There are a tremendous amount of resources to consume in advance of a fantasy football draft. But you cannot be beholden to the ratings. Learn the Average Draft Position (ADP) front and back all you wish, but come season’s end, some players will appear wildly overvalued in retrospect. Because we care about you, here are some players to avoid in the round they’re likely to go based on ADP on Fantasy Pros. You’re welcome.
Round 1: Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers (ADP: 8)
Adams exploded for a career-year in 2018, gobbling up 111 receptions and 1,386 yards. This was an obscene jump. If he replicates those numbers, taking him as the second wideout off the board overall may make sense. It’s just that he doesn’t have a track record suggesting he will. Plus, he’s not the most efficient wide receiver whose value is predicated on the idea that he’ll be a regular visitor to the end zone. Aaron Rodgers would love for this prediction to be wrong, but keep an eye out for a regression.
Round 2: Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams (ADP: 14)
The Rams are adamant that the running back, who wasn’t healthy down the stretch last year, is now healthy. But their offseason moves tend to suggest otherwise. An in-shape Gurley is as explosive as any back out there, and a workhorse who averages 22 touches. That’s a best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario feels like a likely one: where he’s balky week-to-week and his true readiness is murky. It feels like a collision course for a nightmare experience or, at the very least, a frustrating one.
Round 3: Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans (ADP: 36)
Henry’s numbers last year were buoyed greatly by a 99-yard touchdown run as part of a 238-yard game, so some of his raw figures and average yard/carry are a bit skewed. Then there’s the uncertainty over his ability to get regular touches. Then there’s the pesky little fact he’s a near non-entity out of the backfield catching the football. Other than that, though, have at it.
Round 4: Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders (ADP: 38)
Okay, so he was a beast at Alabama. Expectations are super-high and the guy has a three-down skill set. Jon Gruden has had success with rookie running backs before (see: Cadillac Williams). On the other hand, Jacobs’ quarterback is Derek Carr, who can’t be trusted, and will be force-feeding the ball to Antonio Brown. Jacobs could be a top-five fantasy running back in the league in a few years, just not right now.
Round 5: Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots (ADP: 52)
The experience of having a Patriots running back on your roster is a unique one. It’s exciting but unsettling to watch Bill Belichick spin the wheel and decide which form of offense he wants to use to win that given week. He had a heavy workload late in the season, averaging almost 21 touches over the final five weeks, but is dealing with some knee issues already. When healthy, he’s very productive. Yes, this is beginning to sound like a broken record, but there’s nothing more important in fantasy football than getting guys on the field.
Round 6: Eric Ebron, TE, Indianapolis Colts (ADP: 71)
Ebron got over his career-long dropsies in Indy last season, posting 750 yards on 66 catches and 13 touchdowns. He caught more TD passes in one year as a Colt than he did in four years as a Lion. Frank Reich’s offensive system has to be given due credit, but regression is pasted all over Ebron when it comes to his fantasy value. He’s a fine pick later on in your draft, but you’re better off taking a chance on an unknown tight end who might be the next George Kittle at a very thin fantasy position that only got thinner with Rob Gronkowski’s retirement.
Round 7: Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles (ADP: 77)
Howard finished with 950 yards and nine TDs last year, and in the seventh round, he would be an average flex option to start the year. But the Eagles have been making an awful lot of noise about how high they are on second-round pick Miles Sanders. Howard always ran with decisiveness, but never much explosiveness, which limits his ceiling. Add in a talented rookie nipping at his heels and the fact that a second-round pick is a much higher investment than the 2020 sixth-rounder Philadelphia gave up for Howard’s services, and the countdown on Howard’s time receiving the majority of carries seems to have already started.
Round 8: Royce Freeman, RB, Denver Broncos (ADP: 96)
Philip Lindsay was one of the breakout fantasy stars last season, but never got much usage in the pass game. The idea going into the year for fantasy players was that Freeman would receive the majority of pass reps and would therefore present some solid value in PPR leagues. But with the Broncos signing Theo Riddick, one of the better pure receiving backs in the game, Freeman’s value has dropped like a rock. Barring injury, he won’t see much time, and there are dozens of fliers with more potential worth looking at in the eighth round.
Round 9: N’Keal Harry, WR, New England Patriots (ADP: 106)
The temptation to take Harry is there, seeing as Julian Edelman is the only other receiver on the roster who’s worth mentioning. He’s a big red-zone target, the only one in New England without Gronkowski. Don’t be fooled. Harry might be able to make an impact that no other rookie wideout has in this offense, but that isn’t a particularly high bar. As a fantasy option, you’d be lucky for double-digit points in any given week. Harry will get targets, but the Patriots will be a ground-and-pound team this year. The touchdown numbers won’t be there, and if he does end up a reliable fantasy option, it won’t come until later in the year. Don’t be the guy who has to eat crow after dropping him on the waiver wire in Week 3.
Round 10: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks (ADP: 110)
The NFL Draft’s combine darling, there is no denying Metcalf is a very, very large and strong man. Will that make him a prolific receiver? Certainly not in his first year as a pro. Every flaw of a draftee gets a bit overblown because we in sports media run out of things to talk about, but Metcalf’s inability to change direction at the NFL level will be a big problem when he isn’t required to run go routes. He’ll have some highlight-reel plays and long touchdowns because of Russell Wilson’s scrambling ability and Metcalf’s sheer physical dominance, but he won’t be a consistent contributor, and his ceiling doesn’t seem all that high. Like every team in the first round of the draft, don’t buy into the hype. Just pass.