At cost. That's the key phrase here for Busts 3.0, and please keep that in mind. There are plenty of players I'm going to list here -- most, actually -- who I want on my Fantasy roster.
I just don't want to pay the price they are expected to go for on Draft Day. Using the NFC Average Draft Position data for PPR from July 17-31, I'm going to highlight round-by-round for six rounds the players who I consider too expensive.
Again, if they were being drafted a little later, I would gladly select these guys on all of my teams. But, at cost, these are players I'm likely avoiding this year.
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This is likely the most controversial one because Mahomes is my No. 1 ranked quarterback this season. And we're talking about a one-quarterback league here because in a Superflex or two-quarterback league we know Mahomes should be the No. 1 overall pick. But in this format, I'm out if you have to draft Mahomes in the first round, and the earliest I would select him is the back end of Round 2. That's closer to where you can find Josh Allen (No. 20 overall) and Jalen Hurts (No. 21 overall), and I don't think there should be that much separation between the three top quarterbacks. Along with that, I'm expecting some big seasons from guys like Lamar Jackson (No. 34 overall), Justin Herbert (No. 40 overall) and Justin Fields (No. 53 overall), and those guys offer better value. I understand Mahomes is safe and beyond proven, but I still don't want to draft him in Round 1 in a one-quarterback league.
Adams is an amazing talent, and he should be able to remain successful this season to a high degree. But his age, along with the situation in Las Vegas, might be too much to keep him at an elite status. Jimmy Garoppolo should be a downgrade for Adams compared to Derek Carr, and reports in training camp indicate Garoppolo is having trouble throwing down the field. Adams is also 30 now, and receivers at his age haven't fared well of late. In the past 10 years, only 17 receivers at 30 or older have averaged at least 15.0 PPR points per game. And only three over that span -- Brandon Marshall in 2015 at age 31 (21.2 PPR points per game), Jordy Nelson in 2016 at 31 (19.0) and Antonio Brown in 2018 at 30 (21.6) -- produced at the level Adams did in 2022 at 19.4 PPR points per game. I don't mind drafting Adams in Round 2, but I will pass on him at No. 14 overall. I'd rather have Garrett Wilson, who is going one spot later, as well as several running backs ahead of Adams.
I'm excited about the Seahawks passing game this season, and Geno Smith is an amazing value pick in Round 10 as the No. 13 quarterback. A big reason why I like Smith is his robust receiving corps, which added standout rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the first round of the NFL Draft. Now, Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Smith-Njigba will be fighting for targets, and it might be hard for Metcalf to stand out among the rest. I definitely won't be drafting Metcalf in Round 3. For the past two seasons, Lockett has actually been the better Fantasy receiver for the Seahawks over Metcalf. I'm hopeful that this season the 25-year-old Metcalf will outperform Lockett, who turns 31 in September, but you see the dilemma here. Metcalf has to be significantly better than Lockett and Smith-Njigba to justify drafting him in this spot, especially as the No. 15 receiver off the board. I'd rather draft Jerry Jeudy, Calvin Ridley and Christian Watson over Metcalf, and all of them are available at least 10 spots later based on ADP.
I want Samuel on my Fantasy team, but not in Round 3 and not as the No. 16 receiver off the board. It feels like if you're drafting him here you're expecting the 2021 Samuel and not the version we saw in 2022. Last year, Samuel averaged 12.2 PPR points per game, which was a far cry from his 2021 campaign when he was at 21.2 PPR points. In his four-year career, Samuel has three seasons at 12.9 PPR points per game or less and the one season in 2021, which feels like an outlier. I hope Samuel can play at a higher level this season, but there are still reasons to doubt him. Samuel did well with Brock Purdy last season, and in five games together, including the playoffs, Samuel averaged 6.8 targets per game and 16.8 PPR points. That's great, but Samuel only topped 60 receiving yards once over that span. And after Christian McCaffrey joined the 49ers in Week 7, Samuel averaged just three carries per game with one rushing touchdown -- he had eight rushing touchdowns in 2021. There are a lot of mouths to feed in San Francisco's stacked offense with Samuel, McCaffrey, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk, and I don't want to overvalue Samuel. Round 4 is a better spot to target Samuel if you want to draft him this year.
Hall falling into Round 4 is actually OK. But the ADP we're using here has pushed down running backs, and the reason I don't love Hall in this spot is he's the No. 14 running back off the board. That's too high for me, especially with the potential of Dalvin Cook joining the Jets. But even if Cook goes somewhere else, Hall still has to prove he's healthy, and the history of running backs coming back from a torn ACL in the first year isn't good. Going into the Hall of Fame game where the Jets played the Browns, Hall remained on the PUP list. That isn't a big deal now, but the longer he's out the more concerned you should be. At some point this season, Hall could once again prove dominant like we saw in his rookie campaign, but I'm not drafting him as a top-15 running back this year.
Prior to training camp, I was worried about Walker with Seattle's addition of rookie running back Zach Charbonnet. And I'm still worried now. Both running backs have dealt with injuries, but Charbonnet is already back from his shoulder ailment. Walker remains out with his groin injury, and the more time he misses the more opportunities Charbonnet should get to showcase his skills. Walker was fantastic as a rookie in 2022, and it was a surprise to see the Seahawks select Charbonnet in Round 2 of the NFL Draft. Clearly, Seattle felt Walker needed help, and we'll see what areas Charbonnet will keep Walker off the field. I don't mind Walker in Round 5, but I don't like him as the No. 17 running back off the board. Instead, I'd rather target Charbonnet as the No. 38 running back in Round 9 to get a piece of this Seattle backfield.
As stated above with Samuel, there are a lot of mouths to feed in San Francisco, and Kittle definitely suffered last season when everyone was healthy in the games started by Purdy. The two had a great connection, and Kittle scored seven touchdowns in the eight healthy games he played with Purdy. To put that in perspective, Kittle never scored more than six touchdowns in a season in the first five years of his career. He also averaged 14.3 PPR points per game with Purdy. But there's a tale of two game logs when it comes to Kittle and Purdy, and it involves Samuel, who missed three of those eight games. In those three games without Samuel, Kittle had 21 targets for 14 catches, 236 yards and five touchdowns. In the other five games with Samuel healthy, Kittle had 21 targets for 17 catches, 211 yards and two touchdowns. I'm still drafting Kittle as a top-10 tight end, but I don't want him as the No. 4 tight end in Round 5.
Pittman is being drafted as the No. 32 wide receiver based on this ADP, and even that might be too soon. I'm worried about his quarterback situation this year with rookie Anthony Richardson. While Richardson could be a Fantasy star, it's more because of his rushing upside than passing potential. And Pittman has shown that he needs a hefty amount of targets to succeed. Now, maybe Richardson surprises us as a passer this season, and Pittman can outperform this draft spot. He's also in a contract year, which should hopefully motivate the 25-year-old. But I'd bet against Pittman having a huge season, and I'd rather have receivers going after Pittman like Marquise Brown, Jahan Dotson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Gabe Davis and Jordan Addison.