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USATSI

It's never too early to figure out who you can't trust on your Fantasy Football team. Weeding out the poison pills and bad apples now, even months before you draft, is a good thing. 

Way better than deciding the day of your draft "Nah, don't want him." 

Making up a list of players to avoid in April affords you the time to think about your conviction. What could this player do to be better than you think he could be? Is the path to Fantasy success as narrow as you believe? The more time to build your case, the more confident you should be. 

This is the beginning of my process and my list for players I'm avoiding in Fantasy this year. With several months to go until I draft teams I'm stuck with; I can at least get used to the idea that these players simply won't be worth the ADP we'll get come August. 

Seattle receivers
Projections powered by Sportsline
SEA Seattle • #14
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
26th
WR RNK
16th
PROJ PTS
0
SOS
ADP
22
2021 Stats
REC
75
TAR
129
REYDS
967
TD
12
FPTS/G
14.4
SEA Seattle • #16
Age: 29 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
35th
WR RNK
20th
PROJ PTS
0
SOS
ADP
54
2021 Stats
REC
73
TAR
107
REYDS
1175
TD
8
FPTS/G
15.1

Talent-wise, both are excellent. But the only quarterback either receiver has experienced good numbers with is now in Denver. Seattle figures to scrape and claw its way to a solution at quarterback, but they're basically down to Drew Lock or a rookie. Neither one will be as good for them as Wilson has been. Furthermore, the Seahawks' decision to deal Wilson has only further empowered coach Pete Carroll's belief to run the ball to shorten games, rest his defense and cling to leads. The passing volume won't be high and the quality of throws won't be as good -- and both receivers will have to start building rapport with the new quarterback from the ground up. I wouldn't feel good trusting either receiver in a regular starting role with the Seahawks unless the passer was someone with an established track record of not only being accurate, but accurate on longer throws. 

Running Backs
Projections powered by Sportsline
LAR L.A. Rams • #3
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
37th
RB RNK
18th
PROJ PTS
0
SOS
ADP
NR
2021 Stats
RUYDS
3
REC
3
REYDS
10
TD
0
FPTS/G
33.1
Give Akers all the props for coming back from a torn Achilles and working as the Rams' lead running back during their Super Bowl run. But even Rams fans have to admit he didn't pass the eyeball test. At 2.6 yards per carry, Akers didn't show much explosiveness (two runs of 12-plus yards over 67 carries) nor agility to avoid tackles. Akers had as many fumbles lost (two) as he had goal-to-go carries from 4 yards or closer. Even uglier, he had 20 carries for zero or negative yards. Point is, Akers did nothing to secure the luxurious role Rams lead backs have enjoyed for years. In fact it feels like Akers not only must rediscover any agility and explosiveness he lost while also proving he's deserving of the heavy workload Rams running backs typically get, but he must do so without getting hurt again. I doubt I would take him until late Round 4.
Wide Receivers
Projections powered by Sportsline
ARI Arizona • #2
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
68th
WR RNK
28th
PROJ PTS
0
SOS
ADP
141
2021 Stats
REC
91
TAR
146
REYDS
1008
TD
6
FPTS/G
14.1
Brown was on my breakout list a year ago, and did he ever break out to begin the 2021 season with 18.3 PPR points per game through his first eight. And then, just like the Ravens season itself, it fell apart quickly beginning with the Dolphins' defensive dominance over them in Week 10. As Lamar Jackson struggled and then got hurt, Brown also saw his numbers plummet while he dealt with back and thigh issues. I'm a little worried the Ravens coaching staff will get fed up with Brown's inability to stay on the field, not to mention deal with his statistical volatility. One way to help both of those things? Run the ball more -- the Ravens were essentially a 50-50 pass-run squad before their running back room was gutted by injuries last year, forcing them to throw more. If they pass less, if Mark Andrews continues doing his thing and if Rashod Bateman earns more targets, Brown won't draw as many passes his way and will ultimately be a boom-or-bust No. 3 Fantasy receiver.
LAC L.A. Chargers • #81
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
93rd
WR RNK
31st
PROJ PTS
0
SOS
ADP
151
2021 Stats
REC
76
TAR
129
REYDS
1146
TD
9
FPTS/G
15.4
After the first five games of last season, Williams was on-pace for a ludicrous 105-1601-20 stat line. Then, for whatever reason, Justin Herbert stopped targeting him, spiraling the receiver from 10.2 targets per game to 5.5 in Weeks 6 through 17 (he finally regained a massive target share in Week 18 against the Raiders). That major skid is very, very much in line with the 5.7 targets per game he had in 2020. There was some speculation that the skid coincided with a knee injury that held Williams back, but it also might have been in reaction to four drops he had in the first five games. Either way, there's too big of a track record of Williams disappointing to ignore. For instance, did you know Williams was under 11.0 PPR points per game in all of 2020, 2019 and 2018? Or that the first five games of 2021 was easily the best stretch of his pro career? I'd much rather miss out on Williams at a Round 5 or 6 price tag than take him and hope for a full-year upswing.
DET Detroit • #14
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Fantasy Breakdown (PPR)
OVERALL RNK
77th
WR RNK
34th
PROJ PTS
0
SOS
ADP
NR
2021 Stats
REC
90
TAR
119
REYDS
912
TD
6
FPTS/G
13.4
St. Brown's ending to his rookie year was outstanding -- he ranked among the top-5 receivers in the league in target share, catch rate and PPR points per game from Week 13 through the end of the season. He also ranked outside the top-25 receivers in the league in yards per catch (11.0), average depth of target (7.04) and targets inside of 10 yards of the goal line (two) from Week 13 on. He also did this with T.J. Hockenson off the field for five games, D'Andre Swift off the field for four and D.J. Chark not on the Lions roster at all. Expect his target volume to shrink to a point where he can still be useful for Fantasy, but nowhere near as good as where he was last December and January.
MIA Miami • #88
Age: 26 • Experience: 5 yrs.
2021 Stats
REC
73
TAR
112
REYDS
780
TD
2
FPTS/G
9.7
There's a clear downgrade in target volume heading Gesicki's way now that Tyreek Hill has joined the Dolphins. Certainly he'll still be leaned on to some degree because of his unique size/speed combo, but the utilization figures to drop. Last year he started off red-hot but then failed to notch even 10 PPR points in all but one of his final 10 games. It will be harder for him to amass 10 PPR points without scoring now that the Dolphins offense has added some serious firepower. Fantasy managers should be able to find a more reliable tight end to begin the season with.