2016 Draft Kit

25 reasons why you shouldn’t draft the 25 best players in fantasy football

While on vacation with my family, sitting in the screened-in gazebo by the pool I looked up at the ceiling fan and noticed some minor flaws in the ceiling.

It’s a ridiculous thought. I’m on vacation in another state in this amazing house with my awesome family and I took note of this flaw. But it’s what we do all the time while evaluating players for fantasy football.

You have a list of top-3 running backs, but it’s not the same as mine or jzak’s or probably half the experts out there. These people are elite athletes, the best of the best, but we determine which one we’ll pick by weighing the advantages and disadvantages of drafting a player. We scrutinize everything from their age, to their run-ins with the law, to their height/weight, to the system they play in. The list could go on for a good long time.

It’s easy to get lost in gaudy college stats, combine numbers or height/weight measurements for rookies. Or 100-yard-games and a history of 10-touchdown seasons for veterans. But when splitting hairs, I like to search for reasons why I wouldn’t want to own a player. You can do this with any NFL player regardless of their status.

There were a couple of players so good I really needed to stretch things while making this list, but it was relatively easy to come up with one reason not to draft most of the players. There’s plenty more than one thing wrong with many of them. How we weigh those wrongs compared to the rights is why trades happen.

It’s how we win championships.

25 reasons why you shouldn’t draft the 25 best players in fantasy football

Rk Pos Name Tm Age Comments
1 RB Jamaal Charles KC 28 Has played 16 games in only one of the last four seasons. Has seen a decline in rushing attempts and yards in each of the last three seasons. Since he’s No. 1 on my list, I thought I’d give you two reasons.
2 RB Adrian Peterson MIN 30 RBs show a sharp decline in their age 29 season. AP had to miss most of that one and went right to his age-30 season.
3 RB Eddie Lacy GB 25 Played in one more game, but had 34 fewer rushing attempts and three times as many fumbles as he did when he was a rookie.
4 RB Le’Veon Bell PIT 23 Could be suspended for the first three games, a quarter of your fantasy regular season. Can you afford to waste a top-5 pick on that?
5 RB C.J. Anderson DEN 24 How many fumbles or missteps until the Broncos decide to give former second-round pick Montee Ball another shot to set the NFL world on fire?
6 RB Marshawn Lynch SEA 29 There’s that age 29 RB. Imagine how much more of a toll the years take on a back who thrives on contact so much he is Beast Mode.
7 WR Antonio Brown PIT 27 Five-foot-10-inches tall, 186 pounds. Why have teams not learned how to stop him?
8 WR Dez Bryant DAL 26 With DeMarco Murray gone, how much more will defenses concentrate on Dez?
9 RB Jeremy Hill CIN 22 The fantasy football world is filled with memories of one-year wonders (cough, Doug Martin, cough). Most of them didn’t have to share the backfield with a talented back like Giovani Bernard waiting for a misstep.
10 RB DeMarco Murray PHI 27 Leaves a Cowboys offensive line that helped Joseph Randle to 6.7 yards a carry in 2014 and now will share carries with Ryan Mathews AND Darren Sproles in Crazy Chip Kelly’s offense. Sproles sniped 6 TDs away from LeSean McCoy last season.
11 WR Julio Jones ATL 26 Missed 12 games in the last two seasons and has played in just 49 of a possible 64 career games. He’s the Arian Foster of wide receivers.
12 WR Calvin Johnson DET 29 Hasn’t played a full season since 2012 and only has three 16-game seasons in his 8-season career. Will file for a cease and desist if Julio tries to claim that Arian Foster of wide receivers title.
13 WR Odell Beckham Jr. NYG 22 Tickets to the hype train always cost too much. Don’t worry, there’s no way he’ll be the next Keenan Allen. He’s too small. He’ll probably be worse.
14 RB LeSean McCoy BUF 27 Goes from a fifth-best offense to a 26th-best offense and from a team that scored 54 touchdowns to 34 touchdowns and that scored less than half as many rushing touchdowns (16 to 7). Nope. No dropoff here.
15 WR Demaryius Thomas DEN 27 Defenses don’t have to scheme for Julius Thomas any more. That means they can put more resources into slowing down Demaryius.
16 WR Jordy Nelson GB 30 Over the last five games Randall Cobb out-targeted Nelson 66-45, that’s more than four targets per game.
17 WR A.J. Green CIN 26 Averaged 4.33 catches, 43.66 yards and had zero touchdowns over the last three games despite getting a whopping 9.33 targets per game. At least he still has Andy Dalton throwing to him. /sarcasm
18 QB Aaron Rodgers GB 31 Gets all the top-QB hype but has never finished as the top QB in fantasy or in passing yards or passing TDs.
19 QB Russell Wilson SEA 26 It’s never a good bet to pay for a career year. Especially for a quarterback on a team that has been dead last or second to last in pass attempts for the previous three seasons.
20 QB Andrew Luck IND 25 Had 4,761 yards and 40 TDs last year, his third in the NFL. Poised to be better. Umm. He traded his neckbeard for a weird mustache. I don’t have anything else.
21 TE Rob Gronkowski NE 26 Has played in 33 of 48 possible games in the last three seasons. Have I already overused the Arian Foster of (insert position here) joke?
22 RB Arian Foster HOU 28 HEY, LOOK. IT’S ARIAN FOSTER! The Arian Foster of running backs.
23 RB Matt Forte CHI 29 Have I told you the enormous beating NFL running backs take usually catches up with them in their age 29 season? Forte has 2,260 touches in seven seasons, including 363 in 2013 and 368 in 2014.
24 RB Melvin Gordon SD 22 He’ll be splitting touches with Danny Woodhead and Branden Oliver. And despite a college career to gush over he only had 22 career NCAA catches. Also, Google NFL running backs from Wisconsin.
25 WR Mike Evans TB 21 Blame his lack of ROY on OBJ all you want, but it really was LOP that left him hanging: 3.66 catches, 42.83 yards on a whopping 8.66 targets in his last six games. But don’t worry, he’ll be way better with a rookie QB throwing to him in 2015.

Original article: Early top-25 overall for 2015 fantasy football

A lot of the tone here is exaggerated, of course, but the statistics and facts are all real. I hope some of this information helped you decide who you won’t draft in the top-25 this season.

We’ll get back to the team previews tomorrow and we’ll have plenty more content for you as the NFL preseason ramps up.

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