Players To Avoid: Identifying Three Early Round Selections That You’d Be Better Off Avoiding At The Price

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The old adage goes that you don’t win your fantasy football league in the first few rounds of your draft, but you can certainly lose it.  Making the wrong selection could severely set you back and put you in a hole that you simply can’t dig out of.  With that in mind, here are three players currently being selected in the first few rounds that are going too high and could therefore sink your season (and we’d be avoiding at their current price tag):


T.Y. Hilton – Wide Receiver – Indianapolis Colts
We have spoken about T.Y. Hilton before here on Rotoprofessor, but with Andrew Luck healthy there’s going to be some added hype surrounding him.  The thing is, Hilton’s production isn’t as tied to Luck as you may think.  Just look at this, courtesy of ESPN’s Matthew Berry:

Over the past three years, per Tristan’s consistency ratings, Hilton was a “stiff” (51st or worse at the position in a given week) … 20 times. What? I get that some of that is Jacoby Brissett-induced, but if you take out last season, it’s 15 “starts” and 9 “stiffs” in the past two years with Luck as his primary QB. Nine different weeks where he was NOT a top-50 WR? Yeesh.

Hilton is a boom or bust receiver capable of lighting it up in any given week.  Of course the downside is that he can also disappear and be a complete non-factor, helping to cost you any matchup.  There’s nothing wrong with that type of player and he has a place on your roster, but in the first three rounds (at the time of this writing his current ADP is 29.6)?  He’s far too big of a roller coaster to invest at that high of a selection.


Rashaad Penny – Running Back – Seattle Seahawks
Even before the injury we would’ve been skeptical about Penny as we’ve noted before (click here for our article dubbing Chris Carson an ideal sleeper).  With Penny now missing valuable time with a broken finger, you have to think that his development is going to be stalled that much more.  He’s expected to be back for Week 1, but the impact over the first few weeks will likely be minimal.  Can he be a difference maker in the later weeks of the season?  Possibly, but are you willing to select him potentially in the Top 50 (his current ADP is 52.0) in order to get that?  Seems like way too big of a stretch and a wasted spot for the first few weeks.


Jimmy Graham – Tight End – Green Bay Packers
I’m a big fan of Graham this season, now that he’ll have Aaron Rodgers throwing him the football.  However does the hope that the two can put up gaudy numbers justify a selection within the first five rounds (ADP is 55.0)?

  • Martellus Bennett was a virtual non-factor last season (24 receptions for 233 yards and 0 TD) in seven games and was ultimately shipped to New England…
  • Jared Cook, another TE viewed as having upside, managed 30 receptions for 377 yards and 1 TD in 10 games back in 2016…
  • In 2015 it was Richard Rodgers who led the TE charge, with 58 receptions for 510 yards…

Granted the receiving corps has changed, with Jordy Nelson now in Oakland, but given the history of the position in Green Bay are you really willing to bank on Graham delivering?  A few rounds later we’d absolutely be buying, but at this price point the risk is far too large.

Sources – ESPN, Fantasy Pros

Make sure to check out all of our 2018 preseason rankings:

Date Updated
Running Back09/02/18
Wide Receiver 08/29/18
Tight End08/24/18
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