Fantasy Football leagues are often won on draft day. What pushes your team to the next level? It’s finding the right sleepers and not making early mistakes with your top picks. Sure, trades and free agent gems can also help get you where you need to be. But the draft, in the end, is the most important (and the most fun) part. In order to potentially make the season more enjoyable, here is a “Fantasy Football Do Not Draft” list to help you navigate through the early stages of draft day.
Take each option for what it is, a risk that could also pan out. There are almost always safer picks that can be made. Alternative draft options are provided alongside the risky players below. The measurement is that these players are overvalued (vs. their ADP) and therefore land on this list.
Without further ado, I give you the TWHS Fantasy Football Do Not Draft List for 2019:
2019 Fantasy Football Do Not Draft List
Todd Gurley (RB – Los Angeles Rams)
Wow, here’s a name I never thought I’d ever list in this space. Gurley still has the talent to surprise a lot of people, but does he have the healthy knees? We all saw (and wondered) about his absence in the Super Bowl. The reports keep popping up during the preseason, with the most recent quote coming from head coach Sean McVay (below). He’s explosive now, but will it last? Per the Rams trainer, there is an “arthritic component to his knee”, too. Gurley will easily be the boom or bust pick of the year.
ADP: 9.5 (ESPN) | Alternative Options: Le’Veon Bell (7.7) and James Conner (18.2)
Notice the comment underneath the headline …
McVay: “You never know exactly how [Gurley’s knee] is going to respond” once the games begin.
👆👆👆 The most important takeaway. https://t.co/DHjBjdvR7O
— Brad Evans (@YahooNoise) August 16, 2019
Antonio Brown (WR – Oakland Raiders)
Call me crazy, but toxic situations scare me. The Brown helmet fiasco still isn’t completely resolved and you never know what that will do to a relationship between a player and a front office. Raiders GM Mike Mayock has already openly made comments regarding Brown (below). In addition, let’s keep in mind that Brown is moving from the Pittsburgh offense to Oakland. The same supporting cast is not there. It screams risk, especially where he’s currently being selected.
ADP: 20.7 (ESPN) | Alternative Options: JuJu Smith-Schuster (17.1) and Mike Evans (23.7)
GM Mike Mayock issued a statement today regarding Antonio Brown. pic.twitter.com/5ueLsrOmid
— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) August 18, 2019
Adrian Peterson (RB – Washington Redskins)
The ageless AP (1,042 rushing yards in 2018) proved a lot of critics wrong last season. But despite his 34 year-old body, Peterson is currently without Trent Williams, the team’s best offensive lineman. That is a major hit alone. Throw in Derrius Guice, who could be healthy heading into the season, and therefore taking away some of his workload.
ADP: 163.7 (ESPN) | Alternative Options: Kalen Ballage (160.9 – currently slated to start for the Dolphins), Dion Lewis (157.0 – if you’re in a PPR league) and Justin Jackson (168.8 – depending on the contract status of Melvin Gordon)
Dalvin Cook (RB – Minnesota Vikings)
I love Cook’s talent, but he has played just 15 games over his first two seasons. Is that availability worth a first or second round draft pick for you? It honestly is not, unless you were able to secure someone like Alexander Mattison (Cook’s backup) in a reasonable slot during your draft.
ADP: 24.0 (ESPN) | Alternative Options: Joe Mixon (19.0), Nick Chubb (25.7) and even Melvin Gordon (20.9 – but only if his contract situation gets sorted out)
Derrick Henry (RB – Tennessee Titans)
In life, it is always what have you done for me lately? For Fantasy, that would be the end of last season for Derrick Henry. 408 of Henry’s 1,059 rushing yards came in two games. He was the number one Fantasy RB over the last four weeks of the season. Which Derrick Henry will we get in 2019? Is it worth the high draft pick to assume you get the stretch run version? I’m not so sure, and you shouldn’t be either. Besides, Marcus Mariota has been so inconsistent, that if he does play well, defenses are likely to focus on shutting Henry down.
