Zach's Do Not Draft List 2022

Saturday, Aug 27, 2022 at 11:15 am ET

Last year I wrote my first Do Not Draft list and it was by far my most viewed article among our great Fantasy Nerd readers. So, I'm coming back this year stronger and harsher than ever. We are going to find the players that should not be on your team after the draft at their current ADP. This is all prefaced unless you can get the player multiple rounds after their expected draft position since no player is undraftable in fantasy. They should more just be avoided until they fall far enough to be of value. We will quickly go through last year's "Do Not Draft List" seeing where I was right on the money or way off and then we'll get to this year's list.

The first guy on the list I could not have called better, and that is the Scumbag of the year Deshaun Watson. I was so upset people were even ranking him like he didn't have 20+ accusations and was on the commissioner exempt list, but people thought he should be a draft and stash (what a waste of a roster spot). I feel like I shouldn't have to say any more on this P.O.S. Who knows? He might just make back-to-back appearances on the do not draft list. The next guy on my list was the WR79 last year and that guy was being drafted as a WR1 and WR2 in drafts. This man's name is Kenny G. Kenny had a worse season than I could even predict. He had a downright terrible season filled with injuries and disappearing acts in the games he was healthy for.

So far on my list I am 2/2. Let's see if I kept it up. That's a YES for the next guy on the list. It is Mr. Don't Draft Me Miles Sanders, which were actually his own words. He was drafted as the RB17 in most drafts last year, so he was going as an RB2 and even RB1 for the "Zero RB" strategists and he finished at RB44 with ZERO touchdowns all season - need I say any more? So, 3/3 now and I will take an L on the next one and his name is Marquise, but most know him as, "Hollywood" Brown. I was flat out wrong about him. I thought he had gotten his best season in 2019 and didn't expect anywhere close to the 146 targets that he got in the Ravens' offense. Brown proved me wrong, and I'll eat crow on this one, or should I say Raven - terrible joke I know.

The last guy on the list I'll call a wash and that is because he finished at TE8 but was being drafted at TE7 and that is Dallas Goedert. Sure, was he good for a tight end last year, he was but did he move the needle at all for your weekly tight end position? Not really. Goedert and the TE10 were separated by a single point in PPR scoring, so while he definitely wasn't a huge help as the starting TE of your team, definitely didn't hurt your team. So, while you could have done better at TE, you 1000% could have done worse. That was my do not draft list for 2021 and I'll give myself a B+ grade. Since I did miss badly on the Hollywood Brown call, but I did nail the Watson, Sanders, and Golladay picks so well, with a wash thrown in there on the Goedert pick. Now it is time for the "2022 Do Not Draft List". With our first name on the list being a top 10 RB in 2021, plays with the best QB of all time, and has both the nicknames "Playoff Lenny" and "Fat Lenny"

Leonard Fournette

Leonard FournetteThis guy is a tougher player to figure out, but I haven't had many drafts or situations where I feel good about Fournette. You're paying a 1st or 2nd round premium on him right now, so he is either your RB1 or RB2, and I just don't see it this year. I know he is looking in much better shape than he was going into camp but there is just a gut feeling that he is going to bust this year. I would really try to avoid having this guy as the RB1 on your team. He had his probably best 2nd best season last year, with 180 rushes, 812 yards, and 8 TDs. That is the most TDs he's scored since his rookie season with 9. He also had the 2nd most receptions in his career last year with 69 of them off of 84 targets. I just don't see him being better than he was last year in either category at age 27 as an RB who has put a ton of tread on the tires in the NFL and in college. He is going to be facing a gauntlet of tough run defenses from last year, and his O-Line has been decimated this preseason and training camp. If you're doing your draft on ESPN, he is going ahead of Aaron Jones, Javonte Williams, Mark Andrews, Nick Chubb, Saquon, and Keenan Allen. All of those guys are better and safer options. I know he has shed the weight off in camp, but coming into camp fat and out of shape is never a good sign even if you knock it off quickly. For an RB who has never played a full season and just had his career get rejuvenated with Brady to not take the off-season work seriously is just a red flag to me. I say it, I don't think he plays a full season. I think his Rec and TDs drop, and Rachaad White was drafted as a receiving back with big upside. White was first in his class in receptions and receiving yards. I think he is going to be way more involved when the middle of the season gets going. If he earns Brady's trust with his hands it could be a lot sooner. I just have this feeling in my gut that Fournette is not going to pay off at this ADP, I know it's a fool's game to bet against Brady and if I was going to get one wrong this is probably it. But I don't think I am wrong this was a guy getting healthy scratches near the end of his time in Jacksonville. He's an aging RB whose career was thought to be over and got it back with a nice stretch with the Bucs. I just don't see it being better than last year and that's where everyone is drafting him at, his absolute ceiling.

