Best Ball Sleepers to Avoid 3.13.2023

By Tera Roberts
Tera Roberts

Best Ball Sleepers to Avoid

Best ball season is underway! Drafting risky players can have a huge payoff but there are some players you just might want to avoid completely. Let's talk players I'm saying away from in 2023.


Javonte Williams

I'm not opposed to taking players coming off significant injuries. I feel comfortable drafting Breece Hall because I expect him to return to a being a top 12 back with little competition. But with Javonte Williams, I have some concerns. William's injury mirrors that of J.K. Dobbins and his recovery could extend into the start of the season. The Broncos will likely invest in a complementary back via free agency or the draft. When Williams is ready to play, he'll face an uphill battle of pushing to be productive in a committee. His current ADP isn't egregious but I'd rather take a shot on young receivers at a similar ADP than hope Williams can eventually gain a full workload.


T.J. Hockenson

Hockenson is a clear TE1 and I'm not concerned that his production will dip. But his production doesn't warrant the ADP. With the release of Adam Thielan, we could see a trend in best ball drafts that pushes Hockenson closer to Mark Andrews than I feel comfortable drafting. The ceiling games won't come frequent enough to make up for the games where he fails to reach double digit fantasy points. Minnesota will likely invest in an additional receiver via the draft and increases to Hockenson's production could be minimal at best. The difference in production between Hockenson and players like Dallas Goedert and Evan Engram isn't enough to justify the ADP.


Mike Evans

The reasoning for avoiding Mike Evans is short and simple - Tampa Bay is in a terrible situation. They are stacked with high-priced veterans, no quarterback to lead them, and limited funds to pay a new quarterback. Free agent quarterbacks and trade candidates are being courted by teams with the means to pay them and Tampa Bay will likely struggle to compete. With little clarity around who will lead this team and the potential for a rebuild, Evans is a huge risk in early best ball drafts. Evans has typically thrived on big plays and touchdowns - two area where Tampa could struggle in 2023.


Miles Sanders

The Eagles are in a difficult spot with their cap space and resigning Miles Sanders is likely on the lower end of priorities. Sanders will likely be in a new location in 2023. Looking at potential landing spots, the majority of open spots are committees. Sanders thrived in Philadelphia's committee but that was a unique situation due to a run-heavy offense. It's tough to picture a situation where Sanders is more than an RB2 in terms of his production. Miami is the only landing spot that would make Sanders an appealing option. Unless were hear solid rumors around Sanders and Miami, it's best to avoid him.


Nick Chubb

Nick Chubb finished as RB6 in total fantasy points in PPR last year - a fantastic overall result. However, there was stark difference in his performance when Deshaun Watson returned to action. Chubb averaged 18.9 fantasy points per game in PPR Weeks 1 through 12. He averaged 12.2 points per game Weeks 13 through 18 with just one touchdown. Kareem Hunt's potential departure might seem encouraging for his production but even if Chubb was utilized as a workhorse back, I have serious concerns that his production may not improve. The Browns are looking to increase pass volume and utilize Watson to his full potential. Chubb could finish outside the top 12 at his position.


Christian Watson

Avoiding Christian Watson is not an attack on the looming reality that Jordan Love will be the Packers' starting quarterback. Love could have a solid year as a first-time starter. The problem with drafting Watson is that we have no true knowledge of Love's preferences and any changes in offensive direction to fit his skillset. And at this point in the offseason, we have no clue what offensive investments the Packers intend to make. Watson could perform at a WR1 level, or he could have a significantly lowered ceiling as the Packers transition to a new era. I need more clarity around the Packers offensive plans before committing to Watson.