Every knowledgable fantasy player has a few guys that they will steer away from for one reason or another, here is a list of Gary VanDyke’s avoids.
Tipster 2018 Offensive Player Avoid List
Every June for the last five or so years I’ve written down offensive players I will avoid for one reason or the other in upcoming drafts or in “daily” contests when the season rolls around. It has always been a personal list of players that after all the off-season events up to this point in June has passed and with what has transpired or not has indications I’ll take heed in.
Some are simple and some are more in-depth but as simple as they may be, I’ve found that overall the list normally always works in my favor. By just ignoring the said players and selecting the next best or not paying the price that the player may demand in a trade, I’ve never regretted missing out if things don’t play out as they look like they will. It has by far worked out to my advantage over the years rather than hamper any winning efforts.
We always think about those players we should have invested in after the fact, but this list is simply players I don’t want to end up saying I’d wished I’d avoided and didn’t. As of last June, I started sharing via Twitter some of these players in what looked like obvious wide receivers I wouldn’t miss due to the situation.
We’ll just say that it did not receive a warm reception as I posted throughout the rest of the summer and well into the fall. And I understand we all have players we love or have personal investments in, I always have to a point myself in the past. But in the 20 years of playing fantasy football, I have developed the mindset of substance over the heart way more than I use to.
Again the results have not been glaring back at me at the end of each season on the players I may have been wrong on, but the benefits of avoiding the others have worked out way more.
To begin with, we will look over the list from 2017 that received quite the negative reception until about mid-November. Then all of a sudden there were no longer the replies to the post that had me wondering if those people used those mouths to talk to their mother that way.
Please keep in mind this first list was based on June 2017 ADPs as well as what I saw the players trade values at the time in trade postings on Twitter as well as my own personal leagues.
As January of this year rolled around I again re-posted the list and did not receive the drive-by remarks that I had the previous seven to eight months. In fact, many who know me actually help vindicate my list with positive feedback as we discussed the end of the season results and came to the conclusion that there were only three players that did not live up to my avoids.
Again, none of the three left me regretting anything as I simply took the next best or did not invest at the cost they would have been at the time to option based off whatever hype. I will add this also if I happen to have acquired one of these players by trade, they were then moved in a trade ASAP. Sometimes we all must do what we have to do to get deals done and the important point is that none were on my roster by the start of the pre-season.
And I most certainly did not select them for my “daily” leagues during the season with cash on the line. It is difficult to remember every single reason to why I avoided each and every one of the players on the list because I did not write an article as I am with the list this year. So I’ll just recap the three in the order I may have avoided but managed to get the job done regardless, at least from my perspective.
- Keenan Allen was the obvious big one, glad to see he managed to overcome those injuries while Hunter Henry was overlooked by default by the offensive coordinator. And the Mike Williams rookie hype ended in injury, or as I call it “The Rookie Blues”.
- Marvin Jones was simply more than I thought he’d be versus his ADP and trade values at the time. There were plenty of targets to go around as the run game again faulted and tight-end Eric Ebron did as well.
- Alshon Jeffery managed to record nine touchdowns, his second best effort since 2014. Let’s note here he only had a stat line of 57 for 789. So not exactly an overwhelming feeling of remorse here if you know what I mean. If the touchdowns matched the level of yards he wouldn’t be coming in third. His ADP alone has dropped from the top 10 among wide receivers to the late teens to the early twenties. So just how far off was I?
Again, there is one thing I know I based on this list from last June, that is what I saw the players values at in either trades or the ADPs. And since I’m approaching the new list for 2018 from a different angle as we will see next, I’ll add that in 2018 I have no plans to revisit and own any of them but Allen and Jones and give Jeffery a glance at his WR2 ADP range this year.
In this case this year I’ll overlap and avoid 99% of the 2017 list again unless one happens to be there at a reasonable ADP that has apparently dropped in 2018 to the level warranting the risk, in other words as deep depth. I mean let’s be brutally honest here, do we really think that players like Coleman, Treadwell, Doctson, and Mathews are worth it after failing to be relevant thus far?
None have WR1 futures if they have not managed anything up to this point. It would literally be like hitting the lottery if one does. Sometimes it is best to just walk away with the investment cost in your pocket rather than to keep throwing “hope” at a player.
So now before we get into my 2018 list I’ll let it be known my ADPs are coming from MyFantasyLeague.com as they were recorded the last week of June 2018. At the time of the list they are as stated ADPs in the Twitter post and likely by now some fluctuation has occurred. If you would like to cross check the current ADPs you can HERE.
