowski to rely on, and the wide receiver corps may be the most unreliable receivers outside of Julian Edelman. Phillip Dorsett, Dontrelle Inman and the aging Demaryius Thomas will all be clamoring for touches, along with rookie N’keal Harry.

We may see Brady checking down to James White more than usual, with Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead rushing the ball.

The 18-year veteran threw 11 interceptions and had a 5.1 touchdown percentage last season, both career lows since 2013. And according to NFL.com fantasy scoring, Brady had 10 games with less than 20 fantasy points.

You can’t count out Brady … but I also wouldn’t count on him this fantasy season.

Le’Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets

Bell sat out all of last season in a well-publicized contract dispute with his former team, Pittsburgh. As a result, Bell will take the field for the New York Jets this season. The Jets are filled with a lot of young talent as they look to rebuild. Quarterback Sam Darnold threw for 2,865 yards with 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last season.

The receivers have potential with Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Josh Bellamy and tight end Chris Herndon. Though, with opposing defenses knowing how much of a game changer Bell can be, expect them to stack the box against the running back.

In his last full season (2017), Bell had 321 carries for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns. His carries and touchdowns were career highs.

While the running back pool is top-heavy, don’t put all your eggs in this basket.

Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland

Ever since landing Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland has been many people’s favorite to make the playoffs and possibly win the Super Bowl. While the expectations are high for the team, we should temper them for Landry. In his first season with Cleveland, Landry caught 81 passes for 976 yards and four touchdowns. Meanwhile, the combination of Rashard Higgins and Antonio Callaway caught 82 passes for 1,158 yards and nine touchdowns.

In 12 games with the New York Giants last season, Beckham Jr. had 77 catches, 1,052 yards and six touchdowns. Adding him to the mix in Cleveland takes possessions away from the other receivers.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield will be throwing the ball a lot. But with HigginsCallawayBeckham Jr.Landry and don’t forget tight end David Njoku all vying for touches, there will be only so many targets to go around.

Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia

Another pass-heavy offense is Philadelphia. In his two years with Philadelphia, Jeffery has caught 122 passes for 1,632 yards and 15 touchdowns. He is the clear No. 1, but what kind of performance will that lead to?

Nelson Agholor saw a bump in production last season with a career high 64 catches on 97 targets. Add in elite tight end Zach Ertz and the addition of DeSean Jackson and suddenly there may be one too many mouths to feed. Jeffery will get his targets but on a game-to-game basis, you won’t know what kind of production he’ll give you. You can’t trust someone when they can score five or 15 points per game.

Eric Ebron, TE, Indianapolis
Ebron is the ultimate regression player. He had a career year last season with 110 targets, 750 yards and 13 touchdowns. He combined for 186 receptions, 2,070 yards and 11 scores in his first 56 games of his career with Detroit.
Indianapolis has a solid 1-2 punch at wide receiver with T.Y. Hilton and Devin Funchess. The team also use a two-tight set with Ebron and Jack Doyle. A full season of Marlon Mark in the backfield will take away some pass attempts from Andrew Luck. A healthy Doyle will also cut into his production.While Ebron will be drafted as a Top-10 tight end, the position is so volatile that he may finish outside the Top-15. He also hasn’t been the healthiest of players throughout his career.

These five players will be drafted in all leagues. They are too talented not to be. But, don’t be the guy who drafts them. There are plenty of other options at each position with more consistency that can lead you to a fantasy football championship.

About David Verbanac

Hi guys, I've been a member of Fantasy Sharks since September of '08. If you've been a member here for the past few years, you have no doubt seen a few of my posts. Like most, I can usually be found trolling about in the Main Tank, commenting on all the hot topics involving fantasy football and the NFL. I am honored to be one of the "newbs" among the writing staff, and I hope that you find my columns to be both entertaining and informative. I have been a member of a private, 12 team PPR re-draft league for over 20 years. It is a league made up mostly of guys that I used to work with. I'm proud to say that I made the playoffs last year, finishing in the money in 3rd place. I, of course, am aiming for a shot at the title this season!!