If you haven’t drafted your fantasy football team yet, kudos to you for waiting this long. Chances are, however, that you’ll be drafting within the next seven to 10 days.
You’ve done your mocks, and you have an idea about where players will fall. Using FantasyPros.com composite ADP, let’s take a look at some players to avoid in a standard 12-team, 15-round draft, based off of their current ADP.
Round 1: Peyton Manning
Look, my fingers were itching to type Marshawn Lynch‘s name since all of the signs are pointing toward a huge decline for Beastmode. Despite that decline, I just can’t see myself ever drafting Peyton Manning in the first round, let alone No. 7 overall. By selecting Manning at this spot, you expect him to repeat his record-setting performance of a year ago. Anything short of that, will be disappointment. I personally don’t even have Manning as my top signal caller. Drafting a quarterback in the first round isn’t wrong — there is no wrong strategy in fantasy football — but it’s definitely a gamble with the position being so deep this year.
Round 2: Doug Martin
To be fair, when mock drafts started, Doug Martin was a top-15 option. His ADP is No. 23 overall, which a little bit better. However, I won’t be using a second-round pick on Martin. With the news of Charles Sims going down for the majority of the season, the Martin believers want to raise his stock again. All signs in Tampa Bay point to a running-back-by-committee approach with new offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford’s history. Mike James and Bobby Rainey will be in the mix, and don’t forget how poor Martin played before he went down last year.
Round 3: Reggie Bush
If you’re in a PPR league, (I wish all leagues would go to this format) then this is an OK spot to pick Reggie Bush. However, with Joique Bell right beside him this year instead of behind him as he was last year, don’t be shocked if Bush plays a role similar to the one he played with the Saints. Bush will still show flashes, but in a standard draft, he won’t live up to his No. 36 ADP. Don’t just grab the name you have heard of before, but wait for Bell, who has an ADP of No. 70.
Round 4: Ryan Mathews
For those of you who were believers in Ryan Matthews, congrats. Your patience paid off last year. Matthews has an ADP of 40 this year, and I tend to think that the Chargers in general will regress in a big way this year. The Chargers are going to air the ball out more this year under offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Add to that the addition of Donald Brown, who will touch the ball more than people think, and Danny Woodhead still taking reps, Matthews stock takes a hit, assuming he stays healthy for another year.
Round 5: Cam Newton
Cam Newton has been a top five quarterback each year he’s been in the league. I get all of that, and he has the talent to do it again. However, the Panthers could easily take the biggest step backward this year in the entire league. The offensive line is a mess, there’s an entire new receiving corps and Newton is coming off of offseason ankle surgery. If you want to draft Newton as your starter, go ahead and do it. If you want to do it in round five with his current ADP of 59.4, reconsider.
Round 6: Seattle Seahawks DST
Do I need to really write anything? The Seahawks have been dominant for the past two years as as defensive unit, and while I expect them to regress slightly, the defense should still be a nightmare for the opposition. However, there is no defense that should be drafted in the top 10 rounds, let alone in the sixth round. With an ADP of 62, the Seahawks are going over guys like Chris Johnson, Ray Rice, Shane Vereen, Torrey Smith, T.Y. Hilton and more capable fantasy players. Don’t be that guy in your draft.
Round 7: Jeremy Maclin
Perhaps this being picky, but there aren’t many players with an ADP between 72 and 84. As an Eagles fan, I’m pulling for Maclin. However, he’s already been hurt this preseason, and he’s coming back from a torn ACL last year. Maclin is expected to be the No. 1 receiver for the Eagles, yet he’s never had a 1,000-yard season, his high in receptions is 70 and he’s had double-digit touchdowns just once. In an offense filled with fantasy options, I’m not sure if Maclin is the one that I want at 76 overall.
Round 8: Stevan Ridley
This is just a personal preference. Ridley was a second-round pick last year with high expectations. Ridley has all of the talent in the world, but he just can’t hold on to the football. We saw it yet again in the Patriots’ last preseason game. Ridley is going at No. 85 on average, but with a backfield that is notorious for going with the hot hand — or the hand that doesn’t fumble — why trust Ridley? If he fumbles once, he’s relegated to the bench in favor of Shane Vereen, James White or Brandon Bolden. Plus, I wouldn’t be surprised if BenJarvus Green-Ellis returns once the Bengals release him. I have a friend who is all-in on Ridley this year. I’ll let him tell me how it goes for him instead of taking the chance.
Round 9: Darren Sproles
Look at Bush, Reggie. Same thing applies to Sproles. If this was a PPR league, sure. Being that it’s standard, congratulations. You just wasted a draft pick on Sproles. Yes, Sproles will get some touches, but with Lane Johnson out for the first four games for the Eagles, Brent Celek will be on the field most of the time. That means targets are going to have to be split between Jordan Matthews, Zach Ertz and Sproles. There are much better options than Sproles at 103.
Round 10: DeAngelo Williams
DeAngelo Williams has his fantasy value, but he’s a guy that I would take in the last round of my draft — before a kicker, of course. At this point in the draft, there are many more players with higher upside than Williams has. Williams has to share the field with Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert. It works for the Panthers, but it doesn’t work for fantasy owners.
Round 11: Hakeem Nicks
Hakeem Nicks is done. It’s sad to say since he is still relatively young. Nicks isn’t worth drafting at all in any league, unless it’s the deepest of the deepest. Sure, he looked OK in the Colts’ last preseason game, but unless he faces the Giants each time out, I wouldn’t touch him. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Colts cut him before Week 1.
Round 12: Danny Amendola
Want to hear something you’ve never heard before? Danny Amendola can’t stay on the field. Last year, Julian Edelman became the go-to receiver for Tom Brady. I have Edelman as a bust this year, but as long as he’s healthy, Amendola will struggle to find the field. If Aaron Dobson can ever get healthy, and if Kenbrell Thompkins can hang on to the ball, they’ll solidify the outside for the Patriots. With Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and Shane Vereen taking the targets over the middle, Amendola is the odd man out.
Round 13: Christine Michael
I’m in the minority on Christine Michael. Most have him as the top handcuff off of the board, and I was on the bandwagon last year as a Marshawn Lynch owner. However, why everyone is ignoring the Seattle depth chart is beyond me. In the preseason games, Robert Turbin has been getting the majority of the carries with the second team, and he’s the backup to Lynch as of now. If and when Lynch goes down this year, expect a true committee approach from the Seahawks.