You may need to be a member of the MFL site to observe them, and MFL ADPs are known to cater more to dynasty leagues over one year one and done leagues by many. But I have never found this to be a problem because in general, the site’s ADPs should reflect as they would in the fantasy football world on all sites.
If you were to adjust the settings I’m about to list it is doubtful they would vary to the point that these are not relevant. I’ll also add they have never let me down again here, no matter the site I apply the method to.
My Personal Offensive Player Avoid List For 2018
The approach in 2018 after looking at the MFL ADPs are for all offensive players versus the ADPs and likely trade values that come with them. We will cover the top twelve I came across selecting from the upper tiers. Please note I have decided to revert the list in the order I’m less likely to think about taking the risk on if the player happens to drop.
I promise, all the other “takes” will not be nearly as long as #1 on the rookies, but I know rookies are a touchy subject and wanted to explain my thinking and be truthful about the few I have risked that would work out. I do not hate rookies, but at the same time I do not trust them, it is a double sided blade I live by.
- Off the top, I freaked out seeing Giants rookie RB Barkley going 6th overall. Yes, I understand and know who he is. And if there is some adjusting to be done using MFL ADPs it might be with the rookies versus redraft and dynasty leagues. But anointing a rookie based off what could be at the levels I see are just too risky for my blood. Especially this class of rookies. Overall I believe the class will be lucky to produce three total players in our top 64 at the end of the season in statistics. It is not like Barkley, for example, landed behind an offensive line like Zeke did with Dallas his rookie season. In one and done leagues I’m avoiding until late in drafts at the point I’m looking for depth players at best. If I miss out I’m sure who I selected around them by the ADP will do enough I won’t notice. As for dynasty leagues, I live by my motto of that we pay for what we get. If any rookie manages to impress to the point that matters I will then draft them accordingly in 2019 or pay the price it takes to acquire them if I’m interested enough. I don’t hate rookies, but I’m sure not betting on any to the extent their rookie hype requires me to own them before they have set foot on the NFL fields. I don’t have the numbers on the rookie offensive players as a focused IDP writer, but I do on the rookie IDPs if you’re interested. HERE is why I lose interest in all rookies when it boils down to it. I believe the numbers will be comparable to both sides of the ball more often than not. I’ve been playing this game for 20 years and never, in the long run, felt I missed out to the point I couldn’t recover from it when avoiding rookies. I will admit that I did overpay to draft Zeke and MT their rookie year, but other than them, rookies and rookie picks are trade bait if they are hyped enough from my perspective. I simply let the situation play out on other owners rosters and then decide how to approach them in their second season. I have to admit here as a Buckeye fan I did trade big for the first pick overall to select Zeke his rookie season before the real NFL draft out of fantasy love. But it did not hurt my flagship roster in the 32 team league I did so by overpaying. And after the real NFL draft when I saw MT had landed with the Saints I made the aggressive move to acquire him during our draft, a price I’ll add was seemingly a bit of an overpay as well at the time but in hindsight was a steal from day one. Every old dog finds a bone sometimes, right? I suppose I should also add my one investment on a rookie IDP I had to have his rookie season was Deion Jones. But that investment wasn’t backbreaking and was an under the radar move due to the fact he didn’t receive any love like the linebackers drafted around him. It was also a trade I made after the draft and during summer camp after it became clear to me he was going to be special. In the last 15 years, I have got more value out of the undrafted rookies in fantasy drafts that have been overlooked more than any other attempt I’ve made, period. So this is enough about the rookies and my thoughts on how to approach them. It’s simple, show me something first, then I’ll pay the price if they have earned my attention.
- Not only hasn’t Martavis Bryant not gained my trust just yet, but I am not sold on his role nor what Jon Gruden has in mind in 2018. The roster needs a lot of pieces across the board and I don’t think Gruden will actually care what the end of the season team’s winning record may be to acquire some draft picks to build on. I’ll reevaluate Bryant in June of 2019 and see just how things played out in 2018. Until then I’ll let someone else take the risk unless I get him way cheaper than his apparent cost at the moment. This includes “one and done” leagues as well as a dynasty.
- Poor Andrew Luck, they paid him so well but it took all this time for the organization to realize an attempt must be made to protect him with a better offensive line. Even if he could play and throw as he had before this season I’m way too wary of a recurring injury to a shoulder that has gone through so much at this point. This is again in both styles of leagues.
