Fantasy football draft season is fast approaching, which means that it is a great time to start preparing your draft board. And while a big part of any fantasy football draft board is looking into which players you want on your team, another important component is deciding which players you want to avoid when your draft rolls around. These three players in particular should be avoided at all costs when it comes to picking your fantasy football team.
Odell Beckham Jr.
As a general rule, it is a great idea to avoid players who are coming off of catastrophic injuries. This is especially true when it comes to players who are almost sure to be drafted near the top of most fantasy football drafts. Odell Beckham Jr. falls into both of those categories, as he is recovering from a serious injury that will render him unworthy of the high draft pick that he may earn in most fantasy leagues.
Beckham is undoubtedly a talented wide receiver, but there are so many talented wide receivers that are going to come into the 2018 season healthy. The most important thing outside of production in fantasy football is the ability to stay on the field. A player can’t score fantasy points if they aren’t healthy enough to stay on the field, and concerns about Beckham reinjuring his ankles could derail even the most well put together fantasy team. While the Giants may be able to clear Beckham for minicamps, that doesn’t mean that he will be the top-tier receiver that he was before his injuries.
Add on to that the fact that the Giants might be a bad team again this coming season, and it is entirely possible that Beckham’s production suffers as a result. The Giants were one of the worst teams in the NFL last year, and were among the teams that were the least backed in the NFL by bettors. Even bettors using NFL football free bets from Oddschecker were taking their wagers elsewhere, and there aren’t many signs that the team will be better in 2018.
In fact, the team may be even worse at protecting quarterback Eli Manning than they were last year. They lost two of their only decent offensive linemen this offseason in Weston Richburg and Justin Pugh. And even with the addition of left tackle Nate Solder, the team is looking likely to have trouble giving Manning enough time to get the ball to Beckham on a regular basis.
Every year, someone in your fantasy football league drafts Rob Gronkowski higher than they should. This is because he is a big name, but also because he is one of the best tight ends in the NFL when he is healthy enough to compete. But you should know before you draft your fantasy team for the 2018 season that Gronkowski is not to be trusted as a top-tier tight end.
Much like Beckham, Gronkowski’s health is a big reason as to why he should not be trusted at the tight end spot for your team. He has been hurt multiple times over the last few seasons, missing significant chunks of time with each injury that he suffers. And thanks to the Patriots’ situation in the AFC East, there isn’t always a reason for the team to bring him back during the regular season.
That situation, of course, is the fact that the Patriots have to compete with the lowly Jets, Bills, and Dolphins in the AFC East. Those three teams combined may not be able to field a team strong enough to beat the Patriots, which all but guarantees New England the ability to win the division and make the playoffs each year. As a result, the team is able to rest Gronkowski until they think he is healthy enough to contribute in the postseason, which can demolish his fantasy production every year.
Instead, you may want to look at some higher value options later in the draft. Players like Trey Burton of the Bears will be available deep into most drafts. Burton and others can make for a way more valuable play than Gronkowski.
Deshaun Watson lit up the NFL over a short period of time before he was lost for the season due to a knee injury. This year, the Texans have to figure out a way to get Watson back on track, and shouldn’t have much trouble doing so. But as he gets used to life on the field after a knee injury, fantasy players should not buy into the hype from last season just yet.
There is no denying that Watson is a hard-working player, as evidenced by his early return from a knee injury to be a part of the Houston Texans’ offseason workouts. But all of the hard work in the world can’t prepare a player for re-adjusting to the full speed of an NFL game. As a result, expect Watson to undergo a bit of an adjustment period as he gets his legs back under him in 2018.
Instead of using a draft pick on Watson, wait to see if he is available on waivers later in the season after he has had some time to get reacclimated with playing quarterback on his surgically repaired knee. That could be the value pickup of the season if you time it correctly.