The key to a successful Fantasy draft is knowing who you want to have on your team and who you don't want to have on your team. That much is pretty straight-forward. And it goes without saying that you'll draft anybody if the price is right. At least you should -- value is king on Draft Day.
But there are plen-tee of well-known names from the Fantasy orbit who just aren't what they used to be. They're older. They're slower. Their circumstances have changed. They just aren't the same guys. You're better off letting your league-mates draft them because they recognize their names.
Here are the players I don't want to draft. I'm downgrading all of them in my rankings so that I will only get them if they fall to an incredible value on Draft Day:
There's no point in stating the obvious with Tagovailoa's health, but you have to bake it into his Fantasy value. The downside case goes beyond there: Tagovailoa had four monster weeks when he, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle were all healthy -- and eight weeks with less than 20 Fantasy points. He also needs pristine pass protection from his still-suspect offensive line -- when left tackle Terron Armstead played, Tagovailoa's completion rate was nearly 10 points higher and his EPA per dropback was over 0.5 points higher (a massive amount). The joys of having some smash weeks from Tagovailoa must be weighed against his down weeks and frustrating headaches you could have filling your QB spot when he's unavailable. Even at a price point of after 100th overall, it's tough to love that buy-in knowing efficient passers like Dak Prescott, Kirk Cousins and perhaps even Aaron Rodgers can be had even later.
Running Back Busts
Jacobs is coming off a year with career-highs in carries (340), touches (393) and yards per rush (4.9). I don't have worries about his age (25) or wear-and-tear (six career games missed), I'm just nervous about his chances of seeing that same kind of volume or efficiency again. In his three years prior his numbers weren't anywhere near as explosive and he averaged right around 14 PPR points per game as a result. With a 15% reduction in his 2022 numbers he comes out to 14.9 PPR points per game. That's the expectation I have for him, even in an offense that seemed to agree with him last year, but has undergone some peripheral changes since. Last year, 14.9 PPR points per game would have been good for 11th among running backs. That's right about where Fantasy managers should grab him in their drafts this year. Aim for late Round 2/early Round 3.
After splashing for 13-plus touchdowns in three of his first four seasons, Kamara had 13 total over his past two years including just four in 2022. In those same two seasons, Taysom Hill accounted for 20 touchdowns including 11 in 2022. The Saints have since added known touchdown vulture Jamaal Williams this offseason -- don't expect a lot of scoring for Kamara. His reception totals have similarly taken a hit as he's grabbed 104 of 144 targets over the past two seasons. Before 2021, he was a lock for about 100 targets per year. Kamara's rushing average has also dipped from 4.6 or better through his first four seasons to 4.0 or worse in his past two. And did I mention a possible suspension for the 28-year-old stemming from a Las Vegas nightclub incident? A once-stellar talent has devolved into a committee back. Expecting over 1,200 total yards is easy, but expecting 60-plus receptions and more than seven scores is the hard part.
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Here's the recap of Williams' past 12 months: He went from a huge Week 1 to weak performances in Weeks 2 and 3, then he tore his ACL. After a report surfaced about his slow recovery, the Broncos prioritized passing-down specialist (and pinch-hitting feature back) Samaje Perine in free agency and have hung on to Latavius Murray. There's a reality that Williams' sky-high ceiling won't get sniffed this year because of his slow return to form (nearly all players with a torn ACL don't rebound quickly) and because he'll share with Perine and possibly others. Maybe we could cross our fingers for a second-half surge from Williams, but if we do that then we can always trade for him after the season starts and not spend a top-60 pick on him.
Wide Receiver Busts
Evans' outlook has never looked worse. Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask appear to be his quarterbacks. The Buccaneers hired ex-Seattle passing-game coordinator Dave Canales as their first-time playcaller. The Saints, Panthers and Falcons have improved defenses. And Evans, coming off a five-year-low six touchdowns, will be 30 years old when the season begins. But really the concern starts with Mayfield, who has led a receiver to over 1,000 yards twice and six receiving touchdowns once. Mayfield's strengths are few, but one of them definitely isn't completing passes beyond 10 yards downfield. Evans will have to somehow improve his red-zone efficiency with Mayfield (or Trask) to overcome what figures to be a shortened and likely less effective pass game. You should pass, however, on Evans unless it's as a No. 3 receiver in Round 6 or later.
Kirk was the Jaguars' No. 1 receiver in 2022 with 133 targets. His role, and the targets that come along with it, figure to change with Calvin Ridley jumping into Jacksonville this season. Ridley has been a proven No. 1 wideout who is rested and motivated following a year-long suspension. Trevor Lawrence figures to continue growing as a passer, so there's potential for Kirk to still be efficient on his receptions even though he figures to play second fiddle to Ridley. I might even expect Kirk to work more from the slot and pick up good volume on shorter throws from Lawrence. But all of this ultimately points to Kirk's numbers shrinking from 2022. What he did with Arizona in 2021 -- a 77-982-5 stat line -- figures to be in play. Draft him accordingly.