- Sammy Watkins did not earn his way off my list and certainly didn’t have time to impress ME after landing with the Rams last year. That is almost even more of a reason he is landing here as his ADP has actually plummeted in 2018. The once top fifteen and even top 10 wide receiver target did not take advantage while with the Rams and now is with the Chiefs. He’ll now have even more talent around him to absorb the target share. For his sake, I hope he can block well downfield because he’ll be doing that a lot more this season for Hill, Kelce, and Hunt. In all styles of play Watkins has fallen to a depth player at best, I’m just not sold he’ll be more than that.
- Josh Gordon has earned the right that I won’t mention his seasons of suspensions. Or did I just go there anyhow. But that’s not exactly the reason I have him on the list. Despite him being suspended for ⅔ of last season the real reason is that I believe the Browns are looking to be more of a ball control team on the offensive side of the ball. While letting the defense keep the clock under control as well as the scoring by the opponents. And them bringing in Jarvis Landry had some underline meaning to it all to me personally. This may end up being a miss on the list, but in the end worth avoiding right now in both styles.
- Derrick Henry is 100% a physical beast, but the Dion Lewis signing just flat-out hampers his possible odds of reaching his potential. What will likely end up being a 50/50 timeshare by the end of the season has him firmly on this list until further notice and likely until they have him sitting at the top of the depth chart with no viable running back sitting there beside him. This is again in both styles of leagues.
- I’m really confused on the default title of Corey Davis being anointed as a clear-cut WR1 in some circles. Granted he flashed some in his rookie season and he did miss some games with an injury. But a stat line of 34 for 375 out of 65 targets and no touchdowns doesn’t have me feeling it yet. We are looking at a run control team with Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews also vying for targets. He is just another avoid for now at that level of an investment until further notice in all styles.
- Brandin Cooks is player I always have loved as a talented wide receiver but just hate the fit with the Rams now. All I can really say in this case is look at what Sammy Watkins managed to do with the Rams in 2017. I’m thinking he’ll do better than Watkins by the end of the season, but not to the point at that ADP I’ll be counting on it. He is now officially a pass as I eyeball Kupp later on in drafts.
- There are two things about Allen Robinson’s 2018 outlook that worries me. One would be him coming off the injury and the development of Mitchell Trubisky is still deeply a work in progress. Then I’ll add in the question of why exactly didn’t Jacksonville pay the man? The risk is too high for me personally in 2018 and at that level of ADP has me running the other way to other players for better options in any style of league.
- With Amari Cooper please re-read the Martavis Bryant “take” minus the red flags and then I’ll add that Cooper was also a darling breakout guy last season. I simply can’t buy in until I see something worth paying the price, again in both styles.
- Joe Mixon looked like the real deal in preseason last year, but when I look at the players around him in the ADP I could have instead, it’s pretty cut and dry thinking. The dysfunctional Bengals, I think that about covers it right there. Has a team ever managed to dismantle their ranks as well as they have? It’s a big pass on the high ADP in both styles no matter how talented Mixon is as long as he is a Bengal, or as long as Marvin Lewis is the coach and the front office they have had is in place. As an Ohio native, I feel the NFL should strip the ownership and reboot with a fire sale on the franchise. At least the Brown’s just seemed to be carrying some sort of jinx over the last century, there is no excuse for the Bengals, none.
- I’ll make the statement and then point this out as to why. I don’t feel Mike Evans is being used as a true WR1 anymore by Tampa Bay. Yes, he has the title and he got paid as one. But James Winston isn’t the savior everyone thought he was and there are a few more viable targets stepping up around Evans. Tampa Bay is also trying to get the run game going on top of the fact that in their division they’ll face defenses six times a year built to shut down Evans and any attempt at a passing game that they can muster. At his ADP and likely cost in a trade, there are just so many other players that I’d trust over a declining situation that has been the theme for some time in my eyes. Tampa Bay’s best assists are the IDP players when it comes to fantasy football. He may be number twelve on this list, but in both styles of leagues, he is actually my number one avoid overall at such a high ADP and likely cost to obtain him.
Well there we have it, the offensive players I’ll avoid for the entire 2018 season. We all have our ways of breaking situations down and I respectfully believe in mine enough to share and take the heat over it if I happen to miss out on a couple “takes”. But I think if last years list and what I know about my prior lists tells me anything at all it is the fact I will not lose in a league due to avoiding any one of these players listed. But as a group of “avoids” I’ll increase my odds of winning a title overall in any format and any style of league.
Thanks as always for reading and remember to find me on Twitter @HBogart27 for anything IDP or perhaps a follow-up on this article.