ADP: 39.7 (ESPN) | Alternative Options: Josh Jacobs (40.8) and Marlon Mack (46.6)
Devonta Freeman (RB – Atlanta Falcons)
Freeman played in just two games last year and did not manage a 1,000-yard rushing season over the last two seasons combined. On top of that, the Falcons regularly use a two-back approach, which means he’ll split carries. Freeman is also used more often in the red zone, which could have its benefits. Still, Atlanta would have to get down inside the five regularly to get him the touchdown numbers. Maybe I’m just gun-shy from last year, but I see better options.
ADP: 34.3 (ESPN) | Alternative Options: Josh Jacobs (40.8) and Marlon Mack (46.6)
Damien Williams (RB – Kansas City Chiefs)
This is a tough one for me. In the end, you want talented backs that are regulars in a strong offense. That is Williams and that is the Chiefs. Still, Andy Reid was quoted as saying the Chiefs plan to implement a “running back by committee” approach. That means Williams could see a somewhat limited workload. On top of that, there is recent praise for rookie Darwin Thompson, who has reportedly passed Carlos Hyde on the depth chart. The coaching staff loves him, so could he pass Williams, too?
ADP: 53.8 (ESPN) | Alternative Options: Aaron Jones (48.9), Mark Ingram II (54.6), Phillip Lindsay (71.6) and David Montgomery (72.1)
Andrew Luck (QB – Indianapolis Colts)
Luck is again battling through multiple injuries and remains a question mark for the beginning of the season. Recently, PFT debates whether Luck has a durability problem, and rightfully so. So, is that worth the risk when he’s going in the top ten among quarterbacks? There are so many better options that I don’t think it’s worth taking him, unless you have a very strong backup QB that can replace him. That would mean losing depth at another position in order to take a second QB.
ADP: 79.7 (ESPN) | Alternative Options: Drew Brees (74.6) and Russell Wilson (109.1)
UPDATE: In a shocking story, Luck announced his retirement from the NFL and this pick makes even more sense than before (obviously)
Leonard Fournette (RB – Jacksonville Jaguars
Fournette has played 21 games in his first two seasons. So, if you’re ok with adding a back that on average will miss six games in the season, go for it. It is also difficult to gauge how this offense will look (and perform) this year, now that Nick Foles is in town and significant changes have been made. He isn’t the worst choice in this part of the draft, but he isn’t the best one either.
ADP: 29.1 (ESPN) | Alternative Options: Nick Chubb (25.7) and Kerryon Johnson (34.7)
David Njoku (TE –Cleveland Browns)
Njoku is being listed by many amongst the second tier of tight ends in drafts. That is just too high. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a very talented TE, but there are too many other talented players to throw to on the Cleveland roster. That tells me he is not going to be a primary focus of the offense and will not get nearly as close to the numbers that he had last season (88 targets, 639 yards, 4 TD).
ADP: 97.8 (ESPN) | Alternative Options: Vance McDonald (97.9) and Jordan Reed (144.6)
Contract Disputes or Holdouts (Subject to Change): Keep a close eye on what happens with these players, each of which has uncertain futures due to contract issues or holdout situations. At this point, these are risky selections but that could all change in the upcoming days and weeks.
- Melvin Gordon (RB – Chargers)
- Ezekiel Elliott (RB – Cowboys)
- Trent Williams (OL – Redskins | Redskins RB’s)
Now that you have viewed the TWHS Fantasy Football Do Not Draft list, what do you think? Do you strongly agree or disagree with any or all of these risky selections?
Who do you consider to be at the top of your Fantasy Football Do Not Draft List for 2019?
Other 2019 Fantasy Football Posts at TWHS:
As always, thank you for reading and supporting The Wife Hates Sports!
Reference: ESPN Live Draft Trends