Like most Americans, I put my name on the “Do Not Call”
list, not that I think it does any good. I still receive multiple
annoying “robocalls” every week.
This list, however, is “my” do not call list for draft
night. Players, who for various reasons, I will not announce when
it’s my turn to pick (or bid on in auction leagues …
well, except maybe to push up the price for my opponent).
There are three primary reasons for my turning my back on a player.
They are; 1) I think he’ll be unproductive, 2) he’ll
be productive, but overpriced or, 3) the injury risk is too high.
Todd Gurley's disappointing and unproductive
2016 season makes it difficult to call his name in 2017.
Gurley (16.9) Ė Heís still running behind a subpar
offensive line and quarterback. The line ranked 27th last season
and even with the addition of Andrew Whitworth (ranked No. 1 in
pass-blocking last season) this is still a mediocre line. Jared
Goff isnít going to scare defensive coordinators and they
will continue to load the box. Are you willing to accept his 2016
totals (855 yards and six touchdowns) from a middle of the second
Hyde (34.0) Ė Yes, Hyde will get the first shot to
carry the running game for the 49ers, but will he actually do
something with it Ö besides getting hurt? The offensive line is
bottom-third and the defense gave up the most points in the NFL
last season. Seems like they might be playing from behind and
Hyde isnít a very good pass-catcher.
Anderson (46.6) Ė Even assuming aging Jamaal
Charles doesnít make the final 53-man roster, Anderson has
a number of challenges to overcome, not the least of which in
sixth-round pick DeAngelo Henderson (Coastal Carolina). The offensive
line isnít great despite the addition of former Cowboy Ronald
Elliott (15.3) Ė Heís overpriced because, as it stands
today, heíll miss 46% of the fantasy regular season (6-of-13 games).
By the time he comes back, you could be buried so deep in a hole
that you wonít be able to climb out of it to make the playoffs.
If your league drafts after the August 29th hearing and Elliott
gets a reduction in his suspension, or successfully uses the ďBrady
defenseĒ (sue in court to delay the suspension) then ignore this
Fournette (19.2) Ė Call it the Elliott effect. Fantasy
owners watched Zeke dominate in his first season and falsely assume
the top RB selection in 2017 can do the same thing. First, Fournette
doesnít run behind the Dallas offensive line. Second, in college
Fournette was injury-prone and heís already dealing with a foot
issue (the same one from his time at LSU). Having run just 12
snaps in preseason, he canít possibly know the entire offense.
Henne or a stumbling Blake
Bortles, what will defenses key on? Fournette. Iíd much rather
Crowell or Lamar
Hilton (24.4) Ė This one isnít about Hilton. Itís about
the man throwing him the ball. You canít choose Hilton at the
end of the second round without knowing for sure whether Andrew
Luck will be under center in Week 1. Just this week Colts
coach Chuck Pagano said there is no "timeline" for Andrew Luck's
(shoulder) return. Would you like a quarter of your season with
Hilton catching balls from Scott
Tolzien? Me neither.
3) Injury risk
Lynch (22.1) Ė Is it good that his body has been given
a full year to heal after nine seasons in the NFL? Or is it still
a 31-year-old body that after 2,144 rushing attempts and 9,112
yards canít carry the Raiders running game. His running style
is rough and tough, but that takes a toll. He reminds me of old-timer
Larry Brown (Washington) from the 1970s, who loved to run over
people, but his decline was precipitous. Second-round picks should
be sure things.
Watkins (56.8) Ė Watkins went from a running quarterback
Taylor) to a giant question mark under center. Heís only been
a Ramsí receiver for two weeks so there is almost zero familiarity
with Goff. Add to the fact he hasnít played a full season since
2014 and there is no way he should be going in the fifth round.
Edelman is going 10 picks later. Jamison
Crowder is a dozen picks lower. Iíd much rather have them.
OK, there is actually a fourth reason Ö I hold a grudge.
Newton - I drafted him high in a two-QB league last
season and he disappointed me. I probably wonít pick him this
season unless he drops well below his expected draft round (ADP
93.5, 8th round).
Cobb - I had the Packersí wideout in 2015 when he should
have been a fantasy monster with Jordy
Nelson (knee) sidelined for the season. Instead, he came up
relatively small (79-829-6 after posting 91-1287-12 in 2014) and
I still havenít forgiven him. Heís the third receiver behind two
guys (Nelson and Davante
Adams) who combined for 273 targets, so heís once again not
going to be on my roster this season.
And hereís why you shouldnít hold a grudge.
Priest Holmes - He was putting together
an all-time season in 2002 (1,615 rushing yards, 672 receiving
yards, 24 combined TDs in 14 games), carrying my team on his back,
when he injured his hip on a 56-yard run and missed the final
two games of the season. I should have appreciated his effort,
but I held his injury against him. The next season he rushed for
1,420 yards and 27 touchdowns along with 690 yards receiving,
but I had refused to bid on him. Sometimes Iím an idiot. Steve Schwarz served as the fantasy sports editor of The Sports Network and is the 2014 FSWA Football Writer of the Year.