James Conner

James ConnerAnother RB in the same range as Fournette that I just do not like one bit this year is James Conner. Conner's situation is a little different, but it is a lot of the same points. He is often injured with no full seasons under his belt; he just had a season with 18 TDs which is more than his two prior seasons combined. He won't be getting 18 again, he probably won't get close to that number this year. I know they really like Darrel and Eno for the passing game work, so they'll probably take the work left by Chase Edmonds. He's another RB with a really tough schedule this year and TD regression coming. I know trying to predict injuries is a fool's errand, but I am not going to ignore them if it is a 27-year-old RB with a lot of tread on the tires that have had a lot of different joint and tissue injuries like Conner and Fournette. The injuries don't typically get better with age and I'm not betting on Conner to be the exception.

Just a reminder that my Do Not Draft List is at current ADP. Of course, if I can get Conner in my flex as the 3rd RB on my roster, I'd love to have him. I'm just not drafting him in a lot of my drafts when he's going in the first 24 picks. Not that I'm big on history repeating itself in football but the last time Conner had a 200+ carries season with 12+ Rushing TDs was 2018, in 2019 he had multiple injuries, missed chunks of games throughout the season, and finished with 10 games played, 116 carries with 4 rushing touchdowns and 464 rushing yards. Not saying his fall from grace in 2019 will be the same in 2022 but I don't think it bodes well for him this year either. Look, I think Conner will be good this year, but I don't think he is going to be one of the guys that are going to smash his ADP in the 2nd round. Not many places to go but down from last year. Last year he had nowhere to go but up being a 7th-round pick or later in most drafts. While I don't think he is being drafted at his ceiling since I think we saw his absolute ceiling this past season, the chances that he gets 18 TDs again his pretty slim so I think he is going below his absolute ceiling. I think he is being drafted at where his new ceiling is this year, I don't believe he is capable of doing what he did last year again so I have his ceiling in the 9-12 TD range this year, and if he doesn't hit that he will be a tremendous bust.

DK Metcalf

DK MetcalfThis guy is tough to put on a Don't Draft List. I mean he is just a massive human being and a physical freak of nature. But part of being a wide receiver is trusting the QB you have throwing to you and the offense you are in. Well DK is in an offense that loves to run and didn't like to throw a lot with Russel Wilson as their QB. Now they have Drew Lock or Geno Smith so just amazing choices, and straight-up Geno might be the better option for DK's fantasy upside. This team is going to try to run the ball 30+ times a game, if they do throw it, they will try to get it in DKs hands, but we saw games last year where teams were able to bottle him up and that was with Wilson at QB. DK and Locket both thrive in the off-script plays, I have a feeling that the best part about DK as a football player is his athleticism will also hurt him. Due to him being a massive athlete that made some huge plays last year will be each defense's first priority going into those games. Most teams will probably be favored versus the Seahawks, and most teams are smart enough to know that the only way they're going to lose is if they let DK run around getting multiple TD games. Plus, I'm just more of a fan of the other wide receivers going in his range. He is going ahead of Mike Williams, Brandon Cooks, Marquise Brown, Breece Hall, Courtland Sutton, Kyler Murray, Gabe Davis, Amon Ra St Brown, and Allen Robinson. I would rather have every single one of those guys in this range. I would draft Metcalf if he was my flex option. I don't like betting against physical freaks of nature like Metcalf, but I also have no desire to bet on terrible offenses that have bad QBs.

