Every year in fantasy football there is a player who is a pitfall. The thing about these guys is it can be for a multitude of reasons, and finding which guys are pitfalls, well, that is what separates chumps and champs. The trick to any good league management is to come in to the draft prepared knowing some of they key reasons why a player under performs his draft position. Some guys will fail due to bad scheme, while some guys will fail due to coming off an injury. Other guys will fail due to injuries to teammates around them (in most cases this can’t be predicted this early), and another set will fail due to a combination of factors. Let’s take a look at some fantasy pitfalls this season based on their ADP (Average Draft Position provided by Fantasy Pros)
Saquan Barkley : ADP 6.4
Barkley falls into the scheme, and bad supporting cast categories. Barkley is ridiculously talented, and that may be an under statement. Few guys can walk into the NFL and be the best athlete on the field. Many of you are saying “What about OBJ?”, bottom line is OBJ is a great football player, but does not have the combination of size, strength, speed, and explosion Barkley does. OBJ very well may end up being the better football player, but the best athlete doesn’t always become the best player. The right side of the Giants line is horrendous, and Barkley will fight to get back to the line. They are not going to get push in short yardage situations. This isn’t to say Barkley will never score or even have a decent year. However, a 1st round pick on a rookie RB behind a bad offensive line? No thank you!
Rob Gronkowski : ADP 22.2
Gronk is still going early in the 3rd rounds of drafts. Look, if you are looking for a great TE play for maybe a little over half the season with 3-4 of those games being questionable plays, than sure take Gronk. When he plays, you stand a great chance of having a good game out of that position. However, I’m in the camp roster spots are valuable and so are early draft picks. I just cant expend the capital to get a player who is more of a guarantee to miss half the year than not. Add on the fact the Patriots are looking at one of the worst WR cores we may ever see a winning team field, and it will become harder for Gronk early when Edelman is out of the lineup. His returns may suffer early, and an injury could derail your 3rd round pick completely. I prefer not playing Russian Roulette with my early draft picks.
Deshaun Watson : ADP 38.8
Here is a combination of injury and young age. I watched Deshaun Watson several times in person in both Bobby Dodd stadium and Death Valley. I watched him get hurt in Bobby Dodd, then come back the next season. Watson is another guy who has a great career in front of him. The MVP talk is premature though. One thing from my observation in college is Watson didn’t immediately bounce back. He took almost a complete season to get back into form in the pocket. Add on teams now have tape and time to scout his weak points much like in college, and I expect Watson to struggle out the gate as he adjusts to teams and coming off knee surgery. Furthermore, he’s going in the 4th round as a QB. There are better plays at QB in later rounds with less risk. Continue to build skill positions early in the draft, unless your scoring is different, drafting QBs early is a noob move.
Adam Thielen : ADP 33.4
Adam Thielen burst onto the scene last year and starred under the evolving QB position last year. This year is more settled at QB the Vikings hope with adding Cousins, but my major concern is also changing to new OC John DeFilippo. There is no telling what DeFilippo is going to do with the Vikings offense, but with a new QB, it would be hard to believe they will run the exact same verbatim, plays and language as last year. In the NFL, teams who make dramatic changes at both OC and QB do not have success out the gate. In most cases this is something that takes at least a full season and off-season to fully come together. WR’s and QB’s have to learn how each other reads the field and what they are seeing on routes based on what the defense gives them. An early 4th is too rich for my blood with all the changeover in offense and no guarantee in what will come next with the scheme.
Corey Davis : ADP 67.6
Corey Davis is a case of a guy in a place that’s unproven under a new coaching system. There is always a chance that they can pop under the surprise, but it is rare to see a case of guys appear out of no where when the direction is in flux. Mariota continues to struggle to remain healthy or show he can be a NFL pocket passer. These are all things working against Davis, and in the 7th round there are still plenty of more proven options with a more stable QB. This is a flyer pick for someone willing to roll the dice on a number 1 WR in the later rounds, but one I do not see panning out.