One definition of a dud is “a person or thing that proves ineffectual or a failure.” Of course, fantasy owners are hoping for an explosion of fantasy points from key players.
Generally speaking the higher the player is drafted, then the more that is expected of them.
With this hierarchy of value in mind, may I present an entire team of fantasy players almost guaranteed Not to detonate with the kind of results that are being projected based on their current ADP (average draft position).
Jameis Winston: In standard leagues, he finished 2016 ranked 12 which is respectable. His most recent ADP has him as the 9th QB drafted for 2017. Many fantasy owners are excited about the addition of long ball target DeSean Jackson to compliment stud Mike Evans. However in his only two seasons, Winston has averaged 252.5 yards (passing and rushing) per game. There are 13 QB that average better numbers per game over the same span.
Perhaps many expect a jump in production as he gains more experience? Well, to close out the 2016 season, in the last seven games, Winston was playing six fantasy points worse (on average) than he did the first nine games of 2016. He also is showing little improvement in the turnover department. In his 2015 rookie season he totaled 21 turnovers. In 2016 his turnovers rose to 24 – which was second most in the NFL behind Philip Rivers.
Admittedly the running backs were two of my toughest picks, partly because there are more committees and less feature backs to choose from. With rumors of a RBBC brewing in Tennessee, it may be difficult for DeMarco Murray to hold the value of his current ADP of 7. In addition, Murray is age 29 – since the 2000 season, only 21 running backs age 29 or older managed to run for 1,200 yards or more (which was Murray’s rushing range last season). And, only three 29-year olds did it in the last six seasons.
The other back may be Carlos Hyde. This personally pains me because I own him in a dynasty league. Again, there are rumors of an RBBC with Hyde possibly taking a backseat to rookie Joe Williams on early downs. Hyde also carries the “fragile” tag which only he can prove or disprove.
Still, even if there was no competition from Williams for touches, and even if Hyde played more than 13 games, would we really see an improvement on the numbers that ranked him 15 last season? Hyde’s owners wanted more last season. Hyde’s ADP is currently 16, and under the circumstances, that may be too high.
Michael Thomas: Per ADP, Thomas is typically the 7th wide receiver off the board. Let me clarify that I like this kid. My reservations have more to do with Saints history. Here’s the Big Easy numbers in a nutshell:
Drew Brees has been the quarterback in New Orleans since 2006. During his tenure the lead WR/TE in the Saints offense has averaged 1,107.8 yards per season. The second leading receiver on the Saints has averaged 913.4 yards per season. Thomas had 1,137 yards in 2016. Here’s where it gets interesting. Despite this high-powered offense, only three times (in 11 years) did both receivers top 1,000 yards (2011, 2012, and 2016). Also, only three times did any receiver have more than 1,200 yards, and no wide receiver was even close to 1,300 yards.
To put this in perspective, the six wide receivers that are being drafted before Thomas average over 1,300 yards. The point is that The Saints spreads the ball around to the detriment of players like Thomas.
Brandon Cooks: ADP has the new Patriot as the 16th wide receiver being drafted. Bill Belichick has been the head coach since 2000. In those 17 dynastic seasons, only 11 wide receivers topped 1,000 yards. And if you eliminate anyone named Welker (five seasons), Edelman and Moss (two seasons each), that leaves only one receiver to pull off that feat – Troy Brown with 1199 yards in 2001.
With a healthy Gronk and Edelman ahead of Cooks in the pecking order, despite a prolific offense, history does not appear to be on Cooks’ side to be the 12th wide receiver to add his name to that list.
Randall Cobb: I think his best days are behind him. For me, a tell-tale sign was when Jordy Nelson was out in 2015 and Cobb barely cracked 800 yards as the feature wideout. Devante Adams has clearly slid into the WR2 role, and while Cobb did have an impressive 2016 playoff run, surely there have to be better WR3 options still available on the draft board than the 39 spot where Cobb’s ADP has him.
Cobb may still be a serviceable wide receiver, but seeing that 57 receivers finished better than him, my advice is to wait on him.
Kyle Rudolph: 2016 was a career year for Rudolph (840 yards) finally delivering on the type of production he had been hyped for six years previously. His ADP is currently putting him around the 7th spot for tight ends.
A lot went wrong for Minnesota offensively last year. Teddy Bridgewater was lost to a knee injury so they acquired Sam Bradford from the Eagles. Bradford was essentially a game-manager until he could learn the playbook. Stefon Diggs also missed some time. Rumors are surfacing that Laquon Treadwell was not 100% healthy last year which is justification for his one catch in nine games played.
In the backfield, Adrian Peterson started, but was woefully ineffective until he was hurt in week three. Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata reminded everyone that they were NOT “all day” and each barely scratched the century mark in fantasy points. In other words, Rudolph was essentially the only healthy, talented body on the Vikings that knew the playbook.
Now with new toys in Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray along with a healthy Diggs and Treadwell, my guess is that the touch loser in all of this will be Rudolph.
Mason Crosby: Despite the pedigree of playing on the Packers, Crosby has become less reliable from the 30-39 yard range (making only 13 of 15 field goals). And in case you’ve forgotten, the PAT is now kicked from this range since the 2015 rule change (15 + 10 + 7). In 2016, Crosby made 44 of 47 PAT (93.6%). Even worse was that despite being a top-ranked kicker (ADP has him 7), there were 16 kickers that did better than Crosby last season.
Oakland Raiders: They seem to be all the rage this preseason garnering an ADP of 9. They play the 4th-hardest schedule including the AFC and NFC East (.564 win%). They are also the 4th-most penalized defensive unit. And, with an arguably softer schedule in 2016 where they were also rumored to be an up-and-coming unit, they only managed to finish 20.
Thanks to ProFootball Reference for the research tools.