Mike Gesicki

Mike GesickiNow I did a TE in a similar spot as last year and I don't think this one is coming to bite me in the butt this same time next year when I'm writing this article. He is going later than Goedert was last year, but I'm going to be very blunt with this one. No caveat of if you can get him in this round that's fine. It just going to be DO NOT DRAFT MIKE GESICKI. It's that easy, and it is for a lot of reasons, number one is the offense is not the same as last year and the team is trying to actually win all of their games. They added a massive target in the passing game who commands 100+ targets in Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle isn't going to be the guy that loses targets in this offense either. Let's be honest Chase Edmonds was specifically brought in to get receiving work. This man Gesicki had 112 targets last year and only 3 TDs, so regression states he would gain more TDs this year which should lead to a better season. I don't know if he will get more TDs when his targets are cut in half. In this Mike McDaniel offense, he will be doing a lot of run blocking and Gesicki even said that there have been practices where he doesn't even line up out wide or get a receiving snap. In drafts, if you don't get one of the top 3 tight ends, I'm usually waiting a while to grab them for a while. Right now, there are about 5 tight ends I want where if I don't get any out of that top 5 then I'll be waiting till round 12 or later to snag mine. Where Gesicki is going you might as well wait for a full round and get Freiermuth, or Knox. You could even wait for 3-5 rounds and snag a Kmet, Henry, Higbee, or Njoku whom all have what I believe is the higher upside of the group. If you are in the market for a tight end in round 10 or later, you might as well go high upside shot at a tight end and just stream the position throughout the year.

Deshaun Watson – this is just a quick reminder

Deshaun WatsonI'm going to make a quick point on this first one just so people don't do it. He is not a sleeper, he is not a draft and stash, do not bleeping draft this guy. He won't be able to play until week 13 and he 1000% will be rusty and not look good for at least a couple of weeks. I know the people who run the Browns are not human since they paid someone who sexually assaulted a bunch of girls 230 million guaranteed. But you can just be a decent fantasy football GM and not have him on your team. I know he isn't going in a lot of drafts or any drafts really which makes me proud of the fantasy community, but please don't be that guy that thinks they'll outsmart everyone and stashes this guy for the "playoff run".

Quick Hitter list of middle/late-round players I'm not excited to draft

Antonio Gibson – Could lose the job to Robinson, already losing snaps and carries. Has to deal with McKissic in the passing game and Robinson in the Goal line situations. If he keeps falling, he could be a buy, but right now a 4th or 5th round price tag is too much.

Devin Singletary – Not really excited for this backfield, but it seems like Singletary has the worst role, he is basically a 20-yard line to 20-yard line runner. With Cook getting the passing work, then Moss and Allen getting the Goal-line work.

Damien Harris – Bill Belichick doesn't care about fantasy football and I don't care about his team either. Who knows what the passing game will be with two defensive coaches as OC? Stevenson could have a big role, Harris gets no pass game work, and he will have TD regression. I do like Stevenson though taking over the James White role and Stevenson is going much later.

Michael Thomas – Coming off a major injury, he has more competition in the room for targets. It's not just him and Kamara anymore with Landy and Olave there. Jameis is not the most predictable QB compared to Thomas's last QB in Bree's. Plus, he is already hurt again from practice, with a hamstring injury that we know tends to linger in skill position players longer.

Garrett Wilson – This one is very easy for me not to like; he is on the Jets which will probably only have one or two fantasy-relevant players. Those players will be Breece Hall and Elijah Moore, not this guy. Plus, I know everyone says he has strong hands but has everyone seen the clip of him at TopGolf? That club goes flying out of hands - seems like weak hands to me.

New England Wide Receivers – Again, no one likes you Bill or your receivers. Have fun with this one, Is Meyers the #1 choice here? Or is it Bourne who they spent a ton on, or is it Devante Parker? Maybe it's both tight ends with Henry and Jonnu Smith there. I don't like any of the choices and this team is spending the most money on pass catchers in the league by a wide margin.

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