There are many lists that rank players based on individual performance, but that does not always translate to fantasy points. Several factors go into fantasy performance and while some options may seem appealing, they are not always correct.
Here are the top five players that you SHOULD NOT pick at their projected spot.
5) Jimmy Garoppolo – QB San Francisco 49ers
A lot of people love Jimmy G, and for good reason. He took a team with an abysmal record and immediately won his first five starts with them. Can that translate to consistent success in to 2018? Maybe. There is no reason to take that risk when selecting a starting quarterback though. He may end up playing tremendously all year, but it is highly unlikely that he will consistently outperform someone like Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, or Phillip Rivers by a significant amount. Take a proven quarterback first, and if Garoppolo falls to a later round he can be taken as a backup.
4) Jordy Nelson – WR Oakland Raiders
Jordy Nelson, up until 2017, has been an excellent receiver for the Green Bay Packers. Now coming into the 2018 season he is forced to learn a new offense, with a new quarterback, in a new place. That, of course, is not an ideal situation for a player sitting at 33 years old and coming off a down year. It is at this point in his career one must consider if he “still has it.” It is also worth considering how much of Nelson’s success is due to having Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback and if that can translate anywhere else.
At this point in the draft one should decide who they want as their WR2. Your second receiver, while maybe not as consistent as your first selection, should be young with a lot of upside. According to ESPN’s top-300PPR Rankings, Sterling Shepard, Nelson Agholor, and rookie D.J Moore are high on the list of young talent. Though it is often hard to tell when a younger player will have a good season, it is a reasonable to assume that these receivers will perform nearly as well or much better than Jordy Nelson in most weeks.
3) Any Rookie Quarterback
Every year it seems there is one person who believes a rookie will be “the answer” to a team’s problems and play at an elite level, leading their team to a fantasy championship. They will not.
Deshaun Watson was an exception to that rule before he was injured, as was Ben Roethlisberger when he entered the league. Not every quarterback can be Ben Roethlisberger or Deshaun Watson. DO NOT fall into this trap.
When selecting your starting quarterback, wait until a later round. There is a plethora of quarterbacks that play at or near an elite level, and it is unreasonable to believe a rookie will be the leader of your offense when so many great options are available.
2) Mike Evans – WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers
For whatever reason, Mike Evans is ranked higher than Adam Thielen, Larry Fitzgerald, and Brandin Cooks by both ESPN and FantasyPros despite all of them having indisputably better seasons last year. Even players such as Robby Anderson and JuJu Smith-Schuster may be set to perform better than Evans this year, who will play without his starting quarterback for the first three game of the season.
Jameis Winston, quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has been suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season. After a disappointing year in 2017, and without Winston for the first three games, Evans might even have the worst year statistically in his young career.
When selecting your starting receiver, it is best to look for consistency. It is safe to say that this will not be Mike Evans’ year to be consistent. That said, if he were to fall significantly to a later round, he will be a great pickup for someone as their WR2.
1) Julio Jones – WR Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones is considered one of the best receivers in the NFL, and rightfully so. He consistently finishes with an unbelievable number of yards and receptions, and he might be one of the most feared players in the league. That said, there is one major problem with Jones’ stat sheet…
He cannot find the end zone.
Jones has finished with 8, 6, and 3 touchdowns in the past three years respectively despite having over 1,400 yards every season, and over 1,800 in 2015. In fantasy football, this type of production does not translate well. A large majority of the points you can receive from a receiver comes from touchdowns. In this case Julio Jones will, on average, have less impact on a game than someone who finishes with 1,100 yards and 8 touchdowns. For a player expected to be picked in the top ten in most leagues to be valuable, he must reach the end zone more often.