When people talk about fantasy player value, they generally do not say that they will never draft someone. Usually the statement is, “At the right price I would” or some variation of that. I used to think that way too. After all, there has to be SOME level to which you would want to own every player in fantasy right? Well, not exactly. To me, there is a part of ranking and selecting players that is inherently binary. Do I like this player, or do I not like this player? How late a player you dislike has to fall for you to draft him is usually well outside of any reasonable ADP. That is why at the end of your drafting season, there are usually a few players you end up with on most teams, and a lot of players that you don’t own at all. I will be focusing on that latter today. Here are 10 players that I absolutely will not draft in 2014 (ADP data from Fantasy Football Calculator):
ADP: 12 (3.03 Overall)
I am very surprised to see Martin still going as a back-end RB1 a week into August. New offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford has made multiple statements saying that the Bucs will use some kind of committee approach. Even if Martin is the starter, there will be a rotation amongst Tampa backs. I really like Charles Sims as a versatile player, and he has even reminded some of Matt Forte. I think that Sims gets the bulk of passing down work and takes enough touches away from Martin to keep him out of the top half of RB2’s. Keep in mind that of Muscle Hamster’s 383.8 career fantasy points (PPR), 91.6 of them were scored in two games (weeks 8 and 9 of 2012). That’s almost 24 percent! I will happily let somebody else take Martin and his risk this season.
ADP: 14 (3.07 Overall)
The great thing about Reggie Bush is that he already has some history with his new offensive coordinator, Joe Lombardi. The two were in New Orleans together from 2007-2010. The bad thing about that is that it doesn’t bode well for his usage:
The first thing that stands out is Bush’s inability to stay healthy in the beginning of his career. However after playing 15, 16, and 14 games the last three seasons (all with over 200 carries), it appears that he may have nipped that “injury prone” tag in the butt. Nevertheless, I broke his numbers down per game to see what his usage was like in Lombardi’s Saints tenure. It is pretty clear that the Saints soured on Bush as a runner when his carries per game percentage dropped about 25% between 2008 and 2009. This also impacted his receiving usage, as those per-game numbers dropped as well.
I included the names of Bush’s primary competitors for carries to show just how low he was viewed. Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory have had long NFL careers, but are fairly underwhelming options overall in the run game. Mike Bell was simply terrible over his NFL career, never eclipsing 700 yards in a season and having a career YPC average under four. It is fair to say that Bush’s current backfield mate Joique Bell is at least as good as these runners who managed to out carry him. In fact, when you consider what he can do in short yardage situations, it is probably fair to say that he is the best of the bunch, making him the favorite to lead the Lions in carries this year. Bell has also been a 50+ reception back each of the last two seasons (3.28/game), and there is no reason to believe he will stop being an important part of the passing game, especially if he is already on the field for ground work. I expect Bush’s receptions per game to more closely mimic 2009 and 2010 than 2007 and 2008. All of this leads me to believe that Bell will be the better 2014 fantasy option, and he is going almost two full rounds later than Bush in 12 team FFC drafts. In other words, there is no chance I’m drafting Bush this season.
ADP: 15 (3.08 Overall)
I already explained earlier this summer why Roy Helu is the back to own in Washington this season. With his ADP about 10 rounds later than Morris, this is a pretty open-shut case. I’ll spare you the monologue and move on.
ADP: 19 (4.09 Overall)
When I was researching to find if Tavon Austin was the discount Cordarrelle Patterson, I could have just as easily titled the article “Why Cordarrelle Patterson is Overrated for 2014″ or something more creative to the same effect. I don’t like that C-Pat doesn’t play as big as his size would indicate (6’2″ 220) and that he isn’t a natural catcher of the football at its highest point. Some have viewed Norv Turner designing plays specifically for him as a positive, but is it really a good thing that Norval already feels like he needs to manufacture touches for the young receiver? A ridiculous 38.2 percent of Patterson’s yards last season came on passes thrown behind the line of scrimmage, and only about a third came on passes thrown more than 10 yards, which is not conducive to high yardage totals. I find it very hard to believe he will be able to produce like a WR2, which is what he is being drafted as right now. Since Patterson will never drop to the 7th or 8th round draft cost it would take for me to own him, I am staying far away.
