Every year I ponder the depth charts, scouring the league for value in the later rounds of the draft. Then I look to see which players I will not draft. To me, that is just as important as knowing who to draft. One misstep can sink several matchups early in the year. These are four players that you want to avoid in your draft.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
I firmly believe that a savvy owner can wait til the middle rounds and find great value at the quarterback position. In 2012 Matt Ryan was a revelation for owners, in 2013 Andy Dalton had a fantastic year. 2014 was the rise of Andrew Luck. Cam Newton was a guaranteed championship in 2015 for many owners.
Then in 2016 Kirk Cousins flashed glimpses of what he could produce. Owners now will get lost in his potential and forget to look deeper into the numbers. Cousins is a system quarterback who needs everything around him to go perfectly to produce. He did have some great games, but it is easy to miss how poorly he played down the stretch.
Related Post: Fantasy Football: Is Kirk Cousins a Top Sleeper Pick?
His final five games produced five passing touchdowns against five interceptions. His best game came against the lowly Chicago Bears on Christmas Eve. He had a similar stretch of games in 2015. His first six games produced six passing touchdowns and eight interceptions.
That was with a receiving corps that Cousins was familiar with, this year will be different though as the team will be sans Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. They are being replaced with the unproven Josh Doctson and Terrelle Pryor.
I did have Pryor as one of my boom players this year, and I stick by that because of the sheer volume of targets he will have. Cousins though will just be another quarterback who will have just as many down games as the ones that will make owners happy.
Waiting and betting on Cousins to consistently produce this year will be a losing strategy.
Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
So, Gurley has a second-round value after one of the most disappointing sophomore slumps in recent memory? Owners who draft Gurley that early should be subjected to a random drug test.
Seriously this one is just puzzling because his 2016 was a sign of production to come not because Gurley lacks talent but the whole offense around him is a dearth of talent. Tavon Austin, Cooper Kupp, and Robert Woods will not keep defenses from loading up the box against Gurley.
Even if defenses move off the line of scrimmage, Gurley did not show great vision last season to exploit any holes in the opposing team’s defense. Pass on Gurley and let him be another owner’s headache.
A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
I love A.J. Green I just hate Andy Dalton. Some may be wondering why I did not put Dalton on this list, and that is because owners know to avoid Dalton on draft day. Green, on the other hand, is being selected as a legit number one receiver.
At the end of the first/early second drafting Green is playing with fire. There are so many great receivers available, such as Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson, Michael Thomas, T.Y. Hilton, Sammy Watkins, and many others after Green’s ADP.
Green has only played 16 games in his last three season, he may be an integral part of the offense but will never be a top five receiver again with Dalton under center.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Seattle Seahawks
Jimmy Graham to Seattle may be one of the most misguided trades of this decade. He was an elite talent in New Orleans, in Seattle he is just another guy. Owners may be hoping once again he can return to his dominance with the Saints.
That will never happen, and while Graham had a respectable 2016 season expect him to slide down into fringe top-10 tier as he will only be a spot start. The Seahawks will return to a run-heavy play action team that will force Graham to stay on the line and not be able to work in many deep pass patterns.
The system was just not built for players like Graham to succeed. Owners can only hope that he goes somewhere else after this season to be relevant again.
Want to know how I feel about other players? Leave a comment or ask me on Twitter.
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