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Fantasy football 2018: Do not draft list

Fantasy Football Do Not Draft

The following players are on my fantasy football “Do Not Draft List” in 2018, as I believe their average draft positions, or ADPs, are too high compared to their expected fantasy return.

All ADPs are according to fantasypros.com

Juju Smith-Schuster

Fantasy Football Do No Draft
Juju Smith-Schuster (19) lays a massive block on Cincinnati Bengals Vontaz Burfict (55). (Photo by Getty Images)

As a rookie in 2017, Smith-Schuster turned 58 catches into 917 yards and seven touchdowns, making him the 20th highest scoring fantasy receiver in point per reception, or PPR formats. Some may expect the 21-year-old to take a step forward in terms of production 2018, although I choose believe the contrary.

According to Mike Wright of The Fantasy Footballers, Smith-Schuster’s fantasy finish in 2017 was 29 spots higher than his expected fantasy finish based on targets, which was the largest discrepancy among players within the top-50 in targets. For comparison, Tyreek Hill’s fantasy finish in 2017 was 15 spots higher than his expected finish based on targets, which was the second largest discrepancy last season, showing how drastic the differential is with Smith-Schuster’s finish.

This shows that unless Smith-Schuster sees a major uptick in targets, he is sure to disappoint fantasy owners in 2018. Also, according to Mike Wright, Ben Roethlisberger has only supported two top-16 fantasy once, making Smith-Schuster’s ADP of WR17 much too high for my liking.

Alternative Players to Target: Demaryius Thomas (WR20), Josh Gordon (WR21), or Chris Hogan (WR26)

Devin Funchess

Funchess became one of Cam Newton’s favorite targets in 2017, turning 111 targets into 63 catches, 840 yards and eight touchdowns. The 24-year-old is entering his fourth season in the NFL, and some may expect the number one wide-receiver in Carolina to progress, although I believe he will take a significant step backward in 2018.

With the return of Greg Olson and the arrival of rookie D.J. Moore,  expect Funchess to relinquish 40-50 of his targets, as Olson has commanded at-least 100 targets from 2012-2016, and Moore was a first-round draft selection in 2018. Also, the Panther’s offensive line looks to be in shambles, as 2017 Pro-Bowl Left Guard Andrew Norwell left in free-agency for Jacksonville, and starters Daryl Williams (Dislocated Knee Cap/Torn MCL) and Matt Kalil (Knee Scope) are injured. Funchess finished 2017 as the WR22 in PPR formats, although because of circumstances, his ADP of WR34 is too high for my liking.

Alternative Players to Target: Emmanuel Sanders (WR35), Cooper Kupp (WR 38), or Jamison Crowder (WR40)

Evan Engram

Fantasy Football Do Not Draft
Evan Engram (88) catches a pass and runs upfield. (Photo via Pintrest)

In 2017, Engram finished as the TE5, amassing 64 receptions, 722 yards and six touchdowns on 115 targets. The soon to be 24-year-old is a major mismatch for defenses, as he measured above the 86th percentile in all major workout metrics according to PlayerProfiler.com; 40-yard dash (100th), Weight Adjusted Speed Score (96th), Burst Score (86th), Agility Score (90th), and Catch Radius (93rd). So, why is Engram on the “Do Not Draft List” in 2018?

Volume, volume, volume. Engram led the New York Giants in targets last season, which will not happen again. With Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard returning from injury, as well as the addition of second-overall pick Saquon Barkley, one can expect well over 300 targets to go their way, making Engram’s opportunity to see over 100 targets very slim. Currently being selected as the TE5, Engram will not make an appearance on any of my teams, as I believe his ceiling must be reached in order to provide value based on his ADP.

Alternative Players to Target: Trey Burton (TE10), Jack Doyle (TE11), or George Kittle (TE13)

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