ADP: 5 (6.03 Overall)
I told you that Vernon Davis was a bust in my tight end preview back in July. Two of my compatriots agreed when we released our sleepers, busts, and breakouts piece. Then, Footballguys asked me to do a Player Spotlight on Davis, and I summarized a few reasons why I don’t like him there. If you believe in the health of Michael Crabree, then you simply cannot take Davis at his current price or anywhere near it. I think my TE13 ranking may prove to be generous when all is said and done.
ADP: 29 (6.05 Overall)
Here is what I said about Sanders in my piece on Peyton Manning:
I’ll start with Sanders. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, Sanders is not an apt replacement for Decker. He is 4 inches shorter and 34 pounds lighter than the former Minnesota standout, and that is incredibly significant. It is highly unlikely that Sanders will be able to make the same kinds of plays Decker did on the outside, and the slot position (one he is more suited for) is currently occupied by Wes Welker. There’s also this tidbit from Davis Mattek of Sports Wunderkind, RotoViz, and Rotoworld:
74% of double digit TD seasons the last 5 seasons have come from players 6’2 or taller.
— Davis Mattek (@DavisMattek) July 22, 2014
Decker has had 11 and 13 TD respectively the last two seasons. Sanders is 5’11′. Just saying.
Ask yourself what is more likely: Sanders produces about 67% of what Decker did last year (what it would have taken to be WR29 last season) and puts up a 58/863/7 stat line, or the 6’2″, 215 pound rookie in Latimer takes enough snaps on the outside to prevent that from happening? I tend to favor the latter, making Sanders a risky proposition in round six of drafts. If you invest that kind of draft capitol in him, you are basically hoping for an injury to Welker which, while not outlandish, is not something you should do in the sixth round.
ADP: 32 (7.03 Overall)
Wayne is a player I have not had much to say on this offseason, but I feel pretty comfortable saying that I will not own him in any leagues this year. The Colts added both Hakeem Nicks and Donte Moncrief this offseason, and will be getting tight end Dwayne Allen back from injury. Wayne was basically in a dead heat with T.Y. Hilton for targets last year through the first 7 weeks (26.1% and 24.3%) before missing the rest of the season with an ACL tear. I think Hilton becomes the lead dog in 2014, with perhaps the biggest indicator of this being his dominance in adjusted yards per attempt (8.57 to Wayne’s 5.96 over the last 2 seasons). Wayne’s 16-game numbers last year would have been 87/1,150/5, which is a large drop from his 106/1,355/5 2012 output. A declining, 35 year old receiver coming off of an ACL tear is not something I am looking to invest a 7th round selection in.
ADP: 33 (7.09 Overall)
I have been down on Ridley since last season, when I predicted that he would be outscored by Shane Vereen in PPR leagues. He outscored Vereen by a measly point, but took 6 more games to do it. I am expecting more of the same from Ridley this season: fumbles, inconsistent workload, and zero receiving game action. With rookie James White getting lots of reps, including at the goal line, at practice, it is fair to wonder if Ridley will open the season as anything more than a nominal starter. Give me Jeremy Hill going 2 rounds later any day of the week.
Acronym Backs in Oakland
ADP: 34 (7.12 Overall) and 42 (9.12 Overall)
It doesn’t cost much to acquire either MJD or DMC this season, but don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security in the later mid rounds. The pair combined for 1,182 rushing yards on 348 carries (3.4 YPC) in 2013 and it appears as though Jones-Drew’s 1,800 career carries are catching up with him. Furthermore, the Raiders lost their best offensive lineman, Jared Veldheer, in free agency and replaced him with Donald Penn, a clear downgrade. The team tried bringing in Rodger Saffold, but realized that he was
overpaid injured after signing him to a 5 year, $42.5 million contract in March. Rather than spending a valuable pick on one of these two players, I would invite you to take Latavius Murray with your last draft pick as he is undrafted right now on FFC.