Stay Away - Avoid These Players in Best Ball 2022
I'd like to say I love all players equally. But I have to admit - there are some players who come across my draft board that leave me wondering why fantasy football apps don't have an "un-watch list." If that list existed, I have five players that would be sitting right at the top. These players are extremely talented and have either been productive in the past or show high-level promise. But the risk just isn't worth a pick at their current best ball ADP.
Deebo's current ADP of 14 overall is just too rich for my taste. I believe we saw his peak potential in 2021. And it was magnificent. But we need to consider a few factors when evaluating if he can repeat his performance. Deebo made it clear he's not a fan of his rushing usage and I completely understand his concerns. However, his work on the ground played a significant part of his 2021 success. Prior to Deebo's increased rushing usage, he was one of the top wide receivers in the NFL. That success came while Brandon Aiyuk was on limited usage and George Kittle was injured. Without the rushing stats and with a fully utilized receiving corps, Deebo's fantasy production will suffer. Combine all of those factors with the unknown of Trey Lance and I'll have to pass on Deebo at his current ADP.
I want to see the value in Amari Cooper. It's very easy to see he has WR1 potential if Deshaun Watson plays. But I'm just not willing to use a top 50 pick on such a volatile situation. There's a real possibility that Jacoby Brissett is the Browns' starting quarterback for the majority of the season. In that situation, Cleveland will likely continue heavy reliance on the ground game. In 2021, the Browns' leading receiver was Jarvis Landy - with a total of 52 receptions on 87 targets for 570 yards and 2 touchdowns. Landry played 12 games but left one of those games with an early injury. Removing that game, he averaged 4.6 receptions and 51 yards per game. Imagine drafting Amari Cooper and it's a good day if he breaks 10 fantasy points - hard pass at overall 48 ADP.
Hockenson got off to a fantastic start with eight receptions and a touchdown in each of his first two games. The Lions' receiving group was non-existent early season with Kalif Raymond and Quintez Cephus serving as the top receivers. Amon-Ra St. Brown was still getting used to the NFL. As the season continued, Hockenson's production lowered and became more erratic. If you remove those first two phenomenal games as outliers and look at week three through the remainder of the season, Hockenson's per game average was 9.9 fantasy points. That would place him in the range of a high-end TE2. With an overall ADP of 47, 10 fantasy points a game just isn't going to cut it when that ADP range includes players at other positions with extremely high upside, like Mike Williams and Tom Brady.
The Ravens want to return to their traditional heavy ground attack after a difficult 2021 season that saw their top two running backs suffer ACL injuries. The only problem is that Dobbins' early season availability is very unclear. It's possible he may not be available to start the season. And when he is available to start, the Ravens have no incentive to rush him into an aggressive workload. Dobbins would be in a committee with likely limited workload to protect him and ease him into action. We recently saw the Giants take this same approach with Saquon Barkley. With a current ADP of 57 overall at RB20, it's too risky to invest in Dobbins when there are multiple backs with clear health and higher upside available in the same range.
DeVonta Smith is extremely talented and capable being a fantastic 1B to AJ Brown's 1A. While I do believe the Eagles will increase pass volume in 2022, it won't be enough to provide a consistent stream of targets and yardage for Smith. Without touchdowns, Smith will see games where he doesn't exceed double digit fantasy points. The Eagles were dead last in pass attempts in 2021, 25th in pass yards and 1st in rush yards. They will likely improve through the air but their success on the ground was undeniable. Smith will need to be a redzone factor. Unfortunately for Smith, Brown will likely be the primary redzone target at receiver. At an ADP of 87 overall, I'll look elsewhere for higher upside.